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The Latest Security Vulnerability: Your Toilet
Posted by News Fetcher on August 04 '13 at 03:30 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's reverse-the-flow department:
NobleSavage writes "We all new it was just a matter of time. With the rush to put more and more appliances on-line Japanese toilet maker Satis, one of Japan's largest commode companies, has finally networked the toilet. Just as you would have predicted, the information security company Trustwave Holdings has published an advisory regarding Satis-brand toilets. According to Trustwave, every Satis toilet has the same hard-coded Bluetooth PIN, which means any person using the 'My Satis' [Android] application can control any Satis toilet."

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Microsoft Cuts Surface Pro Price By $100
Posted by News Fetcher on August 04 '13 at 02:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's slashing-prices department:
SmartAboutThings writes "After discounting the Surface RT tablet worldwide by 30 percent, Microsoft is now cutting the price of its Surface Pro tablet by one hundred dollars. Steve Ballmer himself has recently declared that he was unhappy with the number of tablets Microsoft has managed to sell. The price cut offer is valid between August 4th and August 29th. It might continue or stop, according to the supply. The price cut is applicable to Surface Pro 64 GB & 128 GB models."

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Half of Tor Sites Compromised, Including TORMail
Posted by News Fetcher on August 04 '13 at 01:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's out-of-action department:
First time accepted submitter elysiuan writes "The founder of Freedom Hosting has been arrested in Ireland and is awaiting extradition to USA. In a crackdown the FBI claims to be about hunting down pedophiles, half of the onion sites in the TOR network have been compromised, including the e-mail counterpart of TOR deep web, TORmail. The FBI has also embedded a 0-day Javascript attack against Firefox 17 on Freedom Hosting's server. It appears to install a tracking cookie and a payload that phones home to the FBI when the victim resumes non-TOR browsing. Interesting implications for The Silk Road and the value of Bitcoin stemming from this. The attack relies on two extremely unsafe practices when using TOR: Enabled Javascript, and using the same browser for TOR and non-TOR browsing. Any users accessing a Freedom Hosting hosted site since 8/2 with javascript enabled are potentially compromised."

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Pwnie Awards 2013 Winners: Barnaby Jack, Edward Snowden, Hakin9, Evad3rs
Posted by News Fetcher on August 04 '13 at 01:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's and-the-winner-is department:
hypnosec writes "Winners of the Pwnie Awards 2013 were announced at a special event during the Black Hat security conference in Las Vegas. The highlight of the awards were Edward Snowden, Hakin9 and Barnaby Jack. Barnaby Jack was given posthumous Pwnie award for 'lifetime achievement' while Edward Snowden and the NSA were jointly given the award of 'Epic 0wnage'. Hakin9 on the other hand was awarded 'Most Epic FAIL'. Best Privilege Escalation Bug award went to David Wang aka planetbeing and the Evad3rs team."

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Did Goldman Sachs Overstep in Criminally Charging Its Ex-Programmer?
Posted by News Fetcher on August 04 '13 at 12:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's all-worked-up department:
theodp writes "Programmer Sergey Aleynikov holds the dubious distinction of being the only Goldman Sachs employee since the 2008 financial meltdown to have actually served time in prison. After leaving Goldman, Sergey was accused of stealing computer code from his former employer and sentenced to eight years in federal prison. Exactly what he'd done neither the FBI nor the jury seemed to understand, so Moneyball author and financial journalist Michael Lewis decided to give Sergey a second trial, assembling a jury made up of programmers and people familiar with high-frequency trading, and asking them to level a judgment. Their verdict? Not guilty. 'I think it's quite possible that Goldman itself didn't know what he had taken, the value of it, the purpose of it, or anything else,' Lewis concludes. 'There was such turnover at Goldman, and the system was such a hairball, that I think people knew pieces but they didn't know the whole. Serge might have been as close as there was to an expert on the how the whole system worked. I think the valuable thing that Serge took when he walked out the door was himself.' Aleynikov was released on appeal in 2011, but subsequently re-arrested on state charges the following year, so he's still not out of the woods yet."

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Peter Capaldi Unveiled As the New Star of Doctor Who
Posted by News Fetcher on August 04 '13 at 11:15 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's warming-the-sonic-screwdriver department:
Dave Knott writes "After months of speculation since Matt Smith announced that he was exiting the long-running British SF show Doctor Who, the BBC has announced the latest actor who will be taking on the titular role. In a live television announcement, with several previous stars on hand, it was revealed that Peter Capaldi will be portraying the newest incarnation of The Doctor. Capaldi is 55 years old, ending a recent trend towards younger Doctors, and had been flagged by bookmakers as the odd-on favourite in recent days, to the extent that they had suspended betting on the issue. He is best known for his role as the foul-mouthed government bureaucrat Malcolm Tucker on the The Thick Of It and has in fact showed up on Doctor Who previously as a guest star. But now Capaldi is set to take his place in the iconic lead role. To help celebrate the 50th anniversary, and the naming of the next Dr. Who, an ice cream shop put up a 35ft straw Dalek sculpture."

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30 Percent of Mobile Malware Made By 10 Russian Firms
Posted by News Fetcher on August 04 '13 at 10:15 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's bad-apples department:
An anonymous reader writes "Almost a third of all mobile malware is made by 10 Russian organizations, according to Lookout Mobile Security. It made that claim after looking at its detections for this year, and after an investigation that uncovered the malware HQs' operations, which saw thousands of affiliates working alongside the factories to dupe users into downloading rogue apps. Those apps are fairly crude, sending SMS messages to premium rate numbers in the background, whilst users think they have downloaded a legitimate application. Lookout isn't revealing the names of the malware factories, however, nor is it divulging how far law enforcement are involved in cracking down on the Russian organizations. It is presenting its full findings at the DEF CON 21 conference."

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Plants Communicate Using Fungi
Posted by News Fetcher on August 04 '13 at 08:45 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's shroom-phone department:
Shipud writes "In response to aphid attacks, some plants produce chemicals that repel the aphids and attract wasps, the aphids' natural enemies. Researchers at the University of Aberdeen have shown that plants attacked by aphids can communicate that information to neighboring plants via existing networks of fungi in the soil. Thus fungal symbiosis with plants is shown to be taken one step further: not only do they provide nutrients to plants, they also function as communication hardware."

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New JavaScript-Based Timing Attack Steals All Browser Source Data
Posted by News Fetcher on August 04 '13 at 08:00 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's protect-ya-neck department:
Trailrunner7 writes "Security researchers have been warning about the weaknesses and issues with JavaScript and iframes for years now, but the problem goes far deeper than even many of them thought. A researcher in the U.K. has developed a new technique that uses a combination of JavaScript-based timing attacks and other tactics to read any information he wants from a targeted user's browser and sites the victim is logged into. The attack works on all of the major browsers and researchers say there's no simple fix to prevent it."

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Open Source Drug Discovery Prompts a Fundamental Heart Failure Breakthrough
Posted by News Fetcher on August 04 '13 at 08:00 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's fixing-a-broken-heart department:
An anonymous reader writes "Case-Western researchers, led by Saptarsi Haldar MD., have made a fundamental discovery that could prevent heart failure after reviewing the "chemical recipe" for a cancer-treating molecule made open source by Jay Bradner MD. (whose TED Talk articulates the open source approach to drug discovery) This cross-discipline discovery, which was published in the August 2013 issue of CELL, is a fundamental breakthrough in heart failure research, and highlights the value of an open source approach outside of software development."

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Pwnie Awards 2013 Winners: Barnaby Jack, Edward Snowden, NMap, Evad3rs
Posted by News Fetcher on August 04 '13 at 08:00 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's and-the-winner-is department:
hypnosec writes "Winners of the Pwnie Awards 2013 were announced at a special event during the Black Hat security conference in Las Vegas. The highlight of the awards were Edward Snowden, NMap and Barnaby Jack. Barnaby Jack was given posthumous Pwnie award for 'lifetime achievement' while Edward Snowden and the NSA were jointly given the award of 'Epic 0wnage'. Nmap on the other hand was awarded 'Most Epic FAIL'. Best Privilege Escalation Bug award went to David Wang aka planetbeing and the Evad3rs team."

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Rupert Murdoch Wants To Destroy Australia's National Broadband Network
Posted by News Fetcher on August 04 '13 at 08:00 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's with-his-fully-operational-battlestation department:
pcritter writes "With the Australian Federal Election looming, Rupert Murdoch, the owner of Australia's biggest newspapers, is looking to unseat the incumbent Labor government over its centerpiece National Broadband Network policy. The media mogul sees the NBN as a threat to his media empire and has ordered newspapers to attack the project at every opportunity. The NBN seeks to bring 100Mbps Fibre-To-The-Premises internet to 93% of the country with wireless and satellite for the remainder. It currently reaches 4% of the population and is slated to complete in 2021. The conservative opposition has promised to dramatically scale back the project."

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Ask Slashdot: Cyber Insurance. Solution Or Snake Oil?
Posted by News Fetcher on August 04 '13 at 08:00 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's don't-fix-it-just-insure department:
onehitwonder writes "A recent article in The Wall Street Journal's CIO Journal argues in favor of the benefits of cyber liability insurance — policies designed to help companies cover costs they incur in the aftermath of data breaches (whether for investigation, remediation, customer notification, regulatory fines or legal settlements). Two Deloitte consultants interviewed for the article argue that cyber insurance can help companies offset the increasingly staggering costs of a data breach. (Several of the biggest data breaches in recent history, including Heartland and TJX, have cost those companies hundreds of millions of dollars. A Mizuho Investors Securities analyst estimated the total cost of the 2011 Sony data breaches at $1.25 billion.) The question is: will insurance providers really come through when companies begin filing claims on their cyber liability policies, or will they find ways out? A 2011 article from Computerworld notes that even though a growing number of companies have been purchasing cyber insurance, it's hard to find examples where one of those policies has actually covered the costs of a data breach. Moreover, the Computerworld article points out that many cyber insurance policies cover only the cost of re-creating whatever data may have been lost during the breach — not notification costs, legal costs or other related expenses."

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New York Times Sells Boston Globe At 93% Loss
Posted by News Fetcher on August 04 '13 at 08:00 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's not-bad-for-a-newspaper department:
An anonymous reader writes "The New York Times announced this morning that it has sold the Boston Globe newspaper and related assets, including the Boston.com website and the Worcester Telegram & Gazette daily paper, to John Henry, the principal owner of the Boston Red Sox. The price was $70 million in cash, a small fraction of the $1.1 billion the Times paid to acquire the Globe in 1993, and does not include assumption of the Globe's pension liabilities, estimated at $110 million, which will remain with the Times. Since then the paper's weekday circulation has fallen from 507,000 to 246,000 (including digital), mirroring the declining fortunes of many other daily newspapers across the country. Henry, who also owns the Liverpool FC and various other sports- and media- related properties, made his fortune in the investment industry; however, his hedge fund company recently closed after several years of poor performance."

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Samsung Smart TV: Basically a Linux Box Running Vulnerable Web Apps
Posted by News Fetcher on August 03 '13 at 04:30 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's for-sufficiently-dumb-values-of-smart department:
chicksdaddy writes "Two researchers at the Black Hat Briefings security conference Thursday said Smart TVs from electronics giant Samsung are rife with vulnerabilities in the underlying operating system and Java-based applications. Those vulnerabilities could be used to steal sensitive information on the device owner, or even spy on the television's surroundings using an integrated webcam. Speaking in Las Vegas, Aaron Grattafiori and Josh Yavor, both security engineers at the firm ISEC Partners, described Smart TVs as Linux boxes outfitted with a Webkit-based browser. They demonstrated how vulnerabilities in SmartHub, the Java-based application that is responsible for many of the Smart TV's interactive features, could be exploited by a local or remote attacker to surreptitiously activate and control an embedded webcam on the SmartTV, launch drive-by download attacks and steal local user credentials and those of connected devices, browser history, cache and cookies as well as credentials for the local wireless network. Samsung has issued patches for many of the affected devices and promises more changes in its next version of the Smart TV. This isn't the first time Smart TVs have been shown to be vulnerable. In December, researchers at the firm ReVuln also disclosed a vulnerability in the Smart TV's firmware that could be used to launch remote attacks."

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Bradley Manning and the 'Hacker Madness' Scare Tactic
Posted by News Fetcher on August 03 '13 at 03:30 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's sounds-like-a-j.-k.-rowling-novel department:
New submitter wabrandsma sends this excerpt from New Scientist:
"The Bradley Manning case continues a trend of government prosecutions that use familiarity with digital tools and knowledge of computers as a scare tactic and a basis for obtaining grossly disproportionate and unfair punishments, strategies enabled by broad, vague laws like the CFAA and the Espionage Act. Let's call this the 'hacker madness' strategy. Using it, the prosecution portrays actions taken by someone using a computer as more dangerous or scary than they actually are by highlighting the digital tools used to a nontechnical or even technophobic judge. ... We've seen this trick before. In a case that we at the Electronic Frontier Foundation handled in 2009, Boston College police used the fact that our client worked on a Linux operating system with "a black screen with white font" as part of a basis for a search warrant. Luckily the Massachusetts Supreme Court tossed out the warrant after EFF got involved, but who knows what would have happened had we not been there. And happily, Oracle got a big surprise when it tried a similar trick in Oracle v. Google and discovered that the judge was a programmer who sharply called them on it."

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Extraneous Network Services Leave Home Routers Unsecure
Posted by News Fetcher on August 03 '13 at 02:15 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's doing-it-wrong department:
An anonymous reader writes "Today's home routers include a multitude of extra functionality, such as the ability to act as a file and print server. An article from CNET shows how an attacker can use vulnerabilities in these services, such as buffer overflows, directory traversal, race conditions, command injections, and bad permissions to take over the router from the local network without knowing the administrative password. Some of the worst vulnerabilities were in undocumented, proprietary services that users cannot disable and allowed an attacker to achieve a root shell. The researchers who discovered the vulnerabilities will be demonstrating them at the Wall of Sheep and Wireless Village at DEF CON."

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Obama Administration Overrules iPhone Trade Ban
Posted by News Fetcher on August 03 '13 at 01:15 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's did-not-see-that-one-coming department:
Back in June, the U.S. International Trade Commission issued an import ban on the iPhone 4 and iPad 2 3G due to patent violations. Now, the White House has exercised its privilege to overrule the ban. In his letter to the ITC (PDF), Ambassador Michael Froman said 'he was not making a decision about the merits of Samsung's case, or its right to seek compensation. Rather, he emphasized that because the patent in question was now a widely held technology standard, banning the products in question would be too disruptive to consumers and the economy.' This is the first time an ITC decision has been overruled since 1987.

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Why PBS Won't Do Android
Posted by News Fetcher on August 03 '13 at 12:15 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's it's-a-gateway-operating-system department:
bogaboga writes "You might be wondering why the U.S. Public Broadcasting Service doesn't have a compelling Android footprint. I was wondering too; until they provided the answer. They say, 'Simply put, it’s too complicated for us to even consider an Android app for the first version; we’ll continue to support those viewers with mobile web. ... As we’re focused on the tablet for this project, we’re only designing for the larger screen sizes. But even there, there are a wide range of sizes and aspect ratios. It’s possible to build flexible sizing for these screen layouts, just as we do for the range of desktop web screen sizes. But the flip side to these wide variations is that in a touch experience, ergonomics plays an important role in the design. Navigational elements need to be within easy reach of the edges of the screens since people often are holding their tablets. If the experience is not fine-tuned to each variation the experience would suffer.' They also cite fragmentation. I'm left wondering whether they didn't find support for various screen sizes on Android developer website. Their budget is undoubtedly limited; are their concerns legit? What companies and organizations have developed Android applications that are good to work with on various screen sizes?"

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Woz & Jobs 2.0: Leap Motion's Holtz & Buckwald
Posted by News Fetcher on August 03 '13 at 11:00 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's not-until-one-has-an-awesome-Woz-beard department:
theodp writes "Over at Popular Science, Tom Foste takes a look at the $79 Leap Motion controller and inventors David Holz and Michael Buckwald, best friends since they were fifth graders in Florida. Potential applications for the device are many, as proof-of-concept demos ranging from controlling Windows 8 (video) to driving JPL's Athlete Rover (video) show. 'If we're successful and build something that is a fundamentally better way to interact with a computer, there are essentially an unlimited number of use cases,' Buckwald says. 'Eventually, anything that has a computer could be controlled with it—every laptop, every desktop, every smartphone, every tablet, every TV, every surgical station, every robot, potentially even a Leap in every car.' And even if 'it's got some growing pains to experience,' writes Ars Technica's Lee Hutchinson, 'it's cool-it's extremely cool. It's not yet a game-changing interface device, but it could be.'"

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