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Member Since 10 Nov 2009
OFFLINE Last Active Apr 24 2012 09:08 AM

Anatova is a nasty new ransomware that targets gamers

Today, 12:18 PM

A new strain of ransomware has been discovered, and it’s a nasty one which is apparently targeting gamers as well as PC users in general.

McAfee has dubbed the fresh threat Anatova, and it’s a sophisticated piece of ransomware deployed by experienced malware peddlers.

Anatova apparently employs the icon of either a game or application in order to entice the user to double-click it. McAfee discovered the threat lurking on a peer-to-peer file sharing network, and not only does it boast strong protection techniques to defeat analysis, it’s also built with modular extension in mind.

In other words, malicious actors can easily bolt-on fresh malware capabilities to the strain, meaning it could potentially evolve quickly, and spread further online as multiple different threats.

Worryingly, McAfee also notes that Anatova is sophisticated enough that typical anti-ransomware tactics could prove ineffective, and it cleans up after itself, including taking measures to “prevent dumping memory code that could assist in creating a decryption tool”.

Dash demand

Anatova encrypts as many files as it can on the target PC – or connected network shares – before demanding the payment that gives ransomware its name. In this case, victims are expected to pay up in the form of cryptocurrency, as ever: 10 Dash is required to (theoretically) unlock files, which equates to about $700 (around £540, AU$980).

This strain of ransomware has been discovered most prevalently in the US, but also in the UK, and across Europe.

As ever, use common sense when downloading files to your PC, and try to avoid any dodgy-looking sources – stick to official stores where possible – or ‘offers’ that seem too good to be true (they almost certainly are). It doesn’t hurt to have a strong antivirus solution on your PC, either, which may warn you if you happen to navigate to a suspect website.

Equally, when it comes to cure rather than prevention, you should keep regular backups of all your data, so if the worst happens and some kind of ransomware strikes – or indeed even a critical hardware failure – you have a fall-back solution.

Meizu Zero is the first phone with no buttons or ports

Today, 12:17 PM

The Meizu Zero has just been announced and it takes a different approach to other smartphones, as this has no buttons and no ports.

Made with a ceramic unibody, the Meizu Zero is the first hole-less smartphone and relies on the likes of an eSIM rather than a removable SIM card, and wireless rather than wired charging.

It also uses 'mSound 2.0', which allows the display to function like a speaker, so there’s no need for a speaker hole. And instead of physical buttons the Meizu Zero has a ‘Virtual Side Button’, which apparently offers similar tactile feedback to a physical button.

High-end but still has bezels

But while the Meizu Zero lack buttons, it doesn’t lack bezels on its 5.99-inch UHD AMOLED display, so it doesn’t look quite as futuristic as you might expect, and loses out to phones like the Honor View 20 in that sense.

This certainly sounds like a high-end phone though, as it also has an in-screen fingerprint scanner, a Snapdragon 845 chipset, IP68 certification for water and dust resistance, and fast 18W wireless charging.

There’s no word yet on when or where the Meizu Zero will be sold, but we expect it won’t be widely available and it will probably cost a lot.

  • Loads more weird phones might land at MWC 2019

iPad sale: save up to £29 on the larger 128GB iPad and kiss storage concerns goodbye

Today, 12:06 PM

We don't often get to mention the words 'cheap iPad' when talking about the larger 128GB capacity versions, but we might just try them on for size today.

That's because Amazon is having an iPad sale for the latest 2018 edition, knocking the price down from £409, to a much more appealing £379.98. We're super keen on this deal for the 128GB version as the default 32GB model just isn't big enough for most users once you start to fill the iPad with apps, games and media files. Damn you Apple and your lack of expandable storage options! Apple's going to Apple though. A fact of life if ever there was one.

iPad sale of the week

So yes, if you want to pick up this iPad deal in a less flashy colour you can get it for just £389.97 in Space Grey or Silver. You know what's going to look great on this 9.7-inch retina display, whichever colour you go for? The upcoming Super Bowl live stream!

If you'd prefer to check out even more options for different models, why not head on over to our full guide to the cheapest iPad sale prices and deals. If you need something with even more power for work and creative editing then we've got you covered for the latest iPad Pro prices too. 

Vodafone and O2 team up on 5G network sharing

Today, 11:53 AM

Vodafone and O2 have extended and widened their mobile infrastructure sharing partnership so it covers 5G and so the operators can further monetise their network assets

The existing network sharing partnership has been extended and will now include 5G at joint-radio sites, allowing each operator to more rapidly rollout 5G services to more locations and at a lower cost.

The deal also includes measures to upgrade sites with fibre connectivity, lowering the latency of 5G networks, and to give both companies access to a wider choice of network partners.


CTIL was established in 2012 as a vehicle to pool basic parts of O2 and Vodafone’s network infrastructure. Each operator would retain control over their own Radio Access Network (RAN), spectrum, core networks and customer data, and there was an initial target of 18,500 sites.

Originally, O2 took the west of the country (and Northern Ireland) while Vodafone took the east of the country. Each operator was responsible for upgrading masts in their ‘zones’ while duplicate sites were eliminated. EE and Three have a similar network sharing arrangement called MBNL.

However, London has since been excluded from this arrangement. Previously, O2 was responsible for North London, while Vodafone covered the South. Now, each firm rolls out their own infrastructure across the capital.

New agreement

O2 and Vodafone now want to devolve further activities to CTIL, giving the entity an “enhanced” role in the operation of this passive infrastructure to improve the efficiency of its operations. CTIL will also look at securing third-party tenants to its towers, boosting revenues.

“We believe that these plans will generate significant benefits for our business and our customers as we move into the digital era of connected devices, appliances and systems on a mass scale,” said Vodafone UK CEO Nick Jeffrey. “Customers will benefit from the best 5G experience available and we will deliver even faster speeds by using our spectrum holding more effectively.”

“I’m excited by the potential of these plans to meet the future needs of our customers while delivering value for our business,” added O2 CEO Mark Evans. “In addition, these plans would allow us to utilise the spectrum we acquired in the last auction very effectively.”

Mast sale

It’s unclear whether CTIL could be sold. Late last year, Vodafone Group CEO Nick Read confirmed the company was investigating options for its mast tower network across Europe, with its 58,000 masts moved into a separate business unit.

“The goal is to create an internal tower business within Vodafone,” explained Read in November. “Rather than being country-by-country they will report to an internal group because it encourages efficiencies of those assets.

“We’re more open to sharing passive infrastructure such as towers in urban areas and then outside more complex environments such as rural areas we’re open to RAN sharing for 5G.

“I think it’s important we retain control of those assets. Would we consider minority interest or specific formulas? Yes. [But] I think we’d be reluctant to lose strategic control.”

Microsoft shows off affordable Windows 10 Chromebook-killers

Today, 11:50 AM

At the annual Bett education conference in London Microsoft showed off a number of new affordable Windows 10 devices that it hopes will challenge the Chromebook’s domination in the education sector.

Chromebooks are hugely popular in classrooms thanks to their affordable prices and simple ChromeOS operating system, which offers students the basic tools they need – such as word processing and image editing – without too many distractions.

While devices running Windows 10 can have the edge due to the flexibility of Windows compared to ChromeOS, they're usually more expensive and complex, with shorter battery lives.

Taking on Chromebooks

To compete with Chromebooks, Microsoft has shown off seven easy-to-manage Windows 10 devices that start at just $189 (around £145, AU$260) from Acer, Lenovo and Dell, and which will be ready for the upcoming school year.

The new devices are:

  • Lenovo 100e
  • Lenovo 300e (2-in-1)
  • Lenovo 14w
  • Acer TravelMate B1(B118-M)
  • Acer TravelMate Spin B1 (B118-R/RN)
  • Acer TravelMate B1-141
  • Dell Latitude 3300 for Education

Microsoft hasn’t revealed any more details about the devices yet, but we’ll follow up with the manufacturers to find out more, and hopefully get them in for review.

Classroom Pen

Microsoft also announced a new stylus, the Classroom Pen, which is designed for K-8 (ages 5 to 14) students and schools, and is optimized for its affordable Surface Go tablet.

The Classroom Pen will be sold exclusively to educational facilities in packs of 20 for $799.80 (around £600, AU$1,120), in every market where the Surface Go is available.

Will this be enough to tempt classrooms away from the best Chromebooks? Time will tell…

Via Microsoft