HummingBad Infects Android Smartphones, Nintendo Releases Pokemon GO… [Tech News Digest]
New malware infects 10 million Android devices, Pokemon GO arrives on Android and iOS, Skype Meetings is aimed at small businesses, PlanetSide ends with a meteor shower, and the computer genius who sucks at Tetris.
Your Android May Be Infected
A new form of Android malware has been discovered in the wild, and it’s reportedly already infected 10 million devices. According to Check Point, HummingBad has been on the loose since February 2016, enough time to infect millions of Android devices around the world.
Mobile security firm Check Point claims HummingBad is the work of Chinese cybercriminals who go by the name of Yingmob. The goal, as always, is money, with Yingmob alleged to be raking in $300,000 every month in fraudulent ad revenue from HummingBad.
HummingBad is an advanced piece of malware which establishes a persistent rootkit on Android devices, installing additional apps and generating ad revenue. Worryingly, it could also be used to harvest personal data from infected devices, making the criminals behind it even more money.
HummingBad finds its way onto devices via drive-by downloads, which occur when Android users stumble upon websites infested with the malware. HummingBad will then try to install itself on your device by a number of different means, including via a bogus system update.
To find out if your Android is one of the 10 million infected by HummingBad, you should install antivirus software on your device . Unfortunately, removing HummingBad is a complicated business, so the obvious answer is to factory reset your device to ensure you remove all trace of it.
Nintendo Launches Pokemon GO
Nintendo is currently rolling out Pokemon GO on Android and on iOS. This represents Nintendo’s big move into mobile gaming, with an experience built from the ground up specifically for a mobile audience. Pokemon GO is initially available in Australia and New Zealand, with the game rolling out to other countries soon.
Pokemon GO is an augmented reality game which lets players hunt and capture Pokemon in real-world locations. Players use their smartphones to collect Pokemon in nearby locations. Pokemon GO, actually developed by Niantic, is a free-to-play game, with micro-transactions costing between $0.99 and $99 available for those who want more than just the base experience.
Nintendo announced Pokemon GO in September 2015, before releasing a beta version of the game in early 2016. The company was being coy about the date of the final release, only hinting that it would arrive sometime in July 2016. And it has now delivered on that promise.
Microsoft Launches Skype Meetings
Microsoft has launched a free version of Skype aimed at small businesses. Microsoft describes Skype Meetings as “a new online meetings tool that provides small businesses with real-time audio and HD video conferencing, and boasts that it “includes collaboration features like the ability to share screens and content during meetings”.
Skype Meetings works directly in a web browser, and allows a handful of employees to meet in video chat. For the first 60 days up to 10 people will be able to attend a meeting, with the maximum dropping to three after that introductory phase.
The idea is clearly to hook small businesses into using Skype for video conferencing in the hopes they’ll then sign up to Office 365 , which includes Skype for Business. Interested parties can sign up at skype.com/meetings. Or you can carry on using Google Hangouts for free.
MMOFPS PlanetSide Goes Offline
The original PlanetSide, a massively-multiplayer online first-person shooter (MMOFPS) has been taken offline after 13 years. PlanetSide, one of the first (and only) MMOFPS games made, was launched in 2003, but its servers went offline for the final time on July 1, 2016.
Daybreak Games, the developers of PlanetSide, explained:
“PlanetSide 1 has a very important history with Daybreak Games and a special place in the hearts of those who work on its successor. While we have run the game for free since 2014, due to evolving business needs and technical requirements it has become necessary to conclude this service.”
The video embedded above shows the moment PlanetSide ended, with Daybreak bringing the game to an end with an epic meteor shower. Players will now have to move onto PlanetSide 2, the free-to-play sequel released in 2012.
Computer Genius Sucks at Tetris
And finally, proof that being a genius doesn’t mean you’ll be good at video games. We know because James Newman is a verifiable genius, who has spent four years and $50,000 building an oversized and under-powered computer. And he can play Tetris on it, just not very well.
Newman calls his machine the Megaprocessor, and it comprises 40,000 transistors and 10,000 LEDs. It also weighs in at 500kg, and takes up a whole room. And all to demonstrate the power of miniaturization, with the Megaprocessor being about as powerful as a chip-sized microprocessor .
At the end of the video, after explaining the thinking behind the Megaprocessor, Newman demonstrates its capabilities by playing Tetris. Unfortunately, he only manages to clear one line before the Megaprocessor declares it’s “Game Over”. [H/T BBC News]
Your Views on Today’s Tech News
Are you worried about the rise of HummingBad? Will you be playing Pokemon GO? Will you be using Skype Meetings? What MMO games have you played? Have you ever seen anyone as bad at Tetris as James Newman?
Let us know your thoughts on the Tech News of the day by posting to the comments section below. Because a healthy discussion is always welcome.
Tech News Digest is a daily column paring the technology news of the day down into bite-sized chunks that are easy to read and perfect for sharing.
Image Credit: www.elbpresse.de via Flickr