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Albany, N.Y. hit with ransomware attack

Albany, New York was hit with a ransomware attack on March 30 that has shut down an undetermined number of several city services.

Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan informed the public of the attack in a tweet on Saturday. Few details of the attack have been issued by city officials, but Sheehan did tell all city employees to come to work and that the building would be open to the public starting at Noon on Monday.

0.04% of downloads on Google Play in 2018 were ‘potentially harmful apps’

Google’s Android, now 10 years old, has not been a stranger to security issues over the years. But with the mobile operating system now installed on over 2 billion devices globally, Google has been taking an increasingly firmer grip on trying to bring the problem under control. Now, the company has published its lengthy annual update to take stock on just how well that is going.

It’s a slippery slope to be sure, with the number of apps and the enterprising attempts to maliciously exploit them both growing. To wit, 0.04 percent of all downloads from Google Play were classified as potentially harmful applications (PHAs) by Google, versus 0.02 percent in 2017 — an increase in part because Google is growing the categories it’s identified and is tracking.

UK Releases 130 Terabytes of Oil and Gas Data

The UK Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) is making available to the public some 130 terabytes of well, geophysical, field, and infrastructure data through the launch of the UK Oil and Gas National Data Repository (NDR).

The dataset covers 12,500 offshore wellbores, 5,000 seismic surveys, and 3,000 pipelines over more than five decades. The release is intended to help promote new investment, technology, and exploration activity on the UK Continental Shelf, ultimately boosting recovery, the OGA said in a news release.

Europe’s controversial overhaul of online copyright receives final approval

The European Parliament has given final approval to the Copyright Directive, a controversial package of legislation designed to update copyright law in Europe for the internet age.

Members of parliament voted 348 in favor of the law and 274 against. A last-minute proposal to remove the law’s most controversial clause — Article 13 or the ‘upload filter’ — was narrowly rejected by just five votes. The directive will now be passed on to EU member states, who will translate it into national law.

Decryption tool created for ransomware designed to boost PewDiePie subscriptions

A PewDiePie fan has taken his admiration of the popular video game commentator a little too far, creating a ransomware designed to increase the YouTube star’s subscriber count.

Fortunately, anti-malware company Emsisoft last week announced a new a decryption tool that restores machines infected by the unusual malware, named “PewCrypt.”

On its website, Emsisoft describes PewCrypt as a Java-based ransomware that AES and RSA to encrypt files, while adding the extension “.PewCrypt”. The creator’s ransom note asks the victim to subscribe to PewDiePie and warns that the malware creator will not issue a decrypter tool unless and until PewDiePie reaches 100 million subscribers.