Your Wireless Mouse Can Be Hacked, Google Kills Google Compare… [Tech News Digest]
Even your mouse isn’t safe from hackers, nothing compares to Google Compare, Amazon bans the sale of hoverboards, get creative in Fallout 4, and Pac-Man comes out to play.
MouseJack Hacks Your PC
If you’re using a wireless mouse then you could be in danger of being hacked by anyone with a basic knowledge of the black art. As discovered by security researchers at Bastille, millions of 2.4 GHz wireless dongles are potentially vulnerable to what the company is calling a MouseJack. And most wireless dongles will remain vulnerable, as they cannot be updated over the Internet.
Bastille found that anyone using a USB radio dongle, a laptop, and a few lines of code could hack into a wireless mouse from as far away as 200 meters. The hacker essentially masks their device as a wireless mouse, latching onto an unencrypted dongle attached to someone’s PC. They can then use their laptop as a wireless keyboard, and control the victim’s computer from afar.
While there’s a limit to what a hacker could achieve without being able to see their victim’s computer screen, it would be relatively simple to direct someone to a malicious website or install a rootkit. And all potentially without the victim’s knowledge, unless they’re sitting at the computer at the time of the attack and seeing it happen in front of their eyes.
Wireless mice and keyboards manufactured by Logitech, Microsoft, Amazon, Dell, HP, Lenovo, and Gigabyte are all at risk, with Bastille publishing a list of the affected devices. If you own one of the devices on that list you should probably stop using it immediately, and check for updates. If no updates are available then it may be worth investing in a new one, or switching to a wired keyboard and mice for the time being.
Google Compare Compares No More
Google is shuttering Google Compare, which allowed Internet users to compare quotes from a range of providers of financial products such as car insurance, credit cards, and mortgages. Google Compare is currently available in both the U.S. and the U.K., and was formerly known as Google Advisor.
Google started to wind down Google Compare yesterday (Feb 23rd), and it will disappear altogether on March 23rd. Google Compare has gone through various metamorphoses, none of which seem to have worked. Google told Search Engine Land that while there were a high number of searches for these subjects, revenues were minimal, hence Google Compare is no more.
Amazon Bans Hoverboards Again
Amazon has pulled almost every single hoverboard off its website. The move comes just days after the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) declared hoverboards as unsafe to use and promised to seize any being imported into the United States. This is due to the risk of overheating, which can result in scenes like those seen in the video embedded above.
This is the second time Amazon has acted to protect its customers from buying hoverboards that could potentially harm them, with a previous ban enacted in December. With no hoverboard yet having passed the Underwriters Laboratory (UL) safety certification process, the risks of selling these products are clearly too great for the online retailer.
If you own one of these things you may want to consider getting rid of it as your earliest convenience. I mean, they’re not really hoverboards anyway… not like the one Marty McFly rode in Back to the Future II!
Bethesda Teases Fallout 4 Creation Kit
Bethesda has promised Fallout 4 mod support for console gamers as well as PC gamers, and we now know when this will arrive. According to the game’s director, Todd Howard, the Fallout 4 Creation Kit will be released on PC in April, with the Xbox One version following on a month later, and the PS4 version following on a month after that.
People are already making mods for the PC version, but the Creation Kit offers a free tool-set similar to those used by Bethesda itself. This means anyone could potentially create and share a Fallout 4 mod, whether they’re currently addicted to the PC or console version. Let’s hope these live up to the best Grand Theft Auto V mods we have seen.
Pac-Man Is a Pill-Popping Parkour Pro
And finally, Pac-Man is the first video games character you’d expect to see running around the streets of New York, but, thanks to YouTube filmmakers Fury Fingers, that’s exactly what happens in this video. Except that Pac-Man is now really, really good at parkour. Obviously.
While most of the video is live action, there are some neat visual effects that will instantly transport retro gaming fans back to their days down the local arcade . OK, so the movie Pixels beat these guys to it, and with a car chase no less, but this is still fun to watch. [H/T CNET]
Your Views on Today’s Tech News
Is anything immune from hackers? Are you sorry to see the end of Google Compare? Do you own a hoverboard? Are you interested in the Fallout 4 Creation Kit? What’s the best Pac-Man parody you have ever seen?
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: Webhamster via Flickr