Computer giant Acer has been hit by a REvil ransomware attack where the threat actors are demanding the largest known ransom to date, $50,000,000.
Acer is a Taiwanese electronics and computer maker well-known for laptops, desktops, and monitors. Acer employs approximately 7,000 employees and earned $7.8 billion in 2019.
These leaked images are for documents that include financial spreadsheets, bank balances, and bank communications.
In response to BleepingComputer’s inquiries, Acer did not provide a clear answer regarding whether they suffered a REvil ransomware attack, saying instead that they “reported recent abnormal situations” to relevant LEAs and DPAs.
You can read their complete response below:
“Acer routinely monitors its IT systems, and most cyberattacks are well defensed. Companies like us are constantly under attack, and we have reported recent abnormal situations observed to the relevant law enforcement and data protection authorities in multiple countries.”
“We have been continuously enhancing our cybersecurity infrastructure to protect business continuity and our information integrity. We urge all companies and organizations to adhere to cyber security disciplines and best practices, and be vigilant to any network activity abnormalities.” – Acer.
In requests for further details, Acer said “there is an ongoing investigation and for the sake of security, we are unable to comment on details.”
Highest known ransom demand
After publishing our story, Valery Marchive of LegMagIT discovered the REvil ransomware sample used in the Acer attack that demanded a whopping $50 million ransom.
Soon after, BleepingComputer found the sample and can confirm that based on the ransom note and the victim’s conversation with the attackers, the sample is from the cyberattack on Acer.
In conversations between the victim and REvil, which started on March 14th, the Acer representative showed shock at the massive $50 million demand.
Later in the chat, the REvil representative shared a link to the Acer data leak page, which was secret at the time.
The attackers also offered a 20% discount if payment was made by this past Wednesday. In return the ransomware gang would provide a decryptor, a vulnerability report, and the deletion of stolen files.
At one point, the REvil operation offered a cryptic warning to Acer “to not repeat the fate of the SolarWind.”
REvil’s 50 million demand is the largest known ransom to date, with the previous being the $30 million ransom from the Dairy Farm cyberattack, also by REvil.
Possible Microsoft Exchange exploitation
Vitali Kremez told BleepingComputer that Advanced Intel’s Andariel cyberintelligence platform detected that the Revil gang recently targeted a Microsoft Exchange server on Acer’s domain.
“Advanced Intel’s Andariel cyberintelligence system detected that one particular REvil affiliate pursued Microsoft Exchange weaponization,” Kremez told BleepingComputer.
The threat actors behind the DearCry ransomware have already used the ProxyLogon vulnerability to deploy their ransomware but they are a smaller operation with fewer victims.
If REvil did exploit the recent Microsoft Exchange vulnerabilities to steal data or encrypt devices, it would be the first time one of the big game-hunting ransomware operations used this attack vector.
5G virtual reality at the service of patients with multiple sclerosis
The application of virtual reality techniques to treat or alleviate certain diseases has been studied for a long time. It has been proven to create environments to confront some phobias safely or to stimulate the cognitive part in certain patients. In the case of the treatment of multiple sclerosis, there are also projects aimed at complementing the rehabilitation of patients.
Multiple sclerosis is a disease of the nervous system, which affects the brain and spinal cord. Its causes are not exactly known, although it is known to be linked to genetic, environmental, and infectious factors. It is chronic and, over the years, we have learned that one of the most effective ways to slow down its development and maintain or improve the patient’s quality of life is rehabilitation. It is used in combination with drugs to slow the progression of the disease.
The use of virtual reality, to alleviate this and other ailments, will gain adoption with the arrival of 5G. And it is that one of the main disadvantages of this technology is having cables connected to the glasses. There are already models that have got rid of these ties, but many times there is a signal delay, due to the connection. The new mobile telecommunications network will avoid this extreme, as it guarantees a much lower latency, between 1-5 milliseconds.
Virtual reality to motivate the patient
One of the problems that physiotherapists encounter is the so-called adherence to rehabilitation. As it is a chronic task, the perseverance of any patient is put to the test. Sometimes the exercises have to be more intensive and other times, they are more maintenance. But they always spread out over time.
“ The virtual reality glasses bring, above all, novelty and motivation to the patient. Doing functional exercises in a rehabilitation environment and it chronically becomes repetitive ”, explains Laura García Ruano, coordinator of Physiotherapy Services at FEMM (Fundación Esclerosis Múltiple Madrid). “So including incentives in which the movements or activities are the same, but a totally new environment is introduced generates interest and increases attention. With this, we achieve adherence, that people do not lack ”.
This novelty that virtual reality brings is achieved with the creation of attractive scenarios. Deploying them on the glasses requires a high-speed, low-latency connection. Otherwise, there may be lags or skips in the image, which will make the user dizzy. Hence, 5G is destined to become a suitable means to use this type of glasses.
For the treatment of multiple sclerosis, it is attractive for a patient to enter a different environment, such as the relaxing environment of a jetty or a medieval world, with beasts and beasts. “All this playful part increases motivation and also performance,” says García Ruano. It refers to the fact that raising your arm for the fact of having to do it, for pure rehabilitation, has much less interest for a person than doing it to eliminate a fantastic creature that assaults you. This part of gamification works to motivate.
Virtual reality as a treatment for multiple sclerosis
One of the doubts that remain is whether the patient will be able to use this type of glasses at home. “Since it can be done by the user as a complement to standard rehabilitation, it could even be done at home. Although in reality, since they need a large and clear space, so that if you deviate you do not crash into the road, I think that in the end, it will end up being done in rehabilitation units ”, reflects García Ruano.
In any case, it always has to be a complement to the usual rehabilitation that these people carry out. A more dynamic and fun extra. García Ruano points out another of the advantages of virtual reality: “It has a very good thing, which is that you can see the performance and the results. And, knowing the patient previously, you can, as a physiotherapist, program their exercises in a personalized way ”
The inalienable role of a professional
Although there must always be a professional involved in the treatment of multiple sclerosis, according to García Ruano. She, as a physiotherapist, sees what kind of exercises the patient has to do and, from there, can adapt the virtual reality program. Although, he points out that not all programs can be adapted to all patients.
The condition of multiple sclerosis is very varied. And, unlike a physio, which can be adapted to any patient, virtual reality is not without finite options. That is, it has the ability to act as a stimulating and motivational complement, but with the corresponding supervision. “It has to be something planned, programmed, and supervised by a professional, who in turn knows what the patient is like,” concludes García Ruano.
The physiotherapist also points out a type of patient. “There are people who tend to fail in everything, such as fatigue, balance … And it is also quite recurrent that they have visual and balance problems, at the level of dizziness, feelings of vertigo. And some of these screen elements add to that feeling. ” In these cases, obviously, the technology would not be applicable.
Roll-up phones: the new trend in smartphones?
Innovation in technology does not follow a linear trajectory. Every so often, technology surprises us by including new features in our mobiles that represent a fairly large leap compared to what we knew so far.
This applies precisely to equipment that we use daily such as smartphones. Over the years, new phones have had better cameras, higher screen resolution, faster processors, and, now, with flexible screens, the ability to increase the size of your smartphone screen depending on use.
The first to arrive were the folding mobiles, which fold in half thus allowing to have a standard-size screen in a much smaller format ( the flip-type ) or a standard-size screen that, when opened, gains in size until it almost becomes a tablet (the foldable type ).
And what will be next, you ask? Take a seat because we are going to tell you all about the new technology: rollable or roll-up screens.
You can already find this technology on a television
In fact, roll-up displays have been around for a while: LG has launched the LG Signature OLED TV 65R9, a display with a flexible OLED panel, which folds out to the size of a normal 65-inch TV but can also be worn at a medium height to display content that does not require a full screen or hide completely to look like a soundbar.
A new trend: the roll-up mobile
Some time ago we talked to you about the new mobile formats, and today here we show you how manufacturers want to continue to differentiate themselves by innovating in the screen format. We have the famous flip and foldable and others even more innovative with double rotating screens, but until today there was none with the ability to unroll to become a tablet. Can you imagine all the situations in which it would be useful to have this option?
That is what the new mobiles that some companies are developing a promise, and that they have recently presented to us at CES 2021.
How would this type of device work? Just like normal smartphones do, but with a big change: with the press of a button or a gesture you can make your phone expand to the size of a tablet.
So far three technology firms have confirmed that they are working on these types of concepts: LG, Oppo, and TCL.
In January this year, within the framework of CES, LG has unveiled for a brief moment what would be its first “rollable” device. At first glance, it looks like a normal 6.8 ″ smartphone, but with the push of a button, it can expand to 7.4 ″. On the other characteristics there is not much clarity, but considering that we are talking about premium mobiles, the rest of the specifications will surely be on par with the latest models of the flagship range.
OPPO X 2021
It is undoubtedly one of the new mobiles that have generated the most attention in recent months. The OPPO X 2021 incorporates a 6.7-inch rollable OLED screen in its initial state, being able to reach 7.4 inches once it is unrolled, being in a more square format, in the style of a tablet.
Will rolling mobiles be a trend?
That is a difficult question to answer because although the technology to create these teams is already available, one of the main difficulties to massify them is that, as with the ‘foldables’ their launch price will possibly be quite high in the beginning. However, if this technology means that you do not need to buy a tablet separately, surely users will be willing to spend a little more on these ‘rollable’, especially if, as we are seeing in these prototypes, the thickness of the terminal is still that of a standard smartphone.
What could this type of mobile with an expanded screen be used for? The answer that first comes to mind is related to entertainment: enjoying video games, movies, or YouTube videos on a bigger screen and with better resolution would be one of your main goals.
Flexible displays are one of the biggest innovations we’ve seen in this segment, and they’re going to be a revolution in the coming years. We will see smartphone formats that we have never seen before and we will see screens on devices that have never had it due to the physical space available. As always with new technologies, the prices are relatively high compared to what is on the market right now, but we can also tell you that as has always happened, we will see this type of screen more and more in more devices and at lower prices depending on the market naturally adopts this type of screen. While these new devices arrive on the market, at tu.com we have a selection of the best smartphones, take a look
Your work meetings like with the holograms of ‘Star Wars’ thanks to 5G
The three-dimensional image of Princess Leia broadcasting her distress message is part of popular culture. Even those who have not seen the films of the saga, easily associate the holograms with Star Wars. If anything, holographic technology has a promising path ahead. The arrival of 5G will allow heavier images to be transmitted through networks. In this way, it will be easier for these 3D images to be adopted as a standard in communication between people.
Video calls, so common since the pandemic took over our routines, could be made using a 3D hologram. It’s not just the speed of the network that will influence our ability to deal with holograms. Also the low latency. These two aspects, of paramount importance in 5G, will allow images to be transmitted properly and not be unbalanced or suffer interruptions.
The origin of holography
The differences between holography and photography are obvious. The second captures a two-dimensional snapshot, while the first offers three-dimensional or multidimensional information. When the viewer moves they will see different angles of the projection and this will make sense at all times.
This result is reached through decades of research. One of the pioneers in this field was Dennis Gabor, who studied Mechanical Engineering at the Polytechnic University of Budapest and the University of Berlin. There he began to work in one of the physics laboratories of the Siemens company. Following Hitler’s rise to power, he was forced to leave Germany because of his Jewish origins. And it was in 1947, in the United Kingdom, when he happened upon a new method of forming images on a circular transparent slide. He called that technique holography, for ‘holos’ (everything, in Greek). Its discovery went unnoticed at first but years later it gained international recognition. So much so that in 1971, Gabor received the Nobel Prize in Physics.
How holograms work
It can be said that a hologram is a record of the interference that occurs between two beams of light when the light from one of the beams reflects off the object. This registration is carried out with a laser beam on a photosensitive film. From there, it is possible to generate a three-dimensional projection of the image.
When it comes to image projection, it’s really just a matter of having the right receiving device. “Holography works the same as live streaming, but changing the final screen for a holographic device”, point out from the technical department, specialized in holography. “Although it is always necessary to follow the specific technical parameters of lighting and recording as per techguff.com.”
5G as a boost for holography
In the field of holographic images, 5G will be a boost. The graphics are very heavy, so the high speeds offered by the new generation of networks are adequate. But also its low latency, thus avoiding interruptions. Otherwise, the projections may suffer cuts and decompensation.
“Currently enough powerful network connections are needed to avoid delays in full HD broadcasts,” they point out from 3DH. “ With the arrival of 5G we hope to avoid these delays and to be able to broadcast in 4k without problems . It will help us a lot in the retransmission of holographic images ”.
There have been several pilots who have made video calls with holograms via 5G networks. And this is one of the applications being considered as a driver of the new connectivity. It is based on augmented reality. Two people could sit quietly chatting, each with the other’s hologram.
It seems like a thing of the future, but in 2017 the first international video call was already made. It was made between Seoul and New Jersey. In South Korea, KT Telecom, one of the participants in the project, pointed out that this type of communication would be available with the new 5G. The idea is to provide a greater sense of reality. From the flat image of video conferencing, it would move to a three-dimensional one, which would capture much more detail, such as body language.
The following year another milestone took place in the field of holography. Mischa Dohler, a professor of wireless communications at King’s College London and a music composer, demonstrated the capabilities of the technology at a concert. It was a live event, where he acted as a pianist on stage while his daughter sang through a hologram. The holography showed the girl a few meters from the piano, singing to the rhythm of her melody. The two were 1,000 kilometers apart, but the latency was minimal, so the result was impressive.
It’s just two glimpses of what holograms can do. From 3DH they list, as the main applications of technology, ” communications, events, exhibitions, fairs, shops, and businesses “. Although they point out that they are currently developing “new holographic applications for education, in schools, and the cultural sphere, for museums.”
Meetings via holographic telepresence
With current technology, it is possible to generate video calls with holograms. This is what the project offers a telepresence system that shows an assistant remotely through volumetric video. For this, augmented reality techniques will be used. Participants in this holographic meeting will have to wear HoloLens 2 type glasses.
The remote assistant will be staged in a 3D augmented reality figure. The idea is that it can be observed from all angles. A factor that will be useful for training in different areas, such as rehabilitation techniques or medical interventions. But objects can also be displayed in 3D, which will be useful when examining prototypes in industry, for example.
It will be necessary to deploy a volumetric capture room. This will feature multiple depth cameras, such as Intel’s RealSense. What they will do is capture the 3D figure of a person in real-time. From there, the images will be generated using Evercoast software. To send them, considerable bandwidth will be needed and here 5G comes into play. Thanks to edge computing processing, multidimensional images can be served to meeting attendees.
Video calls with a 3D hologram on mobile
The next step is to take the holograms to much more everyday terrain. This is what some initiatives that have put smartphones in the spotlight are looking for. From these devices, they have been able to generate holographic images, although not always with good resolution.
One of the methods used is simply an optical game to channel the light, with a simple pyramid projector. Of course, it is not the most advanced, but today almost all holograms generated with smartphones need some type of projector. Although some have tried to create them using only miniaturized technology, integrated into the smartphone, such as HoloFlex. For the moment, the results have to improve.
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