Billions of stolen passwords for sale on the dark web – 10 minute mail

While logins to music and video streaming services sell for less than ten dollars each, domain admin access is being offered for US$120,000

More than 15 billion stolen account credentials are up for grabs on cybercrime forums, with 5 billion of them considered unique, meaning that they haven’t been offered for sale more than once, according to research by Digital Shadows.

The usernames and passwords found on cybercriminal marketplaces, especially on the dark web, come from over 100,000 separate data breaches and include access credentials for financial accounts and streaming services, and even for admin accounts providing access to organizations’ key systems.

The researchers spent a year and a half analyzing the tactics that crooks use to exploit pilfered account information and found that the amount of misappropriated credentials has risen by 300% since 2018.

Most of the stolen login information belongs to consumers and while many are often offered for free, those that do go on sale have an average asking price of approximately US$15 per account. However, depending on the type of access they provide the price might go up or down, with financial and banking accounts commanding the highest price – US$70 a pop. The rest, typically streaming media accounts, social media and other services, can be purchased for under US$10.

Consumers are just the tip of the iceberg; perpetrators have their eyes on bigger fish they’d like to fry. Accounts that could allow them to infiltrate the critical systems of an organization are auctioned and can fetch an average price of over US$3,100; the most valuable have been known to go for US$120,000. That said, Digital Shadows noted that it “cannot confirm the validity of the data that the vendors purport to own”.

Still, the price might not come as a surprise, since compromising a whole company network could yield information that can be sold off or held for ransom, ultimately paying out much more than the initial ‘investment’.

RELATED READING: Cybercrime black markets: Dark web services and their prices

How are all those credentials acquired, anyway? As the report points out, there is the straightforward option of hacking a company database and stealing the data, but there are also methods that require less effort.

These include harvesting them using phishing campaigns, as well as compromising machines with malware, such as keyloggers, or buying the login information from marketplaces or using credentials that are offered on forums for free. But there is still one more option.

Dark Shadows says that they have observed the emergence of markets that are offering account takeover as a service; in this case, instead of buying account credentials, criminals are renting an identity for a limited amount of time. “Such is the popularity of these services that users on forums are desperate to acquire invite codes to this market,” the company adds.

How to protect yourself?

There are multiple steps you can take to mitigate the risk of having your usernames and passwords stolen:

  • Don’t recycle your passwords across multiple services; you should use a strong and unique password for each of your online accounts – which is precisely where a password manager can come in handy.
  • Start using multi-factor authentication, which is the easiest way to add an extra layer of security to your account.
  • If a service you use has been breached, immediately change your password across all the services you use it for and perhaps check if you use a variation of it on other services and change those as well. You can also set up a password breach alert, such as the one offered by Chrome’s Password Checkup or you can run a similar check using dedicated services.
  • Watch out for phishing attempts, don’t click on links or attachments that seem suspicious.
  • Use a reputable security solution.



Amer Owaida


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IM Platforms Increasingly Used by Threat Actors in Place of Dark Web Marketplaces – Disposable mail news

Researchers at IntSight have discovered that IM platforms such as WhatsApp, Telegram, Discord, IRC, and Jabber are being used by cybercriminals for advertising and putting their goods and services on sale. One of the major reason as to why cybercriminals are switching to these IM platforms from the conventional ones is ‘law enforcement practices’; law enforcement operations have been targeting online darknet markets one after another. Earlier in 2017, the world’s largest dark web market, AlphaBay was taken offline, sending darknet users into chaos. Immediately after, the cyberspace witnesses the shut down of Hansa, another major darknet market. As more and more major dark web markets went offline due to the law enforcement penetrations, cybercriminals are wisely migrating to new platforms.

Although threat actors are loving IM platforms, the regular cybercrime sources such as dark web markets, credit card shops, and forums are still witnessing their web usual traffic. These platforms have more advantages such as chatbots, fewer rules, and automated replies due to their core nature, unlike IM platforms that are majorly meant for communication.

While giving insights, Etay Maor, IntSights CSO, said,
“Telegram appears to be experiencing the most growth, with more than 56,800 Telegram invite links shared across cybercrime forums and over 223,000 general mentions of the application across forums. Telegram is also the platform most often discussed in foreign language forums.”

“Financial threat actors and fraudsters exchange stolen carding information, selling or trading all kinds of credit card dumps, and publishing methods or techniques relevant for the fraud community. In addition, there is also a trade of physical items stolen or counterfeited from organizations in the retail industry.” He added.

“While the data itself is fully encrypted and law enforcement needs sophisticated algorithms in order to decrypt it, some countries have authorized law enforcement agencies to access the private information of their citizens if sanctioned by courts or other judicial authorities – including information that lives in IM platforms. Threat actors are worried about the cooperation between technology companies and law enforcement agencies, especially in the United States.” Maor further explained.


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Face ID and Touch ID Logins Coming to Websites With Safari Web Authentication API

Apple allows Touch ID and Face ID to be used in lieu of a password to access sensitive apps like those for banking or password management, and in the future, Face ID and ‌Touch ID‌ will also be able to be used for authentication purposes when logging into a website.


Apple outlines the feature in a WWDC20 engineering session called “Meet Face ID and ‌Touch ID‌ for the web,” which covers how web developers can use Face ID and ‌Touch ID‌ on their websites with the Web Authentication API.

An initial login on a website that supports the feature will require a username, passcode, and two-factor authentication code to be entered, but after that, Face ID or ‌Touch ID‌ can handle the login process. Signing in this way will require users to click on the sign in button, after which Safari will ask for confirmation. With the confirmation, a Face ID (or ‌Touch ID‌) scan is done, and the user is able to log in.

Apple says Face ID and ‌Touch ID‌ authentication is beneficial because it’s frictionless, simple, and secure. The online session described it as “phishing resistant.”

But more importantly, it is Phishing-resistant. Safari will only allow public credentials created by this API to be used within the Web site they were created, and the credential can never be exported out from the authenticater they were created in as well. This means that once a public credential has been provisioned, there is no way for a user to accidentally divulge it to another party. Cool right?! This is the overview of the Web Authentication standard.

Apple has been testing similar website sign-ins with ‌Touch ID‌ and Face ID using iCloud since July 2019. When you visit ‌iCloud‌ on the web on an iPhone or iPad, you can sign right in with a Face ID scan without the need to enter a password.

Additional detail about the feature, including instructions on how web developers can enable it, can be found in the full video along with the accompanying resources.

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Firefox Web Browser Launching Its Own Paid VPN Service – Disposable mail news

The Firefox Private Network service launched in beta just the previous year as a browser extension for desktop versions of the Firefox web browser is all set to be renamed as Mozilla VPN.

According to a blog post, Mozilla VPN will move out of the beta and be available as a standalone service later this year with select regions, which will include the United States.

The VPN will be accessible for $4.99 every month and the user will have the option to utilize around five devices with a similar account.

Mozilla specifies this pricing is just temporary yet has not clarified whether the price will be increased or new plans introduced for fewer devices.

Mozilla VPN will be launched as a standalone and system-wide VPN service for Android, iOS, Windows, ChromeOS, macOS, and Linux platforms throughout the next few weeks.

While the Android, iOS, Windows, and Chromebook clients will be available at first, Mozilla is likewise chipping away at Mac and Linux clients which have additionally been requested by the beta testers.

Mozilla, as opposed to other web browser makers like Opera, isn’t offering the service for nothing. They claim that a paid service will permit the organization to continue offering the service without benefiting from users’ data.

The service, in its current form as Firefox Private Network, is fuelled by Mullvad VPN and has servers in excess of 30 nations. It runs on the WireGuard standard that offers more privacy and better execution when contrasted with customary standards like OpenVPN being another protocol; it may not be as steady as the ‘legacy’ ones.

In the event that the user wishes to be a part of the beta testing or express interest for the service to be accessible in their region, they can join the waitlist by signing up the official website of the Firefox Private Network VPN and they will be notified whenever Firefox Private Network is accessible for their device and region.

The link of which is provided below: https://fpn.firefox.com/vpn/invite 


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Web skimming with Google Analytics – 10 minute mail

Web skimming is a common class of attacks generally aimed at online shoppers. The principle is quite simple: malicious code is injected into the compromised site, which collects and sends user-entered data to a cybercriminal resource. If the attack is successful, the cybercriminals gain access to shoppers’ payment information.

To make the data flow to a third-party resource less visible, fraudsters often register domains resembling the names of popular web services, and in particular, Google Analytics (google-anatytics[.]com, google-analytcsapi[.]com, google-analytc[.]com, google-anaiytlcs[.]com, google-analytics[.]top, google-analytics[.]cm, google-analytics[.]to, google-analytics-js[.]com, googlc-analytics[.]com, etc.). But attack of this kind were also found to sometimes use the authentic service.

To harvest data about visitors using Google Analytics, the site owner must configure the tracking parameters in their account on analytics.google.com, get the tracking ID (trackingId, a string like this: UA-XXXX-Y), and insert it into the web pages together with the tracking code (a special snippet of code). Several tracking codes can rub shoulders on one site, sending data about visitors to different Analytics accounts.

Recently, we identified several cases where this service was misused: attackers injected malicious code into sites, which collected all the data entered by users, and then sent it via Analytics. As a result, the attackers could access the stolen data in their Google Analytics account. We found about two dozen infected sites worldwide. The victims included stores in Europe and North and South America selling digital equipment, cosmetics, food products, spare parts etc.

The screenshot below shows how the infection looks — malicious code with the attacker’s tracking code and tracking ID:

Screenshot 1

The attacker tries to hide their malicious activity using a classic anti-debugging technique. Screenshot 2 shows code for checking whether Developer mode is enabled in the visitor’s browser. The code in the screenshot above is executed only if the result is negative.

Screenshot 2

Curiously, the attackers left themselves a loophole — the option to monitor the script in Debug mode. If the browser’s local storage (localStorage) contains the value ‘debug_mode’==’11’, the malicious code will spring into life even with the developer tools open, and will go as far as to write comments to the console in clumsy English with errors. In screenshot 3, the line with the ‘debug_mode’ check follows the implementation of the RC4 encryption algorithm (used to encrypt the harvested data before sending it).

Screenshot 3

If the anti-debugging is passed, the script collects everything anyone inputs on the site (as well as information about the user who entered the data: IP address, UserAgent, time zone). The collected data is encrypted and sent using the Google Analytics Measurement Protocol. The collection and sending process is shown in screenshot 4.

Screenshot 4

The stolen data is sent by invoking the send event method in the ‘eventAction’ field.

The function signature in this case is:

This leads to an HTTP request being sent to the URL
https[:]//www.google-analytics.com/collect?&ea=packed_stolen_data&

In the above-described case, malicious code is inserted into a script on the infected site in “readable” form. In other cases, however, the injection can be obfuscated. Malicious code also can be downloaded from a third-party resource. Screenshot 5 shows an example obfuscation option. In this variant, a call to a malicious script from firebasestorage.googleapis[.]com is inserted into the infected site.

Screenshot 5

After deobfuscation, we obtain a similar script with the same distinctive comments. Part of its code is presented in screenshot 6 (a different tracking ID is used).

Screenshot 6

What’s the danger

Google Analytics is an extremely popular service (used on more than 29 million sites, according to BuiltWith) and is blindly trusted by users: administrators write *.google-analytics.com into the Content-Security-Policy header (used for listing resources from which third-party code can be downloaded), allowing the service to collect data. What’s more, the attack can be implemented without downloading code from external sources.

How to avoid the issues

Users:

  • Install security software. Kaspersky solutions detect malicious scripts used in such attacks as HEUR:Trojan-PSW.Script.Generic.

Webmasters:

  • Do not install web applications and CMS components from untrusted sources. Keep all software up to date. Follow news about vulnerabilities and take recommended actions to patch them.
  • Create strong passwords for all administration accounts.
  • Limit user rights to the minimum necessary. Keep track of the number of users who have access to service interfaces.
  • Filter user-entered data and query parameters to prevent third-party code injection.
  • For e-commerce sites, it is recommended to use PCI DSS-compliant payment gateways.

IOCs

firebasestorage.googleapis[.]com/v0/b/bragvintage-f929b.appspot.com/o/*
firebasestorage.googleapis[.]com/v0/b/canature-5fab3.appspot.com/o/*
firebasestorage.googleapis[.]com/v0/b/ericeirasurfskate-559bf.appspot.com/o/*
firebasestorage.googleapis[.]com/v0/b/gluten-8e34e.appspot.com/o/*
firebasestorage.googleapis[.]com/v0/b/laser-43e6f.appspot.com/o/*
firebasestorage.googleapis[.]com/v0/b/movile-720cd.appspot.com/o/*
firebasestorage.googleapis[.]com/v0/b/plumb-99e97.appspot.com/o/*
firebasestorage.googleapis[.]com/v0/b/redfox-64c35.appspot.com/o/*
firebasestorage.googleapis[.]com/v0/b/tictoc-9677e.appspot.com/o/*

 


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One Of Tech Giant Oracle’s Many Start-ups Uses Tracking Tech to Follow Users around the Web – Disposable mail news

The multinational computer technology corporation Oracle has spent almost 10 years and billions of dollars purchasing startups to fabricate its own one of a kind ‘panopticon’ of users’ browsing data.

One of those startups which Oracle bought for somewhat over $400 million in 2014, BlueKai, is scarcely known outside marketing circles; however, it amassed probably the biggest bank of web tracking data outside of the federal government.

By utilizing website cookies and other tracking tech to pursue the user around the web, by knowing which sites the user visits and which emails they open, BlueKai does it all.

BlueKai is supposedly known to depend intensely on vacuuming up a ‘never-ending’ supply of information from an assortment of sources to comprehend patterns to convey the most exact ads to an individual’s interests.

The startup utilizes increasingly clandestine strategies like permitting websites to insert undetectable pixel-sized pictures to gather data about the user when they open the page — hardware, operating system, browser, and any data about the network connection.

Hence it wouldn’t be wrong to say that the more BlueKai gathers, the more it can infer about the user, making it simpler to target them with ads that may lure them to that ‘magic money-making click’.

Marketers regularly utilize this immense amount of tracking data to gather as much about the user as could reasonably be expected — their income, education, political views, and interests to name a few — so as to target them with ads that should coordinate their apparent tastes.

But since a server was left unsecured for a time, that web tracking data was spilling out onto the open internet without a password and at last ended up uncovering billions of records for anybody to discover.

Luckily security researcher Anurag Sen found the database and detailed his finding to Oracle through an intermediary — Roi Carthy, chief executive at cybersecurity firm Hudson Rock and former TechCrunch reporter.

Oracle spokesperson Deborah Hellinger says, “Oracle is aware of the report made by Roi Carthy of Hudson Rock related to certain BlueKai records potentially exposed on the Internet. While the initial information provided by the researcher did not contain enough information to identify an affected system, Oracle’s investigation has subsequently determined that two companies did not properly configure their services. Oracle has taken additional measures to avoid a reoccurrence of this issue.”

Subsequent to reviewing into the information shared by Sen, names, home addresses, email addresses, and other identifiable data was discovered in the database.

The information likewise uncovered sensitive users’ web browsing activity — from purchases to newsletter unsubscribes.

While Oracle didn’t name the companies or state what those additional measures were and declined to respond to the inquiries or comment further.

In any case, it is clearly evident that the sheer size of the exposed database makes this one of the biggest security ‘lapses’ by this year.


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Devicelock: data from 115 thousand Russians was put up for sale on the Web – Disposable mail news

A database with the data of Russians stuck abroad because of the coronavirus and returning to their homeland was put up for sale, its authenticity has not been confirmed, said Ashot Hovhannisyan, Technical Director of DeviceLock.

According to him, the first announcement of the sale appeared in late April. The seller asked for 240 thousand dollars for the database and claimed that it contained 79.6 thousand lines.

The seller did not provide any evidence that this database exists and it is authentic, and a few days later removed the advertisement.

In June, a similar offer appeared from another seller, who claims that the database is relevant for the current month and it has about 115 thousand lines. The data was estimated at 66.6 bitcoins (about 627 thousand dollars).

“Based on the samples provided by the seller, we can say that the database contains 58 columns, including full name, date of birth, passport data, address, phone number, e-mail, date of entry and exit from Russia, date of application on the public services portal, as well as Bank card and account data, passport data and country of location,” said Hovhannisyan.

He explained that, most likely, the database was copied when it was transferring from one Department to another via electronic communication channels.

Expert added that it is also likely that this is a fake, since the seller put an unusually high price and did not confirm the authenticity of the data, except for screenshots with 34 lines.

The expert warned that if the database exists, victims may receive phishing emails about allegedly accrued compensation and receive calls from fraudsters asking them to name the code from the Internet Bank.

According to Hovhannisyan, the seller writes that he uses the database for carding, purchasing App Store & iTunes Gift Card gift certificates with the existing card details, which he then sells.


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Kids on the Web in 2020 – 10 minute mail

Technology is what is saving us from a complete change in the way of life in a world of a raging pandemic. It keeps the educational process going, relieves the shortage of human communication and helps us to live life as fully as possible given the isolation and social distancing. Many adults, and children too, have come to realize that the computer is not just a means of entertainment, but an important tool for education, communication and personal growth.

In this article, we look at changes that occurred in children’s behavior on the Web over the past year and the pandemic period. The report is based on statistics gathered by Kaspersky Safe Kids, a software solution that protects children from unwanted content on the Internet.

How we collect our statistics

Kaspersky Safe Kids scans the contents of a Web page the child is trying to access. If the site falls into one of fourteen undesirable categories, the module sends an alert to Kaspersky Security Network. No user’s personal information is transmitted and neither is privacy compromised.

We will note two important points:

  • It is up to the parent to decide which content to block by tweaking the protective solution’s preferences. But anonymous statistics are collected for all the 14 categories.
  • Data is harvested only from computers running Windows and macOS; no mobile statistics are provided in this report.

Website categorization

Kaspersky Safe Kids filters Web content according to the following categories:

  • Internet communication
  • Adult content
  • Alcohol, tobacco, narcotics
  • Violence
  • Weapons, explosives, pyrotechnics
  • Profanity
  • Gambling, lotteries, sweepstakes
  • Computer games
  • E-tailers, banks, and payment systems
  • Software, audio, video
  • Anonymous access systems
  • Job search
  • Religion, religious associations
  • News media

In this article, we will take a closer look at the most-visited categories for the past year. We have combined the less popular ones into a separate category, with their share of alerts marked as “Other”.

Picture of the world

Kaspersky Safe Kids alerts distribution by category in June 2019 through May 2020 (download)

Children around the world have spent increasingly more time watching videos and listening to music. Software, Audio, Video accounted for nearly forty percent of all Safe Kids alerts over the past year. It was followed by Internet Communications with 24.16 percent and Video Games with 15.98 percent. Online stores were fourth in popularity with 11 percent and News were fifth with 5.54 percent.

Interestingly, Job Search sites with 0.89 percent attracted far more interest from teenagers than Adult Content with 0.74 percent.

Kaspersky Safe Kids Windows and macOS alerts distribution by category in June 2019 through May 2020 (download)

Windows users spent more time watching videos, gaming and reading news than macOS users. The latter preferred chatting and spent much more time shopping online. That said, the adult content Windows users watched on the average more frequently during the year.

Kaspersky Safe Kids alerts distribution by category in June 2019 through May 2020 (download)

The pandemic forced kids to study at home, attending classes online, and we have seen how this affected their time at the computer. They less frequently visited gaming sites starting at the beginning of the year, even when compared with the September 2019 low of 16.75 percent: the figure fell to 13.26 percent in May. Meanwhile, Internet Communications showed a slight growth in April exceeding the October 2019 high by 0.85 p.p. to reach 27.51 percent.

Children visited online stores the most in the October of 2019. The category accounted for 16.93 percent of all alerts. The popularity of online shopping has steadily decreased since then, dropping by 7.57 p.p. to 9.3 percent by April, but May saw it rebound slightly. Adult Content grew somewhat (by about 0.5 p.p.) in winter, then returned to the summer 2019 levels (0.49 percent) in May.

The graph shows an abnormal drop in visits to Software, Audio, Video websites  in October. The most likely cause can be considered to be the new macOS version, Catalina, released on October 7. Users who installed the update faced issues with streaming video on YouTube, Netflix, Amazon Prime and many other sites. The issue affected not just the Safari browser, but Google Chrome, Opera and Firefox as well. It was fixed in November, a fact that the statistics reflect.

Kaspersky Safe Kids alerts distribution for Software, Audio, Video on macOS in June 2019 through May 2020 (download)

Differences across regions, countries and months

Let us take a closer look at the most popular categories by region and by country to see if children’s preferences changed during the pandemic.

Software, audio, video

Software, Audio, Video has remained ahead of Internet Communications in recent years: kids have used Windows and macOS computers for watching videos and listening to music, but switched to mobile devices to chat. The category has retained its popularity even through the lockdown and online studies.

Kaspersky Safe Kids alerts distribution for Software, Audio, Video on Windows and macOS in June 2019 through May 2020 (download)

According to KSN statistics for the first half of 2020, Software, Audio, Video began to grow worldwide, reaching a peak of 42.47 percent on all platforms by May.

Kaspersky Safe Kids alerts distribution for Software, Audio, Video on Windows and macOS in June 2019 through May 2020 (download)

We explained the decrease in the category’s share on macOS in the fall and winter with issues stemming from an operating system update. As for the decline among Windows users around the same time, it was offset by increasing interest in other categories of sites, for instance, E-Commerce.

By the end of the reporting period, the share of Software, Audio, Video had increased among Windows users, whereas children using macOS began watching videos less frequently by May.

Kids in South Asia (India, Bangladesh) were most likely to spend their time watching videos and listening to music (46.16 percent). It was followed by Africa with 44.75 percent and the CIS with 43.83 percent.

Kaspersky Safe Kids alerts distribution for Software, Audio, Video by region in June 2019 through May 2020 (download)

The category had the lowest share in North America (36.20 percent) and Europe (35.94 percent). As we will see below, children in these regions gave preference not only to watching videos, but video games as well.

Kaspersky Safe Kids alerts distribution for Software, Audio, Video on Windows and macOS by region in June 2019 through May 2020 (download)

In Asia and South Asia, children who used macOS were more likely to consume audio and video content than those who used Windows. In other regions, the category’s Windows share was higher than macOS. In the CIS countries, children’s behavior was nearly identical on the two operating systems.

Interestingly, the distribution of countries where the share of Software, Audio, Video was the largest differs slightly from the regional breakdown.

Kaspersky Safe Kids alerts distribution for Software, Audio, Video by country in June 2019 through May 2020 (download)

Children in Belarus (50.59 percent), Japan (49.67 percent), Saudi Arabia (49.54 percent) and India (47.66 percent) favored websites that offered video and music over the past year. YouTube was the most popular video streaming service with kids anywhere in the world.

Online communication

Internet Communications predictably peaked at 27.45 percent in April 2020 as the process of switching schoolchildren to distance learning completed in most countries.

Kaspersky Safe Kids alerts distribution for Internet Communications on Windows and macOS in June 2019 through May 2020 (download)

We observe a pronounced growth from 17.87 percent in June 2019 to 36.63 percent in May 2020 on desktop computers and laptops running macOS. October’s peak was due to a reduction in the share of Software, Audio, Video category following the macOS update.

Kaspersky Safe Kids alerts distribution for Internet Communications on Windows and macOS in June 2019 through May 2020 (download)

Internet Communications accounted for an average of 32.76 percent, with 32.17 percent in Latin America and 30.54 percent in the CIS, and the lowest recorded shares being 15.50 percent in Europe and 16.58 percent in Oceania.

Kaspersky Safe Kids alerts distribution for Internet Communications by region in June 2019 through May 2020 (download)

Kaspersky Safe Kids alerts distribution for Internet Communications by country on the average in June 2019 through May 2020 (download)

The largest proportions of children using personal computers for internet communication were recorded in Egypt, Kenya, Mexico and Russia. The lowest rates were recorded in Germany, Australia, the UK and Canada.

Starting at the beginning of 2020, the most popular sites in the Internet Communications category were skype.com, hangouts.google.com, web.whatsapp.com, meet.google.com, facebook.com, twitter.com and mail.google.com.

Computer games

Despite the fact that the share of Video Games alerts showed a downward trend in the first half of 2020, the category ranked third among the most popular website topics.

Kaspersky Safe Kids alerts distribution for Video Games on Windows and macOS in June 2019 through May 2020 (download)

Kids spent more times playing video games on Windows than macOS desktop computers and laptops. This is due to the fact that most computer games are released for the Windows operating system. However, by the end of the reporting period, macOS users’ interest in games had grown.

Kaspersky Safe Kids alerts distribution for Video Games on Windows and macOS in June 2019 through May 2020 (download)

Kids all around the world started visiting gaming sites less frequently, though. This can be explained by added activity in the form of school lessons, which relocated into the home due to the pandemic. Interestingly, the share of Video Games began to decline among Windows users starting in the fall of 2019.

While North America, Europe and Oceania did not show increased activity in Internet Communications and Software, Audio, Video, these regions had the highest shares of Video Games activity.

Kaspersky Safe Kids alerts distribution for Video Games by region in June 2019 through May 2020 (download)

According to our statistics, the UK had the highest proportion of children interested in games with 23.94 percent, followed by the US with 21.61 percent and Australia with 20.94 percent. The most popular Video Games sites in the UK and the US were blizzard.com, roblox.com, epicgames.com, discordapp.com, ubi.com, origin.com, friv.com, curseforge.com, minecraftmods.com and crazygames.com. Australia’s most popular sites in the category were roblox.com and a variety of Minecraft message boards.

Kaspersky Safe Kids alerts distribution for Video Games by country in June 2019 through May 2020 (download)

E-Commerce

E-Commerce is another category where we observed increased activity throughout the year.

Kaspersky Safe Kids alerts distribution for E-Commerce in June 2019 through May 2020 (download)

The October 2019 peak, as we said earlier, was associated with a disruption in percentage shares across categories on all platforms due to a malfunction in the new macOS. But, in November and December, kids’ interest in online shopping was also higher than in the other months. Which is not surprising: November is the time of the Black Friday sales around the world, and December typically sees everyone busy picking Christmas and New Year’s presents.

Kaspersky Safe Kids alerts distribution for E-Commerce on Windows and macOS in June 2019 through May 2020 (download)

Children who used macOS spent much more hours looking at online shopping windows than their peers who used Windows.

Kaspersky Safe Kids alerts distribution for E-Commerce by region in June 2019 through May 2020 (download)

Children in Europe, North America and Oceania visited online stores and showed interest in shopping more frequently than others. The CIS, Asia and Latin America showed the lowest activity rates in the world.

Kaspersky Safe Kids alerts distribution for E-Commerce by country in June 2019 through May 2020 (download)

The leaders by share of visits to online stores were children in Germany (19.51 percent), the UAE (17.22 percent) and Canada (15.86 percent). The lowest figure was recorded in Kazakhstan (4.60 percent) and Egypt (5.18 percent).

The most visited sites in Germany were amazon.de, otto.de, ebay.com; in the UAE, amazon.ae, panemirates.com, amazon.com and luluhypermarket.com; and in Canada, amazon.ca, visions.ca and bestbuy.ca.

News

Not just adults, but kids, too, showed interest in news, especially in light of recent events. The number of children’s visits to news websites grew around the world as coverage of the pandemic began. The peak (7.26 percent) fell on March, when most children were switched to distance learning.

Kaspersky Safe Kids alerts distribution for News on Windows and macOS in June 2019 through May 2020 (download)

Windows users, in general, showed more interest in news than those who used macOS. However, in February, the figure for macOS (7.25 percent) was higher than that for Windows (6.75 percent).

Kaspersky Safe Kids alerts distribution for News on Windows and macOS in June 2019 through May 2020 (download)

Kaspersky Safe Kids alerts distribution for News by region in June 2019 through May 2020 (download)

The largest share of News among Safe Kids users was recorded in Europe (11.11 percent), where the most active news-reading countries were the UK (14.14 percent), Germany (12.75 percent), France (10.97 percent) and Italy (10.25 percent). The lowest rate was recorded in the CIS (3.17 percent) and Africa (3.96 percent).

Kaspersky Safe Kids alerts distribution for News by country in June 2019 through May 2020 (download)

Interest in news peaked in the UK and in Italy at in February. Think of the fact that the transition to distance learning in these two countries took place in late February, whereas Germany and France went through the transition in early March, and interest in news there peaked in March, too.

Adult content

Kids were interested in adult content to a lesser extent. According to the global statistics, the popularity of this category peaked in January 2020 (1.12 percent), followed by a decline to the annual average.

Kaspersky Safe Kids alerts distribution for Adult Content on Windows and macOS in June 2019 through May 2020 (download)

That said, macOS users showed greater interest in pornography than Windows users.

Kaspersky Safe Kids alerts distribution for Adult Content on Windows and macOS in June 2019 through May 2020 (download)

Though in 2019 Windows accounted for a higher percentage of alerts, the trend changed at the beginning of 2020.

Kaspersky Safe Kids alerts distribution for Adult Content by region in June 2019 through May 2020 (download)

The CIS and Europe had the largest share of users who showed interest in Adult Content: 1.07 percent and 0.83 percent, respectively. The lowest rates were recorded in the Arab world (0.18 percent) and Oceania (0.24 percent).

However, the distribution by country shows that children in Mexico had the highest interest in Adult Content: 1.72 percent.

Kaspersky Safe Kids alerts distribution for Adult Content by country in June 2019 through May 2020 (download)

They were followed by children in Russia (1.06 percent) and France (0.95 percent). Children in China were least likely to access Adult Content on desktop computers: 0.04 percent.

Summary

The world is witnessing an unprecedented demonstration of digital technology primarily helping children develop, rather than impede their development. Online education, and communication with friends and relatives are all made possible only through technology developed in recent decades, which have become not just a day-to-day assistant, but a lifeline in times when leaving home and making personal contact can pose a health threat.

Data for recent months shows that children who are staying at home with constant access to the computer primarily chat and watch videos. And those are not necessarily just entertaining videos: there might be educational content amid that stream of YouTube clips.

This year, we noticed an interesting trend: children who use different operating systems diverge in their online behaviors. Kids who use macOS spend more time in online stores, show slightly more interest in adult content, chat more online and less frequently visit gaming sites. Windows users show greater interest in games and news, and visit websites with video and audio content more frequently.

We have also learned that children, like adults, pay attention to the news when the situation in the world concerns them directly. So, in the month when various countries were expecting to switch to distance learning, kids started to follow the situation closer by going to news sites.

Today’s children, who start interacting with technology at an early age, find moving all of their day-to-day activities online much easier than adults, and they are better adapted to situations where going outside could be life-threatening. Adults tend to question certain online activity, such as communications, but in a world where it is the only safe means of social contact, comes the realization that there may be more to it!


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Twitter Enables Scheduled Tweets in Web App

Twitter says it has added the ability to schedule tweets using its web interface, suggesting the same option could eventually make it to the platform’s iOS app.

Previously, users who wanted to schedule tweets have had to use third-party apps like Buffer and TweetDeck. Now they can do so in Twitter’s native web app, via a calendar icon on the bottom of the compose window.

In addition, users can now also save draft tweets in the web app, although currently they won’t be synced to drafts in Twitter’s mobile app, and vice versa.

Twitter has been experimenting with scheduled tweets since November, so hopefully it won’t be long before we see the feature make it to mobile.

Tag: Twitter

This article, “Twitter Enables Scheduled Tweets in Web App” first appeared on MacRumors.com

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Spotify’s Web Player Support for Safari Browser Has Been Restored

Spotify users can once again use Safari to access the streaming service’s web player, following the restoration of support for Apple’s browser this week after over two-and-a-half years of incompatibility.


A Spotify support page explaining how to use the web player includes a list of supported web browsers, which has been updated to include Apple’s browser alongside Chrome, Firefox, Edge, and Opera.

Previously, users who visited the Spotify web player on Safari received the message, “This browser doesn’t support Spotify Web Player. Switch browsers or download Spotify for your desktop.”

Spotify confirmed the incompatibility between its Web Player and Safari in September 2017, but never fully explained the problem. One theory was that it had something to do with Google’s Widevine media optimizer plugin, which Spotify used for music streaming on the web but Apple opposed on security grounds. Whatever it was, the issue now appears to have been resolved.

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