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By Usama Jawad96
Microsoft hampers cyberattack on Munich Security Conference attendees
by Usama Jawad
Early last month, Microsoft cautioned that it has noticed increased activity from foreign hacker groups targeting U.S. elections. One of these groups was "Phosphorus" from Iran, which was primarily targeting POTUS' presidential staff accounts.
Today, the company announced that the same group has also been attacking attendees of the upcoming Munich Security Conference. The tech giant has hampered these malicious activities after they were picked up by Microsoft’s Threat Intelligence Information Center (MSTIC).
Microsoft has stated that Phosphorus targeted over 100 high-profile individuals attending the Munich Security Conference as well as the Think 20 (T20) event in Saudi Arabia. For those unaware, the former is an annual gathering that has been taking place for the past 60 years in which heads of state discuss security whereas the latter is critical in shaping policy ideas for G20 nations.
The company says that Phosphorus sent out spoofed invitations containing almost perfect English to attendees of these events via email, offering remote sessions in light of the pandemic. It managed to compromise the accounts of several individuals including policy experts, academics, and former government officials.
This threat was first detected by MSTIC, which is responsible for tracking cybercrime groups. Microsoft went on to say that:
The Redmond tech giant has also shared the email addresses, domains, and subdomains used in this attack, and urged IT teams to have security perimeters in place in order to protect against similar malicious activities in the future. Microsoft believes that the purpose of this cyberattack was intelligence collection, and its investigations so far has indicated that it has no relation to the upcoming U.S. elections.
Halo Infinite studio head Chris Lee steps down
by Pulasthi Ariyasinghe
Changes are happening inside Halo developer 343 Industries, as a new report reveals that Halo Infinite studio head Chris Lee has been taken off the massive project. Lee has lead the Halo series since 2016, and although he is off Infinite, he will remain a Microsoft employee according to an official statement by Microsoft.
"I have stepped back from Infinite and I am looking at future opportunities," Chris Lee had said to Bloomberg. "I believe in the team and am confident they will deliver a great game and now is a good time for me to step away."
Originally set to be the defining launch title of the next-gen Xbox consoles, Halo Infinite suffered a delay that pushed it back to 2021. According to the Bloomberg report, Lee's role was sidelined following the poor reception to the Halo Infinite gameplay showcase. Series veterans Joseph Staten and Pierre Hintze stepped in to help with the campaign and multiplayer, respectively, back in August.
This is not the first time Halo Infinite has lost a top executive, with creative director Tim Longo departing the project in 2019.
Halo Infinite is currently slated to land sometime in 2021 across the Xbox One family of consoles, Xbox Series X|S, and PC.
By Rich Woods
Microsoft announces the Xbox Series X fridge with next-gen cooling
by Rich Woods
With Microsoft's next-generation consoles just a couple of weeks from showing up on store shelves, the company today unveiled the Xbox Series X...fridge. Yes, we've all seen the memes, and now those memes are a reality. Snoop Dogg is involved with this launch as well.
The Redmond firm released a 'World Premiere' trailer to unveil its new household appliance. It's got "next-gen cooling", and it's a 1:1 scale replica of the Xbox Series X. It's over six feet tall and weighs over 400 pounds.
Obviously, this is a promotional item that will not be sold. It's not the first time that there has been a promotional item made for a console launch. The Xbox Onesie was unveiled as an Xbox One S promotion in 2016, and while Microsoft never intended to sell it, popular demand said otherwise and it gave birth to the Xbox Union Suit.
The Xbox Series X obviously won't get the same treatment, but you can win one. Between today and November 4, you can retweet this tweet for a chance to win.
By News Staff
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by Steven Parker
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Sea of Thieves Fate of the Damned update delivers spooky voyages and more
by Pulasthi Ariyasinghe
The Sea of Thieves October update is here, and it is of course embracing the Halloween spirit. The Fate of the Damned update comes carrying new voyages, weekly events, gameplay changes, as well as even more skeleton pets as premium cosmetics.
In the newly introduced voyages, pirates will be sent across the seas to chat with various NPCs in search of lost Bilge Rat crews who were investigating the return of the Shadows of Fate skeletons. As some might remember, these foes can only be made vulnerable by holding up lanterns with their corresponding color.
The locations of incursions will change weekly, sending interested players to different parts of the world to fight these skeletons and a returning undead boss that won't stay dead. Various cosmetic items with a ghostly glow attached to them are waiting as rewards for players who complete these voyages and their accompanying challenges.
Moreover, Rare has now brought the Events Hub straight into the game, which was only available through a web portal before. This lets players track their daily deeds, special events, and other promotions from an in-game menu. Other changes include Mysterious Notes that point players towards new content, decorated pumpkins for Outposts, reduced health for Ashen Lords and other emergent bosses, and a range of bug fixes.
This update is also carrying optimizations aimed at the new Xbox Series X|S next-gen consoles, but sadly, Rare didn't go into detail on what they are exactly.
The patch notes of Sea of Thieves update 2.0.19 Fate of the Damned can be seen here, which also includes a large number of fixed issues. The update is now live across Windows 10, Xbox One, Steam, and Xbox Game Pass.