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Absolute Computer News, Issue #001 -- Legacies, Expliots, & Buster Crabbe
May 10, 2016

May News: Legacies, Exploits & Buster Crabbe

May 10, 2016 / Issue 1, Vol. 2

Absolute Computer News delivers up-to-date news in the world of technology and all things Geek.

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Legacy Servers and the Curious Battle of Blizzard vs. Nostalrius Believe it or not, we are now at a place in time when some of the most well-known MMOG's are nearing multiple decades in their age column. This means that there is a growing nostalgia for “the way we were.” As with everything from cars to fashion, there is always a desire to own something from the past in an almost pristine state. This is where groups like Nostalrius and the group behind Project 1999 are. The worlds they have built on legacy servers are now coming under fire by the big game developers. Who will win and why is it important?
Rise of the Exploit Kit, Part 2 In part one of our “Rise of the Exploit Kit” I explained what these are and why they are so dangerous. This new form of malware isn't what we would consider a legacy virus. It works differently and therefore usually isn't detected by anti-virus suites. In this article, I will give you tips on how to protect yourself from this dangerous drive-by code.

Buster Crabbe, the Original Rocket Man Buster Crabbe (1908-1983). Some of you may have heard the name but are thinking, “Isn't he a cowboy actor?” Buster did perform in some westerns but the rest of his life was very interesting.

Buster was one of the original action heroes of 1930's and 40's and was the only actor to portray Flash Gordon, Buck Rogers, and Tarzan. He even won Olympic gold!

3 Reasons for Switching to Ubuntu For those willing to listen, I try my best to explain the differences between running a Windows system and a Linux based system. I show them that most of the issues they seem to have with Microsoft don't exist with Ubuntu. However, it still boils down to this: People fear what they don't know or understand.
iCloud Hijack Alert

Hackers are using Apple's Find My Mac security feature to remotely lock out device owners. The owner then sees a landing page where payment is demanded to unlock it.

This sounds like an easy fix on the surface; however, it can become quite serious. Without proof of ownership (valid sales receipt and device identification), Apple will not intervene or unlock the account. This has a two-fold consequence: the device that is locked out (iMac, iPhone, Macbook, etc) is now a brick; AND, the owner's data that has been backed up to the iCloud is locked from that user ever accessing it.

Many Windows users have been dealing with ransomware as of late and that has its own issues. While this iCloud hijacking doesn't encrypt the Apple user's data, they are forever locked out of accessing the data AND someone else has control of that data.

New Penalties for Hacking a Car's Computer

Last July Wired Magazine reported on a couple of computer security experts, Charlie Miller and Chris Valasek, who hacked into a Jeep Cherokee's entertainment system and gained control of the vehicle's most important controls like accelleration and braking. That demonstration sent shivers through the automotive industry and many began scrambling to lock down their onboard computers. The problem is: any computer that can link to the Internet is vulnerable. OnStar, anyone?

A couple of weeks later Chrysler announced that it was recalling 1.4 million vehicles that were affected by a hackable software vulnerability. Six months later, the U.S. Senate demanded that automakers find solid answers to the car-hacking question.

Congress is now looking at a proposed bill that would impose fines of up to $100,000 for car-hacking. As Samy Kamkar mentioned in an interview he gave to "The proposed legislation has raised concerns among researchers that making it illegal to hack vehicles could make it easier for automotive manufacturers to avoid fixing vulnerabilities."

Others are going much further in their quest to make computerized cars safer. In Michigan, two State Senators have sponsored a bill that would make it a felony to "intentionally access or cause access to be made to an electronic system of a motor vehicle to willfully destroy, damage, impair, alter or gain unauthorized control of the motor vehicle." This felony would carry a possible life imprisonment penalty.

It is unclear how or if either of these bills will be used against the work of white hat researchers. What will legislation like this do to mechanics who flash onboard computers for reuse in refurbished autos. This would produce great waste in the automotive world if we could no longer install used engines for fear that flashing the computer would fall under hacking.

Is added legislation going to slow down the hackers? This hasn't happened yet. Or will this legislation just keep these dangerous vulnerabilities hidden from consumers. Will they end up prosecuting the white hats who are trying to warn people of the dangers? We know that the FTC still hasn't been able to get a hold of the countless tech call scamers.

May Contest:

What is the name of the person who created the classic arcade title Centipede?

The first person to email the correct answer will receive a Rosewill RNWA-UC10 USB Cradle. Email for Contest Entries

Comments? Ideas? Feedback? I'd love to hear from you. Just reply to this e-zine and tell me what you think.

See you next month!


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