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Udrive Announces New Initiatives

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Udrive, the app-based pay-per-minute car rental service, has taken another major step forward in bringing cheap, convenient and efficient short-term driving solutions to the masses, with the introduction of three ground-breaking new developments: Udrive Intercity, Udrive Premium Cars and Udrive in Ajman. The exciting news is yet another sign of the massive strides the innovative car rental company has made since it was founded just two years ago.

Udrive Intercity
Udrive’s Intercity service allows users to drive to and from Abu Dhabi, Sharjah and Ajman. An Intercity service fee of just AED 75 will be charged in addition to the normal trip charges, enabling customers to drive, for example, from Sharjah / Ajman to Abu Dhabi or vice versa, and end the trip there. Not only does Intercity afford customer’s the comfort of flexibility, it also offers Udrivers the cheapest way to travel between those Emirates, outside of the hassle of taking a bus. While Dubai is not yet included due to rules and regulations, customers can be assured that Udrive is in ongoing communication with authorities to have this option added as soon as possible.

Fixed Intercity service fees:
Sharjah / Ajman to Abu Dhabi                                               75 AED
Abu Dhabi to Sharjah / Ajman                                               75 AED

Udrive Premium Cars
Udrive has added a variety of brand-new premium cars, such as the Mercedes-Benz A-Class and Ford Mustang, to the fleet. Customers can enjoy these iconic luxury cars at a price of just 70 Fils per Minute or AED 279 per day, including fuel, parking, insurance, and a 200 km allowance per day.

Udrive in Ajman
Drivers can now avail of Udrive’s outstanding services in Ajman. Drive from anywhere to everywhere, starting at just 60 Fils per minute and 144 AED per day, including fuel, parking and insurance. Customers can also enjoy driving between Sharjah and Ajman at no additional charge.

The smartphone app-based service, which offers affordable rental car services across Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman and Abu Dhabi can be booked and reserved via the dedicated Udrive app. Available 24/7, nearby vehicles can be located and reserved via the live map on the Udrive app or website. Once registered, customers can unlock cars through their smartphones. Keyless access, the ability to park for free across key areas of the city, where permitted, and free petrol enable drivers to go anywhere, at any time.

Commenting on the latest encouraging developments for the company, CEO and Founder of Udrive, Hasib Khan stated, “We are delighted to be expanding Udrive’s services to cater to the needs of our ever-growing customer base here in the UAE. Our unprecedented growth and success over the past two years is an immense source of pride for the entire Udrive team. By ensuring that our cars are widely available at an increasing number of hotspot locations across Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman and Abu Dhabi, we are providing drivers with accessible, affordable car rental and convenience-on-demand.”

To start using the service, you just need to download the app and register, or follow the registration instructions on the Udrive website. All you need is an Emirates ID, Driving License and Debit/Credit card. If you don’t have your own card, you can contact the Udrive team for alternative cash payment methods. Tourists will also be able to avail of the service by using their passports instead of Emirates IDs. They must also have a valid International Driving License recognised by the UAE government, which must be at least 1 year old.

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Free Fire to Celebrate 5th Anniversary with Justin Bieber

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Free Fire’s 5th-anniversary celebrations are off to an exciting start as it launches a spectacular 5-part extravaganza to delight fans and players. The festivities are set to culminate on 27 August with several in-game content drops involving global icon Justin Bieber, who is headlining this special anniversary collaboration. The Free Fire community can revel and reminisce iconic anniversary celebrations over the years with the weekly rollout of 5 specially-designed chapters – Battle, Style, Map, Hero and Memory. Experience new in-game events, gain exclusive rewards, and enjoy Free Fire like never before. 

Free Fire will host its first ever in-game performance on 27 August, with Justin Bieber set to debut an exclusive track “Beautiful Love (Free Fire)” as part of the 5th-anniversary celebrations. Players can look forward to immersing themselves in an interactive set-up, groove along to custom emotes, participate in minigames and potentially even perform with Justin Bieber’s avatar on stage. A permanent in-game character modelled after Justin Bieber will also be unveiled and distributed to all players.

To commemorate this unique celebration, Free Fire will also give away the highly coveted Magic Cube to players, allowing them to easily redeem their favourite exclusive costume bundles and battle in style. Players will be able to try their hand at various daily and time-limited missions, accumulating tokens which can be swapped for exclusive rewards in the exchange store. With iconic costumes and classic guns available to unlock during these missions, players can expect a nostalgic and exciting experience every day.

Expansive, dynamic maps are iconic features of Free Fire and players can look forward to the release of a new map Nexterra, which has been enhanced with various elements to elevate and diversify the battle experience for players. There will also be new game modes for players to explore, including:

  • A new limited-time mode Free For All. Set against the backdrop of El Pastelo, it will simulate intense close combat point-based matches where up to 16 players will battle it out. Players will be able to select their own weapons and can obtain points by eliminating other players. Matches will be decided by the first player to accumulate a predetermined amount of points.
  • An exclusive 5th-anniversary mode Droid Apocalypse, which will see 12 players compete in each match, vying to become the ultimate droid. Players will get to select their own type of droid and convert as many humans as possible before the timer runs out. When only a predetermined number of humans remain, they will transform into hunters and have enhanced stats, as well as the ability to permanently eliminate droids. Points can be gained based on performance and the player with the most points after three rounds will win the match.
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New Malicious Campaign Hunts Discord Messenger Users

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On July 26, using the internal automated system for monitoring open-source repositories, Kaspersky researchers identified a malicious campaign dubbed LofyLife. The campaign employed 4 malicious packages spreading Volt Stealer and Lofy Stealer malware in the open-source npm repository to gather various information from victims, including Discord tokens and credit card information, and to spy on them over time.

The npm repository is a public collection of open-source code packages widely used in front-end web apps, mobile apps, robots and routers, and also to serve countless needs of the JavaScript community. Its popularity makes the LofyLife campaign even more dangerous, as it could potentially have affected numerous users of the repository.

The identified malicious repositories appeared to be packages used for ordinary tasks such as formatting headlines or certain gaming functions, however, they contained highly obfuscated malicious JavaScript and Python code. This made them harder to analyze when being uploaded to the repository. The malicious payload consisted of malware written in Python dubbed Volt Stealer, and a JavaScript malware dubbed Lofy Stealer, which possesses numerous features.

Volt Stealer was used to stealing Discord tokens from the infected machines along with the victim’s IP address and upload them via HTTP. The Lofy Stealer, a new development from the attackers, is able to infect Discord client files and monitor the victim’s actions – detecting when a user logs in, changes email or password details, enables or disables multi-factor authentication and adds new payment methods, including full credit card details. Collected information is also uploaded to the remote endpoint.

“Developers rely heavily on open-source code repositories – they use them to make IT-solution developments faster and more efficient and significantly contribute to the development of the IT industry as a whole. As the LofyLife campaign shows, however, even reputable repositories cannot be trusted by default – all code, including open-source code, that a developer injects into his products becomes their own responsibility. We’ve added detections of this malware to our products, so users who run our solutions will be able to identify whether they have been infected and remove the malware,” comments Leonid Bezvershenko, a security researcher at Kaspersky’s Global Research and Analysis Team.

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Battlegrounds Mobile India (BGMI) Removed From Google Play Store and Apple App Store in India

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India blocked a popular battle-royale format game from Krafton Inc, a South Korean company backed by China’s Tencent, using a law it has invoked since 2020 to ban Chinese apps on national security concerns, a source said. Battlegrounds Mobile India (BGMI) was removed from Google Play Store and Apple’s App Store as of Thursday evening in India.

The removal of BGMI, which had more than 100 million users in India, comes after India’s 2020 ban of another Krafton title, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG). The PUBG crackdown was part of New Delhi’s ban of more than 100 mobile apps of Chinese origins, following a months-long border standoff between the nuclear-armed rivals.

The ban has expanded since to cover more than 300 apps, including popular gaming app ‘Free Fire’, owned by Singapore’s technology group Sea Ltd. Tencent held a 13.5% stake in Krafton as of end-March through an investment vehicle, according to Krafton’s regulatory filing.

Krafton shares slumped more than 9% on the news on Friday, later paring losses to trade down 4.5% as of afternoon trade in Seoul. The company said in May India accounted for a high single-digit percentage of its revenue in the first quarter of this year.

According to news reports, a Google spokesperson said it blocked the game following a government directive. In Seoul, a Krafton spokesperson said the developer was talking to relevant authorities and companies to figure out the exact situation regarding the suspension in the two major app stores in India.

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