GreenManGaming Hit With Battlefront Launch Day Supply Issues

GreenManGaming’s reputation has been under fire of late as recent reports suggested the company acquired game codes from unauthorized sources. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean the keys are stolen, it’s just they don’t have direct support from Activision and Ubisoft. The huge amount of CD key sites and staggeringly low pre-order discounts are an enticing proposition. Furthermore, in most cases, consumers receive their keys on launch and download games in a swift manner via Steam, Origin or UPlay.

However, it appears a large number of customers haven’t received Star Wars: Battlefront after pre-ordering from GreenManGaming some time ago. Below is just a brief snippet of the user complaints on the site’s official Facebook page:

It’s difficult to deduce how many customers actually received their Battlefront code, but initial reports don’t look promising. GreenManGaming has decided to offer a 30% off voucher for those affected but I doubt this will be enough to keep people happy. Consumers often pre-order to become involved in launch day discussions and sense the excitement. Unfortunately, many people saved up their hard-earned cash to get the game on day one.

This entire situation applies further pressure on GreenManGaming and raises questions about their suppliers. The company’s customer service is usually quite good, so I’m surprised to see reports of customers being told their order couldn’t be fulfiled due to a stock shortage. Surely, GreenManGaming knew about the stock shortages and should have informed customers about the problem in advance. Perhaps, they hoped to receive a last minute shipment. Whatever the case, this isn’t going to help GreenManGaming’s reputation and if negative publicly continues, people will no longer be prepared to pay the extra compared to grey key resellers.

3D-Print Your Own TSA Master Keys

In a not too distant future your average person will be able to print their own door keys thanks to the technique of 3D printing. Which is great news for those who have lost there’s, not so good if some bright spark has created and uploaded the plans so that you can print your very own TSA Master Keys.

These keys were designed by the Transportation Security Administration following the 9/11 attacks to ensure the safety of travellers into and around the US by requiring any lock on bags to be branded as “travel sentry approved”. This is to enable airport security staff to carry out searches without having to break the lock or bag. These keys are meant to be kept secret; this was up until an article by The Washington Post which was uploaded in 2014 and conveyed a photograph of seven master keys. The respected news source finally took the pictures down in August 2015, but not before a security researcher by the username “Xyl2k” managed to both create and post 3D printing files of all seven master keys to code site Github.

Do they work? Yep, others have test printed them and it turns out you really can open other people’s luggage, sorry, I meant your own. below is a video which has been uploaded to Twitter concerning this.  This might be going off topic, but the source for this story is The Guardian, who decided to place an image to illustrate the story, what did they go for? see for yourself, the link is at the end of the article, let’s just say it looks to be potentially painful to a poor flyer.

“Xyl2k” has stated that the reason the plans were uploaded was to warn against the security flaws in “master keys” and the potential for them to be exploited as in this case. The laughable aspect concerns The Washington Post and their willingness to exist in a parallel universe, a month before the photos were published, the news source rallied for a so-called “Golden Key” which could be used by tech companies, this theoretical key would be then only used with a court order. The big glaring elephant in the room lies with the very fact that it could be copied and then misused by a wide variety of individuals, organisations and groups.

I do wish people would stop simplifying tech to the point of stupidity, for example, the general consensus from powerful officials is that encryption is bad, so why not simplify it and remove it. There is a philosophy term for this and it is called Occam’s Razor, the principle states that among competing hypotheses that predict equally well, the one with the fewest assumptions should be selected. Therefore, The Washington Post has simplified the many outcomes by suggesting a “Golden Key” to be stored by various tech companies. The only problem with that is the many hackers which include state sponsored virtual safe crackers are smarter than your average David Cameron.

This article has been written on September 11th 2015 but would be published on the 12th, this may seem a bit late when reading this, but I would just like to take a minute to pay respects to the near 3000 people who tragically lost their lives on that day 14 years ago to the most brutal of acts.

“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.” –Nelson Mandela

Thank you The Guardian and Github for providing us with this information.

Microsoft Release Windows 10 Keyboard “Cheat Sheet”

We all like to take shortcuts, or at least we do as long as they work and don’t surprise us. People often create Macros (a selection of keys that are stored in memory and triggered remotely) that can open up programs they often use or even change settings. Windows 10 is no exception to this, with keyboard shortcuts used by programs and operating systems alike it seems Microsoft want to clear it up and give people a helping hand.

With 42 commands listed, the new website (and as a Word document), stating every command that uses the windows key (sorry, commands that use ctrl and alt are only listed on the website). The problem I see though is, while writing this article, it was quite difficult to read the site which seemed to be optimized for phones or mobile devices, using lists within list on the website and a half page dedicated to the header and large blocks outlining the topics discussed in the document.

With everything from the new virtual desktop commands (windows key + ctrl + left or right for switching, with windows + ctrl + d creating a new virtual desktop), to alt + d selecting the address bar when you’re using the file explorer.

If you are interested in looking at some shortcuts to save some time, check out the web reference guide here or the word document here.

Thank you PC World for the information.

Image courtesy of UK Hardware.

Agent Pitta Bread Is Listening

Yes this is still eTeknix and no you haven’t tuned in for the latest Jamie Oliver recipe, oh and before you ask, no I am not wearing a tin foil hat while preaching that the world is going to end. This is the slightly bizarre story of how a Pitta Bread has been used by researchers from Tel Aviv University to conceal a radio transmitter capable of stealing encrypted keys.

As this image below demonstrates, the PITA Device uses an unshielded loop antenna made of plain copper wire which is wound into 3 turns of diameter 13 cm. A tuning capacitor is chosen to maximize sensitivity at 1.7 MHz; this technique captures the key-dependent leakage signal with an SDR receiver being used and which is controlled by a small embedded computer.

How this device connects and steals an encrypted key is by monitoring the differing signals a CPU makes while undertaking various activities, by analysing these radio signals it became possible to discover the key being implemented to secure an encrypted email.

Well this certainly adds a new meaning to the phrase “I think there’s something wrong with that loaf” On a slightly serious Bagel, I mean note, the research demonstrates albeit in a controlled test environment that it is possible, in theory for an attacker to conceal a small device within an object which in turn could possibly decrypt a key which is potentially guarding sensitive documents.

Currently the researchers have developed a range at which this transmitter would be able to steal encryption keys at around (1ft 8in) from said target device. Which is compelling considering this project has been developed at a university with the potential for an unknown source to harness and develop this technique with the aim of executing this device in the real world.

Image courtesy of something awful & tau.ac.il

Thank You tau.ac.il for providing us with this information

Far Cry 4 Copies Bought from Third Party Sellers Killed

Buying cheap game keys from third-party resellers might seem like a tempting opportunity, but one that doesn’t necessarily end the way one would have hoped.

Reports are starting to surface that Ubisoft is killing Far Cry 4 copies bought through third-party resellers, namely G2Play and G2A. Both are popular digital retailers based in Hong Kong that scan and/or photograph the keys from retail boxes. The games are a lot cheaper there and the internet allows them to sell those keys digitally worldwide where the games cost more.

“This is an outrageous and ridiculous way of doing business. And don’t you think as I do, that maybe those people who actually PAY for the game (even though Ubisoft will make a few bucks less in Poland because I bought the game from…I don’t know, a…hungarian original retailer), will, in time, in frustration, after that sort of strategy and behaviour, after the way you made people buy not-finished games, will stop buying them at all or keep using less scrupulous retailers to get what they want? And nobody wants that.”Voiced a user on the Ubisoft support forums

The above statement doesn’t stand on its own, as the forum thread has 19 pages with over 180 posts at the time of writing, mostly with support for the OP.

This isn’t the first-time publishers have cancelled third-party keys. Devolver Digital also cancelled any keys obtained through the G2Play website.

Ubisoft has reportedly been advising customers to contact the seller and claim that the license removal is not their fault, yet no official word has been given just yet. There are also rumours going around that the keys were stolen and that’s why they’re being blocked – a normal procedure when shipments of keys/games get highjacked.

What do you think about this latest Ubisoft incident? Stolen keys or just another case of publishers that see a potential smaller profit?

Thanks to GameZone for providing us with this information

Man Breaks Into Neighbor’s Apartment Using His Phone and An App

Andy Greenberg from Wired has apparently shown us how easy it is to break in someone’s house nowadays. You don’t need sophisticated lock-picking skills or need to be a professional thief to do it. All you need is an app and an iPhone, as he puts it.

Greenberg used an app called KeyMe, which lets users 3D scan any key and uploads the images to the company’s cloud. Once that is done, you can head over to either one of their kiosks or order a 3D printed copy online.

He apparently went to his neighbor’s appartment, 3D scanned his key in a few seconds using the app and told him that he will be back in his apartment the next day ‘uninvited’. His neighbor did not believe him at first (who would believe you when saying you will break an entry with an iPhone?), but it did surprise him the day after.

KeyMe, KeyDuplicated and Keysave are apps that serve pretty much the same purpose, which is scanning keys. Some even let you scan more complex keys, such as car keys, having KeyMe stating it will even duplicate keys that “do not duplicate”. The service however describes the scanning process to be more complicated than just point the camera and take a picture.

KeyMe states that in order to duplicate a key, customers need to take it off the keychain, scan it on both sides against a white background and from approximately 4 inches away. However, Greenberg told that he did not follow any of the rules when he made his ‘stairwell creep-scans’.

With so many app alternatives and 3D printing aid nowadays, every commercially available piece of tech can be used to break into houses, amongst other ‘unintended’ uses. As Greenberg stated, breaking an entry nowadays has proven to be quite “idiot-proof”.

Thank you Wired for providing us with this information

Steam Remove Over 7000 Sniper Elite 3 Keys From User Libraries

Valve have announced that they are revoking the serial keys from some 7000 copies of Sniper Elite 3 after it was discovered that they had been stolen from authorised outlets and resold to unsuspecting Steam users.

Users who have purchased the game through the unauthorised outlets will find that their games will no longer run and they will have to seek a refund for their purchase, but not from Steam themselves.  Rebellion have made a list of retailers that are unaffected by the key recall, with users who have had their keys revoked having to purchase another copy of the game either through Steam directly or through an unaffected retailer.

The announcement came after a retailer discovered that a number of their game keys had been stolen, with the money from the illegal sales not going to Valve or the retail distributor.

“To clarify, one of our PC retail distributors informed us that some of their allotted Steam keys were stolen,” the developer writes. “We believe these keys were then resold to multiple companies, with no payments going to either Valve or the retail distributor.”

As a goodwill measure, Steam are offering those users who have been affected a free copy of the “Target Hitler” DLC, with proof of purchase and their key needing to be provided in order to validate their claim, however the whole situation has already resulted in a large number of users venting their anger for something which genuinely was not their fault and understandably so if I might add.

It is not known at this moment in time who stole the keys and Rebellion are not making any statement as to the retail outlets that area affected, but we can probably guess that Steam may look into their security and key validation methods to prevent situations like this happening again.

Source: Joystiq

Scamming Site Offering ‘Free’ Origin Game Keys Discovered

A site offering free game keys for Origin users has been discovered, where users have the freedom to browse through all the games available on Origin and request a ‘free’ key which will be delivered to them 24 hours after they have entered their login credentials in a basic looking form. Now obviously I will stress at this time that if you ever come across a site that appears to be ‘offering’ free keys and there is no hard evidence available to support it, turn around and walk away; these rogue sites are there simply to acquire your Origin login credentials. You can imagine what happens from there.

This new scamming site that has been uncovered runs under a number of URLs – the main one of these being ea-free-origin-keys.weebly.com , although a bit of rooting around has discovered that the site owner, who has built the very basic looking site through Weebly.com, has the domain names ea-origin-keys-4-free.tk and eaoriginkeys4free.tk also registered, pointing to the Weebly domain.  Further investigation shows that the site is hosted on a server in an Amsterdam datacentre in the Netherlands and is registered under BV Dot TK (masking the true owners identity), whilst the name servers suggest the site was registered through the Free Dom domain registration service.

Further more, the YouTube video that ‘shows’ how the keys can be obtained is shown on a page titled ‘BBC’ although the fact that there is only one video on this channel rings alarm bells in itself and the 480p quality is used to try to mask the creators personal details as they ‘demonstrate’ how the keys are requested. Whilst watching the video we see that the users system’s language is French, narrowing down the true source of the scam and in the comment section one watcher asks if this process is illegal – the response from the creator: ‘of corse watch the video ‘.

Whatever way you look at this scam, it is a cheap way of obtaining users Origin identities and considering how simple the site looks and the information behind it that can be found, I doubt it will be long before this site is taken down. I’ll once again re-iterate my word that if it looks too good to be true, it probably is – especially if it looks like a rookie attempt as well.

Source: eTeknix Reader

Stealing Encryption Keys From A Computer Just By Listening

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

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

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

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

Thank you Engadget for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of Engadget.

Cooler Master Show Off Keyboards At Insomnia i49

Cooler Master Show Off Keyboards At Insomnia i49


Insomnia i49: Cooler Master are back in Telford for i49 and are teamed up with CyberPower UK to show off the latest in their line-up of headsets, keyboards, mice notebook coolers and chassis plus more.

One of the newest additions to the peripheral line-up is the Mech keyboard – being shown off in the UK for the first time. The Mech has a aluminium and steel reinforced build with professional cherry MX switches under the keys as well as 5 macro profiles offering up to a total of 75 macro combinations. The special feature of this board is its customisable capability. Cooler Master designed this board with the modder in mind, hoping that they will come up with a plethora of different designs and flavours to awe at.

Alongside the Mech, the ever popular Quick Fire Pro and TK keyboards are on display in a pair of colours and a variety of switch types – the blue switch so popular that Cooler Master’s event partner CCL ran out of stock on the first day of the exhibition!

[youtube]http://youtu.be/KHlVd3dMNPo[/youtube]

Cooler Masters Trigger keyboard is regarded to have a great, strong build and to prove this, the team have a video on show demonstrating how Cooler Master put this to the test by running it over with a series of vehicles and testing it straight after.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nNrHJ9h7IIU[/youtube]

Stay tuned as we have more coverage for you from Cooler Master and the rest of i49 here in Telford. Be sure to check out the live gallery where you can get a quick glimpse of the action as we see it here: http://www.eteknix.com/insomnia-i49-summer-2013-live-gallery/