Ransomware Hits City of Atlanta

A ransomware attack — possibly a variant of SamSam — has affected some customer-facing applications and some internal services at the City of Atlanta. The FBI and incident response teams from Microsoft and Cisco are investigating. The city’s police department, water services and airport are not affected.

The AVCrypt Ransomware Tries To Uninstall Your AV Software

A new ransomware named AVCrypt has been discovered that tries to uninstall existing security software before it encrypts a computer.  Furthermore, as it removes numerous services, including Windows Update, and provides no contact information, this ransomware may be a wiper.

After analysis by MalwareHunterTeam, who discovered the ransomware, myself, and Michael Gillespie, it was decided to name this ransomware AVCrypt as the sample file names are av2018.exe. The developer, though, may be naming it LOL based on some of the debug messages found in the ransomware samples.

Regardless of what it is called, this infection attempts to uninstall software in a way that we have not seen before. These features are outlined in the sections below.

AVCrypt tries to uninstall your security software

As already stated, when AVCrypt runs it will attempt to remove installed security software from the victim’s computer. It does this in two ways; by specifically targeting Windows Defender and Malwarebytes and by querying for installed AV software and then attempting to remove them.

First AVCrypt will delete Windows services required for the proper operation of Malwarebytes and Windows Defender. It does this using a command like the following format:

cmd.exe /C sc config "MBAMService" start= disabled & sc stop "MBAMService" & sc delete "MBAMService";

New Male Birth Control Might Cause Weight Gain, Boo Hoo

Earlier this week, a team of researchers presented the results of a new study that shows a promising future for male birth control. They found that a hormonal pill called dimethandrolone undecanoate, or DMAU, was effective in reducing testosterone levels (and other sperm-producing hormones) in a sample of 83 men over the course of 28 days, with no serious side effects.

US Postal Service unveils Mister Rogers postage stamp

PITTSBURGH (AP) — It was a beautiful day to honor Mister Rogers with a postage stamp.The U.S. Postal Service on Friday released a stamp featuring Fred Rogers, the gentle TV host who entertained and educated generations of preschoolers on “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.”The stamp pictures Rogers in his trademark cardigan along with King Friday, a puppet character from the show’s Neighborhood of Make-Believe sketch.A dedication ceremony was held at the Pittsburgh studio where Rogers filmed his beloved PBS show, which aired between 1968 and 2001. Rogers died in 2003 at age 74.Among those attending were Rogers’ widow, Joanne, and David Newell, who played Mr. McFeely, the deliveryman on “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.”Joanne Rogers said that when she first saw the stamp, it was “love at first sight.”“I thought it was so beautiful. I think it is so festive,” she said.Postmaster General Megan Brennan said at the unveiling that Mister Rogers “made the ups and downs of life easier to understand for the youngest members of our society.”“He shaped generations with his kindness and compassion,” she said.Noting the stamp has the words “Forever USA,” Brennan said “these words of the Postal Service are our way of saying Mr. Rogers represents the best of America and will do so always.”Paul Siefken, president and CEO of the Fred Rogers Company, said he couldn’t think of “a better tribute to Fred and his legacy.”He noted that Rogers loved sending letters, especially to young children who wrote to him about his show.“Fred Rogers left an indelible mark on generations of young audiences through his groundbreaking series, and his timeless wisdom and important messages of inclusion and neighborliness remain just as relevant today as they were 50 years ago,” Siefken said.

Facebook as an Election Weapon, From Obama to Trump

The use of Facebook data to target voters has triggered global outrage with the Cambridge Analytica scandal. But the concept is nothing new: Barack Obama made extensive use of the social network in 2008 and stepped up “micro-targeting” in his 2012 re-election effort.

MoviePass’ Low Subscription Price Just Got Lower

In a move to lure new subscribers, MoviePass has dropped the price of its monthly subscription service from about $10 per month to just under $7. From a report: The company said for $6.95 per month, new subscribers will

get one movie ticket per day, a minor catch being that users must pay for a year up-front

Rainforest Connection enlists machine learning to listen for loggers and jaguars in the Amazon

The vastness that makes the Amazon rainforest so diverse and fertile also makes it extremely difficult to protect. Rainforest Connection is a project started back in 2014 that used solar powered second-hand phones as listening stations that could alert authorities to sounds of illegal logging. And applying machine learning has supercharged the network’s capabilities.

Grab some grog and sail the Sea of Thieves with us

In each episode of Quality Control, a Polygon editor talks to a critic after they review a new game, movie or piece of gear and allows them to add a little bit of extra context and insight. Why did they feel the way they did? What do they wish they had been able to discuss in more depth in their review? Also: Did they play it wrong?