AfterDawn: Tech news

Latest news

AfterDawn: News

Netflix bills customers multiple times in error

Written by James Delahunty @ 25 May 2015 6:29

Netflix bills customers multiple times in error A Netflix billing glitch has resulted in some customers reporting that their accounts were charged the monthly fee for the service multiple times in a single day.

The error seems to be limited to customers in Australia and New Zealand. One customer reported that he had been charged 11 times on Sunday by Netflix, before going into redraw.

Another customer in New Zealand tweeted that, "Netflix just charged me my monthly fee of $12.99 FOUR TIMES IN ONE DAY," adding that "And they're trying to charge me again but it won't let them because they've taken all the f***ing money out of my account."

Netflix said the problem has only affected a small number of its users in the region.

"While no extra money was withdrawn from users' accounts, it may take several days for the authorisations to drop from users' bank accounts," Neflix said in a statement.

"Members may contact Netflix customer service if they have additional issues. We regret any inconvenience related to the problem."

AfterDawn: News

Fake Minecraft 'scareware' apps found on Google Play

Written by James Delahunty @ 25 May 2015 6:26

Fake Minecraft 'scareware' apps found on Google Play Useless 'Minecraft' apps promising cheats and other materials on the Google Play store were actually laced with scareware warnings about non-existent viruses.

Over 600,000 Android users installed at least one of the malicious apps. The goal of the apps is to get an unsuspecting user to sign up for a premium SMS service at a cost of 4.80EUR per week.

ESET reported its discovery last week on its blog, detailing over 30 different apps that had managed to get through Google's malware filter, Bouncer. They were uploaded to the market over the past 9 months from different developer accounts, though they all likely come from the same source.

"According to public data from the Google Play store, several of them were installed between 100.000 500.000 times and the total number of installations of all 33 scareware applications lies between 660.000 and 2.800.000," ESET Malware Researcher, Lukas Stefanko, writes.

The apps have pretty much no functionality. Instead, any interaction with the apps just brought up warnings about dangerous virus infections. Eventually, the app would prepare a text message in the phone's default SMS application, appearing to be a code to activate an antivirus product. In reality, if the user sends it, they will sign up for a premium SMS service at a cost of 4.80 EUR per week.


AfterDawn: News

Teen pleads guilty to harassing, swatting gamers

Written by James Delahunty @ 25 May 2015 6:19

Teen pleads guilty to harassing, swatting gamers An eight-hour long "swatting" live stream on YouTube leads police to a 17 year old, later charged with extortion, criminal harassment, making false police reports and more.

The Canadian cannot be named due to his age, but reports say he identified as part of the group Lizard Squad. He was accused of harassing targets he found on League of Legends and on Twitter, usually because they wouldn't accept his friend request.

Victims had their personal information, including financial records, posted online. The worst of all offences he admitted to was swatting, in which a false report would be made to police with the goal of getting a heavily armed response unit to show up the victim's location.

In one case, a University of Arizona student dropped out after multiple cases of swatting against her and her family.

The teen was eventually tracked down by police after tips were received about an 8 hour long YouTube live stream in which he had multiple people swatted.

He faces sentencing on June 29.

NOTE: Image accompanying the article is a screenshot of swatting occurring during a live stream. It is not linked to this particular case.

AfterDawn: News

More alleged specs for the OnePlus Two leak

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 24 May 2015 22:20

More alleged specs for the OnePlus Two leak Following last week's leaked benchmarks, we have more alleged specs of the upcoming OnePlus Two.

According to the new report, the new device will feature a Full HD 1920 x 1080 display, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 SoC with Adreno 430 GPU, 3GB of RAM and dual 13MP/5MP cameras.

So far, the specs do not seem too out of the ordinary, although it is surprising that OnePlus went with an HD display rather than the more common high-end QHD displays.

The second-generation flagship is set to go on sale in a few months with an expected price around $400 USD.


AfterDawn: News

Report: Apple has sold 2.5 million smartwatches so far

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 24 May 2015 21:48

Report: Apple has sold 2.5 million smartwatches so far According to Slice Intelligence, Apple has sold 2.5 million smartwatches, to date, but demand has already slowed significantly.

The firm studies consumer spending in the U.S., and it has taken a stab at the fledgling smartwatch industry.

Half of the sales came in the first 24 hours of availability, and since then orders have averaged under 30,000 per day.

Although demand has slowed, 30,000 daily sales means Apple could move 11 million units in its first year of sales, a strong number when the average sales price for the watch is around $400.

Unfortunately, we may not know exact sales of the Watch, even from Apple, as the company will dump the Watch sales in its "other" sales category that includes iPods and accessories like Lightning cables.


AfterDawn: News

Nintendo Wii 'likely' started home fire, investigators say

Written by James Delahunty @ 24 May 2015 17:16

Nintendo Wii 'likely' started home fire, investigators say A fire that damaged an RV home and burned up much of its owners possessions earlier this week was likely started by an Nintendo Wii console, according to fire investigators in Colorado Springs.

A news report by a local NBC news channel KOAA 5 quoted the fire department as saying all other possible sources of ignition for the blaze had been ruled out. "I got a phone call from the neighbors saying my camper was on fire," Trevor Pellegrin said.

"When I opened the door, I got thrown back by thick black smoke and flames."

The roof was damaged by the flames, as well as clothes that ignited and the man's television had started to melt. The Wii console was rendered a charred ugly mess. Luckily, Pellegrin managed to save some of his personal items but lost a lot to the fire.

The Wii console was switched off, but still plugged into an electrical outlet when he left. Typically games consoles are left plugged in by owners 24/7.

On very rare occasions, home entertainment electronics are linked to fires, but it's often a case of an overloaded electrical outlet or problems with wiring.

More info:
Video report:


AfterDawn: News

U.S. ISP ordered to identify BitTorrent users

Written by James Delahunty @ 24 May 2015 17:14

U.S. ISP ordered to identify BitTorrent users A court in the United States has ordered an Internet Service Provider to produce personal details of account holders linked to IP addresses allegedly used to pirate music using BitTorrent software.

Cox Communications must identify the account holders behind the "Top 250" IP addresses from a total of more than 150,000 IP addresses. BMG and Round Hill Music sued Cox last year claiming that the ISP had forfeited protection under the DMCA's safe harbor provisions by failing to disconnect repeat infringers.

AfterDawn: News

Android reset flaw affects 500 million+ devices

Written by James Delahunty @ 24 May 2015 17:13

Android reset flaw affects 500 million+ devices The factory reset option in the Android mobile operating system may not be as reliable as you'd think, according to new research.

Using the factory reset is common when giving away / selling an old smartphone or tablet, clearing out personal information so the new owner can start afresh, and the previous owner can rest assured that all personal information is wiped.

But.. what if the data is not wiped properly? A study from Cambridge University has raised doubts about the reliability of this function across Android hardware. It focused on tests performed on 21 devices from five manufacturers, running different versions of the popular operating system.

Unfortunately, the researchers could successfully recover partial data after the factory reset was carried out. Even with Full Disk Encryption, some data recovery was still achieved.

In 80 percent of the devices, the researchers could recover the master token required to access Google services. They could also recover login information for other services, as well as images, videos, contacts and so on.

There are a variety of reasons for the problem, with one being manufacturers failing to include adequate drivers that would be needed to properly erase the internal memory, or removable flash memory of a device.


AfterDawn: News

Google: Why we send piracy settlement letters to Fiber users

Written by James Delahunty @ 24 May 2015 14:21

Google: Why we send piracy settlement letters to Fiber users Google forwards anti-piracy notices and settlement demand letters to Google Fiber subscribers, even though other Internet Service Providers in the U.S. choose now to, and here's why.

The search giant claims that it sends users the information as part of its commitment to transparency. Other ISPs don't forward settlement demand notices to their subscribers, since the offences referenced are still only allegations.

Google's decision to forward these notices to subscribers of its super-fast Fiber broadband raised a few eyebrows.

"When Google Fiber receives a copyright complaint about an account, we pass along all of the information we receive to the account holder so that they're aware of it and can determine the response that's best for their situation," a Google spokesperson said, reports TorrentFreak.

The spokesperson did go on to say that Google believes there are "better options" to fighting piracy than targeting individual users.

Firms such as CEG-TEK attempt to monetize the notice systems in place in the U.S. and other regions by demanding settlements from Internet users for alleged incidents of copyright infringement. Some ISPs feel that it is better not to forward these demands to their customers.

AfterDawn: News

Adult Dating Site hacked, sensitive user information leaked

Written by James Delahunty @ 24 May 2015 14:17

Adult Dating Site hacked, sensitive user information leaked Earlier this week, it was reported that adult dating website Adult Friend Finder had been compromised and sensitive information on nearly 4 million users was stolen.

The data breach was reported by Channel Four in the UK.

Adult Friend Finder claims to have around 64 million users around the globe. In this leak, leaked information includes IP addresses, e-mail addresses, dates of birth, post codes and even seuxal preferences and other sensitive information.

Worse, data that was leaked even included information from accounts that had been deleted from the service by user request.

Shortly after the data breach, affected users were targeted with spam and malware-laced e-mails. There are also concerns that leaked information may be used for blackmail purposes.

"We have already begun working closely with law enforcement and have launched a comprehensive investigation with the help of leading third-party forensics expert, Mandiant," the firm said earlier this week.

AfterDawn: News

Pirate Bay loses another domain name

Written by James Delahunty @ 24 May 2015 14:11

Pirate Bay loses another domain name The Pirate Bay has lost another domain name just days after a Swedish court ordered the seizure of and the

In response, the Pirate Bay registered SIX new domain names ending in .GS, .LA, .VG,. AM, .MN and .GD. The new logo on the evasive torrent site features a Lernaean Hydra - a mythical monster from Greek mythology that sports multiple heads - and the new domain names.

It then went on to troll Prosecutor Fredrik Ingblad for wasting time and public money in pursuing its two Swedish domain names.

AfterDawn: News

Iron Man edition Galaxy S6 Edge confirmed for next week

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 22 May 2015 21:42

Iron Man edition Galaxy S6 Edge confirmed for next week Just a few days after Samsung teased the device, the company has confirmed that the Iron Man Edition Galaxy S6 Edge is coming next week.

The second teaser image shows a little bit more of the smartphone, which appears to be red on the back plate with an Iron Man decal.

Outside of the colors and the decal, the device is expected to also include some Marvel apps and potentially videos.

Check out the teaser image larger here:


AfterDawn: News

Report: Android M will add native fingerprint authentication

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 22 May 2015 20:50

Report: Android M will add native fingerprint authentication According to a new report, Google's upcoming Android M will include native fingerprint authentication.

The new feature will work similar to Apple's Touch ID but will also allow you to login to supported apps without the need to enter a password.

Just like existing fingerprint readers, the authentication will let you unlock your device and make purchases when browsing the Google Play Store.

Google's developer conference, I/O, is next week and the search giant is widely expected to introduce all of Android M's features.


AfterDawn: News

Google: Why 'Security Questions' suck for security

Written by James Delahunty @ 22 May 2015 0:36

Google: Why 'Security Questions' suck for security After some really interesting research results, Google is raising awareness about how unreliable "Security Questions" are for legitimate login authentication, password recovery and more.

Providers of Internet services have long asked their users to provide answers to questions about themselves which may be used for identity verification later. Typically, these questions are asked if a login is suspicious (unfamiliar location etc.) or as a layer of a password recovery process.

It turns out that this is an extremely unreliable layer of security. Hundreds of millions of secret question and answer combinations were analysed by Google, with the goal of (among other things) determining how likely it would have been for an attacker to guess the answers correctly.

AfterDawn: News

Racism and the White House: What happened with Google Maps this week?

Written by James Delahunty @ 21 May 2015 23:16

Racism and the White House: What happened with Google Maps this week? Google Maps was at the center of Internet outrage this week with demands for apologies, and heads to roll, in an unfortunate set of circumstances that associated 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue with racist search terms.

It emerged that searches of "n****r house" or "n****r king" in Google Maps brought up the home of Barack Obama, and Google very quickly responded with an investigation. In the meantime, the story took off and all eyes were on the Mountain View giant.

It's not as if racism is new to the Internet; let's be honest this place is full of assholes, but for it to appear as a top result in such an important Google service raised questions. How could this happen? How could Google let it happen?

Unsurprisingly, it was down to the aforementioned assholes that roam the digital plains and spread their toxicity wherever they can be seen. It's no secret that Google is constantly probing the web and using that crowdsourced pile of data to drive features of its services.

Yeah, you can already see where this is going!

In online discussions of the White House, racist slurs were used frequently enough for Google's systems to strongly associate them with the location. That crowdsourced data scoured from every corner of the web mixed with some offensive search terms in Google Maps produced a very embarrassing result for Google, and one that was offensive to a lot of people.


   Older entries  

News archive