Universities Switch to Online Learning but Is it Enough? – Disposable mail news

With there being no apparent end in view of the pandemic, everyone has been forced to live within a confined space and spend their days not doing anything that needs going out.

Especially students all over the world are having a hard time managing things without the actual physical classes to dote on. Not that online lectures and a virtual education aren’t lucrative but most students find a lack of motivation a common problem.

With the dearth of options, available students are managing to adjust to the online learning life given most institutions have switched to various online mediums like Zoom, which is a great step, globally.

Universities are trying their best to make do with all the possible resources they have at their disposal. But is it okay to consider that online classes shall suffice?

What the students need at such a gloomy time is a way to make education and learning which could provide them technologically rich experience and not just a mere imitation of what otherwise happens in their classes.

The tech-world is overflowing with contemporary ideas of learning. There are hundreds of ways to create and design interactive sessions via podcasts, and virtual reality. Students, from the comfort of their homes, could be better learners if they encourage the right way and could induce better responses.

Online learning or online lectures shouldn’t just be a professor, going on and on for hours like in a physical class. There is such a variety of avenues to follow when it comes to technology-based learning that too, online.

During the past months, the number of students enrolled in online courses has increased substantially. There has also been a rise in the number of students joining full-time online courses.

People who weren’t as tech-savvy as all that lost their jobs and had to get back to studying for any possible chances of a career change.

Per sources, FutureLearn and UofPeople(University of People) have experienced a hike in demand for online courses because of people wanting to be productive in the days of quarantine by acquiring new skills.

According to reports, there has been seen a significant rise in the demand for online courses for the English language, health-related subjects, and mental health topics.

This culture of interactive online learning if does not limit itself to the pandemic times could lead to a better learning mechanism that would prove to be extremely efficacious for students all across the globe.

The availability of online platforms for students to begin or continue their education is massively contributing to lessening the number of chances of students deferring.

Even though the initial online courses that went and probably still do, by the name Moocs (Massive open online courses) weren’t so much of a big hit, but given the times of the “pandemic induced confinement”, people are warming up to them.

The current predicament has everyone bursting with uncertainty. There is no telling if universities would even begin their next sessions any time soon.

Everything can’t certainly be taught online, especially practical-learning which prompts a huge question mark to which no one has the right answer.

Realizing that there is no way to know when the universities would open and commence their normal operations with the added factor of social distancing, ‘the internet is all we have.’


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Users May Risk Losing their Passwords on Dark Web For Sale – Disposable mail news


In April, Zoom became one of the many victims of the companies that lost their user data to the hackers. Zoom, which is one of the top online video conference platforms, lost more than half a million of account logins on the dark web. The leaked passwords could be bought either for free or for a minimal amount of money.

Understandably, the users are blaming the Zoom company for losing its accounts, and they have every right to do so. It is, however, a part of much bigger trouble that includes hackers, some criminal niches on the Internet, and the fault of our own to set very weak user passwords.

How passwords end up on the dark web? 



Every year, more than hundreds of millions of user accounts end up getting exposed to the dark web, either through malware or phishing attacks. According to a report by Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, a non for profit organization in California, around 11.6 Billion user accounts have been hacked since the year 2005.

The hacked accounts are then either uploaded on hacker websites or posted on the dark web for sale.

These websites and dark web can be accessed only through a specific browser called Tor. “Then there’s Tor, the darkest corner of the Internet. It’s a collection of secret websites (ending in .onion) that require special software to access them. People use Tor so that their Web activity can’t be traced — it runs on a relay system that bounces signals among different Tor-enabled computers around the world,” says Jose Pagliery from CNN Business.]
The hackers use these purchased passwords and try logging in with them to several other websites until they are successful, a technique known as credential stuffing.

The hackers used credential stuffing to steal more than 500,000 Zoom user accounts and uploaded them later on the dark web. In response to this, Zoom spokesperson has confirmed that they suspect the hackers used credential stuffing to breach the accounts. “You can help prevent some of these attacks by banning the use of bad passwords, blocking legacy authentication, and training employees on phishing,” says Microsoft’s security website on “how to prevent your company from web attacks.”


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Facebook’s Messenger”s Latest Update Supports 50 Participants In a Video Chat Room! – Disposable mail news

During these ungodly hours of the pandemic with everyone stuck at home and yearning for some one-on-one time with friends and family stuck elsewhere, Facebook has come through like a Knight in shining armor.

It has booted up Messenger and WhatsApp with fresh and much-needed video-calling features in light of the obvious hike in the “need” for video-calls via social media.

In the areas that are affected to the greatest degrees by Coronavirus, researchers have seen an acute escalation in the usage of Messenger and its video calling feature, as much as double the earlier rate.

With the latest WhatsApp update increasing the number of participants in its video/audio calls, Messenger has made available an update that could let users add up to 50 people in the Messenger Rooms.

Turns out that these fresh features were always on the list of updates but they were rolled out to the users a little earlier than planned because of the pandemic and lock-downs.

This update is scheduled to start reaching people soon and would eventually reach all the users but it is bound to take time.

Per sources, Facebook had been working towards preventing ‘unrequired’ and ‘unneeded’ guests from popping in the chats, as well.

There is no dearth of applications willing to help users get through these tough times by connecting virtually with their loved ones. Zoom, another app that has seen crazy growth in the number of its active users to an astonishing 300 Million.

Houseparty is another one that hit the download charts hard when the news of the lock-down first surfaced everywhere in March.

Much like in the formerly mentioned app, until the Messenger Room is ‘open’, guests can drop in and out per their wishes in the group video chats.

With a very thoughtful idea, Facebook had reportedly wanted to create a realistic atmosphere for the video chat users where people could “bump into each other”.

In fact, rumor has it that Facebook is planning to add the group video chat room feature to WhatsApp and Instagram as well but there is no evidence as to when.

The chat rooms that are open to the public shall be listed at the top of the feed. The person creating the chat room would have control over the privacy of the room, about sending the invitations to people who aren’t on Facebook, who gets added and blocking unwanted participants. Participants could also change their backgrounds in real time, mention sources.

Per reports, the feature was first tested in Argentina and Poland where Messenger is supposed to be used the most. The results showed that up to 20 participants could be added at once, but the number is would increase to 50 according to Facebook.

Having uninvited participants show up in their chat rooms has only caused inconvenience to the users especially in the case of Zoom. Facebook has definitely learned from that.

The chats wouldn’t be encrypted end-to-end at least at the beginning of the launching but it’s surely on the to-do list. Monitoring and listening in on the video calls, says Facebook, is absolutely out of question.

The tech giant has also promised that it will keep working towards making Facebook better in every way possible by collecting data from the users about the overall experience, mention sources.

Premium features are being made available for free by the Microsoft teams for some of their apps owing to the Coronavirus outbreak, per sources.

Per reports, usually, the most whopping product launches of Facebook are done via the blog post by Mark Zuckerberg which in this case was used to announce the Messenger Room’s latest update.

To know about the latest feature update of WhatsApp check out the following link:
WhatsApp’s Latest Feature Lets You Add More People To Video Calls!


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Russia to develop a video platform similar to Zoom – Disposable mail news

The Ministry of Digital Development, Communications and Mass Media of the Russian Federation will develop a similar Zoom platform for video communication by the beginning of the new school year. This was announced on Saturday by Minister of Education Sergey Kravtsov.

“Together with the Ministry of Digital Development, Communications and Mass Media, we are developing a new domestic product Digital educational environment, which will use only domestic developments, only domestic software, including a video platform similar to Zoom and Skype,” said the Minister.

The Minister stressed that such a platform is necessary in order to exclude problems related to the instability of foreign systems from the educational process. Kravtsov noted that, for example, the use of Zoom was abandoned in Singapore, because there was “unauthorized access to the education process”.

Recall that on March 14, in order to prevent coronavirus, it was recommended to transfer students to distance learning.

Note that the daily audience of the Zoom app in the world in March 2020 compared to December 2019 increased by 20 times.

In addition, Moscow senator Vladimir Kozhin drew the attention of the state to threats posed by Russians in self-isolation. He was talking about a huge array of personal data that now has to be transmitted online for various purposes. The senator believes that this information can become the goal of cybercriminals and lead to serious damage to citizens and businesses.

He proposed “to develop and adopt a number of amendments to the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation in the shortest possible time, seriously toughening the responsibility for such crimes.”

Earlier, Disposable mail news reported that users of the Zoom video conferencing service have become targets of hackers. Scammers create Zoom-disguised websites and malware to steal their personal data.

Moreover, hackers appeared in Networks that offer to issue digital passes for moving around the city on social networks.


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Over 500,000 Zoom Accounts Sold on the Dark Web and Hacker Forums

Hundreds of thousands of Zoom accounts are being sold or given away for free on the dark web and hacker forums, according to a new report by BleepingComputer.


Zoom has surged in popularity in recent weeks as the number of people working from home has increased, but concerns about the videoconferencing app’s security have also made the headlines. However, the availability of Zoom accounts on the dark web does not appear to be a direct consequence the app’s failings.

Rather, the sale of the login details are said to be the result of “credential stuffing attacks,” where hackers attempt to log in to Zoom using accounts leaked in older data breaches.

Successful logins are then collated into lists and sold on or offered for free to other hackers, with the intention of using them in zoom-bombing pranks or for malicious reasons.

The accounts are reportedly being shared via text sharing sites as lists of email addresses and password combinations. The accounts can include a victim’s email address, password, personal meeting URL, and their HostKey.

Zoom accounts sold on hacker forums

Cybersecurity firm Cyble, which was able to purchase 530,000 Zoom credentials for less than a penny each at $0.0020 per account, said the Zoom accounts began appearing in the hacker community at the beginning of April, with hackers offering the accounts to build reputation.

The finding underscores the importance of using unique passwords for each website where an account is registered. Concerned users are encouraged to check if their email address has been leaked in data breaches using the Have I Been Pwned website or Cyble’s AmIBreached data breach notification service, and change their Zoom password if necessary.

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Zoombombing: what is it and how you can prevent your conference calls from being zoombombed – Disposable mail news


Amid this Covid-19 lockdown, the use of video conferencing software has seen a rapid rise- be it work-related, teaching or just socializing. Our use of video chats has increased and with it, the security concerns have risen diligently.

One such software “Zoom”, which is quite popular for video conferencing has been drawing attention from security researchers and journalists recently over privacy and security issues.
Even United States investigative agency FBI issued a warning to the citizens to be cautious while using zoom app citing cases of zoombombing where calls were interrupted by “pornographic and/or hate images and threatening language,” and the agency also asked the software companies to practice “due diligence and caution” in their security measures.

 Zoombombing is an incident when your video conference calls are interrupted by unwanted/uninvited attendee and disrupts the meet. 

Measures by Zoom to prevent Zoombombing

On Wednesday, Zoom CEO Eric Yuan published a blog post addressing these security concerns. He mentioned that Zoom will freeze feature updates and focus on coming up with security solutions for the next 90 days. Quoting to dedicate these ninety days to “the resources needed to better identify, address and fix issues proactively.”
He wrote that these initiatives will focus on “conducting a comprehensive review with third-party experts and representative users to understand and ensure the security of all of our new consumer use cases,” according to the post.

Steps you can take to prevent “Zoombombing” 

There are some simple settings you can change on your Zoom app for your calls from being interrupted by unwanted individuals.

  1. Don’t use your personal meeting ID, instead use a pre-meeting ID exclusive for that meeting. There are Zoom tutorials to help you understand how to generate a random meeting ID for a meeting. 
  2.  Enable the “waiting room” feature in Account Management. It will allow you to see who is attempting to join the meeting and give them access. 
  3. Once the meeting begins and everyone is in it, lock the meeting to outsiders. 
  4.  Make sure you don’t publish or post the meeting ID on public platforms. 
  5.  If any outsider does barge in- 

You can lock them out by going to Participants List in the navigation sidebar, scroll to more and click to Lock Meeting. You can also shut them up, by clicking on Mute all control in the Participants List.


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Zoom Updates Mac App Installer to Remove Controversial ‘Preflight’ Installation Method

The popular video conferencing company Zoom has been under scrutiny over the past few days for the method used to install the Mac version of its app, which essentially abused a “preflight” compatibility check to install the app without the user needing to explicitly grant installation permission, as highlighted by developer Felix Seele earlier this week.

Screenshot of preflight compatibility check for Zoom; clicking Continue immediately installs the app if the user has admin privileges (via Felix Seele)

Zoom CEO Eric Yuan responded to Seele, noting that while the installation method was “implemented to balance the number of clicks given the limitations of the standard technology,” he recognized the issue and promised to “continue to improve.”

Revised installer with traditional installation process

Zoom has now updated its Mac app installer to no longer use the preflight installation method, instead using a traditional installation authorization process, as noted by The Verge.

“They completely removed the preinstall stuff, so you now need to click through the installer as it ought to be,” explains Seele in a message to The Verge. The fake prompt has also been removed so users have to specifically click through and install Zoom. “I must say that I am impressed,” says Seele. “I expected them to maybe change the dialog, but since the ‘zero-click’ aspect was so important to them, I thought they would stick with the preinstall-trick.”

The Mac app installation issue is hardly Zoom’s first controversy, with the company seeing increased attention as its popularity has boomed amid self-isolation. Other recent controversies over just the past week have included its integration with a Facebook SDK that was sending Zoom user data to Facebook and misleading claims of end-to-end encryption.


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Hackers use fake Zoom domains to spread malware – Disposable mail news

The coronavirus pandemic is forcing many people around the world to work remotely. This has significantly increased the popularity of video conferencing services such as Zoom. Attackers took advantage of this and began to use fake Zoom domains to spread malware and gain access to other people’s video conferencing. This was reported by the security company Check Point.

Researchers note that since the beginning of the virus pandemic, 1,700 domains with the word Zoom have been registered. At the same time, 25% of new domains were registered in the last seven days, and 70 of them are considered suspicious by the company.

Check Point specialists found malicious files like “zoom-us-zoom_##########.exe”, where # is a set of digits. After running such a file, the InstallCore batch application is installed on the user’s computer, which is used for further downloading malware.

Fraudulent sites that simulate the work of Google Classroom or Google Hangouts have also appeared on the Internet. Disguised sites are created for the purpose of phishing: stealing passwords, credit card data, and other personal information from users. Check Point Cyber Research Manager Omer Dembinsky advised all users to make sure that links to video conferences are secure before using them.

In January of this year, Check Point published a report indicating that Zoom has security flaws. According to the company, hackers could connect to video conferences by generating random numbers that became conference URLs. Zoom then fixed the security breach and made some changes to the service, for example, introducing mandatory password protection for conferences.


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