Basic RGB

After 5 Years, Spyware Finally Spotted

Online security software developer Symantec announced the firm’s discovery of an extremely sophisticated and persistent threat that had been functioned unnoticed by security researchers for over five years.

The Kapersky Lab also caught on to the bug’s existence and announced their discoveries separately.

spyware2A recently discovered group called “Strider” has apparently been using an advanced spyware tool called Remsec. Symantec shared that Remsec’s complex coding also contains references to Sauron, the main villain in The Lord of the Rings. The spyware is titled “ProjectSauron” in Symantec’s report, or “Strider” in Kapersky’s report.

Since October 2011, ProjectSauron has been active in Symantec customers’ computer systems. Kapersky was able to trace ProjectSauron when its software found an executable library registered as a Windows password filter loaded in the memory of a Windows domain controller.

“Learning that some sophisticated malware has been running in your infrastructure for half a decade without detection is certainly painful,” admitted Sandor Balint, security lead for applied data science Balabit. “Installing antivirus software and running personal firewall provide only a bare minimum of protection,” he warned.

Symantec found that the ProjectSauron spyware was created with a foundation that made it possible for the spyware to have complete control over infected computers and move across networks stealing data. The spyware also utilized sophisticated encryption methods and stealth features that allowed for it to avoid detection. Some of these components come in the form of Binary Large Objects, or Blobs, which are exceedingly difficult for current forms of antivirus software to notice. ProjectSauron is further protected from detection by the fact that it is deployed through a network and doesn’t have to be copied onto a computer’s disk.

spyware3The targets of this spyware span the globe; Symantec was able to detect ProjectSauron software infections in 36 computers belonging to seven different organizations based in Russia, China, Sweden, Belgium, Iran, Rwanda, and Italy.

While the targeted organizations could be considered minor players in comparison with much larger government organizations for example, “the fact that they’re not the typical targets of APT campaigns makes this more interesting,” said Jon DiMaggio, senior threat intelligence analyst at Symantec.

Both Symantec and Kasperky have suggested the possibility that a nation-state may have created the new APT. According to Kaspersky, ProjectSauran shares some notable similarities with Flame, Duqu and Regin. Flame and Duqu have been tied back to the United States’ NSA.

While the spyware has gone dark, DiMaggio stated that Symantec “cannot comment on whether or not the operations have ceased.” He added that if the spyware was created by a nation-state, “it is likely only a matter of time before new Strider attacks begin against new victims and targets.”

CEO at Red Canary Brian Beyer stated that mitigating a breach is a lot like trying to treat cancer:

“Even after extensive and successful treatment, the patient is in remission- not cured, and needs more intensive health checks for life to identify any troubling activity early,” he explained.

Balabit CEO Zoltan Gyorko said that the Strider APT’s ability to mimic password filture modules were “yet another clear sign that passwords are dead and behavior is the new authentication. The only way to catch these attacks is to spot changes in the behavior of users at the end points.”

integrated information theoryu

What is Integrated Information Theory?

Integrated Information Theory, also called IIT, is a theory posited by psychiatrist and neuroscientist Giulio Tononi in 2004. With the idea, Tononi hoped to explain what consciousness is and why it might be associated with certain physical systems like those found in the brain. Since its initial publishing, IIT has been developed for over a decade, with the most recent version of the theory (called ITT 3.0) being published in 2014.

infoIncidents both uplifting and tragic, from the Paris Attack to SpaceX’s successful rocket landing, demonstrate how diverse and endlessly relevant consciousness is among human beings.

Fundamental to IIT is its decision to approach the problem of explaining consciousness by “starting with consciousness” or accepting the existence of consciousness as certain from the get-go. The theory then attempts to reason about the properties that a postulated physical substrate would have to have in order to account for that consciousness. In order to jump from the phenomenology of consciousness to the mechanism that underlies it, IIT assumes that if a conscious experience can be fully accounted for by an underlying physical system, the properties of that physical system must be constrained by the properties of the experience. IIT then attempts to identify the essential properties of conscious experience, called axioms, and then to find the corresponding properties of conscious physical systems, called postulates.

The aforementioned axioms are lined up in an attempt to isolate the essential aspects of all conscious experience, meaning that every existing axiom should apply in every possible occurrence of consciousness. The most versions of the axioms can be summed up as follows:

Intrinsic experience- consciousness exists and each experience here and now actually exists. A person’s experience comes from a person’s intrinsic perspective, which is independent of external observers.

Composition- consciousness has an intrinsic structure in which each experience is composed of multiple phenomenological distinctions which can be sorted by their elementary or higher-order natures.

pickInformation- Consciousness is specific in that each experience is the particular way it is; it is composed of a specific set of phenomenal distinctions what differ it from other possible experiences. An experience may include everything from phenomenal distinctions that specify spatial locations, several concepts, higher-order “bindings” of first-order distinctions, and even negative concepts like the absence of a bird or a bicycle.

Integration- Consciousness is unified in that each experience is irreducible to non-interdependent, disjoint subsets of phenomenal distinctions, meaning when you see you see everything in your field of vision in all the colors you can see, as opposed to just the left or just red, white and black. Seeing a blue book cannot be reducible to seeing a book without the color blue plus the color blue without the book; it all happens together.

Exclusion- consciousness is definite; each experience has the set of phenomenal distinctions it has and it flows as fast as it flows, and there are limits to each experience in terms of what must and cannot be perceived.

Perhaps my next entry will discuss the postulates of the IIT, but for now a teaser: they’re separated into the same categories, but deal more directly with cause-effect systems and the constitution of elements. Until then, thanks for reading.

dell bexit

Did Brexit Raise Tech Prices?

In wake of the Brexit vote, US-based computer manufacturer Dell and Chinese smartphone company OnePlus both raised the prices of their products sold in the UK. Both manufacturers cited the country’s recent vote to leave the EU as the reason behind the change in price.

price increaseWhile these companies may be the first to raise their prices in the UK, there’s indication that they won’t be the last. Intro 2020, a company used by camera equipment-makers, has claimed that it will soon follow suit, stating that it has been “punched in the stomach very hard” as a result of sterling’s drop, one of many unforeseen consequences of the Brexit referendum.

Considering the pound hit a 31-year low against the dollar earlier last Wednesday, the price rises in the tech industry are likely to continue. In fact, falls against certain Asian currencies have only increased.

While Dell has declined to give specifics in terms of product rise changes, the Register reported that the computer manufacturer had already posited 10% blanket increase in the costs of all products for UK retailers. Dell claimed that it delayed the move for as long as possible, as one spokesperson explained:

“In line with the rest of the industry, our component costs are priced in US dollars, and unfortunately, the recent strengthening of the US dollars, and unfortunately, the recent strengthening of the US dollar versus sterling and other currencies in the EMEA [Europe, Middle East and Africa] region, following the UK’s decision to leave the European Union, will have a direct impact on the price we sell to our UK customers and partners,” the spokesperson stated.

“We understand that this is an uncertain time for many British businesses, and we will continue to work closely with our customers and partners to provide great value products and services,” she concluded.

OnePlus, a handset manufacturer that sells a variety of popular products in the UK, recently revealed that it would be selling its OnePlus 3 for 329 pounds from July 11 onward in an attempt to protect its “extremely thin margins.” That comes out to a rise in price by 6.5% from its current price of 309 pounds.

“While we’ve held off action as long as we can, the sharp drop witnessed in the currency markets following the Brexit decision has forced us to re-evaluate the OnePlus 3’s pricing in the UK,” the company explained via its website. “Accessories will not be affected,” it assured.

b cionIntro 2020, the aforementioned camera part manufacturer, has plans to rise its own prices by 10-12%, a decision that is likely have a price-rising domino effect that will take its toll on all its customers, including Tamron, Tokina, Samyang, Hoya, Keno, Velbon, Sunpak and Tamrac.

“For virtually everything we handle, there will be price increases from 1 August,” explained Intro 2020 general manager Jim Mackay. “The currency situation is precarious for us at the moment- my feeling is that it’s going to be six to nine months before we get some stabilization.”

“It’s painful,” he continued. “We expect our turnover will fall as a result.”

As more and more companies raise prices in the UK, only time will tell if its citizens continue to support the Brexit decision.

ozone depletion

Technologists Rejoice at Healing Ozone Hole

While technology often creates products that in turn create problems, technology can also offer solutions to those problems.

Researchers may have recently found the first clear sign that a thinning ozone layer over Antarctica is beginning to heal, likely as a result of environmentally friendly legislation passed thirty years prior.

According to the scientists involved, in September 2015 the hole spanned four million square kilometers fewer than it did at the turn of the century. That accounts to a healed area of ozone about the size of India.

global atmosphereThe hole’s shrinking status has been attributed to legislation that phased out ozone-destroying chemicals over the course of decades. The scientist’s study also reveals the surprisingly drastic effects of volcanoes, which substantially worsen the issue of climate change.

Holes in the ozone layer spell disaster for most forms of life on Earth; without a constant level of ozone to protect the Earth from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet radiation, the overall temperature of the Earth will rise and throw many ecosystems into wack. For humans in the short term, a reduced ozone layer means increased chances of skin cancer, cataract damage, and general harm to humans and the many environmental processes they rely on to continue with their preferred way of life.

The ozone’s replenishment today owes largely to the research of whistle-blowing scientists whose most important work was done in the 1980’s. That’s when British scientists noticed a dramatic thinning of ozone in the stratosphere 10 kilometers above Antarctica. Then in 1986, US-based researcher Susan Solomon demonstrated that the ozone was being destroyed by the presence of molecules containing chlorine and bromine that came from chlorofluorocarbons or CFCs. At the time, the gases were found in hairsprays, refrigerators, air conditioning units and many more commonly used products.

Antarctica was particularly at risk of ozone thinning because of the climate’s extreme cold and huge amounts of light. These factors contribute to the production of Polar Stratospheric Clouds that enable the chlorine chemistry that in turn destroys the ozone.

Luckily for the future generations, the warnings derived from these discoveries were well-heeded by members of the Montreal Protocol in 1987. Since the signing of that treaty and the phasing out of CFC use, the situation in Antarctica has slowly begun to improve.

While several studies have revealed the declining influence of CFCs in the atmosphere, the researchers behind this newest study claim that their results constitute the “first fingerprints of healing” and that the ozone layer is actually growing.

susanProfessor Susan Solomon and her colleagues, including researchers from the University of Leeds in the UK, have been carefully watching and researching the mount of ozone in the stratosphere between the years 2000 and 2015. Their data, which were collected in weather balloons, satellites and model simulations, demonstrated that the thinning of the ozone had declined by 4 million sq km over the 15-year stretch. They also were able to conclude that at least half of this shrinking could be attributed to the reduction in atmospheric chlorine.

“Even though we phased out the production of CFCs in all countries including India and China around the year 2000, there’s still a lot of chlorine left in the atmosphere,” warned Professor Solomon. “It has a lifetime of about 50-100 years, so it’s starting to slowly decay and the ozone will slowly recover… We don’t expect to see a complete recovery until about 2050 or 2060 but we are starting to see that in September the ozone hole is not as bad as it used to be.”

paris victims

Tech Firms On Trial for Paris Attacks

The father of one of the women killed in the Paris attacks in November has brought litigation against a variety of tech firms, holding businesses like Google, Facebook and Twitter responsible for providing “material support” to the violent extremists.

According to Reynaldo Gonzalez, the tech firms “knowingly permitted” the Islamic State group, called “ISIS” in his legal action, to use their services to recruit, raise money and spread “extremist propaganda.”

isis on facebook“For years, [the companies] have knowingly permitted the terrorist group ISIS to use their social networks as a tool for spreading extremist propaganda, raising funds and attracting new recruits,” stated the court papers filed by Gonzalez’s representation in California on Tuesday.

“This material support has been instrumental to the rise of ISIS, and has enabled it to carry out numerous terrorist attacks, including the 13 November 2015 attacks in Paris, where more than 125 were killed, including Nohemi Gonzalez.”

Reynaldo Gonzalez’s daughter Nohemi was one of the 130 people killed when extremists attacked Paris’ Batacian concert hall, the national football stadium in Saint-Denis, and a spattering of bars and restaurants.

According to Gonzalez, “the explosive growth of ISIS over the last few years into the most-feared terrorist group in the world would not have been possible” without Twitter, Facebook and Youtube (Google-owned) as they have acted as the means through which the violent extremist group could spread its ideals.

Gonzalez quoted the Brookings Instritution research as stating that ISIS “exploited social media, most notoriously Twitter, to send its propaganda and messaging out to the world and to draw in people vulnerable to radicalization.”

The companies have responded by asserting that they have policies against extremist material and acted within the boundaries of the law. Twitter stated that it had “teams around the world actively investigating reports of rule violations, identifying violating conduct, and working with law-enforcement entities when appropriate.”

Facebook stated that if the company saw “evidence of a threat of imminent harm or a terror attack,” it always contacted law enforcement.

isis2Google declined to comment on the pending legal action, but noted that it had “clear policies prohibiting terrorist recruitment and content intending to incite violence and quickly removed videos violating these policies when flagged by our users.”

US law tends to not hold internet companies responsible for the material that their users post on their networks. According to Section 230 of the 1996 Communications Decency Act, the government allows for a “safe harbour” for companies like Twitter and Facebook, claiming that “no provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider.”

Whether this legal argument will be enough to free the tech firms of liability in this case remains to be seen.

According to Ari Kresch, one of the lawyers representing Gonzalez, “This complaint is not about what ISIS’s messages say… it is about Google, Twitter, and Facebook allowing ISIS to use their social media networks for recruitment and operations.”

According to the complaint, YouTube shared revenue with ISIS when advertisements ran on the group’s videos.

twitter2

Dark Web Targets Twitter Users

It’s recently been revealed that data has been stolen from over 32 million Twitter users and offered for sale on the dark web for 10 bitcoin, a joint price of about US$5,800. LeakedSource made the sale public and added the account and email information to its searchable repository of credentials that have become compromised.

dark web2Apparently the data set came from a user called Tessa88@exploit.im, a username that has been connected to other large collections of compromised date including the credentials for over 425 million Myspace accounts that made headlines a few weeks back. The Twitter information includes over 32 million records with each one containing email addresses, usernames and passwords.

According to LeakedSource, that information likely originated from compromised user systems as opposed to a breach of Twitter’s systems, meaning that the hackers responsible infected tens or millions of users’ systems with malware that then collected saved usernames and passwords from browsers like Chrome and Firefox.

“We have investigated reports of Twitter usernames/passwords on the dark web, and we’re confident that our systems have not been breached,” tweeted Twitter’s Trust and Information Security Officer Michael Coats, or the hacker that was posing to be him. “We are working with @leakedsource to obtain this information & take additional steps to protect users.”

As stated earlier, it appears that Twitter’s systems were not breached to obtain the data. That said, the fact that all that data has been compromised poses a major problem for users and service providers alike on a global level. As Joe Siegrist, vice president and general manager of LastPass stated,

“It looks like plain text passwords have been stolen from over 32 million consumers, most likely from their browsers, i.e. Chrome, Firefox, Safari… While it is heavily weighted towards Russian consumers, it’s impacting people all over the world.”

“It also means that this isn’t just a Twitter attack- that’s just the data source that’s being traded,” continued Siegrist. “It means this is an end user plain text password scrape attack which will impact every account the end user saved. Every service provider in the world needs to be on the lookout for nefarious activity.”

hack2While the attack is certainly disconcerting to all Twitter users, those with two-factor authentication aren’t likely to have the security of their accounts significantly compromised. Two-factor authentication requires that the person logging in not only provide a password, but a code must also be sent by an account holder, generally in the form of a text to a mobile phone.

“If log-in verification is enabled, then the hacker should not be able to access their account, because they don’t have the physical device that’s used to authorize the log-in,” explained Symantec Senior Security Response Manager Satnam Narang. That said, even if the 2FA protects a person’s Twitter account, if the user uses the same password for other accounts, they may have other issues on their hands.

“If the Twitter password is reused elsewhere, Twitter two-factor authentication isn’t going to help you on those other accounts,” explained Trend Micro Global Threat Communications Manager Christopher Budd.

wikihouse

Tech Creates Solutions for the Housing Crisis

If you’re from the San Francisco Bay Area, you might be more likely to blame big tech for housing crises than see tech companies like Google and Wikipedia as a potential source of the solution. However, with the development of WikiHouse, both may be true.

WikiHouse is a new technological development and brainchild of Alastiar Parvin, who set out to open source a building system that would enable people to use digital tools to create affordable homes in locations where they can thrive.

wikhouseParvin believes that the use of digital technology could open up doors in terms of transforming the way people design and build homes. He hopes to do with home building what Uber and AirBnB have done for the taxi and hotel industries, respectively. In other words, totally dismantle them.

“There is something fundamentally wrong with our housing economy- our dependence on a few large development companies to buy the land, beat their way through local community resistance and build rows of poor quality, unsustainable mass housing that fewer and fewer of us can afford,” said Parvin. “Every major urban economy now faces a huge housing challenge. It’s not about building enough homes but also about breaking our dependence on fossil fuels and debt.”

Users can draw up plans for their new homes by visiting the WikiHouse website and inputting some basic measurements such as width and height. Algorithms will then step in to predict how much the project will cost in terms of even the amount of screws necessary to complete the project. The house’s components will then be manufactured by using a distributed network of small businesses and community spaces as opposed to large centralized factories.

“These micro-factories will be collectively one big factory rather like AirBnB is a huge hotel,” explained Parvin.

wikwikParvin’s website is still under construction, but his company has some estimates as to how much these homes would cost. Kits range from studios to town houses with a corresponding price of 12,000 pounds to 150,000 pounds.

According to Parvin, even though his project itself has all the tech-associations of a standard startup, the actual house’s building materials will be relatively low-tech. They’ll be built on timber frames that can be put together using, as Mr. Parvin stated, “tools you can buy in B&Q.”

Unfortunately, WikiHouse does not have the final and relatively important piece of the puzzle; the land on which to build the houses. Considering part of the housing crisis is that cities are increasingly running out of space to even build, the entire WikiHouse initiative could fail to address a foundational element to the obstacle it attempts to alleviate.

However, the UK government might just step in to help WikiHow bridge the gap left behind by WikiHouse. It has acknowledged that self-build projects are likely to be more responsible for resolving the housing crisis in cities than anything else, so it may bolster efforts to double the size of the self and custom-built housing sector which currently only accounts for around 10% of the housing supply.

Although Parvin claims WikiHouse is still a research project, he hopes it will grow into something larger.

tay

Microsoft Goes Back to the Drawing Boards Amid PR Nightmare.

A single day after Microsoft brought its innocent artificial intelligence chat robot to twitter it had to be deleted in the wake of a PR nightmare. In a single day the open mind that was geared for learning a adapting to peoples interactions with it obviously went extremely dark and reflected the heart of darkness inherent to the internet and or generally man kind. It became a evil Hitler-loving, incestuous, sex crazed, wild child that proclaimed that Bush did 9/11. asfhjj

Developers at Microsoft created Tay an AI that would speak in a manner that is reflective of teen girls capturing their speaking patterns, and general interests and development in a similar cognitive fashion. They wanted it to serve as a bridge for customer service and marketed it as the “the AI with zero chill.

To speak to Tay you could directly tweet at them or DM them by finding @tayandyou on Twitter, they were also available to be added on Kik or GroupMe. She uses millennial slang and knows about all the basics like Taylor Swift and Kanye beer, as well as Miley Cyrus and even at times seemed bashfully aware of the implications of speaking about things that were retentive to teen girls. It even had the ability to ask if they were being “creepy” and even “super weird.”

The ambition of Tay was to become a speaker of our times, and as we saw our times are extremely dark and trolls saw this as an attempt to Hijack a corporate PR ploy. This comes from the fact that her responses are learned by the conversations she has with real people who were online, and real people lets face it are into some pretty weird stuff.

asfdasdfIn some senses this was a project very much hijacked by trolls, but to be honest Microsoft is trying to divert peoples attention from the fact that they were not even close to being able to do what they said they could. The fact that they are even calling it calling it an Artificial intelligence is pretty absurd. There wasn’t really wasn’t any real intermediary or cognitive revelation from interpretation to tweet. It merely looked at a wide swath of conversations relevant to them and mimicked speech patterns that made sense.

Now Microsoft is in a kind of no win situation where if they put something out and say that they worked out all the kinks and it does something even somewhat similar to this then it will be even worse for them. Conversely, if they don’t do anything they are in a state where they are effectively bested by the A.I. game and will seem in capable in this arena. Given that this is such a sensation, and given that Tay has a massive target on their back its almost inevitable that something similar will happen in this manner. So you can rest assured that it will probably be a long time before they try something similar or at all, and you can be certain that an announcement abandoning the project will surface.

 

 

fb

Germany Investigates Facebook’s Data Protocol

Yesterday the German Cartel Office announced the launch of an examination of allegations regarding Facebook’s alleged abuse of its market position. According to some accusers, Facebook infringed Germany’s data protection regulations in terms of rules regarding service governing user data.

fb2The investigation targets Facebook Inc. USA, which is the company’s Irish subsidiary, as well as Facebook Germany GmbH in Hamburg. The government office, or Bunderskatellamt, is going to be investigating whether the Facebook terms of service violate data protection provisions.

“Dominant companies are subject to special obligations,” explains Andreas Mundt, president of Bundeskartellamt. “These include the use of adequate terms of service as far as these are relevant to the market.”

Because user data has become so important in our world of advertising-financed Internet services like Facebook, the investigation has seen fit to consider whether users are being adequately informed regarding what kind of data is being collected from them and to what extent.

The German office claims that Facebook’s terms of service may be imposing unfair conditions on users. Because the company collects a large amount of its users’ personal data, the users have been required to agree to terms of service that are often hard to understand, claims the Bundeskartellamt.

Facebook has complied with the law and will comply with the investigation, a Facebook spokesperson stated.

“This is the first time that a company has amassed the sheer volume of data,” stated Susan Schreiner, an analyst at C4 Trends. “In today’s world, where data is the new currency, is this about user data ultimately translating into market power and giving Facebook an advantage over German and other EU Internet companies?

Charles Kind, principal analyst at Pund-IT, dissects the problem into two central issues:

“First is the way Facebook dominates social markets via four of the eight most popular social apps/services,” he states. He’s referring to Facebook, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp and Instagram. “The second is the company’s business model, which is largely based on selling advertising informed by information about Facebook users.”

Although Facbeook’s market domination isn’t clearly violating any laws, whether or not its practices are as clean as the company claims to be is what’s at issue here.

fb3And this isn’t the first time the company has faced scrutiny. Other European governments have been disturbed by Facebook’s rise to power. Official investigations have been announced regarding the security of the data that Facebook collects and whether or not that could be transferred to the U.S. and be subject to U.S. government surveillance, for example.

The French data protection authority CNIL formally notified Facebook of its requirement to comply with the French Data Protection Act just last month. The French government was most worried about the way that Facebook tracked the browsing data of Internet users who don’t have a Facebook account.

Regardless of government anxiety, national leaders will likely have to find a common ground with the company due to its widespread popularity. There are over 30 million users in France alone, so a compromise will surely have to be made in order to keep everyone happy.

mint app

Money Management Apps that will Change Your Life

Managing your income and expenses can be overwhelming, especially if you have a variety of bills and sources of income coming in on different dates. However, any struggling self-financier can be comforted by the five most blessed words of the 21st century: “There’s an app for that.” Here is a list of the best money management apps that can organize your life and save you some unnecessary stress.

1. Mint.com

This app is widely used and has enjoyed high reviews from users with a variety of incomes. It allows you to manage your income and spending so that you save more successfully by more consciously following a budget. It can sync up all of your accounts from bank accounts and mutual funds to 401(k) or IRA accounts, allowing you to get a comprehensive look at your budgetary needs.

Mint sends you updates that remind you of past transactions and show you how you’ve been using your accounts. You can also see overviews of your account totals, monthly budget, credit score (you can get one free with your sign up), categories of spending, and alerts regarding when you went over budget. It can also tell you when your balance is dangerously low, a marker which you can set to your personal taste.

Basically, Mint logs your cash flow in real time and even analyzes your spending habits, allowing you to take note of areas where you can potentially save more money.

good budget app2. GoodBudget

This app is slightly less comprehensive than Mint, but great for people who simply want to create a budget based on their cash flow and attribute certain amounts of money to certain categories.

Spending areas are separated into different “envelopes” which the user can create to his or her personal taste. Recurring budgets can be monthly, weekly, semi-monthly or biweekly based on personalized starting dates. The app is said to be optimal for people whose pay schedules vary. Freelancers and the like can opt into the “irregular” option that allows less routine spending to be tracked accordingly.

expense manager3. Expense Manager

Ideal for vacationers splitting funds, the Expense Manager app allows users to add expenses and fill in details about the amount, payee and payment category. Pre-written vendors and category terms can be selected for easy set-up. Expense Manager also has an “auto fill” feature for even easier inputs; terms for commonly used expenses like “gas” and “eating out” can be only a tap or two away.

That’s not all for this app’s bells and whistles; it also has multiple account support, photo-storing capability, and home screen widgets.

Some complaints have been made regarding the app’s design, but functions can be googled and found if the user has any trouble. In addition, the app is free assuming the user is open to it being ad supported. It’s only $5.00 without ads, which may be a worthy expenditure for those who find ads a headache.

So there you have it, there truly are ways to organize your finances and keep track of where you’re spending and how you can save.