Developer faces prison after admitting admin software was really a RAT

A Kentucky man has pleaded guilty to federal charges he developed, marketed, and provided technical support for software he knew customers used illegally to take control of other people’s computers.

Colton Grubbs used the handle KFC Watermelon to advertise the LuminosityLink administrative tool on Hackforums[dot]net, federal prosecutors alleged in an indictment filed last month. The indictment said the tool provided a variety of malicious capabilities including the ability for purchasers to control others’ computers, surreptitiously record users’ activities, and to view their files, login credentials, and personal information. The defendant, prosecutors said, also used the hacker forum and a website located at luminosity[dot]link to teach users how to conceal their identities and prevent antivirus programs from detecting the tool.

On Monday, Grubbs signed a plea agreement that admitted that from 2015 to 2017 he designed LuminosityLink and sold it for $40 apiece to more than 6,000 individuals, knowing that some of them were using it maliciously. While previously claiming the software was a legitimate tool for system administrators, Monday’s plea agreement admitted he knew some customers were using it to control computers without owners’ knowledge or permission. The document, which was signed by Grubbs, stated:

Read 4 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Instapaper buys itself back from Pinterest

Back in 2013, developer Marco Arment sold his popular read-it-later app Instapaper to Betaworks, the company that had previously acquired Digg. Two years ago, Pinterest bought the little company to "accelerate discovering and saving articles on Pinte…

Are you addicted to cheap broken cars?

Are you addicted to cheap broken cars? Do you need help with your sometimes-running project? Do you secretly enjoy breaking down on the side of major interstates? Come talk cars with us in our Facebook group, The Way Back. See you there!

Read more…

The Essential Phone at $250 is the best smartphone deal of the year

It’s Amazon Prime Day, and that means a large collection of deals that may or may not be a great value. We have a big post covering much of the tech stuff, but I wanted to highlight this insane Essential Phone deal that lets you have a 2017 flagship smartphone for $250. Less than a year ago, this phone was $700. A comparable Snapdragon 835 phone from Samsung (the Galaxy S8) is $500. Today, you can buy two Essential Phones for the cost of the Galaxy S8.

We found the Essential Phone to be a very interesting product when we reviewed it last year. It had a new-age notched display, a minimal design, a unique ceramic body, and felt really well made, especially for something from a brand-new company. It ran stock Android and came with a promise of two years of software updates.

Read 5 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Adidas pledges to only use recycled plastics by 2024

Adidas is planning to expand its use of recycled plastics well beyond its flagship shoes. The sportswear maker has promised to only use recycled polyester in its shoes and clothing by 2024. While the company's Eric Liedtke didn't provide a detailed r…

The Best Prime Day Deals of 2018 [Updating]

Amazon Prime Day 2018 officially starts at 3PM ET today, but as per usual, Amazon has already started rolling out a few select deals that Prime members can take advantage of right now.

Read more…

News of Trump passing cognitive test may make it harder to detect dementia

Enlarge / US President Donald Trump answers questions about the 2016 US election during a joint press conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin after their summit on July 16, 2018 in Helsinki, Finland. (credit: Getty | Chris McGrath)

News reports in January that President Donald Trump passed a widely used test that screens for mild cognitive impairment flung the little-known clinical tool into public focus. Google searches for the test—the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA)—spiked as dozens of media reports shared parts or all of the test and political commentators batted it around.

The president’s supporters proudly played up the test, boasting of Trump’s perfect 30-out-of-30 score and using it to laugh down those who questioned Trump’s mental state. Others snickered over the test’s seemingly straightforward components, such as asking test takers to correctly draw times on a clock and identify animals.

But the laugh may be on all of us, according to a research letter published Monday, July 16 in JAMA Neurology.

Read 11 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Comment Of The Day: Put The Shovel Down Edition

Sometimes, when you make a mistake, there’s no way of talking your way out of it. And in fact, the more you try to explain the deeper you dive into a hole of your own making.

Read more…

Throw Out Your Corded Vacuum and Save Over $100 On Dyson’s V8 Absolute

Unless you live in a very large house, Dyson’s V8 cordless vacuum is probably the only vacuum you need. While it lasts for Prime Day, you can get the Absolute model for an all-time low $365, or over $100 less than usual. The Absolute features the longest battery life in the V8 line, and comes with the most accessories.

Read more…

CRISPR might cause more unintended DNA damage than we thought

A new study published today in Nature Biotechnology warns that CRISPR may not be the ultra-specific gene editor we've believed it to be. With CRISPR-Cas9, researchers can find particular sequences in a cell's DNA and cut them at a specified spot. The…