Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Guide: How to Install Kodi Pac 12 addon on your media center

Kodi Pac 12 Addon featuredSome days ago we provided you with a list of addons for you to watch College Football on Kodi. The Kodi Pac 12 addon is one of the plugins we recommended to you in our list of the 10 best Kodi addons to watch College Football. If you are interested on installing it and enjoying […]

Guide: How to Install Kodi Pac 12 addon on your media center is a post from htpcBeginner.

from htpcBeginner

Pirate Android App ‘Store’ Member Jailed For 46 Months

snappzAssisted by police in France and the Netherlands, the FBI took down the “pirate” Android stores Appbucket, Applanet and SnappzMarket during the summer of 2012.

The domain seizures were the first ever against “rogue” mobile app marketplaces and followed similar actions against BitTorrent and streaming sites.

During the years that followed several people connected to the Android app sites were arrested and indicted, but progress has been slow. Today, we can report on what we believe to be the first sentencing in these cases.

Earlier this month, Scott Walton of Lovejoy, Georgia, was found guilty of conspiracy to commit copyright infringement and sentenced to 46 months in prison.

The sentence hasn’t been announced publicly by the Department of Justice, but paperwork (pdf) obtained by TorrentFreak confirms that it was handed down by Georgia District Court Judge Timothy Batten.

The Judgement


According to the prosecution, one of Walton’s primary tasks was to manage public relations for SnappzMarket.

“In this role, defendant Walton monitored the Facebook fan page for SnappzMarket, provided responses to support inquiries, developed new ideas for SnappzMarket, and assisted with finding solutions to technical problems,” the indictment reads.

“In addition, defendant Walton searched for and downloaded copies of copyrighted apps, burned those copies to digital media such as compact discs, and mailed them to defendant Gary Edwin Sharp.”

The sentencing itself doesn’t come as a surprise, but it took a long time to be finalized.

Together with several co-defendants, Walton had already pleaded guilty two years ago, when he admitted to being involved in the illegal copying and distribution of more than a million pirated Android apps with a retail value of $1.7 million.

Before sentencing, Walton’s attorney Jeffrey Berhold urged the court to minimize the sentence. Citing letters from family and friends, he noted that his client can be of great value to the community.

“The Court can make this world a better place by releasing Scott Walton sooner rather than later,” Berhold wrote.

Whether these pleas helped is unknown. The 46-month sentence is short of the five years maximum, but it remains a very long time.

Initially, Walton was able to await his sentencing as a free man, but last year he was incarcerated after violating his pretrial release conditions. This means that he has already served part of his sentence.

The two other SnappzMarket members who were indicted, Joshua Ryan Taylor and Gary Edwin Sharp, are expected to be sentenced later this year. The same is true for co-conspirator Kody Jon Peterson.

Source: TF, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing, torrent sites and ANONYMOUS VPN services.

from TorrentFreak

Attackers Infect Transmission Torrent Client With OS X Malware

Last month, researchers at IT security company ESET reported on a new type of OS X malware. Called OSX/Keydnap, the malicious software was designed to steal the content of OS X’s keychain while inserting a backdoor.

In a detailed blog post on the topic, ESET said that it was unclear how machines became infected with OSX/Keydnap but speculated that it might be through attack vectors such as spam, downloads from untrusted websites, “or something else”. Other things were certain, however.

“What we know is that a downloader component is distributed in a .zip file. The archive file contains a Mach-O executable file with an extension that looks benign, such as .txt or .jpg. However, the file extension actually contains a space character at the end, which means double-clicking the file in Finder will launch it in Terminal and not Preview or TextEdit,” the researchers wrote.


Now, several weeks later, it now transpires that some BitTorrent users have been exposed to OSX/Keydnap. While some might presume that could have taken place through a suspect download from an infected torrent (also possible), this particular attack actually took place from a trusted source.

ESET reports that a recompiled version of the open source BitTorrent client Transmission was offered for download on the software’s official website. Somehow, that software had already become infected with OSX/Keydnap. Once informed, the Transmission team were quick to act.

“Literally minutes after being notified by ESET, the Transmission team removed the malicious file from their web server and launched an investigation to identify how this happened,” the researchers explain.

“According to the signature, the application bundle was signed on August 28th, 2016, but it seems to have been distributed only the next day.”

Following an investigation by the Transmission team, we now know how the infected version came to be offered to the public and for how long. It all began with some kind of intrusion by an as-yet-unamed attacker.

“It appears that on or about August 28, 2016, unauthorized access was gained to our website server,” the team said in a statement.

“The official Mac version of Transmission 2.92 was replaced with an unauthorized version that contained the OSX/Keydnap malware. The infected file was available for download somewhere between a few hours and less than a day.”

The team says that they infected file was removed from the server immediately upon its discovery, potentially just a few hours after it was placed there. While any period is too long, the length of time the download was made available to the public should help to limit the impact of the malware.

For anyone concerned that they still might have been infected during that period, ESET offers the following advice to check for infection.

“We advise anyone who downloaded Transmission v2.92 between August 28th and August 29th, 2016, inclusively, to verify if their system is compromised by testing the presence of any of the following file or directory,” the company writes.


“If any of them exists, it means the malicious Transmission application was executed and that Keydnap is most likely running. Also note that the malicious disk image was named Transmission2.92.dmg while the legitimate one is Transmission-2.92.dmg (notice the hyphen).”

The Transmission team has also published a detailed guide for anyone concerned about infection. They’re also taking additional steps to limit the chances of this happening again.

“To help prevent future incidents, we have migrated the website and all binary files from our current servers to GitHub. Other services, which are currently unavailable, will be migrated to new servers in the coming days,” the team says.

“As an added precaution, we will be hosting the binaries and the website (including checksums) in two separate repositories.”

Uninfected versions of Transmission can be downloaded here. Versions for operating systems other than OS X are not affected.

Source: TF, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing, torrent sites and ANONYMOUS VPN services.

from TorrentFreak

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

5 New Roku Devices are being released soon with 4k and HDR

New Roku Devices imageA lot of new devices have been getting leaked lately, and of course, Roku devices couldn’t be the exception. As an upgrade to their Roku Streaming Stick and Roku 4 media player devices, the company behind Roku is thought to be close to an update of their product lineup. Thanks to a leak, and some FCC filings that […]

5 New Roku Devices are being released soon with 4k and HDR is a post from htpcBeginner.

from htpcBeginner

Europe’s Net Neutrality Doesn’t Ban BitTorrent Throttling

netneutralityWhen the European Parliament adopted Europe’s first net neutrality rules late last year, many net neutrality proponents were not happy with the outcome.

The rules, which are included in the Telecoms Single Market (TSM) regulation, would still allow targeted throttling of BitTorrent and other traffic, under the guise of network management.

In addition, opponents warned that the rules left the door open for ISPs to charge for fast lanes and restrict or slow down access to parts of the Internet for commercial reasons.

To change this, various activist groups launched a “EU Slowdown” campaign through which they got half a million people to respond to a public consultation that was held by BEREC.

Today, BEREC presented its final guidelines on the implementation of Europe’s net neutrality rules. Compared to earlier drafts it includes several positive changes for those who value net neutrality.

For example, while zero-rating isn’t banned outright, Internet providers are not allowed to offer a “sub Internet” service, where access to only part of the Internet is offered for ‘free.’

However, not all traffic is necessarily “neutral.” ISPs are still allowed to throttle specific categories for “reasonable” network management purposes, as the second subparagraph of article 3 reads.

“In order to be deemed to be reasonable, such measures shall be transparent, non-discriminatory and proportionate, and shall not be based on commercial considerations but on objectively different technical quality of service requirements of specific categories of traffic.”


This means that network management practices, including bandwidth throttling, could possibly target BitTorrent transfers under a broader file-sharing category, or VPNs as encrypted traffic.

“The requirement for traffic management measures to be non-discriminatory does not preclude providers of internet access services from implementing, in order to optimize the overall transmission quality, traffic management measures which differentiate between objectively different categories of traffic,” BEREC’s guidelines clarify.

In other words, it would still be possible for ISPs to throttle BitTorrent traffic if that would improve the overall “transmission quality.” This is not a far-fetched argument since torrent traffic can be quite demanding on a network.

While it’s not expected that BitTorrent or VPN traffic will be targeted any more than it is right now, the option remains open. This will be a welcome decision by networking specialists and ISPs in general, which have argued that selectively targeting congestion is a more sensible approach.

Setbacks aside, net neutrality activists have also generally responded positively. Their main goal was to prevent so-called “fast lanes,” which is largely achieved.

“The victory here is that Europe is clearly banning ISPs from creating paid fastlanes, as the US did. That was the biggest threat, because ISPs could have actually *profited* by slowing down our Internet, and then charging sites or apps for a fastlane,” Fight For The Future’s Holmes Wilson tells TorrentFreak.

“My understanding is that the rules still allow throttling under the guise of traffic management. But thanks to the ban on fastlanes, ISPs won’t have the same incentive to throttle, and regulators could stop ISPs from throttling in cases where it clearly had nothing to do with preventing future congestion,” he adds.

The full guidelines and additional background information are available at BEREC’s website.

Source: TF, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing, torrent sites and ANONYMOUS VPN services.

from TorrentFreak

TIDAL Downloads Made By Possible by Teenage Coder

tidalAfter years of music only being made available on CD or permanent digital download, streaming services are now all the rage.

Platforms such as Spotify, Pandora and Deezer are particularly well-known in the market today but relative new-comer TIDAL has also been making waves. The platform, launched by artists including Jay Z, Kanye West, Beyonce and Madonna, is perhaps best known for its exclusives.

TIDAL comes in two flavors – TIDAL Premium (lossy quality) and TIDAL HiFi, a lossless CD quality service for the audio connoisseur. In ordinary circumstances both of these services are streaming only, but thanks to a coding upstart from Germany, users of the service can now download music from TIDAL to keep.

A recent high school leaver, Lordmau5 previously created a tool for downloading music from Spotify. He’s been coding for six years already, starting out with Visual Basic and moving onto Java and lots of Minecraft modding.

Lordmau5 informs TorrentFreak that Spotify later improved its security so after being prompted by others he decided to see if downloads from TIDAL were a possibility.

“I recently looked into some potential APIs and found out that it’s super simple to get the stream-/offline-URL for the tracks [from TIDAL] and… well… that’s when the coding began,” he says.

The end result is TiDown, a tool that allows users to quickly download music from TIDAL in lossy or lossless formats. It’s a command line tool but comes with all necessary instructions.


Lordmau5 says that a few other streaming downloaders are available but these tend to require the user to listen to every track all the way through, a somewhat laborious task. TiDown is different, he says.

“This is an actual downloader – you are logging into TIDAL through the tool and you get the direct ‘stream-URLs’ that can then be downloaded,” Lordmau5 explains.

Over the past few days in advance of TiDown’s release, Lordmau5 has been having a bit of a laugh at the expense of people who didn’t believe he had created a proper working downloader.

To support his trolling he created the most ancient-looking website possible alongside a deliberately trashy ‘promo’ video.


Of course, tools like TiDown tend not to last very long once they’re discovered. So will TIDAL stop TiDown?

“I assume so,” Lordmau5 says. “I really hope the tool will work for around a month – since that’s the free trial for TIDAL.”

TiDown’s page on Github

Source: TF, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing, torrent sites and ANONYMOUS VPN services.

from TorrentFreak

Kim Dotcom’s Extradition Hearing Will Be Live Streamed on YouTube

dotcom-laptopLast week, Kim Dotcom indicated that he’d like his extradition hearing to be broadcast live on the Internet.

“Because of global interest in my case we have asked the High Court to allow live-streaming of my 6 weeks of copyright extradition hearings,” he wrote on Twitter.

Yesterday morning, just before the hearing got underway, Dotcom’s lawyer Ron Mansfield again raised the issue. He said that a complex case of this nature might not receive fair reporting so a live stream could help restore the balance and ensure public scrutiny. Mansfield suggested YouTube as the perfect platform.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the U.S. government opposed Dotcom’s application, stating that the coverage might prejudice the criminal trial in the United States should Dotcom be extradited. In particular, the U.S. said footage from the hearing could threaten a potential jury pool.

But despite U.S. objections, earlier today Justice Murray Gilbert said the stream could go ahead, on YouTube. There will be some restrictions, however.

Guidelines for broadcasting from New Zealand courts mandate a 10-minute delay, but in Dotcom’s case that will be extended to 20 minutes. This will ensure that the court has the opportunity to suppress anything deemed unfit for public consumption.

Dotcom took to Twitter to celebrate.

But while the judge has granted Dotcom’s wishes, there will be restrictions. In addition to the delay, the comments section on YouTube will be disabled and footage from the hearing will not be permitted to remain online after the hearing has taken place.

Of course, neither option will be possible to control completely. Discussion of live events can easily take place elsewhere, notably on Twitter where the action takes place in real-time. Furthermore, people will undoubtedly rip the live stream from YouTube, so keeping that offline after the hearing has passed will prove entirely impossible.

Nevertheless, the transparency the stream will provide is being welcomed by many, not least Dotcom’s US-based lawyer Ira Rothken.

“It provides everybody in the world with a seat in the gallery of the New Zealand courtroom,” Rothken said. “It’s democracy at its finest.”

Source: TF, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing, torrent sites and ANONYMOUS VPN services.

from TorrentFreak

Monday, August 29, 2016

Install Kodi on Amazon Fire TV using adbLink (Method 1)

Install Kodi on Fire TV with adbLinkThere are multiple ways to install Kodi on AFTV box and stick and in this post, I am going to show you how to install Kodi on Amazon Fire TV using adbLink. adbLink used to be called adbFire. It allows you to perform several hacks and system-level changes on AFTV devices through an ADB connection. […]

Install Kodi on Amazon Fire TV using adbLink (Method 1) is a post from htpcBeginner.

from htpcBeginner

Grumpy Cat Wants $600k From ‘Pirating’ Coffee Maker

grumpcatThere are dozens of celebrity cats on the Internet, but Grumpy Cat probably tops them all.

The cat’s owners have made millions thanks to their pet’s unique facial expression, which turned her into an overnight Internet star.

Part of this revenue comes from successful merchandise lines, including the Grumpy Cat “Grumppuccino” iced coffee beverage, sold by the California company Grenade Beverage.

The company licensed the copyright and trademarks to sell the iced coffee, but is otherwise not affiliated with the cat and its owners. Initially this partnership went well, but after the coffee maker started to sell other “Grumpy Cat” products, things turned bad.

The cat’s owners, incorporated as Grumpy Cat LLC, took the matter to court last year with demands for the coffee maker to stop infringing associated copyrights and trademarks.

After Grenade Beverage failed to properly respond to the allegations, Grumpy Cat’s owners moved for a default, which a court clerk entered early June. A few days ago they went ahead and submitted a motion for default judgment.

A memorandum (pdf) supporting the new motion repeats many of the allegations that were listed in the original complaint. Among other things, it accuses the coffee maker of manufacturing and selling Grumpy Cat merchandise without permission.

“Not only was the Infringing Product never approved by Plaintiff under the License Agreement, but the packaging and marketing materials for the Infringing Product, as depicted in the example below, primarily and exclusively incorporate Plaintiff’s exclusive intellectual property, including the Grumpy Cat Copyrights and the Grumpy Cat Trademarks,” the memorandum reads.

Allegedly infringing Grumpy Cat coffee


At the time of writing, the coffee maker’s Grumpy Coffee website is offline. In addition, the associated social media accounts also went quiet late last year, when the lawsuit was first announced.

Nevertheless, Grumpy Cat and her owner still hold the company responsible for its previous infringements. In their motion they list four copyrights, claiming the maximum of $150,000 in statutory damages for each.

“Here, the magnitude of Grenade’s willful infringement of Plaintiff’s Grumpy Cat Copyrights, willful disregard of this Court’s authority, and refusal to stop its blatant infringement renders Plaintiff entitled to a $150,000 statutory damages award for each of the Grumpy Cat Copyrights, in a total amount of $600,000,” the motion reads.

This number is repeated in the proposed default judgment (pdf) as well, which the court still has to sign off on.

Proposed injunction, $600,000 copyright damages


In addition to the copyright infringements, Grumpy Cat also asks for actual and treble damages for trademark infringements, damages for contract breach, and injunctive relief to prevent the coffee maker from selling Grumpy Cat products in the future.

Since it’s a request for a default judgment, there is a good chance that the judge will approve the demands. While it’s unlikely that Grumpy Cat herself will care, her owners will definitely be happy if that’s the case.

Still, a default judgment doesn’t mean the end of the Grumpy Cat dispute. Defendants Paul and Nick Sandford, who are affiliated with Grenade Beverage, did respond to the original complaint and are not yet throwing in the towel.

Together with the non-party company Grumpy Beverage, they filed a counterclaim asking for declaratory judgments affirming that they are the rightful owner of various Grumpy Cat coffee-related trademarks and copyrights, as well as several disputed domain names.

Source: TF, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing, torrent sites and ANONYMOUS VPN services.

from TorrentFreak