Vigilante is the new malware on the block, targets those who pirate software
It’s usually the case that malware, no matter where you encounter it, has no redeeming qualities at all. Not so with a recently-discovered variant, dubbed Vigilante by the folks over at Sophos. As the name suggests, it’s got its eye on more than just harvesting your files — though it does lock victims out of their computers… more or less. You see, Vigilante targets those who pirate software, disguising itself as a download. When it’s downloaded and installed, it logs the software that the downloaders thought it was, sends the IP addresses on the current network to a main attack server and then attempts to lock the target machines out of the Pirate Bay website, as well as around 1,000 other piracy-focused locations online. Which… isn’t typical behaviour for malware.
A more detailed rundown of how Vigilante works was posted to Twitter by security researcher Andrew Brandt, detailing just what changes the files make once infection sets in. The lockout isn’t especially elegant — it just changes the target IP address for a whole bunch of piracy websites to 127.0.0.1 — or the localhost address, which — if you’re not especially tech savvy — leads to those pages becoming unavailable. It’s quite simple to get rid of, however. Just editing the Hosts file will do it. You do know how to do that, right?
A drone that can find screaming people has been created. Because we need them
Look, we know that the world is a generally terrible place, which is why we have to make things like this — The Department of Sensor Data and Information Fusion at Germany’s Fraunhofer FKIE institute has created a drone able to locate screaming people. Which, in a disaster situation, is a great feature to have, even if it’s a little horrifying to think of the potential applications.
Okay, so screams — or “impulsive sounds” — aren’t the only thing that the drone’s acoustic systems can home in on. It uses a microphone system called a Crow’s Nest Array (CNA) to detect a very specific set of sounds given off by missing people. These include screams, yes, but also other noises like tapping or knocking — you know, the sorts of noises that folks who are trapped under rubble might make. The drone has undergone several successful field tests so far, with more advanced versions of the missing-persons locator tech now in the works.
You must buy this toaster — it is your Destiny
We hope this isn’t part of a greater trend for major video game players to also bring out a range of kitchenware. That’d just be… weird. But, to go with Microsoft’s Xbox Series X mini-fridge, Destiny has launched a toaster. Yes, that Destiny — the loot-shooter that resurfaced the word ‘Gjallarhorn’ — has officially launched a toaster. Which, yes, you can pre-order if you head to Bungie’s online store.
It’ll cost you €88 (R1,500), plus shipping, from the EU store but you’ll eventually have yourself a Destiny-branded toaster that toasts a little Tricorn emblem onto your crispy bread. In addition, you’ll get a branded lunchbox. And an in-game item. The toaster is the result of a charity event where Bungie said they’d release a toaster if the community got the fundraising total to $777,777.77. Well, that happened. 10% of the profits from sales of the Destiny toaster go to the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
FIFA is testing Preview Packs, loot boxes you can see inside before you purchase
Trading card games suck, for one specific reason. Booster packs, where you get a randomised selection of cards, bring an element of gambling to an activity that really doesn’t need it. Ditto video games and loot boxes — the only people it actually works for are those making money from it… though those participating get a lovely little serotonin hit every time they open a box. We get it.
But FIFA‘s trying something a little different. For the remainder of the Festival of FUTball, Electronic Arts is making all purchased FUT Packs (there’s still a way for randomised packs to turn up) Preview Packs. Which means you can see what’s inside them before you buy. That’s… a novel idea. You’ll still wind up with items you don’t want, likely, because the packs have a bunch of players inside, but you’ll also not waste currency on something you really don’t want at all. EA details how the process all works on a post on the FIFA website.