Posts tagged "information"

WordPress Sites Hacked Due to Exposed Vulnerability

February 8th, 2017 Posted by Best Practices, Hackers, Internet, rest api, Security, wordpress 0 thoughts on “WordPress Sites Hacked Due to Exposed Vulnerability”

WordPress 4.7.2 was released last Thursday, January 26th. If you have not already updated, please do so immediately.

A WordPress bug called REST API Endpoint allowed more than 100,000 websites to be hacked over the past two weeks. According to security firm Sucuri, websites have been hacked solely because the admins did not make an update to their WordPress as advised by the company. The exploit allows hackers to update content published on a WordPress website running with the 4.7.0 or 4.7.1 versions.

The security flaw, a zero-day vulnerability which affects the WordPress REST API, allows attackers to modify the content of posts or pages within a website backed by the WordPress content management system (CMS).

The reason the vulnerability wasn’t made public at the time of WordPress 4.7.2’s release was the real worry that malicious hackers might race to exploit the flaw, attacking millions of blogs and company websites. We have here, but not before a few headlines on Data Center Knowledge were altered to read “Hacked by (insert group name here)”. Sucuri also warned that version 4.7.2 may not automatically update even if that feature is turned on in WordPress.

MuhmadEmad, a Kurdish anti-ISIS hacktivist working for the Kurdlinux team, has hacked thousands of websites, leaving a message praising the Kurdish Peshmerga forces. This is not the first time the Kurdish hacker targeted websites leaving a message saying ‘Long Live the Peshmerga’. On Monday, the National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA) said that its official website was hacked by MuhmadEmad. “The perpetrator also posted a picture of the Kurdish flag, and wrote ‘long live Peshmerga’.”

To avoid your websites from being hacked with this exploit, Cyber Security professionals have requested to update to the latest WordPress version 4.7.2.

Please contact our sales team at [email protected] if you have any questions or concerns.

Page Versus Screen – Is There a Balance?

February 8th, 2017 Posted by Best Practices, Data, Desktop, Devices, Internet, Newsletters 0 thoughts on “Page Versus Screen – Is There a Balance?”

For years, the debate has raged, but research hasn’t been able to prove one way or another if we retain information better when we’ve read it from a physical page – in a book, magazine or newspaper– than when we’ve read it online, with a tablet, mobile device or other screen.

And hopefully it never will, with ‘screen time’ such a big part of our lives. Computers and mobile devices are versatile and make information more accessible, so striking a balance between children’s appetite for information and their ability to digest it is crucial for primary, secondary, and even tertiary educators.

So, is the page mightier than the screen? Should we choose one over the other, or can we still find balance?

Page or Screen?

Leading researchers believe that there is a tangible relationship between text written on a physical page and the way the brain responds to and retains what is written on that page. Studies in the early 2000s indicated that students performed better in exams when they had studied the information for tests from textbooks and other printed sources. However, a 2013 survey by the UK National Literacy Trust found that over 52% of students aged 8–16 preferred reading on electronic devices, and only 32% preferred print. In fact, research indicates the next generation of students are reading well on digital devices.

In reality, banishing the screen is a near-impossible task. With students issued laptops at all ages, and doing more of their research and homework online, the screens are here to stay whether they’re helping or not.

So, the question becomes: How can educators deploy screen time for best effect?

Technology in the Classroom

Implementing simple strategies like giving students extra time to familiarize themselves with the devices they’ll be using before reading texts mean they won’t be distracted by functionality while trying to concentrate.

Screens and e-readers should be used in the same way as printed text – one device per student, not one shared among a group. This way, students will be more easily immersed in learning – without the distraction of tussling with a neighbor over ownership.

Although it can be both a blessing and a curse, connecting devices to the internet allows for more collaboration, enabling students to compare how their fellow pupils are engaging with a text. For example, sharing information online (for example, by allowing students to see which passages in a text their peers have highlighted, or by making students’ digital annotations visible to their classmates) can help the whole class to improve their understanding of a text.

This should be balanced with an emphasis on the importance of each student developing their own understanding, so teachers need to keep track of their progress by continuing to ask questions of individual students.

The future success of ‘digital natives’ using devices more frequently in their learning will rest in the same place it always has done – in the quality of the materials, in the ways educators implement them and in the way students are nurtured to use them effectively.

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