John Lister's picture

New Ransomware: Pay Up Or Files Go Public

A new form of ransomware named after a Marvel super villain has some particularly evil features. The Thanos malware uses an approach more reminiscent of "physical world" blackmail. Despite the name, the malware thankfully doesn't imitate the ... character Thanos by - spoiler alert - deleting half the files in the entire universe. That said, it's still quite scary thanks to a couple of features beyond the usual tactic of encrypting files and demanding a ransom. Instead, the ransomware also seeks to spread across an entire local network and encrypt all the computers it can reach. This is especially ... (view more)

Dennis Faas's picture

Masked Men Hijack $1M Worth of Video Games

Hi-tech thieves used low-tech means to steal a half a million dollars worth of video games last week. The way it was done almost sounds like a plot from a video game -- but this incident was no laughing matter. One truck was passing through Creteil, ... in the south of Paris; a car then crashed into the truck, stopping it. Two masked men then appeared, used tear gas on the truck drivers, and drove away with the truck containing about 6,000 copies of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. The estimated value of the heist is more than $500,000 US dollars. A second robbery took place on the same day in ... (view more)

Dennis Faas's picture

Microsoft Terminates MS Office Anti-Piracy Tool

For those of you who dislike the pesky anti-piracy measures used by software companies, here's good news: Microsoft will discontinue its program of additional anti-piracy monitoring for its MS Office software. A few years ago Microsoft introduced ... Windows Genuine Advantage (WGA), an anti-piracy measure that checked the validity of user operating systems by dialing into their computers. PCs found to be running illegal copies of Windows had their operating system desktop screen turned black with a message that their PC may be running counterfeit software. Microsoft Office Genuine Advantage ... (view more)

Dennis Faas's picture

Microsoft Developing New Strategies to Combat Piracy

Microsoft has revealed some of the tactics it uses to fight back against software counterfeiting. It involves the use of nine regional crime labs and 75 dedicated anti-piracy staff. Surprisingly, the company maintains that many users of pirated ... Microsoft software are unaware they are running bogus copies. That may seem hard to believe in Western nations, but does appear a genuine problem in some developing countries where there is less awareness about whether or not a retailer is using legitimate copy of Microsoft Windows, for example. It also appears that software with price tags "too good ... (view more)

Dennis Faas's picture


Malware (a portmanteau of "malicious software") is any software program developed for the purpose of causing harm to a computer system, similar to a virus or Trojan horse. Malware can be classified based on how it is executed, how it spreads, and/or ... what it does. The classification is not perfect, however, in the sense that the groups often overlap and the difference is not always obvious, giving rise to frequent flame wars. Overuse of the term 'Virus' Because viruses were historically the first to appear, the term "virus" is often applied, especially in the popular media, to all sorts of ... (view more)

Dennis Faas's picture

Deadline For Windows XP Sales Extended 5 Months

Due to customer feedback, the deadline for retailers and computer makers to continue selling Windows XP has been extended 5 months. The latest Windows XP discontinue date has been moved from January 30, 2008 to June 30, 2008. (Source: Seattle PI ) ... Why? Well, it seems very few consumers want Windows Vista as their operating system (OS) of choice, and Microsoft is finally starting to get it. Retailers and the major computer makers got the ok from Microsoft to sell all versions of Windows XP until it's discontinued June 30, 2008 with the exception of the XP Starter Edition (which isn't available ... (view more)

Dennis Faas's picture

Microsoft To Snuff Pirated Vista Software

Microsoft announced Wednesday that pirated versions of it's Vista operating system (OS) will be of "limited value" to anyone who has received a copy of the company's newest version of Windows. The new OS is said to have integrated anti-counterfeit ... technology, which disables the pirated versions from being used. (Source: The software giant's announcement comes as a reaction to earlier reports that the key code to "crack" Vista's activation process was posted on peer-to-peer networks, Usenet groups and BitTorrent download sites. (Source: Although Microsoft is " ... (view more)

Dennis Faas's picture

DVD X Copy Q and A

Quite a few users contacted me over the weekend after reading last Saturday's article regarding 321 Studios and DVD X Copy. I have decided to follow up this discussion with some Q & A. Side note: To recap -- on February 20th, "a federal court ... ruled that 321 Studios must stop making software that allows users to copy DVDs ... [The] St. Louis-based [company] said it would appeal the ruling ... which has barred 321 from selling its DVD copying software [by February 27th, 2004]. " (Source: ). Infopackets Reader Rafael C. asks: " Regarding your February 21st news ... (view more)

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