Pirates State That Cracking PC Games Is Getting Too Difficult

2016 is a big year all around, with new movies and games being released, people are going to be busy buying the latest in their collections. Not everyone does this, some watch movies online before they are released in the cinema and some play games without buying them. With the video game industry set to expand this year, the matter of pirates will be something the industry has to contend with. Pirates are known for breaking the encryption that protects games and often share these “cracked” versions online, although according to some reports, that may not be true for much longer.

Speaking to TorrentFreak, a member of the Chinese hacking group 3DM has said that over the last eighteen months people have been finding it more and more difficult to crack the recent releases. Providing examples, apparently it took over a month to crack Dragon Age: Inquisition while games like FIFA 16 and Just Cause 3 are yet to be cracked even with games like FIFA 16 being released all the way back in September.

One of the reasons they are finding it so difficult is the use of secondary DRM technologies like Denuvo. Designed to be unobtrusive and almost silent to paying customers, this combats one of the reasons provided by users of cracked games, the fact that their experience is ruined by DRM measures which require them to be constantly online for single player games.

It could not be long before extra DRM methods are subtle and silent, leading to more and more people giving up on cracking games in favor of paying for them.

Global Bot Network ‘Dorkbot’ Busted and Taken Down

There are two well-known groups that both use the name Dorkbot, one being a great group of organizations that sponsor grassroots meetings of artists, engineers, designers, scientists, inventors, and anyone else working under the very broad term ‘electronic art’. The other one is part of the dark side and it is, or rather was, a large bot network of worms that spread through instant messaging, USB drives, websites, and social media sites.

The Dorkbot network has been watched since 2011 and had over a million systems infected with 80,000 to 120,000 more each month according to Microsoft. But now the law enforcement agencies around the world have put a stop to it thanks to the FBI, European Cybercrime Center, and the Interpol Digital Crime Center while being assisted by Microsoft in tracking down the control servers.

The network was stealing pretty much anything it could get it hands on such as Facebook and Gmail credentials, Netflix accounts, but also PayPal and other payment credentials. This is just the latest in many botnets that have been cracked lately and it is nice to see the officials doing something about this nuisance of hackers that plague the internet. At the same time, senates and legislators are trying to push for harder penalties for operators and users of botnets.

At the time of writing, there was no news whether they had any leads on who was behind the network and controlling it or whether they just managed to take down the network itself.

Windows 10 Build 9897 ISO Images Creep Online

A few weeks ago, Microsoft released a newly compiled version of their upcoming Operating System – Windows 10. However, some tech savvy enthusiasts have cleaned it up a little and re-released it for illegal download.

Obviously we’re not going to link the download instructions here, as we said it’s illegal. But it’s interesting to point out that in this day and age, pirated copies for all kinds of software are generally expected to appear just mere hours or days after the original release. Recently we reported on Ubisoft’s gloat, claiming that all those who had pirated their latest Assassins Creed: Unity game, were met with the inability to change their FOV settings. Just a few hours later, well-known game cracking group Skidrow released an update to their version, allowing consumers to change their FOV as they like. Making their mark and claiming that they weren’t to be messed with.

Back to Windows – this download provides the user with the ability to skip all automatic updates, giving you the complete latest package in one download file.

What are your thoughts on Windows 10 so far? Since the release of Windows 7, we’ve seen many users claim that there is simply no need to upgrade their Operating System, saying that Windows 8, 8.1 and 10 offer no real advancements in software technology to entice them to take the plunge.

Image courtesy of Chiphell

Stealing Encryption Keys From A Computer Just By Listening

A team of researchers have managed to crack strong encryption algorithms by simply listening to a laptop as it decrypts it. I don’t mean they listened to someone type, they physically listened to the electrical components such as the processors and capacitors and found that they could isolate the vibrations made by these components to extract the RSA 4,096-bit encryption key in less than an hour!

Using a microphone and some software based audio filters they were able to extract keys, of course the microphone needs to be high powered and in close proximity. The team found parabolic microphones to work very well as they could be as much as 13 feet away from the system while recording what they needed. What’s even crazier is that they managed to do it with a regular smartphone, but the device had to be within a foot of the laptop. While a final test found that just recording the computers electrical ground potential could also provide the key.

So far the team have only cracked one type of RSA encryption, but there is no reason why they can’t decipher the sound paterns for different software. If your hiding some top secret information on your laptop, you may want to watch out for people putting their mobiles next to your computer, and be especially wary of people pointing parabolic microphones at you, just because you’re not speaking aloud, doesn’t mean there is nothing to record.

Personally I do think this raises some interesting security concerns, but on the other hand the method for extracting the keys is very impressive.

Thank you Engadget for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of Engadget.