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Snake Keylogger climbs malware charts, according to Check Point

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Snake Keylogger climbs malware charts, according to Check Point

Cybercriminals behind Snake Keylogger campaigns have been changing their tactics over the past few weeks according to researchers

Alex Scroxton

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Published: 10 Jun 2022 12: 16

Emotet’s commanding position at the top of the malware threat charts seems as unassailable now as Bryan Adams’ record-breaking run at the top of the UK singles charts seemed in the long, hot summer of 1991, but according to Check Point’s latest monthly countdown, there is plenty of activity back in the pack, with the return of Snake Keylogger particularly noteworthy.

Check Point’s Global Threat Index, covering May 2022, revealed that Snake Keylogger returned to the top 10 in eighth place last month, following a number of novel email campaigns that saw it delivered via a malicious PDF file.

Historically, Snake more usually arrived in the form of a .docx or .xlsx attachment, and Check Point’s analysts theorised that the switch to .pdf format may be a result of Microsoft’s move to block default internet macros in Office.

Check Point said spreading malware via PDF files may also be more effective as people tend to perceive such files to be inherently safer for some reason – potentially the lack of association with Microsoft.

“As was evident in the recent Snake Keylogger campaigns, every online activity puts you at risk for a cyber attack. Opening a PDF document is no different,” stated Maya Horowitz (research vice-president, Check Point Software).

“Viruses and malicious executable code can lurk in multimedia content and links, with the malware attack, in this case Snake Keylogger, ready to strike once a user opens the PDF. You should be cautious with PDFs, just like you would doubt the legitimacy of an email attachment with a.docx and.xlsx address.

“In today’s environment, it is more important than ever for organizations to have an email security solution that inspects and quarantines attachments. This prevents malicious files from getting into the network.” said Horowitz.

“As demonstrated by the Snake Keylogger campaigns, anything you do online exposes you to a cyber attack. Opening a PDF document is no exception.”
Maya Horowitz, Check Point Software

Meanwhile, Check Point found Emotet impacted 8% of organisations worldwide in May, a slight increase on April, while also holding steady in the number two and three slots were the FormBook infostealer, and the Agent Tesla remote access trojan (RAT) respectively.

The remainder of the top 10 comprises Lokibot, an infostealer; XMRig, a cryptominer; Glupteba, a backdoor-turned-botnet; Ramnit, a banking trojan; Snake Keylogger; Phorpiex, a botnet; and Remcos, another RAT, in that order.

However, in the UK specifically, while Emotet was still the top threat, Snake Keylogger came in second, and there were also appearances from the Qbot banking trojan and Conti ransomware.

The most exploited vulnerability observed by Check Point last month was a series of malicious URL directory traversal vulnerabilities on various web servers, that have arisen due to an input validation error in web server that doesn’t properly sanitise the URL for the directory traversal platforms – some of the CVE numbers on this list date back over 10 years.

This was followed by Log4j, aka Log4Shell, which remains a threat, and an information disclosure vulnerability in Git Repository in third position.

More information on the most exploited vulnerabilities, mobile threats and most targeted industries is available from Check Point.

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FIFA 23 lets you turn off commentary pointing out how bad you are

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FIFA 23 lets you turn off commentary pointing out how bad you are
A player shouldering the ball



(Image credit: EA)

FIFA 23 might be the best game soccer game yet for terrible sports fans, as it lets you turn off commentary that criticizes your bad playing.

Now that the early access FIFA 23 release time has passed, EA Play and Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscribers can hop into the game ahead of its full release. But as Eurogamer (opens in new tab) spotted, they’ll find a peculiar option waiting for them.

FIFA 23 includes a toggle to turn off ‘Critical Commentary’. The setting lets you silence all negative in-match comments made about your technique, so you can protect your precious ego even when you miss an open goal or commit an obvious foul. The more positive commentary won’t be affected. 

Spare your feelings

A player dribbling the ball in FIFA 23

(Image credit: EA)

The feature looks tailored toward children and new players, who don’t want to have their confidence wrecked within mere minutes of picking up the controller. But even experienced players who just so happen to be terrible at the game might benefit.

It’s not perfect, though. According to Eurogamer, the feature didn’t seem to work during a FIFA Ultimate Team Division Rivals match, with critical comments slipping through the filter. Still, who hasn’t benefited from a light grilling every now and then?

Polite commentary isn’t the only new addition in FIFA 23. It’s the first game in the series to include women’s club football teams, and fancy overhauled animations that take advantage of the PS5 and Xbox Series X|S’s new-gen hardware. EA will be hoping to end on a high, as FIFA 23 will be the last of its soccer games to release with the official FIFA licence.

If disabling critical commentary doesn’t improve your soccer skills, maybe building a squad of Marvel superheroes will. Although you might not do much better with Ted Lasso wandering the pitch.

FIFA 23 is set to fully release this Friday, September 30.

Callum is TechRadar Gaming’s News Writer. You’ll find him whipping up stories about all the latest happenings in the gaming world, as well as penning the odd feature and review. Before coming to TechRadar, he wrote freelance for various sites, including Clash, The Telegraph, and Gamesindustry.biz, and worked as a Staff Writer at Wargamer. Strategy games and RPGs are his bread and butter, but he’ll eat anything that spins a captivating narrative. He also loves tabletop games, and will happily chew your ear off about TTRPGs and board games. 

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Google Pixel 7 price leak suggests Google is totally out of touch

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Google Pixel 7 price leak suggests Google is totally out of touch
The backs of the Pixel 7 and the Pixel 7 Pro



(Image credit: Google)

We’re starting to hear more and more Google Pixel 7 leaks, with the launch of the phone just a week away, but tech fans might be getting a lot of déjà vu, with the leaks all listing near-identical specs to what we heard about the Pixel 6 a year ago.

It sounds like the new phones – a successor to the Pixel 6 Pro is also expected – could be very similar to their 2021 predecessors. And a new price leak has suggested that the phones’ costs could be the same too, as a Twitter user spotted the Pixel 7 briefly listed on Amazon (before being promptly taken down, of course).

Google pixel 7 on Amazon US. $599.99.It is still showing up in search cache but the listing gives an error if you click on it. We have the B0 number to keep track of though!#teampixel pic.twitter.com/w5Z09D28YESeptember 27, 2022

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According to these listings, the Pixel 7 will cost $599 while the Pixel 7 Pro will cost $899, both of which are identical to the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro starting prices. The leak doesn’t include any other region prices, but in the UK the current models cost £599 and £849, while in Australia they went for AU$999 and AU$1,299.

So it sounds like Google is planning on retaining the same prices for its new phones as it sold the old ones for, a move which doesn’t make much sense.


Analysis: same price, new world

Google’s choice to keep the same price points is a little curious when you consider that the specs leaks suggest these phones are virtually unchanged from their predecessors. You’re buying year-old tech for the same price as before.

Do bear in mind that the price of tech generally lowers over time, so you can readily pick up a cheaper Pixel 6 or 6 Pro right now, and after the launch of the new ones, the older models will very likely get even cheaper.

But there’s another key factor to consider in the price: $599 might be the same number in 2022 as it was in 2021, but with the changing global climate, like wars and flailing currencies and cost of living crises, it’s a very different amount of money.

Some people just won’t be willing to shell out the amount this year, that they may have been able to last year. But this speaks to a wider issue in consumer tech.

Google isn’t the only tech company to completely neglect the challenging global climate when pricing its gadgets: Samsung is still releasing super-pricey folding phones, and the iPhone 14 is, for some incomprehensible reason, even pricier than the iPhone 13 in some regions. 

Too few brands are actually catering to the tough economic times many are facing right now, with companies increasing the price of their premium offerings to counter rising costs, instead of just designing more affordable alternatives to flagships.

These high and rising prices suggest that companies are totally out of touch with their buyers, and don’t understand the economic hardship troubling many.

We’ll have to reach a breaking point sooner or later, either with brands finally clueing into the fact that they need to release cheaper phones, or with customers voting with their wallets by sticking to second-hand or refurbished devices. But until then, you can buy the best cheap phones to show that cost is important to you.

Tom’s role in the TechRadar team is to specialize in phones and tablets, but he also takes on other tech like electric scooters, smartwatches, fitness, mobile gaming and more. He is based in London, UK.

He graduated in American Literature and Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia. Prior to working in TechRadar freelanced in tech, gaming and entertainment, and also spent many years working as a mixologist. Outside of TechRadar he works in film as a screenwriter, director and producer.

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DisplayMate awards the “Best Smartphone Display” title to the iPhone 14 Pro Max

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DisplayMate awards the “Best Smartphone Display” title to the iPhone 14 Pro Max

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