Timur Bekmambetov and Levan Gabriadze’s film Unfriended is screened in US theaters

Timur Bekmambetov and Levan Gabriadze’s film Unfriended (originally released as Cybernatural) is screened in US theaters, and will hit Russian theaters on June 18.

In the USA the film is distributed by Universal Pictures on 2,7k movie screens.

According to Bazelevs press-service that worked on this film, Unfriended trailer has become the most discussed trailer in history of Twitter, leaving behind all multi-million dollar Hollywood blockbusters. During the first three days it collected over 2 million views on YouTube and 7 million views on Facebook . It’s also racked up some serious social media attention with 261,951 tweets using the hashtag #Unfriended published in a single day, beating Fifty Shades of Grey’s record of 240,697 tweets the first day its trailer was released.

The film triggers mixed response in cinemagoers. “We can suppose that it is due to the groundbreaking format of the film, where all actions happen on the screen of the main character, as well as the raised topic – adolescent suicide fueled by cyberbullying”, – says PR-director of Bazelevs.

Bekmambetov says that for many years dreamt to shoot a film where the action happens only on the screen of a computer, but nobody believed that a viewer can excitingly watch for 80 minutes what happens on the screen. So, the director decided to prove that and made the film with the help of his colleagues, which “opened the next page in screen capture film art”, and developed a new cinema language.

“The language format that we invented is unique: it allows the author to explore the inner world of the hero through his interaction with virtual reality. For example, a person writes a message to his companion – his cursor freezes, as if he doubts. Thus the viewer can understand the emotional state of the character and motives of his actions just by watching the movement of the cursor “, – Bazelevs press-servicecinvokes Bekmambetov.

The director compared “this cinema language revolution with the invention of stream of consciousness in literature, which will allow the reader to look directly into the thoughts of the hero, not only to analyze his actions.”

Bekmambetov’s co-producer on the American side was Jason Bloom, one of the creators of the cult horror franchise “Paranormal Activity”, “Astral” and “Sinister” films. The budget – 120 thousand dollars.

Unfriended initially had its world premiere at the Fantasia Festival in Montreal where the film won the Special Jury Mention for the technical and conceptual solution and the Audience Choice Award “for the most innovative film.” Horror has caused such audience agiotage that the festival organizers had to arrange additional screening, and in the North American press there have been a wave of positive reviews.

In March Unfriended shows were a success on the South by Southwest Film Festival in Austin (TX). In April, it was shown at the world famous festival of WonderCon comic book and sci-fi movies in Anaheim (CA).

Source: РИА Новости


How to keep your child safe: oversee their apps

For children, modern phones and tablets often serve predominantly as universal game consoles.  While there are hundreds of thousands of games to choose from, not all games are suitable for children: some contain scenes with violence, bad language and/or obscenity.

And games are not the only danger – any application, even those downloaded from an official store, can contain unwanted information. With this in mind, it is important to check your kid’s device from time to time, even though it may upset them. If you want to ensure your child’s device safety without the accompanying argument, there is an alternative – using a special IT solution you can receive reports containing information on the applications installed by your children without quarrels.

If you often let your child use your personal phone or tablet, make sure it does not allow them access to confidential information like account passwords and credit card numbers. If possible, activate your device’s “baby mode” when your child uses it to restrict its functions and access to data. This mode may be provided as a standalone security solution or within the operating system itself.

We advise against using a “shared” device to store applications or data that should be kept away from children. If you only have one device for the family, we recommend creating a secure password, unknown to the child, to password protect folders or applications containing your personal information and resources.

Many mobile platforms allow users to make payments with their credit cards when, for example, buying an app from the official store or additional bonuses in online games. We suggest disabling this function on a child’s device or attaching a card with a minimum limit for contingency purchases. It is best to use a virtual payment card – this will prevent important financial data from ever getting into the wrong hands.

According to a survey conducted by Kaspersky Lab and B2B International over a 12-month period, 21% of parents polled indicated that they have lost money or confidential information stored on their device due to their child’s activities.

There are a number of tools to ensure your children are safe from cyber threats on mobile devices. Among them are the Safe Browsers for iOS and Windows Phone, Kaspersky Internet Security for Android and the specialized Kaspersky Safe Kids security solution for Windows, Mac OS X, Android and iOS. However, it is important to remember that no one technology can protect your children on its own. Talk to them! Even the most reliable security solution is no substitute for conversation. Let your children know that you trust them and that they can talk to you about anything, so that they feel comfortable coming to you with their problems.

Source: KasperskyLab

Before installing YouTube Kids make sure your children won’t have access to advertising content

The six-week-old YouTube Kids service is a “hyper-commercialized” environment that intermixes advertising and other programming in a way that deceives its target audience, a coalition of privacy and children’s advocacy groups said in a complaint to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission.

Joining in giving YouTube Kids the big thumbs-down are the Center for Digital Democracy, the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood and the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. They say the video app, targeted toward preschool children, blurs the lines between advertising and other programming using methods that are prohibited by federal regulations on commercial television.

In their request Tuesday for an FTC investigation, the groups say that YouTube Kids’ programming amounts to an unfair business practice.

The video service, which bills itself as safe for children, is “the most hyper-commercialized media environment for children I have ever seen,” said Dale Kunkel, a professor of communications at the University of Arizona. Some of the practices on YouTube Kids, including program hosts pitching products to children “haven’t been seen since the 1950s,” Kunkel added.

YouTube corporate parent Google defended the service, saying it doesn’t collect personal information and it includes several parental-control features. “When developing YouTube Kids we consulted with numerous partners and child advocacy and privacy groups,” a Google representative said by email. “We are always open to feedback on ways to improve the app.

Source: NetworkWorld

A scientist from Tomsk found the way to minimize the habit of “sticking” on the Internet

According to the press service of Tomsk Polytechnic University (TPU), a scientist Alexander Pogozhev developed an application that will restrict access to social networks, online games and other sites at user’s option. Currently, the application is designed for computers, but in the future it is planned to adapt it for tablets and smartphones.

Unlike analogies, this program allows users to restrict access to any number of web portals that specify the daily limit of their time-of-use. According to the press service, this application will help minimize the habit of “sticking” on the Internet. It is intended only for those users who consciously want to improve their self-organization.

The program can also be a more perfect analogue of the “parental control” – the program with this feature usually only block access to harmful sites, whereas it is impossible to set the time frame limitation.

In his interview, Pogozhev said that in the application there will be provided the opportunity for users to extend the use of the site on which the restriction is imposed. To do this, a user will be transferred to the special “fine” account  for non-contract with yourself. From there, the money will be transferred to one of the charities’ account.

Source: ТАСС

Raptor attacks as a new way of deanonymizing of Tor users

A group of researchers from Princeton University and ETH Zurich have found yet another way to deanonymize Tor users.

“There are essentially two ways for an adversary to gain visibility into Tor traffic, either by compromising (or owning enough) Tor relays or by manipulating the underlying network communications so as to put herself on the forwarding path for Tor traffic,” they explained. “Regarding network threats, large Autonomous Systems (ASes) such as ISPs can easily eavesdrop on a portion of all links, and observe any unencrypted information, packet headers, packet timing, and packet size.”

Unfortunately, it has been shown that the latter type of attacks have been executed by intelligence agencies in collusion with ASes.

The researchers have demonstrated the effectiveness a suite of traffic analysis attacks that deanonymize Tor users. They dubbed the lot Raptor attacks.

“Raptor attacks are composed of three individual attacks whose effects are compounded. First, Raptor exploits the asymmetric nature of Internet routing: the BGP path from a sender to a receiver can be different than the BGP path from the receiver to the sender. Internet routing asymmetry increases the chance of an AS-level adversary observing at least one direction of both communication endpoints, enabling a novel asymmetric traffic analysis attack,” they noted.

“Second, Raptor exploits natural churn in Internet routing: BGP paths change over time due to link or router failures, setup of new Internet links or peering relationships, or changes in AS routing policies. Changes in BGP paths allow ASes to observe additional Tor traffic, enabling them to deanonymize an increasing number of Tor clients over time. Third, Raptor exploits the inherent insecurity of Internet routing: strategic adversaries can manipulate Internet routing via BGP hijack and BGP interception attacks against the Tor network. These attacks enable the adversary to observe user communications, and to deanonymize clients via traffic analysis.”

The attacks were tested against both historical BGP data and Traceroute data, and on the live Tor network (they made sure not to harm users). The results were more than good: asymmetric traffic analysis attacks deanonymized users with a 95% accuracy, their BGP interception attack deanonymized Tor sources with a 90% accuracy.

Finally, they shared mitigation techniques and approaches to detect and prevent these attacks.

Source: Help Net Security

How To Protect Your Kids From Cyberbullying

Do you know what your child is doing when s/he holding smartphone or tablet in his/her hands? Maybe everything is fine and s/he is just watching movies or playing game. But maybe it’s not, and right now someone is bullying your kid in online chat. And you never know, if you don’t explore your kids online life.

Cyberbullying is one of the unpleasant effects of hyper-socialization that the Internet as a whole – and social networks in particular – bring us. For those who are not familiar with this phenomenon: Cyberbullying is online communication with the intent to abuse or degrade. More specifically, to abuse or degrade kids.

Unfortunately, cyberbullying has became very common. Nearly half of children have been bullied online, every 1 in 4 has had it happen more than once.

“The Internet brings a great many benefits, but unfortunately it also allows certain people to unleash their destructive human traits, and cyberbullying has become a widespread problem today. For its victims, the psychological damage can be massive and long-lasting. There’s probably no purely technological answer, but we must talk about it to raise awareness of this issue and help young people and their parents safely make the most of the good things the Internet has to offer.” — Eugene Kaspersky said.

Modern children and teenagers are deeply immersed in the virtual communications world, even deeper than adults. They take everything that happens to them online very seriously. In contrast to adults, youngsters have weaker psychological defence mechanisms, or none at all. Remember how many times in your life online conversations made you feel angry, abused, or upset. Imagine what your child feels when s/he faces something similar.

Adults can choose their behavior. Sometimes they want to relax and act thoughtlessly, like kids. But in general, they know how to act like adults. Kids always act like kids. And this is not bad; this is totally normal. Kids should be curious and experiment to find out what our world is about. The point is, sometimes this behaviour could be dangerous and parents must help their children to solve problems.

A big part of the problem is that parents are rarely aware of cyberbullying. Despite the fact 2/3 of children and teenagers consider online bullying a real problem, only few of them will inform a parent or trusted adult of their abuse.

So what should adults do to protect their kids from psychological traumas due to cyberbullying? The Kaspersky Lab have some advice:

  1. First, be patient, it will take time. Like every serious issue, problems with cyberbullying can’t be solved in a couple of minutes.
  2. Don’t wait when you child come to you and tell about problem. Maybe it won’t happen at all. You should be the one who starts this conversation
  3. Of course, each person has a right to privacy. But this is not a reason to neglect your child’s online activity. Learn what your kids do in social networks. For a start, add them to your friends list in every social network in which you both have accounts.  As few as 20% of parents do this — let’s make this figure better.
  4. Talk to your children about cyberbullying, tell them they should come to you if/when they face this problem. Explain that cyberbullying is a commonly encountered problem. It could help your kid realize there’s nothing wrong with him personally.
  5. Never use prohibition. Taking away a kid’s phone or disconnecting his devices from the Internet won’t help. Actually, such prohibitions are what your child is afraid of and why they wouldn’t tell you about cyberbullying to begin with.
  6. Talk to your kid about basic online security and privacy. Show him how to change privacy settings in social networks to prevent strangers from seeing his private data.
  7. To protect your child as efficiently as possible, use parental control applications. For instance, Kaspersky Lab has recently developed new app called Kaspersky Safe Kids. You can download this app for Windows, Mac, iOS or Android. It is available for US and UK users and currently is free of charge.

Source: Kaspersky Lab

YouTube Kids is now available on Android and iOS

Yesterday YouTube released an application for children - YouTube for Kids that only plays age-appropriate videos and has a simplified design that even young children who can’t read will be able to navigate. Now the application is available in the USA and on Android and iOS, but soon it will be available in other countries. Earlier we published the news about Google plans of the YouTube for Kids version.

The application contains a number of parental controls. There’s a timer that sets viewing limits, and you’ve also got sound options at your disposal to cut off music or sound effects if you’ve heard all the Thomas the Tank Engine you can stand for one day. Search can also be disabled, a move that restricts your kids programming options to what’s on the app’s home screen. YouTube says it’s just getting started with the app and is inviting parents to send in feedback; there’s a space for doing so built right into the app.

YouTube for Kids is broken up into four sections: shows, music, learning, and explore. And with this being YouTube, you’ll find a pretty extensive vault of popular children’s content from Reading Rainbow, DreamWorks TV, Jim Henson TV, Mother Goose Club, Talking Tom and Friends, and others.

It is not yet clear whether Google is going to spread advertising  on younger audience as they do it  with adults. In December, the company made it clear that it is not averse to increase profits through advertising “safe and fun” products for children.

Source: The Verge

Huge YouTube bulk makes it tough to filter out all terror-related content

Internet giant Google said Wednesday that the sheer volume of video on its YouTube website makes it tough to catch all terror related content.

According to Google Public Policy Manager Verity Harding, about 300 hours of video material is being uploaded to YouTube every minute. This complicates the struggle to halt the spread of terrorist propaganda and hostage footage. At the same time, she says that “to pre-screen those videos before they are uploaded would be like screening a phone call before it’s made.”

The European Union’s counter-terror chief believes it’s time to help companies to contain the security risk by having experts from member states flagging terror-related content.

“We have to help them, and refer to them, and signal content,” Gilles De Kerchove said. “Each member state should have a unit with people trained to do that.”

On YouTube, users can highlight problem videos and have them reviewed by a member of staff. When a Scotland Yard unit recently told Google about material that did not comply with the company’s own guidelines, De Kerchove said 93 percent of that content was removed. But when individuals flag up problems only a third of it is taken down.

Source: TheEconomicTimes


France has prepared an emergency decree on Internet censorship

The French authorities are seriously considering Internet censorship as the next stage in the fight against terrorism. Soon after the attack at the editors office Charlie Hebdo, French Interior Ministry circulated a draft resolution that would allow the agency to require ISPs to block criminal sites at the domain level. These were the first real steps after attacks in Europe to restrict civil liberties for the sake of counterterrorism.

The document in question, is intended to protect Internet users from sites that contain «justification of terrorism and motives to him,» and also with «pornographic images of children.» The purpose of the bill is to create a procedure for the prohibition of such websites that violate the French criminal code.

The bill shall come into force upon signature and publication in the Official Gazette, however, the draft document is already available in the database of the European Commission. In fact, according to the Directive of 1998, all new technical regulations of the member States before the entry into force must pass the test of EU authorities for compliance with European laws. The draft law was sent to Brussels on 8 January, he was ready within a day after the terrorist attacks.

The document will be published on behalf of the Prime Minister Manuel Valls on the basis of the report of the Minister of internal Affairs of Bernina Cazenave, whose office prepared the bill. Responsible state is the Office for combating crime in the sphere of information and communication technologies at the General Directorate of police — the French equivalent of Roskomnadzor.

The office will be obliged to draw up a list of sites with content that violates these two articles of the criminal code. Lists, which then must be sent to the ISP contain either a domain name (DNS) or host name, which is characterized by the name server and domain.

After that day providers are required to block access to specified in the list of addresses. Any way to change the list itself is only entitled them including the police. A domain address can be removed from it under two conditions: either if this website will cease to exist, or if all of its content will no longer be illegal.

In addition, Internet service providers are entitled to financial compensation: the state is obliged to compensate the additional expenses «out of pocket» to work by blocking websites. The effect of the decree will apply to all controlled by the Paris area, including French Polynesia and New Caledonia.

For reference:

Production, transmission and distribution of child pornography falls under article 227-23 French penal code and is punishable by three years imprisonment and a fine in the amount of €45 thousand If the propagation occurs over a communications network to a wider ‘audience’, the sentence becomes tougher to five years in prison and a €75 thousand fine. As part of an organized group of criminals a fine of up to €500 thousand, and imprisonment up to 10 years.

The management or organization of a group of people, which aims terrorist attacks, the article 421-5-2 is a criminal offence with a penalty of imprisonment for a period of 20 years and a fine of €500 thousand.

Source: Полезно Знать


How to tame your iPad: a beginner’s guide to protecting your child’s tablet

Denis Zenkin, an expert from Kaspersky Lab and the father of three kids, tells about tricks in an iPad’s settings that will help parents to protect their child from overuse and will limit the risk of exposure to inappropriate content. These tips can also protect parents from some unpleasant and unexpected expenses.

No Internet, no problem
First of all, you should eliminate the possibility that your child will accidently connect to the Internet. While my young kids cannot read, they could potentially launch a browser by accident and see explicit content online while playing around.
To solve this problem (along with others), just go to the wonderful iOS setting called “Restrictions,” where you can easily disable Safari. Note that this restriction only works for the default browser and if you have another browser installed on the tablet (like Yandex.Browser, for example), you will have to eventually uninstall it.
When my children have grown up and developed an interest in the Internet, I will be sure to install a respectable browser with content filter capabilities. There are many of these available in the App Store – take our Kaspersky Safe Browser, for instance.
Locking your wallet
As you know, there is no such thing as a free lunch, and mobile apps are no exception. Developers are ultimately just humans striving to earn a living. The revenue model for children-oriented ‘freemium’ games nearly always includes so-called “in-app purchases“. If you use the incorrectdefault iOS settings, curious kids will easily find ways to inadvertently strip you of the money in your pockets.
What can be done about this? Again, go to the wonderful “Restrictions” setting! Here, Apple included another useful option:
To learn more about this setting, follow the link.
Iron curtain
So, should you check all of the boxes in the Restrictions section at one time? Yes! Having gone through a number of experiences with my own children, I now disable literally EVERYTHING, including app installation/uninstallation, iTunes, FaceTime, camera functionality and Siri access. Should you need to use one of these features, just enable it temporarily.
Hocus-pocus for focusing
There is another convenient way to control curious children. It is called the “Guided Access” feature (Settings -> General -> Accessibility -> Guided Access). It is designed to keep a user focused on a certain task, completely distraction-free. Therefore, not only does it limit your child to the use of one app at a time, but it also disables apps from launching other apps.
Everything is under control
“Guided Access” has a number of useful features. For instance, you can disable touch input, the ‘Home’ button, autorotation, volume control, virtual keyboard, and even chose active screen parts, like clickable screen areas designed for app icons, which are not child-safe.
Little Gnome
Last but not least, there is a way to limit the time that your child spends with the tablet in a calm and controlled manner that will not invoke a hysterical attack with pleas to continue the fun. Before, I used to solve this problem with the help of third-party applications, which turned out to be a rather inefficient approach. Thanks to Apple, iOS 8 now has this capability integrated right into “Guided Access.”
We call this tool “Little Gnome” – it is as though Boggart is living in your iPad. He cares about the children, plays movies and entertains them with games, but he gets tired and needs some rest every day. The Time Limit feature allows you to set the ‘tablet time’ for your kids and the screen will go off as soon as that time is up. The little gnome wants to get some sleep!
Nothing beyond
Finally, the last tip is simple. Don’t store your work materials on the same tablet that your child uses. You never know what the little ones are up to and you certainly would not be happy if you saw accidental tweets, undesirable photos posted to Facebook or weird emails sent on your behalf. If you decide to lend an iPad to your children, you’d better be content with giving it up for good as soon as it becomes one of their favorite toys.

Source: Kaspersky Lab