Do you know about cheat codes used in video games? I am sure many of you might have used it, but it is not good as you do cheating in the game. No one likes cheaters, if you have been receiving some cheat codes then you should know that the “World’s biggest” videogame cheat provider has been busted by the Chinese police.
Police Bust “World’s Biggest” Cheat Ring Worth $750M
The Chinese police has done a collaboration with tech giant Tencent and has taken down the cheat provider in china. The team was jailed and $46M assets were Seized by the police.
Last year in 2020, a video game cheat ring was reported to the Chinese police. And exactly after one year, this operation is successful and it is the biggest takedown of the cheat provider in gaming history.
This cheat ring offers a variety of game codes to the players and was asked to purchase temporary cheats via now-defunct service. As per the reports, the providers have earned more than $10,000 every day. They were selling wall-hacks, aimbots, and every type of cheats.
On March 26, 2021, the Police has shut down the ring, and before that the cheat providers have earned $764 million (USD).
The police report was posted on Weibo, it says Tencent collaborated with Kunshan police officers and were able to find these cheat providers. However, the ring was mainly focusing on mobile titles and also Overwatch and Valorant. The user who uses cheat codes should pay for a subscription where they allow to use cheats for a specific period of time, like for 10 USD per day, $200 per month. It has a huge number of subscribers, so they were earning more than $10,000 per day.
However, now the provider’s assets are seized, like their luxury sports cars which cost around $20M. They also had properties and virtual currency.
The police Kunshan raided few locations and arrested 10 resellers of this cheating ring, and a total of 17 websites are closed down.
One of the biggest reasons for this video game cheat code provider bust has happened due to the involvement of a huge sum of amounts, many games involved. Even the games from other places were also involved other than China.
Windows 10 is indeed a great desktop operating system for desktop computers and laptops. Windows 10 offers more security features and customization options than any other desktop operating system. If you have been using Windows 10 for a while, you might know that the operating system offers a full-fledged security suite known as Windows defender.
If we talk about the Windows Defender, it’s a great security suite that protects your computer from various security threats like viruses, malware, spyware, etc. Thanks to the Windows Defender, Windows 10 users no longer need to rely on additional antivirus software for real-time protection.
What is Malicious Software Removal Tool (MSRT)?
Although Windows Defender is capable enough to dodge most security threats, Microsoft has introduced another security tool to safeguard your computer. It’s already a part of your Windows 10 operating system that Microsoft updates regularly to detect and remove known security threats. Every three months, the Malicious Software Removal tool receives a new update which usually appears on the Windows update page.
After Windows downloads the newer version of the MSRT tool, it will automatically run itself in the background without interrupting your work. It will display the report telling about the malicious software if it finds an infection.
Now you all might be wondering how MSRT is different from Windows defender, right? The Malicious Software Removal Tool is designed to run on an already infected system. That means, if your system is breached, you will like to run this instead. The MSRT tool doesn’t provide any real-time protection like Microsoft defender, nor can it remove harmful software that is not actively running.
After scanning your system, it lists the malware and shows the instructions to deal with a specific set of malware. So, it’s a utility that helps to remove unwanted software that Windows Defender missed in the first place.
Step 1. First of all, open this webpage and click on the ‘Download‘ button.
Step 2. It’s a portable tool, and hence it doesn’t need any installation.
Step 3. Double click on the executable file and click on the Next button.
Step 4. You will find three scan type options – Quick Scan, Full Scan, and Customized Scan.
Step 5. If you want to scan your entire system, select the ‘Full Scan.’ The Quick Scan option scans the folders likely to have malicious software. The Customized scan performs a quick scan on the folder you have specified.
Step 6. Select the type of scan you want to perform and wait until the scan completes.
Step 7. Once completed, click on the ‘View detailed results of the scan’ option. It will list all scan details.
Step 8. MSRT tool also creates a log file telling you about the scan result. You can find the log file on C:\Windows\Debug\mrt.log
Note: Malicious Software Removal Tool is good, but it’s not a perfect replacement for a premium antivirus suite. It would be best if you don’t solely depend on MSRT to safeguard your system as it doesn’t offer real-time protection, and it only deals with a specific scope of malware.
Apple already offers numerous accessibility features to help users navigate around its devices. We’ve seen the Cupertino giant add nifty accessibility features and tools like emergency sound recognition, advanced magnifier tool, and an amazing voice control feature in iOS 14. Now, to help people with speech disabilities, Apple today launched something called “Saylists” on Apple Music.
As per a report by BBC, one in every twelve children in the United Kingdom is said to suffer from some sort of speech-sound disability/disorder (SSD). As a result, Apple worked with Warner Music to develop the said Apple Music feature that will use algorithms to find songs with challenging lyrics and sounds.
Now, the purpose of “Saylists” would be to offer users songs that would have repeating sounds such as “ch…”, “g…”, “k…”, “z…”, and others. This is because getting people with SSD to repeat hard and challenging sounds is one of the most successful therapeutic strategies to treat the disorder.
So in this case, the algorithm developed by Apple in collaboration with Warner Music will scour 70 million songs on Apple Music to find songs that would be helpful for users with SSD. As of now, the algorithm has selected 173 such songs which include Lizzo’s Good as Hell and Right There, Dua Lipa’s Don’t Start Now, and Fatboy Slim’s Right Now.
Saylists on Apple Music
On Apple Music, if you search for “Saylists,” then you will get dedicated playlists for the aforementioned sounds. For instance, there are Saylists for Z-sound songs, T-sound songs, S-sound songs, and many other similar ones. The featured artists of these Saylists include Dj Tiesto, Tones And I, Rihanna, Michael Jackson, Jack Black, and many more.
Saylists are available on Apple Music on compatible devices. So, you can search for them on any of your devices that use for the streaming service. If you suffer from any kind of speech-sound disorder, then I’d suggest you give these a listen once in a while.
“We’re always pleased to hear about innovative approaches that support speech-and-language therapists in their work. As with all new techniques and tools, we recommend effective evaluation and monitoring of outcomes,” Kamini Gadhok, the Chief Executive at the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapist told BBC.
Did you get a docx file and need to convert it into a PDF file? Sure, there are apps you can use to do this on your computer, but you don’t have to wait until you’re at your computer. Try file conversion apps for Android instead, which let you see and use your file now versus later.
All of the apps listed are free, though some do have premium features that require a subscription. If you sign up for a free trial, make sure to cancel it within 24 hours in the Google Play Store. It’ll be listed under “Subscriptions” in the main Play Store menu.
1. VidCompact Video to MP3 Converter
If you want the app to do more than just convert the format of your files, VidCompact is an excellent choice. The app allows you to convert videos to MP4, videos to MP3, and you also have the option of changing the resolution of the video before it is converted. As the name implies, it’s just for video and audio files.
While all the features were once free to use, some now require an in-app purchase or subscription. There is a free three-day trial, which could be longer in my opinion. Besides being able to change the format of the files, the app also allows you to batch compress, crop, trim, and modify audio frequencies, and it supports formats such as MOV, HD, WMV, AVI, MPEG, MKV, 3GP, RMVB, and FLV.
All the videos you convert will be stored in the “My Studio” folder. The app also has an easy-to-understand user interface.
One of the best all-in-one file conversion apps for Android is File Converter. It has various types of converters, such as image, audio, video, eBook, document, metadata, archive, and hash.
Tap on document converter and on the current format of the file. Select the folder icon at the top and choose your file. The final step before your file is converted is selecting the format you now want the file to have.
Under Output, choose “Target Format” and tap on the new format. To start the conversion process, tap on the Play button at the bottom.
What’s different about this app is that your file is sent to their servers, and once the process is over, the file is downloaded to your phone. The size limit is 100MB. The plus side is everything’s free.
3. PDF Converter
With PDF Converter, you can convert as many files as you want, since the app doesn’t place a limit. The file does not lose quality after the conversion, and you can choose to either scan a document, select a file on your device, or add it from Dropbox, Drive, OneDrive, or others.
Convert from most popular document types to PDF and vice versa. It even turns images into PDFs.
Once the file has been converted, tap on the drop-down menu and choose to either open it, send a copy, get details, rename, remove, or delete it.
The app also makes it easy to find files you’ve converted. Tap on the three dots at the top right and choose Sort Files. You can sort your files by date or name.
There is one major downside to this app. You can only convert three files before upgrading to the premium version. This is a good way to try the app, but you may want to try some of the other options first to avoid paying.
4. Batch Image Converter
Just as the name states, with Batch Image Converter you can change the format of various image files simultaneously. This makes it one of the more popular file conversion apps for Android. You can convert your images to JPG, PNG, WEBP, GIF, or PDF.
If you’re going to convert an image to JPG, you’ll be able to fill the transparency with the color of your choice. Simply use the color slider to create the color you want. The app keeps things simple, so it’s a great app if you’re only interested in converting an image without all the extras.
There are in-app purchases, but it’s not necessary to use the app. You can pay to get rid of ads and increase the number of files you can convert at one time.
5. All File Converter
All File Converter is another all-in-one file conversion app for Android. It handles documents, images, video, music, and more. It’ll even handle ebooks, though Calibre makes it easy to do conversions on your desktop if necessary. Files upload to All File Converter’s servers but are deleted after 24 hours.
The interface couldn’t be more straightforward, making it simple to choose your desired file format. Some users have had issues with archive files, so that may be a glitch to watch out for.
So far, Windows 10 has proved to be one of the friendliest versions of Windows to date. If you own an older Windows OS, Microsoft is no longer providing support, so it may be in your best interest to upgrade to Windows 10. There are several ways of doing this, and you don’t even need to format your drive. Here are some of the ways to easily upgrade to Windows 10.
1. Installing Windows 10 via Bootable Disk
If you have access to a verified copy of Windows 10, you can easily create a bootable disk from it, then use this to install Windows 10. This only requires a flash disk with more than 6GB capacity and a passing knowledge of how to access BIOS settings. The benefit of installing Windows 10 using a bootable disk is that you can preserve the flash disk in case you want to reinstall or repair the OS.
To install Windows 10 via the bootable disk, you have to first boot up the USB drive. This will require you to enter the BIOS (typically press F2, F12 or Del when the computer boots up) and enable booting from the flash drive.
Once booted up, you will be given an option to install Windows on your system. Simply accept the terms and conditions and follow the installation prompts to completion.
Once done, you can then turn on your computer and log on to Windows 10. You will be prompted to enter some information, and it may also be necessary for the OS to download updates. If in a hurry, you can schedule this for later.
2. Use the Free Windows 10 Upgrade Offer
You can easily upgrade from Windows 7 or 8.1 for free. This only works if the older version of Windows is genuine.
To use this method, find the key to your existing Windows 7 or 8.1 and write it down just in case. Then, head over to Microsoft, download the installation software and run it.
You do not need to do much after this, as installation of Windows 10 requires little input from the user in this setting. Once installed, it will download all the relevant updates and patches, so you may need to have Internet access. If you are in a hurry, you can schedule this to happen later.
3. Using Command Prompt to Force a Quick Windows 10 Upgrade
It is possible to use the command prompt to force a computer to upgrade to Windows 10.
1. Go to your update settings and ensure that your computer is set up to automatically update.
2. Go to the “C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution\Download” folder. Delete everything in it by pressing Ctrl + A to select all the files, then press the Delete button.
3. Open the command prompt by clicking the Start button. In the command prompt window, enter:
and press Enter.
After a couple of minutes, manually check for updates using the Windows Update app on your computer. You should see an option to download Windows 10. Press this to download the OS, which should then auto-update without deleting any of your files or changing any settings.
The computer manufacturer Acer was attacked by the ransomware group Revil. This calls for the highest known ransom to date, at $50 million. If the computer manufacturer does not pay, the criminals threaten to publish the copied data on their data leak site.
According to Bleepingcomputer, the criminals have already published leaked images on this, including financial tables, bank balance sheets and bank communications.
If Acer pays the ransom, the criminals are willing to delete the copied data and provide the computer manufacturer with a decryption tool and a vulnerability report.
According to Vitali Kremez from the security company Advanced Intel, the ransomware group has recently increasingly attacked Exchange servers. According to their findings, there is also an Exchange server from Acer, which the criminals could have hacked Acer through.
When asked by Bleepingcomputer, Acer did not want to make a clear statement about the incident. Acer routinely monitors its IT systems and is able to ward off most cyberattacks well, the computer manufacturer replied.
“Companies like us are under constant attack, and we have reported the abnormal situations we have seen recently to law enforcement and data protection authorities in several countries,” Acer explained that no further details were given due to an ongoing investigation.
A particularly threatening group of hackers took advantage of 11 zero-days in the past year, i.e., security gaps that were not known at the time and therefore not patched. The operating systems Windows, Android, and iOS were affected.
The attacks were discovered by Google’s Project Zero and Threat Analysis Group, which had already published information about the individual security vulnerabilities.
In a blog entry, security researcher Maddie Stone, who works at Project Zero, now goes into the background of the security holes that have already been patched.
Accordingly, Google discovered the first four, already actively used zero-days in February 2020. In October 2020, Google again noticed attacks by the same group, which this time used a total of seven zero days. Several zero-days were combined in order to take over a device via the browser to the operating system. This so-called chaining of security holes is not uncommon.
Such a chain was aimed at a fully patched Windows 10 with an up-to-date Chrome browser. Two sub-chains were aimed at fully patched Android 10 devices using the Samsung browser or Chrome.
In addition, the hacker group had Remote Code Execution Exploits (RCE) for iOS 11 to 13, as well as a vulnerability for rights expansion under iOS 13 in their repertoire. The weaknesses were only fixed with iOS 14.1.
However, Stone notes that only iOS, Android, and Windows were tested when the exploit servers were still online. Accordingly, there could have been other chains of exploits.
The exploits were therefore placed on websites in the vicinity of the victims using so-called watering hole attacks. The victims were recognized by the IP address and the user agent. If this fingerprinting was positive, an iframe was injected into the website that pointed to the exploit server. This ultimately took over the victims’ devices.
“The vulnerabilities cover a fairly wide range of problems – from a modern JIT vulnerability to multiple font errors,” writes Stone. Each exploit has shown expertise in exploit development and the exploited chess point itself.
In the case of Freetype Zero Day in Chrome, the exploit method for Google’s Project Zero was new. In addition, the obfuscation methods were varied and time-consuming to analyze, explains Stone.
First four Zero Days (February 2020):
CVE-2020-6418 – Chrome Vulnerability in Turbofan
CVE-2020-0938 – Font Vulnerability in Windows
CVE-2020-1020 – Font Vulnerability in Windows
CVE-2020-1027 – Windows CSRSS vulnerability
Another seven zero days (October 2020):
CVE-2020-15999 – Heap buffer overflow in Chrome Freetype
CVE-2020-17087 – Windows heap buffer overflow in CNG.sys
CVE-2020-16009 – Chrome-Type-Confusion in Turbofan- Map-Deprecation
CVE-2020-16010 – Heap buffer overflow in Chrome for Android
CVE-2020-27930 – Safari: Any reading/writing of the stack via type 1 fonts
CVE-2020-27950 – iOS XNU kernel memory disclosure in Mach -Message-Trailers
CVE-2020-27932 – iOS-Kernel-Type-Confusion with Turnstiles
Some of China’s biggest tech companies are preparing to bypass Apple’s new iPhone privacy feature.
According to the Financial Times, the Chinese CAA or China Advertising Association (backed by the country’s own government) is testing new tools that would seek to circumvent the recently implemented iOS privacy standards, allowing companies to continue tracking our data without our consent.
Called CAID, this new tracking system is being tested by tech companies and advertisers in China. In fact, ByteDance, owner of TikTok, and Tencent, the studio responsible for video games such as Fortnite and League of Legends, would have been involved in the use of this tool.
According to the outlet, ByteDance would have already provided its main developers with an entire 11-page guide that suggests that advertisers within their application use “the CAID as a substitute if the IDFA (the iPhone ad identifier) of the user is not is available“.
Although Apple has declined to discuss this tool and its potential to circumvent these new transparency rules on app tracking, it made clear that there would be no exceptions.
Day to day new changes is taking place in technology, instead of getting more privacy concerns, every now and then hackers are attacking the users. A new attack has come up where hackers redirect the SMS bound for the user’s phone number to their systems.
As per the reports by Joseph Cox of Vice, the text messages are redirected by the hacker to get the OTP of the user’s device and other information in the SMS attack. He also told that the hacker can get the access to Whatsapp account also.
These attacks are possible because of the carelessness of the telecom industry. By using the SMS attack, the hackers can redirect the important text messages that contain OTP or login links.
Joseph Cox, a Motherboard reporter was personally attacked and he was not even knowing about the attack on his mobile number.
In a report, he said,
“Looking down at my phone, there was no sign it had been hacked. I still had reception; the phone said I was still connected to the T-Mobile network. Nothing was unusual there. But the hacker had swiftly, stealthily, and largely effortlessly redirected my text messages to themselves. And all for just $16, .
However, the strange thing about the attack is, the hacker can get access by paying just $16 (Rs. 1,160). The company that provided these services in the case of Cox has said that the attack has been fixed but for a few others it has not been solved. Moreover, some of the companies know the attack then also they are blaming CTIA, the trade organization.
This SMS redirecting attack is another hacking activity added to the list of hacking. Already there are attacks on SIM Swapping and SS7 that is affecting many users. However, the interesting thing about these attacks is the user gets to know about the hack within few moments as the phone does not have any network. But, in this SMS attack case, the victim does not get to know anything.
So, to avoid this, it is better to not depend on SMS services. You must use authenticator apps and for bank-related OTPs, you must register your email account with your account to receive the OTPs.
I’ve been getting obviously fake text messages from “Amazon” for the past week. Whether a hack, spam, scam, whatever, I know they aren’t real, but I have wondered where they came from. This news makes me wonder even more: SMS messages can be redirected to hackers for just $16.
Hackers Buy SMS Access
Do you get errant text messages and have no idea where they come from? Companies that you trust may have sold hackers access to your messages, which could include private data.
There are companies that manage text messages that appear to be behind this, or at the very least, they are enablers in this scenario. These services silently redirect text messages. Sometimes they are redirecting them right into the hands of attackers.
These companies often don’t even send messages to the account owners to let them know their SMS messages are being redirected to someone they don’t know and haven’t given access to. The attackers gain the ability to not only intercept your messages but reply to them as well. What would they possibly say?
Cox was able to get someone to carry out an attack on his phone number, the one that only cost the attacker $16. He was also able to get SMS redirection services to admit they’d seen these types of attacks before.
This is an exploit on the part of the SMS redirection services. They apparently believe they are selling the access to other legitimate companies. The company that sold Cox’s number has now fixed the exploit.
AT&T and Verizon were asked by The Verge if it was possible for messages to be redirected to hackers. Both companies suggested they contact the wireless industry trade organization, CTIA. CTIA told Motherboard it had “no indication of any malicious activity involving the potential threat or that any customers were impacted.”
These were already other known methods of text messaging interference. The industry has been aware of SMS swapping and SST attacks for a couple of years. Victims of SMS swapping know, however, of the attacks. It won’t be as obvious when your text messages are redirected.
It could get even worse than just access to your SMS messages – it could extend to your other accounts. Think of all the password reset codes that are sent to you via text. With access to your account, an attacker now has access to those reset accounts as well. Login links are sent through text as well. That’s even more accounts that have now been opened to the hackers.
For all these reasons, avoid sending anything security-related through your SMS messages. This includes two-factor authentication. Sometimes you may not have a choice. Just make sure you have an ironclad password.