By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's if-the-point-were-security-that-is department
Trailrunner7 writes with one perspective on the inability of the Congress to pass 'cybersecurity' legislation before recessing. From the article: "They've taken innumerable swings at it, and struck out every time, ... and, for once, we all should be thankful for our lawmakers' inability to act. ... What it's not good at is understanding the Internet or acting swiftly and decisively. The current cybersecurity legislation mess is the perfect combination of those two factors. Corporations and government agencies in the U.S. have been getting their heads handed to them by attackers from around the world for several years now. Long-term, persistent campaigns have been targeting defense contractors, energy and utility companies, manufacturing firms, and government agencies with an alarming rate of success. But Congress, or at least some members of it, don't seem to understand that. Sen. Joseph Lieberman sent a letter Monday to President Obama, comparing the threat to U.S. networks from foreign attackers to the threat from terrorists before 9/11. He then urged the president to use his executive authority to somehow influence the situation. Let's be clear: If the companies that own and operate critical infrastructure — not to mention defense contractors — don't understand the nature of the threat they're facing at this point, no amount of incentives will change that. Neither Congress nor the President can fix this problem with the kinds of solutions they're considering."
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By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's nothing-sinister-here department
nonprofiteer writes with news on what SceneTap
has been up to for the last few months since. From the article: "SceneTap uses facial recognition technology to help bar-hoppers decide which night spot to go to based on how crowded a bar is and what the age and gender ratio is. ... Despite the fact that what the app does now is fairly innocuous. But what the app could do in the future, as described in a patent application filed in June, is pretty creepy. The patent application describes much more detailed data collection, including bar goers' race, height, weight, attractiveness, hair color, clothing type, and the presence of facial hair or glasses, and includes other possibilities usually left to the realm of dystopic fiction, including putting microphones in the cameras that could detect what customers are saying, and using facial recognition technology to identify customers and then get information about them from social networking websites and databases to determine 'relationship status, intelligence, education and income for the entire venue.'"Read Replies (0)
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's tin-foil-hat-activate department
An anonymous reader writes with a bit of news about the compromised download of phpMyAdmin
discovered on an sf.net mirror yesterday: "A malicious version of the open source Web-based MySQL database administration tool phpMyAdmin has been discovered on one of the official mirror sites of SourceForge, the popular online code repository for free and open source software. The file — phpMyAdmin-126.96.36.199-all-languages.zip — was modified to include a backdoor that allowed attackers to remotely execute PHP code on the server running the malicious version of phpMyAdmin."
The Sourceforge weblog has details
. Someone compromised a mirror (since removed from rotation of course) around September 22nd. Luckily, only around 400 people grabbed the file before someone caught it.Read Replies (0)
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's just-when-ubuntu-was-about-to-sign-up department
writes with news of a settlement in a case of Rent-to-Own firms grossly violating the privacy of their customers. From the article: "Seven rent-to-own companies and a software developer have settled federal charges that they spied on customers, ... The companies captured screenshots of confidential and personal information, logged keystrokes, and took webcam pictures of people in their homes. Their aim was to track the computers belonging to customers who were behind with their payments.
'An agreement to rent a computer doesn't give a company license to access consumers' private emails, bank account information, and medical records, or, even worse, webcam photos of people in the privacy of their own homes,' says FTC chairman Jon Leibowitz. 'The FTC orders today will put an end to their cyber spying.' Developer DesignerWare produced the software that was used to gather the information, PC Rental Agent. The package included a 'kill switch' designed to disable a computer of it was stolen, or if payments weren't made. However, an add-on program called Detective Mode could log key strokes, capture screen shots and take photographs using a computer's webcam, says the FTC in its complaint (PDF)."Read Replies (0)
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's rms-detained-on-hooliganism-charges department
fermion writes with news of Windows computers being forcefully liberated: "The campaign headquarters of Michael Grimm, a U.S. House of Representatives member from New York, were vandalized. What has not been reported everywhere is that Linux was installed on one of his computers, erasing data in the process. Is this a new attack on democracy by the open source radicals, or it is just a random occurrence?"
From the article: "'In fact, one officer said to me today they see this as a crime against the government, because I am a sitting United States congressman and they take it very seriously. You know, especially in light of what happened with Gabby Giffords, we're not in the world today where we can shrug things off,' Grimm said. ... [GNU/]Linux, an open-source operating system, was installed on Grimm's computers, erasing the hard drive contents, which included polling and voter identification data. But staff had backed up the hard drive contents hours beforehand. Grimm and his staffers said the vandalism — cement blocks were thrown through the office's windows — is a cover-up for the attacks on the computers."Read Replies (0)
Steve Jobs Joins House of Wax
Posted by News Fetcher on September 26 '12 at 04:15 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's kind-of-creepy department
:Hugh Pickens writes
writes "The LA Times reports that Steve Jobs is about to join Barack Obama, Jackie Chan, Nicole Kidman, and Mozart at Madame Tussauds Hong Kong, the tourist attraction famous for creating hauntingly lifelike sculptures of famous people. The model of Jobs, to be unveiled to mark the first anniversary of Jobs' death, is based on pictures taken of the tech innovator during a 2006 Fortune magazine shoot and shows the Apple Inc. cofounder in a relaxed position, arms crossed loosely over his chest, with a pair of silver-rimmed Lunor glasses perched on his face and wearing a black cotton turtle neck, Levi 501 jeans and New Balance trainers. The company says a team of artists spent three months working on the wax figure, inserting each strand of hair one by one into the wax head using a forked needle, and using fine silk threads to recreate the subtle veining in the whites of his eyes. The figure will remain at the Historical and National Heroes attraction of Madame Tussauds Hong Kong through November 26, before travelling on to Madame Tussauds Bangkok and then Madame Tussauds Shanghai."Read Replies (0)
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's grotesque-fonts-lead-to-grotesque-crashes department
bdking writes "A typeface family commonly found on the devices installed in many modern cars is more likely to cause drivers to spend more time looking away from the road than an alternative typeface tested in two studies, according to new research from MIT's AgeLab."
It seems that the closed letter forms of Grotesque
type faces require slightly more time to read than open letter forms of Humanist
type faces, just enough that it could be problematic at highway speeds.Read Replies (0)
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's no-privacy-down-under department
CuteSteveJobs writes "The Age reports on creeping Australian government surveillance, beginning with the first operation launched on a baseless rumor. Six decades later the still-unaware victim read five months of transcripts with deep distress. Two decades ago few Australians would have consented to carrying a government-accessible tracking device, but phone and tablet data accessible without a warrant includes historic and real-time location data. In 2010-2011 there were 250,000 warrantless accesses by Federal agencies including ASIO, AFP, the Tax Office, Defence, Immigration, Citizenship, Health, Ageing, and Medicare. This is 18 times the rate of similar requests in the U.S."Read Replies (0)