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Celebrity Law Firm Representing Priyanka Chopra Hacked, Attackers Demand $42 Million Ransom: Reports

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Hackers are demanding a ransom of $42 million (about Rs. 317 crores) from New York-based celebrity and entertainment law firm Grubman Shire Meiselas & Sacks, with a week-long deadline and looming threat of its clients’ personal details published online publicly. The hacking group “REvil” a.k.a. “Sodinokibi”, which is behind the attack according to cybersecurity firm Emsisoft, alleges to have information on the likes of Priyanka Chopra Jonas, Lady Gaga, Madonna, Nicki Minaj, Bruce Springsteen, Jessica Simpson, Idina Menzel, Christina Aguilera, Mariah Carey, Mary J. Blige, Ella Mai, Cam Newton, Bette Midler, Run DMC, and Facebook.

On May 8, the hackers posted evidence of the stolen data — featuring a screenshot of Madonna’s contract for the 2019-20 “Madame X” tour — on the dark web, per Emsisoft. Said data is allegedly 756GB in size, and includes phone numbers, email addresses, entertainment contracts, non-disclosure agreements, and “personal correspondence”. On May 11, Grubman Shire Meiselas & Sacks confirmed that it had suffered a breach, notified its clients and staff, and was working with “experts”. That was followed by the $21 million ransom demand on May 12.

But the law firm is refusing to negotiate with the hackers, as the FBI is currently investigating the case. Emsisoft had said that the hackers would publish the data in instalments if payment wasn’t made, and that’s exactly what happened. On May 13, the hackers allegedly tried to share 1GB of files to cloud storage service Mega. But their account was terminated by Mega due to a breach of terms of service. According to Variety, in an online post, the hackers taunted the law firm for hiring ransomware remediation firm Coveware, calling it “a mistake to hire a recovery company in the negotiations.”

And then on May 14, the hackers doubled the ransom demand to $42 million, and said they also have “a ton of dirty laundry” on US President Donald Trump, which they would publish in a week if payment isn’t made. Trump has never been a client of Grubman Shire Meiselas & Sacks, so the connection isn’t clear.

If “REvil” / “Sodinokibi” is truly behind the attack on Grubman Shire Meiselas & Sacks, then the latter joins a list of targets including the UK-based currency exchange Travelex and Florida-based management consulting Brooks International among others. Travelex paid $2.3 million (about Rs. 17.35 crores) in bitcoin to hackers who had taken over its network, according to the Wall Street Journal in April.

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Forthcoming Google-made Android TV dongle & new UI leak in render

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At the start of last month, we exclusively reported on Google’s plans for a new Chromecast Ultra based on Android TV. Subsequent reports described a content-focused revamp of the operating system, with new leaks today showing off the next Chromecast, its remote, and “Google TV’s” new look.

Marketing material acquired by XDA today shows a pebble-shaped puck that is slightly taller than the current Chromecast. A ‘G’ logo is embedded with three colors (black, white, and pink/sand) shown. The flat HDMI cable is also seen — though the connector is not — and similarly hued.

As we previously described, we see a “Remote Control” that’s very similar to the Daydream View’s. Up top is a circular D-pad, while six circular buttons are below. From today’s leak, we see a back, Assistant, home, star/favorite, play/pause, and volume mute.

Next up is a leak of the content-focused Android TV revamp, which we hear might be rebranded to Google TV when the Chromecast launches. The homescreen starts with a top bar where search is the top-left corner. This is followed by For you, Movies, TV, Live — more about what’s new here, Apps, and My Library. It’s rather similar to the current layout of the Play Store on Android TV.

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Front and center is a cover image advertising Game of Thrones from HBO Now and other shows, while there’s a “Play next” carousel below. Another capability touted is the ability to “manage your home from your couch” with a “Noise detected” notification appearing in the bottom-left.

These graphics originate from a video that will play during the set-up process, while firmware that XDA also acquired suggests an Amlogic chip that supports Dolby Vision. Codenamed “sabrina,” the retail name for this device has yet to leak, thought Nest branding was suggested by Protocol last month.

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Amazon Echo Show 8 with 8-Inch Display Launched In India at Rs. 12,999

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Capitalizing on the success of Alexa, Amazon has rapidly expanded its hardware line up to include a wide range of devices, from microwave ovens to even glasses. Amazon on Wednesday launched its latest device in the Echo line up. The company unveiled its Echo Show 8 in the country with an 8-inch HD screen, stereo sound, and a built-in camera with a shutter, which is priced at Rs. 12,999. The device is now available for pre-order at a discounted launch price of Rs. 8,999, and will be shipped on February 26. The Amazon Echo Show 8 was launched globally in September last year alongside other Echo-branded devices such as the Echo Buds and Echo Frames.

As the name might suggest, the Echo Show 8 showcases an 8-inch HD display that can be used to stream videos and consumer content. With the device, users also get the full suite of Alexa capabilities, including voice assistance, information, music streaming through linked services and communication. But given how privacy is a key issue in today’s world, there’s also a physical shutter to block the camera when it’s not in use.

The Echo Show 8 employs 2-inch neodymium speakers and a passive bass radiator that are capable of pushing stereo sound. With support for streaming services like Amazon Prime Music, Apple Music, JioSaavn, Gaana and Hungama Music amongst others, the Echo Show 8 is geared to be an entertainment hub.

If you have a smart home or make use of smart appliances, Show 8 provides a seamless way to control all pre-order with either touch or voice commands. Additionally, with support for Alexa Skills, there’s a lot more that you’ll be able to do with Show 8.

The Echo Show 8 is a bit more expensive than the Echo Show 5, which is currently priced at Rs. 6,999 considering that the Echo Show 8 is itself down to Rs. 8,999 for pre-orders. However, it’s significantly more affordable than the full-size Echo Show that retails at Rs. 22,999 and has a 10.1-inch screen. In most ways, the Echo Show 8 is expected to offer the same level of capabilities as the rest of the range.

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