Data overage charges
AT&T is dropping overage charges for mobile data plans. Instead of charging extra fees, it will slow down the connections of users who exceed their monthly data allowance.
The move is accompanied by a general price increase, though it will only affect new customers or those existing customers who choose to change plans.
T-Mobile dropped overage charges in 2014. Customers who hit their data allowance aren’t charged but get a slower connection for the rest of the month unless they buy a data “top up.”
Verizon introduced an optional “Safety Mode” that lets customers have a reduced speed rather than pay overages. Choosing this option carries a $5 per month fee.
With all three carriers, the reduced speed after hitting a data limit is 128 kilobits per second, approximately equivalent to 2G mobile speeds. This is just about fast enough for emails and basic web browsing, with painful waits, but it makes audio or video streaming nearly unusable.
The problem appeared to be driven by tablet users who consumed more data than expected due to watching full-screen, high-definition video.
Windows 10 anniversary update causes lockups
Microsoft has confirmed some Windows 10 computers may freeze up after the latest update. It says starting in Safe mode is one way to get around the problem while a permanent fix is developed. Users will just have to be patient and use their computers in this reduced performance mode that many do not even know how to enter. In Windows 10 the traditional ‘tap the F8 key before Windows starts’ to get into Safe Mode has been disabled.
Microsoft states that users can roll back the update. Doing so in Safe Mode is a little different to the normal process, so Microsoft has published the steps to do so.
Audi to reveal red light secrets
Audi will soon fit its cars with a technology that can coordinate with traffic lights in several US cities. The new feature is being built into an existing navigation and information service called Audi Connect, with a $25 a month service fee. The theory is that this will let drivers figure out whether they have time to safely attend to other measures such as checking on a child in the back seat, or checking their smart phone before returning their attention to driving.
The countdown will disappear from the screen with around three seconds to go.
Audi says that’s intended to stop drivers using the information to help them in impromptu races with neighboring cars while waiting for the lights to turn green.
Australian porn site members targeted school girls for nude images
Members of a pornography website targeted dozens of Australian schools so they could view and swap graphic sexual images of female students and other non-consenting women.
News.com reports that members of the site have posted and shared more than 2,000 images. Those nude photos made their way to the forum after users nominated a specific high school or region along with the full names of girls they were “hunting.”
Other members then “contributed” by looking up personal information about the targeted women, including their physical addresses, phone numbers, and links to their social media profiles. News.com does not say how site members obtained nude photos of their victims. Those with more technical expertise might have obtained the images by infecting their victims with a remote access Trojan. Then demanding sexual content in exchange for the return of their “slaved” computer.
Victims have responded by asking that their pictures be taken down. Most of them are ignored, some have been laughed at and ridiculed.
Criminals earn $195K in July with cerber ransomware affiliate scheme
Check Point Software, along with IntSights, have released a detailed report on the Cerber Ransomware and its Ransomware as a Service affiliate system.
The revenue generated by the Cerber affiliate system is staggering, with Cerber generating $195,000 in profits for July and the malware developer taking a 40 percent cut from this total. This equated to the malware developer making $78,000 in July and a forecasted $946,000 for the year!
Check Point, discovered Cerber in February 2016 when the malware developer posted about the new ransomware on an underground criminal web site in order to recruit affiliates.
The Cerber developer manages the Command and Control servers, the affiliate system, the support center, and the programming of the ransomware, while the affiliates would distribute the ransomware in order to infect victims. Both the developer and the affiliate would then split the ransom payments, with the developer keeping 40 percent of the profits and 60 percent going to the distributor.
Distribution campaigns performed by Cerber affiliates include email campaigns and other methods.
The shark ransomware project allows you to create your own customizerd ransomware
A new Ransomware as a Service called the Shark Ransomware Project has been discovered. The Shark Ransomware Project offers would-be criminals the ability to create their own customized ransomware without needing any technical experience by filling out a form and clicking a button.
Visa alert and update on the Oracle breach
Credit card giant Visa on Friday issued a security alert warning companies using point-of-sale devices made by Oracle‘s MICROS retail unit to double-check the machines for malicious software or unusual network activity, and to change passwords on the devices. Visa also published a list of Internet addresses that may have been involved in the Oracle breach and are thought to be closely tied to an Eastern European organized cybercrime gang.
When Oracle bought MICROS in 2014, the company said MICROS’s systems were deployed at some 200,000+ food and beverage outlets, 100,000+ retail sites, and more than 30,000 hotels.Oracle urged MICROS customers to change their passwords, and said “we also recommend that you change the password for any account that was used by a MICROS representative to access your systems.”