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Does Code Reuse Endanger Secure Software Development?
Posted by News Fetcher on December 17 '16 at 05:11 PM
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's does-code-reuse-endanger-secure-software-development department:
msm1267 quotes ThreatPost: The amount of insecure software tied to reused third-party libraries and lingering in applications long after patches have been deployed is staggering. It's a habitual problem perpetuated by developers failing to vet third-party code for vulnerabilities, and some repositories taking a hands-off approach with the code they host. This scenario allows attackers to target one overlooked component flaw used in millions of applications instead of focusing on a single application security vulnerability. The real-world consequences have been demonstrated in the past few years with the Heartbleed vulnerability in OpenSSL, Shellshock in GNU Bash, and a deserialization vulnerability exploited in a recent high-profile attack against the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency. These are three instances where developers reuse libraries and frameworks that contain unpatched flaws in production applications... According to security experts, the problem is two-fold. On one hand, developers use reliable code that at a later date is found to have a vulnerability. Second, insecure code is used by a developer who doesn't exercise due diligence on the software libraries used in their project.
That seems like a one-sided take, so I'm curious what Slashdot readers think. Does code reuse endanger secure software development?

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Massive Mirai Botnet Hides Its Control Servers On Tor
Posted by News Fetcher on December 17 '16 at 03:51 PM
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's catch-me-if-you-can department:
"Following a failed takedown attempt, changes made to the Mirai malware variant responsible for building one of today's biggest botnets of IoT devices will make it incredibly harder for authorities and security firms to shut it down," reports Bleeping Computer. An anonymous reader writes: Level3 and others" have been very close to taking down one of the biggest Mirai botnets around, the same one that attempted to knock the Internet offline in Liberia, and also hijacked 900,000 routers from German ISP Deutsche Telekom.The botnet narrowly escaped due to the fact that its maintainer, a hacker known as BestBuy, had implemented a domain-generation algorithm to generate random domain names where he hosted his servers. Currently, to avoid further takedown attempts from similar security firms, BestBuy has started moving the botnet's command and control servers to Tor. "It's all good now. We don't need to pay thousands to ISPs and hosting. All we need is one strong server," the hacker said. "Try to shut down .onion 'domains' over Tor," he boasted, knowing that nobody can.

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McAfee Takes Six Months To Patch Remote Code Exploit In Linux VirusScan Enterprise
Posted by News Fetcher on December 17 '16 at 03:51 PM
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's jeopardized-in-June department:
mask.of.sanity writes: A researcher has reported 10 vulnerabilities in McAfee's VirusScan Enterprise for Linux that when chained together result in root remote code execution. McAfee took six months to fix the bugs issuing a patch December 9th.

Citing the security note, CSO adds that "one of the issues affects Virus Scan Enterprise for Windows version 8.7i through at least 8.8." The vulnerability was reported by Andrew Fasano at MIT's federally-funded security lab, who said he targeted McAfee's client because "it runs as root, it claims to make your machine more secure, it's not particularly popular, and it looks like it hasn't been updated in a long time."

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Londoners Tests A Self-Driving Beer Tap And An AI-Assisted Brewery
Posted by News Fetcher on December 17 '16 at 02:21 PM
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's lager-algorithms department:
At a bar in London, they're now testing the prototype for a self-driving beer tap, according to drunkdrone. Gizmodo UK reports:
All you need to do is select your pint of choice on the touchscreen, pay with a tap of your contactless card and stick your pint glass at its base. The pump contains an electronic valve, which opens to allow beer to flow through. A liquid flow meter ensures the right amount of good stuff comes out.
Meanwhile, Bloomberg is also reporting on a London startup that's brewing beer with a special algorithm that constantly modifies the percentage of each ingredient -- hops, water, yeast and grain -- based on ongoing customer feedback.
Levels of carbonation, bitterness and alcohol content all change based on how people are responding... The algorithm produces new recipes every month incorporating the feedback. "There are too many brands out there that just have one recipe for a beer, and they've had it for 60 years," said Hew Leith, co-founder of IntelligentX, the maker of the beer appropriately named AI. "We're not about that. We're about using data to listen to our customers, get all that feedback, and then brew something that's more attuned to what they actually want and need."

He believes the same process could also be used to design perfume, chocolate, and coffee.

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RIP Dr. Henry Heimlich, Inventor of the Heimlich Maneuver
Posted by News Fetcher on December 17 '16 at 02:21 PM
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's 96-years-young department:
tomhath quotes the BBC: Dr Heimlich died at the age of 96. He invented the lifesaving technique, which uses abdominal thrusts to clear a person's airway, in 1974. In May he used the technique himself to save a woman at his retirement home. He dislodged a piece of meat with a bone in it from the airway of an 87-year-old woman, telling the BBC: "I didn't know I really could do it until the other day."

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U.S. Proposes Car-To-Car Data Sharing Standards
Posted by News Fetcher on December 17 '16 at 12:51 PM
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's internet-of-cars department:
Calling it "the next revolution in roadway safety," the U.S. Department of Transportation hopes to standardize "vehicle communications" technology. Slashdot reader coondoggie writes:
The idea is to enable a multitude of new crash-avoidance applications that could save lives by preventing "hundreds of thousands of crashes every year by helping vehicles 'talk' to each other," the DOT stated... [D]evices would use the dedicated short range communications to transmit data, such as location, direction and speed, to nearby vehicles. That data would be updated and broadcast up to 10 times per second to nearby vehicles, and using that information, V2V-equipped vehicles can identify risks and provide warnings to drivers to avoid imminent crashes.
Self-driving cars (and human drivers) could be informed when it's safe to enter the passing lane (or when cars move into a vehicle's blind spot), for example, and "often in situations in which the driver and on-board sensors alone cannot detect the threat." Federal agencies estimate it will cost just $350 per vehicle by 2020 (and dropping over the decades to come), and they've also already issued guidelines about securing these systems from unauthorized access.

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Scientific American Column: 'It's Not Cold Fusion...But It's Something'
Posted by News Fetcher on December 17 '16 at 12:51 PM
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's low-energy-nuclear-reactions department:
An anonymous reader writes: Scientific American magazine has published a guest column on low-energy nuclear reactions (LENR) [putting] into context the history of what was mistakenly referred to as cold fusion and what happened. The bottom line is that there is compelling cumulative evidence for nuclear reactions taking place, including shifts in the abundance of isotopes, element transmutations, and localized melting of metals. Furthermore, those reactions do not have the characteristics of either nuclear fission or nuclear fusion. Despite sharp criticism from much of the scientific community after the 1989 announcement by Fleischmann and Pons, the Department of the Navy's Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center and other reputable organizations continued the research and published many papers.

The article reports that "to the surprise of many people, a new field of nuclear research has emerged," adding that even in the early 20th century, atomic scientists were already reporting "inexplicable experimental evidence of elemental transmutations."

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GoboLinux 016 Released With Its Own Filesystem Virtualization Tool
Posted by News Fetcher on December 17 '16 at 11:21 AM
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's dedicated-directory-trees department:
Long-time Slashdot reader paranoidd writes: GoboLinux announced Thursday the availability of a new major release. What's special about it is that it comes together with a container-free filesystem virtualization that's kind of unique thanks to the way that installed programs are arranged by the distro. Rather than having to create full-fledged containers simply to get around conflicting libraries, a lightweight solution simply plays with overlays to create dynamic filesystem views for each process that wants them. Even more interesting, the whole concept also enables 32-bit and 64-bit programs to coexist with no need for a lib64 directory (as implemented by mostly all bi-arch distributions out there).
"Instead of having parts of a program thrown at /usr/bin, other parts at /etc and yet more parts thrown at /usr/share/something/or/another, each program gets its own directory tree, keeping them all neatly separated and allowing you to see everything that's installed in the system and which files belong to which programs in a simple and obvious way."

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China Says It Will Return the Underwater Drone It Seized From the US
Posted by News Fetcher on December 17 '16 at 10:00 AM
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's international-incidents department:
An anonymous reader quotes The Hill:
China said Saturday it will return the unmanned U.S. drone it seized in the South China Sea, calling the issue "hyped up" by the U.S. "Upon confirming that the device was a U.S. underwater drone, the Chinese side decided to transfer it to the U.S. side in an appropriate manner," said the spokesman for the Chinese Defense Ministry, Sr. Col. Yang Yujun, according to CNN. "China and the United States have been communicating about this process. It is inappropriate -- and unhelpful for a resolution -- that the U.S. has unilaterally hyped up the issue. We express our regret over that."

A Defense Ministry spokesman added that China opposes U.S. "surveillance and military surveys in waters facing China...and demands the U.S. cease such activities. China will stay alert over relevant U.S. activities and will take necessary measures to counter them."

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President Obama Threatens Retaliatory Actions Against Russia Over Hacks
Posted by News Fetcher on December 17 '16 at 10:00 AM
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's sabers-rattled department:
An anonymous reader quotes the New York Times:
[President Obama] said he was weighing a mix of public and covert actions against the Russians in his last 34 days in office, actions that would increase "the costs for them." Mr. Obama said he was committed to sending the Kremlin a message that "we can do stuff to you," but without setting off an escalating cyberconflict... "Some of it we will do in a way that they will know, but not everybody will," he said...

[T]he president was clearly wrestling with what he said the hacking affair and the reaction to it revealed about the state of American politics. Citing a recent poll that showed more than a third of Trump voters saying they approved of Mr. Putin...the president appealed to Americans not to allow partisan hatred and feuds to blind them to manipulation by foreign powers. "Unless that changes," Mr. Obama said, "we're going to continue to be vulnerable to foreign influence because we've lost track of what it is that we're about and what we stand for."
President Obama pulled Putin aside at a September meeting of the G20 to discuss Russian hacking, according to the article, telling Putin "to cut it out, there were going to be serious consequences if he did not."

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Netgear Releases 'Beta' Patches For Additional Routers Found With Root Vulnerability
Posted by News Fetcher on December 17 '16 at 08:30 AM
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's but-they-might-not-work department:
The Department of Homeland Security's CERT issued a warning last week that users should "strongly consider" not using some models of NetGear routers, and the list expanded this week to include 11 different models. Netgear's now updated their web page, announcing eight "beta" fixes, along with three more "production" fixes. chicksdaddy writes:
The company said the new [beta] firmware has not been fully tested and "might not work for all users." The company offered it as a "temporary solution" to address the security hole. "Netgear is working on a production firmware version that fixes this command injection vulnerability and will release it as quickly as possible," the company said in a post to its online knowledgebase early Tuesday.

The move follows publication of a warning from experts at Carnegie Mellon on December 9 detailing a serious "arbitrary command injection" vulnerability in the latest version of firmware used by a number of Netgear wireless routers. The security hole could allow a remote attacker to take control of the router by convincing a user to visit a malicious web site... The vulnerability was discovered by an individual...who says he contacted Netgear about the flaw four months ago, and went public with information on it after the company failed to address the issue on its own.

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Tesla Introduces Fee For Owners Who Leave Their Cars At Supercharger Stations
Posted by News Fetcher on December 17 '16 at 05:40 AM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's nickel-and-dime department:
Tesla announced today that it will start charging owners a fee of $0.40 per minute if they fail to move their vehicles at a Supercharger station. If drivers don't move their cars within 5 minutes of the car hitting 100 percent, the fee will begin to assess. TechCrunch reports: "One would never leave a car parked at a gas station right at the pump and the same rule applies with Superchargers," read Tesla's announcement. How will one know that it's done and you need to scoot? Why, one will get an alert on one's phone, of course, via the Tesla app. One already does, in fact. So one never had any excuse. "To be clear, this change is purely about increasing customer happiness and we hope to never make any money from it," the announcement also reads.

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Germany Threatens To Fine Facebook Over Hate Speech
Posted by News Fetcher on December 17 '16 at 02:50 AM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's get-a-grip department:
An anonymous reader quotes a report from ABC News: German officials are stepping up their criticism of Facebook, saying the social network is doing too little to stop hate speech and could face stiff fines unless it deletes illegal content faster. In an interview published Friday, Justice Minister Heiko Maas said his ministry was checking whether it would be possible to make social networking sites legally liable for illegal posts. Germany has seen a sharp increase in vitriolic posts on social media in recent years amid a heated public debate over the influx of more than a million migrants since the start of 2015. The country has laws against speech deemed to be racist, defamatory or inciting violence -- a response to Germany's Nazi legacy. But authorities have struggled with the deluge of often anonymous postings on foreign-owned websites. Thomas Oppermann, a senior lawmaker in Maas' Social Democratic Party, told German weekly Der Spiegel that dominant social media sites like Facebook could be required to delete illegal posts within 24 hours or face fines up to 500,000 euros ($522,000). Facebook also could be compelled to distribute corrections that reach the same number of people as the original post, Oppermann suggested, something traditional media companies in Germany are already required to do.

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Apollo 11 Moon Rock Bag Belongs To Buyer, Not NASA, Judge Rules
Posted by News Fetcher on December 17 '16 at 12:10 AM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's going-once-going-twice-sold department:
schwit1 quotes a report from Behind The Black: A federal judge has ruled that NASA has no right to confiscate an Apollo 11 lunar rock sample bag that had been purchased legally, even though the sale itself had been in error. CollectSPACE.com reports: "Judge J. Thomas Marten ruled in the U.S. District Court for Kansas that Nancy Carlson of Inverness, Illinois, obtained the title to the historic artifact as 'a good faith purchaser, in a sale conducted according to law.' The government had petitioned the court to reverse the sale and return the lunar sample bag to NASA. 'She is entitled to possession of the bag,' Marten wrote in his order." This court case will hopefully give some legal standing to the private owners of other artifacts or lunar samples that NASA had given away and then demanded their return, decades later. Space.com's report adds: "The zippered cloth pouch, which was labeled in bold black letters 'Lunar Sample Return,' was used on July 20, 1969, as an 'outer decontamination bag' to protect the first moon rocks retrieved from the surface of the moon as they were delivered to Earth by Apollo 11 astronauts Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins. Carlson purchased the bag for $995 in February 2015, at a Texas auction held on behalf of the U.S. Marshals Service. The bag had been forfeited along with other artifacts found in the home of Max Ary, a former curator convicted in 2006 of stealing and selling space artifacts that belonged to the Cosmosphere space museum in Hutchinson, Kansas."

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Researchers Find Roads Shatter the Earth's Surface Into 600,000 Fragments
Posted by News Fetcher on December 16 '16 at 07:51 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's cause-and-effect department:
An international team of conservation scientists have released a new global map of roadless areas that shows that the Earth's surface is shattered by roads into more than 600,000 fragments. While roads allow humans to travel to nearly every region in the world, they severely reduce the ability of ecosystems to function effectively. Phys.Org reports: Recent research carried out by an international team of conservation scientists and published in the journal Science used a dataset of 36 million kilometers of roads across the landscapes of the earth. They are dividing them into more than 600,000 pieces that are not directly affected by roads. Of these remaining roadless areas only 7 percent are larger than 100 km2. The largest tracts are to be found in the tundra and the boreal forests of North America and Eurasia, as well as some tropical areas of Africa, South America and Southeast Asia. Only 9 percent of these areas undisturbed by roads are protected. Roads introduce many problems to nature. For instance, they interrupt gene flow in animal populations, facilitate the spread of pests and diseases, and increase soil erosion and the contamination of rivers and wetlands. Then there is the free movement of people made possible by road development in previously remote areas, which has opened these areas up to severe problems such as illegal logging, poaching and deforestation. Most importantly, roads trigger the construction of further roads and the subsequent conversion of natural landscapes, a phenomenon the study labels "contagious development."

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Rogue Lawyers Made $6 Million Shaking Down Porn Pirates, Feds Say
Posted by News Fetcher on December 16 '16 at 06:31 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's pay-the-price department:
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Verge: The copyright violation notice is every pirate's worst nightmare, a clear legal sign that a major copyright holder knows what you've been torrenting and is ready to make you pay for your crimes. But according to an indictment filed today in Minnesota federal court, that system has also opened the door to some very creative forms of fraud. The indictment alleges that two lawyers -- Paul R. Hansmeier and John L. Steele -- used the copyright system to extort roughly $6 million out of porn pirates over the course of three years. Prosecutors say the lawyers uploaded their own pornographic videos to torrent services -- including the embattled Pirate Bay -- then aggressively targeted users who downloaded the content, discovering names through the standard copyright violation process and then threatening pirates with damages up to $150,000 unless they agreed to a settlement. The typical cost of a settlement was $4,000, far less than the cost of challenging the order in open court. Throughout the process, Feds allege that Hansmeier and Steele concealed their role in uploading the videos, although the underlying copyright claim was often legitimate. The duo typically obtained copyright to the videos through shell companies, although in some cases they actually filmed and produced their own pornography as part of the scheme.

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Dropbox Kills Public Folders, Users Rebel
Posted by News Fetcher on December 16 '16 at 05:01 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's public-to-private department:
New submitter rkagerer writes: Dropbox unleashed a tidal wave of user backlash yesterday when it announced plans to eradicate its Public folder feature in 2017. Criticism from users whose links will break surfaced on Reddit, HackerNews and its own forums. Overnight, customers up-voted a feature request to reverse the decision, skyrocketing it to a "Top 10" position on the company's tracker. joemck explains: "There are countless users who have been using the public folder to post images and files in blogs and forums. These aren't just worthless jokes and memes that nobody will miss if you flip the switch and break all of them. These are often valuable resources that users have created and entrusted to you to retain and keep online." One user even created a comic strip for the occasion, with another concerned the URL he registered with the Coast Guard containing potentially lifesaving information will go dark. Although the feature was deprecated in 2012, it remained in place for existing users. The company provides an alternative sharing method, but some users claim it's not as convenient and doesn't provide direct links. According to the announcement, free accounts have until March 15 to update their links, while the lights will go out for paid accounts on September 1.

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Google Joins the Open Source Cloud Foundry Foundation
Posted by News Fetcher on December 16 '16 at 05:01 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's redistributed-and-modified department:
BrianFagioli quotes a report from BetaNews: Today, Google announces that it has joined the Cloud Foundry Foundation as a gold member. This is yet another example of the search giant's open source focus. Google joins some other respected companies at this membership level, such as Verizon, GE Digital, and Huawei to name a few. For whatever reason, the search giant stopped short of committing as the highest-level platinum member, however. "From the beginning, our goal for Google Cloud Platform has been to build the most open cloud for all developers and businesses alike, and make it easy for them to build and run great software. A big part of this is being an active member of the open source community and working directly with developers where they are, whether they're at an emerging startup or a large enterprise. Today we're pleased to announce that Google has joined the Cloud Foundry Foundation as a Gold member to further our commitment to these goals", says Brian Stevens, Vice President, Google Cloud.

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YouTube Bans North Korea's State-Owned TV Channel
Posted by News Fetcher on December 16 '16 at 03:31 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's against-the-rules department:
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Asian Correspondent: YouTube has blocked North Korea's state television channel, purportedly to avoid breaching U.S. sanctions against the totalitarian state. The Korean Central Television's page, which broadcasts breaking news videos including Pyongyang's nuclear tests and leader Kim Jong Un's outings, now has a message saying "the account has been terminated for violating YouTube's Community Guidelines." YouTube's community guidelines bans harmful, dangerous, violent and graphic content, as well as videos that violate copyright laws or that contain threats and that may incite others to commit violence. According to The Washington Post, the action to terminate the account was taken in November because the North Korean government could earn money from YouTube through advertisements, which would in turn violate a U.S. directive that bans any person or company from doing business with the hermit state.

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Election Assistance Commission Hacked Using SQL Injection
Posted by News Fetcher on December 16 '16 at 03:31 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's irony-at-its-finest department:
whoever57 writes: The commission that is responsible for ensuring the integrity of voting machines was itself hacked. The hacker gained access to non-public reports on weaknesses in voting machines. The hack occurred after the election, so it is unlikely that this hack resulted in changing the result. However, if one hacker can break in, how does anyone know that there was not a prior hack? The hack used an SQL injection flaw to gain access to usernames and passwords which were then cracked.

wiredmikey adds: Researchers have discovered that a Russian-speaking hacker broke into the U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) systems, and has been trying to sell stolen access credentials -- including admin-level -- on the underground. On December 1, researchers with Recorded Future discovered internet chatter that appeared to relate to an EAC breach. A hacker, called "Rasputin" by Recorded Future, was discussing the sale of more than 100 EAC access credentials to a middle-eastern government broker. The hacker claimed to have accessed the systems via an SQLi vulnerability, which Recorded Future was able to locate and report. EAC said Thursday that was aware of the "potential intrusion" and was investigating the incident.

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