Google Blocks Thousands Of WordPress Sites Following Malware Attack

Security firm Sucuri reports that Google has blacklisted over 11,000 malware-infected WordPress domains, and over 100,000 sites in total have been affected by a new malware campaign from

By using a vulnerability found in the WordPress plugin RevSlider, SoakSoak modifies a file in a site’s WordPress installation and loads Javascript malware.

RevSlider is often used in WordPress themes, so many site owners may not even know they’re using the plugin, let alone that they need to update it to prevent a malware attack. Moreover, it’s not a plugin that’s easily updated, as Sucuri’s Daniel Cid points out:

“The biggest issue is that the RevSlider plugin is a premium plugin, it’s not something everyone can easily upgrade and that in itself becomes a disaster for website owner. Some website owners don’t even know they have it as it’s been packaged and bundled into their themes”

Visitors of infected sites may be redirected to a webpage that will attempt to download malware onto their computers. Google’s decision to block infected sites shortly after the vulnerability became known will hopefully prevent the malware from spreading any further.

If you believe your WordPress site has been infected by the SoakSoak malware, there is a list of resources in this WordPress Support thread that can help you correct the problem.

If you’re in the clear, then let this be a reminder that it’s incredibly important to keep your WordPress plugins updated in order to be fully protected against security vulnerabilities. Updating your plugins is just as important as keeping your WordPress installation updated to the most current version.



The 7 Step Process For Writing a Blog Post That People Will Actually Read

Step #1: Choose a Topic Your Audience Cares About

In the past, blogs were mostly used by teenagers to share their inner musings and bad poetry. Since then, blogging has evolved into a valuable tool that businesses use to connect with their audiences and share important information with potential customers. Unfortunately, this transition hasn’t been entirely smooth. Although business blogging has been widely adopted as a marketing practice, the people don’t always know how to select the blog topics that will best serve their business goals.

The solution is to write about topics other people care about. Don’t think about what you’d like to read – think about the problems your audience is having and how your blog content can help position your business as the solution. If you don’t know what issues your readers are facing, take the time to ask yourself a few questions. Who is your target audience is? What do they wonder about? What are their hopes and fears? What do they need help with? Write about these things and watch your readership grow.

Step #2: Write a LOT of Headlines for Every Post

Too many bloggers focus on the content of their work and wind up with barely any energy left over to write a headline. But if you want to attract readers (especially those readers who will eventually convert into customers), you have to put just as much effort into your headlines. Your headline is the first – and sometimes, the only – portion of your post that readers will see, so it pays to make it magnetic. One of the best ways to do so is to write at least 20-25 headlines and then choose the best one that will generate interest in your post.

Step #3: Focus on the Lede

The lede – which is the first few sentences of your blog post – is vital to drawing in readers and keeping them interested throughout your post. What you write in your first few sentences should engage the reader immediately and make them want to find out more. If you’re currently writing blog posts that dive immediately into important information, there’s a good chance you’re turning off readers by flooding them with too many facts, too quickly.

As with headlines, it can be helpful to write several possible introductions before selecting one. Alternatively, you may find it helpful to write your post first, and then go back and tweak the lede once you have the post fleshed out. However you approach it, just don’t fail to make this important blog post segment as enticing to readers as possible!

Step #4: Tell a Story

Everybody loves stories. There’s a reason Hollywood blockbusters seem so formulaic: they all have excitement, good guys, bad guys, conflict, and resolution. And if you’re able to incorporate these same elements into your blog posts, you’ll have a much better shot at getting readers involved long enough to finish reading your post.

Knowing that you should incorporate stories into your blog posts and actually doing it well are two different things, though. The fiction pyramid model (seen below) can help, as can setting up a problem at the beginning of a blog post and then feeding the reader bits and pieces of story throughout the post until the resolution in the conclusion. No matter how you approach it, though, using stories will help you create compelling content that will draw your readers into wanting to know more about you and your business.

Step #5: Keep the Text Well-Spaced

There’s almost nothing more intimidating or off-putting to a reader than a wall of dense text with no breaks, no spaces, and no paragraphs. You can have the greatest idea of all time, but if you present it in massive chunks of text, no one will ever know because no one will ever take the time to read it all!

Instead, make it easy to read your blog posts. Limit your paragraphs to no more than 2-4 sentences (less, if your sentences tend to be long and complex), and then invite the reader into each paragraph. When you have well-spaced paragraphs deliberately written to move readers from one to the next, you’ll dramatically increase your readership.

Step #6: Use Subheadings for Scanability

When people read a blog post, they rarely read every word. Instead, most people scan the content, grabbing some bite-sized ideas here and there before moving on. To make it easy for these readers to pick up your main points during their scans, use subheadings.

Including multiple headings divides your text into easily digestible segments, which encourages visitors to read. Subheadings also happen to be great for SEO, helping your content to rank highly in search results. When you use subheadings, you’ll not only make it more likely that your content will be read, you’ll also draw in more readers through search.

Step #7: Leave Readers Wanting More

Like a great novel, a great blog post will leave readers wanting more. Think about it: you went through a lot of trouble to get readers on to your website. The last thing you want to do is dump all the knowledge you have on to them. Not only does packing too much into a single post make it less likely readers will retain any of the information you present, it also gives them no reason to return in the future.

One way to do this is to end with a cliffhanger and invite readers back for next week’s post. You could also focus your post on a single, smaller topic and invite visitors to read related content for more information. Either way, you’ll want to wrap up your blog post with a call to action that invites readers to sign up for future updates. Getting readers on your email list will enable you to interact with them more while keeping yourself – and your blog – at the top of their minds.

With the thousands of new blogs launched every day, it’s critical to make your content stand out. By following these seven recommendations, you will improve the odds that your content will be read and that your followers will remain engaged. The results will benefit both your blog and your business.


Google reveals the first low-cost Android One phones

Android One is a reference platform — it’s a set of rules that device makers can follow to make low-cost phones. It makes it easier for manufacturers to develop and produce devices, because Google is doing all of the hard work figuring out materials costs. For Google, it ensures that even low-end devices can run its software and run it well, providing everyone with a uniformly decent experience. Where KitKat was Google’s effort to address the software issues on low-end devices, Android One is now doing the same for hardware. The company calls it a “a comprehensive solution to address the mobile computing needs of those in emerging markets.”

As predicted, Google has just revealed the first Android One phones at an event in India today. Micromax, Karbonn and Spice Mobiles are the companies working with Google at launch, all three launching new handsets this morning. What can we expect from an Android One device? Karbonn, for example, is launching the “Sparkle V Red,” (pictured below) which comes with dual SIM slots, a 4.5-inch display (480 x 854), a 5-megapixel primary camera, 1GB of RAM and, importantly, the latest version of Android (KitKat).

Google isn’t just controlling the hardware with Android One, either — it’s also making sure the devices run the latest versions of Android and aren’t encumbered by unnecessary software additions, which could endanger whatever performance advantage KitKat had given them. Android One phones will run stock Android, get automatic updates, and access Google’s Play Store for apps and media content.

Dropbox Buys Bubbli, Will Integrate The 3D Photo Tech Into Its Photo Service

It looks like Dropbox has made another acquisition today in the photo space: it has acquired Bubbli, a startup that has built some innovative ways of incorporating 3D technology into 2D views, and packaging it in a mobile app for ordinary consumers to use.

We’re reaching out to get more details from both companies. For now, Bubbli has been sending out a notice to its users today announcing the deal.

The note points out that Bubbli is not popping, so to speak. The tech is getting integrated into Dropbox, and in the meantime the existing Bubbli app will stay alive.

Bubbli was founded by two Stanford alums, Ben Newhouse and Terrence McArdle, who have respectively broken ground in imaging technology.

McArdle “invented the first seamless digital spherical photo in 1991, three years before the release of QTVR,” Bubbli notes on its site. Meanwhile, Ben — while working at Yelp several years ago — created Yelp Monocle, the “first Augmented Reality app to launch on the US App Store.”

grandcanyonThe two met at Stanford and started to work together combining their expertise, resulting in — which gives users the ability to take panoramic-style pictures with a sweep of their phones, and then use those to create spherical-like, moving pictures, complete with sound.


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New Tunepics Social Network Is Like Instagram With A Soundtrack

If you mashed up Instagram with music tracks, what would you get? A timeline of pictures from friends with evocative soundtracks that stimulate the ears as well as the eyes? Perhaps even tug at the emotions? That, at least, is the hope of Tunepics, a new social network that does just that.

With this new iOS app, users can feature a song with every image they share. The tracks are pulled from the Apple store (35 million songs) and are in fact song previews rather than the whole tracks. If users decide they like the song enough to buy it form Apple, Tunepics will get affiliate revenues from those sales.

The app is the brainchild of Justin Cooke, founder of innovation agency innovate7 in London, and has been built by AKQA, the London interactive agency.

It’s Cooke’s hope that Tunepics will be a “magical and cinematic celebration of people’s lives that touches all of our senses .… With Tunepics, everyone can create a soundtrack to their life.” Indeed, using the app is akin to scrolling past auto-playing videos in Facebook, except these are pictures with music.

But this is a little more than the launch of an app. Some major celebrities and brands have signed up to use the app, including Airbnb, AllSaints, Asos, Dazed, Jamie Oliver, Kate Bosworth, Michael Polish, Paul Smith, Tracy Anderson, and others.

On Tunepics you don’t like or retweet; instead, you attach an emotion to a tunepic using an ‘emotion wheel’ – selecting a colour to represent the impact of what you’ve seen, felt and heard.

You can add an array of filters to photos, including weather effects like sunshine, rain, snow, raindrops or a rainbow (DOUBLE RAINBOW!). Users can also ‘re-tune’ (share) a tunepic that they love back onto their own feed, alongside standard social functions such as ‘likes’ and comments.

All this data is captured so you can see how people are reacting to your content, showing how many people are, ‘dancing’, ‘inspired’ or ‘happy’ about a tunepic. Thus, Tunepics hopes to show what an entire country is feeling and listening to at any moment.

Of course, there is a sort of Trojan Horse inside this. Since Tunepics drives engagement around music, it may be able to send a song into the charts if enough people attach it to their pictures and then end up buying it.

Source By : TechCrunch

Flipkart Acquires Myntra, to Invest $100 Million in Fashion Business

Flipkart, India’s largest e-tailer, acquired online fashion portal Myntra on Thursday and said it would invest $100 million (roughly Rs. 584 crores) in the fashion business.

“It’s a 100 percent acquisition and going forward we have big plans in this segment,” said Sachin Bansal, co-founder of Bangalore-based Flipkart.

Financial details of the deal were not disclosed but a source in the company said the transaction was valued at close to $300 million (roughly Rs. 1,752.4 crores).

Zero-day flaw haunts IE 8 for 7 months and counting

An Internet Explorer 8 vulnerability goes unfixed by Microsoft for more than half a year, reports the Zero Day Initiative.

A critical security flaw in Microsoft’s Internet Explorer 8 has gone unfixed since October 2013, according to a new report from the Zero-Day Initiative.

The report, which was issued because of ZDI’s policy to reveal zero-day flaws that go unfixed for more than 180 days, says that the vulnerability allows an attacker to run malicious code in IE 8 when you visit a website designed to infect your computer.

Microsoft learned of the zero-day — the term given to a previously unknown, unpatched flaw — in October but has been unable to fix it. Whether that’s because IE 8 is the last version of the browser to support Windows XP, which Microsoft officially no longer supports, or because the flaw itself is hard to fix, Microsoft would not say.

The company said that it has not seen an active exploit of the zero-day flaw, meaning that although the hole remains wide open, nobody has been using it to attack people.

“We build and thoroughly test every security fix as quickly as possible. Some fixes are more complex than others, and we must test every one against a huge number of programs, applications and different configurations,” said a Microsoft spokesperson.

This is not the first zero-day to affect Internet Explorer after Microsoft halted support for Windows XP in April. Shortly after XP service came to an end, a major zero-day exploit forced the company to leap into action and deliver an emergency repair five days later.

Aside from changing operating systems, Microsoft recommended that people using IE 8 set Internet security zone settings to “high” to block ActiveX Controls and Active Scripting; configure Internet Explorer to prompt before running Active Scripting or to disable Active Scripting in the Internet and Local intranet security zone; or install the Enhanced Mitigation Experience Toolkit (EMET).

Source By: Cnet