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The New F-35 Is So Stealthy, It's Harder To Train Pilots
Posted by News Fetcher on August 07 '16 at 06:51 AM
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's invisible-targets department:
An anonymous reader quotes a report from the Air Force Times: The F-35 Lightning II is so stealthy, pilots are facing an unusual challenge. They're having difficulty participating in some types of training exercises, a squadron commander told reporters Wednesday. During a recent exercise at Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho, F-35 squadrons wanted to practice evading surface-to-air threats. There was just one problem: No one on the ground could track the plane. 'If they never saw us, they couldn't target us,' said Lt. Col. George Watkins, the commander of the 34th Fighter Squadron at Hill Air Force Base, Utah. The F-35s resorted to flipping on their transponders, used for FAA identification, so that simulated anti-air weapons could track the planes, Watkins said.

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Myths Persist About Running Public Wi-Fi in the UK
Posted by News Fetcher on August 07 '16 at 05:32 AM
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's imaginary-risks department:
If you're running a Wi-Fi hotspot in the U.K., Ars Technica found most of the available legal advice online was either "ill-informed" or "invented", and "the same wrong advice repeated by multiple sources -- including vendors offering to help clients ensure compliance with the 'rules.'" An anonymous Slashdot reader writes: If you run a public Wi-Fi service, can you be held responsible if someone uses it to infringe copyright, defame someone or commit a crime? Ars Technica examines the situation under English law on intermediary liability, as well as looking at data protection law and obligations (or not) to store traffic data for law enforcement. According to Ars, much publicised "guidance" for would-be Wi-Fi operators indicates that an operator would be liable, but the legal experts who spoke to Ars are far less convinced.

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Nigerian Scammers Infect Themselves With Own Malware, Reveal New Fraud Scheme
Posted by News Fetcher on August 07 '16 at 04:11 AM
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's 127.0.0.1 department:
"A pair of security researchers recently uncovered a Nigerian scammer ring that they say operates a new kind of attack...after a few of its members accidentally infected themselves with their own malware," reports IEEE Spectrum. "Over the past several months, they've watched from a virtual front row seat as members used this technique to steal hundreds of thousands of dollars from small and medium-sized businesses worldwide." Wave723 writes: Nigerian scammers are becoming more sophisticated, moving on from former 'spoofing' attacks in which they impersonated a CEO's email from an external account. Now, they've begun to infiltrate employee email accounts to monitor financial transactions and slip in their own routing and account info...The researchers estimate this particular ring of criminals earns about US $3 million from the scheme. After they infected their own system, the scammers' malware uploaded screenshots and all of their keystrokes to an open web database, including their training sessions for future scammers and the re-routing of a $400,000 payment. Yet the scammers actually "appear to be 'family men' in their late 20s to 40s who are well-respected, church-going figures in their communities," according to the article. SecureWorks malware researcher Joe Stewart says the scammers are "increasing the economic potential of the region they're living in by doing this, and I think they feel somewhat of a duty to do this."

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Assange Says Wikileaks is 'Working On' Hacking Donald Trump's Tax Return
Posted by News Fetcher on August 07 '16 at 12:11 AM
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's my-client-didn't-mean-that department:
Julian Assange made headlines Friday when talk-show host Bill Maher asked him why Wikileaks wasn't hacking into Donald's Trump's tax returns. "Well, we're working on it," Assange replied. But it was apparently the culmination of a larger back-and-forth. An anonymous reader quotes Slate:
Earlier in the interview, Maher said it sure looked like Assange was "working with a bad actor, Russia" to hurt "the one person who stands in the way of us being ruled by Donald Trump." Assange then tried to move the conversation toward what he thought was a smoking gun against Maher, saying he had found there was a "William Maher" who "gave a Clinton-affiliated entity $1 million." Maher explained he had famously given President Obama $1 million in 2012 and he never tried to hide it. When Assange pressed on whether he had also given money to Clinton, Maher shot back: "Fuck no."
Slate has a video of the entire interview, and while Friday WikiLeaks was publicizing Assange's appearance on the show on Twitter, Saturday they were tweeting a clarification. "WikiLeaks isn't 'working on' hacking Trump's tax-returns. Claim is a joke from a comedy show. We are 'working on' encouraging whistleblowers."

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GhostMail Closes in September, Leaves Users Searching For Secure Email Alternatives
Posted by News Fetcher on August 06 '16 at 07:51 PM
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's disappearing-act department:
On September 1, "GhostMail will no longer provide secure email services unless you are an enterprise client," reports ZDNet. "According to the company, it is 'simply not worth the risk.'" GhostMail provided a free and anonymous "military encrypted" e-mail service based in Switzerland, and collected "as little metadata" as possible. But this week on its home page, GhostMail told its users "Since we started our project, the world has changed for the worse and we do not want to take the risk of supplying our extremely secure service to the wrong people... In general, we believe strongly in the right to privacy, but we have taken a strategic decision to only supply our platform and services to the enterprise segment."

GhostMail is referring their users to other free services like Protonmail as an alternative, but an anonymous Slashdot reader asks: What options does an average person have for non-NSA-spied-on email? I am sure there are still some Ghostmail competitors out there but I'm wondering if it's better to coax friends and family to use encryption within their given client (Gmail, Yahoo, Outlook, whatever...) And are there any options for hosting a "private" email service: inviting friends and family to use it and have it kind of hosted locally. Ghostmail-in-a-box or some such?

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Online Fame Distracts 9th-Grader Who Built That Clock Mistaken For A Bomb
Posted by News Fetcher on August 06 '16 at 06:32 PM
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's ticked-off department:
An anonymous Slashdot reader writes: This week the Washington Post ran a long profile of Ahmed Mohamed, the 14-year-old boy whose home-made clock got him arrested after school officials and the local police mistook it for a bomb last summer. The Justice Department is currently investigating the incident -- while the school district is suing the Texas attorney general, and the boy's family is suing the school district. But Ahmed has just returned back to Texas, and spoke to the press -- including a local Fox news affiliate which later broadcast a commentary saying his family was obsessed with fame and plotted the arrest.

Over the last year Ahmed's read everything that appeared online about him, but never responds because he doesn't want to give in to anger. The Post writes that while some kids at school called him ISIS Boy, "Sympathetic crowdfunders raised $18,000 for his education. He visited the White House, the Google Science Fair and the president of his home country of Sudan (a wanted war criminal, but Mohamed said it would be rude not to accept the invitation)." Though he'd like to return to the U.S. someday for college, he's been living in Qatar, where a government organization paid for private schooling for him and his sister. But the Post says he still sometimes imagines what his life might've been like if the incident had never happened. "By now he could have invented something new -- not just a clock that only took him a few minutes to put together from parts in his family's garage, which was full of '90s-era electronics from when his uncle ran a chain called Beeper Warehouse."

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'Mayhem' Wins $2M In DARPA's AI Hacking Contest, Draws EFF Scrutiny
Posted by News Fetcher on August 06 '16 at 03:51 PM
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's scary-smart department:
Here's the highlight reel from the DARPA-sponsored "Cyber Grand Challenge" competition. Slashdot reader alphadogg writes:

Cyber-reasoning platform Mayhem pulled down the $2 million first prize in a competition...that pitted entrants against each other in the classic hacking game Capture the Flag, never before played by programs running on supercomputers. A team from Carnegie Mellon University spin-out All Secure entered Mayhem in the competition against six other programs played in front of thousands in the ballroom of the Paris hotel in Las Vegas. Most of the spectators were in town for the DEF CON hacker conference starting Friday at the same site.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation wrote "We think that this initiative by DARPA is very cool, very innovative, and could have been a little dangerous." Sharing their blog post about automated security research, the EFF's staff technologist Peter Eckersley writes: EFF is asking, does research like that need a safety protocol?

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Conservative Site Argues Profiting from Snowden 'Treason' May Violate Law
Posted by News Fetcher on August 06 '16 at 03:51 PM
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's lawyers-vs-law-breakers department:
"A federal appellate court has ruled that government employees, such as Snowden, who signed privacy agreements can't profit from disclosing information without first obtaining agency approval," writes the conservative advocacy site Judicial Watch. Slashdot reader schwit1 quotes their article:
This would make it illegal to profit from his crimes and the Department of Justice should confiscate all money made by the violators. Snowden is no whistleblower. In fact he violated his secrecy agreement, which means he and his conspirators can't materially profit from his fugitive status, violation of law, aiding and abetting of a crime and providing material support to terrorism.
In addition, they argue that both an upcoming movie about Snowden by Oliver Stone and the 2014 documentary Citizenfour "may be in violation of the Anti-Terrorism Act, which forbids providing material support or resources for acts of international terrorism... It's bad enough that people are profiting from Snowden's treason, but adding salt to the wound, the Obama administration is doing nothing about it. "

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CERN Confirms Hints of Hypothetical Particle Have Disappeared
Posted by News Fetcher on August 06 '16 at 02:21 PM
By manishs from Slashdot's dude,-where's-my-car? department:
John Timmer, writing for Ars Technica: Toward the end of last year, the people behind the Large Hadron Collider announced that they might have found signs of a new particle. Their evidence came from an analysis of the first high-energy data obtained after the LHC's two general-purpose detectors underwent an extensive upgrade. While the possible new particle didn't produce a signal that reached statistical significance, it did show up in both detectors, raising the hope that the LHC was finally on to some new physics. This week, those hopes have officially been dashed. Physicists used a conference to release their analysis of the flood of data that came out of this year's run. According to their data, the area of the apparent signal is filled by nothing but statistical noise. The search for new particles in data from the LHC starts with a calculation of the sorts of things we should expect to see at a given energy. The Standard Model, which describes particles and forces, can be used to make predictions of the frequency at which specific particles will pop out of collisions, as well as what those particles will decay into. So, for example, the Standard Model might indicate that two electrons should appear in five percent of the collisions that occur at a specific energy. Looking for new particles involves looking for deviations from those predictions.

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Ask Slashdot: Share Your Experiences With Windows 10
Posted by News Fetcher on August 06 '16 at 02:21 PM
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's serious-question department:
Long-time Slashdot reader shanen writes: The Start button is broken on one of my Windows 10 machines. Left click is dead. Fairly well known problem, but none of the solutions from non-Microsoft web pages has fixed it... My little meta-problem of the day is being locked out of Microsoft's so-called support. The email part (on outlook.live.com) works as usual, but every attempt to access the support part returns "Something went wrong and we can't sign you in right now. Please try again later." It's a black hole page with no links or options or suggestions. Once you get there, you are dead to Microsoft. Whenever I try to go to Microsoft support, that's all I've seen for several weeks now. ..

In general, Windows 10 seems to be a good thing -- but I don't really know how much it is abusing my personal information and privacy. The abusive relationship with Microsoft support is clearly the same, bad as it ever was.

The original submission has more thoughts on the market for consumer operating systems, and asks for suggestions about these two previously-known issues -- a start button that ignores left clicks, and an ongoing lock-out from Microsoft support. But there's obviously much more to talk about -- so share your thoughts in the comments. Have you had any interesting recent experiences with Windows 10?

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Older Workers Are Better At Adapting To New Technology, Study Finds
Posted by News Fetcher on August 06 '16 at 01:01 PM
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's generation-gaps department:
"Don't let the millennial buzz fool you. Older workers handle and adapt to new systems better than younger people," writes CIO magazine. Slashdot reader itwbennett writes: A survey by London-based market research firm Ipsos Mori, sponsored by Dropbox, found that older workers are less likely to find using technology in the workplace stressful and experience less trouble working with multiple devices than the younger cohort.

Millennials "are used to using tech in their personal lives that's pretty darn good," suggests one Dropbox executive, "and that raises the expectations of what tech can be in their professional lives... So younger people will feel frustration at tools that are not up to snuff." Out of 4,000 information workers who were surveyed in the U.S. and Europe, 37% of the 18-34-year-old group reported trouble with multiple devices, compared to just 13% of respondents over 55.

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The World's First Web Site Celebrates 25 Years Online
Posted by News Fetcher on August 06 '16 at 11:41 AM
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's 1991-called department:
An anonymous reader quotes a report from CNN:
Twenty-five years ago, the first public website went live. It was a helpful guide to this new thing called the World Wide Web. The minimalist design featured black text with blue links on a white background. It's still online today if you'd like to click around and check out the frequently asked questions or geek out over the technical protocols.

Its original URL was info.cern.ch, where CERN is now also offering a line-mode browser simulator and more information about the birth of the web. CNN is also hosting screenshots of nine web "pioneers", including the Darwin Awards site, the original Yahoo, and the San Francisco FogCam, which claims to be the oldest webcam still in operation.

What are some of the first web sites that you remember reading? (Any greybeards remember when the Internet Movie Database was just a Usenet newsgroup where readers collaborated on a giant home-made list of movie credits?)

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Yahoo's New Anti-Abuse AI Outperforms Previous AI
Posted by News Fetcher on August 06 '16 at 11:41 AM
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's hunting-for-haters department:
16.4% of the comments on Yahoo News are "abusive," according to human screeners. Now Yahoo has devised an abuse-detecting algorithm "that can accurately identify whether online comments contain hate speech or not," reports Wired UK:

In 90 per cent of test cases Yahoo's algorithm was able to correctly identify that a comment was abusive... The company used a combination of machine learning and crowdsourced abuse detection to create an algorithm that trawled the comment sections of Yahoo News and Finance to sniff out abuse. As part of its project, Yahoo will be releasing the first publicly available curated database of online hate speech.
The machine-learning algorithm was "trained on a million Yahoo article comments," according to the article, and Slashdot reader AmiMoJo writes "The system could help AIs avoid being tricked into making abusive comments themselves, as Microsoft's Tay twitter bot did earlier this year."

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Mysterious, Ice-Buried Cold War Military Base May Be Unearthed By Climate Change
Posted by News Fetcher on August 06 '16 at 10:21 AM
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's Greenland-vs-greenhouse-gases department:
Slashdot reader sciencehabit quotes Science magazine: It sounds like something out of a James Bond movie: a secret military operation hidden beneath the Greenland Ice Sheet. But that's exactly what transpired at Camp Century during the Cold War. In 1959, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers built the subterranean city under the guise of conducting polar research -- and scientists there did drill the first ice core ever used to study climate. But deep inside the frozen tunnels, the corps also explored the feasibility of Project Iceworm, a plan to store and launch hundreds of ballistic missiles from inside the ice. The military ultimately rejected the project, and the corps abandoned Camp Century in 1967. Engineers anticipated that the ice -- already a dozen meters thick -- would continue to accumulate in northwestern Greenland, permanently entombing what they left behind. Now, climate change has upended that assumption. New research suggests that as early as 2090, rates of ice loss at the site could exceed gains from new snowfall. And within a century after that, melting could begin to release waste stored at the camp, including sewage, diesel fuel, persistent organic pollutants like PCBs, and radiological waste from the camp's nuclear generator, which was removed during decommissioning.

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Is The US Social Security Site Still Vulnerable To Identity Theft?
Posted by News Fetcher on August 06 '16 at 09:01 AM
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's two-factor-impersonation department:
Slashdot reader DERoss writes: Effective 1 August, the U.S. Social Security Administration (SSA) requires users who want to access their SSA accounts to use two-factor authentication. This involves receiving a "security" code via a cell phone text message. This creates two problems. First of all, many seniors who depend on the Social Security benefits to pay their living costs do not have cell phones [or] are not knowledgeable about texting.

More important, cell phone texting is NOT secure. Text messages can be hacked, intercepted, and spoofed. Seniors' accounts might easily be less secure now than they were before 1 August... This is not because of any law passed by Congress. This is a regulatory decision made by top administrators at SSA. In addition, Krebs on Security reports that the new system "does not appear to provide any additional proof that the person creating an account at ssa.gov is who they say they are" and "does little to prevent identity thieves from fraudulently creating online accounts to siphon benefits from Americans who haven't yet created accounts for themselves." Users are only more secure after they create an account on the social security site -- and Krebs also notes that ironically, the National Institute for Standards and Technology already appears to be deprecating the use of SMS-based two-factor authentication.

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Google Cloud Now Allows Customer-Generated Encryption
Posted by News Fetcher on August 06 '16 at 09:01 AM
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's cloud-encryption department:
An anonymous Slashdot reader quotes The Stack: The Google cloud platform, Google Compute Engine, now allows customers to create their own encryption keys as an alternative to the Google-provided default encryption. Google Compute Engine automatically encrypts all data at rest, managing customer data encryption as a part of the Compute Engine service. However, some customers prefer to manage and control cloud encryption internally, to further tighten data security. Google has released a comprehensive set of instructions for a customer to create their own encryption key. The Customer-Supplied Encryption Key (CSEK) is then used to protect the Google-generated keys that are used automatically for data encryption. The CSEK is an additional layer of protection for data stored in the cloud. Using an internally-generated encryption key also allows customers to control data encryption without using third-party providers, whose services are available at an additional cost.

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The Dark Side of Certificate Transparency
Posted by News Fetcher on August 06 '16 at 09:01 AM
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's extra-credentials department:
Slashdot reader UnderAttack writes: Certificate Transparency is a system promoted by companies like Google that requires certificate authorities to publish a log of all certificates issued. With certificate transparency, you can search these logs for any of the domains you own, to find unauthorized certificates. However, certificates are not only used for public sites. And with all certificates being published, some include host names that are not meant to be publicly known. An update of the standard is in the works to allow entities to obfuscate the host name, but until then, certificate transparency logs are a good recognizance source.

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Florida District Considers Releasing GMO Mosquitos After Cayman Islands Experiment
Posted by News Fetcher on August 06 '16 at 07:31 AM
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's latest-buzz department:
It's already underway just 364 miles south of Florida, according to the Associated Press. "The first wave of genetically modified mosquitoes were released Wednesday in the Cayman Islands as part of a new effort to control the insect that spreads Zika and other viruses," according to an article shared by Slashdot reader Okian Warrior:
Genetically altered male mosquitoes, which don't bite but are expected to mate with females to produce offspring that die before reaching adulthood, were released in the West Bay area of Grand Cayman Island, according to a joint statement from the Cayman Islands Mosquito Research and Control Unit and British biotech firm Oxitec.

"What could possibly go wrong?" asks The Atlantic, citing history's great pest-control fails in Hawaii and Australia. But a similar release is already being considered in the Florida Keys, though Accuweather reports it apparently depends on the results of a November referendum which could also "affect the likelihood of Oxitec trials taking place in other parts of the United States."

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BBC To Deploy Detection Vans To Snoop On Internet Users
Posted by News Fetcher on August 06 '16 at 06:11 AM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's creepy-and-worrying department:
product_bucket writes: The BBC has been given permission to use a new technology to detect users of the iPlayer who do not hold a TV license. Researchers at University College London have apparently developed a method to identify specially crafted "packets" of data over an encrypted Wi-Fi link without needing to break the underlying encryption itself. TV Licensing (the fee-collecting arm of the BBC) has said the practice is under regular scrutiny by independent regulators, but declined to elaborate on how the technique works. Dr Miguel Rio, a computer network expert who helped to oversee the doctoral thesis, said: "They actually don't need to decrypt traffic, because they can already see the packets. They have control over the iPlayer, so they can ensure that it sends packets at a specific size, and match them up. They could also use directional antennae to ensure they are viewing the Wi-Fi operating within your property." The BBC has been given such authority through the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act.

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Luxury Liner SS United States Cannot Be Put Back In Service
Posted by News Fetcher on August 06 '16 at 03:11 AM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's insurmountable-challenges department:
tomhath writes: Once the fastest ocean liner ever built, the SS United States has been mothballed for almost 50 years. An ambitious project to refurbish the SS United States as a luxury liner has been abandoned due to insurmountable technical and commercial obstacles. Plan B, to turn it into a floating hotel/convention center, might go forward. Miami Herald provides some history of the SS United States in its report: "The iconic 1950s vessel, which was bigger than the Titanic and once carried celebrities across the Atlantic Ocean, was set for a $700 million overhaul by the Los Angeles-based luxury line, which also has offices in Miami. The SS United States was decommissioned in 1969 and has been gutted and docked in Philadelphia for two decades on the Delaware River. On its maiden voyage in 1952, the ship traversed the Atlantic in three days, 10 hours and 42 minutes -- a record it held until 1990."

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