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A Year After Mirai: DVR Torture Chamber Test Shows Two Minutes Between Exploits
Posted by News Fetcher on August 28 '17 at 04:41 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's mildy-disturbing department:
UnderAttack writes: Over two days, the Internet Storm Center connected a default configured DVR to the internet, and rebooted it every 5 minutes in order to allow as many bots as possible to infect it. They detected about one successful attack (using the correct password xc3511) every 2 minutes. Most of the attackers were well known vulnerable devices. A year later, what used to be known as the "Mirai" botnet has branched out into many different variants. But it looks like much hyped "destructive" variants like Brickerbot had little or no impact.

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Facebook Pages Spreading Fake News Won't Be Able To Buy Ads
Posted by News Fetcher on August 28 '17 at 04:41 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's money-maker department:
An anonymous reader quotes a report from TechCrunch: Facebook says it's taking another step against Pages that share fabricated news stories. The company has already been working with outside fact-checkers like Snopes and the AP to flag inaccurate news stories. (These aren't supposed to be stories that are disputed for reasons of opinion or partisanship, but rather outright hoaxes and lies.) It also says that when a story is marked as disputed, the link can can no longer be promoted through Facebook ads. The next step, which the company is announcing today, involves stopping Pages that regularly share these stories from buying any Facebook ads at all, regardless of whether or not the ad includes a disputed link. In this case, Leathern said blocking ad-buying is meant to change the economic incentives. Facebook is concerned that "there are Pages posting this information that are using Facebook Ads to build audiences" to spread false news. By changing the ad policy, Facebook makes it harder for companies to attract that audience.

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New York City Cops Will Replace Their 36,000 Windows Phones With iPhones
Posted by News Fetcher on August 28 '17 at 03:21 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's hot-potato department:
The New York City Police Department says it will give up its 36,000 Windows phones and transition to iPhones by the end of the year. The Verge reports: The switch is prompted in part by news in July that Microsoft was ending support for Windows Phone 8.1, which a large percentage of all Windows-powered phones are still using. It's a predictable end to the Windows phone, considering that its market share had already slipped below 1 percent at the time the police department adopted its phones last year. The ill-fated decision to go with the Windows phone was made solely by its NYPD deputy commissioner for IT, according to The New York Post, and apparently did not receive further judgment before implementing the program. The Windows models were Nokia Lumia 830 and Lumia 640 XL, equipped with special 911 apps, case management apps, and the ability to receive assignments. They were purchased as part of a $160 million initiative to modernize the NYPD, which has been around since 1845. The new business for Microsoft's phones was clearly not enough to keep Windows Phone alive.

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The Next iPhone Is Going To Be Unveiled On Sept. 12, Report Says
Posted by News Fetcher on August 28 '17 at 02:01 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's new-and-improved department:
According to CNBC, Apple will host its big iPhone 8 product launch event on September 12th. From the report: The tech giant is expected to announce a bevy of products, including two new iterative iPhone updates, possibly named the iPhone 7s and iPhone 7s Plus, in addition to a high-end iPhone 8. Apple is also reportedly gearing up to announce a new 4K Apple TV that will support sharper content than current models, and a new Apple Watch. The iPhone 8 will reportedly feature a display that takes up almost the entire front of the device, using new OLED panels that are brighter and more colorful than previous screens. Rumor has it Apple has moved the fingerprint reader to the back of the phone but will also support facial recognition thanks to a new 3-D sensor on the front of the device. Rumors have suggested the most high-end iPhone 8 will start at $1,000. Apple typically sells its new phones within a week or so of the announcement.

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IP Lawyer Who Represented TiVo Is Trump's Pick As USPTO Chief
Posted by News Fetcher on August 28 '17 at 02:01 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's welcome-to-the-family department:
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: President Donald Trump has selected Andrei Iancu, the managing partner of a major Los Angeles law firm, to be the next head of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Iancu has been a partner at Irell & Manella since 2004 and was an associate at the firm for five years earlier. His most notable work in the tech sector is likely his representation of TiVo Corp. in its long-running patent battles with companies like EchoStar, Motorola, Microsoft, Verizon, and Cisco. TiVo ultimately succeeded in compelling those defendants to pay up for its pioneering DVR patents, and payments to TiVo ultimately totaled more than $1.6 billion, according to Iancu's biography page. Iancu also had a hand in Immersion Corp.'s $82 million jury verdict against Sony Computer Entertainment, in which a jury found that Immersion's patent claims on tactile feedback technology were valid and infringed. Those big wins aside, most of Iancu's work has been on the defense side. He's represented eBay in a case against Acacia Research Corp., a large, publicly traded non-practicing entity, and he worked for Hewlett-Packard when it defended against Xerox patent claims. He's also worked in the medical device area, enforcing patents for St. Jude Medical on vascular closure devices.

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Someone Published a List of Telnet Credentials For Thousands of IoT Devices
Posted by News Fetcher on August 28 '17 at 02:01 PM
By msmash from Slashdot's privacy-woes department:
An anonymous reader writes: A list of thousands of fully working Telnet credentials has been sitting online on Pastebin since June 11, credentials that can be used by botnet herders to increase the size of their DDoS cannons. The list includes an IP address, device username, and a password, and is mainly made up of default device credentials in the form of "admin:admin", "root:root", and other formats. There are 33,138 entries on the list, which recently became viral on Twitter after several high-profile security experts retweeted a link to it. During the past week, a security researcher has been working to find affected devices and notify owners or their ISPs. Following his work, only 2,174 devices still allow an attacker to log on via its Telnet port, and 1,775 of the published credentials still work. "There are devices on the list of which I never heard of," the researcher said, "and that makes the identification process much slower."

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The Mayweather-McGregor Fight Shows It's Impossible to Stop Social Media Streaming of Big Events
Posted by News Fetcher on August 28 '17 at 12:41 PM
By msmash from Slashdot's unstoppable department:
An anonymous reader shares a report: Nearly 3 million viewers are estimated to have watched the fight this weekend via online streams, according to Irdeto, a digital security firm. Though many of these were slick, traditional streaming websites, there was also a new surge in social streams. Between Periscope, Instagram live, Facebook live, YouTube, Twitch, and smaller platforms like Kodi, Irdeto identified 239 streams of the fight over the weekend. And with the option to have private, share-with-just-your-friends streams (like private Facebook Live feeds), it's likely there are many more streams of the fight that were running than Irdeto wasn't able to track. Social media livestreaming has exploded in recent years, creating a whole new avenue for illegal sharing. In 2015, when Mayweather squared off against Manny Pacquiao in another much-anticipated fight, Periscope was only two months' old. Facebook and Instagram's live feed functions were still a year away. Now, they're as ubiquitous as the platforms that host them. Plus, with every smartphone now equipped with a high definition camera, most homes connected to high-speed internet, and the ease of streamable services on already-familiar social media sites, it's no wonder there was such a torrent of pirated feeds.

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Facebook's 21-Year-Old Wunderkind Leaves For Google
Posted by News Fetcher on August 28 '17 at 12:41 PM
By msmash from Slashdot's musical-chair department:
An anonymous reader shares a report: Facebook hired Michael Sayman for an internship when he was 17 years old, and gave him a full-time engineering job at 18. Now, the wunderkind is leaving for Alphabet's Google. He turned 21 last week. At Facebook, Sayman was a product manager who helped the social-media giant understand how his generation uses their phones, advising on experimental products for teens and helping executives understand trends. At Google, he'll be a product manager for Assistant, a voice-based service built on the search engine's giant database.

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To Survive in Tough Times, Restaurants Turn to Data-Mining
Posted by News Fetcher on August 28 '17 at 11:21 AM
By msmash from Slashdot's tech-to-rescue department:
An anonymous reader shares a report: The early diners are dawdling, so your 7:30 p.m. reservation looks more like 8. While you wait, the last order of the duck you wanted passes by. Tonight, you'll be eating something else -- without a second bottle of wine, because you can't find your server in the busy dining room. This is not your favorite night out. The right data could have fixed it, according to the tech wizards who are determined to jolt the restaurant industry out of its current slump. Information culled and crunched from a wide array of sources can identify customers who like to linger, based on data about their dining histories, so the manager can anticipate your wait, buy you a drink and make the delay less painful. It can track the restaurant's duck sales by day, week and season, and flag you as a regular who likes duck. It can identify a server whose customers have spent a less-than-average amount on alcohol, to see if he needs to sharpen his second-round skills. So Big Data is staging an intervention. Both start-ups and established companies are scrambling to deliver up-to-the-minute data on sales, customers, staff performance or competitors by merging the information that restaurants already have with all sorts of data from outside sources: social media, tracking apps, reservation systems, review sites, even weather reports.

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How the NSA Identified Satoshi Nakamoto
Posted by News Fetcher on August 28 '17 at 11:21 AM
By msmash from Slashdot's 'consider-it-done' department:
An anonymous reader shares a report: The 'creator' of Bitcoin, Satoshi Nakamoto, is the world's most elusive billionaire. Very few people outside of the Department of Homeland Security know Satoshi's real name. In fact, DHS will not publicly confirm that even THEY know the billionaire's identity. Satoshi has taken great care to keep his identity secret employing the latest encryption and obfuscation methods in his communications. Despite these efforts (according to my source at the DHS) Satoshi Nakamoto gave investigators the only tool they needed to find him -- his own words. Using stylometry one is able to compare texts to determine authorship of a particular work. Throughout the years Satoshi wrote thousands of posts and emails and most of which are publicly available. According to my source, the NSA was able to the use the 'writer invariant' method of stylometry to compare Satoshi's 'known' writings with trillions of writing samples from people across the globe. By taking Satoshi's texts and finding the 50 most common words, the NSA was able to break down his text into 5,000 word chunks and analyse each to find the frequency of those 50 words. This would result in a unique 50-number identifier for each chunk. The NSA then placed each of these numbers into a 50-dimensional space and flatten them into a plane using principal components analysis. The result is a 'fingerprint' for anything written by Satoshi that could easily be compared to any other writing. The NSA then took bulk emails and texts collected from their mass surveillance efforts. First through PRISM and then through MUSCULAR, the NSA was able to place trillions of writings from more than a billion people in the same plane as Satoshi's writings to find his true identity. The effort took less than a month and resulted in positive match.

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Hit App Sarahah Quietly Uploads Your Address Book
Posted by News Fetcher on August 28 '17 at 10:01 AM
By msmash from Slashdot's privacy-woes department:
An anonymous reader shares a report: Sarahah, a new app that lets people sign up to receive anonymized, candid messages, has been surging in popularity; somewhere north of 18 million people are estimated to have downloaded it from Apple and Google's online stores, making it the No. 3 most downloaded free software title for iPhones and iPads. Sarahah bills itself as a way to "receive honest feedback" from friends and employees. But the app is collecting more than just feedback messages. When launched for the first time, it immediately harvests and uploads all phone numbers and email addresses in your address book. Although Sarahah does in some cases ask for permission to access contacts, it does not disclose that it uploads such data, nor does it seem to make any functional use of the information. Zachary Julian, a senior security analyst at Bishop Fox, discovered Sarahah is uploading of private information when he installed the app on his Android phone, a Galaxy S5 running Android 5.1.1. The phone was outfitted with monitoring software, known as Burp Suite, which intercepts internet traffic entering and leaving the device, allowing the owner to see what data is sent to remote servers. When Julian launched Sarahah on the device, Burp Suite caught the app in the act of uploading his private data.

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'The MacBook Pro's One-Year-Old Signature Feature Touch Bar Has No Future, But Users Are Required To Pay a Premium For It'
Posted by News Fetcher on August 28 '17 at 10:01 AM
By msmash from Slashdot's reality-check department:
Chuq Von Rospach, a former Apple employee and commentator, has criticized the MacBook-maker to force consumers to pay extra for the Touch Bar -- a signature feature of the last year's MacBook Pro lineup -- in order to have the highest-end MacBook Pro currently available. He writes: The current [MacBook Pro] line forces users to pay for the Touch Bar on the higher end devices whether they want it or not, and that's a cost users shouldn't need to pay for a niche technology without a future. So Apple needs to either roll the Touch Bar out to the entire line and convince us we want it, or roll it back and offer more laptop options without it. [...] So what's the future of the Touch Bar? I don't know. I'm not sure Apple does, either. I was fascinated that when Apple released the iMacs earlier this year not one word was mentioned about the Touch Bar or Touch ID and support for them via an updated keyboard or trackpad was nowhere to be found. I'm taking that as an indication that after the lackluster response to this with the laptop releases, they've gone back to the drawing board a bit before rolling it out further.

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Google Takes Blame For Internet Disruption Across Japan
Posted by News Fetcher on August 28 '17 at 08:41 AM
By msmash from Slashdot's internet-disruption department:
An anonymous reader shares a report: Google on Saturday accepted responsibility for the widespread internet disruptions Japan experienced the previous day. The search engine giant apologized for the trouble, saying it was caused by an errant network setting that was corrected within eight minutes of its discovery. Google did not say whether human error or a technical malfunction was to blame. The disrupted services used internet connections provided by NTT Communications Corp. and KDDI Corp., both of which said Friday that the issues were caused by a change in the flow of data traffic. From a report on The Register: The trouble began when Google 'leaked' a big route table to Verizon, the result of which was traffic from Japanese giants like NTT and KDDI was sent to Google on the expectation it would be treated as transit. Since Google doesn't provide transit services, as BGP Mon explains, that traffic either filled a link beyond its capacity, or hit an access control list, and disappeared. The outage in Japan only lasted a couple of hours, but was so severe that Japan Times reports the country's Internal Affairs and Communications ministries want carriers to report on what went wrong.

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Thousands of ATMs Go Down in Indonesia After Satellite Problems
Posted by News Fetcher on August 28 '17 at 08:41 AM
By msmash from Slashdot's technical-problems department:
Thousands of ATMs and electronic card payment machines in Indonesia went offline over the weekend, and it might take two more weeks before full service is restored, after an outage from a satellite belonging to state-controlled telecom giant PT Telekomunikasi Indonesia (Telkom). From a report: Around 15,000 ground sites across Indonesia were affected by the problem on the 'Telkom-1' satellite, whose service is used by government agencies, banks, broadcasters and other corporations, Telkom's president director Alex Sinaga told reporters on Monday. A shift in the direction of the satelliteâ(TM)s antenna, which was first detected last Friday, had disrupted connectivity. Bank Central Asia (BCA), Indonesia's largest bank by market value, had around 5,700 of its ATMs affected by the outage, or 30 percent of the total operated by the bank, BCA chief executive Jahja Setiaatmadja told reporters. The Internet connection in some remote BCA branches were also affected, he said.

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Amazon Just Made Shopping at Whole Foods Cheaper
Posted by News Fetcher on August 28 '17 at 07:21 AM
By msmash from Slashdot's amazonization department:
Whole Foods just got less expensive. From a report: On Monday, the day that Amazon's $13.7 billion acquisition of the grocer went through, prices on certain Whole Foods items immediately dropped. On Friday, Business Insider visited a Whole Foods location in the Gowanus neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York, and checked the prices on 15 items (including a few variations on similar items) mentioned by the companies. The total cost of the basket on Friday -- pre-acquisition -- was $97.76. On Monday, we returned to the Gowanus Whole Foods and checked back in on the same items. This time, the total cost of the 15 items was $75.85. That's a nearly 23% drop in the total cost. Whole Trade Banana: 30 cents (Price dropped to $0.49 a pound from $0.79). Lean Ground Beef: $2 (Price dropped to $4.99 a pound from $6.99). Local Grass-Fed 85% Lean Ground Beef: $4 (Price dropped to $6.99 a pound from $10.99). Four-pack of Organic Avocado: $0 (Price stayed at $6.99 for a pack of four). Hass Avocados: $1.01 (Price dropped to $1.49 each from $2.50) for instance.

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Expedia CEO Dara Khosrowshahi Will Be Offered the Job as Uber's New CEO
Posted by News Fetcher on August 28 '17 at 07:21 AM
By msmash from Slashdot's next-up department:
Kara Swisher, reporting for Recode: The board of Uber has voted and wants Expedia Dara Khosrowshahi to be its next CEO. But here is a shocking twist for those who have had to endure this awful, messy and convoluted process: He has not been officially offered the job as of 15 minutes ago, said sources. Still, most expect him to take it and he appears to be the one person dueling factions of the board can agree on. Unknown until now, Khosrowshahi was the third candidate -- after Hewlett Packard Enterprise CEO Meg Whitman and former General Electric CEO Jeff Immelt. Khosrowshahi is considered the "truce" choice for the board, which has been riven by ugly infighting between ousted CEO Travis Kalanick and one of its major investors, Benchmark. Benchmark had backed Whitman, while Kalanick had backed Immelt. Sources said that going into this morning, after Immelt withdrew his name from contention when it was clear he would not win the job, Whitman had the upper hand in the race for the job. But she also wanted a number of things -- including less involvement by ousted Uber CEO Travis Kalanick and more board control -- that became too problematic for the directors, said sources.

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As Prosecutors Submit Evidence, WannaCry Hero's Legal Fund Returns All Donations
Posted by News Fetcher on August 28 '17 at 03:21 AM
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's fraudulent-funding department:
An anonymous reader quote BuzzFeed:
The vast majority of money raised to pay for the legal defense of beloved British cybersecurity researcher Marcus Hutchins was donated with stolen or fake credit card numbers, and all donations, including legitimate ones, will be returned, the manager of the defense fund says. Lawyer Tor Ekeland, who managed the fund, said at least $150,000 of the money collected came from fraudulent sources, and that the prevalence of fraudulent donations effectively voided the entire fundraiser. He said he'd been able to identify only about $4,900 in legitimate donations, but that he couldn't be certain even of those. "I don't want to take the risk, so I just refunded everything," he said.

Two days later, Hutchins posted the following on Twitter. "When sellouts are talking shit about the 'infosec community' remember that someone I'd never met flew to Vegas to pay $30K cash for my bail."
Hutchins is facing up to 40 years in prison, and at first was only allowed to leave his residence for four hours each week. Thursday a judge lifted some restrictions so that Hutchins is now allowed to travel to Milwaukee, where his employer is located. According to Bloomberg, government prosecutors complain Hutchins now "has too much freedom while awaiting trial and may skip the country."
Clickthrough for a list of the evidence government prosecutors submitted to the court this week.

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201 MPH Pod Run Wins SpaceX's Second Hyperloop Competition
Posted by News Fetcher on August 28 '17 at 12:40 AM
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's now-this-is-pod-racing department:
An anonymous reader quotes GeekWire:
The speediest team from SpaceX founder Elon Musk's first Hyperloop pod competition has done it again: WARR Hyperloop from Germany's Technical University of Munich won today's second contest by sending its magnetic-levitation pod through a nearly mile-long test tunnel at a peak speed of 201 mph. Musk announced WARR's victory to a crowd in the stands at SpaceX's headquarters in Hawthorne, California, and in a tweet... This weekend's competition brought about two dozen teams to Hawthorne, including a student group from the University of Washington. Each of the teams developed a pod that was designed to test engineering approaches for Musk's Hyperloop rapid-transit concept, which calls for sending people and cargo through low-pressure tubes at near-supersonic speeds.
Musk also tweeted that it "might be possible to go supersonic" in the 0.8-mile test Hyperloop tube, though he conceded it would require an extremely high acceleration (and deceleration) because of the short distance.

"For passenger transport, this can be spread over 20+ miles, so no spilt drinks."

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OpenJDK May Tackle Java Security Gaps With A Secretive New Group
Posted by News Fetcher on August 27 '17 at 08:40 PM
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's beyond-the-bylaws department:
An anonymous reader quotes InfoWorld:
To shore up Java's security, a private group that operates outside the normal open source community process is under consideration. The proposed OpenJDK Vulnerability Group would provide a secure, private forum in which trusted members of the community receive reports on vulnerabilities in code bases and then review and fix them... The vulnerability group and Oracle's internal security teams would work together, and it may occasionally need to work with external security organizations.

Due to the sensitive nature of its work, membership in the group would be more selective, there would be a strict communication policy, and members or their employers would need to sign both a nondisclosure and a license agreement, said Mark Reinhold, chief architect of the Java platform group at Oracle. "These requirements do, strictly speaking, violate the OpenJDK bylaws," Reinhold said. "The governing board has discussed this, however, and I expect that the board will approve the creation of this group with these exceptional requirements." If the Java security group is approved, Andrew Gross, leader of Oracle's internal Java vulnerability team, would lead it.

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China Orders Internet Comments Linked To Real Identities
Posted by News Fetcher on August 27 '17 at 06:01 PM
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's no-more-secrets department:
A (truly) anonymous Slashdot reader quotes Engadget:
China isn't slowing down in its bid to silence online political opposition. As of October 1st, the country will require that tech firms hold on to records of the real identities of everyone posting comments on internet message boards. This is to discourage "false rumors, filthy language and illegal messages," according to the government. Of course, it's that last part that Chinese officials are really interested in -- they know you're less likely to challenge the political order if investigators can easily track you down.

The timing of this identity requirement, the VPN restriction and other crackdowns (such as an investigation into internet giants for allowing material that "harms the social order") isn't coincidental. China's ruling party has its next national congress later in 2017, and it has a habit of ramping up censorship around these gatherings to discourage criticism of party policies.

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