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Found 67 results

  1. Netflix today launched a new internet speed testing service called Fast.com. With the new service it’s possible to test the speed of both mobile and broadband connections anywhere in the world. The site is very simple, as soon as you load the page the test starts. The service is powered by Netflix servers and results should be comparable to other services, of which Netflix itself explicitly mentions Ookla’s Speedtest.net. In several quick and unreliable tests we did, there wasn’t much of a match between Netflix’s Fast.com and Ookla’s Speedtest. While Fast.com reported 29 Mbps, Speedtest.net reported 49.20 Mbps as download speed. The consumer speed test is different than the Netflix ISP Speed Index. Fast.com measures personal internet connections at any given time, while Netflix’s speed index measures average monthly speeds of actual Netflix streams during prime time hours. Article source
  2. Disney is being targeted by hackers After stealing and dumping the new Orange Is the New Black season online after a failed attempt to get paid a ransom, hackers are now targeting Disney. Bob Iger, Walt Disney CEO, confirmed that hackers are making demands of them, but didn't share the name of the movie. Given how the next two Disney releases are "The Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales" this weekend and "Cars" a month from now, chances are higher that Johnny Depp's newest flick is the one being targeted. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the hackers are demanding a huge amount of money, although no sum is actually mentioned. As expected, they're asking for the payment to be made in Bitcoin, since that's very close to being impossible to track. The threat is that unless paid soon, the hackers will start releasing increasingly long chunks of the movie if their demand isn't met. First, the clips will be a few minutes long, and then 20-minute chunks. Thus far, there seem to be no such videos available online, but if this is the same group that released the Netflix original series, there's little chance they're bluffing. We don't negociate with... hackers As expected, Disney is refusing to pay and has already started working with the FBI to track down the hackers. Given how there's been little headway made since the previous dump and Netflix's collaboration with the same agency, this may end up in one of the most highly anticipated movies of the summer to be dumped online. "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales" is scheduled to open this weekend. It makes some sense for the hackers to be applying pressure on Disney right now with the incoming releases especially since past experienced with blockbuster movies being released ahead of time ended badly for the production companies. One notable example is the released of The Expendables a few years ago, which resulted in a complete flop at the Box Office. Of course, the fact that the movie was a train wreck might have helped that situation too. Source
  3. The idea of watching a whole season of your favorite TV how or the latest movies online for free is extremely appealing. Fraudsters are all too aware of this, as we’ll show. And it is obvious that cybercriminals are using Netflix – which has almost 100 million users – to spread their attacks, as it is one of the most popular ‘internet television networks” in the world today. In this post, we look at how fraudsters are using this well-known brand as the hook for a news WhatsApp scam. Let’s analyze how this false campaign, which offers users free access to Netflix for a whole year, works, and also look at how it has ended up misleading thousands of people worldwide. The initial message and its multiple false sites First things first – if you have received messages from trustworthy WhatsApp contacts inviting you to gain free access to the service through a particular link, let me be clear … Don’t do it! Don’t click on the link! Don’t share it! As we can see with the following images (in both the Spanish and English versions), the message appears to come from the Netflix.com domain. However, when users look at the shortened URL, they’ll notice that clicking on it will redirect them to another domain that is not related with the legitimate Netflix.com site: Spanish version English version Portuguese version The first click on the campaign takes the user to an external domain unrelated to Netflix, which curiously uses a trusted certificate as shown in the following image: Just like Netflix, it is also multilingual Another curious fact is that the page has the capacity to detect the language of the device and can change its language automatically. The following images show the same campaign in Spanish, Portuguese, and English: The method used for this scam is similar to what we are used to. The page promises a year’s worth of services from Netflix, provided that the user shares the fraudulent link with at least 10 of their contacts. Meanwhile, the page checks the number of times the user presses the share button, and if the target is not reached, opens another window requiring the victim to continue sharing the link. Then, the victim is redirected to pages that falsely claim that they are on the “final step” to achieve activation, when what is really happening is that they are stealing information from users’ mobile phones for different types of subscriptions, or opening the system’s messaging application in order to send an SMS to a premium number with a certain text or even encouraging users to download applications from unofficial sites. What should you do if you shared or clicked on the link? First of all, stay calm. It’s important to understand that, contrary to what some people believe, this is not a “WhatsApp virus” as there is no executable file that is being downloaded and installed in the terminal when you access the page. Although it is a potential risk, we have not found evidence that the fraudulent sites are attempting to exploit the vulnerabilities of the connected devices; so, in theory, there is no greater risk of infection by simply clicking on the link. If you have shared the link with friends and family, follow these steps: Get in touch with them as soon as you can and let them know that it is a scam and to stop sharing the message. If you entered your telephone number into any form, as seen in previous images, get in touch with your telephone provider to ensure that you have not subscribed “without noticing” to a premium messaging service that charges a fee. Finally, if you have downloaded any applications onto your cellphone, uninstall them. If you can’t do this, get in touch with a professional who can do it for you and restore the device to its manufacturing settings. Remember that you should think twice about these messages with shortened links and consider their trustworthiness before sharing. Given that the campaign is multilingual, it has the capacity to spread much faster, not only in Spanish-speaking countries but also in countries where English or Portuguese is spoken. Likewise, it is important to notify any users that have sent you the link about the importance of not providing their mobile phone numbers to Premium SMS services. In this way, you can be a hero, not in your favorite online seasons, but in real life, by putting a stop to these malicious campaigns and enjoying more secure use of your technology. Article source
  4. Netflix has confirmed that its app for Android doesn’t work on devices that have been rooted. The company revealed that rooted Android phones or those with unlocked bootloaders can no longer download the app from the Google Play Store. Netflix stated for Android Police, “With our latest 5.0 release, we now fully rely on the Widevine DRM provided by Google; therefore, many devices that are not Google-certified or have been altered will no longer work with our latest app and those users will no longer see the Netflix app in the Play Store.” The official Netflix app simply appears as “incompatible” on rooted smartphones or devices that have unlocked bootloaders, even if they weren’t previously rooted. Surprisingly, the Netflix app continues to work on those devices, but they no longer have the ability to download the application from the Play Store. Netflix app works as before on rooted phones The Netflix app continues to work on rooted phones, allowing users to browse and search the catalog or play videos just like before. Still, the application won’t receive updates past the Netflix 5.0 version, meaning that no new features will come to users on rooted phones. Netflix relies on Google’s Widevine DRM technology, which is compatible with multiple desktop and mobile platforms. The technology provides one of three security levels for each device, depending on which processes run in the Trusted Execution Environment (TEE). Still, the Play Store listing appears to be connected to the device’s SafetyNet status, not the Widevine TEE. Therefore, it’s quite surprising that the Netflix app can’t be downloaded from the Play Store on rooted devices, but that it continues to work on such Android phones. Perhaps, at some point, the application will stop working on all Android smartphones that have been altered, which will surely disappoint some users. When that happens, the Netflix app will join the list of apps and services that don’t work on rooted phones, together with Android Pay. Source
  5. Back in November, Microsoft Edge was revealed to be the exclusive browser with 4K support for Netflix content, and there were few other caveats such as the requirement of a Intel Kaby Lake processor, and a supported monitor. Now, support for such content has been expanded, albeit in preview, to include NVIDIA's latest GeForce GTX 10 series graphics cards. According to a post by NVIDIA, PC users with a GeForce GTX 1050 or higher graphics card, and an HDCP 2.2 compatible monitor, can enjoy 4K Netflix content on Microsoft Edge or the official Netflix Windows 10 app. Apart from these, one basic requirement includes a 25 Mbit internet connection for a smooth experience. In case of a dual-monitor setup, if one of the monitors is not HDCP 2.2 compliant, then the quality will be downgraded to Full HD. It must be noted that SLI/LDA configurations are not yet supported, but users can enjoy 4K if the graphics cards are not not linked together in SLI/LDA mode. Although, the version of Windows 10 hasn't been mentioned in the post, AnandTech has speculated that the Creators Update may be required for 4K streaming with the NVIDIA graphics cards and HDCP 2.2 monitors. Source
  6. Since Netflix's priorities are shifting more to the production of original content, piracy is also turning into a more serious problem. The company wasn't very concerned about copyright infringement in the past, but today it has its own "Global Copyright Protection Group" and an anti-piracy focus that's on par with many major Hollywood studios. A few years ago Netflix had a pretty casual stance when it came to online piracy. At the time, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings said that they were keeping an eye on the phenomenon, stressing that it’s not exclusively a bad thing. It also creates demand, he argued. “Certainly there’s some torrenting that goes on, and that’s true around the world, but some of that just creates the demand,” Hastings said. Netflix openly admitted to using torrent download data as a market signal, buying shows that are popular among pirates in a certain region. The best way to beat piracy is to provide good options, the mantra was. While it’s still an important issue, Netflix as a company has a different role now. With an increasing number of original shows, it’s becoming a significant content producer, instead of ‘just’ a distribution platform. Interestingly, this also shows in Netflix’s approach to piracy. The casual stance has long gone, and today Netflix is operating on par with the major Hollywood studios when it comes to copyright enforcement efforts. Last year we reported that the company had begun sending DMCA takedown notices on a large scale, but its actions don’t stop there. While Netflix doesn’t boast about its anti-piracy efforts in public, a recent job listing for a Global Copyright Protection Counsel is quite a revelation. The counsel in question will support Netflix’s “Global Copyright Protection Group,” a department the streaming service hasn’t mentioned in public thus far. One of the key focuses of the job is to minimize online piracy, through an advanced strategy. “He or she will be tasked with supporting the Netflix Global Copyright Protection Group in its industry-wide anti-piracy strategic initiatives and tactical take down efforts with the goal of reducing online piracy to a socially unacceptable fringe activity.” The responsibilities that come with the job are very broad, touching on pretty much every piracy angle utilized by Hollywood studios in recent years. Ranging from leak-prevention to automated takedown efforts, Netflix has it covered. Counsel, Global Copyright Protection The prospective employee will assist in “enforcement activities” and conduct “piracy trends analysis” while keeping an eye on the overall piracy ecosystem, including third-party platforms such as search engines, social media, advertisers, payment processors, domain name registrars. In addition to traditional pirate sites, the anti-piracy efforts also focus on streaming devices, including fully-loaded Kodi boxes, and anonymizer tools such as VPNs and proxies. “Consider solutions to deal with new piracy models and ways to consume pirate content online, such as illicit streaming devices and the use of TV add on apps. Monitor use of circumvention and anonymizer tools in the online pirate world,” the job application reads. The application further mentions a review of “piracy demand” and “piracy messaging projects,” suggesting a concrete outreach to consumers. In addition, Netflix will directly reach out to pirate sites and other intermediaries. “Assist in the management of Netflix correspondence with and outreach to both the administrators of pirate sites and the facilitators of piracy, including hosting platforms and providers, social media platforms and UGC sites in response to our tactical and industry copyright protection efforts.” Overall the job application paints a picture of a rather mature and complete anti-piracy program and strategy. Now that copyrights are becoming a more vital asset for Netflix, it’s likely to become even more advanced as time progresses. That’s quite a leap from the casual stance a few years ago. Apparently, Netflix now believes that solving piracy isn’t just as simple as making content available. They also want a ‘stick’ with their carrot. Source: TorrentFreak
  7. Netflix now runs on Linux with Mozilla Firefox It took them a few years to realize that Linux could be a very important player for their video-on-demand streaming platform, and now Netflix is announcing that it "finally" supports playback on the Mozilla Firefox web browser. Numerous Linux users are using Mozilla Firefox on their computers because it's usually the default web browser shipped with the GNU/Linux distribution of their choice. Of course, many others also use Google Chrome or Chromium, or something else that's based on the latter, such as Opera or Vivaldi. Until today, if you wanted to watch Netflix movies and TV shows on your Linux computer, you would have to install Chrome or a Chrome-based web browser. But not anymore, because Netflix just made it possible for the rest of the Linux users using Mozilla Firefox to enjoy their content. "And though we do not officially support Linux, Chrome playback has worked on that platform since late 2014. Starting today, users of Firefox can also enjoy Netflix on Linux," reads the announcement. "This marks a huge milestone for us and our partners, including Google, Microsoft, Apple, and Mozilla that helped make it possible." How to watch Netflix content with Mozilla Firefox No, it's not a tutorial because there's no need for one anymore. We only to inform you that if you want to watch Netflix movies and TV shows using Mozilla Firefox, all you have to do is to make sure you have the latest version installed. According to Netflix, Mozilla Firefox 47 or later is required for their DRM content to work on HTML5. However, it would appear that both Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome only support video playback up to 720p resolution. The company says that this is only the beginning, as they plan high-resolution video playback on more platforms soon. 1080p and 4K content can only be watched using Microsoft Edge, Internet Explorer or Safari, the latter two only offering up to 1080p playback. Source
  8. A ransomware family named Netix (RANSOM_NETIX.A) is targeting users who use special applications to access hacked Netflix accounts, locking their files and demanding a ransom payment of $100. First discovered by Karsten Hahn of G Data and analyzed by the Trend Micro team, this ransomware is spread via an application named "Netflix Login Generator v1.1.exe," which when executed appears to provide the user with a Netflix username and password. Netflix Login Generator v1.1.exe app (via Trend Micro) These username and password combos never work, as the ransomware authors are just buying time to let the ransomware contained within the app perform its encryption. According to researchers, the ransomware targets only 39 file types, which is less than most other ransomware families, and it only goes after the files located in the user's "C:\Users" folder alone, and not the entire hard drive. The following file types are targeted for encryption: .ai, .asp, .aspx, .avi, .bmp, .csv, .doc, .docx, .epub, .flp, .flv, .gif, .html, .itdb, .itl, .jpg, .m4a, .mdb, .mkv, .mp3, .mp4, .mpeg, .odt, .pdf, .php, .png, .ppt, .pptx, .psd, .py, .rar, .sql, .txt, .wma, .wmv, .xls, .xlsx, .xml, .zip Under the hood, when the user executes "Netflix Login Generator v1.1.exe," the file extracts and drops another file named "netprotocol.exe" on the user's machine, which it executes immediately. This file is the actual Netix ransomware, which starts encrypting files with the AES-256 encryption algorithm, but only if the user's computer is running Windows 7 and Windows 10. After the encryption process ends, the ransomware contacts an online server, where it sends the infection ID and other details, but from where it also downloads the ransom notes it displays on the user's machine. The ransom notes are in the form of an image displayed as the user's desktop wallpaper, and a text file dropped on his PC. Netix desktop wallpaper (via Trend Micro) Netix ransom note (via Trend Micro) The ransomware asks for $100 as payment in the Bitcoin digital currency and invites users to visit a website in order to pay the ransom and receive their decryption key. Users can recognize Netix infections because the ransomware appends the .se extension at the end of all locked files. Is it worth it? "Does getting your important files encrypted worth the piracy?" the Trend Micro team asks. The answer is obviously no. Compared to past years, Netflix is now available in over 190 countries, and a monthly subscription costs between $9 and $15, depending on your country. Paying the $100 ransom to recover files locked by this threat is not a guarantee that users will get access back to their files neither, as many ransomware families come with bugs that make a recovery impossible in some cases. Nowadays, crooks have understood that pirated apps are the easiest way to spread their payloads. You can be almost certain that any pirated app downloaded from torrent portals contains at least some sort of adware or infostealer, if not worse. Article source
  9. Last year Netflix launched an aggressive campaign to prevent its users from bypassing geo-blockades through VPN services. The crackdown has met fierce resistance around the world but is still in effect. Today we review the current state of affairs with some prominent VPN providers, many of whom voice concerns about the ongoing blocking efforts. In an move to appease Hollywood’s major studios, last year Netflix increased its efforts to block customers who circumvent geo-blockades. As a result, it has become harder to use VPN services to access Netflix content from other countries. However, the measures also affect well-intentioned customers who merely use a VPN to protect their privacy. This broad blocking policy has sparked wide protests and now that 12 months have passed, we take a closer look at where things stand today. TorrentFreak spoke to several VPN providers who have to deal with the issue on a daily basis. Some are more open about it than others, but the overall consensus is that Netflix went a step too far by placing copyright protection above security. “In my opinion, no one should have to sacrifice operational security for entertainment,” Torguard‘s Ben Van Pelt tells TorrentFreak. Private Internet Access (PIA) sees the measures as a violation of pure Net Neutrality, noting the origin of traffic should be irrelevant. The Internet is a location by itself, they believe. “It is an odd time when one can pay for a service and not be provided said service when not in the ‘correct physical’ geographical location. The Internet is its own jurisdiction,” PIA’s Caleb Chen says. It is still unclear how Netflix’s IP-blacklisting works. A few providers have noticed that some of their IP-ranges were already banned before they were active, suggesting that Netflix automatically flags IPs from certain organizations. Also, there’s a strong suspicion that the streaming service keeps track of how many logins there are from a given IP-address. When this hits a threshold, the address is then supposedly added to the blacklist as well. The question on many people’s minds is; how effective are Netflix’s measures? According to the providers we spoke with, a lot of their shared IP-addresses were blacklisted quickly. But, when something’s censored on the Internet, people generally try to find ways around it. This is also true for the Netflix VPN block. The Internet is littered with circumvention tips and tricks and some VPN providers are actively advertising that their service still works. In reality, however, no VPN provider can guarantee that their service works 100% of the time. In most cases, new IP-addresses are swiftly blocked causing a lot of frustration among users. “The fact that we have to play this game at all is incredibly frustrating. Lots of people sign up because they hear from a friend that LiquidVPN still works and then they cancel because they can’t get it working without asking for help,” Dave Cox from LiquidVPN tells us. In terms of “help,” providers take a different approach as well. Some VPNs are taking a hands-off approach, but there are some that are willing to find solutions, often behind the scenes. TorGuard has noticed that if users switch to a dedicated IP-address, which isn’t shared with others, Netflix works just fine. As a result, demand for these plans has increased quite a bit. “We greatly expanded our Dedicated VPN IP pool and now offer Dedicated IP options in over 55 countries worldwide. This has proven to work flawlessly for users who wish to bypass VPN blockades with geo-restricted streaming services,” Torguard’s Ben Van Pelt says. LiquidVPN informed us that bypassing the Netflix blocks on devices like phones, smart TVs, and streaming boxes requires technical know-how and is not for everyone. However, they are willing to offer assistance to people who want to access Netflix’s US catalog from a VPN. Private Internet Access doesn’t offer any specific help but notes that they regularly add new IP-addresses. Although geo-unblocking is not a specific aim, they will do their best to ensure that users have access to an uncensored and unfiltered Internet. “Private Internet Access will be introducing tens of thousands of fresh IP-addresses into rotation. Additionally, we are working on additional and aggressive new methods to ensure our clients receive a full, uncensored and net neutral Internet experience,” PIA’s Caleb Chen notes. Then there are also providers who are not really interested in joining the blacklist whack-a-mole. Mullvad, for example, doesn’t support Netflix’s goals but doesn’t plan to actively counter them. “Netflix and their suppliers are being silly and are stuck in a laughably outdated geographic distribution model. Geoblocking is not one of our main areas though, so if they want to go out of their way to drive away their own customers, we’ll let them,” Mullvad’s Daniel Berntsson says. Lastly, there’s the Fight Club treatment ExpressVPN adheres to, avoiding public discussions on the topics wherever possible. “To draw on the famous quote from the movie Fight Club, the first rule of Netflix is: do not talk about Netflix,” says David Lang, ExpressVPN’s Communications Manager. While it’s impossible to draw any uniform conclusions, our general sense is that Netflix succeeded at making it very hard for casual VPN users to bypass geo-blockades. Those who put some effort into it can probably find a way to access foreign Netflix catalogs, but even then it remains unclear how long these circumvention options will hold. — Disclaimer: PIA and ExpressVPN are TorrentFreak sponsors. Source: TorrentFreak
  10. DVDVideoSoft has ceased the development of 'Free Downloader for Netflix' following a third-party complaint. The software company is no longer offering the tool for download following a trademark complaint and it's doubtful that it will ever come back. Netflix is best known as a video streaming service, but many of its users would also like an option to download content. A few weeks ago the company started rolling out a download option for some videos on mobile platforms, but Windows-based desktop PCs were left out. This is a gap ‘Free Netflix Downloader‘ was hoping to fill. Developed by DVDVideoSoft, it was the first Windows application that allowed people to download Netflix videos to their computers through an easy-to-use interface. “This is the ONLY app in the world that can do this trick now!” DVDVideoSoft’s Alex informed TF two weeks ago. While the resulting video quality wasn’t particularly good, the software did what it was supposed to do and appealed to a broad audience. This didn’t go unnoticed by Netflix and others, which soon led to an official complaint. As a result, DVDVideoSoft has decided to pull the plug and discontinue its development. “The development of Free Downloader for Netflix is discontinued by a third-party request. The program is not available for download now,” a message on the download site now reads. TorrentFreak contacted DVDVideoSoft to find out more about the mysterious third-party request. The company informed us that the complaint was sent by the internet security service Netcraft. The complaint accused the Netflix downloader tool of using Netflix trademarks without permission and urged the software developer to cease these infringements. In response, DVDVideoSoft swiftly decided to comply with the request and it stopped offering the application to the public right away. Technically it could be possible for the company to offer the tool without directly infringing any Netflix trademarks. However, it is not unthinkable that other intellectual property issues may pop up later on. In any case, DVDVideoSoft has no concrete plans for a comeback. Source: TorrentFreak
  11. If you want to be able to stream Netflix in 4K through your browser, you're going to have to use Edge, as Microsoft announced today. Unfortunately, the feature probably won't work with your PC, as you'll need a device that uses one of Intel's seventh-generation Kaby Lake processors and of course, a 4K display. There aren't even a lot of these devices on the market yet. Even Microsoft's own Surface Studio - which was announced less than a month ago and starts at $2,999 - uses sixth-generation Skylake processors. It's also worth noting that while Edge is the only browser to support the feature, the browser isn't the only way to watch Netflix in 4K resolution. Here's a list of devices that support 4K streaming through the Netflix app: Air 7410X (Waoo! in Denmark) Amazon Fire TV (New Version) British Telecom - BT DTRT-4000 Broadcom VIP5662 (Bell Canada) Chromecast Ultra Dish Hopper 3 Fetch Mighty Nvidia Shield Orange Livebox Play 4 PCCW nowOne Roku 4 Sagem 4K (Totalplay in Mexico) TiVo Bolt Virgin Media - V6 powered by TiVo Xbox One S There are also a number of smart TVs and Blu-ray players that support it: Hisense TV or streaming media player Insignia TV or Blu-ray player LG TV, Blu-ray player or set-top box Panasonic TV or Blu-ray player Philips TV or Blu-ray player Roku TV Samsung TV or Blu-ray player Sharp TV or Blu-ray player Sony TV or Blu-ray player Tatung TV TCL TV Toshiba TV or Blu-ray player Vestel TV Vizio TV or Blu-ray player The inclusion of the Xbox One S is interesting, although not surprising. But the Windows Store lists Netflix as being available on PCs, phones, and Xbox. In theory, if you have a 4K PC that doesn't have Kaby Lake, you should be able to use the app to stream, even though it's not listed on Netflix's official list. We've reached out to the company for confirmation of this. It does put one over on Mac users though, as even someone with a 4K or 5K iMac won't be able to stream Netflix, as there isn't even a downloadable app for macOS. Edge users will maintain bragging rights in that area. Back in July, Microsoft ran a test among four browsers, claiming that Edge offers the best battery life while streaming video. Not only that, but other than Internet Explorer and Safari, it was the only one that could stream 1080p. Article source
  12. A phishing campaign targeting Netflix customers is making the rounds, stealing login credentials. Since Netflix recently announced a service fee hike, spammers saw an opportunity to exploit the situation. According to researchers at AppRiver, phishing emails attempt to impersonate a Netflix account-verification email. The message alerts the target to a possible “issue” with his or her account, and then asks the person to click on the provided link. It’s unclear, they added, if the exploited site attempts to steal only a customer’s Netflix login credentials or if there a financial goal in mind, such as credit-card numbers. “The cyber-criminals use a common technique that spoofs the actual company’s domain name within an exploited website URL,” AppRiver researchers explained. “The exploited website is visually a carbon copy of the Netflix web login screen. Analyzing the HTML code of the site, we were able to find discrepancies that only confirmed our suspicions.” While the screen capture of the message shows that the attackers are savvy in using the Netflix logo and brand style, a closer look at the verbiage should alert recipients to the message’s bogus nature—grammar and syntax mistakes are a dead giveaway: “We hold on record for your account, we need to ask you to complete a short validation process in order to verify your details. Once that information has been updated, you can continue enjoying Netflix. Click the button below to get started. A=80 Your friends at Netflix. But, the average user not paying close attention can easily overlook the strangeness of the message itself, and could believe the link is to a legit Netflix URL. So one of the best ways for users to prevent becoming victim to this type of campaign is avoid clicking any links in the email. Instead, they should opt to visit the company’s website address directly. If there is indeed an account issue, the user should be alerted on the website. The campaign is in full swing; So far, AppRiver has quarantined more than 12,000 messages. Article source
  13. Password Sharing Is a Federal Crime, Appeals Court Rules One of the nation’s most powerful appeals courts ruled Wednesday that sharing passwords can be a violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, a catch-all “hacking” law that has been widely used to prosecute behavior that bears no resemblance to hacking. In this particular instance, the conviction of David Nosal, a former employee of Korn/Ferry International research firm, was upheld by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, who said that Nosal’s use of a former coworker’s password to access one of the firm’s databases was an “unauthorized” use of a computer system under the CFAA. The decision is a nightmare scenario for civil liberties groups, who say that such a broad interpretation of the CFAA means that millions of Americans are unwittingly violating federal law by sharing accounts on things like Netflix, HBO, Spotify, and Facebook. Stephen Reinhardt, the dissenting judge in the case, noted that the decision “threatens to criminalize all sorts of innocuous conduct engaged in daily by ordinary citizens.” In the majority opinion, Judge Margaret McKeown wrote that “Nosal and various amici spin hypotheticals about the dire consequences of criminalizing password sharing. But these warnings miss the mark in this case. This appeal is not about password sharing.” She then went on to describe a thoroughly run-of-the-mill password sharing scenario—her argument focuses on the idea that Nosal wasn’t authorized by the company to access the database anymore, so he got a password from a friend—that happens millions of times daily in the United States, leaving little doubt about the thrust of the case. The argument McKeown made is that the employee who shared the password with Nosal “had no authority from Korn/Ferry to provide her password to former employees.” At issue is language in the CFAA that makes it illegal to access a computer system “without authorization.” McKeown said that “without authorization” is “an unambiguous, non-technical term that, given its plain and ordinary meaning, means accessing a protected computer without permission.” The question that legal scholars, groups such as the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and dissenting judge Stephen Reinhardt ask is an important one: Authorization from who? Reinhardt argues that Nosal’s use of the database was unauthorized by the firm, but was authorized by the former employee who shared it with him. For you and me, this case means that unless Netflix specifically authorizes you to share your password with your friend, you’re breaking federal law. “In the everyday situation that should concern us all, a friend or colleague accessing an account with a shared password would most certainly believe—and with good reason—that his access had been ‘authorized’ by the account holder who shared his password with him,” Reinhardt wrote in a powerful dissent that was primarily concerned with “the government’s boundless interpretation of the CFAA.” “The majority does not provide, nor do I see, a workable line which separates the consensual password sharing in this case from the consensual password sharing of millions of legitimate account holders, which may also be contrary to the policies of system owners,” he wrote. “There simply is no limiting principle in the majority’s world of lawful and unlawful password sharing.” Notably, Reinhardt appears to have a commanding knowledge of what constitutes “hacking,” something that comes up over and over again both in the media and in the courts. He said that the decision “loses sight of the anti-hacking purpose of the CFAA.” “There is no doubt that a typical hacker accesses an account ‘without authorization’: the hacker gains access without permission—either from the system owner or a legitimate account holder,” he wrote. Using someone else’s password with their permission but not the system’s owner isn’t “hacking,” but that’s what the court is treating it as. Reinhardt noted that all 50 states have their own more narrow computer trespassing statutes, and that the case would have been better suited for civil, not criminal, proceedings. What does this mean for you? In the short term, unless Netflix or HBO seek to get federal prosecutors to go after many of its customers, probably nothing. So far, neither of those services have shown any inclination to do so, and have made it easy to share your accounts with others. But it does set a scary precedent that should give anyone who shares passwords some pause. The Ninth Circuit covers much of the West Coast, including Silicon Valley—many tech cases are brought there. The decision will be binding in that circuit, and will be looked at to guide decisions elsewhere in the country. Cases like these do come up with some regularity. A decision is expected soon in a case called Facebook v Power Ventures, in which a company scraped information from Facebook with permission from its users, but not from Facebook. Once again, the question of “authorization” will come into play. Source
  14. Only 9% of Netflix traffic is encrypted. Streaming movies and television shows on Netflix could be slowing down the adoption of encryption protocols on fixed access networks. A report by network policy control platform Sandvine said Americans who watch Netflix content may be inadvertently hampering encryption adoption. According to the 2016 Global Internet Phenomena report, around 9% of all Netflix traffic is encrypted, with the majority of that figure coming from browser-based streaming. Netflix is the biggest driver of peak period traffic on the Internet, which could account for why a typical U.S. network has a reasonably low fixed access encryption rate, Sandvine said. The level of encryption in the U.S. has increased in the last year, with the average network encryption rate rising from 29.1% in 2015 to 37.5% in 2016—which still leaves 61.29% of traffic unencrypted. Ironically, Netflix may be the reason for that increase. Open certificate authority Let’s Encrypt puts encryption rates for the Web at 45% as of June 2016. Sandvine cited remarks made by Netflix CEO Reed Hastings in April 2015 when he said that the streaming service would be transitioning to the more secure HTTPS format from the standard HTTP. “Over the next year we’ll evolve from using HTTP to using Secure HTTP (HTTPS) while browsing and viewing content on our service,” said Hastings, The Verge reported. “This helps protect member privacy, particularly when the network is insecure, such as public Wi-Fi, and it helps protect members from eavesdropping by their ISP or employer, who may want to record our members’ viewing for other reasons.” YouTube has been using HTTPS for some time with 98% of all traffic now encrypted from end-to-end, said the report. Why We Should Be Less Chilled About Netflix The report compared the level of encryption on North American mobile networks to show the importance of HTTPS. Fixed access (landline) networks are dominated by unencrypted Netflix traffic, said Sandvine. However, mobile networks do not have the same issues with 64.52% of traffic now encrypted. People use streaming apps while on-the-go, but the passive—and time consuming—nature of video consumption means that people wait until they get home. Content delivery network Akamai notes that total Internet bandwidth use increases in the evening as people come home and stream music and video. As another example of how Netflix’s decision to move to HTTPS will benefit overall encryption adoption rates, Sandvine cited data from network operators in Latin America. On fixed networks in Latin America, just under 60% of all Internet traffic is encrypted. For mobile networks the figure is even higher; 66.48% of data has some form of encryption protocol. The discrepancy between North and Latin America is related to the fact that Netflix has lower bandwidth share in the latter region, with a large chunk of the 30.22% of unencrypted data on mobile networks generated by streaming apps that have not made the transition to HTTPS. Encrypted apps such as Facebook- and Google-owned properties are another reason why encryption levels are higher on fixed networks south of the border, the report said. “This lower Netflix share, combined with higher shares of encrypted traffic from YouTube and BitTorrent explain the vast difference between fixed access figures,” said Sandvine. “While North American fixed access networks currently have the lowest share of encrypted traffic of any around the world, we expect North America to equal and even surpass other regions once Netflix completes their HTTPS transition.” Article source
  15. After taking action against people using VPNs and proxies, Netflix is engaged in enhanced efforts to stop users accessing geo-blocked content. According to several reports, Netflix is now blocking users who use IPv4 to IPv6 tunnel brokers, even when doing so legitimately. It used to be a little talked about secret but the fact that all Netflix users aren’t treated equally is now well and truly out of the bag. Due to licensing deals with content providers, most regions in the world are granted access to differing levels of content. Users in the United States get the best deal from a choice perspective while subscribers in many other regions are offered much more shallow libraries. However, for many years determined subscribers from all over the world have been using various tricks to gain access to the forbidden fruits of the U.S. Netflix library. This has largely been achieved through the use of VPNs and proxies, techniques which worked almost flawlessly until complaints from rightsholders forced Netflix into a crackdown earlier this year. Nevertheless, other methods to circumvent Netflix blocks do exist. Some savvy individuals have been using something known as a tunnel broker, an online service which provides the user with a network tunnel. One particular type, known as an IPv6 tunnel broker, provides users with a modern IPv6 tunnel to sites via the much older (but massively more prevalent) IPv4 protocol. One such service is provided free of charge by Hurricane Electric, the operator of the world’s largest IPv6 transit network. Called simply ‘IPv6 Tunnel Broker‘, the company describes the service as follows. “Our free tunnel broker service enables you to reach the IPv6 Internet by tunneling over existing IPv4 connections from your IPv6 enabled host or router to one of our IPv6 routers. Our tunnel service is oriented towards developers and experimenters that want a stable tunnel platform,” Hurricane explains. With noble goals at heart, this service is clearly not designed to give Netflix headaches. However, with tunnel endpoints in the United States that was apparently the net result, with people using the service able to access titles geo-restricted to the U.S. Somehow this situation came to Netflix’s attention and during the past few days the company decided to take action. Numerous reports indicate that Netflix has now blocked users of Hurricane Electric’s tunnel broker from accessing its services, regardless of their intent. They now receive the message below. A Reddit user called KeiroD contacted Netflix after receiving an identical message with the same error code – M7111-1331-5059. From the transcript of the discussion its clear that KeiroD already had a good idea why he was blocked. “The only thing that I can think of that would affect us would be using the Hurricane Electric tunnelbroker but we’re US-based as is Hurricane Electric’s tunnel,” he explained. Netflix responded as expected. “Yes it is possible as they work the same as the VPN or proxies. There is a way to find out if that is the reason, do you have a way to turn it off for a moment so we can try the service again?” customer support asked. In response KeiroD turned off IPv6 in his router’s tunnel broker setup, rebooted, and played a random movie successfully. General blocking aside, the sad part here is that KeiroD is based in the United States, so already had access to U.S. content on Netflix. The fact that his account with Netflix was registered in the United States and his endpoint was in Kansas City didn’t help at all. Interestingly, the topic is also under discussion in Hurricane Electric’s forums. After years of people questioning whether he had access to the U.S. version of Netflix, a Canadian user there reported that his Netflix suddenly stopped working a few days ago. “Turns out that I did [have the U.S. Netflix] and didn’t even know it! Now Netflix is blocking me, and after a long while I finally figured out that it was because of my IPv6 tunnel. The thing is though, I am in Canada, and I use the tunnel server in Toronto, also in Canada, but Netflix detects my connections as coming from the US!” he explains. “Well of course this problem only affects traffic coming over the IPv6 tunnel. If I shut it down, then Netflix works fine over native IPv4. I obviously still want my IPv6 connectivity, and don’t have any easy way that I know of to specifically block only Netflix-related traffic from resolving IPv6 addresses and using the tunnel.” Sadly, however, Hurricane say they can’t help. “Our [subnet] is registered as part of a US company, and that is the address space being used there. We do not have any IPv6 allocations allocated and designated as ‘Canada’,” a senior Hurricane engineer responded. “Our [subnet] is used globally, as-is. If Netflix has some sort of whitelisting system in place, perhaps the ranges used there can be submitted, if such a whitelist exists, Netflix willing.” As an avid supporter of IPv6, Netflix’s decision to block Hurricane users is somewhat disappointing, especially when they have U.S. accounts and are also based in the U.S. Understandably the company is responding to pressure from rightsholders but interestingly there’s no change in the current situation even when they aren’t a factor. Netflix previously indicated it wanted to improve licensing issues by creating its own shows, shows that can be accessed anywhere in the world without issues. But even they are off-limits, it seems. “This started happening to me this afternoon. Called Netflix support, and based on that conversation I concluded they consider Tunnelbroker a VPN/Proxy,” another user on HE’s forums explains. “They’re not wrong, but it’s still frustrating. Ironically the show I was trying to resume is a Netflix original. I wouldn’t have expected that there would be licensing issues on their own content.” And so the whac-a-mole continues…. Article source
  16. The precautionary measure comes after a spate of massive, high-profile hacks. Fearing for the worst, some tech companies are actively resetting some user passwords, amid concerns hackers might be using hacked data to get access to accounts. Spotted by security reporter Brian Krebs, Facebook and Netflix are resetting the credentials of those whose usernames, and emails and passwords have been found in other leaked sets of breach data -- usually from other hacks. According to Krebs, Netflix sent out an email, which said "just to be safe, we've reset your password as a precautionary measure," because "we believe that your Netflix account credentials may have been included in a recent release of email addresses and passwords at another company." Facebook said that some accounts are "at risk because you were using the same password" on a different site, unrelated to Facebook. It comes in the wake of massive breaches at MySpace, LinkedIn, and Tumblr, which collectively made up over 600 million user accounts. The big, ongoing problem is password reuse. Many use the same email address and password combination for other services. When one is breached, others can be, too. Given the amount of leaked data already stolen by hackers in recent weeks, there's always the case that data is reused, and sold on. Earlier this week, hackers reportedly took over the Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Twitter accounts of Mark Zuckerberg, the the co-founder and chief executive of Facebook, which owns Instagram. The Facebook executive's password is thought to have come from the LinkedIn breach. Many big companies go through publicly-available stolen data to match up passwords that are in their own databases -- usually by comparing hashes. Krebs said that this is usually done by one-way hashing -- which involves taking the plain-text password (or cracked password), rehashing it, and comparing it to the same email address in the database. The Source
  17. Netflix's ongoing VPN crackdown is meeting fierce resistance from concerned users around the world. Today, privacy activists are driving a massive billboard around Netflix's headquarters, hoping the company will respect their privacy and reverse the broad VPN ban. In an effort to appease Hollywood’s major studios, Netflix increased its efforts to block customers who circumvent geo-blockades this year. As a result it has become harder to use VPN services to access Netflix content from other countries. However, the measures also affect well-intentioned customers who merely use a VPN to protect their privacy. This broad blocking policy has sparked wide protests and tens of thousands Internet users have signed a petition launched by digital rights group OpenMedia, which asks Netflix to stop the VPN crackdown. A few weeks ago OpenMedia sent an open letter to Netflix, inviting CEO Reed Hastings to discuss possible alternatives. In absence of a reply, the group is now following up with a new message that’s unmissable. This week a massive mobile billboard is driving through the streets of Los Gatos, California, where Netflix headquarters are located. The billboard carries the message “We ♥ Our Privacy,” with the URL of the VPN unblocking campaign. OpenMedia hopes that the billboard will send a clear message. The protests are not going to stop and with thousands of new signers per week the campaign is gaining momentum. “Right now, Netflix customers are being forced to choose between watching their favorite shows and safeguarding their privacy,” OpenMedia’s digital rights specialist Laura Tribe says. “Our mobile billboard is one more way we’re working to encourage Netflix to rethink their approach. The company has much better options available to it, than undermining the privacy of over 80 million paying Netflix customers in the post-Snowden world.” OpenMedia understands that Netflix has to comply with Hollywood’s demands to restrict access, but it believes that there a there are better ways to make sure that geographic restrictions are enforced. For example, by simply linking content libraries to credit card addresses. Thus far Netflix hasn’t been very receptive to the concerns. During an investor call last month Netflix CEO Reed Hastings said that the recent crackdown on VPN users hasn’t hurt the company’s results, and that the complaints came from a “small but vocal minority.” A ‘small’ minority with a huge billboard… Article source
  18. Netflix's release of the fourth season of House of Cards has turned into a bitter disappointment for fans in dozens of countries. Due to "legacy" licensing agreements, Netflix is not allowed to show its own original programming in countries such as Germany, Switzerland, Spain and Hong Kong, causing many people to turn to pirate sources. Traditionally the movie industry has relied on geographical licensing deals through which movie and TV-show rights are sold to separate parties in various countries. As a relative newcomer to the business, Netflix’s vision is to do things differently. The company’s aim is to make as much content available globally as it can and is developing several movies and TV-shows in-house to advance this mission. With this in mind, one would think that geographical copyright restrictions are no longer an issue for Netflix’s own original programming, but unfortunately this is not the case. Last week Netflix released the latest season of House of Cards, something millions of people were looking forward to. However, Netflix subscribers in dozens of countries are not able to watch it, yet, due to licensing issues. House of Cards fans in Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Spain, Hong Kong, Turkey and most of Africa are among those missing out. They can watch the first seasons, but there’s no sign of the new episodes. Even worse, in some countries House of Cards isn’t available at all. Needless to say, the missing House of Cards episodes are being met with a mixture of surprise and anger online. Missing cards TorrentFreak reached out to Netflix for an explanation and we were informed that the company doesn’t have global licences for its drama series House of Cards and Orange Is The New Black. The latter series is entirely absent from Netflix in over 50 countries. “Most of our originals content will be available globally. However, with these two earlier shows, we didn’t negotiate global licenses to the content and so they’ve aired on other platforms in the meantime,” the company states. “We may get them back in some of our new markets. For example, we have Orange is the New Black available in our new countries in Asia, with the title coming to the Middle East and Africa later this year,” Netflix adds. This situation is quite painful since Netflix has repeatedly called on the movie industry to offer its content globally, without artificial barriers. Apparently, they haven’t managed to do this for all of their own content yet. According to Netflix CEO Reed Hastings the licensing issues are a legacy from the last seven or eight years, which they hope to get rid of in the near future. “We’re moving as quickly as we can to have global availability of all the content on Netflix so that there are not regional distinctions. We’re still somewhat a prisoner of the current distribution architecture, we’re trying really hard to get there,” he said. In the meantime, House of Card fans who live in the wrong country must hold their breath, although many are already looking for alternative means to get what they want… Source: TorrentFreak
  19. Netflix’s impact on commercial viewing, however important, is subtler than recent reports suggest. A widely circulated report claims Netflix saves its subscribers from 160 hours of commercial breaks every year. The figure, from CordCutting.com, has certainly grabbed attention, having been picked up by plenty of other news outlets including Business Insider, BGR, and Fortune. But in reality, the claim is overblown. While Netflix has without a doubt affected advertising and the TV business as a whole, it’s probably not shaving days of commercial breaks off your life unless you’ve given up traditional TV completely. To come up with 160 hours per year, CordCutting.com looked at Nielsen data from 2014 that counted 15 minutes and 38 seconds of commercials in each hour of television. Multiply that number by the one and two-thirds hours that the average Netflix subscriber streams per night, and you get 158.5 hours per year. (Last year, Extreamist ran a similar calculation and came up with 130 hours of ads avoided per year, based on older data that showed 1.5 hours of Netflix viewing per day.) What’s wrong with this figure? A few things: While Netflix is causing people to watch less traditional TV than they used to, overall TV viewing dropped by only three percent last year according to analyst firm MoffettNathanson. For cable subscribers, time spent watching Netflix may not displace time spent watching traditional TV. (One obvious example: People who want to watch sports aren’t tuning into Netflix as an alternative.) Thanks to the DVR, traditional TV viewers don’t always sitting through ads. A study by Hub Entertainment Research from last year found that among broadcast TV subscribers who watch more than five hours of TV per week, 53 percent of that viewing is time-shifted. Roughly one third of that time shifting comes from DVRs. Live-TV viewers aren’t necessarily watching ads if they’re tuning into premium channels like HBO, Starz, and Showtime, which are more popular than ever with hit shows like Game of Thrones. Considering all these factors, Netflix’s impact on ad viewing is subtler than the six-days-per-year headline suggests. While people probably aren’t avoiding that much commercial time simply because they’re Netflix subscribers, the proliferation of ad-free video services is causing TV networks to rethink their approach to ads. Turner, for instance, recently announced that it would reduce ad loads on TNT by at least 50 percent in its live programming, because the constant commercial breaks were causing people to tune out. NBC also announced that it would run fewer commercial breaks during Saturday Night Live in hopes that more people would, you know, watch it live. Both networks are also now dabbling in ad-free streaming services, with SeeSo and FilmStruck respectively. That’s the real impact of Netflix and other ad-free streaming services like Amazon Prime: It's not a wholesale replacement of all commercial breaks, just fewer breaks when ad-supported TV is unavoidable. The Source
  20. Netflix isn't winning any popularity awards from users this month. First, many users had forgotten about next month's price hike, and have been very upset at the prospect of paying an extra $2 per month for the service. Now a large group of users in Canada are reporting that they can no longer access US content through VPN providers. You might wonder why people in Canada would want to circumvent their geographical settings, in order to access US content. As it turns out, according to JustWatch, there are currently 3,008 titles currently available in Canada on Netflix. Compare this to the 4,908 available in the US, and there's a big difference in service. And users in Canada also state that the variety of shows and movies is far less appealing than the US selection. With nearly 2,000 fewer titles to choose from, Canadian users aren't happy with the amount that they are paying, when just across the border they could get far more content for the same price. This is why they turn to VPN services to get them access to shows and movies that are otherwise unavailable on any streaming service in the country. Over the weekend users started pouring into threads on Reddit and taking to Twitter to complain about their inability to use VPNs to help them watch US content. It looks like there may still be a couple of services out there that work, but the majority of users seem to be cut off completely. This is just one more case of Netflix making good on their promise to shut down users taking advantage of VPNs to bypass geographic restrictions on content. One has to wonder when they're planning to make good on offering the same content worldwide. source
  21. Netflix recently revealed it had rolled out support for high dynamic range video, starting with the first season of Marco Polo. This was the initial step in the company's plan to go all in on that technology, which it believes is the perfect complement to 4K -- something it's been pushing since 2014. By the end of 2016, the service will have more than 150 hours of original programming in HDR, a Netflix spokesperson told Engadget. Of those, over 100 hours are expected to hit the platform in August, a figure that won't be easy for competitors such as Amazon to match. While Marco Polo is the only show currently taking advantage of HDR (Dolby Vision, HDR10), more content is going to come in the next few months. That includes existing series like Bloodline, Daredevil, Jessica Jones and Chef's Table, as well as The Ridiculous Six movie. Netflix will also feature HDR in the upcoming Luke Cage and The Defenders shows, plus The Do-Over film starring Adam Sandler and more. Here's the full list, according to Netflix: A Series of Unfortunate Events Bloodline Chef's Table Hibana Knights of Sidonia Marvel's Daredevil Marvel's Iron Fist Marvel's Jessica Jones Marvel's Luke Cage Marvel's The Defenders The Do-Over The Ridiculous Six Unfortunately, there's no word on when these are scheduled to arrive. "Timing varies depending on the title, as we are in the process of remastering any existing TV shows and movies," a company spokesperson said. "It is also dependent on the title's launch date. We don't have any dates to confirm at this point in time." But hey, at least you can be excited about all the HDR stuff that's coming in the near future. source
  22. Netflix just posted its first-quarter earnings, and it looks like for investors it was a whiff. The company’s shares are diving more than 10% in extended trading, which more or less fits in with the usual behavior of Netflix — big spikes, up and down, all over the place and all the time. Even the last time the company reported earnings, shares spiked 8%, and we’re seeing that big reaction once again on its first-quarter earnings. Netflix is just one of those companies, it seems. So what’s the culprit here? Even though the company added a record number of new subscribers, it looks like its growth isn’t going absolutely bonkers even though the company is expanding to 130 new countries. The company said it would add 2 million new international subscribers in the second quarter, along with 500,000 new U.S. subscribers, after posting a record Q1. There’s an aspect of seasonality here, so it’s definitely not apples to apples, but still: 2.5 million doesn’t seem like a huge number — and especially after adding 3.3 million new streaming members in the second quarter last year. International expansion is going to be a huge uphill battle, for sure. While international subscribers make up more than 40% of the company’s subscriber base, as it goes to newer countries it’s going to have to find ways to capture local content and fill out a library that culturally fits with the country that it’s growing into. And while it’s investing in a ton of original content, that might not be a good fit for new countries either. Eventually Netflix is going to run out of room to expand in countries that culturally overlap with the U.S., and that’s going to require a different playbook. But Netflix isn’t the only company that’s offering a huge library of content for a subscription fee. Amazon is offering a standalone video streaming service separate from its Prime subscription, and of course there’s Google Play and iTunes, among other services, that have big libraries of content available. All this increasing competition and change in market dynamics means Netflix has to continue to show growth and show that its strategy is working. It did that this quarter with a record number of new subscribers, but it has to keep doing that, and show that it’ll be a sustainable public company that can outlast the influence of larger companies that treat video streaming as just one part of their empires. Are these extended libraries of content becoming more and more commoditized? Perhaps. And that may be part of the reason why the company is betting so much on original content, which will in theory help persuade people to go with Netflix instead of Amazon. As time goes on, that’s what’s going to be the differentiating factor between these services. These dynamics are in play increasingly in newer markets. As time goes on, even music streaming is becoming commoditized, for example, with Apple releasing Apple Music and sparring with Pandora. They both stream music and have similarly large libraries, so Pandora has to show it can differentiate itself from Apple — and meanwhile Apple is securing huge exclusives, like Taylor Swift’s new concert documentary. Whether Pandora can be a growing, independent publicly traded company is now a huge question for the service. Is Netflix’s strategy working as it faces increasing competition from behemoths? That, like Pandora, is a big question for the company. And for the $46.4 billion dollar company that just shaved off a tenth of its value, it’s one that it seems like it doesn’t have an answer to today. The Source
  23. As part of a recent HD leak of the Netflix movie Pee-wee's Big Holiday, Scene group 'Team QCF' has openly thanked HDFury and described the tech outfit as one of its sponsors. The mention is rather controversial as HDFury's parent company is being sued in the U.S. over the piracy-enabling capabilities of one of its devices. Late last year several pirated copies of 4K videos started to leak from both Netflix and Amazon. These leaks were unusual as online 4k streams were always well protected against pirates. While it’s still not clear how these videos were copied, several sources suggested that one of LegendSky’s latest HDFury devices may have been involved. These suspicions were corroborated a few weeks ago when Warner Bros. and Intel daughter company Digital Content Protection (DCP) sued the HDFury manufacturer over its ability to “strip” the latest HDCP encryption. The Chinese hardware manufacturer refutes this claim and has pointed out that its tools merely allow users to convert HDCP encryption, which would be fair use and permitted by law. While the case continues in court, a pirate group has stepped up to add some fuel to the fire. In an NFO file packaged with a recent release of the Netflix film “Pee-wee’s Big Holiday,” Scene group ‘Team QCF’ thanks HDFury while describing it as one of its sponsors. “We like to give a shout out to our sponsors without them this is not possible :p,” the NFO file reads, linking to the controversial HDFury 4k splitter. While the release in question is 1080p, the controversial hardware makes it possible to use a 4K source to get a better encode. The nfo In addition, Gatorade also gets a plug. “Drink Gatorade it will help your encodes,” the NFO file adds, linking to the Gatorade website. Team QCF doesn’t normally list any sponsors, and it’s pretty unlikely that HDFury or Gatorade have intentionally contributed to the Scene group. However, the wink to HDFury suggests that the devices are indeed used to rip 4K content from Netflix. At least, the group felt the urge to respond to the recent controversy over the HDFury devices. It is doubtful that the “endorsement” will be featured in court though. As an anonymous source, Team QCF may just as well be putting up a smokescreen for fun, or perhaps to divert attention from another vulnerability. That said, LegendSky is probably going to be unhappy with the fact that their HDFury devices are now openly being plugged by a well-known Scene group. Article source
  24. AT&T and Verizon were recently taking heat over their quality of Netflix videos. Now it looks like blame may lie somewhere else. March 24 (Reuters) - Netflix Inc said it had been lowering the quality of its video for customers watching its service on wireless networks such as AT&T and Verizon Communications for more than five years, The Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday. The Journal quoted Netflix as saying it had limited its videos to most wireless carriers across the globe, capping them at 600 kiliobits-per-second, to “protect consumers from exceeding mobile data caps.” The company also said that it does not throttle videos for T-Mobile US Inc and Sprint Corp users because they had “more consumer friendly policies,” the Journal reported. “We’re outraged to learn that Netflix is apparently throttling video for their AT&T customers without their knowledge or consent,” Jim Cicconi, AT&T senior executive vice president of external and legislative affairs wrote in an email. Netflix did not immediately respond to requests for comment. The Source
  25. If you are currently using a virtual private network, unblocker or proxy to access Netflix, you have likely been greeted by an "whoops, something went wrong..." message on the site on stream start. The error is listed as a streaming error, and the description found underneath it reads: Netflix You seem to be using an unblocker or proxy The proxy help page on the Netflix website provides little information besides what the company mentioned already in the error description: Netflix's only recommendation is to disable "any proxies, VPNs, or other software that might route your Internet traffic outside of your current region". Many unblocker and VPN services stopped working today, including Mediahint, Zenmate, Betternet, AppVPN, ExpressVPN, Tunnelbear, and Private Internet Access, and it is likely that a lot of services not listed here have stopped working as well. It is unclear how Netflix determines when a user is using a VPN connection to stream content on the site, but there are several possibilities how the service could have done it. Sign up for popular VPN and Unblocker services, record all IP addresses you get while connecting to the service, and block those. Check which IP ranges VPN and Unblocker companies have purchased, if possible, and block those. Check which IP addresses are used by multiple users on the site, verify who owns them, and block those that you can associate with these services. Compare a user's home country with IP addresses he or she connects to, scan those IP addresses for association with VPN and unblocking services, and add hits to the blocklist. What can you do about it? There is little that can be done about it. Most users probably don't want to set up their own VPN network as it is a technical process and comes with additional costs. One could try to connect to different servers offered by a service provider to see if some are not blocked. Many VPN services offer several entry locations in the US and sometimes other countries. This is a temporary solution at best though considering that more and more users of the service will utilize those. Another option is to find a smaller VPN provider and test if their servers are blocked by Netflix. Last but not least, you may vote with your wallet. Unsubscribe and let Netflix know that they have lost a customer because of this practice. Article source