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29Sep/190

Malware uses web apps to turn PCs into conduits for attacks

Crucially, the infection relies on legitimate programs to accomplish its task, whether they're built into Windows or downloaded from third parties. There are no malware programs copied to storage. The approach makes it harder for security teams to research the code and devise countermeasures.

It's not certain who's behind Nodersok. It appears to be meant for everyday criminals rather than hostile countries, however. Cisco believed that i was "primarily designed" for click fraud, or the practice of automatically generating ad clicks to boost revenue from websites. Most targets are typical consumers in Europe and the US rather than corporate or government users.

Both Microsoft and Cisco are keen to tout the ability of their enterprise-grade defense systems to thwart the malware. Most people don't have access to those to those resources, though, and conventional signature-based antivirus software has a much harder time. Nodersok has targeted "thousands of machines" in recent weeks, according to Microsoft, and that might not let up in the near future.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2019/09/29/nodersok-malware-uses-web-apps/

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29Sep/190

After Math: The New York AG sues Dunkin Donuts over hacking charges

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Need to take a break from the phrenetic action of modern first person shooters, maybe ge back to the simpler days where your all troubles could be solved with a simple axe cleaving? You, my friend, are in luck because the adventures of Kratos, the OG of DOA, are currently available for just $20 through the Playstation Store.

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On the other hand, if your jam is hopping into a 3-story mecha and raising hell across Fortnite maps, you're going to be sorely disappointed. After barely two months of availability, the BRUTES vehicles have come down with a terminal virus and won't be available after the current season ends.

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That donut chain you know from Mark Wahlberg movies is getting sued by the New York state government because someone hacked a bunch of DD card passwords back in 2005.

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DoorDash users would do well to review their personal security settings after the company announced this week that it's customer database had been compromised by hackers. Usernames and order histories have been divulged though account passwords have reportedly not been.

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I'm confused, do you not want to live in the future?

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2019/09/29/after-math-NYC-AG-dunkin-on-donuts/

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29Sep/190

Treaty would force Facebook to share encrypted chats with UK police

The pact would bar each country from investigating the other's citizens, and the US couldn't use data from UK companies in any case where the death penalty is an option.

Like other politicians, UK Home Secretary Priti Patel has claimed that end-to-end chat encryption helps terrorists, and that intelligence agencies should have backdoors to investigate suspicious activity. As always, though, there are a number of problems with this strategy. In addition to basic privacy concerns, there's not really such a thing as an authorities-only backdoor -- it's really introducing a vulnerability that anyone can use, including hostile countries and criminals. There's a chance measures like this could simply drive crooks to other services while punishing well-meaning users.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2019/09/28/us-uk-treaty-forces-sharing-of-encrypted-chats/

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29Sep/190

Court says Tesla and Musk’s tweet violated labor laws

Tesla broke labor laws by interfering with legitimate union organizing, among other things, California administrative law judge Amita Baman Tracy has ruled. The automaker apparently committed a number of violations against the National Labor Relations Act in 2017 and 2018, the court decided regarding the complaints filed by the United Auto Workers union. According to Bloomberg and Reuters, one of the violations cited in the filing is a tweet by company chief Elon Musk. In the tweet, he said that there's nothing stopping its car plant employees from organizing, but he also asked: "[W]hy pay union dues [and] give up stock options for nothing[?]"

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2019/09/28/tesla-musk-tweet-labor-law-violation/

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29Sep/190

‘Minecraft Earth’ launches in early access this October

Earth is a slight departure from the core Minecraft experience. You can still create your own worlds in AR, but you can also embark on shareable Adventures that have you braving monsters and other challenges to earn rare resources. It's ultimately an extension of Minecraft that encourages you to venture out into the real world and socialize, with world-building as the glue.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2019/09/28/minecraft-earth-launch-october/

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29Sep/190

iOS 13.1 review: A necessary update after a rough start

With iOS 12 last year, Apple's big theme was stability. It's not like there were no new features, but the real draw was that older devices might run a little better. This time is, a little different. iOS 13 is heavier on the new additions, perhaps to the detriment of its overall stability.

iOS goes dark

The most immediately noticeable change here is the dark mode, which drapes iOS in black. What can I say? It's pretty enough that I've been using it from the moment I installed the first beta, and there's no turning back. But, a quick toggle is all it takes to switch between the light and dark looks if you prefer variety, and an automatic mode tells iOS to switch between the two at the right time of day.

Dark mode has some fringe benefits too, like the fact that it could lead to some battery savings on iPhones with OLED screens. (That's the X, XS, XS Max, 11 Pro, and Pro Max.) It's difficult to gauge exactly how much power you could save, and realistically you're only gonna see extra minutes, not extra hours of use. No, the real reason to embrace dark mode is that you like the way it looks, or don't want to strain your eyes in dim light.

I do have to give Apple credit for consistency. When Android 10 launched, many of Google's most heavily used apps — including Gmail! — didn't support the update's system-wide dark mode. By comparison, nearly all of Apple's preloaded apps switch color schemes when asked. The biggest exception I've seen so far is Apple's iWork suite, which (at the time of writing) hasn't been updated in about three months. This is a notable omission no matter how you look at it, but it seems pretty clear that with iOS 13, Apple had some more pressing concerns to deal with.

New (and better) privacy tools

You might not use dark mode, but I guarantee it won't be long until you run into Apple's privacy tools, like iOS 13's more aggressive location permission controls. In this case, "aggressive" is a good thing. It used to be that, when you downloaded and ran an app that wanted to see where in the world you were, you'd typically get three choices: don't allow, always allow, or allow while the app is actively being used. iOS 13 handles things a little differently.

This year, that "always allow" option is gone. Sort of. It's been relegated to individual apps' location settings, so you have to go out of your way to give it unfettered access. You can also now effectively say "OK, just this once." After some time elapses, permission is revoked, and you can go about your day knowing there's one less bit of software following your every move. The new option has been great when using apps I know I'm probably not going to touch again for a while, and the mild annoyance of re-allowing access is a small price to pay for a little more privacy.

Apple also changed the way it reminds you when an app has had prolonged access to your location. This time around, in addition to a (fairly bland) description, iOS 13 shows you a tiny map highlighting every instance where the app in question locked onto you. More often than not, my results would look like a mottled blue worm connecting the dots of a day's travels. (Facebook is especially bad at this, which perhaps explains why it wanted to warn people about the changes Apple was making in advance.)

I only wish Apple's other big privacy feature was as pervasive. Eventually, you'll be able to sign into apps and services across the web with your Apple ID — the trick is, those apps and services won't ever see your Apple ID. Instead, iOS will create a new account with a strong password and a dummy email that forwards all the pertinent materials to wherever you want it. It sounds great on paper because it is. Sign in with Apple, as it's called, makes onboarding super-fast and protects you in case of an all-too-common data breach.

The only problem is, there's a decent chance the apps the services you'd want to use this with don't support it yet. Actually, at this point, hardly any apps do. I've used it to create secure accounts on Kayak and WordPress in just a few moments. Beyond that, though, pickings are slim. That will change because Sign in with Apple is meant to be mandatory for all services that have an account system, even if they just let you log in with Facebook, Google, or Twitter. The thing is, Apple hasn't set a hard deadline for compatibility, so it's anyone's guess whether developers will embrace Apple's approach in the short term.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2019/09/28/ios-13-1-review/

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29Sep/190

Watch SpaceX’s Starship presentation at 9:15PM ET (updated)

Musk has previously hinted that the event might show off the completed prototype ahead of its first suborbital flight. There's also a possibility that SpaceX will narrow down the time frame for that flight, which might happen as soon as October. Other updates may include design tweaks and revisions of the long-term schedule. Many details aren't set in stone, and there's a chance you may see significant changes.

As it stands now, the Starship prototype will have three Raptor engines (six in the finished version) and should reach an altitude of up to 12.5 miles before returning to Earth. The final craft is meant to enter commercial service by 2021, complete a tourist trip around the Moon by 2023 and eventually conduct missions around the Solar System. It's not certain that SpaceX will reach these goals, however. The firm is known for its optimistic timelines (it first expected a Falcon Heavy test flight in 2013), and hasn't even constructed the Super Heavy Booster needed for more ambitious missions. A lot needs to fall into place for SpaceX to meet its goals, and you may have a better sense of its progress after the presentation.

Update 9/28 6PM ET: SpaceX has bumped the update to "no earlier than" 9PM Eastern from the original 8PM due to weather. We've updated the story accordingly.

Update 2: The YouTube stream indicates things should begin around 9:15PM ET.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2019/09/28/watch-spacex-starship-update/

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29Sep/190

Twitch revamps channel pages to help you tune in to streamers

There's also good news if you primarily watch Twitch on your iPad or iPhone. You'll finally have the option to subscribe to a streamer directly from iOS starting in October. You won't buy a subscription directly, however. Instead, you'll buy tokens you can redeem for Tier 1 subscriptions as long as a year. It's not clear how much you'll pay, but we wouldn't be surprised if there's a premium to offset Apple's usual 30 percent cut for in-app purchases. There's also no Tier 2 or 3 subscriptions, so you'll still have to visit the web to pledge that additional support.

Ads are changing in the next couple of weeks. Game streams will have picture-in-picture views of the stream during ads. You won't miss a crucial play just because you started watching at the 'wrong' moment. Streamers will have the option to turn off pre-roll ads if they're willing to run ad breaks. Twitch is also normalizing the volume of ads so that you aren't blasted out of your seat, and Affiliates can make money from ads rather than having to wait for full-fledged Partner status. On top of this, you won't even see ads on basic accounts -- Twitch wants every video ad to directly support a channel.

A currently in-testing "channel points" feature, which rewards you with perks (such as unlocking emotes or highlighting your message), should be widely available in January.

Other changes are meant mostly for streamers. The Twitch Studio broadcasting app will be available to all streamers in November following its ongoing closed beta. A revised Creator Dashboard due in October will provide access to quick actions and tips for new streamers. Moderators, meanwhile, will get a customizable chat mode in spring 2020 to help them quickly take action against dodgy users and messages.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2019/09/28/twitch-updates-at-twitchcon-2019/

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29Sep/190

Google Assistant is now available for most Chromebooks

In addition, the new version lets users control audio from one place, making it easy mute their device if, say, a video suddenly starts playing from one of their many, many tabs. They can easily access those controls by clicking on the bottom right corner of the screen. It's now also easier for parents to add screen time for their kids within the Family Link app if they've been behaving exceptionally well.

The updated platform makes it easier to send web pages to other devices, as well, which was a feature that rolled out with Chrome version 77 earlier this month. All users need to do it is click on the address bar and choose "Send to your devices." Chrome OS 77 also comes with a battery saving measures that switches off the device after three days of standby.

Google's announcements says the update "will be progressively rolling out over the coming days." Those who still haven't gotten it will see it hit their devices soon enough.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2019/09/28/google-assistant-chrome-os-77/

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29Sep/190

Second SIM card attack can send texts and phone location data

The vulnerability could be used to track a device's location, point users to phishing websites and rack up fees on calls to toll numbers, among other tricks. Ginno has briefed the GSM Association on WIBattack, although it's not clear what if anything the industry body is doing to address the issue.

It's not certain just how many people are truly vulnerable. While Ginno warns that "hundreds of millions" of phones with WIB-capable SIM cards might be at risk, ZDNet obtained an SRLabs report suggesting the real number of potential victims might be considerably lower. Out of 800 tested cards, only 10.7 percent had WIB installed, and 3.5 percent of them were vulnerable to a Simjacker-like attack.

There's also the question of whether or not this would be the most effective method for would-be attackers. It may be easier to try SIM hijacking (which can simply involve less-than-scrupulous carrier staff) or an SS7 exploit. Still, this is another significant flaw that may be difficult to completely eliminate until networks and users upgrade to more secure SIMs.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2019/09/28/wibattack-sim-card-vulnerability/

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