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Skylanders gets Switched

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Activision Publishing has announced that Skylanders Imaginators will be ready to meet the next wave of gamers when the Nintendo Switch launches in March 2017. 

This March also marks the debut of some of Skylanders Imaginators’ most anticipated characters, as well as a brand-new expansion pack. Now Portal Masters all over the world can engage in new content, toys and experiences with the award-winning Skylanders Imaginators this spring!

No Portal of Power? No problem with Nintendo Switch. Skylanders Imaginators for Nintendo Switch provides gamers unique ways to play, including the introduction of a vast digital library that allows players to easily load and store 300+ toys from the Skylanders franchise directly to the new home gaming system.  The arrival of the digital library empowers players to take their Skylanders Imaginators adventure on-the-go whenever and however they want.

“Since the launch of the Skylanders Imaginators and Skylanders Creator, fans have made more than 25 million Imaginators using the expansive creation tools in the game and app. We couldn’t be more excited to extend that experience to Nintendo Switch players,” said Paul Reiche, co-founder and studio head, Toys for Bob. “We’ve seen some amazing Skylanders created, and as kids’ collections continue to grow, we’re proud to offer more depth and variety to fans in ways never before possible with this new system.”

“Skylanders Imaginators has ignited the imaginations of fans everywhere, and we’re looking forward to continuing to support their gameplay experiences with Nintendo Switch, along with new toys and content coming this year,” said Josh Taub, senior vice president of Skylanders Product Management, Activision. “There are now more than 300 million Skylanders toys in the hands of fans², which equates to nearly two toys sold every second since Skylanders Spyro’s Adventure launched.  And with the new season of the animated series Skylanders Academy slated for Netflix this fall, we are thrilled that fans can enjoy playing, watching and creating Skylanders no matter where they are.”

Building on the franchise’s signature gameplay and collectible toy experience, Skylanders Imaginators pushes the boundaries of innovation and imagination with the upcoming release of the Cursed Tiki Temple level pack. The Cursed Tiki Temple level pack takes kids on an all-new adventure as they unlock more than 100 new offerings for their Skylanders Imaginators – a first in franchise history! The pack comes with Sensei character Wild Storm who will unleash a new level to players; a life Creation Crystal; and an Imaginite Mystery Chest all for the suggested retail price of $29.99 on March 12 at participating retailers nationwide.

Skylanders Imaginators gives kids an unprecedented level of choice — including appearance, powers, abilities, names, catchphrases, musical themes and much more — to create the most unique Skylanders characters they can imagine.  This spring, fans can also be on the lookout for the arrival of new heroes in the world of Skylanders Imaginators, including Skylanders Sensei Grave Clobber. Once a great pharaoh who ruled the Golden Desert long ago, Grave Clobber was buried by his seven jealous brothers in an underwater tomb while he was sleeping.  He eventually rose from his watery grave, clobbered each of his brothers and became the perfect choice to be a Sensei trainer for the Brawler Class. This mummy may surprise you with his range of powers, packing a serious punch as well as telekinetic powers!

The game is rated 6+ by the PEGI system. The Cursed Tiki Temple level pack and new Skylanders Senseis will support all major gaming platforms including Nintendo Switch and Nintendo Wii U system; Xbox 360 and Xbox One video game and entertainment systems from Microsoft; and PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4 computer entertainment systems. Skylanders Creator is a free app that players can download from iOS and Android app stores for select mobile devices. For more Skylanders information, visit: www.skylanders.com.

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Wannacry still alive

One and a half years after its epidemic, WannaCry ransomware tops the list of the most widespread cryptor families and the ransomware has attacked 74,621 unique users worldwide.

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These attacks accounted for 28.72% of all users targeted by cryptors in Q3 2018. The percentage has risen over the last year, demonstrating more than two thirds growth against Q3 2017, when its share in cryptor attacks was 16.78%. This is just one of the main findings from Kaspersky Lab’s Q3 IT threat evolution report. 

A series of cyberattacks with WannaCry cryptor occurred in May 2017 and is still considered to be one of the biggest ransomware epidemics in history. Even though Windows released a patch for its operating system to close the vulnerability exploited by EternalBlue 2 months prior to the start of the attacks, WannaCry still affected hundreds of thousands devices around the globe. As cryptors do, WannaCry turned files on victims’ computers into encrypted data and demanded ransom for decryption keys (created by threat actors to decipher the files and transform them back into the original data) making it impossible to operate the infected device.

The consequences of the WannaCry epidemic were devastating: as the victims were mainly organisations with networked systems – the work of businesses, factories and hospitals was paralysed. Even though this case demonstrated the dangers cryptors pose, and most of PCs around the world have been updated to resist the EternalBlue exploit, the statistics show that criminals still try to exploit those computers that weren’t patched and there are still plenty of them around the globe.

Overall, Kaspersky Lab security solution protected 259,867 unique users from cryptors attacks, showing a substantial rise of 39% since Q2 2018, when the figure was 158,921. The growth was rapid yet steady, with a monthly observed increase in the number of users.

The rising share of WannaCry attacks is another reminder that epidemics don’t end as fast as they start – there are always long-running consequences. In the case of cryptors, attacks can be so severe that it is necessary to take preventive measures and patch the device, rather than deal with encrypted files later,” said Fedor Sinitsyn, security researcher at Kaspersky Lab.

 To reduce the risk of infection by WannaCry and other cryptors, users are advised to:

  • Always update your operating system to eliminate recent vulnerabilities and use a robust security solution with updated databases. It is also important to use the security solution that has specialised technologies to protect your data from ransomware, as Kaspersky Lab’s solutions do. Even if the newest yet unknown malware does manage to sneak through, Kaspersky Lab’s System Watcher technology is able to block and roll back all malicious changes made on a device, including the encryption of files.
  • If you have bad luck and all your files are encrypted with cryptomalware, it is not recommended to pay cybercriminals, as it encourages them to continue their dirty business and infect more people’s devices. It is better to find a decryptor on the Internet – some of them are available for free here: https://noransom.kaspersky.com/

·         It is also important to always have fresh backup copies of your files to be able to replace them in case they are lost (e.g. due to malware or a broken device), and store them not only on the physical object but also in cloud storage for greater reliability (don’t forget to protect your cloud storage with strong hack-proof password!)

·         If you’re a business, enhance your preferred third-party security solution with the newest version of the free Kaspersky Anti-Ransomware Tool.

·         To protect the corporate environment, educate your employees and IT teams, keep sensitive data separate, restrict access, and always back up everything.

·         Use a dedicated security solution, such as Kaspersky Endpoint Security for Business that is powered by behaviour detection and able to roll back malicious actions. It should also include Vulnerability and Patch management features that automatically eliminates vulnerabilities and installs updates. This reduces the risk of vulnerabilities in popular software being used by cybercriminals.

·         Last, but not least, remember that ransomware is a criminal offence. You shouldn’t pay. If you become a victim, report it to your local law enforcement agency.

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Nokia 6.1 gets slice of Pie

HMD Global has announced that the Nokia 6.1 will start receiving Android 9 Pie – the second smartphone in the portfolio to receive the latest version of Android less than a month after the update arrived on the Nokia 7 plus.

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Packed with Google’s newest software and building on the features of Android 8.0 Oreo, Android 9 Pie’s focus on artificial intelligence and machine learning gives owners a more customised and tailored experience.

Powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 630 Mobile Platform, the Nokia 6.1 is over 60% faster than its predecessor. Also, now offering enhanced Dual-Sight, ZEISS optics, USB-C fast-charging, Nokia spatial audio and pure, secure and up-to-date Android Oreo.

The Nokia 6.1 has been selected by Google to join the Android One family and therefore users get exclusive access to Apps Actions – a feature only available to Android One and Google Pixel devices.  App Actions helps users get things done faster by predicting their next move and displaying the right action on right away.

Now with Android 9 Pie, the Nokia 6.1’s already impressive battery life is further complimented with the introduction of Adaptive Battery, an update that uses deep learning to understand usage patterns and prioritise battery power on the most important apps.

Other key features of Android 9

·       Slices – Identifies relevant information on favourite apps to make them more easily accessible when needed

·       Adaptive Brightness – Automatically adapts phone brightness by learning from interactions with different settings

·       New system navigation – Features a single home button that provides intelligent predictions and suggestions (user enabled)

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