Ransomware will now get priority treatment at the Justice Department

The Justice Department has created a task force to centrally track and coordinate all federal cases involving ransomware or related types of cybercrime, such as botnets, money laundering, and bulletproof hosting.

“To ensure we can make necessary connections across national and global cases and investigations … we must enhance and centralize our internal tracking of investigations and prosecutions of ransomware groups and the infrastructure and networks that allow the threats to persist,” Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco told US attorneys throughout the country on Thursday. She issued the directive in a memo that was first reported by Reuters. Investigators in field offices around the country would be expected to share information as well.

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Optus launches Internet plan for gamers

Gaming performance can plummet when an overloaded network causes high latency. To prevent this problem, Optus has launched a home internet plan

especially designed for gamers, with a whole bunch of features that the company says helps address congestion issues within households where multiple devices are used.

Known as the Optus Internet Gamer 100 Plan, Optus says it includes unlimited data, 100Mbs (estimated between 7am-11pm) download speeds, a dedicated Wi-Fi 6 gaming router that prioritises gaming traffic, and a six-month trial of the company’s Game Path service.

Marketing Wank Source

Microsoft looks ready to launch Windows 11

Microsoft has been teasing a “next generation” of Windows for months now, but new hints suggest the company isn’t just preparing an update to its existing Windows 10 software, but a new, numbered version of the operating system: Windows 11.

The software giant announced a new Windows event for June 24th yesterday, promising to show “what’s next for Windows.” The event invite included an image of what looks like a new Windows logo, with light shining through the window in only two vertical bars, creating an outline that looks very much like the number 11. Microsoft followed up with an animated version of this image, making it clear the company intentionally ignored the horizontal bars.

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14-Year-Old PS3 Gets a System Update to Improve Performance

You’d think Sony’s focus would be on the PS5 right now, with one eye on the PS4, but it seems the PS3 is still on the company’s radar as it just got a new system update.

As VGC reports, this update takes the System Software to v4.88 and it requires 200MB of free space either on your PS3 hard drive or a USB stick plugged into a PC. Unfortunately, there’s no details on why this update was released and what it does. The software features description simply states, “This system software update improves system performance.”

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Apple’s M1 Chip Has a Fascinating Flaw

Apple’s new M1 CPU has a flaw that creates a covert channel that two or more malicious apps—already installed—can use to transmit information to each other, a developer has found.

The surreptitious communication can occur without using computer memory, sockets, files, or any other operating system feature, developer Hector Martin said. The channel can bridge processes running as different users and under different privilege levels. These characteristics allow for the apps to exchange data in a way that can’t be detected—at least not without specialized equipment.

Martin said the flaw is mainly harmless, because it can’t be used to infect a Mac, and it can’t be used by exploits or malware to steal or tamper with data on a machine. It can only be abused by two or more malicious apps that have already been installed on a Mac through means unrelated to the M1 flaw.

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Chair Simulator Is a Game About … Sitting

Over the weekend, I finished my first desktop gaming PC build, complete with an RTX 3080, a wicked-fast hard drive, and more RGB than is fully necessary. Once I was fully set up, I didn’t push Cyberpunk 2077’s ray-tracing capabilities to the max. I didn’t delve into the world of overclocking. I didn’t even mine a single Satoshi. Rather, I mined Sit Points in Chair Simulator, a free Steam game that lives up to its name.

Chair Simulator is the latest drop from MSCHF, the viral pranksters known for such memes as the Jesus shoes (and subsequent Satan shoes), Finger on the App, and mounting a paintball gun on a Boston Dynamics Spot robot. The game is silly, senseless, and weirdly enjoyable—an embodiment of that specific sort of slap-happy, late-night sleepover energy.

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How to Game on a PC When You Can’t Find a Graphics Card

The GPU shortage keeps getting worse, thanks to surging demand from gamers and cryptocurrency miners, alongside a host of other factors. Prices continue to skyrocket to satirical levels, and Nvidia says the shortage will likely last through all of 2021—which means you may not get that upgrade until next year at the earliest.

That’s a long time from now, which means it’s time to make some compromises. Here are the next best ways to get your fix when you can’t build a new system.

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Amazon devices will soon automatically share your Internet with neighbors

If you use Alexa, Echo, or any other Amazon device, you have only 10 days to opt out of an experiment that leaves your personal privacy and security hanging in the balance.

On June 8, the merchant, Web host, and entertainment behemoth will automatically enroll the devices in Amazon Sidewalk. The new wireless mesh service will share a small slice of your Internet bandwidth with nearby neighbors who don’t have connectivity and help you to their bandwidth when you don’t have a connection.

By default, Amazon devices including Alexa, Echo, Ring, security cams, outdoor lights, motion sensors, and Tile trackers will enroll in the system. And since only a tiny fraction of people take the time to change default settings, that means millions of people will be co-opted into the program whether they know anything about it or not. The Amazon webpage linked above says Sidewalk “is currently only available in the US.”

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Microsoft releases Windows Package Manager at Build 2021

At Microsoft Build 2021, the company released Windows Package Manager 1.0. First announced in preview at Build 2020, Windows Package Manager makes it easy to install software onto Windows 10. The tool is especially handy for IT admins that manage multiple PCs but can also be useful for individual users.

Windows Package Manager is a winget client that facilitates streamlines installations using the command line. There are third-party package managers, such as Chocolatey, that were already available for Windows, but it’s nice to have another option from Microsoft

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WhatsApp’s Encryption Fight With India Has Global Stakes

WhatsApp is fighting for the privacy of citizens of the world’s largest democracy. This week, the Facebook-owned messaging platform sued the Indian government in a bid to challenge new IT rules that ask messaging apps to trace the “first originator” of a message. Doing so could require WhatsApp to weaken its end-to-end encryption, revealing the identities of senders and affecting the security of its 400 million-plus users in India—and possibly billions of others worldwide.

While it is difficult to assess the possible outcomes of the lawsuit, it could potentially dictate the kind of communications technology and online safe spaces available to Indians going forward, and could set a precedent for what other governments would demand from not just WhatsApp but other secure messaging apps. Complying with these rules would endanger the fundamental right to privacy, experts say, because undermining encryption for one would mean doing so for all. Traceability and end-to-end encryption cannot coexist.

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