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Why the latest iPhone hack should worry you no matter what phone you use


Google’s Project Zero team dropped a bombshell of a blog post that says malicious websites have hacked iPhones for years whenever someone using one simply visited them. The specifics are interesting if you’re into information security, but the gist is that hackers were able to exploit the various levels of iOS security to gain access to private data including photos, passwords, and databases for encrypted messaging apps like WhatsApp and iMessage. And again, all a user had to do was visit a website.

We only hear about an exploit when it’s been caught.

Apple promptly patched the vulnerabilities used for these exploits once Google informed it of the findings in February, but still. This went on for over two years and nobody knew except the people involved in stealing the personal data of “thousands of visitors per week.” Yikes.

I know most everyone reading this uses an Android phone and probably isn’t affected by this in any way. At least, you hope you weren’t affected. The scary truth is that there are probably other “hacks” in the wild that work in a very similar way and that your phone is vulnerable.

Hackers (the bad kind of hacker) aren’t worried about what type of phone you use. There is a case to be made that iPhone users tend to have more disposable income and are a “better” target when it comes to stealing money, but it’s more important to hit as many people as possible if you’re trying to steal data. In the U.S. about half of all people with a smartphone use an iPhone, about half use an Android. Doctors, lawyers, and celebrities use Android phones, too. Their passwords, messaging databases, and photos are just as interesting to a hacker.

Android phones are filled with juicy data just like iPhones are.

There aren’t a lot of people finding and writing these sorts of attacks, thankfully. There are also not a lot of people trying to find and fix them, either, though. And unfortunately, there isn’t much we can do about it.

If you know how to use a proxy service and browse onion links (and no, I’m not going to help you there) you can find places online that sell packages that let you attack smartphones. The easier it is to infect or affect a phone, the higher the price and something that’s as automatic as this recent iOS hack that affected even the most recent version are very expensive. But people still buy them, because spending upwards of $3 million dollars for them is a sound investment if you can get enough phones infected. If you can steal a dollar from 3.1 million users, you just turned a tidy profit.

All this should concern you. It doesn’t matter if you’re the type of person who uses a strong password everywhere and religiously encrypt and lock all your devices or if you’re the type who doesn’t even have a lock screen in use and all your passwords are “password.” You’re on the internet right now and there is no guarantee that you won’t stumble across a page that has malware of this type embedded. You should use safe practices like only following links you trust from people you trust, but malware is like love and it will find a way.

You don’t have to obsess about online security but you should care at least a little.

I’m not going to suggest we go back to a glorious age where no business was done online and risque photos all came from Polaroid Instant Cameras. And you don’t need to wear a tinfoil hat and think someone is out to get you every time you pick up your phone. You should, however, care about security just a little bit. Use a company’s track record on security whenever you purchase anything that can connect to the internet and keep following the rules like only visiting links you trust, use two-factor authentication when you can, and never using unsecured Wi-Fi.

Remember, this isn’t the only exploit of this type out there in the wilds; it was only the one that was caught.



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Master your Raspberry Pi with this fun training bundle (plus promo code)


The Raspberry Pi Mastery Bundle

Did you know you can use your Raspberry Pi for home automation? In fact, there’s very little that this hobbyist favorite can’t do. All you need is an interest in electronics and a bit of hands-on training.

The Raspberry Pi Mastery Bundle can be your guide. This eight-part online training kit is jam-packed with tips and tutorials you can use to explore the full potential of your wondrous gizmo.

No knowledge is assumed. For beginners, you can start at the beginning with Introduction to Raspberry Pi course. The simple projects in this learning kit gently familiarize you with how your IoT device can be used as a computer.

The Raspberry Pi Mastery Bundle

As you get more confident, things get more fun. Among the eight learning kits, you’ll find guidance on using your Raspberry Pi to build robots, automate your home, and even mine Bitcoin. That’s just the tip of the iceberg too.

The Raspberry Pi Mastery Bundle:

The prices above might be the retail values, but it’s not what you’ll pay today. Right now the bundle is on offer for only $34 at Savumin, and you can save an extra 15% over this Labor Day weekend. If you use the promo code SAVE15TODAY at the checkout, you’ll pay just $28.90.

The code expires on Tuesday, so don’t miss it. Hit the button below to check it out.

This deal not quite right for you? To see all our hottest deals, head over to the AAPICKS HUB.



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Borderlands 3 post-launch content and endgame Mayhem Mode revealed


Gearbox held a panel at PAX West 2019, and although it was delayed because security couldn’t get people into the room fast enough, the company still crammed in plenty of announcements. Borderlands 3 capped off the panel with new endgame content revealed and a look into its post-launch roadmap.

Proving Grounds, the endgame content revealed at Gamescom, will be complemented with another new mode called Mayhem Mode. This mode increases the challenge involved in fighting enemies, which will spawn more commonly as badasses and anointed, with more experience and better loot as a result. It can even modify enemy stats, making them immune to fire, for example. Three Mayhem Modes (Mayhem 1, Mayhem 2, and Mayhem 3) will be available after players complete the game in True Vault Hunter mode.

According to Gearbox, Mayhem Mode also applies Mayhem Mods to any planet that you visit. Two mods revealed were Savage and You’re a Wizard. The former boosts enemies’ weapons damage, while the latter nerfs the player’s own gun damage but buffs their elemental effect damage. Certain Mayhem Mods only come into effect when you are playing in Mayhem 2 or Mayhem 3. It appears to be a little like the Grandmaster difficulties in Anthem.

As for its post-launch content, Gearbox did not yet reveal information about its first major expansion. Instead we got a taste of some free content updates within the coming months. First up is the Bloody Harvest event, which veteran players should be familiar with. Next is a Maliwan Takedown, which promises new challenges, a new map, and a new boss.

Welcome back


Borderlands 3

Prepare for the fight of the galaxy

Borderlands 3 promises a ton of action and mayhem across the galaxy. Pick your new favorite Vault Hunter, gear up, and get ready to save the worlds. Each character has their own action skills you’ll want to try out at least once.

We may earn a commission for purchases using our links. Learn more.



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How to change your Twitter password


As we found out today, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey is not immune to having his own account on his social network compromised. Just after 4 p.m. Eastern Time, his official Twitter account started posting racist and offensive posts, according to CNN. Those tweets were quickly deleted. Twitter’s official communications outlet confirmed that Dorsey’s account was indeed hacked, and that it is now “investigating what happened.”  Engadget adds that the source of the hacked messages was the SMS service Cloudhopper. Twitter bought that company back in 2010.

Obviously, this situation shows that even if you are the CEO of Twitter, your account could be hacked. In order to prevent these kinds of issues, it’s good to not only have a strong password for your account, but you should also change your password regularly. Here’s how to change your Twitter password.

How to change your Twitter password

twitter change password

If you know your Twitter password, and want to change it, here’s how you can do it in your Android app:

  • In the app, tap on your profile, and then tap on the Security and Privacy section
  • After that, tap on the Account selection in the menu.
  • Then, tap on the Password option.
  • Finally, type in your current password, then type in and confirm your new password.

How to reset your Twitter password

If you don’t remember your  Twitter password, or if your Twitter account has indeed been highjacked, you can reset it:

  1. Go to the Twitter sign in page, and enter either your email, Twitter user name or mobile phone number associated with the account.
  2. If you type in your email or user name, then type in the email address where you want the reset message to be set.
  3. After that, check your email inbox for the Twitter password reset email, and click on its link.
  4. You will then be taken to a site where you can choose your new Twitter password.
  5. If you pick the phone number option, type in your number.
  6. You will see a message stating you want Twitter to text a code to your number. Click Continue.
  7. Twitter will then text you a six-digit code on your phone.
  8. You will then be taken to the password reset page. Type in that six-digit code and Twitter should then ask you to type in your new password.

Of course, you may just want to delete your Twitter account entirely if you feel it’s too much trouble.





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You can sign-up for a chance to purchase a Borderlands 3 Diamond Loot Chest Collector’s Edition


If you missed out on your chance to purchase the Diamond Loot Chest Collector’s Edition of Borderlands 3, you’ll have another one very soon. Gearbox announced at PAX West that it had gone back to the manufacturer to make another batch in a limited quantity. Unfortunately, they’re not being given away for free. You’ll need to enter for a chance to purchase one from Gearbox, but if you do win, you’ll get some pretty slick loot.

The following items are included in the Diamond Loot Chest:

  • Diamond Loot Chest replica
  • Borderlands 3 character figurines (X10)
  • Sanctuary 3 snap model
  • Vault Key chains (X4)
  • Cloth galaxy map
  • Character art lithographs (X5)

Notice anything missing? Particularly the game itself? That’s because it’s not included in the Collector’s Edition. You’ll need to purchase Borderlands 3 separately for another $60. Because it’s “a fantastic day for capitalism,” as Marcus would say.

You can sign up for a chance to win before September 6th at 2:30pm PT on gearboxloot.com. Those lucky enough to have their name drawn will have the opportunity to buy the Diamond Loot Chest Collector’s Edition for $190.

Welcome back


Borderlands 3

Prepare for the fight of the galaxy

Borderlands 3 promises a ton of action and mayhem across the galaxy. Pick your new favorite Vault Hunter, gear up, and get ready to save the worlds. Each character has their own action skills you’ll want to try out at least once.

We may earn a commission for purchases using our links. Learn more.



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