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Samsung, Huawei phones vulnerable to malicious attacks

Even the Pixel series is affected

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Smartphones made by Samsung, including the Galaxy S7, S8, and S9, as well as the Huawei P20, Pixel 1, and Pixel 2 might be susceptible to malicious attacks due to an Android vulnerability.

Google’s Project Zero team looks for high priority vulnerabilities in various systems that can affect the device or the user with immediate effect. They’ve found a new loophole in the Android OS’s kernel code that can be used to help an attacker gain root access to the phone.

The vulnerability can also be combined with another exploit that can lead to a web-based attack through Chrome.

There are hundreds of millions of phones running Android out there, and we all know its completely built by Google. This operating system is easily scalable and can get along almost any hardware configuration. This means the system is also more susceptible to attacks because of the large user base available.

“This issue is rated as high severity on Android and by itself requires installation of a malicious application for potential exploitation,” a spokesperson for the Android Open Source Project said. “Any other vectors, such as via a web browser, require chaining with an additional exploit.”

This means, someone cannot remotely use the vulnerability and a manual installation is required onto the system. Even the plug via Chrome isn’t standalone and needs to depend on another exploit to successfully reach root access.

Google believes the Android zero-day is the work of NSO Group, a fairly popular Israel-based company known to sell exploits and surveillance tools. Though, NSO has denied these claims to The Verge.

A security patch has been made and it’ll be shipped out to phone makers soon. This is the prime reason why Google wants to improve the reachability of OTA updates and pursuing OEMs to quickly release them.

Gaming

PUBG Mobile has a host of surprise gifts this Diwali

Burst in-game crackers!

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Diwali is a very auspicious festival in the Hindu calendar and is comparable to Christmas in India. With the onset of the festive season, everyone is on a shopping spree. Companies are gearing up to send out gifts and streets will be lit up with diyas and lanterns.

The country is also one of the largest markets for PUBG Mobile, and the brand intends to leverage the festive season this year. The game has announced a plethora of in-game offerings as well as physical gifts.

Starting October 19, ‘Diwali Dhamaka Event’ will go live in the game and players need to complete daily missions to collect ‘Diwali Sparklers,’ which can be used to ‘Burst Crackers.’ Bursting these crackers will get you ‘Gift Tokens’ that can be redeemed for exclusive in-game items.

For reference, bursting crackers has been a tradition during Diwali. However, everyone is urged to refrain from bursting actual crackers because it leads to massive air pollution. A virtual celebration is best for everyone.

Progressing up the ladder, there will be three levels and each will offer you up to 25 tokens. Once all the Gift Tokens are collected, players will get a Diwali special in-game item for free. Additionally, few lucky winners will also stand a chance to win physical rewards like TVS Apache Bike, OPPO Phones, gold coins, and more.

In-game offering currently includes a Kurta Pajama Set (traditional clothes worn during Diwali), Cricket Costume, Future Policewoman set, Lobster Set, AWM/M416 gun skins, Crate Coupons, and more. The festivities will be available in-game till November 4.

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Gaming

Blizzard is banning pro-HK Twitch viewers

Don’t say “Free Hong Kong”

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Image source: Twitch

The war against Chinese favoritism continues. Following a massive controversy a few weeks ago, Blizzard shows that it has not learned its lesson at all. The video game publisher is reportedly banning pro-Hong Kong viewers from its Twitch channel.

Blizzard’s games are particularly popular on the streaming platform. Thousands of streamers play World of Warcraft, Overwatch, and Hearthstone on Twitch daily. Naturally, Blizzard has capitalized on this trend. Blizzard’s official Twitch accounts broadcast sanctioned tournaments regularly.

This year, Hearthstone’s official account (PlayHearthstone) broadcasted the Master Tour, an international Hearthstone tournament. The most recent European leg is currently ongoing on the platform. That said, the stream’s chatroom was (and is) a huge minefield. Thousands of viewers typed in pro-Hong Kong messages in chat. The outpouring comes from both Hong Kong supporters and dissenters against Blizzard’s blatant pro-China stance.

However, Blizzard already has Twitch on lockdown. As reported by Dot Esports, anyone who typed “Free Hong Kong” automatically received a 24-hour ban from the chatroom. (Though they can still watch, banned users cannot participate in the chatroom for the allotted time.) Moderators also instantly deleted the “offensive” messages.

Image source: Twitch

At the very least, Blizzard isn’t using an automated program to control the chat’s speech. Days after a live match, PlayHearthstone rebroadcasted the same match on the channel. Apparently, a rerun did not warrant enough moderation from Blizzard. During the rerun, thousands of pro-Hong Kong messages flashed in the chatroom without deletion or banning. Blizzard is still taking things manually.

Regardless, the company’s recent censorship is another nail in Blizzard’s made-in-China coffin. Previously, Blizzard penalized the winner of a Hearthstone tournament for including pro-Hong Kong protests in his victory speech. After an ambiguous apology note, the company eased on the punishment and reiterated that China was not involved in the decision.

SEE ALSO: Blizzard is taking their other titles to your mobile

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Motorola could launch a foldable Razr phone

Could be announced next month

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Remember the iconic Razr phone? Back then, a foldable phone had a different meaning and consisted of a hinge that separated the screen and keyboard. Today, thanks to bendable display technology, our definition of a folding phone have changed completely.

However, the feeling of picking up a call by opening the phone with a flip is unmatchable. And, Motorola may be bringing back all that nostalgia with a new “Razr” branded phone.

The company has sent out invitations to an event on November 13 that will feature a “highly anticipated unveiling of a reinvented icon.” Accompanying the invitation was an animated gif depicting the original Razr phone hinge design.

The Razr reboot has become one of the most anticipated smartphone releases among gadget enthusiasts. Its iconic flip became a cultural icon which made everyone wanted a Motorola flip phone.

There is a possibility the phone could feature a bendable display that opens up vertically. A report by The Wall Street Journal early this year stated that Motorola could be working on a reboot and plans on making a limited number of units. Each could sell for as much as US$ 1,500.

These retro reboots have worked quite well for other brands like HMD Global, who’s popular for launching classic Nokia-branded phones with modern features. Even BlackBerry has been experimenting with its keyboard and launched the Key2 last year.

With Huawei Mate X delayed and Galaxy Fold having its own set of problems, Motorola could have a shot at taking on Huawei and Samsung.

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