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Saturday, 19 April 2014


The jury of experts from across Europe for the assessment of challenges FI-WARE, an initiative created by the European Commission, with the collaboration of Campus Party and important ICT businesses in Europe, is fully involved in this project to make FI-WARE in a real alternative to dominant Internet platforms such as Amazon or Google

For the members of the jury, one of the main requirements is that projects could solve real problems for citizens, which of course have to be innovative and also submitted as final products, as it happened with the last winning challenge project Foodloop, whose participants had a final project with a demo already underway.

Ángel Hernández member of the jury and one of the greatest geniuses of the Spanish robotics. As an expert in new technologies, says: "FI-WARE is a real project with many possibilities for developers, for companies and society in which we are working with great enthusiasm. Compared to other cloud solutions, FI-WARE is a free technology that allows being 100% controlled by developers. Although there are many projects focused on solving social problems in the future it will be able to create solutions for industry and robotics, which is my main area of ​​knowledge".

Stefano de Panfilis, CIO of Engineering Ingegneria Informatica SPA in Rome (Italy) is another member of the FI-WARE jury. He says: "I decided to be part of this jury to support a wider adoption of FI-WARE technologies and, above all, to overcome current limitations in addition to understanding the new limits on where they can get these technologies".

All panelists agreed that the support of the European Commission to FI-WARE is essential for the diffusion of it and to continue with its research and development.

Open FI-WARE Challenges:

Currently registration of projects are still open for the challenges Smart Societyand FI-WARE Excellence until 24th April with 340,000€, divided among the finalists and winners. Until then, all the stakeholders have the opportunity to register, while those who already have made ​​their prototypes on the platform can improve their projects through CampusLabs. Participants only have to submit their app idea for the benefit of society to Smart Society, and a proposal for free themed applications to FI-WARE Excellence.

Prizes for the Smart Society challenge:
     First Prize: 75.000 € 
     Second Prize: 40.000 € 
     Third Prize: 20.000 € 
     Special Mention to Young Developer: 5.000 € 
     Special Mention to Most Innovative Application: 5.000 €

Prizes for the FI-WARE Excellence challenge:
     “FI-WARE Excellence” Prize: 25.000 €
     Excellence in IoT: 10.000 €
     Excellence in Robotics: 10.000 €
     Excellence in Real-time data and multimedia processing: 10.000 €
     Excellence in Big Data: 10.000 €
     Excellence in User Interface: 10.000 €
     Excellence in Security: 10.000 €

Friday, 18 April 2014

Irish businesses hit hard by data locking ransomware Filecoder/Cryptolocker

ESET Ireland reports the last few weeks have seen an increased number of victims of data locking ransomware among Irish businesses.

Malware experts from the antivirus firm ESET Ireland have been receiving calls for help from all over the country from businesses hit by one of the most malicious forms of malware – data locking ransomware known as Cryptolocker, detected by ESET as Win32/Filecoder. We have received reports from Westmeath, Wexford, Waterford, Galway, Donegal, etc, mainly from SMBs with an average of 15 computers each.

Filecoder malware infects the computer then encrypts (locks) all Word, Excel, PDF and other files, so the owner can’t open them until he has purchased a decryptor from the attackers, which unlocks them. The cybercriminals usually request the ransom to be paid in Bitcoin and the average amount required is between US$300 and US$500. A 2013 UK survey showed 41% of those attacked decided to pay the ransom and Bitcoin traffic associated with accounts related to ransomware showed cybercriminals made in excess of US$20 million per month.

What most of the affected companies had in common was that they had poor security and partial or no antivirus software in place. Several suspect their infection came from an email attachment. In most cases one machine became infected first then encrypted all network shares. Many of these companies also didn’t have their data backed up, so some decided to pay the ransom to retrieve their files.

Tech All Stars - the leading European Commission Competition for young startups

Applications have opened, inviting startups that a registered within the European Union, younger than 3 years old and have raised less that 1m Euros in external funding. 12 selected startups will battle it out in London on June 11th for exclusive access to the Founders Forum on June 12th. The winner will be invited by the European Commission to join the Digital Agenda Assembly in Italy for further exposure.

Why this competition is awesome? 

The winner of last year's Tech All Stars competition Trustev received over 10,000 twitter mentions, over 200 incoming emails with regards to investment and/or partnerships, 200,000 visitors to website in the first week and coverage on over 50 tech startup sites incl Techcrunch, and The Next Web. Just days after Tech All Stars, Trustev was able to close their seed round.