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September, 2018

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FBI Solves Mystery Surrounding 15-Year-Old Fruitfly Mac Malware Which Was Used By a Man To Watch Victims Via their Webcams, and Listen in On Conversations

The FBI has solved the final mystery surrounding a strain of Mac malware that was used by an Ohio man to spy on people for 14 years. From a report: The man, 28-year-old Phillip Durachinsky, was arrested in January 2017, and charged a year later, in January 2018. US authorities say he created the Fruitfly Mac malware (Quimitchin by some AV vendors) back in 2003 and used it until 2017 to infect victims and take control off their Mac computers to steal files, keyboard strokes, watch victims via the webcam, and listen in on conversations via the microphone. Court documents reveal Durachinsky wasn’t particularly interested in financial crime but was primarily focused on watching victims, having collected millions of images on his computer, including many of underage children. Durachinsky created the malware when he was only 14, and used it for the next 14 years without Mac antivirus programs ever detecting it on victims’ computers. […] Describing the Fruitfly/Quimitchin malware, the FBI said the following: “The attack vector included the scanning and identification of externally facing services, to include the Apple Filing Protocol (AFP, port 548), RDP or other VNC, SSH (port 22), and Back to My Mac (BTMM), which would be targeted with weak passwords or passwords derived from third party data breaches.” In other words, Durachinsky had used a technique know as port scanning to identify internet or network-connected Macs that were exposing remote access ports with weak or no passwords.

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Source:: Slashdot

Wikimedia Endowment Gets New $1 Million Backing From Amazon

Amazon has donated $1 million to the Wikimedia Endowment, a fund supporting Wikipedia, the e-commerce giant said this week. From a report: The gift was intended to support Wikipedia and its nonprofit parent Wikimedia, which Amazon relies on for answers on its Alexa voice assistant. It was Amazon’s first ever to the free online information and education organization. “We are grateful for Amazon’s support, and hope this marks the beginning of a long-term partnership to supporting Wikipedia’s future,” Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales said in a statement.

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An Enigma Wrapped In A Riddle Wrapped In A Vintage Radio

Puzzle boxes are great opportunities for hacking. You can start with a box which was originally used for something else. You get to design circuitry and controls which offer a complex puzzle for the players. And you can come up with a spectacular reward for those who solve it. [thomas.meston’s] Dr. Hallard’s Dream Transmission Box, which he created for an original party game, has all those elements.

The box was a broken 1948 National NC-33 Ham Radio purchased on eBay after a number of failed bids. Most of it was removed except for the speaker. The electronics is Arduino based, so most of the smarts are in the form of code. Potentiometers and a switch provide the mechanism for players to enter codes. And when the correct code is entered, a relay triggers an external smoke machine and turns on a laser which illuminates a party ball, rewarding the victors. And of course, there are also sound effects as well as a recorded message.

We weren’t kidding when we said puzzle boxes make great hacks. Here’s one which ignites fireworks, one made only from discrete components, and a valentine based one which makes your significant other work for their gift.

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Source:: Hackaday

LG V40, Wear OS 2, Chromebooks, and privacy (MobileTechRoundup show #446)

Don’t worry, there won’t be any drinking for new devices as you listen to MobileTechRoundup show #446 with Kevin and I. There was still plenty to talk about though with October shaping up to be a big month for mobile. …read more

Source:: ZDNet

Ubuntu Linux 18.10 Cosmic Cuttlefish Beta Now Available For Desktop, Cloud and Server Versions

Roughly three weeks ahead of the scheduled release of Ubuntu Linux 18.10 “Cosmic Cuttlefish”, the latest major update for the popular Linux distro, beta of all of its flavors — desktop, cloud and server — is now available for download. From a report: Codenamed ‘Cosmic Cuttlefish,’ 18.10 continues Ubuntu’s proud tradition of integrating the latest and greatest open source technologies into a high-quality, easy-to-use Linux distribution. The team has been hard at work through this cycle, introducing new features and fixing bugs,” says Adam Conrad, Software Engineer, Canonical. Conrad further says, “This beta release includes images from not only the Ubuntu Desktop, Server, and Cloud products, but also the Kubuntu, Lubuntu, Ubuntu Budgie, UbuntuKylin, Ubuntu MATE, Ubuntu Studio, and Xubuntu flavours. The beta images are known to be reasonably free of showstopper CD build or installer bugs, while representing a very recent snapshot of 18.10 that should be representative of the features intended to ship with the final release expected on October 18th, 2018.” Further reading: Canonical Shares Desktop Plans For Ubuntu 18.10.

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Hey Venom, please don’t suck – CNET

As a lifelong fan of the Spider-Man rival, I’m worried about the movie. …read more

Source:: CNet

Adam Driver hosts SNL, but Matt Damon steals show as Kavanaugh – CNET

Star Wars talk was kept to a minimum as politics, including Kanye West’s pro-Trump remarks, were the talk of the show. …read more

Source:: CNet

Linux Kernel Finally Nearing Support For The Apple Magic Trackpad 2, Thanks To a Google Employee

Michael Larabel, writing for Phoronix: Apple announced the Magic Trackpad 2 almost three years ago to the day while the mainline Linux kernel will finally be supporting this multi-touch device soon. The Magic Trackpad 2 is a wired/wireless touchpad with haptic feedback support and is a much larger touchpad compared to the original Magic Trackpad. There unfortunately hasn’t been any mainline Linux kernel support for the Magic Trackpad 2, but some out-of-tree options. […] However, as seen by this bug report there have been plenty of people since 2015 interested in using the Magic Trackpad 2 on Linux. Fortunately, Sean O’Brien of Google’s Chrome OS team has been working on Magic Trackpad 2 support with a focus on getting it mainlined. The patch, which was also reviewed by other Google/ChromeOS developers, is now up to its third and perhaps final revision.

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Mission impossible: Can you regain access after Twitter lockout?

If your Twitter is hacked, it could be gone permanently and Twitter may not help. Here is one user’s sad story and how you can protect yourself. …read more

Source:: ZDNet

MX Player, a Video App Used By More Than 175 Million Users, Debuts OTT Service. Android Enthusiasts Express Concern.

MX Player, a video app which has been downloaded more than 500 million times across the globe, kickstarted its OTT (online video streaming) service in India, one of its largest markets, this week. MX Player, which is popular worldwide, has earned a loyal user base over the years for being the app that can run any video file you throw at it, even if your smartphone, tablet, or Android TV box doesn’t have high-end specs or updated software. It was acquired by Times Internet, an India-based conglomerate this June, and now the big giant is beginning to show what it intends to do with the app. From a report: […] All of these titles, including those produced by Times Internet, are now available to MX Player users in India at no charge, Karan Bedi, CEO of MX Player, told VentureBeat in an interview. Like most of Times Internet’s properties, which include several TV channels and newspapers, MX Player will count on ads to generate revenue. Betting on ad-driven business model, a popular path in developing markets, could help MX Player quickly convince its existing user base to give the streaming offerings a try as it begins to compete in the Indian market. Star India’s ad-supported service Hotstar, which offers about 80 percent of its catalog to customers for free, currently leads the video streaming market in the country. Going forward, Bedi said, the company remains committed to making investments in what made MX Player so popular among customers: The ability to play a plethora of video files on low-end devices. The company won’t be bringing its new streaming offerings to the paid version of the MX Player app, MX Pro, he said. Additionally, MX Player’s streaming offerings are limited to India, one of its largest markets, for now, although Bedi said the company is working on the right content catalog for other regions. Over at Android sub-reddit, where this story has been discussed, dozens of users expressed their concerns on the direction MX Player appears to be headed.

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