WordPress Vulnerability, Nuclear Battery, Starlink, Windows Breaks Sleep Mode, Minecraft VR on PS4

  • From Category5 Technology TV S13E37
  • September 9, 2020
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Here are the stories we're following for the week of Wednesday September 9, 2020


A frightening takeover vulnerability in the popular File Manager plugin for WordPress is being exploited in the wild, giving attackers the ability to drop and execute code on around 700,000 WordPress sites.

Attackers are exploiting a critical vulnerability in a popular WordPress plugin that enables an adversary to run arbitrary commands and upload files to a target WordPress site.

The flaw is in the File Manager plugin, which has more than 700,000 active users and is designed to help administrators manage files on their WordPress sites. The plugin includes a third-party library called elFinder and the vulnerability results from the way that File Manager renamed an extension in elFinder.

The vulnerability was introduced in version 6.4 of File Manager, which was released in May. But it wasn’t until late August that researchers first saw exploit attempts against the bug. An exploit for the vulnerability was posted on GitHub in the last week of August, and on September 1 the maintainers of File Manager released an updated version that fixed the bug. Although the fixed version has been available for nearly two weeks, researchers say not many of the WordPress sites running the plugin have updated, which means they are still vulnerable.

Ram Gall of Wordfence said on Friday, "Sites not using this plugin are still being probed by bots looking to identify and exploit vulnerable versions of the File Manager plugin, and we have recorded attacks against 1.7 million sites since the vulnerability was first exploited. Although Wordfence protects well over 3 million WordPress sites, this is still only a portion of the WordPress ecosystem. As such, the true scale of these attacks is larger than what we were able to record."

The severity of the vulnerability makes it urgent to update, especially with automated scans for the bug ongoing. Identifying vulnerable sites is a trivial task and with an exploit publicly available, time is of the essence, particularly given the fact that an attacker would be able to upload arbitrary files to the site after a successful exploit.

Source: duo.com

Sent to us by: Robbie Ferguson


A US startup unveils battery made from nuclear waste that could last up to 28,000 years.

Sick of your smartphone dying at 3pm? A US startup may have the answer, as they've unveiled a battery made from nuclear waste that could last up to 28,000 years.

The power for the nano-diamond battery comes from radioactive isotopes used in nuclear reactors.

Its radioactive core is protected by multiple layers of synthetic diamonds, one of the hardest materials to damage or break.

The energy is absorbed in the diamond and used to generate electricity.

The battery can be used to power devices and machines of any size, from aircraft and rockets to electric vehicles and smartphones.

Nima Golsharifi, CEO and Co-Founder of NDB, said, “As members of society, we are extremely concerned about the welfare of the planet and are focused on lowering climate change to protect our planet for future generations."

He goes on to say, "With the NDB battery, we have achieved a massive, groundbreaking, proprietary technological breakthrough of a battery that is emission-free, lasts thousands of years and only requires access to natural air in order to power devices.”

The company says the development of the first commercial prototype battery is currently underway and will be available later this year.

Source: www.energylivenews.com

Sent to us by: Bekah Ferguson


On Thursday, 60 more SpaceX satellites were launched to join the rest of the Starlink fleet.

On Thursday, another 60 SpaceX satellites were launched from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida to join the rest of the Starlink fleet.

In just the last month, there have been three successful launches and deployments, making SpaceX the largest fleet of satellites in the world, with more than 700 currently in orbit.

SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk wants to create a constellation made up of thousands of Starlink satellites that can offer high speed internet anywhere on the planet.

In March, Musk said at the Satellite 2020 conference, "The world seems to have an insatiable appetite for bandwidth. We’re certainly happy to launch other satellites."

If our 'appetite for bandwidth' was insatiable before a global pandemic, we're even hungrier now.

The plan is to ultimately create an interconnected network of about 12,000 small satellites in low orbit around Earth. Using a small dish, customers will be able to connect and get fast internet speeds, with rural and tough to reach areas being the primary market.

SpaceX recently said it’s building about 120 satellites a month. Astronomers are concerned the extra points of light will make it harder to observe the night sky.

Analyst Carmi Levy says, "They’re trying to look at things far away in the cosmos, and you have all these pesky little satellites orbiting in front of them, causing streaks across their imaging."

SpaceX has responded to the concerns by modifying its satellites to make them less reflective.

The company hopes to use Starlink internet as a way to fund the company’s vision of going to the moon and Mars.

SpaceX says the service will first be available in the U.S. and parts of Canada. Public trials are expected to take place later this year.

They said Friday that Starlink has already seen “extraordinary demand” from potential customers, with “nearly 700,000 individuals” across the United States alone indicating they are interested in the coming service.

Source: www.ctvnews.ca

Sent to us by: Robbie Ferguson


The latest Windows 10 cumulative update breaks ‘Sleep mode’. We'll share the fix.

Having trouble sleeping? The latest Windows 10 cumulative update breaks ‘Sleep mode’, causing laptops around the world to become insomniacs. We have the fix to yet another Microsoft update blunder.

Microsoft’s September 2020 optional update seems to be causing some trouble for those who are running Windows 10 version 2004.

While the update comes with fixes for critical issues and improvements, like many of Microsoft's previous cumulative updates, this one is far from perfect. Some users are reporting that the optional update broke Windows 10’s ‘Sleep mode.’

With the update installed, some users are reportedly facing an issue where their PC keeps waking up from sleep mode. One user states on Feedback Hub, "When I close the lid, press the power button, or select Sleep in the power menu or the win-x menu, instead of sleeping, the screen simply turns off, and my laptop does not go to sleep even after leaving it alone all night." Similar complaints can also be found on Microsoft’s forum website.

What's worse is that at the time of broadcast, there isn't a fix available from Microsoft. There's a temporary solution available if you’re affected, though it's a bit hacky and reminiscent of the old "up-up-down-down-left-right" game hacks of the 90s.

First, you need to stop the Windows Update service. Then, start it again. Then, restart it. Then, do a 'check for updates' and install the pending updates. Once they're in, reboot your computer and you should be good to go, with a working sleep mode.

Source: mspoweruser.com

Sent to us by: Robbie Ferguson


Minecraft is making the jump to PlayStation VR.

Minecraft is making the jump to PlayStation VR.

Minecraft is already available in VR form for Windows 10 with the Oculus Rift and Windows Mixed Reality, plus there's a Samsung Gear VR version. Minecraft PlayStation VR is based on Minecraft VR tech from these other VR platforms.

Mojang Studios executive producer Roger Carpenter said, "Everyone who has Minecraft on PlayStation 4 will get that patch automatically. Download that patch and you'll get access to the new Minecraft VR functionality. Of course, you'll need a PS VR setup in order to use it."

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic forced them to adjust how they develop Minecraft, Carpenter added, but the process was “relatively drama-free”. SkyBox Labs — also working on Halo Infinite — helped Mojang work on this release.

The Minecraft PlayStation VR experience will retain everything from the base PS4 version, and will add a bunch of new settings. This includes two ways to play the game: “Immersive” and “Living Room”. Mojang didn't expand on what that means, but if we were to guess, the latter may feel like sitting in a virtual room and playing on a giant screen.

Mojang didn't reveal whether Minecraft PlayStation VR will work with the upcoming PS5. Sony has said their PlayStation Move Motion Controllers, PlayStation VR Aim Controller, and PlayStation Camera will all work with “supported PS VR games” on the PS5, but it's not yet entirely clear what that means.

Get your PlayStation VR ready: the free update drops later this month.

Source: gadgets.ndtv.com

Sent to us by: Robbie Ferguson


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