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Week of August 1, 2004

PDAs under attack

" Kaspersky Labs has detected Backdoor.WinCE.Brador.a, the first backdoor for PDAs running under PocketPC (based on Windows CE).

Brador is a classic Trojan backdoor program: it opens the infected machine for remote administration. Brador is 5632 bytes in size and it infects handhelds running Pocket PC.

After the backdoor is launched, it creates an svchost.exe file in the Windows autorun folder, thus maintaining full control over the system every time the handheld is turned on.

Brador then identifies the machine's IP address and sends it to the author, informing him that the handheld is in the Internet and the backdoor is active. Finally, Brador opens port 44299 and awaits further commands.

Brador is created to allow the master full control over the infected PDA via the port that the Trojan opens. Brador is programmed to upload and download files and execute a series of further commands. Like all backdoors, Brador cannot spread by itself: it can only arrive as an email attachment, be downloaded from the Internet or uploaded along with other data from a desktop." (Source: Kapersky Labs)

Posted Thursday, August 5 2004 by ChrisD
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Hacker creates malicious Pocket PC Trojan

"A virus that can allow hackers to take over PDAs running Microsoft's Pocket PC operating system has been created, antivirus company Kaspersky Labs has warned.

The Trojan is thought to be the work of a Russian hacker who is trying to sell it for use by spammers or hacking groups. It affects all versions of Pocket PC.

"WinCE.Brador.a is a full-scale malicious program ready to go: unlike proof-of-concept malware, Brador has a complete set of destructive functions typical for backdoors," said Eugene Kaspersky, head of antivirus research at Kaspersky Labs, in a statement." (Source: Iain Thomson, Vnunet.com)

Posted Thursday, August 5 2004 by ChrisD
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Buy Battery Pack Pro and Win a new iPAQ rx1715

Omega One, a leading developer of consumer applications for Windows Mobile-based Pocket PCs, together with PocketGear.com, the world’s leading provider of content for the Pocket PC, are pleased to announce that Omega One will give away a new HP iPAQ rx1715 to one lucky buyer of Battery Pack Pro, the best selling Pocket PC application.  From today until PocketGear.com records the 100,000th download of Battery Pack Pro the email addresses of those people who buy Battery Pack Pro from PocketGear.com will be recorded.  When the 100,000th copy is download, a name will be drawn from that list of Battery Pack Pro owners, and that person will receive a new iPAQ rx1715.

            To date, over 97,000 people have downloaded Battery Pack Pro from PocketGear.com, so  there is not much time left until the winner will be known.  To enter the drawing the person must dowload and purchase a copy of Battery Pack Pro between August 3rd and the time of the 100,000th download. Trial downloads are not eligible for the drawing.  

Battery Pack Pro has been one of the leading Pocket PC applications over the last two years,”

said Andrew Haslam, CEO of Omega One, “Reaching the 100,000th download mark on PocketGear.com will be a significant achievement for us and for PocketGear.com, and we want to give something back to our customers in the form of this great new iPAQ.”

Battery Pack Pro has been a consistent best selling application for us at PocketGear.com,” said Slawek Pruchnik, vice president, Windows Mobile Consumer Channel for PocketGear.com. ”We are pleased to support Omega One with this great opportunity for one of our premier partners.”

Battery Pack Pro was the top selling Pocket PC application in 2002 and 2003.  Omega One’s other top selling products include Journal Bar which has been consistently in the top 10 Pocket PC applications, as well as 1-Calc, a universal calculator, and 1-Pass, a physical security application.

Battery Pack Pro v1.1 is available for $19.99 on www.pocketgear.com (Source: Press Release)
Posted Wednesday, August 4 2004 by ChrisD
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LDW Software Plants its First Seeds in the Windows Mobile Garden with Plant Tycoon Game

New virtual plant nursery game promises to "really grow on you."

LDW Software, a top producer of real-time games and simulations for Palm OS devices, has ported its award-winning Plant Tycoon game to the Windows Mobile software for Pocket PCs platform. Plant Tycoon, the company's first product for Windows Mobile-based Pocket PCs, has been hailed for its real-time game play—-it continues to play even when the device is turned off—-vibrant graphics, and addictive nature of the game-play. The game was the 2003 winner of "Simulation Game of the Year" by PDArcade.

"We are excited that LDW Software has chosen to extend Plant Tycoon to take advantage of the superior multimedia features of the Windows Mobile platform," said Karen Carter, group product manager for the Mobile and Embedded Devices Division at Microsoft Corp. "LDW Software has an excellent track record of producing challenging and interactive games with vibrant graphics—a formula for success on the Windows Mobile platform."

Plant Tycoon sets players on a journey to create a virtual nursery of wildly diverse plants, cross-pollinating numerous varieties along the way to discovering the genetic codes for four magical plants. To finance the research necessary to pollinate and harvest the four magical plants, players must sell their discoveries along the way to earn the financial resources vital to acquiring special enhancements—such as exotic seeds, soil upgrades, radioactive plant food, and Insta-Grow fertilizer.

Unique among games for mobile devices is the "real-time" nature of growing a virtual plant nursery in Plant Tycoon. Unless a player pauses the game, plants will continue to grow and thrive, or whither and perhaps become bug infested—depending on how often the player monitors and nurtures the plants in the nursery.

"We are very excited to launch our first game for the Windows Mobile platform, not only introducing our games to an entirely new marketplace, but expanding our technical capabilities to develop new and exciting handheld games," said Arthur Humphrey, LDW Software's CEO. "We realize Windows Mobile-based Pocket PC users have high expectations, and Plant Tycoon is an excellent introduction to the type of games they should expect to see from us in the future. Plant Tycoon will really shine on this platform." (Source: Press Release)

Posted Wednesday, August 4 2004 by ChrisD
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In one of the highest-profile industry gatherings of the year, PhatWare Corporation received 'Best Productivity Application for Windows Mobile-based Pocket PC' honors for its PhatPad note taking application at the Handango Champion Awards in San Diego. Singled out from a field of roughly 20 nominees and several thousand possible products in its category, the application was chosen by experts at leading publications including USA Today, Network Computing, PDAStreet, Network World, PocketGoddess and others.

PhatPad for Pocket PC is available for a free 30-day trial download from the PhatWare website. The product is also available as a combo pack, which bundles PhatPad with the company's popular handwriting recognition product - CalliGrapher – at a reduced price until August 31, 2004. (Source: Press Release)

Posted Tuesday, August 3 2004 by ChrisD
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Isotope244 Graphics announces the first open beta of Acky's XP Breakout

Isotope244 Graphics announces the first open beta of Acky's XP Breakout for the Pocket PC.  It’s one of the first games to support VGA devices*.  The game supports seven languages, and requires an X-Scale or ARM Pocket PC and 5 MB of memory.  The beta is available from the Isotope244 Graphics website (http://www.isotope244.com).  A Windows desktop PC version is also available.  Isotope244 Graphics is well known in the Pocket PC community from its previous release of Atomic Cannon Pocket.

Acky's XP Breakout Pocket PC Beta
QVGA (for normal Pocket PCs) - 1.3 MB
VGA (Toshiba e805 is the only one released that I know of) - 2MB

*** WARNING ***  The VGA version has never been tested as I don't have a VGA device.  Test it at your own risk, backup all device data before installing and running it!  Isotope244 Graphics assumes no responsibility for any damage caused to your device, read the EULA for more details before installing.  Although I have emulated testing the game at VGA resolution, specific issues with WM2003SE and device drivers may cause unforeseen issues, please report your findings through the contact or feedback page.  I am especially interested in any performance issues with the VGA version.

Acky's XP Breakout Pocket PC Preview Video
Length: 1 minute 24 seconds
Size: 320 x 240
Format: Windows Media 9
lowfi video 340kbps - 3.5 MB
hifi video 755kbps - 7.9 MB

(Source: Press Release)

Posted Tuesday, August 3 2004 by ChrisD
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