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How An Apple iCloud Exploit Lost A Crypto Trader Over $650K

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A mutated cartoon ape on a yellow background

A Mutant Ape Yacht Club NFT stolen from Domenic Iacovone’s wallet, worth around $80,000.


OpenSea

Domenic Iacovone recieved an unusual phone call from Apple on Friday night. He’d recieved several messages asking him to reset his Apple ID password, and so suspected the caller of being a scam. But the call came through on his iPhone as Apple Inc., with a number associated with Apple’s online store, so rang back. The person the other side of the phone said Iacovone’s account had been compromised, and that they needed the one-time code Apple sent to his iPhone to ensure he was the account’s owner. Iacovone gave it to them. Two seconds later, he recounted in a Twitter thread, his crypto wallet was wiped dry.

An estimated $650,000-worth of cryptocurrencies and NFTs were gone in an instant. 

Among the assets Iacovone says were stolen from MetaMask wallet is at least $160,000 worth of ether, a Mutant Ape Yacht Club NFT worth around $80,000 and $100,000 of the Ape Coin cryptocurrency. Iacovone also reportedly had $250,000 in Tether, a stablecoin pegged to the US Dollar. 

The incident is more than a sophisticated, socially-engineered phishing hack. The immediate question asked by crypto and NFT traders: How could access to iCloud give a hacker access to someone’s crypto wallet? When you create a wallet, you’re given a 12-word seed phrase that’s needed to access the wallet on new devices. The first rule of cryptocurrency trading is to protect your seed phrase at all costs. Unless a person has their seed phrase written down in a document stored on iCloud — which Iacovone didn’t — it doesn’t follow that iCloud access would lead to MetaMask access. 

The answer, as unearthed by a crypto security expert who goes by Serpent, is that using the MetaMask app on iPhone automatically stores a seed phrase file onto iCloud. MetaMask, the most used Ethereum-based wallet, released a statement on Twitter on Sunday over the unearthed security flaw, giving users instructions on how to disable iCloud backups. 

“Key takeaways,” Serpent wrote in their Twitter thread. “Always use a cold wallet to store your valuables. Never give out verification codes to anyone. Protect your information, don’t give out your phone number or your personal email. Caller information is easy to spoof. Companies like Apple will never call you.” 

“Already $650,000 stolen from a single individual and it’s going to happen to a lot more people,” he wrote.

The incident highlights the major downside to decentralized finance, the lack of any central authorities to undo or refund damages. Blockchain transactions can’t be reversed, meaning MetaMask or any other firm can’t refund the lost assets. OpenSea, the biggest marketplace for NFTs, can do little more than mark Iacovone’s account as “suspicious” to dissuade others from buying his stolen NFTs. It was too little too late, as the Mutant Ape stolen from his wallet was quickly sold for $80,000 (26.5 ether).

“Let’s all get MetaMask to update their terms and app to clearly state that they share your seed phrase with iCloud,” Iacovone tweeted on Monday. “If we can save one person from this it will be worth all the trouble.”

MetaMask was contacted for comment but did not immediately respond. 





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Overwatch 2 Beta Begins Tomorrow: Start Time and What to Expect

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Overwatch 2 starts its second beta on Tuesday, June 28, for PC and console players. The beta begins at 2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT and runs through Monday, July 18. Sign-ups are still open for a chance to participate, and you can still get guaranteed access if you’re willing to spend some cash.  

The next beta will be our first look at Junker Queen, a new tank hero who first appeared in posters on the Junkertown map that was released in 2017. Fans have been hoping to play her ever since, and five years later, we’re finally getting the chance. The new beta also adds a new hybrid map, Paraiso. The developers have laid out their goals for the beta, which include testing server capacity and hero balance. 

Overwatch 2 is the sequel to Blizzard’s class-based shooter, featuring two teams of five players fighting over objectives. Overwatch devs announced in June that the game will be free to play and will launch in early access on Oct. 4. The first beta injected a frantic pace into the game, which was a welcome change from the slower, more grinding pacing that’s plagued Overwatch in recent years. The free-to-play PvP element will bring the game more in line with other competitive shooters, like Valorant and Apex Legends.

How to sign up for the Overwatch 2 beta

Anyone can sign up for Overwatch 2’s second beta, but it’s not technically an open beta. The game will add people gradually as it ramps up server capacity, and the first big wave of beta access will happen on July 5, according to the beta FAQ page. Even if you were in the previous beta, you’ll need to sign up again. 

Here’s how to sign up:

1. Go to the Overwatch 2 beta site.
2. In the top right corner, log in to your Blizzard Account.
3. At the bottom of the Overwatch 2 beta page, choose your platform (and region for PlayStation players).
4. Then hit Request Beta Access.

If you want guaranteed beta access on June 28, you can purchase the Watchpoint Pack ($40). In addition to beta access on day one, you’ll also get two legendary character skins, a unique player icon and enough digital currency to buy the first two battle passes.

How do I download the Overwatch 2 beta?

Blizzard hasn’t released details on downloading the second beta, but it should follow the same process as the first beta. Here’s how that worked:

1. Log in to your Battle.net account and navigate to Overwatch on the game launcher.

2. In the bottom left, click the Game Version drop-down.

3. Select Overwatch 2 Tech Beta to install.

4. When the download is complete, hit the blue Play button to start.

Junker Queen spinning her axe

Junker Queen’s ultimate ability helps her close distance and end fights quickly.


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Junker Queen abilities

The new beta finally gives fans a chance to play as Junker Queen, a hero we’ve all been excited about and/or thirsting over since she was first teased on the Junkertown map. Here’s what we know about Junker Queen’s abilities, from the Overwatch Twitter account:

New Hybrid Map: Paraiso

The beta also adds Paraiso, a new hybrid map that explores Lucio’s home, including the DJ’s Clube Sinestesia. As with all hybrid maps, players will start by attacking or defending a control point, and if the attackers succeed, players will spend the rest of the map attacking or defending a payload. 

An underground club with light-up floor

Clube Sinestesia is where support hero Lucio found fame as a DJ.


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For more Overwatch 2 news, check out everything we learned from the Overwatch 2 reveal event.



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Icebergify: How To Create an Iceberg of Your Most Listened to Spotify Artists

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Been on social media today? Seen those bizarre musical Icebergs floating around in your feed? You’re not alone. Screenshots like this have been doing the rounds today, particularly on Twitter. 

It’s all created via the magic of a website called Icebergify.

Using the data from your Spotify listening habits, Icebergify creates an Iceberg of your most listened to artists ranked by popularity. At the tip of the iceberg? Your favourite “mainstream” artists. Your Taylor Swifts, your Beyonces, your Drakes, etc. The further down you go, the more obscure it becomes. It looks a little like this…

If you want to see your own iceberg, you can head to the website directly. Be warned: it does require your Spotify log-in. 

The Icebergify website was developed by Akshay Raj, a freshman studying Computer & Data Science at Rice University. He says he has no plans to monetize the site or use the data collected — which is limited to your username, Spotify account ID and the top 50 tracks and artists listened to over the past few years. 

How does it work? It’s fairly simple. Icebergify takes your most listened to artists and sorts them according to popularity rankings. Streams, shares, saves, likes, and followers are all taken into account. This is why Beyonce might be at the top of your iceberg, but lesser known artists are at the bottom, beneath the ocean. Also worth noting: It seems like Icebergify is being flooded due to its surprising popularity. Head back later if it doesn’t immediately work.





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Apple’s First Mixed-Reality Headset May Sport New M2 Processor

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Apple’s first mixed-reality headset could come with the company’s flagship M2 processor, just one of the “deluge” of new products the company is expected to unveil in the next year, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman reported Sunday.

The M2, unveiled in June, features redesigned central processing units and a significant memory increase, which would provide a significant boost to the much-rumored headset over the previous M1 chip.

The much-rumored headset incorporating both virtual and augmented reality environments is expected to provide a boon to the gaming industry. Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said earlier week that the headset — expected to be announced in January 2023 — would be the most complicated product Apple has designed yet.

Apple CEO Tim Cook has been vocal about his excitement about AR. Earlier this week, he explained that the tech industry is still in the “very early innings” of this technology’s possibilities.

“I couldn’t be more excited about the opportunities we’ve seen in this space, and sort of stay tuned and you’ll see what we have to offer,” Cook told China Daily.

Other products Gurman expects to debut in the next 12 months include four iPhone 14 models, three Apple Watch variations, several Macs with M2 and M3 chips, iPads, updated AirPods Pro earbuds, a fresh HomePod, and an upgraded Apple TV. 

Apple didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Read moreApple AR, VR Headset Rumors: WWDC, Release Rumors, M1 Chip and More



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