#94 Notch Gets Scrubbed

Microsoft just introduced a snapshot that essentially removes all references of Notch from the splash screen and I couldn’t be happier.

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#61 Sony Reveals Classic PS One Games

This episode was recorded LIVE on Mixer! If you want to be part of the live show along with the chance to win some free stuff, you should join us!

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IBM to acquire Red Hat in deal valued at $34 billion

IBM is acquiring Red Hat, a major distributor of open-source software and technology, in a deal valued around $34 billion, the companies announced on Sunday. According to a joint statement, IBM will pay cash to buy all shares in Red Hat at $190 each. Shares in Red Hat closed at $116.68 on Friday before the deal was announced. The open source, enterprise software maker will become a unit of IBM’s Hybrid Cloud division, with Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst joining IBM’s senior management team and reporting to CEO Ginni Rometty.

Sony reveals the rather disappointing list of games for the PS One Classic

PlayStation today revealed the list of games that will come bundled with its retro console, the PS One Classic. While the list does include several (ahem) classics and old favorites, there are still a few rather large holes in the library.

OnePlus 6T review: Pixel 3’s problems might make this the phone to own

OnePlus’ second flagship smartphone of 2018 has gotten off to a rocky start, to say the least. First of all, just about everything there is to know about the OnePlus 6T leaked long before the phone was announced on Monday. Of course, that pretty much goes without saying at this point, since details surrounding flagship phones always leak in advance. The real trouble arrived when it came time to schedule the OnePlus 6T announcement event. First, OnePlus reportedly pushed back its planned unveiling to avoid overlapping with Google’s Pixel 3 launch. Then, after landing on the date October 30th for its big reveal, Apple announced that its October press conference would be held on the same date. Competing with Apple for media coverage is obviously ill-advised, so the company bumped up its event to today, October 29th.

Tetris Effect is loaded with game modes designed to keep you coming back

Enhance Games’ stylish, trippy take on Tetris will come with a wide variety of modes tailored to appeal to your play style and mood, and those modes are designed to keep players coming back to Tetris Effect for weeks and months after the game launches. The puzzle game’s main “campaign” mode, known as Journey Mode, will send players on a trip through 27 levels, each with their own musical and visual themes. Each level is crafted to tell a story and let players feel different emotions as they play, vice president of production Mark MacDonald said during a hands-on gameplay preview. Levels in Journey Mode will take players from the deserts of Egypt to the solitary darkness of the Moon, while others venture deep into the sea to let players swim with dolphins as they line up puzzle pieces.

Beware of malware, adware when downloading Google Chrome through Microsoft Edge

New Windows 10 PC owners should be careful about downloading Google Chrome through Microsoft Edge, as Bing is apparently returning search results that contain malware and adware. There is a running joke that the only purpose of Microsoft Edge is to download Google Chrome, but it appears that the tables could easily turn for users who are not careful. Fortunately, Twitter user Gabriel Landau did not fall prey to a fake Google Chrome download page returned by a Bing search.

Here’s why your Zoey skin in Fortnite has been removed

A number of players started to notice that opponents using the Zoey skin were harder to see at a certain distance, and it didn’t take long to confirm that they were actually becoming totally invisible to both friends and foes. Strangely, the pickaxes and weapons of the players were still visible but this definitely wasn’t an intended change for to turn Zoey into a ghost for the ongoing Fortnitemares Halloween event.

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FBI Tip: Reboot Your Router and Stay Safe Against Russian Malware

Last April, U.S. and U.K. officials issued a warning that Russians were behind a major threat to security through business or home smart devices. While the cyber threat was directed initially towards home and business routers running IoT devices, the attack would eventually move on to a massive scale involving water filtration systems and power lines. Sounding like a page from a spy novel, it sounds unlikely in the post-Cold War era but the FBI followed this up with another warning in late May.

According to Reuters, Russian hackers had breached thousands of home routers in the U.S. and could gather information or even shut down traffic. Some quarters considered this to be another witch hunt, just like what happened with Huawei and ZTE in previous years. In an effort to stem the threat, the FBI shut down a website that would ostensibly be used by the Russian hacker group named Sofacy to beam malicious information affecting about 700,000 routers in homes and businesses across 50 countries. According to FBI most of the susceptible devices were bought online. Cisco Systems Inc. claimed that the targeted routers were from Asus, D-Link, Huawei, Ubiquiti, Upvel, ZTE Linksys, MicroTik, Netgear Inc., TP-link, and QNAP; brands that are extremely popular among home users and favored by Internet providers. Sofacy (aka APT28 and Fancy Bear) was also implicated in hacking the Democratic National Committee in the most recent U.S. Presidential campaign.

According to CISCO, the U.S. is not yet under major attack but that it was the Ukraine that was the ultimate target. In a document shared to both the U.S. and Ukraine governments, it outlined how the malware caused millions in damages in the Ukraine and was behind a major power outage.

“The VPNFilter malware is a multistage, modular platform with versatile capabilities to support both intelligence collection and destructive cyberattack operations.” —  Cisco

This particular VPNFilter malware is hard to detect due to encryption so it is best to be cautious. It has 3 stages and persisting to subsequent stages after a reboot at Stage 1 is possible. This is so different from other malware infecting smart devices which seldom survive a reboot. The FBI suggests rebooting your router and downloading updates to disrupt the malware’s action. Though that cut-off communication, there were still infected routers to deal with. It is strongly advised that remote management settings be disabled and passwords changed regularly.

The size and scope of the infrastructure by VPNFilter malware is significant…capable of rendering peoples’ routers inoperable. – FBI

Experts further recommend resetting of SOHO (small home and office) routers and NAS (network-attached storage) devices to factory defaults aside from simply rebooting. Users should also coordinate with their Internet Providers who can reboot SOHO routers and manufacturers to ensure that the most recent patches are installed.

Is this a modern-day “Hunt for Red October”?

Russian Hackers Infect 500K Routers With Malware

Routers Infected With Malware By Russian Hackers

As much as 500 thousand routers have been infected with malware.  This was reported to be done by Russian hackers.  According to security experts, these hackers are believed to be supported by the Russian government.  This has been traced back to a group said to have interfered with the recent U.S. elections.

The Malware Which Infected The Router

The malware is known as the “VPNFilter”.  It can monitor and extract all of the internet traffic passing through the infected routers.  The routers can also be switched-off remotely in a mass cyber attack.

The infections were discovered  as part of an ongoing investigation be security companies Talos and Symantec.  The group of hackers is said to be the same group which was responsible for the interference in the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election.  A domain and a server located in Russia were seized by the FBI.  These are said to be linked to the attack.

The Hackers Responsible For The Attack

The news that the attack is believed to have originated in Russia affects the ongoing US-Russian relations.

The server the FBI seized is still receiving data from infected routers.  But according to them, it can only view the IP addresses of infected routers.

The security company, Talos, which is investigating the incident said there are still a lot of “unknowns” regarding the attack.  The severity of the situation made them publish details early.

Advice To The Public On What To Do

To stay safe and not have your routers infected by malware, the public is advised by experts to remember the following:

– Guard your devices against the VPNFilter malware.  Use a good anti-malware                    program to protect all your devices.

– What to do if your router is infected: Get a new router.  This is the fastest and easiest          way to get rid of the malware.

– Choose a VPN which you fully trust.  Although the malware infection was done via                VPN, this does not mean yu should put off using VPN services.  A good VPN is                    perfectly legal and secure.  So take extra care in choosing one.

Update and inform yourself with the latest technology.  Learn more about the latest innovations and other informative news which you can use and apply.  Visit this link and be one of its patrons https://www.patreon.com/technewsgadget .

 

 

 

 

Skygofree: Spying on FB, WhatsApp, Skype and Credit Cards On Your Android

Malware is definitely getting more sinister and Skygofree, said to be in existence since 2014, was reported by Kaspersky as vicious enough to steal messages and take over your phone camera and steal data. The ultimate eavesdropper, Skygofree does not actually read WhatsApp and Facebook encrypted messages but goes around this limitation by capitalizing on Android’s Accessibility Services, something that was created for people with disabilities or limited interaction with the smartphone or tablet.

Kaspersky Lab researchers have uncovered an advanced mobile implant, active since 2014 and designed for targeted cyber-surveillance, possibly as an ‘offensive  security’ product. 

Late last year, it was considered one of the most sophisticated malware affecting Android operating systems because it can link-up infected devices to Wi-Fi networks under the control of the attackers. Unlike in the past when malware was released by cyber attackers, word has it that an Italian company selling surveillance systems developed this malware with root access. Hence, it is capable of reading practically anything on your device’s memory including geolocation, text messages, calendared events, business data, and personal information. It can also take photos, record video and conversations automatically without as much as alerting the owner that anything was remiss. It has better control of infected devices and can record the once impregnable Skype conversations.

Skygofree is a sophisticated, multi-stage spyware that gives attackers full remote control of an infected device.  – Kaspersky

You realize the gravity of the security risk when you realize just how much information you’ve entrusted to your smartphone. You read emails, write notes, store passwords, credit card information and even hold virtual work meetings using your Android.

According to Kaspersky, the malware is spread through landing pages that mimic mobile network operators. Users are then tricked into installing and using the app. If you notice your smartphone is fast draining charge and heating up, it may be infected by Skygofree and other Trojans). Aside from the 48 commands it can execute, it can circumvent battery-saving mechanisms (such as in Huawei) and unobtrusively implant itself as a protected app. A particularly dangerous quality because it remains quietly operating in the background when the screen is off.

How does Skygofree do it? Once installed from fake sites, you will see a notification that may be permutations of this “Dear Customer, we’re updating your configuration and it will be ready as soon as possible”. It sounds official and above-board and doesn’t raise suspicions. However, if you detect something off and want to address this by deleting or uninstalling the app, you are in for a big surprise! The trojan hides the icon in background services where it isn’t easily removed from the system. According to Kaspersky, this self-protection feature affects almost all services. Windows itself could be the next target and this has already started with infiltrating Skype.

Prevent infection by Skygofree by:

  • installing antivirus/anti-malware protection such as  Kaspersky Security for Mobile.
  • being cautious when opening mail from unknown sites
  • not opening attachments
  • downloading only from known sites and
  • turning on Application Control if you are the system administrator.

New Android malware difficult to delete?

Another virus that targets Android users has been discovered. This latest malware not only steals credit card and money transfer information, it also allows payments that you don’t know about.

TrustGo security labs called this new malware SMSZombie.A. It was initially discovered in China and exploits vulnerabilities in the country’s mobile payment system via SMS.

TrustGo security reported that this virus has been used by individuals to pay for their online gaming accounts via mobile payment systems.
The security firm added, “The SMSZombie virus has been hidden in a variety of wallpaper apps and attracts users with provocative titles and pictures. When the user sets the app as the device’s wallpaper, the app will request the user to install additional files associated with the virus. If the user agrees, the virus payload is delivered within a file called ‘Android System Service.”

They also said that once the virus is installed in Android devices, it’s difficult for infected users to remove it. TheNextWeb also reported that at least 500,000 Android devices have already been infected by this virus.

They said, “While that’s a drop in the ocean for China Mobile’s 683 million subscribers, it has the potential to make a large number of unauthorized transactions and cause trouble and annoyance for many.”

Image Source: venturebeat.com

Lookout: 5% of free apps are borderline malware

Con-artists and other unscrupulous individuals now have a new weapon to unleash their wrath to unsuspecting individuals. With technology being one of the most important things that we now have, they have jumped into the bandwagon and have used them as front to their modus.

With app developers and apps sprouting out from nowhere, it is evident that these devious criminals are going to take advantage of the situation and use this for their benefit.

Case in point, mobile security firm Lookout recently discovered that nearly half of the free Android apps in the market have been using their apps as fronts for advertising networks and services.

They also found out that about 5% of them employs “aggressive” tactics bordering on malware classification.

Lookout says that wallpaper apps include aggressive advertising at a rate of 17%. Entertainment apps and games on the other hand follow that with 8% and 7% of the aggressive pie.

Aggressive advertising implies taking the form of ads creating their own desktop shortcuts, pushing ads to a device’s notification bars and modifying the bookmarks and homepage of a device’s default web browser.

By the way, the 5% of apps involved that are borderline malware represent more than 80 million downloads.

Watch what you’re downloading and installing in your smartphone!

Image Source: google-play.net

Malware kills your net by July 9!

Read up dear readers, and read it well. Many of us may no longer be able to access the Internet pretty soon. How soon? Talk about July 9, 2012 soon! A piece of Malware has been floating around in the internet that we all share. You may want to triple think about going to those Malware heavy sites for a while.

It turns out, that there is a Malware called DNSChanger that has been running around for as far back as 2007. The group that created the Malware was just recently detained and their operations put to an immediate halt. Since the capture 8 months ago, the FBI and their affiliates have been out on a campaign to notify the denizens of the internet to update their computers and anti-viruses as well as to check on their computers if they have been compromised.

The Malware has affected users by changing the DNS settings on your browser, thereby redirecting the user into Advertisement-laden sites, and have reaped the benefits of both the Ads, and any information that may have been stolen in the process.

Despite the many efforts of the FBI to inform the denizens of the net, it is estimated that at least 275,000 or more users are at risk of no longer being able to access the net by July 9, 2012 because of this Malware and the DNS problem.

However, there is no need to lose hope, as there is a way to quickly identify if you are hit with the Malware. The DNSChanger Working Group has created a simple web tool to identify if you are infected and might have problem with your DNS. Make sure to visit http://dns-ok.us/

If the color is green, then you are safe from the Malware. If the color is red, then you need to change your internet settings pronto before it is too late. Fortunately, McAfee has a DNS Check tool that also checks for the infection of the Malware as well as take care of the tedious task of manually removing the said Malware, protecting your DNS settings.

Speaking of manual removal, please visit the following site: http://www.dcwg.org/fix/

Spread the news and do not let any of your friends be infected!

Image sources: whatdoesitmean.com

Android malware creators caught

Malware developers and hackers have targeted Android users as their new victims. With the influx of smartphones in the market, and Google’s Android being one of the popular operating systems, these scums have set their sights to unsuspecting victims.

But in Japan, 6 individuals who were found to be creating and distributing a malicious app via porn sites have been arrested by authorities.

The app which disguises itself as an adult video player for Android smartphones infects the device that charges a fee when using it.

The Android users that fell victim to the scam have reported that they have been receiving notices every five minutes demanding for them to pay. The notification read: “Please pay the fees as soon as possible. You need to confirm the unpaid amount. It totals 99,800 yen.”

The six who were caught had reportedly earned 20 million Yen from their scamming. About 9,252 individuals have downloaded the app. At least 211 individuals have reportedly paid for the services and fell victim.

Graham Cluley of Sophos said, “This type of attack is very similar to the Ransomware malware that we have seen on Windows PCs in the past. They prevent you from accessing your files or system, and can threaten to expose embarrassing information about you.”

Image Source:digitizor.com

Malware detected! Cyber-war lunges forward

Now may be a good time to click the update button to your anti-virus software. A couple of weeks ago, while trying to locate and identify a very illusive viper/wiper program that has been infecting Iranian computers, Kaspersky Lab has detected something even larger and more threatening than described. The malware, currently dubbed as “Flame”, is speculated to be another step towards cyber-war.

The malware has been named after a common name in its modules “flame_props”. This malware has been said to be 20 times larger and more complicated than a previous Cyber-war tool named Stuxnet. Stuxnet and Duqu were two of the cyber-war weapons that were launched around 2009 and 2010. These malware were considered monsters of their time. Stuxnet apparently took at least half a year for Kaspersky Lab to analyze and it may take at least 10 years to bust Flame open. These malware ran rampant in Iranian computers and sought to gather data and destroy infrastructure.

Flame has been recorded to be infecting several countries in the Middle East, with Iran as the leading target. The size and scope of Flame’s targets seem to reflect that this is again another Government-backed cyber assault, with goals of espionage in mind. Flame has been reported to be gathering data and even deleting data from target systems. Even the spread of the malware is well controlled and remained undetected for 2 years and maybe even longer. The scope of attack and similarities to Stuxnet rules out independent acts of cyber criminals.

In Kapsersky’s statement, Flame infects its targets by installing a small compressed file into the drive, then further downloads and deploys up to 20 modules that allow the attacker to perform several tasks, taking virtual control over the affected systems. The total size of the toolkit reaches 20 MB, compared to the 500 KB of Stuxnet. The plug-ins can be deployed and turned off at will by the attacker, including well controlled deployment into USB hosts, making the malware harder to detect. It even has the ability to completely wipe itself from a computer, further making it difficult for large anti-virus firms like Kaspersky Lab to detect and analyze. Someone is definitely in the steering wheel of this ride. Flame is a malware that has grown exceedingly complicated compared to its predecessors. Who knows how many more of these are in the wild, still running undetected?

So what can this malware do? Nearly every recording and data gathering capacities of you computer is at its employ. Kaspersky Lab reports that Flame can effectively use your computer’s microphone to record conversations. It can view your keystrokes. It can browse all your data and communications in the internet. It can even use the Bluetooth device of your computer and access other devices in its coverage, gathering personal information, like names and phone numbers. It can choose who to infect and when is the best time to strike. It has all the makings of an espionage tool. No wonder Kaspersky Lab thinks this may very well be a nation’s attack upon another.

This poses a threat not only to the infected countries, but other countries as well who may one day fall on the attacker’s radar. Some can only cry out for the legality of these attacks, as these are basically Government-approved cyber crimes. For this incredibly powerful malware to fall on the wrong hands would be disastrous to the whole internet community. Privacy has become a very sensitive term in the internet, and this privacy may soon be no longer in our control, if stuff like these can be deployed and run undetected for many years. If the government can get away with attacking industries for their data, what is stopping them from spying on each and every one of us regardless of their reasons?