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.

Lyft Removed Surge Caps But Didn’t Tell Its Users

In this day and age taxis are facing more and more competition from the likes of apps such as Uber and Lyft, where users can order up a “ride” through their smartphone with everyday people picking you up in their cars. Part of the new system is the “surge” calculation, something that Lyft removed from their fares without telling a single user.

The surge system is an automated system which increases the prices of rides when the system is swarmed with people ordering rides. Uber recently stated that it wouldn’t raise their prices more than 3.9 times when the DC metro was shut down, a policy that Lyft has had for a while, capping their prices at 3x the standard rate. This policy is now gone, with Lyft removing the surge back in February, but not everyone was aware.

Lyft told its drivers that its caps would be removed, but failed to disclose the information to its users. The argument is going that higher prices would encourage more drivers to pick up users, possibly increasing the number of people offering lifts via the app.

Trying to support drivers is always a nice move, but if it’s going to cost users money they may find the services less appealing and instead go back to classic taxi services.

iTunes Allowance to Shutdown Next Month

iTunes allowance is a service that allowed parents to place money into their child’s iTunes account on a monthly basis. No need to allow them to borrow your card or even for you to type into or access their account, preventing you from hundreds of pounds of charges to your card you never expected. Come next month though and the service will be shut down.

In an announcement, Apple has stated that after April 13th users aren’t able to create new iTunes allowance setups, with all current allowance setups being shut down as of May 25th. If you are one of the many who already has a system in place, don’t worry any unused allowance will remain in the account until it has been used, while Apple is keen to stress that similar effects can be achieved using different schemes they provide.

If you are looking to provide for your family, you can share your purchases through the family sharing feature while if you are looking to take sole control of the system then using the  iTunes gift system would be ideal. With no reasoning behind the removal of the feature, people are left wondering if the new systems will teach the same values about money and the consequences of spending an allowance.

Get Your System Back From Petya Without Paying a Penny!

When it comes to security threats and risks, the community as a whole is at its best when it has a common goal. An example of this was two weeks ago when a new ransomware was found going by the name Petya. Petya didn’t act like normal ransomware but instead decided it would go after your master boot record, often locking people out their entire system until they received their password after paying a nice little fee. That was until some clever people got together to create some tools to get your system back from the ransomware without paying a single penny!

The original web tool came from the twitter account @leostone and lets you retrieve your file by providing it with a selection of data from the infected hard drive. Getting the data may seem like something difficult but a separate researcher went and created a tool titled Petya Sector Extractor that can find and retrieve the required data in seconds.

By removing the hard drive and plugging it into another computer, these tools can work together to retrieve the password required to unlock your master boot record from the clutches of Petya. The sector extractor tool is hosted by Bleeping Computer, a computer self-help forum, and reports that not only does the technique work but has also provided a step-by-step tutorial for anyone who isn’t 100% regarding how to return all their family photos at zero cost.

Inside Man Tampered With Random Number Generator to Generate Lottery Results

We’ve recently reported about how a group had managed to track down and exploit a flaw in lottery machines, giving them the ability to print off winning tickets. Now it would seem that investigators have finally managed to track down the methods that Eddie Raymond Tipton, other gentlemen charged with tampering with lottery results, managed to win the lottery on not one but several occasions. It all turned out to be because he was able to act like an inside man and tamper with the random number generator that’s used to select the winning lottery balls.

At the time of the offense, Tipton was the information security director of the multi-state lottery associated. Using this authority he was able to access the random number generator room where he installed several dynamic link libraries (DLLs) to random number generators system. The reason it’s taken so long for the methods used to be determined is because there wasn’t a set pattern, not every result was predictable but as it turns out, some were.

Triggered on three particular days of the year, one at a certain time of a day while the other two were triggered on specific days, the software would then instead of creating random numbers use a provided algorithm, one that Tipton was aware and could calculate the results of.

Congressman Investigated for Spending Campaign Money on Steam Games

We all love a new game, but it does raise questions when the money you spend on is marked to be used for something else. Congressman Duncan Hunter is being investigated for just the same thing, having spent campaign money on Steam games.

According to the San Diego-tribunes report, using campaign money a credit card was used to purchase not one but $1302 games on Steam. The tribune noted that they were a personal expense and had to be paid back. The problem being is that the funds have yet to be repaid.

According to Hunter, his son is responsible for the initial purchase and then “several unauthorized charges resulted after the father tried to close access to the website”. The requests have led to Hunter trying to get the charges reversed, something that may test the steam refund policy, especially if the games were played for several hours since (an almost certainty).

The Federal Election Commission has released a letter on the subject, containing a list of purchases made. The purchases range from the 13th of October to the 16th of December, totaling 68 different charges to Steam. The charges range from $5 to $96.30, a little more than just a “one-off expense” and a little bigger than your average purchase.

With so many expenses the story of one charge and then several new ones doesn’t really hold up given the cost of the games. Given the range of purchases, I doubt he will have much luck getting refunds (especially if they’ve been played) so this will be an interesting case to follow.

Amazon Payments Global Partner Program to Take on Paypal

Amazon is a popular platform for many things, with their websites offering everything from the kindle to mass ordering your pets favourite type of food. With recent steps in the video game market, courtesy of Lumberyard and even sharing educational materials for schools, the company look like it will stop anytime soon with the revelation of the new Payments Global Partner Program.

If this sounds familiar it’s because you probably already use PayPal or something similar, but Amazon’s Payments Global Partner Program looks to go head to head by offering you the same security you get with your amazon account when paying for products on hundreds of other sites.

Amazon states that all the merchants using the new system will be using the same fraud detection technology that Amazon already uses, meaning if you trusted Amazon you can trust them. If this wasn’t enough the temptation, companies are helped by its quick integration and inline basket, meaning no more tedious programming or changing sites to add in your bank details.

It should be noted though that sites using the new system will have access to customers “name and email addresses so you can personalise their on-site experience”, while not a huge issue some people would want reassurances that an easy to opt-in program had some security regarding their details.

Uber Accused of Skipping Out of Paying Bug Bounties

With all the apps and systems that are used, created and updated every day it is often impossible for you to be absolutely certain about their security. This resulted in the creation of external help through schemes like bug bounties unless your Uber who change the scope of what bug bounties they’ll be paying.

Bug bounty schemes are simple. If you find a problem in the code or system that a company uses, you report it to the company running the scheme and if they find it was a problem, you get paid. Even Microsoft and GitHub run schemes to help narrow down and find problems with their software. The issue comes here is that only this week popular taxi alternative app Uber launched its own bug bounty scheme.

Sean Melia found a few issues or rather a few admin panels/ports that were open. This fell in line with what Uber wanted under the grouping of “publicly accessible login panels” and “exposed administration ports (excluding OneLogin)”. After reporting the first issue which was quickly accepted as a bug, Melia went about finding others resulting in the large group he ended up reporting. The problem was that by this time Uber had updated their documentation to make these reports invalid, without informing people using the scheme. Free security support anyone?

The reason for the change? Ubers security engineering manager, Collin Greene, has stated they changed the rules so that they stopped researchers wasting their time on minor bugs. Greene then stated that “a successful bug bounty rests on researchers trusting us to run it well, which we take very seriously”, something that may not go down so well when you are willing to change the goalposts without telling people.

Was Uber right in this case? Should they have acted differently? A problems a problem, even with a lesser payment, should Melia have received something given that he did the work under the old rules?

Android Pay Is Coming To The UK

These days your phone can replace a lot of things, from your contact list to your camera, they do it all. With thanks to Android, you may get to tick another thing off your list with several major banks in the UK starting to accept Android Pay.

Currently, the financial institutes that support Android Pay are the following:

  • Bank of Scotland
  • First Direct
  • Halifax
  • HSBC
  • Lloyds Bank
  • M&S Bank
  • MBNA
  • Nationwide

It won’t stop there with Android’s blog posting that the list will grow thanks to “new banks being added all the time”. Android pay will be accepted anywhere in the UK that supports contactless payments, meaning your weekly shopping trip or even your lunch treat could soon be provided by your mobile phone.

If that wasn’t enough the feature will also be supported in several apps, such as Kickstarter, JD Sports and Deliveroo while other the API that lets developers add the feature has been adjusted to make it easier to include the feature in any app’s that want you to pay for with your phone.

With 1.5 million registrations happening in the US each month for Android Pay, the success of the system could only grow by adding it to other countries and it looks like Apple Pay and other contactless systems may have a fight on their hands for which phone you use to pay your lunch bill.

The Division Made $330 Million During Release Week

Video games are a big money earner for the companies that get them right, and in this case, it would appear that Ubisoft got it very right with the Division dwarfing expectations and netting $330 million during release week.

Working off the average price for the game (standard edition, physical and digital) at $60, that would equate to around 5.5 million copies sold alone during release, week surely to grow as patches and fixes appear for its numerous “bugs”. The calculated figure does include other editions, though, such as the gold edition which contains the game and the season pass alongside the exclusive “national guard” gear set.

While 5.5 million users may be off, it may not be as far off people think with the game reaching 1.2 million users concurrently online during the game’s launch weekend, and 100 million hours logged of playtime since its release.

With so many players lining up to help save New York from a pandemic devastated black Friday, it looks like the game could go for a while longer with players eagerly awaiting everything from the next fix to the next DLC.

Are you a member of the Divison? Have you enjoyed the game so far or did you get hit by the release day bugs? Tell us your stories in the comments below.

Seagate Sends Employees’ Payroll Information After Phishing Scam

Seagate is known for many things, but most of all they are known for their hard drives. I would recommend you look elsewhere if you are looking for something a little more secure I would say avoid them for now as it’s been revealed that employees’ payroll information was sent out after a phishing scam.

Phishing is the act of pretending to be someone else, asking for details (normally bank details or contact information) in order to gain access to information you normally couldn’t. From Nigerian Princes to Sergeant in the Army, they use anyone to obtain information. This time, the email claimed to be from Seagate’s CEO Stephen Luczo requesting data about current and former Seagate employees.

Believing the email to be genuine, the employee responded with the W-2 (Wage and Tax statement) documents. With the scope currently set at “several thousand” employees, the company has been working with federal law enforcement agencies since the incident on the 1st March. To help support their employees, two years of credit protection has been provided on the off chance that their data is used.

With most details of this nature being used in returning fraudulent tax returns with the IRS (something which is made all that much easier by being hacked recently), it could cost the government thousands if they don’t catch the culprits involved.

Steam Bundles will be Discounted If you Own a Game In the Bundle

It’s that time again, Sales time! We all know the most important sales for an owner of a PC is when the Steam sale comes around. You load up the page, and suddenly the money just seems to fade away from you as game after game comes along. You notice a bundle, your favourite game series has released a bundle with DLC’s and add-ons galore, but its still going to cost you a pretty large amount even though you own the main bulk of the bundle. This is all set to change though with Steam bundles losing price if you own something in the bundle.

The scale of the discount you’ll receive will changed based on several things including the price of what you own and how many of the items in the bundle you own, this means that you will only be paying the difference between your collection and the bundle. This doesn’t mean that all bundles will work like this, with older bundles (titled Must Purchase Together by Valve) will still exist for things like deluxe editions of games and those with soundtracks included in specific purchases.

Currently the system is only in place for a few bundles, and with an unclear future of when it could be rolled out to every bundle in their library, we just hope it’s done before the next Steam sale.

Contactless Payment Use Surged In 2015

Remember the days when you handed over coins and pieces of paper to buy everything from sweets to a new car. These days it’s all done via virtual currencies like bitcoins and small pieces of plastic that we keep in our wallets, or even our phones. You will soon be able to pay for your taxi without even handing over a single coin, so is it any surprise that the UK saw a boom in contactless payments in 2015?

According to UK Cards Associated, the UK conducted over one billion transactions using contactless technologies, with the total amount spent using this method totaling more than the past seven years combined!

With one in 13 payments being made using contactless, and the limit being increased to £30 from £20 per contactless payment it comes as no surprise that this technologies use has boomed since its adoption a few years ago. With contactless transactions totaling over £7.75 billion, you may see more and more people choosing to use this technology with Apple being one of many companies adding it to their phones.

Do you have contactless payment on your card or phone? If so do you prefer using it or are you one for the good old-fashioned cash and coin?

Halo 5 Has Amassed Over $1.5 Million in Microtransactions

Microtransactions were originally implemented on mobile games which adopted the free-to-play business model. This gave developers the freedom to create a large user-base among casual players and attempt to monetize their creation through optional micropayments. As we all know, this can be a very flawed concept and involve an absurd amount of grinding to experience the game without paying any money. Unfortunately, microtransactions have become an integral component of modern gaming and even included in full priced releases. This is really shocking because microtransctions were designed for a free entry point and not an additional source of revenue for $60 titles. One pertinent example is Halo 5 which allowed players to purchase weapons and items for the Warzone multiplayer mode.

In theory, you can acquire credits through gameplay and there’s no obligation to pay real money. However, it is fairly insulting considering one of the packs has an eye-watering price of $100. These payments go towards funding Halo eSports events which might encourage users to adopt a more forgiving attitude towards these microtransactions. According to Microsoft, the Halo World Championship prize pool has increased to a whopping $2.5 million:

“Since we first announced a starting prize pool of $1 million at gamescom 2015, the winnings for the Halo World Championship has grown immensely due to community crowd-funding via the Halo 5: Guardians REQ System. The final prize pool is now locked and players will compete to win their slice of $2.5 million at the Halo World Championship. And if being the best Halo team in the world wasn’t enough of an incentive, this might be: the first place team will take home a total of $1 million – the biggest individual prize pool in console esports history.”

This means the game has made at least $1.5 million through REQ pack sales. It’s quite shocking to see players spend so much money on multiplayer packs, and emphasizes how rapidly the industry is progressing into competitive play. I do worry though because it’s alienating single player gamers, and the constant onslaught of microtransaction is making consumers very wary of game publishers in the long-term.

Iris Scanners Allow Access to Bank Accounts Without Pin or Card

We all hear about how we need to keep our accounts safe, but who remembers all their passwords to all their different accounts? Who can say that they haven’t used the same password for several websites before? Even with password managers apparently making passwords redundant according to GCHQ, we still use them for everything from logging into your phone to filing your bank returns. So what about when it comes to your money? A four digit pin? Why not use an iris scanner to access your bank account.

Jordan is the first country to deploy iris scanning technology, with help from the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR), to help users access their bank accounts, with the system being used to help refugees access their bank accounts without a bank card or pin. With around 23,000 families using the system to receive aid, the system is working well.

By removing the need for a person to check details before handing out the cash the UNHCR feels like this is a step in the right direction, giving both the refugees and the UNHCR a feeling of control and freedom. With the hopes that the system could be deployed to all of UNHCR’s current cash assistance programmes, you have to wonder how long before typing in a password becomes a thing you’ll tell your grandchildren about.

Monopoly Money Goes Electronic!

People enjoy playing video games, but often you just want to sit down at a table with friends and family and play a game, something that is known to cause conflict or start arguments. No game is more famous for this than Monopoly, the game where you use your money to buy, sell and charge rent for properties across famous locations. You could soon see the game change though with the new Ultimate Banking edition.

More than often enough you would find yourselves shoveling notes from one player to another, with a dedicated banker to not only play but handle the cash. The latest game though does away with everything involved with that corrupt and sly banker, instead replacing it with an ATM and debit cards.

Each player will be able to use their debit card to purchase properties by scanning a properties bar codes then their debit card. A second later and you’re the proud owner of the property, with your bank account showing the natural damage.

The game even allows you to transfer money from one player to another, to pay those high-end rents that often end games and friendships. The new version of Monopoly will set you back $25 (roughly £17.5), enough to let you buy it without breaking your own bank.

Paypal Blocks VPN and UnoTelly Payments

Paypal is the default setting for a lot of people and companies when it comes to online payments, easy to implement and with a safety net of features people feel comforted by while doing online banking. With Paypal’s purchase of digital money company Xoom, it seemed like Paypal wanted to take all the money but they’ve now started blocking payments using the Candian company UnoTelly.

Under Paypal’s Acceptance use policy states that it cannot be used to send payments “for items that infringe or violate any copyright, trademark, right of publicity or privacy, or any other proprietary right under the laws of any jurisdiction”. UnoTelly offers smartDNS and VPN access, techniques which have been used to remove geo-blocks from websites, a technique that lets you watch or use sites that are often blocked in particular areas of the world. Copyright holders have often argued that VPN networks could be used to bypass copyright, enabling you to access and watch videos through services like Netflix in regions where the show is blocked.

The problem with this decision is that a lot of people, such as large businesses, use VPN’s for legitimate reasons and putting a blanket ban on VPN users making purchases through Paypal would surely only end with the services use declining.

Destiny Will Not Offer Ammo Microtransactions

Over the years, gaming habits change. From triple-A games being released at £40, to subscription-based games and even free games with paid bonuses. A large number of customers are offended by companies who release a game and then request more money in either DLC or microtransactions that are sometimes already packaged with the original game. Destiny is a popular subscription based game that was recently rumoured to include ammo microtransactions.

Microtransactions are almost like small DLC (downloadable content), they focus on adding a little experience to the game, normally at the cost of real-world money. Want to change the colours of your outfit? That will be £1.50. Don’t want to spend months grinding away to possibly get the gun you want? Buy it for £5. Microtransactions can be seen as good or bad, depending on how the company implements them and if they use them to restrict players choices or give others power boosts.

Activision has come forward saying that they will not be charging for the heavy ammo synth. The item in question offers a one-time refill for a players heavy weapon’s ammunition, something that could be seen as unfair given their rare drops. Offering players a boost for real world money is not something new but Destiny has so far avoided using these kinds of microtransactions. Destiny does currently feature microtransactions but only for emotes (actions the player can perform such as dancing on the spot or taunting the enemy), something that will not affect actual gameplay and is more for personalising your experience.

With microtransactions becoming the normal for so many games, it’s nice to see a game where the focus is on expanding the gameplay through expansions and events rather than asking for a continuous stream of money for highly controversial boosts.

How many of you still play Destiny, are you happy to hear this won’t be a paid for addition to the game?

Bill Gates is the Richest Person in the World Again!

There are many names these days which we can associate wealth with. They use it for various reasons, such as Mark Zuckerburg donating it to charity. One of the biggest names in the technological world is Bill Gates, one of the founders of Microsoft. Seems like that company is still going strong as Gates is named as the richest person alive.

Gates is recorded to have a net worth, that is the total value of everything he owns, of around $87.4 billion. This was calculated by Wealth-X who provided Business insider with their figures from the start of 2016.

Let’s put that in perspective. Second place went to Amancio Ortega, the founder chairman of Inditex, who has a net wealth of $66.8 billion, $26 billion less than Gates. If you were looking at buying the new Titan X that released in March 2015 at $999, you could buy 28 million of them (with change) from the difference alone.

Mark Zuckerburg appears on the list with a net worth of $42.8 billion, just under half of Gate’s estimated worth.

With the top 50 starting at just $14.3 billion even winning the lottery won’t put you near it. While having so much money, Gates is known to give a lot to charity and support projects like the Hour of Code initiative, so you can be sure that the money is being used to support others as well.

Banking Malware ‘Dridex’ is Back!

We’ve all had that moment, those unwanted pop-ups and advertisements on your computer that make you suddenly realise “I’ve got a virus”. It’s one of the things we tend to think happens to others but it can happen to anybody and with the internet it’s easier and easier to spread malicious software, or malware, around the world. One piece in particular has reappeared, this time targeting your online banking experience.

Dridex has made several appearances before, such as when the NCA estimated its cost to the UK was around £20 million. IBM’s X-force have found a more recent version of the malware and it features a whole new trick up its sleeve. By targeting something known as the DNS (Domain Name Service), instead of getting redirected to your banks website, Dridex will now send you to a fake site. From there, users enter their details believing everything to be okay, only to have then handed over their login details to the malware.

The issue with this is that you can be on the “right” website, the page looks normal, the web address is correct and everything else that makes you trust the site, but suddenly its only when you’ve logged in that you realise there is nothing right about the site.

13 of the U.K’s largest banks have had their websites replicated, which may not seem like many but if you count how many times people check their bank accounts online, even taking a few pounds from each of them could quickly reach millions.

The malware is spread through several ways, one of the most common being a manipulated Office document. As a result we remind our readers that attachments are like candy, never accept them from strangers and if you are not expecting them, be extra careful!

Feeling Those Gamer Blues? Check out Humble Store’s Winter Sale

Christmas is over, the new year is gone. That doesn’t mean your gaming sales have to end, the Humble Store is the latest to start a winter sale with your bank accounts begging for a visit.

Why not start by surviving dinosaurs on a tropical island to overcome the cold in Ark Survival for %40 off, settling at an acceptable £13.79. Boost around the pitch and score goals in a rocket powered car in Rocket league for only £10.49. Still too much? Why not try games like Dishonored Game of the Year Edition for only £6.79, or the latest in the Trine series, Trine 3, for only £3.99. Go retro with Pacman for £2.99 or Audiosurf for £0.69.

With discounts on entire series like the Call of Duty franchise, you can enjoy Advanced Warefare Gold Edition for only £19.99 or the complete Zombie Experiance for £67.49, at 50% off.

Sales are all over the place all year around but with 10% of your purchase going to the one of the many charities they support, please think about checking out the store and doing a little good with your games. They even have a bundle for mobile courtesy of Bandai Namco, featuring everything from Pac-man to Pac-man, with a little bit of Flight Control and Ridge Racer joining.

Apple Agrees to Pay €318m in Italy Tax Fraud Case

Apple’s behaviour in regards to tax avoidance has alerted the Italian authorities due to irregularities in their tax bill which led to a thorough investigation. In a similar vein to other multinational corporations, Apple has been accused of engaging in complicated measures to avoid paying tax which they have a legal right to pay. Of course, Apple isn’t the only company employing such unscrupulous activities as this is a common theme across numerous big businesses. According to La Repubblica and translated by the BBC, Apple failed to pay €880m in tax between 2008 and 2013.

This is just another example of Apple’s strategy, as the company has been “parking” revenues in Ireland which has a significantly lower tax rate (12.5%) than the USA and Italy. Italian investigators found evidence of wrongdoing and a massive gap between the company’s revenue and taxation. Shockingly, Apple’s revenue exceeded €1bn between 2008 and 2013 but only paid a mere €30m in tax. In lieu of the strong evidence, Apple’s Italian division has agreed to settle for €318m in court and avoid any further legal proceedings. This demonstrates that Apple is admitting the error of their ways and knows that they didn’t pay the correct amount of tax. Hopefully, this sends a clear message to other companies as well as Apple to stop trying to avoid paying tax in the future.

Zano Expenses Revealed

Kickstarters are becoming all the more popular these days. With anyone being able to come forward with an idea and express it to the public. That very same public then support it by pledging money, normally in exchange for early backing rewards, and watch as the inspired products and creations come alive. Ideas range from the insane to the ridiculous, with some in between including bringing back old series like Mystery Science Theater 3000  to creating the NoPhone, a plastic block shaped like a phone with the intent to help people who are “addicted” to their phones. There is one problem though with a system like this, and that is that the developer, after getting funded, can actually supply their product.

Most projects include stretch goals, where if a certain level of funding is reached, new features or additions are added to the product. This means that people are rewarded for over supporting projects, and the Zano is one such example of a project that reached beyond its goals.

The Zano is a mini drone built by Welsh start-up, Torquing Group. It received large amounts of public attention and ended its Kickstarter with a whopping £2,335,119. The original target, as set out in their stretch goals, was a mere £125,000 (just under 0.02% of the end result). So why are none of the drones operating as they are meant to? That is if your one of the lucky ones to actually receive a Zano, many are still yet to receive theirs.

In their latest update, as requested by their backers and Kickstarter themselves, a full review of their expenses have been revealed, in an attempt to find out why and how such an over funded project can fail to produce anything close to its initial goal.

Featuring a colorful pie chart, the update shows that 46% of the funding went on Stock & manufacturing (roughly £1,074,154). Citing developments made during the initial stages, including the “creation of a bespoke and automatic testing rig had significant financial and timeline impacts upon the project”.

They go on to explain that delays in shipping dates coupled with problems encountered with calibrating the “product in large volumes” affected the basic performance in large amounts of their production units.

We’ve reported on the Zano before, as have groups like the Ars Technica, who stated that when they visited the site to report they weren’t able to see the drone in flight.

Kickstarters are great adventures for people to support, but these few times when companies over promise and oversell millions of pounds from everyday supporters has to make you worry about just how can you trust schemes without seeing the product with your own eyes?

2K Games Developer Sale at Humble Store

The Humble Bundle is a well-known thing to PC gamers. The concept is that a selection of games will become available for as little as $1, with additional games being unlocked when you pay a little more. With you able to define how much you give to Humble Bundle’s creators, the game owners and from a selection of charities, you are able to decide just where your money goes. More recently they began the humble weekly bundle, a smaller time offer (at the moment the weekly bundle is titled “Japan Edition All-Stars”) and then the Humble store, offering games with a confirmed percentage going to charity. If you’re a fan of 2K’s games then it may be worth checking the site out as they are currently having a sale which will intrigue even the most reserved gamers.

Xcom Enemy Unknown for £6.24 (75% off), Bioshock Infinite for £4.99 (75% off), Civilization 5 £4.99 (75% off) and the expansions are both £4.99 each (Brave New World and Gods and Kinds).

Get the latest Sid Meier’s Civilization, Beyond Earth, for 50% at only £14.99, or if you feel like a great shooter with an interesting story and characters then why not grab some of the Borderlands series. The original Borderlands (GOTY edition with all the DLC’s) is only £4.99 (75% off) while Borderlands 2 (GOTY edition) is £8.74  (75% off). The latest in the borderlands series, Borderlands the pre-sequel, is also included at £11.99 (60% off).

See a few games you like? Spend over £10 and add Darkness II to your cart to receive it for free. Good games, good deals, and great causes, what isn’t there to like about that!?

Check out the deals here.

New Ransomware Does The Unforgivable – Forgets How To Unlock Your Files

Ransomware is a whole new level of problems for computer users. Previously malicious software, or malware for short, would spread causing chaos and destruction wherever it could, but ransomware is a little more targeted. Ransomware is designed to stop you from accessing your files and in order to gain access you are normally requested to pay an account a sum of money. With the kind of details you store on your computers these days, can you afford not to pay? Even the FBI say pay the ransom, but what happens when they don’t decrypt your files, granting you access which you’ve just paid a lot of money for. It’s a risk many take and many more will have to suffer thanks to the ransomware Power Worm, which forgets how to decrypt your files.

Encryption is the process in which using a key (similar to a password) you jumble up a file, making it extremely difficult to read or access without knowing the password that was used to encrypt it in the first place. Power worm does the usual, gets into the system and then encrypts your files but thanks to a NULL result in its code it forgets to store the key, meaning even if you pay its impossible to retrieve your files.

Please protect your files with regular backups on an external memory device and be careful when downloading or running any software.

Image courtesy of NSK Inc.

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.