Australia is Spending Millions on Cyber-Security

In this day and age, cyber-security is a huge issue for countries and companies alike, and everyone wants to upgrade and protect their systems. The latest to join this barrage of countries if Australia who recently announced a new strategy in cyber-security.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull launched the new strategy in Sydney, with a budget of $178 million, the scheme will look to bolster their defensive and offensive capabilities. That’s right while he didn’t confirm if the country had used its offensive capabilities against other countries, Turnbull did acknowledge it had hacking capabilities by saying that it “adds to [Australia’s] credibility as it promote norms of good behaviour on the international stage and, importantly, familiarity with offensive measures enhances [its] defensive capabilities as well.”

The funding will create new centers for cyber-security and give 5,000 companies the means to test their security. Supporting the country and the companies based within the new funding will look to support an already growing cyber economy, something which the schemes document claims is “growing twice as fast as the rest of the global economy”.

With GCHQ stating that a recent investment into cyber-security didn’t go as well as planned and a recent survey showing that executives thinking cyber-security is an IT problem, any investment to protect people from malicious hackers online should be welcome.

Steam May Soon Accept Bitcoins

When it comes to PC gaming, everyone knows the feeling that happens when the Steam sales come on. Your bank account starts to hate you and you wish you didn’t save your card details as you click and drain your funds for games you won’t get to play for a few months if you are lucky. Now it looks like Steam may soon be accepting Bitcoins, draining both your physical and digital money with each sale.

Posted on a Reddit feed, the post appears to come from the Steamworks Development group, a private group for the platforms developers. The post teases that the company is looking to use an external payment provider to help accept bitcoins.

The post makes clear that the calculations will be done all via the external processor, with you still being charged the same amount and the processor acting as the middle man who takes your bitcoins and pays Valve the appropriate amount of traditional currency. Given the unstable nature of digital currency, this means that at no time does Valve hold the bitcoins, making sure they avoid any sudden drops or spikes in prices for the currency.

This process would make sense, but with concerns about the legality of people’s bitcoins and their stability, what happens if people make large purchases with “bad bitcoins”? With no effort on the side of developers or anyone who makes a purchase using the new system, I’m sure many will accept and enjoy the new option for buying all those games you want.

Obama to Appoint Execs From Uber, Mastercard & Microsoft to Cybersecurity Panel

Cybersecurity is a big issue this year, with people becoming more and more aware of the steps that both governments and companies are making to gain access to or stop others accessing their data. After its recent attempt to get Apple to help bypass the security features on an iPhone, the FBI rather embarrassingly revealed that government systems had been accessed by an unknown party since 2011. In a move to help combat cybersecurity issues, President Obama intends to appoint executives from several major technology companies to a new cybersecurity panel to help act on these matters.

As part of a $19 billion proposal, the Commission on Enhancing National Cybersecurity will see people who are described by President Obama as being “dedicated individuals [who will] bring a wealth of experience and talent to this important role, and I look forward to receiving the Commission’s recommendations.”.

Among the names appear the likes of General Keith Alexander, director of the NSA from 2005 till 2014; Ubers Chief Security Officer Joe Sullivan; the CEO of MasterCard Ajay Banga and corporate vice president of Microsoft Research, Peter Lee. With these being just a few of the names listed, the list seems to be focused on gathering the support of those who have experience within the industry, and while the released statement may be an announcement of his intent, any of the members on the list could provide valuable insight into cybersecurity.

Cyber Warfare Could Become A Specialist Combat Unit In The US

The saying goes that “to be prepared is half the victory”, this is never more the case in the modern day when everything can change in a split second. With the modern day battle happening months and even years before the first shot is fired, warfare happens every day on the internet attacking the minds and systems of countries with no warning. In response to this growing threat, cyber warfare could soon become a specialist combat unit within the United states military.

Currently, anything relating to cyber warfare is united as part of a “sub-unified command” beneath the U.S. strategic command, but reports are coming in that Defence Secretary Ash Carter may be looking at turning the cyber command unit into a full combatant command.

This would put cyber warfare on bar with the nine that currently operate within the U.S. military including six commands based on their geographical areas (Pacific, Europe, Africa, Middle East, Central and Southern command) and three based on their areas of specialty, such as the transportation command, strategic command (those in charge of nuclear forces) and special operations command groups. Moving out from strategic command to become the 10th COCOM (Combat Commander Exercise combatant command) would be a big step in realising the threat of cyber warfare and the steps that countries need to take to protect people beyond the lines of maps.

The Music Industry Wants The Digital Copyright Law Reformed

First, we had live music, then we got vinyl records, then cassettes and CD’s and now we can enjoy our music anywhere we like in the palm of our hand thanks to Digital music. The problem is that being able to share and copy music so easily isn’t for everyone and the American music industry wants the Digital Copyright Law Reformed.

Why does someone want the Digital Copyright Law reformed? The American music industry argues that the approach of issuing takedown notices to people who upload content illegally just doesn’t work when combating the number of web addresses and options people have for uploading music. They claim that the safe harbor passages of the Digital Copyright Law actually protect those who benefit from piracy, such as google with its search engine and YouTube videos.

As part of the reform, the music industry is looking at technology like audio fingerprinting to spot piracy before something is even uploaded. They are also asking that a takedown notice for say a song on YouTube, would affect all illegal copies of the song on that site. While the music industry may argue that issuing takedown requests at the moment doesn’t help enough, Google would argue that after a recent study as many as 30 percent of the takedown requests they received were dodgy.

People currently argue that the Digital copyright law is a guilty-until-proven-innocent piece of legislation, that often ends up with videos and content that use music for legal reasons are flagged up on systems. Asking for copyright law to be reformed, especially around its safe harbor passages, could result in the law being relaxed, or entirely new measures being put in place to combat the onslaught of takedown requests sites and search engines receive for both genuine and ‘dodgy’ reasons.

Executives Feel Like Cyber-Security is Just an IT Problem

Cyber-security is a big issue, with people and companies finding out the hard way that their security is exposed when it turns up online for sale or they receive phone calls advertising features with details they never hand out. With big companies like TalkTalk and even the government being victims of hacks, people are acting more and more with security at their mind front. This may change though soon as a survey of executives found they felt like cyber-security is just an “IT problem”.

The survey questioned 1,530 C-level executives, that is anyone who’s job title contains chief or another word beginning with c in it. This illusion of responsibility, one which often ends up landing with executives, comes as companies spent 25% more on information security in 2015 compared to 2014.

The survey was conducted on companies that were deemed “vulnerable” resulted in 91 percent of the executives saying that they couldn’t interpret a cybersecurity report, with 40 percent of those responding admitting that they didn’t even feel responsible for cyber-security.

These figures are certainly more than a little scary, with company executives feeling like they aren’t responsible on every level for protecting your information or even being aware of the threats and dangers that they encounter. In a day and age where you are more than likely to be attacked via the internet and your computer systems than on a street, it is the responsibility of everyone, especially those in power, to make sure that they uphold their legal responsibilities, even if that comes at a weeks crash course in cyber-security.

Final Fantasy XV Has Its Own Anime And Will Soon Have A Movie

Who hasn’t heard of Final Fantasy? With a new game, Final Fantasy XV, set for release in September, fans are excited for anything to keep the series going. To help the game receive a warm reception, Square Enix are sorting people out with not one but two forms of entertainment before the game even begins.

Set for release later this year, Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV will be a 3D-animated film focused on King Regis. Set for a digital release in 2016 and will feature voice work from the likes of Aaron Paul, Lena Headey and Sean Bean.

Before you have to wait that long though you can start to enjoy Final Fantasy XV. Created by the same studio as Sword Art Online and Black Butler, A-1 Pictures, the anime will be released in five-ten minute episodes, straight to YouTube for everyone to watch.

If that wasn’t enough you can already enjoy the series with the first episode already going live, with the entire series reported to tie into the game demo. If you want to start enjoying Final Fantasy now you can find the episode below, a little something to help with the wait  before the movie or game gets released later this year.

Man Pleads Guilty To Leaking US Military Aircraft Blueprints

When it comes to security and privacy, there is little more protected than military details. As a result, the information is often protected by several layers of protection, and even if these are breached the chances of it going unnoticed are even slimmer than being able to gain access in the first place. Something Su Bin found out the hard way when he pleaded guilty to leaking US military aircraft blueprints. Su Bin, a Chinese national, has pleaded guilty to illegally accessing sensitive military data and distributing this material to China for financial gain. Bin’s role in the scheme was to obtain access to Boeing and other companies servers, in the process retrieving information about their military aircraft

Su Bin, a Chinese national, has pleaded guilty to illegally accessing sensitive military data and distributing this material to China for financial gain. Bin’s role in the scheme was to obtain access to Boeing and other companies servers, in the process retrieving information about their military aircraft such as the C-17 and even fighter jets. Once he obtained access, he told two associates, un-named in his plea deal, which servers to hack and what information was useful on the projects. He even provided a translating service, converting the documentation from English to Chinese before sending it back to China, all at a cost.Sending both server details and names of US executives (and their emails)

After being caught in Canada in 2014 and then extradited to the US last month, Bin will now be charged with stealing data listed on the US Munitions List contained in the International Traffic in Arms Regulations.

With countries becoming more and more aware of the risks and dangers regarding the digital world, catching anybody is a stark warning that just because you can do something, doesn’t mean that you will get away with it.

Ever Wondered What’s In Google’s Data Centres?

Google is known for a lot of things but the company was built on data, the storage and searching of information from all over the internet. Typically these things are locked behind closed doors but Google wants to show it all through an eight-minute video tour showing you everything you need to see in Google’s Data Centres.

First off you need security clearance, as even for Google employees the sites are normally locked down. After a small interview regarding all the different bits and systems that help ensure a 24-7 service of their systems. Stepping into the actual data centre requires more than just a pass as you need to get through a circle door locked by an iris scanner as part of the dual authentication.

Through the entire video, you can see how large a data centre is with it giving you just a small glimpse of the building. In an interview with Virginia, one of the people responsible for the network it’s revealed that a single building can support up to 75,000 machines while transmitting over a petabit of data per second.

They even go into detail about how data and drives are removed from the system. First, the drives are wiped only to then be placed in what is essentially a wood chipper designed just for hard drives.

Take the tour in the video below and see for yourself just how big a company Google is and how many steps it takes to protect both companies and customers data. Be warned though the video is a bit of an advert for Google’s cloud platform so it may be a little cheesy at times.

Former CIA Director Thinks EU “Gets in the Way” of Security Services

Security is a big issue with companies and governments alike having issues raised when it comes to people’s data. With the UK soon to take part in a referendum, the EU is at the heart of debates about security, both digital and physical. It would seem that some think the EU doesn’t quite help security services.

Retired General Michael Hayden, former director of the CIA, seems to think that the EU wasn’t “a natural contributor to national security”. The EU proposed late last year a set of guidelines for its member countries to follow in cybersecurity, with specialist teams designed to help track and address issues, countries would be expected to share information and help each other learn about the new threat that can be found in the digital world.Digital

Digital security became a big topic when Edward Snowden revealed the extent that the US government (and other governments around the world, including the UK) monitored and tracked people’s information. Europe is currently debating how the new data sharing policy it has with the US should look like, a decision that will change how much information both Europe and America will be allowed to store, save and access.

Mr. De Backer of the Belgian Group of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe has stated that members of the EU need to forget the “old concept of sovereignty” and understand that sharing information and pooling resources could only be beneficial to security services, something that is all too true for global systems like the internet.

Malware Could Be Using Legitimate Signature Certificates

When it comes to installing software on your computer, we often have to take it on faith that the software is safe to use. As an extra precaution, the latest step is to allow companies to use “certificates”, digital signatures that show that a trusted company created the software. A group known for creating malware may have found a way around this system though as some of their nasty programs are using legitimate signature certificates.

By using legitimate signature certificates your computer trusts the software and installs it without further hassle, the problem being that the software is less than safe and, in fact, is just malware (or malicious software). According to Symantec, the group known as Suckfly has used no less than nine different singing certificates from nine different companies since 2014.

Categorising the found malware into groups, Symantec found that 11 of the identified tools could be used for backdooring into your system. While others could be used to log and find out your information, some even checked your network traffic to find out what could be used to access your system through port scanning software.

With so many certificates being stolen and used for signing malware, and it becoming a common practise amongst malware creators, could we see the need for another way of finding and checking software is legitimate if these techniques are so easily bypassed?

 

Choose Your Cabin Next Time You Go On A Cruise

Cruises are meant to be relaxing times, the natural motion of the ocean flowing against the bow of the ship as you enjoy the sun and sea. The problem is as with most things, there are a lot of things you can’t control when it comes to booking your cruise. Cruisedeckplans.com hope to give you a little more option in choosing your cabin.

Remember when you book cinema tickets, or some flight tickets and you get given the choice about where you sit, knowing if you are against the isle or wedged between two people who have booked but a single seat. Cruisedeckplans is looking to offer you just that for when you are cruising.

While they can’t offer you the ability to customise your own ship, they will let you view what your cabin will look like, and the surrounding area. Don’t like being above the kitchen or under the overhanging deck that will ruin your sunbathing on the balcony? You can now see all of those in a simple interactive service.

If that wasn’t enough, there are 2,800 videos of the cabins available, with over 98,000 pictures of the staterooms to help you decide on your dream experience. With the ability to get paid 50 cents for every stateroom picture that you submit after your holiday, a few holiday pictures could quickly pay back what you spent on that lobster dinner.

Blackberry to Launch Cyber-Security Consulting Service

BlackBerry used to be a major name in the mobile phone industry. They used to be one of the go to companies if you were a business looking for smartphones but with recent reports that BlackBerry is looking to exit the smartphone industry and reports of layoffs looking to confirm this it has come as a surprise that the company has now made a move in a new direction, cybersecurity consulting.

BlackBerry’s were known as secure phones, offering business security and peace of mind when it came to their employees communications and John Chen, the executive chairman and CEO of BlackBerry saying in a statement that:

“We recognize that security vulnerabilities are a top risk concern for public and private sector organizations alike. The creation of our Professional Cybersecurity Services practice and acquisition of Encription reinforces our commitment to providing customers the industry’s most secure mobility solutions and helping them to assess and mitigate risks”

To start the process, which will go by the name of Professional Cybersecurity Services (PCS), the U.K. based cyber security consulting firm Encryption Limited is currently being acquired by the company.

With cyber security being raised by everyone from the agencies and companies like FBI and Apple to children tracking software uKnowKids, the market is screaming out for security specialists and with their history in the industry, this could be the move that puts BlackBerry back into the public eye.

Lens-Less Cameras Are Now A Thing

Cameras have evolved so much over the past few years. They began with the throwaway cameras you would take on field trips with you to capture 40 different moments, then they became digital with you buying a small block of metal and watching the screen light up as the lens zoomed out the body to focus. Now you don’t even use need to buy a camera,  they are built-in every smartphone and even pens and watches. The traditional drawback to these devices is the lenses that are used to focus on an image, but no more.

A professor of computer and electrical engineering at Rice University in Texas, Richard Baraniuk, believes that lenses are the only thing holding back cameras. To combat this, his team has developed a design based on a pinhole camera. The difficulty of pinhole cameras is they don’t allow for a lot of light, the solution to this problem appeared to be quite simple. Don’t use just one pinhole camera, use thousands.

The problem with a thousand different cameras, is a thousand different images are hard to use. So with a little modern logic, it’s not possible to produce a camera that is not only without a traditional lens but also slim and almost hidden.

The “Political Machine” Lets You Run For President

The various campaigns from hopeful candidates aiming to be the next president of the United States feels as if it has been going on forever, from Donald trump and his controversial views to Hillary Clinton and her private email scandal, it really feels like Groundhog day. Hoping to harness the political interest is a games developer by the name of “Stardock Entertainment” who has both developed and also released a game by the name of “The Political Machine”.

Below is a summary of the key features of this game along with a selection of screenshots,

  • Mudslinging – Use your power and money to purchase ads and influence voters.
  • The game has over a dozen political candidates – Play as one of the several pre-made candidates like Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.
  • Scandals – the game includes such real-life scandals as email hacking, affairs and also natural disasters.
  • Custom built candidates – Create your own custom front-runner and race for the White House.

Below is the first screenshot, as you can see, it’s not the most high-tech game in the world in terms of graphics, although it does capture Donald Trump.

The next screenshot is below and conveys how your chosen political figure will perform in terms of how many votes will be gained and also who will win each state.

Below is a trailer video to convey the style of this game,

The specifications for this game are below, if your thinking of running this title then it should be pretty straightforward.

  • Operating System – Windows 10 / 8 / 7 SP1 / Vista SP2
  • RAM –  1 GB RAM
  • Graphics – 64 MB DirectX 9.0c 3D Video Card with Pixel Shader 2.0 Support
  • CPU –  1 GHz Processor
  • Hard Drive Space – 1 GB HD space
  • Sound Card – DirectX 9.0c Compatible Sound card

The game is priced at $7.49 and is available through Steam, Stardock themselves and also a digital download.

EA Offers Game Subscription Service for PC

In recent years, digital platforms have become the go to for PC gamers. With services like Steam allowing quick easy access to an entire range of products, while also purchase security and more recently the ability to add custom content to games. What could be next for digital platforms? EA, the creators behind Origin, think they may have the answer in a new subscription service.

While available for over a year to console owners, Origin Access is now available to PC gamers. The benefits behind Origin Access include the ability to access the Vault. While this Vault won’t protect you from a nuclear fallout, it does provide you with a collection of games that will be free to play as long as you are an Origin Access subscriber. Currently only containing 15 games, EA state that their plan is for”more games are added over time”.

With a generation of crowd-funded games and indie studio releases, there has been a reduction in the number of demo’s that are available to people who just wish to try before they buy. Origin Access contains the feature “Play First Trials”, a selection of games that will be released by EA that you can play before they are even released, and if you purchase the game at a later date all your work is still there.

Giving you a 10% discount on top of any other discounts, people who frequently buy through Origin or like EA’s extensive catalogue may want to check out the Access scheme. With groups like EA and Amazon offering discount and early access schemes through subscriptions, could you soon see the same option come to Steam?

Excessive Computer Use Causes Burst Blood Vessels in Mans Eyes

We as humans are increasingly living in a dependent digital age whereby we are immersed in gadgets. Laptops, tablets and even that latest 60-inch television you thought would fit into your living room, it’s impossible to have a break. You may want to take note of this story of an unfortunate man who burst blood vessels in his eyes after working for long periods at a time while using a computer.

Wuhan Evening News are reporting that 30-year-old Lee Chong noticed that his vision had become blurry, he went to the hospital where doctors informed him that he had in fact burst blood vessels in his eyes. The unlucky gentleman had what is known and is written as -8.00-dioptres high myopia, now, after researching this it seems to be extremely severe considering high myopia is usually described on glasses and contact lenses at around -6.00D (dioptres). If you’re wondering, Myopia is often known as “being short-sighted” and it causes your vision to be blurry in the distance but clearer when looking at things up close.

The cause, in this case, seems to be a combination of staying up for long periods of time coupled with exposure from gadgets. It just goes to show your eyes would benefit from periods of rest instead of being bombarded by the glare of the screen.

Remember to take breaks folks, last thing you want is this!

GAME Digital’s Revenue Falls Sharply And Warns of ‘Challenging’ Trading Conditions

GAME Digital is a UK retailer offering a huge array of consoles, accessories, games and digital content. Back in 2012, the GAME Group went into administration following ill-advised management decisions and inability to adapt to the modern market. Since then, GAME has embraced digital credit, and even partnered with Razer to stock various high-end PC gaming peripherals. However, according to the BBC, shares in GAME Digital fell 70.75p, or 34%, to 135p due to ‘challenging’ trading conditions. GAME Digital‘s financial report doesn’t make for good reading and illustrates how difficult it is to remain competitive in an industry moving towards digital distribution. Not only that, there’s huge competition from online giants like Amazon which don’t have to pay extortionate rent figures across various town centres.

The company’s chief executive, Martyn Gibbs provided a reason for the terrible operating numbers and said:

“The trading conditions in the UK video games market have been challenging,” 

“The switch over from the older gaming formats to PlayStation 4 and Xbox One software has impacted profitability across the UK market.

“The extent of the impact of this switch over has only become apparent in December which has been compounded by lower year on year high street and shopping centre footfall. The pre-Christmas period and the winter sale are very important to our customers and with market leading offers we remain well prepared in our stores and online for the remaining peak trading period.”

Clearly, GAME was relying on the second-hand sales from the previous generation consoles while expecting more people to acquire the latest consoles. On the other hand, the uptake of the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One has been quite surprising, and it’s just that consumers are opting to purchase from cheaper options such as ShopTo, and SimplyGames. This doesn’t necessarily mean GAME’s future is in doubt, but it seems they’re going to miss their sales targets during the holiday period by a considerable margin. This is important because a huge proportion of the company’s profits come during the Christmas rush.

EU Agree On Cybersecurity Rules

Security is a word that has appeared more and more online when it comes to the digital world in recent years. With more and more attention drawn by everyone from presidential candidates like Donald Trump to toy companies like VTech, governments are now pushing for stricter security on their systems. The EU have since agreed upon a set of rules regarding how their countries should approach the problem and where their responsibilities lie.

The proposed legislation would mean that essential services, such as electricity management and traffic control systems would have to be able to withstand online attacks while major marketplaces like Amazon or eBay would be included with cloud-based services (things like your apps which use online storage app) would be required to ensure that their infrastructure is secure and will be legally responsible for reporting any incidents.

While teams will be set up to help coordinate responses there will be a set of rules to exchange information and support one another in regards to their capability of handling cyber security issues.

While this seems like a positive step, you have to consider this is a world where people have been open about wanting to reduce, or even remove encryption, potentially even creating back doors for ‘government’ use, you have to worry about how a European-wide system would handle matters proposed by each countries governments.

 

GCHQ Could Be Fined For Latest Series Of Job Adverts

GCHQ are known for their presence within the UK as the cyber spies, the first and last defence against digital threats within the UK. In recent years though they have not had the best image, with incidents like being given permission to spy on politicians, recommending users store their passwords in software and do away with remembering them and breaching human rights with their internet surveillance. Their latest issue may be something a little more low-tech, with their latest job adverts possibly resulting in them being fined.

Hackney council has stated that they will fine and ask that GCHQ clean up their advertisements as they didn’t have permission to create the advert in Shoreditch.

https://twitter.com/JamesLiamCook/status/664064611642163200/photo/1

Featuring a pun on their name, combined with a web address, the adverts were created by using a technique called reverse graffiti. This means that instead of applying paint or another material atop the surface, you use a stencil and a power washer to remove and clean off the top layer of dirt, resulting in a white depiction of your stencil.

The adverts have also been spotted in Manchester, Birmingham, Wolverhampton and Leeds.  GCHQ claim that they were led to believe that Hackney Borough Council had an issue with clean graffiti on street furniture, not pavements.

If only they had a copy of the email that people sent with this information…

BBC Three Will Move Online in February 2016

 

BBC Three broadcasts a number of hard-hitting documentaries and comedy favorites including American Dad. The channel is quite popular among the 20-30 age bracket and an integral part of the BBC. The BBC’s budget has spiraled out of control in recent years and they have been forced to make efficiency savings. As a result, the broadcaster lost the viewing rights to expensive sports contacts including the French Open Tennis and full Formula One coverage. On another note, the BBC’s Trust has finally confirmed that BBC Three will move to an online only model and no longer be broadcast on traditional TV. BBC Three’s Controller Damian Kavanagh described the announcement and said:

“BBC Three is not closing, we are reinventing online.  We will not be a scheduled 7pm to 4am linear broadcast TV channel but we will be everywhere else giving you the freedom to choose what to watch when you want. We will be available on BBC iPlayer on connected TV’s and via set top boxes and consoles like the PS4 so you can watch on a big TV with friends, if you want. We will be on mobiles and tablets so you can watch on your own in the bath, if you want. The truth is we will be available to you in more places than ever before including linear TV.”

While this has angered quite a lot of BBC Three’s audience, the decision does seem logical given the future of media and the channel’s young demographic. Most people in their early 20s are accustomed to streaming online video via YouTube, Netflix and similar services. In the modern age, people expect content instantly and don’t want to rely on traditional scheduling. The BBC’s long-term future is still up for discussion but it appears this move is going to cause some controversy.

Dells Security Affects More Than Just Your PC!

Recently Dell has received a lot of attention regarding their security, to be more precise it was due to a digital certificate. These are small pieces of code that are used to encrypt the traffic between your system and any website or online system you use, remember that little padlock in your URL bar on the browser? That means that it’s used a certificate to verify that this is a legitimate website and not a fake website.

The problems started when Dell shipped their systems with a certificate, private encryption key included, on their systems. This is like giving somebody the mold to create their own keys, or even conduct man-in-the-middle attacks, where you are able to act as a midway point for communication, and with the encryption details you could easily read the information being sent.

When Duo Security, a digital security company, continued to search they found at least 24 IP addresses which had certificates with the a different digital fingerprint but the same name, eDellRoot. Different lock, same name.

The problem with this is that some of the systems appear to be SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition), a system seen as pretty important given it is often used in energy and manufacturing industries. While these systems are normally closed off from the internet, no access = minimal risk, the systems could have been misconfigured but still have a potential risk.

Dell has posted stating that they would post instructions on how to fix the eDellRoot problem, which can be found here.

With problems like this, public knowledge and learning from the mistake are the best ways to prevent this affecting both companies and the public in the future.

NZXT Grid+ V2 Digital Fan Controller Review

Introduction


Building a PC can be a fairly simple task, most of the parts to together in a format that’s no less complex than a Lego set. Of course, picking the right components, putting them together in the best way and getting the best performance out of them, that’s where a little more effort is sometimes needed. One thing that can be quite easy is picking a bunch of great hardware, but keeping it running cool, quiet and efficiently, that’s a whole different ball game. Your chassis comes with fans, most likely that your CPU cooler does too, be that a water or air cooling solution, your GPU no doubt has fans and the list goes on. One thing you’ll be familiar with about fans, other than the fact that they blow air, is that they can often get a little noisy, especially when your system is running a little hot.

NZXT had great success with their GRID fan controller, a simple device that hooks up multiple fans and gives you control over their RPM via some desktop software. The new GRID+ V2 follows the same concept, but this time the unit is even better than before. Being able to take control of your fans is a great addition to your setup, as it allows you to turn them down to a whisper when watching movies or performing less intensive tasks. However, when you’re gaming, overclocking and more, being able to dial-up the fans to a suitable level gives you more control over the airflow, noise and hopefully the performance of your system.

Equipped with six fan headers, the Grid+ V2 should be able to drive all the fans in your system, and you could always invest in a couple of Y-splitters if you need to connect more per-channel. With up to 30W maximum output, the V2 shouldn’t have any trouble powering a whole bunch of fans.

The packaging is nicely designed, with just a simple image of the product and some branding on the front.

Around the back, we’ve got a slightly more detailed run down of the CAM software that is used to control the fans.

In the box, you’ll find a comprehensive setup guide. Honestly, it’s all pretty self-explanatory, but it certainly never hurts to have a helping hand.

In the box, you’ll also find a good selection of cables that you’ll need to set up the Grid+ V2. This includes a USB cable, Molex power cable, some handy cable ties and two 3-pin female to 4-pin/3-pin Y extension cables.

Finally, we’ve also got two dual-lock 3M velcro pads with adhesive backs.

Linux Systems Targeted by New Ransomware

Ransomware is a particularly nasty piece of malware that has become even more popular in recent years. Initially, malware was designed to just disrupt or damage a person’s computers or files. Then came ransomware, designed to benefit the creator by either disturbing or denying access to their files the ransomware then offers to decrypt any nastily encrypted files using the only available key online by a set date if you pay them. It would seem that Linux users are the latest target with Linux.Encoder.1 targeting the operating system.

Targeted at a vulnerability in the Magneto CMS system, popular amongst e-commerce sites, and then once run with administrator-level privileges, will encrypt the user’s home directories and any files that could be associated with websites and hosting websites on the system. This is particularly lethal to stores which make their living through online selling, potentially knocking the site offline and costing them hundreds in one fell swoop.

After encrypting a directory, the system leaves a readme file, stating the terms for payment and offering a link to the Tor-protected gateway to make the payment of one bitcoin (a digital currency that comes in at around £250).

Once it has received the payment the malware will then decrypt the files, deleting both the readme file and the encrypted files during the process.

We would like to remind people to be careful when running any software or opening files sent or downloaded from the internet. Ransomware use is on the rise and we wish that our readers (and everyone else) never has to deal with being one of its victims.

Fallout 4 Xbox One Pre-Load Can Contain The Wrong File

Digital games are becoming more popular on consoles as consumers feel less attached to physical media. Many users originally perceived digital as an inconvenience due to huge download sizes and overloaded servers on launch. Thankfully, the advent of pre-loading means gamers can instantly access the latest titles once unlocked. However, digital console games can be massively overpriced which deters people from ditching physical media altogether. On another note, the process can encounter technical glitches. For example, if you’ve pre-loaded Fallout 4 on the Xbox One, it’s possible the wrong ‘stub file’ might have been downloaded.

This occurs on systems with the Instant On power mode disabled. There’s no need to be overly concerned though as Bethesda released a guide to solve the weird pre-loading error:

To do so, follow the process below:

  • Navigate to My Games & Apps.

  • Find the title’s tile in Games.

  • With the tile highlighted, press the [Menu] button on your controller.

  • Select Manage Game.

  • In the Manage Game screen, select the storage device the game is currently installed to.

  • Select Uninstall.

  • Once the game has uninstalled, return to My Games & Apps.

  • Scroll right to the “Ready to Install” section under Games.

  • Highlight the title’s tile.

  • Press [A] to select.

  • Choose Install.”

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k3IlHBBGCIw

California’s Legal System Now Supports Digital Privacy

In recent years, there has been a big uproar courtesy of a certain reveal by a man named Edward Snowden, regarding digital privacy. To be more precise, it was about the lengths that groups went to in order to avoid any legal requirements when it came to accessing and using your personal information. The Electronic Communications Privacy Act looks to be the first, and hopefully the first of many, to enforce a legal right to digital privacy.

Governor Gerry Brown signed the Act taking it into full effect and I have no doubt that a wide variety of people will be happy about it. The Electronics Communications Privacy Act states that any, I repeat, any state law enforcement agency or any other investigative entity are required to have a warrant in order to obtain digital information (including information stored in the cloud, such as emails or text messages) and that they cannot ‘compel’ businesses to hand over this information without a warrant. It doesn’t end there though if they want to use your GPS to track you or even to search your phone, they will need a warrant for that too.

While not the first to outline in a legal document the requirement of a warrant for your data, or even your location, it is the first to cover things like metadata and your device searches. Many hope that this could be the first of many laws, with other states taking up their own versions of the Electronics Communications Privacy Act or pushing for these conditions to be placed on a national scale, affecting all agencies regardless of state.

Thank you Wired for the information.

Image courtesy of Falkvinge