Game Developer Epic Sues 14-Year Old For Cheating in Fortnite Battle Royale

14-year-old sued by Epic over Fortnite cheat video, Mom says he’s a scapegoat

Epic Games, the studio behind the popular video game “Fortnite Battle Royale”, last month banned two Fortnite Battle Royale players for cheating and breaching the End User License Agreement (EULA) and its copyright and filed a lawsuit against them.

According to Epic, the players modified the game’s code by using the site ‘Addicted Cheats’ to obtain “aimbots” that would give them a competitive edge in the game, which involves building forts, scavenging gear and fighting waves of monsters.

Using the cheat codes which aren’t free (usually need to pay between $5-$15 for the service), players could then kill weaker characters for fun, especially those “streamers” who create video recordings of their own games.

Epic is claiming that they allegedly acted as support personnel for the site and using aimbot software “They also helped to stream snipe popular Twitch broadcasters.

The suit said some of the players publicly boasted about cheating and encouraged others to do the same, a practice that cost Epic lost sales and profits.

“Nobody likes a cheater,” the suit said. “And nobody likes playing with cheaters. These axioms are particularly true in this case.”

“This particular lawsuit arose as a result of the defendant filing a DMCA counterclaim to a takedown notice on a YouTube video that exposed and promoted Fortnite Battle Royale cheats and exploits,” Epic says in a statement given to Kotaku. “Under these circumstances, the law requires that we file suit or drop the claim.

“Epic is not okay with ongoing cheating or copyright infringement from anyone at any age. As stated previously, we take cheating seriously, and we’ll pursue all available options to make sure our games are fun, fair, and competitive for players.”

However, the 14-year old’s mother has decided to fight the case on his son’s behalf and has claimed that Epic Games is using them as scapegoats. Not happy with the way Epic Games have handled the case, the mother in a letter to the court has attacked the former on the following grounds:

  • She says that Fortnite’s  EULA requires permission from a parent or legal guardian for minors, which she did not give. She states, “Please note parental consent was not issued to [my son] to play this free game produced by Epic Games, INC[.]”
  • Her son did not help create the cheat software, but simply downloaded it as a user, and that Epic “has no capability of proving any form of modification”.
  • Since Fortnite Battle Royale is a free-to-play video game, and Epic would need to provide a statement certifying that Rogers’ cheating directly caused them a “mass profit loss” due to her son’s actions.
  • She claims that Epic is targeting individual players rather than the websites that are selling or providing the software necessary to cheat in an online game and “using a 14 year-old child as a scapegoat”.
  • Lastly, the mother says that by releasing her minor son’s name to the public, Epic has violated Delaware laws related to the release of information on minors.

You can read the defendant’s mother’s letter below.

Source: Kotaku

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The Worst Piece Of Test Equipment You’ve Got To Try Hacking

A brand new meter in its blister pack
A brand new meter in its blister pack

I have a fascination with the various online vendors of electronics and other manufactured goods from China. Here are listed the latest wonders from Shenzhen or wherever, which you can have for a surprisingly reasonable price, with the mild inconvenience of a three week wait for the postage.

A particular pastime of mine is to look for the bottom end of the market. Once I’ve picked up the items I came to order I’ll trawl around with the search with low price first and see what can be had for a few dollars. Yes, I take a delight in finding absolute trash, because just sometimes that way you can find a diamond in the rough.

So when I was shopping for a multimeter recently I took a quick look to see what the cheapest model from that particular supplier was. For somewhere around £2.50 or just over $3, I could have a little pocket analogue multimeter, the kind of “My first multimeter” that one might have found in the 1980s. They weren’t too bad, I thought, and ordered one for less than a pint of beer in a British pub.

New Improved Modeli!
New Improved Modeli!

What arrived was promising enough, in a plastic blister pack, the Sunma YX1000A. The cardboard backing proudly proclaimed “New Improved Modeli”, so I had evidently made a wise purchase. On the back it told me there was a multimeter, test leads, battery, and instruction leaflet, but what I unpacked was only the meter and rather lightweight leads. Still, who needs instructions for a multimeter, and I have plenty of AA cells. Unscrew the back of the case, complete with a chip of plastic missing from one of its corners, pop the battery in, and away we go. £2.50 for a multimeter, we’re in for a treat!

This is why moving coil meters need damping.
This is why moving coil meters need damping.

My first task was to hook it up to my trusty 723 power supply, and check that the meter works. Fantastic, the needle swings up to 7.5 volts. Then back to 3.5 volts. Then back to 7, and so on in a crazy oscillation. But it settled eventually on 4V, which was a good sign. Or, at least, it would have been a good sign, had I not been supplying it with 5V.

A quick check with my everyday Uni-T digital multimeter, itself hardly a thoroughbred, and yes, I was giving it 5 volts. Maybe there was a parallax error at work, was the reflection of the needle lined up with the mirrored stripe on the face of the meter? Looking closely, I couldn’t see the reflection of the pointer, perhaps the front of the meter was steamed up. No, in fact the mirror wasn’t really a mirror at all, just a stripe of silver paint to look like a mirror from a distance. This is quality workmanship here, let me tell you.

That's silver paint, not a mirror.
That’s silver paint, not a mirror.

A quick check on the resistance ranges and the ammeter showed a consistent 20% low reading. No problem, users of a YX1000A will simply have to add 25% to any reading they get for the true value. And this gives an unexpected bonus, of a 25% increase in the meter’s range. For free. What other piece of test equipment delivers such value?

Opening up the meter for a teardown, and I found a single printed circuit board, with as expected the selector switch formed by PCB pads. With the exception of a through-hole rectifier diode and trimmer used as the zero adjustment for the resistance ranges, all components were surface-mount. There was no plating on the pads, save for the HASL or similar PCB tinning. Those pocket meters back in the day would usually fail because of oxidation of these contacts, no doubt this one would eventually succumb to the same fate.

Opening up the YX1000.
Opening up the YX1000.

The Sunma YX100A then: A case with a chip in it, a wildly oscillating meter mechanism that evidently has no damping, a stripe of grey paint for a parallax mirror, and a consistent 20% low reading. Even with a slightly tongue in cheek review, it’s fair to say that I have had better multimeters than the Sunma. In fact it’s fair to say that every multimeter I have ever used has been better than the Sunma. It’s possible that to make a multimeter worse than the Sunma would be extremely difficult, but they must have done it, because as they say, this is the “Improved Modeli”. Just how bad was the previous unimproved model?

So, what have I proved here? £2.50/$3 does not get you a decent meter. No surprises there, but I bought it for a laugh so am not disappointed. In fact the review of an awful meter has been considerably more enjoyable than it would have been had it been a good one, such has been the catalogue of dire features to uncover. There are decent pocket analogue multimeters still being manufactured, but if you want one you should expect to pay what it is worth.

I look at this awful meter though and see an entertaining opportunity. Here is a case with an AA battery holder and a moving coil meter, for relative pennies. What can you do with a Sunma YX1000A to make it better? Would any of you like to drop one on your next Banggood order and have a go at hacking it? Perhaps you could fix it and make a good multimeter from it, or maybe you’ll gut it and make something completely different. Put it on and tell me about it, I’m sure we’d all love to see. I can’t promise any prizes but I’ll see what I can do to grant fame and fortune to your work.

Filed under: Featured, Reviews, Teardown

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The Pirate Bay Has Trouble Keeping Afloat

pirate bayThe crew of The Pirate Bay has had a hard time keeping the ship afloat over the past few days, something which has caused considerable downtime.

For a lot of people, the site still displays a Cloudflare error message across the entire site, and many proxies are affected by the downtime as well.

Not everyone is affected equally though. In some regions, the site loads just fine. That said, there are reports that, even then, uploads are broken and searches turn up blank.

TorrentFreak reached out to the TPB team but we have yet to hear more about the issue. Judging from past experience, however, it’s likely down to a small technical issue with part of the infrastructure that needs fixing.

Pirate Bay down

The Pirate Bay has had quite a few stints of downtime in recent months. The popular torrent site usually returns after several hours, although it can take longer on occasion.

But there’s some good news for those who desperately need to access the notorious torrent site.

TPB is still accessible through some proxies and its .onion address on the Tor network, via the popular Tor Browser, for example. The Tor traffic goes through a separate connection and works just fine.

New uploads are coming through as well, although these appear to be mostly from upload bots.

As always, the site’s admins and moderators are asking people to refrain from panicking while waiting patiently for the storm to subside, but seasoned TPB users will probably know the drill by now…

Source: TF, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing, torrent sites and more. We also have VPN discounts, offers and coupons

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Steal This Show S03E11: The Nerd Reich

stslogo180If you enjoy this episode, consider becoming a patron and getting involved with the show. Check out Steal This Show’s Patreon campaign: support us and get all kinds of fantastic benefits!

In this episode, we meet Vinay Gupta: software engineer, disaster consultant, global resilience guru, and visionary.

Vinay served as Release Co-ordinator for the Ethereum project and is now CEO of Mattereum, ‘the first Internet of Agreements infrastructure project, bringing legally-enforceable smart contracts to the internet.’

We discuss: the idea of a ‘nerd Reich’ that has either usurped power from or merged with global governmental power; how and why we now live in a market-driven version of Orwell’s 1984; and Vinay’s concept of de-governance, and why the modern nation-state is the wrong platform to solve the problems that face us today.

Steal This Show aims to release bi-weekly episodes featuring insiders discussing copyright and file-sharing news. It complements our regular reporting by adding more room for opinion, commentary, and analysis.

The guests for our news discussions will vary, and we’ll aim to introduce voices from different backgrounds and persuasions. In addition to news, STS will also produce features interviewing some of the great innovators and minds.

Host: Jamie King

Guest: Vinay Gupta

Produced by Jamie King
Edited & Mixed by Riley Byrne
Original Music by David Triana
Web Production by Siraje Amarniss

Source: TF, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing, torrent sites and more. We also have VPN discounts, offers and coupons

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Why You Should Use Your Router As A Security Camera

A home security camera can be great for peace of mind, and keeping an eye on the house while you’re away. The popular option these days is an IP-based device that is accessible over the Internet through an ethernet or wireless connection to your home router. But what if you could cut out the middle man, and instead turn your router itself into the security camera? [Fred] is here to show us how it’s done.

The hack begins by parsing the original router’s firmware. Through a simple text search, a debug page was identified which allowed telnet access to the router to be enabled. This gives access to a root shell, allowing full control over the Linux system running the show.

After backing everything up, [Fred] grabbed the source code from Netgear and recompiled the kernal with USB video and Video4Linux2 support. This allows the router to talk to a standard USB webcam. It’s then a simple matter of using opkg to install software to set up the router to record video when motion is detected.

Overall, it’s fairly straightforward, but [Fred] came up with an ingenious twist. Because the router itself is acting as the security camera, he is able to set up the camera to only arm itself when his smartphone (and thus, [Fred] himself) is not at home. This prevents the recording of footage of [Fred] moving around the house, allowing the router to only record important footage for security purposes.

It’s possible to do great things with routers – most of them are just tiny boxes running Linux anyway. Check out this one used as an online energy meter.

Filed under: Wireless Hacks

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ACE and CAP Shut Down Aussie Pirate IPTV Operation

Instead of companies like the MPAA, Amazon, Netflix, CBS, HBO, BBC, Sky, CBS, Foxtel, and Village Roadshow tackling piracy completely solo, this year they teamed up to form the Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment (ACE).

This massive collaboration of 30 companies represents a new front in the fight against piracy, with global players publicly cooperating to tackle the phenomenon in all its forms.

The same is true of CASBAA‘s Coalition Against Piracy (CAP), a separate anti-piracy collective which to some extent shares the same members as ACE but with a sharp of focus on Asia.

This morning the groups announced the results of a joint investigation in Australia which targeted a large supplier of illicit IPTV devices. These small set-top boxes, which come in several forms, are often configured to receive programming from unauthorized sources. In this particular case, they came pre-loaded to play pirated movies, television shows, sports programming, plus other content.

The Melbourne-based company targeted by ACE and CAP allegedly sold these devices in Asia for many years. The company demanded AUS$400 (US$305) per IPTV unit and bundled each with a year’s subscription to pirated TV channels and on-demand movies from the US, EU, India and South East Asia markets.

In the past, companies operating in these areas have often been met with overwhelming force including criminal action, but ACE and CAP appear to have reached an agreement with the company and its owner, even going as far as keeping their names out of the press.

In return, the company has agreed to measures which will prevent people who have already invested in these boxes being able to access ACE and CAP content going forward. That is likely to result in a whole bunch of irritated customers.

“The film and television industry has made significant investments to provide audiences with access to creative content how, where, and when they want it,” says ACE spokesperson Zoe Thorogood.

“ACE and CAP members initiated this investigation as part of a comprehensive global approach to protect the legal marketplace for creative content, reduce online piracy, and bolster a creative economy that supports millions of workers. This latest action was part of a series of global actions to address the growth of illegal and unsafe piracy devices and apps.”

Neil Gane, General Manager of the CASBAA Coalition Against Piracy (CAP), also weighed in with what are now becoming industry-standard warnings of losses to content makers and supposed risks to consumers.

“These little black boxes are now beginning to dominate the piracy ecosystem, causing significant damage to all sectors of the content industry, from producers to telecommunication platforms,” Gane said.

“They also pose a risk to consumers who face a well-documented increase in exposure to malware. The surge in availability of these illicit streaming devices is an international issue that requires a coordinated effort between industry and government. This will be the first of many disruption and enforcement initiatives on which CAP, ACE, and other industry associations will be collaborating together.”

In September, TF revealed the secret agreement behind the ACE initiative, noting how the group’s founding members are required to commit $5m each annually to the project. The remaining 21 companies on the coalition’s Executive Committee put in $200,000 each.

While today’s IPTV announcement was very public, ACE has already been flexing its muscles behind the scenes. Earlier this month we reported on several cases where UK-based Kodi addon developers were approached by the anti-piracy group and warned to shut down – or else.

While all complied, each was warned not to reveal the terms of their agreement with ACE. This means that the legal basis for its threats remains shrouded in mystery. That being said, it’s likely that several European Court of Justice decisions earlier in the year played a key role.

Source: TF, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing, torrent sites and more. We also have VPN discounts, offers and coupons

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Russian Drone Can Lift 142 Phantom 3 Drones

Russia has long been known for making large machines. They hold the current record for the largest helicopter ever made – the MiL V12. Same goes for the world’s largest airplane, the Antonov An-225. Largest submarine? Yep, they made that too – the Typhoon class. It would appear they’ve thrown their hat in the drone business as well.

While the SKYF drone is made by a private Russian company, it is one of the largest drones we’ve ever seen. Able to lift 400 pounds (a Phantom 3 weighs 2.8 pounds) and can fly for eight hours, the SKYF drone is a nice piece of aeronautical engineering. Quad-copter style drones provide lift by brute force, and are typically plagued with low lift capacities and short flight times. The SKYF triumphs over these limitations by using gasoline powered engines for lift and electric motors for navigation.

It’s still in the prototype stage and being advertised for use in natural disasters and the agriculture industry. Check out the video in the link above to see the SKYF in action.

What’s the largest drone you’ve seen?

Thanks to [Itay] for the tip!

Filed under: drone hacks

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Pokémon Go caused more than $2 billion in damage from driving players, says study

Pokémon Go caused accidents and deaths and billions in damages

The popular mobile augmented reality app, Pokémon Go has caused deaths, a significant increase in car accidents and millions of dollars in damages since its launch in July 2016, according to a study by researchers at Purdue University, Indiana.

For those uninitiated, Pokémon Go is a free mobile game that allows people to catch, train and battle their Pokémon ‘in the real world’ by walking outdoors and interacting with other users. Players can also pick up supplies at real-world landmarks that serve as ‘PokéStops’ in the game.

The two authors, Mara Faccio and John McConnell of Purdue University, Indiana who have prepared a report titled ‘Death by Pokémon Go’ have blamed the game for “a disproportionate increase in vehicular crashes and associated vehicular damage, personal injuries, and fatalities in the vicinity of locations, called PokéStops, where users can play the game while driving.”

They examined 12,000 detailed police reports between March 1, 2015 and November 30, 2016, which included time, date, location, value of damage and whether there were injuries or deaths in the first 148 days after the game was released on July 6, 2016 in Tippecanoe County, Indiana. Around 134 crashes at the locations in the county could be attributed to Pokémon Go, in comparison to 286 crashes that took place in the county over the same period.

“We estimate the total incremental county-wide cost of users playing Pokémon Go while driving, including the value of the two incremental human lives lost, to be in the range of $5.2 million to $25.5 million over only the 148 days following the introduction of the game,” within the state alone they wrote in the report.

Further, they estimated that damages incurred as a result of playing the game across the U.S. could range between $2 billion and $7.3 billion over the same period.

“Thus, the increase in crashes attributable to the introduction of Pokémon Go accounts for 47 percent of the increase in the total number of county-wide crashes,” the researchers wrote.

This accounts to almost half a million dollars in incremental vehicular damage near to the PokéStops locations, and 31 incremental personal injuries.

“On an even sadder note, our analyses indicate that the county would have experienced two fewer traffic fatalities had Pokémon Go not been introduced,” they added.

Niantic, the makers of the game, have added a notification feature warning players who are travelling in a fast-moving vehicle. It asks, “You’re going too fast! Pokémon Go should not be played while driving.” The gamer must confirm that they’re a passenger in the vehicle before they’re allowed to proceed.

Source: Slash gear , PC Mag , iNews

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Hacker Challenge: Sail the Atlantic

We found it incredible that — apparently — no one has sailed an autonomous sailboat across the Atlantic successfully. Compared to an electric craft, sail-powered platforms ought to reduce having to carry batteries or other fuel and enable long-duration missions. The problem, of course, is the sailing conditions in the Atlantic.

The challenge is the focus of the Microtranssat challenge which started in 2010. You can think of the challenge as a race, but not in the conventional sense. Participants can launch their 8 foot (or less) craft any time between July and December, and it doesn’t matter which direction they go. They simply have to cross the Atlantic. If more than one boat makes it, the fastest is the winner.

The current leader is the SailBuoy. This Norwegian entry has made it halfway, but no further. However, it has sailed quite a distance in other places, so perhaps it will make it soon. You can see SailBuoy afloat in the video below.

If you are a sailor, you know that operating a sailboat isn’t that hard. It varies a bit depending on the type of sail, but you are balancing the force of the wind versus the force of the water on your keel and rudder to generate motion. The trick, of course, is to manage the sailing conditions in the Atlantic which is a lot more challenging than your local lake.

An Arduino or two is sufficient for an autopilot, and if you don’t want to build your own hull, you can always hack something else.

We have seen tremendous creativity from Hackaday readers all over the world in response to our many challenges. It seems hard to imagine that a few of our readers couldn’t handily win Microtranssat. If you want to start smaller, there are always shorter races like the World Robotic Sailing Championships and Sailbot.

Filed under: Transportation Hacks

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High-tech thieves unlock Mercedes without needing the keys

Car thieves steal Mercedes in just a minute without using the keys

It just took 60 seconds for hi-tech thieves to unlock a pricey Mercedes-Benz without keys and that too without breaking or damaging the car, shows a CCTV footage released by West Midlands Police, England. Police say the footage is the first ‘relay crime’ caught on camera in the West Midlands.

The video footage shows two men arriving at the male victim’s house in a car at 9 pm carrying “relay boxes” on September 24. One of them approaches the front door with a relay box in his hand and then waves the device at the front door of the house, and the car gets unlocked. The crooks then drive off with the Mercedes-Benz.

So, how did this happen? Apparently, the relay boxes are designed to receive a signal from the car key through walls, doors and windows. Therefore, when the relay box was waved at the front door, it stole the signal of the auto keys, which was likely in the house and transmitted it to the second box next to the car. It just took less than one minute to trick the vehicle’s systems to think that the key is present and subsequently unlocking it.

Police are yet to recover the Mercedes-Benz was stolen by the thieves from a driveway in the Elmdon area of Solihull, West Midlands.

Mark Silvester, from the West Midlands Police crime reduction team, advised people on how they could protect their cars against the theft.

“To protect against this type of theft, owners can use an additional tested and Thatcham-approved steering lock to cover the entire steering wheel.

“We also recommend Thatcham-approved tracking solutions fitted to the vehicle.

“It is always worth speaking to your main dealer, to ensure that your car has had all the latest software updates and talk through security concerns with them.”

Sergeant Tim Evans, of Solihull Police, said: “It’s important the public are reassured that we are taking proactive steps to tackle this type of crime in Solihull.

“We hope that knowledge of this type of crime will enable members of the public to take simple steps to secure their vehicle and assist us.”

Source: Mirror

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