It's all in a lucrative day's work for Red MosquitoA Scottish managed services provider is running a lucrative sideline in ransomware decryption – however, a sting operation by a security firm appears to show that “decryption” merely means paying off the malware's masterminds.The services provider, Red Mosquito (tagline: “Your IT Department”), advertises itself as doing “all the technical stuff, properly, allowing you to concentrate on your business.”Some probing by researchers at infosec outfit Emsisoft, however, cast Red Mosquito’s activities in a different light.By setting up two email accounts and using them to pose as both a ransomware author and a victim of ransomware, Emsisoft said it discovered that Red Mosquito’s RM Data Recovery (RMDR) offshoot appears to be negotiating discounts with ransomware-slinging crooks to unlock scrambled files before charging the victims thousands in decryption fees.Barrister Tim Forte opined to The Register that entering a payoff agreement with a ransomware author could be seen as facilitating blackmail, explaining that it would be “nothing more than an agreement that between them, the author and RMDR, they would continue to seek monies from the victim, with the threat that, absent payment, the data would not be disinfected, released, or decrypted.”
Tehran's hackers are 'wiping' infected machines as tensions spike, fresh sanctions approvedHackers operating on behalf of the Iranian government have turned destructive, the US Department of Homeland Security has claimed.A statement issued over the weekend by Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) director Christopher Krebs describes how Tehran-backed miscreants have gone from simply attempting to harvest blueprints, sensitive data, and account credentials from American systems, to actively working to wipe clean Uncle Sam's PCs, servers, and network infrastructure in their wake.The attackers are, it is claimed, targeting the IT infrastructures of US government agencies and their private-sector contractors.While cyber-raids by Iran are nothing new, the aggressive deleting of data from hard drives and other storage gear is apparently cause for concern.We're not at all surprised by it.
SpaceX plans to launch a Falcon Heavy rocket carrying a payload of satellites Monday evening.NASA will livestream the whole event starting at 8 p.m. PT.This new launch is SpaceX’s first for the U.S. Department of Defense and will be challenging because it will involve four separate upper-stage engine burns in addition to three separate deployment orbits.The entire launch procedure is expected to take about six hours.Add to this the fact that this will be the Heavy’s first nighttime launch and it’s no wonder Elon Musk tweeted that this will be SpaceX’s “most difficult launch ever.”The Falcon Heavy is a larger version of SpaceX’s frequently-used Falcon 9 rocket, designed to carry more equipment.
Apple has opened the doors to the iOS 13 public beta, along with iPadOS 13, and if you’re feeling ambitious you can try out the upcoming iPhone and iPad software on your own device today.The full release of iOS 13 isn’t expected to occur until this fall, alongside the launch of Apple’s newest iPhone models, but this public beta offers a – potentially buggy – preview.It’s part of Apple’s Beta Software Program, designed to give regular users an advance look on upcoming releases, while also broadening the pool of people who might spot – and report – bugs.Developers have had access to an early version of iOS 13 since WWDC 2019 kicked off, but this is the first official opportunity for everyone else.There’s no shortage of reasons why you might want to give it a try, too.The most discussed is probably the new system-wide Dark Mode, which promises an easier-on-the-eyes interface.
iPhones are precisely made machines, so in the process of figuring out how to fix a cracked iPhone screen yourself, you run the risk of doing even more damage.Using a screen repair business not officially affiliated with Apple may be cheaper, but can also void your iPhone warranty, so think carefully before handing it over to a repair store.Recently, I was jogging from my car to a pizza shop to pick up dinner for the family, carrying my keys and iPhone in one hand, while digging through my wallet for cash with the other, not being careful with either.In the midst of jostling the items about, my venerable iPhone 6 took a dive and hit the edge of the curb screen-first.Cracked doesn't begin to do the damage justice; the screen was positively shattered, so crisscrossed with cracks that it could hardly turn on.Since it was an older phone and I was due for an upgrade anyway, the solution was simple: to replace my cracked iPhone screen, I simply bought a new phone.
New Rochelle, NY, June 24, 2019--SHERLOCK technology is a new CRISPR-based platform that is rapid and portable and enables detection and quantitation of plant genes to support a variety of agricultural applications.Additional advantages, including the ability to process crude plant extracts with minimal nucleic acid sample preparation required are described in a research article published in The CRISPR Journal, a new peer-reviewed journal from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers.Click here to read the full-text article free on The CRISPR Journal website through July 24, 2019.Feng Zhang, from the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard (Cambridge, MA) and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Cambridge), and coauthors Omar Abudayyeh, Jonathan Gootenberg, and Max Kellner, from the Broad Institute, MIT, and Harvard Medical School (Boston, MA) present the recently developed nucleic acid detection system called SHERLOCK in the article entitled "Nucleic Acid Detection of Plant Genes Using CRISPR-Cas13."The paper describes how the refined CRISPR-based tool SHERLOCK was applied for the first time in plants.SHERLOCK has the potential to be an important tool in agriculture for the rapid detection of pathogens or pests and in plant breeding.
Frustrated with your phone running out of battery before the day is out?According to telecommunications company Nokia, those days could soon be over.5G phones: these are the first next-gen handsetsWhat are the best phones for battery life?Crucially, the battery design was engineered so as not to increase the weight of the device, meaning you're not just packing in more batteries to cope with the demands of modern smartphones.It should also be able to better handle energy from renewable grids – solar, wind, etc – which tend to fluctuate in the amount of energy being provided throughout the day.
A trio of heavy lifters in rocket boffinryRoundup There was European joy, Russian frustration and a bit of a tease from the Falcon Heavy last week.T-16 will blast services in the Ku and Ka-bands over the continental United States, Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico for the next 15 years.Sitting beneath T-16 was the lighter weight EUTELSAT 7C, a high power broadcast satellite for markets in Africa, Europe, the Middle East and Turkey.Based on Maxar's 1300 class platform, the spacecraft is also expected to enjoy a 15-year lifespan.While Ariane 5 has been pretty reliable over the years, with only its first and fourteenth launches ending in total failure, and three others (including last year's VA-241 fiasco) deemed "partial failures", its end is in sight with the arrival of the considerably cheaper Ariane 6.
Austin might be the Steve Urkel of cities.Once assumed to be a bit player, the town’s bigger-than-life personality has turned it into the star of the show -- not to mention Texas.Organizations striving to hit Urkel-level pay dirt should study Austin’s awesomely weird rise to the top if they hope to re-create it.Every corner of the city oozes creativity, diversity and uniqueness.From realtors to hoteliers to restaurateurs, businesspeople love being part of the weirdness that makes the home of the annual SXSW festival the No.Kate Bristow, chief strategy officer and partner at creative agency M Saatchi LA, is hardly surprised by these results.
Your quick guide to what else has been happening in computer security latelyRoundup Here's a quick Monday summary of recent infosec news, beyond what we've already reported.Cisco emits critical bug fixesAdmins running Cisco gear will need to dedicate some time to updating their software an firmware following the release of 26 security patches from Switchzilla.Of the fixes, three are for critical flaws: CVE-2019-1663 is a remote code execution flaw in the RV110W, RV130W and RV215W routers.Additional patches address other bugs in SD-WAN and the RV-series switches.
Being a superhero is tough work, so Square Enix is taking at least one hurdle away from wannabe crusaders with its upcoming Marvel's Avengers game: an always-required internet connection.In an interview with GamesIndustryBiz, Crystal Dynamic's boss confirmed that, despite the game's focus on online multiplayer mechanics, Marvel's Avengers will be playable offline and solo."We want somebody to be able to go buy a disc and never have to go online," he said.He also emphasised the ability to fully customise the comic book heroes throughout play – which may go some way to allay the fears of those who were disappointed to find the game's stars do not share likenesses with their cinematic Hollywood counterparts."Your Black Widow could be different to my Black Widow – just a little, maybe a lot – depending on what you favour and how you unlock things.""We want people to be able to play together and go on this journey, but we also want to say if you want to over-invest in your characters and customise them, you've got it," Amos said.
Retail chain Game took a step closer toward being purchased by partner company Sports Direct on Friday following a recommendation made by Game's board that shareholders accept an offer totalling £51.88 million.Gameindustry.biz reports that a mandatory buy-out offer triggered by Sports Direct increasing its stake in the company by 10 per cent earlier this month has been given a grudging thumbs-up at Game Digital headquarters.Shareholders were offered 30 pence per share when the share value was 23.55 pence, although the price currently stands at 29.80.Game issued a statement on Friday announcing its decision:"The Board has been considering the merits of the Mandatory Offer and consulting with its major shareholders and advisers, whilst also actively engaging in normal course discussions with Sports Direct and its advisers during this time.Whilst the Board is disappointed that Sports Direct decided to issue its offer document unilaterally whilst these discussions were ongoing, the Board has unanimously concluded, following a period of detailed deliberation and having been so advised by Canaccord Genuity Limited ("Canaccord Genuity"), that 30 pence per share represents a fair value for the Group and intends, therefore, to recommend that shareholders accept the Mandatory Offer, as those members of the Board who hold GAME shares intend to do.
The Raspberry Pi 4 has been launched, and the latest iteration of the popular compact computer board introduces a much faster processor, plus a selection of models with different amounts of RAM, starting from £34 or $35 (around AU$50).The new CPU is a 1.5GHz quad-core ARM Cortex-A72 (64-bit) which is three times as fast as its predecessor, the Pi Foundation promises, and it’s capable of driving a pair of 4K monitors to boot.Note, though, that the board has a pair of micro-HDMI ports, rather than the previous full-size connector, so you’ll need to buy an adapter to use a standard HDMI cable – fortunately that accessory is a mere £1.50 (around $2, AU$3), or an official (4Kp60 capable) micro-HDMI to HDMI cable will set you back $5 (£4, $7).You also get a pair of USB 3.0 ports, alongside two USB 2.0 connectors, a Gigabit Ethernet port, and on the wireless front, 802.11ac dual-band Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 5.0.You can further choose between a board which has either 1GB, 2GB, or 4GB of LPDDR4 SDRAM.The selling points here are a much faster boot-up time, and way faster overall performance than the Pi 3 – in fact the new Pi is comparable to an entry-level desktop PC, but obviously at a much cheaper price.
Since the launch of the event in 2010, Chinese e-commerce companies have raked in billions of Chinese yuan during the buying frenzy.But this year was different: It was the first time the next generation of young leaders shaping China’s largest e-commerce platforms went head-to head-during a major online shopping event.JD’s efforts were led by Xu Lei, the rumored creator of the 618 festival who became the new chief executive of JD Retail just months before CEO Richard Liu’s arrest in the US last year.Meanwhile, Huang Zheng, founder and CEO of social e-commerce firm Pinduoduo, became the leader of a publicly listed company last July when Pinduoduo debuted in the US.Statistics from this year’s 618 shopping festival highlight some changes that might shape future strategies for the industry, with China’s hinterlands driving consumption while e-commerce upstarts accused more establish players of “unfair competition.”Emerging growth in lower-tier cities
Alibaba Cloud chief scientist Min Wanli on Saturday announced his resignation after six years with the e-commerce behemoth, the latest in a series events signaling slowing progress in smart transportation progress across China.In a farewell letter obtained by Chinese media, Min said he had set up a venture capital firm to help fund the integration of cloud computing and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies into Chinese traditional industries such as manufacturing, agriculture, and healthcare.A spokesman from Alibaba confirmed Min’s departure when contacted by TechNode on Monday.The handover was completed smoothly, and urban management and industrial solutions remain among key areas of focus for the company’s cloud business, he said.After obtaining a doctorate in statistics from the University of Chicago and working as a data scientist at IBM and Google for nearly 10 years, Min joined Alibaba in September 2013 as its principal data scientist.He was tasked with developing data solutions for Alibaba’s online marketplaces Taobao and Tmall to drive sales and target users.
What happened: Tencent’s messaging app WeChat has on Monday unblocked links shared from short video app Kuaishou, 36Kr reported.Shared videos play directly in user WeChat Moments newsfeeds as embedded videos.The sharing button in Kuaishou has also been changed to the WeChat’s Moments icon.Videos from Bytedance apps such as Douyin, Xigua Video, and Huoshan Video, however, still need to be downloaded and then uploaded to appear in WeChat.Why it’s important: In April 2018, China’s National Radio and Television Administration censured a number of short video apps for expanding their services without proper licenses.A month later, Tencent started blocking embedded short video links in WeChat Moments, requiring users to copy and paste links into browsers to be viewed normally.
48MP cameras have emerged as one of the biggest smartphone trends of 2019 thus far, as budget and flagship tiers alike adopt the technology.Samsung upped the ante last month by introducing the 64MP GW1 sensor, but could it see similar adoption to 48MP shooters?Well, Realme CEO Madhav Sheth has now announced on Twitter that the firm is working on a 64MP smartphone powered by the GW1 sensor.The executive claims this will be the first phone with Samsung’s 64MP sensor.Xiaomi and Samsung are reportedly working on 64MP phones too, so it looks like the race to be first isn’t over yet.Working on the new premium killer!
Data from the Indonesia Family Life Survey reveals that adults often feel resentment towards their richer friends after seeing their positive social media posts.The research, which surveyed 9,987 households, was conducted by social scientists at the University of Brawijaya and Yogyakarta State University in Indonesia, and academics from the UK’s University of Manchester.The study looked specifically at Facebook, Twitter, and chat, and analyzed 22,423 individuals across almost 300 districts in a country of 264 million.Although the effect of social media on mental health has been documented globally, this new research pinpoints particular issues in developing countries such as Indonesia.“In a society like Indonesia with such dramatic inequality, social media may lead to envy and bitterness, since poor individuals are exposed to the happiness and positive images of their richer friends,” said the study, published in the International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction.Inequality in Indonesia has been rising fast since 2000, and the country has the third fastest-growing economy among G20 nations.
Today, Raspberry Pi is introducing a new version of its popular line of single-board computer.The Raspberry Pi 4 Model B is the fastest Raspberry Pi ever, with the company promising "desktop performance comparable to entry-level x86 PC systems."The new model is built around a Broadcom BCM2711 SoC, which, with four 1.5GHz Cortex A72 CPU cores, should be a big upgrade over the quad core Cortex A53 CPU in the Raspberry Pi 3.The RAM options are the even bigger upgrade though, with options for 1GB, 2GB, and even 4GB of DDR4.The Pi 3 was limited to 1GB of RAM, which really stung for desktop-class use cases.There has been some upgrades and tweaks to the Pi 4 I/O, too.
Once flagship models initiate a design or functionality trend, it's rare that new devices in the budget segment don't follow.Currently, a user who plans to spend somewhere under Rs 20,000 on a smartphone has loads of options.Display: 6.15-inch full-HD LCD notched display | Processor: Kirin 710 SoC | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 128GB | OS: Android 9 Pie with EMUI 9 | Rear camera: 24MP + 2MP + 8MP | Front camera: 32MP | Battery: 3340mAhApart from the teardrop notch and the colorful back designs, the P30 Lite has little in common with its siblings.The P30 Lite discards several key features from the higher-end P30 phones but aims to retain the spirit of the P30 series by offering a high-end striking design alongside an adept camera setup.You can easily get a days worth of moderate use with the conservative battery capacity and if you happen to run out of juice the phone can charge up relatively quickly with the bundled fast charger.