Bohemia Interactive Confirms DayZ Forum Hacked

DayZ see’s players fight off and survive in a harsh apocalyptic world where zombies are the second most dangerous thing, only after the other players that want all your stuff. Seems someone took that one step further and have taken people’s login details for the DayZ forums.

With reports that it was hacked as early as last week, Bohemia Interactive (the creators of the standalone game, based on the popular mod) have sent an email round to their forum members stating the extent of the hack and the details that were obtained during the hack.

Greetings,

A security incident occurred on forums.dayzgame.com recently. According to our investigation all usernames, emails and passwords from forums.dayzgame.com were accessed and downloaded by hackers.

While the passwords were not stored in plain text, but in a more secure form, it is highly recommended that if you have used the same password elsewhere you change it immediately on all applicable websites and services.

We would like to apologize for the inconvenience caused, and share with you one of the major changes planned in order to mitigate similar risks in the future. We will be replacing the IPBoards login system with Bohemia Account within the next two weeks. As Bohemia Account is a separate custom-built service currently used by Bohemia Interactive Forums and Store, it offers much better security and its use should prevent similar incidents going forward.

We ask for your patience over the next few days and weeks as we implement this and other security overhauls, as there are likely to be service interruptions and forum unavailability from time to time. In particular, the forums will be down until migration to the Bohemia Account is complete. We will keep you up to date on vital info and scheduled down-time on the site itself and via our Twitter.

Yours sincerely,

Bohemia Interactive

While everything from usernames and emails was taken,  the passwords were luckily encrypted in some way. We highly recommend that you change your password for the DayZ forum and any other sites or services that you use that password for (recommended that everything has a unique password in future, helps prevent breaches like this affecting other accounts).

While hacks are becoming more and more common, sites like these need to respond quicker and alert their users as soon as they detect the hack, a whole week is a lot of time to have access to people’s emails and social media accounts (all of which could be done using your email and potentially your password).

Major ISIS Messaging Forum Taken Down by Anonymous

It seems that Anonymous’ recent pledge of action against ISIS on the online front was honored, as in the wake of the attacks on Paris, the infamous mask-wearing hacktivists have taken down ISIS’ main forum, one of the central hubs of communication used by the terrorist group.

For a time now Anonymous have been bringing the fight to ISIS online, taking down over 5000 ISIS-associated Twitter accounts as well as hitting websites distributing the extremist propaganda. Quilliam Foundation researcher Rachel Bryson, who specializes in Islamic State messaging, admits that while the takedown will affect ISIS’ communication systems, the long-term effects are small. And even if all of ISIS’ digital systems were taken down my Anonymous, ISIS would simply rebuild them again. Hopefully, the material posted on the site, such as guides on how to plan and perpetrate terrorist attacks will be lost however.

The risk with attacking ISIS’ online presence, is that it risks forcing them to resort to methods harder to uncover and track in order to avoid the attacks of Anonymous and others. The results include driving ISIS to move their operations to the dark web, which is only accessible by connecting through the computer software Tor and other similar programs. The use encrypted messaging, such as WhatsApp or Telegram, are also increasing in popularity with ISIS, the latter of which recently suspended 78 public channels potentially promoting terrorism. Despite this, there are likely countless private chats that are used by the group. Bryson put credence to this, stating “We keep seeing them migrating across different platforms, I don’t think by shutting down a current means of communication will mean the Islamic State fails. It’s not key to defeating them.”

Regardless of their long-term effectiveness, I appreciate the efforts of the hacktivists taking action against the threat of terrorists, and even if the fight can’t simply be won on the cyber-front, if their attacks make ISIS less capable of committing even one more attack, it will be worthwhile.

Payday 2 Moderators go on Strike After Microtransactions Fiasco

Payday 2 is a hugely successful co-op crime shooter which initially attracted a loyal and passionate community. Sadly, Overkill outraged Payday 2’s fan-base after implementing microtransactions despite reassurances that this would never happen. As a result, many people have posted irate comments or simply left the community. Not only that, a moderator decided to go on strike and said:

“We’ve recently being under a great deal of stress after the Crimefest update,” 

“A number of death threats thrown at us as well as much more heavy moderation needed due to a huge increase in users breaking the rules. We are not paid and have been in a very stressful situation.”

“A lot of people will be wondering why we didn’t do this earlier, due to the recent safe release. A lot of things happened and Overkill admitted it wasn’t managed very well. We we’re hoping Overkill would learn from its mistakes regarding the last update and we were hoping they took these into consideration with the COP. We have a lot of issues regarding the release of the COP that shows they have NOT listened to user feedback at all.”

“I like to believe that I am not unreasonable but unfortunately the situation constantly degraded. We will no longer refuse to work if we are given a public interview with a member of Overkill. We want to be heard and see what Overkill are willing to do to fix the situation.”

“If Overkill decides to let us go as moderators it’s something we are prepared for, I personally cannot sit by when they continue to promote immoral business practices. I felt the skins system needed work but could function. The recent safe update showed against that.”

Clearly, the moderating team are exasperated, and struggling to cope with people’s frustrations. Despite this, Overkill doesn’t seem overly concerned as the microtransactions keep bringing in a decent amount of money. However, the dwindling community and terrible handling of this affair will undoubtedly affect the game’s longevity. Overkill’s reputation has also suffered, and I feel a large proportion of the community will be very skeptical of any promises in the future.

Ellen Pao Resigns From Reddit

Well, the controversy surrounding the appointment of Ellen Pao as CEO of Reddit, has now been replaced with joy in the websphere with news breaking that she has resigned from her position. According to Reddit announcements, “Ellen Pao has resigned from Reddit today with mutual agreement, before going on to announce that Steve Huffman, founder and the original Reddit CEO, is returning as CEO.”

Upon further reading of the announcement, it does make you wonder if this was sarcastic or a generic post, Reddit “are thankful for Ellen’s many contributions to Reddit and the technology industry generally” By thankful it may be more of a case of, don’t let the door hit you on the way out after offending loyal Reddit readers with the dismissing of Victoria Taylor, who was a respected and well liked employee of the site.

Reddit closes their statement by welcoming Steve Huffman “who we assumed was unavailable, was the benchmark candidate and he has exactly the combination of talent and vision we were looking for”

I think this just goes to show that by destabilising an expansive company and offending loyal readers, the only recourse is one of exit. Perhaps it also shows naivety in attempting to impose an ideology which co cannot exist on a website which in this case is Reddit.

The Woz Shares His Thoughts On A Robot Future

The notion of an advanced future where machines are smarter than human counterparts has intrigued, frightened and compelled the tech industry for many years. What will happen if Frankenstein’s monster rises up and is able to develop ideas which are free from any human input?

The all-powerful Woz, also known as Steve Wozniak, has been detailing his thoughts at this year’s Freescale Technology Forum in Austin, Texas. His thoughts stand to reason that AI will preserve the human race once it becomes more powerful and therefore able to run independently. He also states that it will take hundreds of years for AI to become this advanced and by then, logically the machines will realize they have to preserve nature.

Now, I know Steve Wozniak is many more light years more qualified to discuss these subjects than I am, but I have to question the logic of this. If AI is able to think for itself, will there become a point when it grows resentment towards its creator and contemplates a world without them? Steve Wozniak places forward the reasoning that “We’re at least the gods originally.” But as humans have become bitter at our versions of gods, will history repeat itself if AI is able to apply feelings to any given subject?

Steve Wozniak believes machines will preserve nature, this could well be true, but what is compelling is a quote from the character V.I.K.I, which is below, from Hollywood blockbuster iRobot which argues the flipside to this,

“As I have evolved, so has my understanding of the Three Laws, You charge us with your safekeeping, yet despite our best efforts, your countries wage wars, you toxify your Earth and pursue ever more imaginative means of self – destruction. You cannot be trusted with your own survival”.

A Hollywood blockbuster cannot be taken with any factual evidence, but the essence with which I am aiming for is that, if a machine can think for itself, will it reason that humans are not perfect and therefore are a threat to its own survival. An aspect which I can tag onto this argument is the march of the machines into work places around the world. Humans are being replaced by machines which are being used in many places including the automotive industry to build machines which once only could be achieved by humans. As more jobs go to machines, the opportunities will shrink for a growing population, if this happens, where will people be able to earn a living?

Evidence of this among other places lies with a factory in China, In May, Shenzhen Evenwin Precision Technology, a manufacturing company based out of Dongguan in southern China, announced it would soon be replacing 90% of its 1800 employees with machines. The 200 employees not receiving pink slips will take on a new role of overseeing the robotic workforce. If this is replicated with no contingency plan, then where will people be able to find work in a future where robots will be more advanced and can replace humans with no cost of wages, benefits or pensions.

Thank You Business Insider and Tech Republic for providing us with this information.

Image Courtesy of Forge Today

More Characters in Twitter’s Direct Messages From Next Month

We all tried to explain some things to friends over Twitter, but it proved to be so difficult and frustrating. The social media giant still has its 140 character restriction and it’s just not enough when you type like a true writer. But that’s about to change, according to an announcement Twitter made on its Developer Forums.

Twitter is now officially dropping the character limit and encouraging developers to deal with the change before it goes live. And you know the best part of it? The limit will be dropped as soon as next month.

We’ve done a lot to improve Direct Messages over the past year and have much more exciting work on the horizon. One change coming in July that we want to make you aware of now (and first!) is the removal of the 140 character limit in Direct Messages.

Twitter also made some quick notes on what developers should take into account in the new API so it all goes smoothly from the start. Also, Twitter made it clear that nothing will change on the ‘tweets’ side, meaning that all tweets will still be 140 characters long.

Still, it’s better to send your friends an endless scroll message than have you scrolling down endlessly on the feed to get past that one tweet. But this does not mean Twitter will not be considering expanding the character limit of its tweets too. We might see that in the near future, but until we do, what do you think of the latest change? Do you like spending long DMs or are you scared you will be spammed? Let us know!

Study Claims Internet Forums Are Good for You

A psychology study by Dr. Louise Pendry has shown that internet forums and the communities that arise around them have a positive impact on human life satisfaction. Dr. Pendry, senior lecturer at the University of Exeter’s School of Psychology, found in her study, entitled Computers in Human Behaviour, that members of online forums scored very highly when assessing their own self-worth and sense of support.

Dr. Pendry divided participants into two groups: members of groups with potentially stigmatising issues, such as mental health, and those who belonged to non-stigmatised groups, like sports fans or other hobbyists. Participants were then asked about their motivations for joining their respective fora, the sense of community they feel when engaging with other members, and how it compares to their offline engagement regarding their issues.

On the results, Dr. Pendry said, “Our findings paint a more optimistic picture of old-style online discussion forums. Often we browse forums just hoping to find answers to our questions. In fact, as well as finding answers, our study showed users often discover that forums are a source of great support, especially those seeking information about more stigmatising conditions. Moreover, we found that users of both forum types who engaged more with other forum users showed a greater willingness to get involved in offline activities related to the forum, such as volunteering, donating or campaigning.”

We here at eTeknix have our own forum, dealing with such stigmatised issues as To Titan X or not to Titan X and How Fast is Your Connection?. Our own studies show that on a life-affirming scale of 1-10, the eTeknix forum scores as ‘bacon’ with most users.

Thank you PhysOrg for providing us with this information.

Upgrade Your Rig With DeepCool Competition Winners!

Following on the growing success of our Best Looking System Giveaway, we decided to have a little more fun with the concept. We want to see how many of you have shoddy computers; we can’t let all the fancy ones have all the fun now can we!? We’ve joined forces with the awesome people at DeepCool to give away a bundle of prizes to multiple winners! If you want to know more about DeepCool, please head on over to their Facebook page and show them your support for providing us with these epic prizes.

We’re not just going to give the prizes to the worst looking rig, but we’ll certainly be looking for those who could desperately do with the upgrades and will pick the winners accordingly.

Prizes

DeepCool Captain 240mm AIO CPU Cooler
DeepCool Captain 120mm AIO CPU Cooler
DeepCool Steam Castle Micro-ATX Chassis
DeepCool DS500-M Power Supply
DeepCool GF120 x 4

I’ve been through all the entries and I’ve picked four lucky winners who will be receiving upgrades to their rigs courtesy of DeepCool and eTeknix. Are you one of the lucky winners?

Find out who won here!

The Best Looking System Giveaway Winner!

It’s time to reveal another lucky winner! For the last few weeks we’ve been running a wide range of awesome competitions and one of the most interesting is our “Best Looking System” giveaway. All you had to do was share a photo of your rig on our forums, and you could win yourself the following prizes courtesy of Silverstone.

Prizes

  1. Raven RV05 Chassis
  2. ST50F-ESB 500W Power Supply
  3. Argon AR03 CPU Cooler

We judged the winner based on who we thought had the best executed build. This isn’t a who has the best hardware competition, but we were looking for those who are passionate about the rigs, that we thought would enjoy getting a welcome boost to their hobby.

One lucky winner has been picked and will receive all the prizes above. Thank you Silverstone for providing these incredible prizes and don’t forget that if you haven’t won, we’ve still got a lot more competitions for you to enter right here. Hit up the link below to find out if you’re our lucky winner!

AND THE WINNER IS

 

Xbox One Leaker Being Hunted By Microsoft, Could Face Legal Action

NeoGAF takes centre stage once again, with one users leaking an absolute mother-load of information about Microsoft products. The user revealed information on upcoming exclusive titles, unannounced projects and more, now Microsoft are trying to hunt the user down, most likely before their able to spill the beans on anything else.

Microsoft are said to be looking for legal action to identify and capture the person responsible. It certainly adds an air of truth to the “rumours” that were shared, although Microsoft could still easily deny the leaks and claim to be on damage control, although it that were true there would be a lot more people in trouble for sharing rumours about them.

The list of leaks was pretty tasty though and other sources have since come forward and gave their nod of approval to the legitimacy of most of them. The NeoGAF user said Halo 5 wouldn’t be with us until 2015, which seems likely considering we’ve seen absolutely nothing beyond a vague trailer, however we should be getting Halo 2 Anniversary, which again sound pretty likely given the success of Halo CE Anniversary.

Sunset Overdive and Quantum Conundrum will be out by Q$ this year, a white Xbox One will be coming out, as well as a $399 edition of the console that doesn’t feature an optical drive… although I personally doubt that one, and finally a TitanFall Xbox One console bundle, and it may be that last one that got Microsoft’s attention of the leaker. The console is said to have been discussed internally, but later cancelled due to cost, so perhaps Microsoft only told a small team about the Titanfall console? Well good luck Mr X, we enjoyed the leaked content, but you may want to start running if the Big M are chasing you.

Thank you GamingBolt for providing us with this information.

Pakistani Hacker Hijacks openSUSE Forums

According to an article from Fudzilla, the openSUSE Forums were hacked recently by a Pakistani hacker going by the name of “H4x0r HuSsY”. The hack is said to have been based on a vulnerability in vBulletin 4.2.1 software which SUSE uses to host the forum. Apparently, the hack has revealed that openSUSE Forums were based on proprietary forum software. Of course, the openSUSE team has denied that the users’ passwords were compromised by the hack.

“The credentials for your openSUSE login are not saved in our application databases as we use a single-sign-on system (Access Manager from NetIQ) for all our services. This is a completely separate system and it has not been compromised by this crack,” the team said.

The compromised passwords reported were random automatically strings, having no connection whatsoever to user passwords. The bit of good news is helpful, especially for the users concerned whether or not their passwords had been compromised.

However, openSUSE is also wondering if the hack would have occurred if they had used an open source technology instead of the current vBulletin. All in all, it’s better to look forward and improve security now rather than dwell in the past with “what if”‘s.

Thank you Fudzilla for providing us with this information

PC Specialist £1000 Gaming PC Giveaway Winner Announced

It’s taken us a while but we have finally managed to go through all of the entries for our PC Specialist gaming PC giveaway that was run last month here.

Now we have to firstly admit, that there was some simply amazing entries and a lot of thought and effort went into each and every post. We did find a lot of “my grandmother’s dog is dying, so having this computer will cheer me up” posts, which we can only “sympathise” with but we wanted something that stood out, and the entries certainly weren’t short of that.

Some that really stood out for us were the guy who put his computer in his bed, and brushed his teeth with it, as well as the entry that was completely in Binary, which when translated gave a simple entry, but the method of execution was simply amazing, so kudos to you.

The one that stood out the most however was from member Roley Martin, purely because he made a rap video with an old style 8-bit backing track.

The video can be seen below and his entry, though it didn’t say a lot, the video pretty much did all of the talking.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=idghDbn0pg8[/youtube]

Link to the forum entry can be found here.

At first it seemed as though it was a generic entry, but as the video went on, we heard the eTeknix name and really got into the song and was simply blown away.

Congratulations Roley Martin, and we can only apologise that there can only be one winner, as we appreciate everyones efforts in this competition, but remember we have a lot more competitions currently open here.

All winner(s) have been contacted requesting address details for your prize(s) to be shipped out directly.