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A New Use For Browser Fingerprints: Defeating Spoofing
Posted by News Fetcher on May 07 '17 at 06:11 AM
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's busted-by-behavior department:
AnonymousCube writes: Researchers at the University of Adelaide have found a new use for browser fingerprints: uncovering and defeating spoofing by web browsers. By using machine learning on browser fingerprints they were able to correctly guess the OS or browser family of a browser 90% of the time, and defeat operating system and browser family spoofing 76% of the time. This was done with small training sets of less than 1000 fingerprints, so accuracy with a much larger training set, like the size of the EFF's Panopticlick database should give even better results; you can help prove this, and see what their site thinks your browser family and OS is, by submitting your fingerprint to their site.

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The FBI Defends Deploying Malware From A Tor Child Porn Site
Posted by News Fetcher on May 07 '17 at 04:50 AM
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's news-for-nodes department:
An anonymous reader writes:
The FBI issued a press release about the 30-year prison sentence for a 58-year-old Florida man running "the world's largest child pornography website, with more than 150,000 users around the world." But their investigation involved what Gizmodo describes as "a decision controversial to this day" -- taking over the child pornography site and running it "for almost two weeks while distributing malware designed to unmask its visitors." Thursday the FBI described it as "a court-approved network investigative technique" which led to more than 1,000 leads in the U.S. and "thousands more" for law enforcement partners in other countries, leading to arrests in the EU, Israel, Turkey, Peru, Malaysia, Chile, and the Ukraine. Those 1,000 U.S. leads led to "at least 350 U.S-based individuals arrested", as well as actual prosecutions of 25 producers of child pornography and 51 hands-on abusers, while 55 children were "identified or rescued" in America, and another 296 internationally who were sexually abused.
Though Motherboard describes it as hacking "over 8,000 computers in 120 countries based on one warrant," the FBI calls it their "most successful effort to date against users of Tor's hidden service sites," adding that the agency "has numerous investigations involving the dark web." Though they'd soon became aware of the site's existence, "given the nature of how Tor hidden services work, there was not much we could do about it" -- until a foreign law enforcement agency discovered the site had "slipped up" by revealing its actual IP address, and notified the U.S. investigators. The FBI also says the investigation "has opened new avenues for international cooperation in efforts to prosecute child abusers around the world."
The site's two other administrators -- both men in their 40s -- were also given 20-year prison sentences earlier this year.

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Ask Slashdot: Is ReactOS A Serious Alternative To Windows?
Posted by News Fetcher on May 07 '17 at 12:51 AM
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's reacting-to-ReactOS department:
dryriver writes: So I just discovered the ReactOS 0.4.4 Alpha... It seems like this is basically a free, open source Windows replacement in the making. Does anyone have serious experience with ReactOS?

Do you think that ReactOS will ever reach the point where you can basically say "bye bye" to Microsoft Windows, but keep using all your favorite Windows software under ReactOS? Will this be able to run Windows Games and DCC software that taps into the processing power of the GPU? Or will ReactOS wind up being "mildly compatible" with Windows software -- e.g. basic Office productivity type software works, but professional-grade 3D software like Maya/CATIA does not?

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HandBrake Urges Mac Users To Verify Recent Download, Says Mirror Server Was Compromised
Posted by News Fetcher on May 07 '17 at 12:51 AM
By msmash from Slashdot's security-woes department:
HandBrake team, writing on their forum: Anyone who has downloaded HandBrake on Mac between [02/May/2017 14:30 UTC] and [06/May/2017 11:00 UTC] needs to verify the SHA1 / 256 sum of the file before running it. Anyone who has installed HandBrake for Mac needs to verify their system is not infected with a Trojan. You have 50/50 chance if you've downloaded HandBrake during this period. If you see a process called "Activity_agent" in the OSX Activity Monitor application. You are infected. HandBrake is a popular, open-source video conversion tool. The team hasn't issued any advisory for Windows users.

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HandBrake Urges Mac Users To Verify Recent Dowload, Says Mirror Server Was Compromised
Posted by News Fetcher on May 06 '17 at 11:30 PM
By msmash from Slashdot's security-woes department:
HandBrake team, writing on their forum: Anyone who has downloaded HandBrake on Mac between [02/May/2017 14:30 UTC] and [06/May/2017 11:00 UTC] needs to verify the SHA1 / 256 sum of the file before running it. Anyone who has installed HandBrake for Mac needs to verify their system is not infected with a Trojan. You have 50/50 chance if you've downloaded HandBrake during this period. If you see a process called "Activity_agent" in the OSX Activity Monitor application. You are infected. HandBrake is a popular, open-source video conversion tool. The team hasn't issued any advisory for Windows users.

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Swarm AI Spectacularly Fails To Predict Kentucky Derby Winners A Second Time
Posted by News Fetcher on May 06 '17 at 07:31 PM
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's running-for-the-roses department:
Thursday TechRepublic described the big prediction: In May 2016, a relatively unknown startup called Unanimous A.I. made big headlines when its AI-based platform used collective intelligence to create a prediction for the Kentucky Derby superfecta -- the top four horses, in order of finish. It made exactly the right pick, which returned $541.10 on a $1 bet... Churchill Downs took notice last year and decided to collaborate with Unanimous A.I. to create an official AI swarm made up of handicappers and racing analysts to predict the top finishers for this year's Derby. The track is calling this the "super-expert" Derby pick. On Wednesday, the handicappers logged into Unanimous A.I.'s UNU platform from across the US, and answered a series of questions that gradually narrowed down their picks from the field of 20 horses until they created consensus on the top four picks and the order of finish. Here's my report on the results...

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Debian 8.8 Released
Posted by News Fetcher on May 06 '17 at 06:01 PM
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's delivering-Debian department:
prisoninmate quotes Softpedia:
The Debian Project announced today Debian GNU/Linux 8.8, the most advanced stable version of the Jessie series, which brings corrections for numerous packages and various security flaws discovered and patched since the release of the Debian GNU/Linux 8.7 maintenance update back in mid-January 2017... "This update mainly adds corrections for security problems to the stable release, along with a few adjustments for serious problems. Security advisories were already published separately and are referenced where available," reads today's announcement.

"Please note that this update does not constitute a new version of Debian 8 but only updates some of the packages included. There is no need to throw away old 'jessie' CDs or DVDs but only to update via an up-to-date Debian mirror after an installation, to cause any out of date packages to be updated."
Debian 8.8 contains more than 150 bug fixes and security updates.

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Facebook Closes Its Oculus VR Studio
Posted by News Fetcher on May 06 '17 at 04:41 PM
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's virtually-gone department:
puddingebola writes: Facebook has closed Oculus VR Studio. The studio was a maker of original VR films, but now will only assist other studios. This makes it official, as the studio had been shuttered since the departure of Palmer Luckey.
In a blog post the company emphasized that "We're still absolutely committed to growing the VR film and creative content ecosystem."

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'Weaponized' Twitter Bots Spread Info From French Campaign Hack
Posted by News Fetcher on May 06 '17 at 03:22 PM
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's les-tweets department:
"The French media and public have been warned not to spread details about a hacking attack on presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron," writes Slashdot reader schwit1, with the election commission threatening criminal charges. But meanwhile, "the leaked documents have since spread like wildfire across social media, particularly on Twitter," reports Recode.
Nicole Perlroth, a cybersecurity reporter with the New York Times, pointed out that an overwhelming amount of the tweets shared about the Macron campaign hack appear to come from automated accounts, commonly referred to as bots. About 40% of the tweets using the hashtag #MacronGate, Perlroth noted, are actually coming from only 5% of accounts using the hashtag. One account tweeted 1,668 times in 24 hours, which is more than one tweet per minute with no sleep... Twitter appears not to have done anything to combat what is obviously a bot attack, despite the fact the social media company is well aware of the problem of bot accounts being used to falsely popularize political issues during high-profile campaigns to give the impression of a groundswell of grassroots support.
The Times reporter later tweeted "This could be @twitter's death knell. Algorithms exist to deal with this. Why aren't you using them?" And one Sunlight Foundation official called the discovery "statistics from the front lines of the disinformation wars," cc-ing both Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and Mark Zuckerberg. In other news, the BBC reports France's president has promised to "respond" to the hacking incident, giving no further details, but saying he was aware of the risks because they'd "happened elsewhere"."

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Startup Offers A Chip Based On The Open Source RISC-V Architecture
Posted by News Fetcher on May 06 '17 at 03:21 PM
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's silicon-dreams department:
angry tapir shared this news from Computerworld:
An open-source chip project is out to break the dominance of proprietary chips offered by Intel, AMD, and ARM... A startup called SiFive is the first to make a business out of the [open source] RISC-V architecture. The company is also the first to convert the RISC-V instruction set architecture into actual silicon. The company on Thursday announced it has created two new chip designs that can be licensed... but the company will not charge royalties. That makes it attractive alternative compared to chip designs from ARM and Imagination Technologies, which charge licensing fees and royalties.
One of RISC-V's inventors co-founded the company, and he says that support is growing -- pointing out that there's already a fork of Linux for RISC-V.

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After 19 Years CMU Discontinues Cyrus IMAP In Favor Of Microsoft Exchange And Gmail
Posted by News Fetcher on May 06 '17 at 02:01 PM
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's mail-migrations department:
Long-time Slashdot reader Hobart writes: The Cyrus IMAP server, created by and for Carnegie Mellon University, has lost support of its founding institution. As of last fall, they announced that student and faculty email will be run on Microsoft Exchange, or Google's Gmail suite of apps. The company FastMail seems to be the primary driver of Cyrus IMAPd software now, per their December blog post. Are any Slashdot readers migrating their Cyrus-based services, or are there compelling reasons to chose it over the competition?

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Red Hat And IBM Will Vote Against Java's Next Release
Posted by News Fetcher on May 06 '17 at 02:01 PM
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's contentious-community-processes department:
An anonymous reader quotes InfoWorld:
The next edition of standard Java had been proceeding toward its planned July 27 release after earlier bumps in the road over modularity. But now Red Hat and IBM have opposed the module plan. "JDK 9 might be held up by this," Oracle's Georges Saab, vice president of development for the Java platform, said late Wednesday afternoon. "As is the case for all major Java SE releases, feedback from the Java Community Process may affect the timeline..."
Red Hat's Scott Stark, vice president of architecture for the company's JBoss group, expressed a number of concerns about how applications would work with the module system and its potential impact on the planned Java Enterprise Edition 9. Stark also said the module system, which is featured in Java Specification Request 376 and Project Jigsaw, could result in two worlds of Java: one for Jigsaw and one for everything else, including Java SE classloaders and OSGI. Stark's analysis received input from others in the Java community, including Sonatype.
"The result will be a weakened Java ecosystem at a time when rapid change is occurring in the server space with increasing use of languages like Go," Stark wrote, also predicting major challenges for applications dealing with services and reflection. His critique adds that "In some cases the implementation...contradicts years of modular application deployment best practices that are already commonly employed by the ecosystem as a whole." And he ultimately concludes that this effort to modularize Java has limitations which "almost certainly prevent the possibility of Java EE 9 from being based on Jigsaw, as to do so would require existing Java EE vendors to completely throw out compatibility, interoperability, and feature parity with past versions of the Java EE specification."

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How The 1997 'NESticle' Emulator Redefined Retro Gaming
Posted by News Fetcher on May 06 '17 at 12:41 PM
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's successful-shareware department:
Slashdot reader martiniturbide writes: For those who lived the console emulator and retrogaming boom on the late 90's there is this interesting article about the story of NESticle posted at Motherboard. NESticle was a Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) console emulator that had a huge success in the early internet era and helped to start the emulation scene. The author of the story, Ernie Smith, also posted an extra second part of the story...
NESticle was "the product of a talented programmer who designed a hit shareware game while he was still in high school," according to the article, which credits the 1997 emulator with popularizing now-standard emulator features like movie recording and save states, as well as user modifications. Programmed in assembly code and C++ and targeting 468 processors, NESticle was followed by emulators for the Sega Genesis and the Capcom arcade platform before Icer Addis moved on to a professional career in the gaming industry, working for Electronic Arts and Zynga. Leave a comment if you're a fan of classic game emulators -- or if you just want to share your own fond memories of that late-'90s emulation scene.

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New Shodan Tool Tracks Down Botnet Command-And-Control Servers
Posted by News Fetcher on May 06 '17 at 11:21 AM
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's malware-search-engines department:
An anonymous reader quotes The Stack:
Search engine Shodan has announced a tool to help businesses hunt out and block traffic from malware command-and-control servers. The new Malware Hunter service, which has been designed in a collaborative project with threat intelligence company Recorded Future, continuously scans the internet to locate control panels for different remote access Trojans, including Gh0st RAT, Dark Comet, njRAT, XtremeRAT, Net Bus and Poison Ivy. The internet crawler identifies botnet C2 servers by connecting to public IP addresses and sending traffic which mimics that of an infected device. If the receiver computer sends back a response, that server is flagged.

The article reports that Shodan's Malware Hunter tool has already traced over 5,700 RAT servers -- more than 4,000 of them based in the United States.

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39 Years Ago The World's First Spam Was Sent
Posted by News Fetcher on May 06 '17 at 10:01 AM
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's eggs-bacon-spam-and-sausage department:
An anonymous reader write:
Wednesday was the 39th anniversary of the world's first spam, sent by Gary Thuerk, a marketer for Massachusetts' Digital Equipment Corporation in 1978 to over 300 users on Arpanet. It was written in all capital letters, and its body began with 273 more email addresses that wouldn't fit in the header. The DEC marketer "was reportedly trying to flag the attention of the burgeoning California tech community," reports the San Jose Mercury News. The message touted two demonstrations of the DECSYSTEM-20, a PDP-10 mainframe computer.
An official at the Defense Communication Agency immediately called it "a flagrant violation of the use of Arpanet as the network is to be used for official U.S. government business only," adding "Appropriate action is being taken to preclude its occurence again." But at the time a 24-year-old Richard Stallman -- then a graduate student at MIT -- claimed he wouldn't have reminded receiving the message...until someone forwarded him a copy. Stallman then responded "I eat my words... Nobody should be allowed to send a message with a header that long, no matter what it is about."
The article reports that today the spam industry earns about $200 million each year, while $20 billion is spent trying to block spam. And the New York Times even has a quote from the DEC employee who sent that first spam. "People either say, 'Wow! You sent the first spam!' or they act like I gave them cooties."

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Fedora Will Get Full Mp3 Support, As IIS Fraunhofer Terminates Mp3 Licensing Program
Posted by News Fetcher on May 06 '17 at 10:01 AM
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's adding-encoding department:
An anonymous reader quotes Fedora Magazine:
Both MP3 encoding and decoding will soon be officially supported in Fedora. Last November the patents covering MP3 decoding expired and Fedora Workstation enabled MP3 decoding via the mpg123 library and GStreamer... The MP3 codec and Open Source have had a troubled relationship over the past decade, especially within the United States. Historically, due to licensing issues Fedora has been unable to include MP3 decoding or encoding within the base distribution... A couple of weeks ago IIS Fraunhofer and Technicolor terminated their licensing program and just a few days ago Red Hat Legal provided the permission to ship MP3 encoding in Fedora.

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Today is 'Free Comic Book Day'
Posted by News Fetcher on May 06 '17 at 08:41 AM
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's as-in-beer department:
An anonymous reader writes:
"Walk into a comic shop this Saturday, May 6, and you'll get some free comic books," reports NPR. "You can find your closest shop by typing your ZIP code into the Comics Shop Locator on the Free Comic Book Day page... While you're there, buy something... The comics shops still have to pay for the 'free' FCBD books they stock, and they're counting on the increased foot traffic to lift sales." There's many familiar characters among the 50 free titles this year, according to Gizmodo. Marvel's free comics are a Guardians of the Galaxy tie-in by Brian Michael Bendis and a Secret Empire prequel, "which has seen Steve Rogers transform from a patriotic superhero to the fascist leader of an invasive Hydra force that has taken over the U.S." Meanwhile, D.C. Comics will re-release "the excellent second issue of the current Wonder Woman Rebirth series," and there's also comics based on Rick & Morty, Buffy The Vampire Slayer, and Star Trek: The Next Generation.

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Systemd-Free Devuan Linux Announces A Second Release Candidate
Posted by News Fetcher on May 06 '17 at 07:21 AM
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's Init-Freedom department:
An anonymous reader quotes The Register:
Devuan Linux has released its second release candidate... A 1.0.0 release candidate emerged just under a fortnight ago and today the developers announced Devuan Jessie 1.0.0 RC2. New in this cut of the code is a systemd-free version of network-manager, new versions of reportbug, desktop-base and xfce4-panel. GNOME, KDE, and Cinnamon have been removed from tasksel, but can still be installed although they "are known to suffer from some glitches due to the lack of systemd."

The Devuan web site says this series of release candidates "marks an important milestone towards the sustainability and the continuation of Devuan as a universal base distribution." And their announcement describes Devuan as "the Debian that was and could have been. Our goal is to provide a viable and sustainable alternative...a new path, nurtured with your help and support."

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US To Seek Social Media Details From Certain Visa Applicants
Posted by News Fetcher on May 06 '17 at 06:01 AM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's enhanced-screening department:
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Phys.Org: The State Department wants to review social media, email addresses and phone numbers from some foreigners seeking U.S. visas, as part of the Trump administration's enhanced screening of potential immigrants and visitors. The department, in a notice published Thursday in the Federal Register, said it was seeking public comment on the requirement. But it also said it is requesting a temporary go-ahead from the White House budget office so the plan can take effect for 180 days, beginning May 18, regardless of those comments. The proposed requirements would apply to visa applicants identified for extra scrutiny, such as those who have traveled to areas controlled by terrorist organizations. The State Department said it estimates that the rules would affect about 0.5 percent of total U.S. visa applicants, or roughly 65,000 people. Affected applicants would have to provide their social media handles and platforms used during the previous five years, and divulge all phone numbers and email addresses used during that period. U.S. consular officials would not seek social media passwords, and would not try to breach any privacy controls on applicants' accounts, according to the department's notice.

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Amazon Leak Exposes Echo AI Device With Touch Display and FireOS
Posted by News Fetcher on May 06 '17 at 02:01 AM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's leaky-faucet department:
MojoKid writes: Today, an image of what could be a touch-screen Amazon Echo device has emerged. Like the earlier Echo Look leak, the image of the device was found on Amazon's servers, just waiting to be discovered. The new Echo device is reportedly codenamed "Knight" and will be revealed later this month. It will also take its place as the flagship of the Echo family, likely surpassing the $179.99 MSRP of the original Alexa-powered AI speaker. It should be noted that the image leak lines up with previous reports we've seen regarding a so-called flagship Echo device. Late last year, we learned that the device would feature a 7-inch touch screen, and that it would have integrated speakers that are superior to those in the original Echo. There's even a built-in camera at the top of the device, which could be useful for video conferencing. It was also mentioned that the Echo device will run Amazon's FireOS and respond to verbal commands and spoken questions, just like current Alexa devices. Amazon is also reportedly testing a feature that allows users to pin items such as photos on their speaker's screen akin to physically placing items on a "refrigerator door."

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