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Stay safe on WhatsApp by changing these settings



images 2020 08 26T103837.635 Stay safe on WhatsApp by changing these settings

WhatsApp is the most popular messaging app. Known and unknown users can get to see your profile photo, status and add you to random groups by just having your phone number.

Here are some basic WhatsApp tips that you must keep in mind to maintain your online privacy and not reveal too much about yourself to unknown people.

​Choose who can see your WhatsApp Status: Everybody, My contacts or Nobody

WhatsApp users can choose to select which contacts can see their WhatsApp Status. The Status privacy feature can be accessed from the Settings section of the app and here users can choose to show their Status to a particular contact list or limit it only to saved contacts.

Choose who can add you to WhatsApp groups

WhatsApp Group privacy settings gives users the option to select who can add them in the groups. There are precisely three options where users can either select to allow anyone to add them in the group or limit it to saved contacts or select a particular contact list.

You can also choose to hide ‘Last Seen’ from WhatsApp settings

Last Seen privacy settings allows users to hide their last online time from others. Under the Settings, they can choose to completely hide their Last Seen or simply set it to My Contacts.

​Manage who can see your Profile Picture on WhatsApp

Just like other options, WhatsApp users also get the option to hide it completely or make it visible only to saved contacts.

​Users can block certain contacts from sending messages or view their profile details on WhatsApp

WhatsApp users have the option to block a particular contact or phone number to prevent receiving messages or from accessing your profile information. The option is available from both Settings option as well as from the individual chats.

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How Nigeria can use smart port technology to enhance efficiency



download 1 1 How Nigeria can use smart port technology to enhance efficiency

How Nigeria can use smart port technology to enhance efficiency

Electricity consumers may be heading for a collision course with the Federal Government over its revised electricity tariff christened ‘Service Reflective Tariff’ which took effect yesterday.

The consumers had in the first five months of 2020 paid an estimated N236.5 billion for power consumed, an indication that the figure may rise in subsequent months with the latest tariff hike

But the new tariff regime has abolished the old billing system and introduced another one having new classes of tariff categorisation as approved by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC).

Under the old tariff regime, per kilowatt hour(Kwh) for residential consumers under Ikeja Electric was N21.80 but has now risen to N53.87 for same category under the new service reflective tariff and N66.42 per kwh for non -residential or Maximum Demand(MD consumers under Kaduna Electric. The plan, according to NERC was for the sector to gradually make a transition to a full cost-recovery market where cost of services provided will be fully recovered while services are also expected to improve within a very short time in the areas of customer service delivery, infrastructure upgrade, metering and technological solutions based on the level of investments that will be attracted going forward. Customers are now categorised into Maximum Demand customers (MD) and Non-Maximum Demand (Non-MD) customers, in place of the usual Residential, Commercial and Industrial customer classes. Under the new tariff, all customers have now been clustered into different bands depending on the level of service currently being enjoyed.

The new order directed the DisCos to bill customers in accordance to their classifications, adding that Nigerians who receive less than 12-hour supply of electricity will not be affected in the latest hike until service improves. “This order shall take effect from September 1, 2020 and shall cease to have an effect on the issuance of a new minor review order or an extraordinary tariff review order by the Commission,” NERC stated.

“The order reflects the impact of changes in macroeconomic parameters and revenue requirements and a revised tariff design that aligns rates paid by customers with the quality of services as measured by the average availability of power over a month period.

“Pursuant to the objective of incentivising a continuous improvement of service for all customers, there shall be no tariff reviews for customers experiencing an average power supply availability of less than 12 hours per day over a period of one month. “Unmetered customers within service bands A,B and C thus benefiting from a supply availability in excess of an average of 12 hours per day over a period of one month as affected by this tariff order shall be protected by the provision of order on capping of estimated bills in the NESI and federal government intervention on accelerated metering of all customers. “The Commission orders that you shall continue to maintain the lifeline tariff of N4 per kW for all customers consuming less than 50kw per hour of energy per month as a safeguard for the less privileged members of the society,” NERC added.

An Electricity Law expert at the University of Lagos, Prof Yemi Oke, slammed NERC over the introduction of the tariff, saying it was still an abuse of consumer rights and would not ultimately address the their concerns. Oke said cost reflective tariff does not give consumers the choice of flexibility and would in turn subject them to shortchange by the Discos. He said the ultimate solution lies in every consumer being metered to help regulate consumption in a way to suit their lifestyle. He equally faulted the methodology used by NERC in arriving at the current cost per kilowatt hour, saying the tariff is high.

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Hackers News 2020: Latest attack Decrypt VoLTE Encryption to Spy on Phone Calls



VoLTE voice calls Hackers News 2020: Latest attack Decrypt VoLTE Encryption to Spy on Phone Calls

New Attack: Hackers Decrypt VoLTE Encryption to Spy on Phone Calls

 Hackers Decrypt VoLTE Encryption to Spy on Phone Calls

A team of academic researchers—who previously made the headlines earlier this year for uncovering severe security issues in the 4G LTE and 5G networks—today presented a new attack called ‘ReVoLTE,’ that could let remote attackers break the encryption used by VoLTE voice calls and spy on targeted phone calls.

The attack doesn’t exploit any flaw in the Voice over LTE (VoLTE) protocol; instead, it leverages weak implementation of the LTE mobile network by most telecommunication providers in practice, allowing an attacker to eavesdrop on the encrypted phone calls made by targeted victims.

VoLTE or Voice over Long Term Evolution protocol is a standard high-speed wireless communication for mobile phones and data terminals, including Internet of things (IoT) devices and wearables, deploying 4G LTE radio access technology.


The crux of the problem is that most mobile operators often use the same keystream for two subsequent calls within one radio connection to encrypt the voice data between the phone and the same base station, i.e., mobile phone tower.

Thus, the new ReVoLTE attack exploits the reuse of the same keystream by vulnerable base stations, allowing attackers to decrypt the contents of VoLTE powered voice calls in the following scenario.

phone call hacking Hackers News 2020: Latest attack Decrypt VoLTE Encryption to Spy on Phone Calls

However, reuse of a predictable keystream is not new and was first pointed out by Raza & Lu, but the ReVoLTE attack turns it into a practical attack.

How Does the ReVoLTE Attack Work?

To initiate this attack, the attacker must be connected to the same base station as the victim and place a downlink sniffer to monitor and record a ‘targeted call’ made by the victim to someone else that needs to be decrypted later, as part of the first phase of ReVoLTE attack.

Once the victim hangs up the ‘targeted call,’ the attacker is required to call the victim, usually within 10 seconds immediately, which would force the vulnerable network into initiating a new call between victim and attacker on the same radio connection as used by previous targeted call.

“The keystream reuse occurs when the target and keystream call use the same user-plane encryption key. As this key is updated for every new radio connection, the attacker must ensure that the first packet of the keystream call arrives within the active phase after the target call,” the researchers said.

Once connected, as part of the second phase, the attacker needs to engage the victim into a conversation and record it in plaintext, which would help the attacker later reverse compute the keystream used by the subsequent call.
According to researchers, XOR-ing the keystreams with the corresponding encrypted frame of the targeted call captured in the first phase decrypts its content, allowing attackers to listen to what conversation its victim had in the previous phone call.

“As this results in the same keystream, all RTP data is encrypted in the same way as the voice data of the target call. As soon as a sufficient amount of keystream data was generated, the adversary cancels the call,” the paper reads.

However, the length of the second call should be greater than or equal to the first call in order to decrypt each frame; otherwise, it can only decrypt a part of the conversation.

“It is important to note that the attacker has to engage the victim in a longer conversation. The longer he/she talked to the victim, the more content of the previous communication he/she can decrypt,” the paper reads.

“Each frame is associated with a count and encrypted with an individual keystream that we extract during the keystream computation. As the same count generates the same keystream, the count synchronizes the keystreams with encrypted frames of the target call. XOR-ing the keystreams with the corresponding encrypted frame decrypts the target call.”

“As we aim to decrypt the complete call, the keystream call must be as long as the target call to provide a sufficient number of packets, as otherwise we can only decrypt a part of the conversation.”

Detecting ReVoLTE Attack and Demonstration

To demonstrate the practical feasibility of the ReVoLTE attack, the team of academics from Ruhr University Bochum implemented an end-to-end version of the attack within a commercial, vulnerable network and commercial phones.
The team used the downlink analyzer Airscope by Software Radio System to sniff the encrypted traffic and three Android-based phones to obtain the known-plaintext at the attacker’s phone. It then compared the two recorded conversations, determined the encryption key, and finally decrypted a portion of the previous call.
You can see the demo video of the ReVoLTE attack, which, according to the researchers, could cost less than $7000 to attackers for setting up the attack and, eventually, decrypting downlink traffic.

The team tested a number of randomly selected radio cells across Germany to determine the scope of the issue and found that it affects 12 out of 15 base stations in Germany, but researchers said the security gap also affects other countries.

Researchers notified the affected German base station operators about the ReVoLTE attack through the GSMA Coordinated Vulnerability Disclosure Programme process in early December 2019, and the operators managed to deploy the patches by the time of publication.

Since the issue also affects a large number of providers worldwide, researchers released an open source Android app, called ‘Mobile Sentinel,’ that you can use to detect whether their 4G network and base stations are vulnerable to the ReVoLTE attack or not.

Researchers—David Rupprecht, Katharina Kohls and Thorsten Holz of RUB University Bochum and Christina Pöpper of NYU Abu Dhabi—have also released a dedicated website and research paper PDF, titled “Call Me Maybe: Eavesdropping Encrypted LTE Calls With REVOLTE,” detailing the ReVoLTE attack, where you can find more details.

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