The CryptoWall ransomware has migrated to the TOR network, encrypting critical files that are necessary to conduct day-to-day operations for business users. Ideally for the cybercriminals, users won't be able to rely on a backup and the company will instead choose to pay the ransom for access to their own PCs and servers. Using TOR makes CryptoWall 2.0 more difficult to track down and remove, giving cybercriminals a potential goldmine as they victimize businesses.
KnowBe4 was contacted by a company that was hit by the new variant of CryptoWall, with the IT admin's computer infected - which spread to seven servers in just one hour, shutting down the entire server farm. Despite having recent backups that could be used, there would be too much downtime to recover data and have the servers operational in a timely manner.
"The cyber criminals hit pay dirt with this one and the admin ended up paying the ransom, 1.3 bitcoin, rather than face the serious costs caused by days of downtime," said Stu Sjouwerman, KnowBe4 CEO, in a press statement. "This is the next generation of ransomware and you can expect this new version to spread like wildfire."
Fifty five percent of teenagers conduct at least one voice search per day on their smartphones, according to the Northstar market research firm. A surprisingly high 41 percent of adults use voice commands, but 56 percent of adult survey respondents said using voice search made them feel like a "geek." The survey included 1,400 people using a mix of Google Search, Apple Siri and Microsoft Cortana.
"Voice search is a key feature of the Google app that's becoming even more important as people spend more time on their mobile phones," said Scott Huffman, Google VP for Conversational Search, in a press statement. "We wanted to learn more about how people of all ages use Google hands-free on their phones."
As a random voice-related tidbit, 22 percent of teenagers and 15 percent of adults admit to using voice search while in the bathroom.
Taking a few minutes from making beats, Will.i.am has just unveiled his Puls wristband. It's a smartwatch to the rest of us, but it doesn't need to be tethered to a smartphone in order to send text messages, make calls, or send emails.
Will reiterated that it's not a watch, as smartwatches don't normally come with SIM cards, but the Puls does. It also features speakers, and a curved screen along its body, which makes it look quite stylish. The Puls also rocks 16GB of on-board flash, 1GB of RAM, GPS, a battery that wraps around the bracelet, pedometer, and accelerometer.
The Puls runs an Android OS, with Qualcomm providing a Snapdragon processor to go inside. Puls connects to the Internet through 3G, but it also connects through Wi-Fi. This means that it can have carrier plans through companies like AT&T in teh US, and O2 in the UK.
Far Cry 4 is nearly here, so Ubisoft is fully unleashing gameplay videos of its upcoming open-world, first-person shooter. The latest trailer to Far Cry 4 features the usual, but welcomed over-the-top action, some massive explosions, and an interesting choice in background music.
The trailer above shows some great gameplay, and makes me actually look forward to playing Far Cry 4. I had a great time pumping tens of hours into Far Cry 3, and this looks like a great addition to that. Far Cry 4 runs at 1080p on the PS4, and most likely 900p on the Xbox One, with both versions running at 30FPS. Ubisoft said if they had to do 60FPS, they would've required some form of 'sacrifice'.
On the PC however, NVIDIA has been working closely with Ubisoft to ensure that the PC version stands head, shoulders, mountains and entire planets above the console versions. NVIDIA GeForce owners can enjoy HBAO+, PCSS, TXAA, God Rays, Fur and Enhanced 4K support in Far Cry 4. We will be testing out the game on our setups when its released, so keep your eyes peeled to TweakTown.
Tesla showed us all the D last week, unveiling their dual-motor AWD Model S vehicle, but now its founder is talking about the future of autonomous vehicles, where he says that a full autonomous vehicle isn't that far away.
Elon Musk, the Tony Stark of the real-world, has said "That will be the case at some point in the future. Like maybe five or six years from now I think we'll be able to achieve true autonomous driving where you could literally get in the car, go to sleep and wake up at your destination". He did add that it would be a few more years after that before regulators, governments and red tape can be cut before these things will be driving us around autonomously.
When it comes to a self-driving car, Musk reiterated that Tesla's autopilot system is not the same as a fully self-driving car. Tesla's autopilot system uses radar, ultrasonic sensing and cameras, where it creates a kind of super-smart cruise control, obstacle avoidance and lane-keeping system - but, it's not a self-driving car, not yet. Musk continued "Autopilot is what we have in airplanes. For example we use the same term that is in airplanes where there is still an expectation that there will be a pilot. So the onus is on the pilot to make sure that the autopilot is doing the right thing".
Fans of Friends are going to be happy about this: Netflix will be streaming every single episode of the massively popular series starting on January 1, 2015. Get into it, by watching this clip below.
Unfortunately, Netflix will only be airing the episodes of Friends through its services in the US and Canada, with no word on whether this will change at all. The company will be streaming every single episode from the 10-season run, thanks to a deal struck between Warner Bros. and Netflix. As a fan of the series, I'm hoping that we get some behind-the-scenes looks at the show, and hopefully some commentary or interviews from the stars on the show.
While the headlines are always about Samsung, Google and Apple, there is a much bigger part of the pie that is currently being eyed at: China. Lenovo and Xiaomi are the two most recognizable brands in the region, but Lenovo is hungry for more.
The company is about to create an entire new smartphone brand for the Chinese market, something that will be much more official in April 2015. The new brand will focus on branded applications, consumer engagement, and selling devices online - making it easier for Chinese customers to get online, and after a few clicks, have a device shipped out to them. Lenovo will still sell Lenovo-branded smartphones through local carriers and retailers, but this new brand will compliment its main brand in the country.
ASUS has enjoyed the launch of multiple of its PadFone devices in other parts of the world, especially Taiwan, but now the PadFone X Mini is making it to the US. The ASUS PadFone X Mini sports a 4.5-inch display, but docks into a larger 7-inch tablet for a unique experience.
The device will be launching in the US for $199.99 with AT&T's GoPhone plan, off contact. The $200 price tag is pretty hot, considering you get both devices - the tablet, and smartphone - but remember, the tablet doesn't work without the smartphone inside of it. Intel is the one powering the device, with its Atom Z2560 dual-core processor. We also have 1GB of RAM, 8GB of flash storage, two cameras, and a microSD card slot. Software wise, we have Android 4.4 KitKat.
What makes the PadFone series of devices unique is the tablet side of the device, which doesn't just give you a bigger screen, but it provides a much longer life thanks to its additional battery. The phone on its own has around 16 hours of use, but the tablet brings over an additional 12.5 hours.
Google has announced the first device to be based on its new Android TV platform: Nexus Player. Google's new Nexus Player is a set-top streaming box that had the company working with ASUS on, and will be Google's first take on getting into your lounge room, properly.
The Nexus Player looks like a puck, and is around 4.7 inches in diameter, with a tiny remote that has just a few buttons on it. The remote will feature a microphone, so you can do voice searches through the Nexus Player, which is a nice touch. Inside of the Nexus Player is 8GB of internal flash storage, 802.11ac Wi-Fi for streaming content, and there's also a game controller that is sold separately.
Google is selling the Nexus Player at $99, with its game controller to be made available for $39. The company will be selling the Nexus Player exclusively through its Play Store, with pre-orders starting on Friday.
Another highly rumored, and now finally here device, is the new Nexus 9. Google had some massive announcements today, including Android 5.0 Lollipop, the new Nexus 6 smartphone, the Nexus Player, and now the Nexus 9 tablet.
Google's new Nexus 9 tablet is made by HTC, and powered by NVIDIA's super-impressive Tegra K1 processor. It features an 8.9-inch QVGA, or 2048x1536 display, with a ratio of 4:3, which is an interesting turn, as we usually see 16:9 displays. HTC has provided its BoomSound speaker technology into the Nexus 9, which is joined by NVIDIA's 64-bit, Tegra K1 processor. We also have 2GB of RAM, and three different models to choose from.
Starting with the 16GB Nexus 9, priced at $399, moving up to the 32GB for $479 and if you want to walk around with an 8.9-inch tablet in your bag with LTE abilities, the 32GB LTE model will cost $599. Google will be launching the Nexus 9 in 29 countries over the next couple of weeks, and when talking about the new 4:3 form factor, Google said that the Nexus 9 is "small enough to easily carry around in one hand, yet big enough to work on".