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The ultimate gaming phones on the market right now

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ultimate gaming phones

Unless you’ve been switching off from the technology-based advancements we’re inundated with these days, you’ll be fully aware of the progress being made in the mobile gaming arena. In fact, mobile gaming is booming, contributing a great deal to the overall gaming landscape and now representing a genuine gaming opportunity for people.

In the past, mobile gaming titles have been fairly limited and not worth much time or attention. These days, though, people are diving into an array of smartphone games on a miniature handheld device as games typically offer more detail and a better all-round gaming package than what was previously available. Games that have helped contribute to mobile gaming’s rise up the entertainment ranks include Pokemon Go, with its augmented reality feature winning over millions. Additionally, console gamers are now switching over to mobile products thanks to the likes of PUBG Mobile, illustrating just how far mobile gaming has come. Even more basic titles appeal, with casino gamers accessing bonuses ahead of a gaming session, alongside the option of cracking puzzle releases and brain training products. Mobile gaming’s all-round offering has never been so extensive.

In order to enjoy gaming on a mobile device to its full potential, many people insist on investing in a gaming phone. These types of smartphones offer features that have been designed with gaming in mind, therefore maximizing a mobile gaming experience. Some devices are cheaper than others, of course, but on the whole, these types of devices are rising to prominence in the modern world, particularly as more and more of us discover the evident benefits of gaming on what has become far more than just a communication tool.

 

The leading options being snapped up

Given the rise of smartphone gaming, many mobile phone makers have wanted a slice of the pie. While there have been some shoddy releases over the years, many of the leading gaming phones on the market are hugely impressive. A favored choice for many avid mobile gamers is the Asus ROG Phone 6, a device that offers fantastic performance and an amazing display thanks to a number of impressive features, such as its 6.78-inch screen that offers Samsung AMOLED display and its 165Hz refresh rate. It also boasts the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 chipset, a chipset that is capable of handling any game. Another solid option in the pack is the Black Shark 5 Pro, a device that comes with retractable triggers and powerful performance compared to a regular mobile phone. It comes fully packed with the aforementioned Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor and 12GB of RAM, too. Other leading smartphones include the Asus ROG Phone 5, the Nubia Red Magic 7, and the Lenovo Legion Phone Duel.

 

A look at two great alternatives

ultimate gaming phones

(Image via https://twitter.com/gsmarena_com)

With the rise of smartphone gaming has come a number of gaming smartphones. While the aforementioned leading devices are excellent options, they aren’t the only gaming devices on the market that provide a boosted mobile gaming experience. For example, many gamers opt for the Nubia Red Magic 5G, a device with an array of in-built gaming features, from its gaming buttons and fan and liquid cooling system to its 144Hz refresh rate display and funky design. The Xiaomi Black Shark 3 is another fantastic gaming phone that is still being snapped up by gamers despite some new models emerging since its release. Offering everything a mobile gamer needs, it features a solid all-round design and a range of features that make it ideal for gaming, from its top-end Snapdragon 865 processor and an advanced cooling system to its 6.67-inch display and 4720 mAh battery.

 

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New Microsoft Security Alert: State-Sponsored 0Day Exchange Server Attacks Confirmed – Forbes

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Microsoft confirmed on September 30 that it is investigating two zero-day vulnerabilities that impact Exchange Server 2013, 2016 and 2019. Between them, there are more than 200,000 installations in businesses worldwide. Microsoft goes on to warn that a single, likely state-sponsored, threat group has been confirmed as exploiting both vulnerabilities by chaining them together. Microsoft adds that the CVE-2022-41040 and CVE-2022-41082 chain attacks have facilitated “hands-on-keyboard access, which the attackers used to perform Active Directory reconnaissance and data exfiltration.” While Microsoft says, it has observed these attacks against ten organizations so far, given the Exchange Server user base and the fact that the vulnerabilities are now known, the potential for further attacks is great.

The risk is significant

As such, Mike Walters, the vice-president of vulnerability and threat research at Action1, has warned that “the risk from these zero-days is significant” to many SME and enterprise companies with “vast amounts of critical data.” Security Researchers at GTSC initially disclosed that attacks were underway.

CVE-2022-41040 is a Server-Side Request Forgery (SSRF) vulnerability, while CVE-2022-41082 enables remote code execution (RCE) via PowerShell. The former is being used to trigger the latter in a chain exploit if the attacker is authenticated at the user level in Exchange Server.

CISA advises Exchange Server users and admins to act now

Indeed, the Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) has issued a statement urging both users and administrators to apply mitigations while awaiting an official patch from Microsoft. Microsoft is working on releasing this as soon as possible, although a timescale has not yet been given. Microsoft has further confirmed that this impacts on-premise Exchange Server installations, and Exchange Online users are unaffected by the vulnerabilities.

Microsoft has released a script for on-premise users that will mitigate the exploited SSRF vector and has released an automatic URL rewrite mitigation for users of the Exchange Server Emergency Mitigation Service.

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Google Stadia Will Shut Down in 2023, All Purchases to Be Refunded – CNET

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Cloud gaming service Google Stadia will shut down on Jan. 18, the search giant said in blog post Thursday. Google will refund all Stadia hardware purchased through its Google Store, along with all games and add-on content purchased from the Stadia store.

The tech giant aims to have all the refunds completed by mid-January. 

People using Stadia will still to be able to access to their game libraries, including Pro games if you had an active Pro subscription as of Thursday. In an email sent to players, Google warned that publisher support for games may vary, and it’s possible that your gameplay experience may be affected during the shut-down period (suggesting that some games could vanish or lose features early). 

It appears that Google didn’t tell many developers about the shut-down prior to the public blog post. Destiny 2 makers Bungie tweeted on Thursday about coming up with “a plan of action” in the wake of the announcement. Assassin’s Creed developer Ubisoft intends to allow players who’ve bought its games on Stadia to bring them to PC through its Ubisoft Connect digital distribution service, it said Friday. 

Google talked to at least one studio (Luxor Evolved developer Olde Skuul) about reimbursement for lost revenue as a result of the abrupt change, Axios reported Friday.

Explaining the move, Stadia vice president and general manager Phil Harrison noted Google’s investments in gaming through its Google Play digital distribution service, its cloud tech and YouTube streaming.

“A few years ago, we also launched a consumer gaming service, Stadia,” he said in the blog post. “And while Stadia’s approach to streaming games for consumers was built on a strong technology foundation, it hasn’t gained the traction with users that we expected so we’ve made the difficult decision to begin winding down our Stadia streaming service.”

Many employees on the Stadia team will be reassigned to other roles within Google, the blog post noted.

The cloud gaming service launched in November 2019, to a mixed reception.


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“Stadia isn’t delivering new games [at the moment], it’s just trying to deliver a new way to play through streaming. One that you can already get from other providers,” CNET’s Scott Stein wrote at the time. “Until Google finds a way to loop in YouTube and develop truly unique competitive large-scale games, Stadia isn’t worth your time yet.”

Despite having some solid games in its library, Stadia failed to evolve. Google shuttered its in-house development studio in 2021, hinting that its gaming ambitions were shifting away from Stadia.

Stadia also had plenty of cloud gaming competition, with Xbox, PlayStation, Nvidia and Amazon all offering alternatives. 

It hasn’t been a total bust for the company, with Harrison saying the tech can be applied to YouTube, Google Play and its augmented reality projects. 

That tech will also be made available to Google’s industry partners. Sony gave its own streaming service a headstart in 2015 by buying the patents of OnLive — an early game streaming service — shortly before the once-promising startup shut down.

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High-severity Microsoft Exchange 0-day under attack threatens 220,000 servers – Ars Technica

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Microsoft late Thursday confirmed the existence of two critical vulnerabilities in its Exchange application that have already compromised multiple servers and pose a serious risk to an estimated 220,000 more around the world.

The currently unpatched security flaws have been under active exploit since early August, when Vietnam-based security firm GTSC discovered customer networks had been infected with malicious webshells and that the initial entry point was some sort of Exchange vulnerability. The mystery exploit looked almost identical to an Exchange zero-day from 2021 called ProxyShell, but the customers’ servers had all been patched against the vulnerability, which is tracked as CVE-2021-34473. Eventually, the researchers discovered the unknown hackers were exploiting a new Exchange vulnerability.

Webshells, backdoors, and fake sites

“After successfully mastering the exploit, we recorded attacks to collect information and create a foothold in the victim’s system,” the researchers wrote in a post published on Wednesday. “The attack team also used various techniques to create backdoors on the affected system and perform lateral movements to other servers in the system.”

On Thursday evening, Microsoft confirmed that the vulnerabilities were new and said it was scrambling to develop and release a patch. The new vulnerabilities are: CVE-2022-41040, a server-side request forgery vulnerability, and CVE-2022-41082, which allows remote code execution when PowerShell is accessible to the attacker.

“​​At this time, Microsoft is aware of limited targeted attacks using the two vulnerabilities to get into users’ systems,” members of the Microsoft Security Response Center team wrote. “In these attacks, CVE-2022-41040 can enable an authenticated attacker to remotely trigger CVE-2022-41082.” Team members stressed that successful attacks require valid credentials for at least one email user on the server.

The vulnerability affects on-premises Exchange servers and, strictly speaking, not Microsoft’s hosted Exchange service. The huge caveat is that many organizations using Microsoft’s cloud offering choose an option that uses a mix of on-premises and cloud hardware. These hybrid environments are as vulnerable as standalone on-premises ones.

Searches on Shodan indicate there are currently more than 200,000 on-premises Exchange servers exposed to the Internet and more than 1,000 hybrid configurations.

Wednesday’s GTSC post said the attackers are exploiting the zero-day to infect servers with webshells, a text interface that allows them to issue commands. These webshells contain simplified Chinese characters, leading the researchers to speculate the hackers are fluent in Chinese. Commands issued also bear the signature of the China Chopper, a webshell commonly used by Chinese-speaking threat actors, including several advanced persistent threat groups known to be backed by the People’s Republic of China.

GTSC went on to say that the malware the threat actors eventually install emulates Microsoft’s Exchange Web Service. It also makes a connection to the IP address 137[.]184[.]67[.]33, which is hardcoded in the binary. Independent researcher Kevin Beaumont said the address hosts a fake website with only a single user with one minute of login time and has been active only since August.

Kevin Beaumont

The malware then sends and receives data that’s encrypted with an RC4 encryption key that’s generated at runtime. Beaumont went on to say that the backdoor malware appears to be novel, meaning this is the first time it has been used in the wild.

People running on-premises Exchange servers should take immediate action. Specifically, they should apply a blocking rule that prevents servers from accepting known attack patterns. The rule can be applied by going to “IIS Manager -> Default Web Site -> URL Rewrite -> Actions.” For the time being, Microsoft also recommends people block HTTP port 5985 and HTTPS port 5986, which attackers need to exploit CVE-2022-41082.

Microsoft’s advisory contains a host of other suggestions for detecting infections and preventing exploits until a patch is available.

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