Oracle Asks For $9.3 Billion in Copyright Trial Against Google

Google is known for many things, from the search engine that started it all to the chrome web browser that so many uses these days. One of the things Google is known for is the Android mobile operating system, something that could Oracle want a piece of in a copyright trial against Google.

The copyright claim refers to several infringements that Google made as part of 37 java API’s that were used in the creation of the Android operating system. In total, the damages Oracle are seeking come to $9.3 billion, an absolutely staggering figure that seems to dwarf even what Google made in the last quarter ($4.9 billion).

Previously the largest copyright verdict stood at $1.3 billion in a case that Oracle won against SAP in 2010. The value of $9.3 billion was figured out by using “a weighted average analysis of what Google pays to others for the contribution of their non-Android mobile platforms in connection with generating search advertising revenue”.

When it comes to code and copyright the law is a little indecisive. Some say that code can be copyrighted and protected under law, some say it can’t be. This case should set an interesting precedent, with it being the largest intellectual property verdict in history.

SpotCam Announces HD Eva Wi-Fi Camera with Free Cloud Recording

Monitoring your home while you are away can be both tricky to setup and manage as well as get quite expensive depending on your needs, but there are simple solutions too. One of those simple solutions is the newly introduced SpotCam HD Eva which is a complete and user-friendly IP webcam solution with free online recording.

The HD Eva can both pan and tilt its wide-angle lens in order to monitor your pets and loved ones anywhere in the room. You can eliminate dead zones with his and get high-quality camera footage with full 3660-degree horizontal movement and 70-degree vertical movement – and this can be controlled from anywhere and any device that has a web-browser.

Most cameras like this offer you a live view for free, but recording will either cost you monthly plans or they are limited to motion-detected clips. The HD Eva offers free unlimited 24-hour cloud continuous video recording out of the box. SpotCam users can rewind and review a full 24-hour’s footage at any time without paying a subscription. That said, you can pay monthly or yearly plans in order to get access to 3-day, 7-day, or 30-day recording options too. All files are stored in Amazon’s cloud, which should keep them pretty safe and it is considered one of the world’s most secure cloud service.

The camera offers 720p HD recordings with sound and H.264 compression to save both bandwidth and storage. It features 18 IR LEDs that make it able to record when it’s practically dark too. Built-in motion and audio detection can also be configured to send out notifications to you.

With a built-in microphone and speaker, two-way communication is possible too. Say hi to your pets or yell at them when they go where they shouldn’t – it’s a small job for the HD Eva. Price-wise it isn’t the cheapest, but considering the features and included 24-recording service, £169.99 is a fair offering.

Skype Hides Your IP in Effort to Protect You

We’ve all heard or seen about Swatting, but for those who haven’t let me explain its principle. Normally it happens when you find someone online, usually in the process of streaming a video or even them record themselves playing a game. As they are online you use software to track down their IP, this information tells them where you are in the world. Using another piece of software, you ring the police and state that you are in danger at that address, wait a few minutes and you see police appear all over your screen and begin to laugh at your accomplishment.

Swatting is not a joke though and while it is also a waste of police time, it is also extremely dangerous. In an effort to help protect against online trolls (people who cause grief to others online), online services are acting to do just that, such as the latest update which allows Skype to hide your IP.

In the latest update to the global service, IP addresses will be hidden by default. This means that once you’ve updated, you can be sure that you protected that little bit more from those who would seek to cause you pain or have a laugh at the expense of your happiness.

I think this is a great update, protecting users from all kinds of problems. Online services have a duty to protect their users and Skype is doing just that with this update.

Internet To Leave US Control

While it is designed to be independent, avoiding control from any country of government the internet is a little bit different from that dream. Sadly, like with any large system, someone has to be there to help maintain and support the complexity of the system, something connecting the entire world is no different in this respect. Now, the Internet could soon be leaving US control.

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is a non-profit company that manages internet protocols and domain names. With the ability to register custom domain names and with new protocols like IPV6, the internet is expanding with new services and systems taking up everything from bits to petabytes.

The transition from US control, if it goes ahead as planned, will change hands on September 30th. While there will be no change in the fundamental workings of the internet, the control that the US had will be gone leaving for a more global service, something that countries like Russia and China have been requesting goes to a global body like the UN.

Many who use the internet believe in a principle known as Net Neutrality. This principle is that all traffic on the internet, no matter the destination, content or type should be treated the same. This means that if you and your neighbour were both watching content, one football one League of Legends, neither of your connections would be chosen above the other. This leads to everyone and everything on the internet being treated, above all else, equally. Many countries don’t employ this, with giant firewalls and companies looking to find new ways to prioritise connections.

While sharing control all over the world is a good thing, making sure that people don’t use the new control to enforce restrictions, censorship or global monitoring is also important. The freedom of one cannot come at the cost of another.

SEGA Teasing Classic IP Revival

SEGA, it’s no secret that they’re working on a new game, being one of the world’s long-standing studios, they’re hardly going to be doing anything else right now! However, what their upcoming game is remains to be seen, but they’re already teasing that it may be something pretty special.

SEGA has a huge catalogue of games behind them, spanning many gaming generations right back to the Sega Master System console that went head to head with the original NES. So the prospect of them bringing back an old IP in their new game is certainly an interesting one, but it doesn’t give us much of a clue as to what it could be. We’ve already had a few HD remakes over the year, as well as a fair few Sonic games, and a bunch of spin-offs here, there and everywhere. However, with this year being Sonic’s 25th year on this Earth, he does seem a likely candidate once again.

Sega posted on Twitter and Facebook “If you’re a fan of the classics, you’ll definitely want to tune in tomorrow for our new game announcement.” although their posts have now been removed, but not before getting enough people’s attention.

Rumours are suggesting an announcement today from Sega regarding the new game, so we shouldn’t have long to wait, but what game are you hoping to see Sega produce again? Would you like to see that game done with an HD makeover, a simple re-release, complete remake or even just a sequel? Personally, I’d like to see them bring back something like Streets of Rage, as we haven’t had a lot of games like that in recent years, at least not outside of the Indie gaming scene.

Come on SEGA, make this a good one and not another kart game, please!

FBI Tracked People Across The Dark Web

The FBI are known to by active in the digital world, having recently admitting to the use of Stingrays to monitor mobile communications and to use zero-day exploits to gain access to systems. It would now seem that there is nowhere that is safe for those who break the law as the extent of the FBI’s digital prowess is revealed by Joseph Cox of Motherboard.vice.

The FBI are reported to have hacked over a thousand computers as part of their action to help track down and identify individuals who were viewing or responsible for indecent child images on the Dark Web, a variation of the internet that is designed to be accessed through in secret using encrypted and rerouted traffic.

A bulletin board was created on the dark web in August 2014 allowing users to sign up and upload a variety of images, the site was later confirmed to be known as “Playpen”. After gaining nearly 60,000 in the first month, within a year of this, the site had exploded to include almost 215,000 posting over 117,000 posts. There was just one problem for people that wanted to use this site at this point, a month before this explosion of users, the server was obtained by law enforcement in North Carolina. This didn’t stop the service, the site was continued from a server in Virginia, one of the FBI’s servers none the less.

While the site was being run on the FBI’s servers, they used the opportunity to deploy a network investigative technique (NIT) also known as a hacking tool to the public. This tool was said to have been used in the identification of approximately 1300 IP addresses.

This is not the first time that actions of this kind have been used by law enforcement or even the FBI in particular, but it is the first time that such a large-scale has been made public. With all these actions covered under a single warrant, with no specific targets, some are even stating that this way of tracking, hacking and identifying is illegal no matter the warrant it uses.

Find below a section of the affidavit that was used in support of the search warrant application, showing just how much information going on a website could have revealed.

The basic idea behind their warrant was that if you visited the site and started to log in or even sign up it authorised the deployment of the NIT. The question is then raised that did the Judge who authorised the action knew what they were authorising, or if they were even informed about the scope and the methods that were going to be used as part of the action.

More and more the use of technology and government use of it within the real world is being questioned as practises and methods used for years are brought to light and identified as legally questionable.

ASUSTOR Releases ADM 2.5.2 Beta

ASUSTOR is starting the new year with a new beta version of their upcoming ADM 2.5.2 firmware and it comes with new features as well as some bug and security fixes. There are three new main features in ADM 2.5.2 beta that could make your network life a little easier. There is a new DHCP server feature, an improved print server feature that now supports USB IP printing, and the Share link explorer that helps to make sharing more intuitive and flexible.

The first new addition is the DHCP server that can take over the job normally performed by your router. It might be convenient for a lot of people that they only have to use one control panel and user interface to configure their network rather than two. Let the router handle the basic connection while your NAS, that is running anyway, is doing the rest. ASUSTOR’s DHCP server can assign multiple IP subnets from one LAN interface, and also supports DHCP reservations for specified network devices

The Print server function got an upgrade and now also supports USB IP Printer mode to virtually connect the printer with your PC and generally increase the range of printers that the NAS is compatible too without worries. USB IP printer mode is used together with Windows ASUSTOR Control Center, which again limits it to the Windows ecosystem. Then again, most consumer use Windows.

The new Share link explorer makes it easier for the people you share files with. When your friend or colleague receives a share link, he or she can see the shared files and folders in a list and with just one click they can select only the needed files to download. This makes file sharing more intuitive and flexible.

There are also some additional upgrades behind the lines such as the PHP backend being updated from version 5.3 to 5.6 and Apache2’s HTTPd got upgraded from 2.2.29 to 2.2.31 to address the CVVE-2015-3183 security vulnerability. The App Central got a new installation wizard. The built-in database switched from MySQL to MariaDB 10 which should free up some general resources.

You can download the new beta firmware directly on ASUSTOR’s beta program website.

Is There a Connection Between ISIS and UK Government IP addresses?

Information has been both circulating and updating over the last 48 hours concerning a possible link “that a number of Islamic State supporters’ social media accounts are being run from internet addresses linked to IP addresses from the Department of Work and Pensions” This possible connection has been traced and subsequently exposed by well-known hacking group VandaSec.

Reports have also stated that, as is the norm in the digital age, been unearthed by four teenage computer hackers who claim to have traced “IP addresses from their supposed Saudi Arabia location back to the United Kingdom’s Department of Work and Pensions after using a set of specialized tools to track the IP addresses”. These accounts are at first glance noteworthy due to being utilised to recruit new ISIS members online.

It’s a conspiracy! Probably not, after further analyses by an external source, it has so far been concluded that these IP addresses were part of an unpublicized set of transactions between Britain and Saudi Arabia. It has been discovered that the British government sold a large number of IP addresses to two Saudi Arabian firms (Saudi Telecom and the Saudi-based Mobile Telecommunications Company). After the sale had been finalised around October of this year (2015) extremists piggybacked onto these and utilized the protocol to spread the standard message synonymous with the group.

Jamie Turner, an expert from a firm by the name of PCA Predict, confirmed the trace back to the UK government was more obvious than first thought owning to the fact that records for the IPs had not as yet been fully updated.

At the very least it’s certainly embarrassing for Whitehall, yes, as the government has stated it had no control over what happened to the IP addresses after they had sold them, but, perhaps further vetting of potential clients needs to take place in order to mitigate against unlawful use at the extreme end. I wonder where other sold IP addresses will end up in the future?

Image courtesy of wired

BBC iPlayer is Now Blocking UK VPN Services

The BBC has decided to restrict access to its iPlayer service if you’re using a VPN in the UK for legitimate privacy concerns. Despite the BBC’s bizarre reasoning, there are many legitimate circumstances where a VPN is essential especially in the modern age of data collection. A BBC spokesperson told TorrentFreak:

“We regularly make updates to our technology to help prevent access to BBC iPlayer from outside the UK which breaks our terms of use,” 

“BBC iPlayer is freely available to users across the UK without a VPN, and we also seek to ensure users of private VPNs such as those used by schools and companies in the UK have access.”

The broadcaster is now sending out e-mails in regards to disgruntled customers which reads:

“You have reported that your IP address is incorrectly being recognised as outside of the UK when using BBC iPlayer. However we cannot support users using VPN networks as we cannot be confident of the location of the end user. This is because our database will give us the location of the associated VPN or proxy server, rather than of the actual end user. For this reason our Geo IP database will block access to UK-restricted content.”

In the UK, residents are required by law to purchase a license fee to access traditional television broadcasts and the iPlayer streaming service. Many argue this is an outdated notion and the BBC is under extreme pressure to try to offer the taxpayer value-for-money. Putting the politics aside, the BBC is consistently displaying messages on the iPlayer service informing users that they need a TV license to continue viewing. This kind of messaging is similar to purchasing a DVD which contains copyright disclaimers before you can watch the film.

As a result, the BBC has to be very careful not to frustrate the viewing audience and create a poor user experience. Companies need to realize that the internet has no borders, and blocking can often lead to people engaging in piracy.

Lawyer Blames Ars Readers For Hack Attempts

The web is a large place, with lots of people saying a lot of things on it. Not all of these things are nice, just a few bad people can quickly make the internet seem like a horrible place. While action can be taken, it is often difficult as people saying nasty things online often hide behind fake accounts and proxies to mask where they are actually connecting from, if its even in the same country as the agency trying to find them. In this case though a lawyer is taking action against several people after claiming that an online article was “defamatory”.

At the start of this story is a lawsuit by one man against three others, over the fact that the names of their trademarks may be too close. This is not an uncommon story, what with Bethesda taking action against Mojang over the fact that their new game ‘Scrolls’ could be confused with the Elder Scrolls Series. In this case, these names are “CaseRails”, “CaseWebs” and “CaseSpace”, with “CaseRails” being the only one not owned by Sanford Asman, the man taking action over the possible confusion. In an action to express his point of view regarding the matter; Asman decided to speak to Ars Technica about the problem, he does however disagree with how the article was written (the article can be viewed here).

Apparently the defendants, in his now amended complaint, state that CaseRails CEO Erik Dykema and several others may have encouraged the website to write “derogatory comments”. Examples given are the writing of “Ass Man” in the comments section and the creation of a website that uses Sanford’s name to direct users to an external website with no official affiliation, endorsement or permission from Sanford Asman. After the article was published, Sanford says his websites came under attack and was harassed as a result of the deformation that had occurred.

With both parties involved being intellectual property lawyers the case may be set to drag out, with the initial argument about naming possibly becoming overshadowed by the amended status talking about the negative comments posted online.

Thank you Ars Technica for the information.

Image Courtesy of Ars Technica.

In Profit and Mobile Gaming, Could Nintendo Be Back?

Nintendo recently announced their first year in profit in four years, celebrating the continued success of the Wii U and the 3DS. But does the future look as bright as the present for Nintendo?

Launched alongside one of their trademark games for the Wii U, Super Smash Bros Melee, Nintendo got into the collectible miniature market. The Amiibo’s can be used in certain games, and will continue to be supported in future games, and with a reported sales of approximately 10.5 million figures sold, its clear to see why Nintendo has reacted well to the sales of their Amiibo’s. They did admit that people have been inconvenienced by the shortages on certain models, so much so that Nintendo have vowed to increase production of the models that have sold out or are “indispensable to play a certain game”. With approximately 66% of Amiibo sales sold in the US and Canada, with a further 20% in Europe and 11% sold in Japan there are clear regions where the Amiibo’s have been received better.

Future plans for the Amiibo’s include the release of a 3DS NFC Reader/Writer, allowing users of the original 3DS to use Amiibos, without having to buy the new model. A new selection of Amiibo’s will be released, including Yarn based Yoshi’s and card-type Amiibo’s, expanding on the figurine based collection that is currently available.

Nintedo celebrated, for the third year in a row, the increased digital sales, increasing by about 30% reaching a total of 31.3 billion yen (Approximately £1.69 billion).

One of the biggest announcements was the development of games on smart devices using Nintendo IP. What this actually means long-term is you can expect to see Nintendo characters and games making their way onto smartphones and tablets, with a focus on combining all of their services together to create a unified background for all the different systems.

Alongside their new mobile games and Amiibo’s Universal Park and Resorts will be using Nintendo IP to create a selection of new rides and theme part attractions.

Out of all of this I take one thing away, Pokemon may be coming to smartphones and tablets! We can dream, right? I mean, the Smart boy, was originally announced as an April Fools joke, Hyperkin have announced that they will be creating a device that will turn the iPhone 6 Plus (and maybe other smart phones) into a Gameboy colour, letting those who are old enough to remember the device to own one and enjoy classics such as Pokemon Red and Blue with an original feeling controller.

Information courtesy of Nintendo.

TRENDnet Launches Three New Outdoor IP Cameras

TRENDnet has launched not one but three new IP cameras for all your surveillance needs. The first is the compact outdoor 1.3 megapixel WiFi camera, model TV-IP322WI. The compact camera can record up to 1.3 Megapixel video (1280 x 960) at 30 fps in H.264 compression rated for extreme weather conditions from -30 to +65 degrees. It can record directly to a MicroSD card and also features integrated 2.4GHz Wireless-N networking. The night vision ability can see up to 30 meters, it supports motion detection for recording and email alerts, IPv6 and ONVIF, and Power over Ethernet (IEEE 802.3af/802.3at).

The TRENDnet TV-IP322WI comes with a 3-year limited warranty and will be available in September for an MSRP of $169.99

The second new IP camera from TRENDnet is the Outdoor 2 MP Full HD 1080p PoE+ IR Mini Speed Dome Network Camera, model TV-IP430PI. This one can record with full HD resolution at 30 fps in the space saving H.264 compression format. The dome format allows for endless 360° PTZ and it has both autofocus and a 64x zoom (4x optical, 16x digital). It can view up to 30 meters at night and can operate between -30 and +65degrees.

You can record directly to Micro-SD card, but that’s sold separately. The TV-IP430PI is expected to be available from June at an MSRP of $694.99.

The third and last new IP cam from TRENDnet is the Outdoor 3 MP Full HD 1080p PoE IR Network Camera, model TV-IP312PI. This outdoor rated bullet camera features a 3 Megapixel resolution, advanced night vision image quality, and a night vision rating of up to 50 meters (164 feet).

With a 3 MP sensor and a 2048 x 1536 resolution, this is the best of the three on that ration, but it only records 20fps at this resolution. For the full 30fps recordings, you’ll need to drop the resolution down to Full HD.

The advanced infrared technology creates a more balanced night vision illumination field and reduces overexposure of close objects in the center of the viewing field, a common problem with standard night vision cameras. It also has an impressive range of 50 meters. This camera is equally built to withstand harsh environments and comes with the IP66 weather rating for an operating temperature between -30 and +65 degrees. It comes with an adjustable sun visor and save installation costs by getting its power via the Power over Ethernet (802.3af PoE).

The TV-IP312PI will be available this June 2015 for an MSRP of $254.99.

Nvidia Sues Samsung over Additional Four Patent Infringements

You’ve probably heard by now that Nvidia and Samsung don’t see eye to eye when it comes to patents. This little dispute has escalated to Nvidia suing Samsung and then Samsung countersuing Nvidia in the process, leading to a whirlwind of alleged patent infringements. Now, Nvidia apparently revealed some details about the ongoing dispute on its blog.

For those who are not aware with the case, Nvidia sued Samsung back in September last year for infringing their IP by using one of the company’s GPU patents without sharing some of its profits. Samsung then went on to sue Nvidia and one of their smaller customers, Velocity Micro, for allegedly infringing six out of eight patents the South Korean manufacturer owns (Velocity reportedly infringed all of them).

Nvidias’ case is scheduled to have a hearing in late June and they are now assured by some good news in their pretrial decision, having the judge siding with the GPU maker. With this, Nvidia aims to block some Galaxy phones and tablets from landing on the US market. In addition to the latter, Nvidia comes with two more updates on the case.

It seems that Nvidia went on to counter sue Samsung with an additional four patent infringements aside from the seven cited in its first case the company filed. Also, the court gave a January 11th 2016 date for the trial to begin, where it will focus on the six patents filed against Nvidia, the additional two filed against Velocity, as well as the new four patents filed against Samsung.

This all seems a bit confusing (and childish to some extent), but it seems that yet again the two companies are playing ping-pong over IP infringements. Will it ever end? Also, the two companies struck a deal in which Samsung agreed to make chips for Nvidia not too long ago. However, looking at the two companies from a consumer perspective, you might agree that their behaviour seems a bit like the video below.

Nubem Start to Offer a Free Dynamic DNS Service

Nubem, an emerging service providers in cloud computing technologies, has announced that it will start offering a Free Dynamic DNS service to all customers.

For those who do not know, Dynamic DNS, or DDNS, is the process of keeping up-to-date DNS record used by a computer with a dynamically assigned IP address. The DDNS service automatically updates with record of IP addresses, without the need for anyone to manually input it in its memory.

Also, DDNS allows a fully qualified domain name to be associated with a dynamically assigned IP address. This is why Nubem is founded on open standards, being widely compatible and supporting almost any devices.

In order to get the service, users can navigate to Numbem’s page, click on the ‘Get Your Free Dynamic DNS’ button and follow the instructions given on-screen.

Source: Nubem

Can We Expect a New IP from Rockstar This Year?

With the ongoing success of their latest Grand Theft Auto title, shipping more than 45 million units only on consoles with the PC version soon to follow, it’s only obvious that Rockstar would follow with a new title this year. Many are expecting a new Grand Theft Auto or Red Dead Redemption sequel to be the company’s next title, but Wedbush Securities’ Michael Pachter disagrees.

“I don’t think the sequel to Red Dead Redemption is the next Rockstar game. Remember when I said there was some new IP that they’ve been working on since at least ‘09? I think that comes before Red Dead Revolution. I think a sequel to Midnight Club comes before Red Dead Revolution, and it wouldn’t shock me if a sequel to Manhunt came before Bully or Red Dead.”

“I think Rockstar has a really amazing number of great games and great IPs, and I don’t think that Rockstar are motivated by money. I think Rockstar are motivated by high quality game experiences. And I don’t think that they’re willing to abandon those other brands in order to generate higher sales for their parent company. I think that they want to keep all those brands alive. So I think before Red Dead Revolution you will get Midnight Club sequel and a new IP.”

The prediction given by Pachter points to a new IP being revealed by Rockstar close to E3. However, since Rockstar is not keen on showing their work at the E3 event, Pachter says that the company might host their own event somewhere in May.

Thank you GamingBolt for providing us with this information

Government Computer Linked to Hundreds of Anonymous Wikipedia Edits

Either someone employed at a Government facility has way to much time on his hand or some automatic process is running. One that is editing hundreds of Wikipedia entries each month, sometimes up to 90 a day and always during work hours. The edits themselves are harmless and mostly made to the fact boxes – a sidebar containing at-a-glance information on the open subject.

The fact boxes have been added to pages ranging from the Aviation Security Act 1982 to the British Homeopathic Association and on December 29th, the connection was used to make 95 edits in a single day. The unusual activity was discovered by the Twitter account WhitehallEdits that is set up by Channel 4 News to automatically tweet whenever a government owned IP address makes changes to Wikipedia.

The system has been very useful in the past and discovered the vandalism of the Hillsborough disaster Wikipedia page back in April. Now however, it has become more or less useless as the system is flooded with all these new edits every day.

A spokesperson for the Cabinet Office said it was impossible to tell which computer was making the edits, or even if they were being made by a single person as public facing IP addresses can be shared by numerous computers. They also told Mirror Online that they were unable to publish information which would confirm whether this IP address had been assigned to a particular Government department, or if it was in use by a local government agency.

But the edits are following a pattern and are edited in an alphabetical order. This suggest the work of a single entity rather than a group of users as suggested.

“Civil servants are required to use their time online responsibly and follow the Civil Service Code when working online,” said the Cabinet Office spokesperson

Thanks to Mirror Online for providing us with this information


TRENDnet Announced WiFi HD Baby Cam

There is no doubt that the most valuable thing we have in this world is our children, they are our future as we know. And to keep an extra and easy eye on them, TRENDnet has created the WiFi HD Baby Cam that allows you not only wireless and internet based monitoring, but also to send sound or voice back trough the built-in speaker.

The WiFi HD Baby Cam can be universally placed on either a wall or tabletop. It can record up to 2.5 days continues video onto an added 32GB memory card while it also allows you to save your recorded video onto a connected NAS device for nearly unlimited recording time. The 720p camera comes with night vision to provide you with the video feed of your loved ones no matter how much light there might be.

It further has built-in motion detector to trigger recording, 5 pre-recorded classical music tracks to sooth your toddler, and a built-in thermometer to monitor the room temperature.

“The 720p HD TV-IP745SIC is easy to install and packed full of features,” stated Zak Wood, TRENDnet director of global marketing. “Users will also be excited about the ability to save video to a MircoSD card or NAS device without having to pay a monthly recording fee.”

The TRENDnet TV-IP745SIC WiFi Baby Cam comes backed by a 3-year warranty and should be available now for an MSRP of $139.99.

Thanks to TRENDnet for providing us with this information

Image and video courtesy of TRENDnet

Could This be the End for The Pirate Bay?

Police in Sweden have reportedly taken down popular torrent site The Pirate Bay. The site has also been down today, notable as it is seemingly the first time in months users haven’t been able to access it.

TorrentFreak is reporting that Swedish police conducted a raid in Stockholm, “seizing servers, computers, and other equipment”. While there is currently no official confirmation linking this to The Pirate Bay, the fact that the site is down, along with the fact it originates from Sweden, suggests that this may well be to do with it.

The police did however confirm the raid itself and said that it was to do with intellectual property, another indication of its involvement with The Pirate Bay.

“There has been a crackdown on a server room in Greater Stockholm. This is in connection with violations of copyright law,” 

A number of users have taken to the site, with some potentially revealing further details on the situation.

‘torr it up all u want, sweden police have shut down the main server. no more PB, methinks.”

Source: TorrentFreak

292 Domain Names Seized Over Counterfeit Goods

Europol and US authorities have seized 292 domains linked to selling counterfeit goods. Those domains no longer link to the sites in question and now display a page educating visitors about counterfeit goods. The operation, for which no arrests have yet been made, was done in an attempt to avoid consumers inadvertently purchasing fake and sometimes dangerous rip offs of famous brands in the run up to Christmas. The sites behind the domains are still up and running, but it’s believed the seizure of the domains will serious hamper traffic to them.

“The infringements of intellectual property rights is a growing problem in our economies and for millions of producers and consumers.  Europol is committed to crack down on the criminal networks responsible.” – Rob Wainwright, director of Europol.

1,829 domains have been seized as part of the “In our Sites” operation which has been running since 2012.

Source: BBC News

Private Web Cam Site Shut Down, Owner Seeks Job

The creepy site we reported on that streamed thousands of private IP cameras has been shut down, with its owner after a new job.

Visiting the site in question now only displays a message saying “programmer looking for a good remote job”. The site caused a storm in the media, with the authorities deeply concerned about the type of content being streamed to the site without the consent of the camera owners.

Visitors to the site were able to see people’s bedrooms and CCTV feeds from bars and shops among many others. The fact that the site has now been closed suggests the owner may have been pressured to shut it down.

Security experts have suggested that all of the feeds on the site were and probably still are publicly accessible, due to the fact that owners of the cameras were unaware that they left remote access open, without password protection.

If you are interested in giving a programmer “a good remote job”, you now have one new candidate to consider.

Source: BBC News

Maps Shows Every Single Device Connected to the Internet

This wonderful map was created by John Matherly, the founder of Shodan, a search engine that searches for connections between devices. It took just five hours to ping every IP address on the internet and store every positive response, then another 12 hours to plot the responses on a heat map. The bright orange areas show densely connected areas while the blue and black areas show sparsely connected areas.

The results are pretty predictable, but also pretty humbling too. As someone who lives in a heavily connected part of the globe and feeling “connected” to everyone around me, it can be easy to forget that large sections of the world still struggle for connection to the rest of us.

Some people have also pointed out a few odd areas on the map, with small islands of ping results in the middle of nowhere, such as the one smack bang in the middle of Greenland, although this is now suspected to be a NOAA observatory. What colour is the area you live in? Let us know in the comments section below.

Thank you Reddit for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of Reddit.

Compro TN4230 Outdoor PoE IP Camera Review


Security cameras that run over a standard IP network are becoming more of a common place in the home and in a commercial environment, partly due to their ease of setup and the seamless integration in to an existing backbone, but also the ease of scaling the system up to the levels that we find in our supermarkets [for example] where tens, if not hundreds of cameras are connected in to a single environment. The additional benefit of utilising IP cameras though is the ability to connect into the system from a remote location and use it as though you are on the site itself. This is not where the selling points end though; power delivery to the cameras is another factor that has to be taken into account and with so many cameras in some instances being required, or the position where they required not the convenient for the purpose of mains power, the capacity to power the cameras directly from the network switch and through a single cable with the data to the camera, makes the speed of installation and the ease of expansion much quicker and easier.

Over the cameras that we’ve looked at previously, the TN4230 that we have here today is capable of being powered via PoE (Power over Ethernet) and additionally it is IP66 rated, meaning that it is suitable for installation outside, where exposure to the elements will test its resistance against whatever the weather can throw at it – just as well I’m in the UK for this part of the review seeing as our weather patterns change on a near daily basis. Alongside the option to connect the camera through an Ethernet cable, the TN4230 does allow for analogue connections to be made through a BNC interface with a mic-in and audio-out supplied through two 3.5mm ports. A digital relay output and RS-485 terminal further add to the feature set, allowing the camera to be connected to an existing security system where required and a power terminal is on hand for situations where PoE is not available.

To compliment the various connectivity options, the TN4230 boasts a 1600 x 1200 UXGA 2MP sensor, which although not 1080p, is near enough HD quality and along side infra-red low-light operation we also find 4GB of on-board storage available through a microSD card, two-way audio and even a heater to keep the camera warm during cooler periods. At this point I’ll note that whilst cooler operation is better for computer hardware, in an external environment, cooler temperatures bring moisture which is not the best companion inside an electrical device. Cloud access through Compro’s C4Home mobile app and desktop management through the included ComproView software make light work of checking up to see if everything is as it should be with the capacity to send out alerts via email when pre-defined events occur; such as motion detection. All this for around £260 may seem expensive but as we are about to find out, a hands on look around the camera may justify the price point.

Inside the box alongside the camera, we don’t get a whole lot as far as accessories go. Aside from a quick setup guide and a set of terminal headers for connecting the relay trigger, external power and RS-485 output, there’s little more than the camera to be found. Alongside the camera, Compro have sent us their BM-100 wall mounting kit as we will obviously need to get this up and fitted for testing outdoors.

Hide Your Windows, Mac And Linux Devices, ‘Cause Java-based Malware Is Coming!

We have seen similar incidents in the past, may it be ad-related such as the Yahoo! incident, or directly involving the Java platform. It has been reported that a Java-based malware bot is currently ‘roaming’ around, infecting all three major operating systems: Windows, Mac OS X and Linux.

Researchers have revealed a fragment of botnet malware that is capable of infecting the latter mentioned OSes, being a cross-platform HEUR:Backdoor.Java.Agent.a, having been reported in a blog post published by Kaspersky Lab. It reportedly takes control of computers by exploiting CVE-2013-2465, a critical Java vulnerability which Oracle patched last June.

The Java vulnerability is said to be present on Java 7 Update 21 and earlier versions. Once the malware has infected the computer, it copies itself to the autostart directory of its respective platform to ensure it runs at every startup. Compromised computers then report to an Internet relay chat channel that acts as a command and control server.

It is reportedly designed to generate Distributed-Denial-of-Service, or DDnS, which targets the attacker wants to designate as a ‘target’, having it packed with ‘features’ such as setting the IP address, port number, intensity, and duration of attacks. The malware is said to be written entirely in Java, allowing it to run on Windows OS X and Linux machines. To make matters even worse, the bot incorporates PircBot, an IRC programming interface based on Java.

In addition to all that, the malware also is said to use Zelix Klassmaster obfuscator to prevent it from being reverse engineered by whitehat and competing blackhat hackers. Apart from obfuscating bytecode, Zelix encrypts some of the inner workings of the malware. It is extremely recommended to update to the latest Java 7 Update 51 found on Oracle’s official website here.

Thank you arstechnica for providing us with this inforamtion
Image courtesy of arstechnica Clones Scamperghost And Infringes Namco’s Pac-Man With Pac-Avoid?

Candy Crush maker, known for its ‘pay-to-win’ casual games style approach, is apparently taking it too far when it comes to legal trademarks. Recently, King started the process of claiming the generic title ‘Saga’, having attacked rival Sonic with its legal threats.

Now, it seems that a game by developer Matthew Cox and Nick Bray accuse of a greater offence. Matthew states that has cloned the game, which is a far more serious offence than a legal trademark issue. He states on his blog that his colleague, Nick, contacted Lars Jornow in 2009 to license a Pac-Man derivative game called Scamperghost. But they received a better offer from another of’s rivals, so they went with it before actually signing the contract.

However, has then been accused of hiring EpicShadow afterwards to come up with a clone of Scamperghost. The company has admitted in producing the clone, a game called Pac-Avoid, claiming that the contracts have been signed, giving the rights to the game. However, the company also states that Matthew and Nick have broken the contract, something that they strongly deny.

Furthermore, the Pac-Avoid game not only infringes Matthew and Nick’s Scamperghost game, but also Namco’s Pac-Man trademark, which is attempting to use against its rivals.

“King does not clone other peoples’ games. King believes that IP – both our own IP and that of others – is important and should be properly protected. Like any prudent company, we take all appropriate steps to protect our IP in a sensible and fair way. At the same time, we are respectful of the rights and IP of other developers. Before we launch any game, we do a thorough search of other games in the marketplace, as well as a review of trademark filings, to ensure that we are not infringing anyone else’s IP. However, for the avoidance of doubt, in this case, this game – which was coded by a third-party developer 5 years ago – has been taken down” – by in a press statement. did not comment on why the Pac-Avoid game was taken out off their website, if it indeed infringed Namco’s IP on Pac-Man or if they really did request a direct clone of Scamerghost.

Thank you Bit-Tech for providing us with this information

Some TP-Link Routers Found Vulnerable To Exploits

Several TP-Link routers have been found to be vulnerable to webpage based DNS hijacking attacks. Worryingly the researcher who uncovered information about this vulnerability, Jacob Lell, has also found “an active exploitation campaign,” aimed at the affected TP-Link routers. Meanwhile TP-Link has released updated firmware for some but not all of its affected networking hardware.

There have been many router exploits before, however this newly reported TP-Link exploit looks more immediately serious as Mr Lell has found “five different instances of the exploit on unrelated websites so far”. An automated client honeypot system set up by Lell generated “some 280 GB of web traffic”. The five unrelated instances of the exploit he found tried to change the primary nameserver to three different IP addresses.

The affected TP-Link routers have something called a CSRF vulnerability. These routers allow access to their web-based administration page using HTTP authentication. “When entering the credentials to access the web interface, the browser typically asks the user whether he wants to permanently store the password in the browser. However, even if the user doesn’t want to permanently store the password in the browser, it will still temporarily remember the password and use it for the current session,” explains Lell.

If a user then visits a compromised site, like one of the five discovered so far, the site attempts to “change the upstream DNS server of the router to an attacker-controlled IP address, which can then be used to carry out man-in-the-middle attacks,” says Lell. After that DNS change web addresses typed in by the user can be easily redirected to phishing sites and similar places you wouldn’t ordinarilty want to visit. Also, among many other consequences, software updates can be blocked and email accounts hijacked.

The following devices are confirmed to be vulnerable:

  • TP-Link WR1043ND V1 up to firmware version 3.3.12 build 120405 is vulnerable (version 3.3.13 build 130325 and later is not vulnerable)
  • TP-Link TL-MR3020: firmware version 3.14.2 Build 120817 Rel.55520n and version 3.15.2 Build 130326 Rel.58517n are vulnerable (but not affected by current exploit in default configuration)
  • TL-WDR3600: firmware version 3.13.26 Build 130129 Rel.59449n and version 3.13.31 Build 130320 Rel.55761n are vulnerable (but not affected by current exploit in default configuration)
  • WR710N v1: 3.14.9 Build 130419 Rel.58371n is not vulnerable
  • Some other untested devices are also likely to be vulnerable

Thank you Hexus for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of Hexus

Compro TN60W Cloud IP Camera Review


In today’s society, security is everything – be it from a simple pass code on your phone, through to wireless encryption right up to firewalls and CCTV monitoring. The latter is one aspect of security that many of us don’t realise is massive, wherever you go these days – especially in built up areas such as towns and cities, its very hard to avoid the fact that you’re caught on camera virtually every step of the way – mostly without realising it.

With technology moving forward, gone are the days of having camera that simply connect via a BNC connection giving just video to a remote monitor. In today’s high-tech environment and with networks and the internet becoming faster and more advanced, connecting these cameras up to one sophisticated monitoring system is very much the norm, but tearing the system down into it’s simplest form, having network cameras is more of an advantage for home and small office environments as the cost if integrating such systems is far less costly and easier to manage than before.

Compro have been around for a number of years and one of the product highlights is their range of small, easy to set-up IP cameras that can be placed virtually anywhere, giving a live feed from one or more cameras on a single desktop with no advanced software needed.

The TN60W that we’re looking at today is one of their latest models, offering not only infra-red night vision, but also wireless or standalone recording capabilities, streaming to remote systems over the internet such as smart-phones and also a two way audio link to fend off unwanted visitors or troublemakers.

The TN60W comes with a comprehensive set of accessories for installation including power and LAN cables, a small Wireless-N USB dongle, screws and wall-plugs for wall mounted installation, a quick start guide, wireless installation guide and a CD with the manuals and iWizard installer for setting up the camera.