Richard Chirgwin

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Schematics of the Parkes FRB detection

Deutsche Telekom phish alert

Another day, another customer database leak: this time, it's Germany's Deutsche Telekom. The carrier says it's telling customers to reset their passwords, after being made aware of a database of T-Online e-mail addresses and passwords being offered for sale on darknet sites. Between 64,000 and 120,000 customers may be …
Cthulu springs from HP desktop printer

NSW Education system fail: price rises, delivery slips, AGAIN

NSW TAFE might have canned the enrolment system imposed on it under the state's disastrous Department of Education IT project, but the rest of the system grinds on. The department now says the troubled Learning and Business Management Reform project won't be complete until the end of 2017, by which time it will pass AU$750 …

Singapore Airlines 777 catches fire after engine alarm

A Singapore Airlines Boeing 777 carrying 241 passengers and crew has caught fire at Changi Airport, but everybody was evacuated safely. The 777-300ER had left for Milan when an engine oil warning forced it to turn around. It touched down shortly before 7am local time, and while on the runway, the fire started. Emergency crews …
Envisat

Down and out in the Middle Kingdom: Beijing is sinking

Beijing is one of the most water-stressed cities in the world, and research carried out using satellite interferometry shows one of the side-effects of that: the city is sinking. Not by a trivial amount, either: according to this open-access study in the journal Remote Sensing, the eastern part of the city is subsiding by 100 …

Broadcom plans quarter-BEEELION expansion in Malaysia

Broadcom is going to tip US$250 million into Malaysia, announcing plans to expand its operation in Penang. The company has told local media it wants to add 175 engineers to the office, as well as 60 staff to its global supply chain operations. The Star Online identifies product development and testing, supply chain planning, …
Artist's impression of Juno and Jupiter. Pic: NASA

Countdown to Jupiter: Juno just seven days from orbit

Juno is on the seven-day countdown to entering Jovian orbit, and it's going to be a wild ride. On May 31, the probe crossed the boundary between solar gravity and Jupiter's. That also marked the start of manoeuvering towards an orbit that's going to take it within 5,000 km of the planet's cloud tops for 37 flybys. As space …

Jkanime dropping Neutrino

Forcepoint reckons the Jkanime site was popped last week to serve up the Neutrino exploit kit, demanding 1.2 Bitcoin from victims to release their files. Infected users had their files encrypted by CryptXXX 3.0, the advisory states. Neutrino has been on the rise since the Angler Exploit Kit dropped off the radar. ®
DARPA

DARPA's 'flying wing' drone inches closer to lift-off

Apparently, DARPA likes what it sees in its TERN project. Earlier this month, it gave contractor Northrop Grumman just under US$18 million to build the second of its Tactically Exploited Reconnaissance Node aircraft. Part of the significance of this is that the contract notice that went out on June 17 was the first hint the …
IRS

IRS kills off PINs citing increasing suspicious activity

America's Internal Revenue Service has brought forward the discontinuation of the electronic filing PIN that was supposed to protect customers. After an embarrassing security breach in February of this year, it issued PINs to millions of Americans to try and protect what secrets they still had. That program was suspended in …
Telstra copper in broken pit

Aust Federal Police keep lid on docs that triggered NBN raids

The Australian Federal Police has determined that one of the least-secret projects in the country can't be discussed lest it endanger national security. On that basis, the AFP's decided not to release the December letter that sparked off its investigation into leaks surrounding the National Broadband Network (NBN). Fairfax …
Big cloud, image via Shutterstock

Juniper preps global policy manager for OpenContrail

Juniper Networks seems to have big plans for its OpenContrail SDN controller: it would like to see it act as a kind of “meta-controller” for multiple cloud and data centre controllers. It's quietly pushed up the first code of what is, for now, dubbed “project Ukai” at Github. The alpha-level code has two top-line aims: to run …
Ethernet cable rises up like a snake (artist's impression). Image via shutterstock

Arista-scat! Possible import ban looms after US ITC decision

Ethernet switch vendor Arista faces a possible import ban, after losing a key round in its ongoing patent battle with Cisco. Since 2014, Switchzilla has been pursuing Arista, chiefly on the accusation that the upstart's command-line interface is the same as the IOS CLI. While Arista was cleared over two patents, the ITC has …

Objective-C can fly the COOP, says subversive at Microsoft Research

Objective-C programmers should use message authentication codes to protect sensitive objects and data structures, according to research presented to this week's Usenix Annual Technical Conference (ATC). A Microsoft Research staffer, and software researchers from UC Irving in America and folks in Germany focused on a technique …
Bring out yer dead!

Genes take a shot at rebooting after death

In one of the creepiest bits of science Vulture South has ever encountered, a US scientist has identified 1,000 genes that become active after death. Not just immediately post-mortem, either: some of the genes in question, found in zebrafish, remained active four days after the fish died (and in mice, they were active two days …
Fan

Israeli researcher fans fears: here's another way to cross the airgap

Pity the weary sysadmin who's just finished silencing the loudspeakers in the company's computers to keep data behind the air gap: processor fans can also be used to whisper your secrets. Israeli white-hat Mordechai Guri, who last year fiddled with firmware to transmit crypto keys from computers to feature phones on GSM …
Man reading newspaper with glasses on his head

Advantec HMI vulnerable

Advantech sysadmins: if you use the company's WebAccess human-machine interface (HMI) product, you'll need to upgrade it against newly-disclosed vulnerabilities. The company mistakenly marked a number of DLLs as safe-for-scripting, when they were intended for restricted use; and there's a buffer overflow that can be triggered …

Dutch court says BREIN should get e-book uploaders' names

A Netherlands court has ordered two Usenet providers, Eweka and Usenetter, to hand over subscriber details over alleged copyright violations. The case was launched by anti-piracy group BREIN, which is trying to hunt down whoever uploaded more than 2,000 e-books to Usenet via the providers. Eweka and Usenetter cancelled the …
Black hole - spaghetti visualisation. Artist's impression.  NASA/JPL-Caltech, CC BY-SA

Fat-thumbed a BGP entry? Relax, now your pain has a name

Users are familiar with those occasional events in which a sysadmin fat-thumb results in traffic getting deep-sixed – like, for example, this week's huge Telia outage. It's a problem that plagues the Internet and has done for years: the foundational Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) was designed in an era long-gone where sysadmins …
Fibre below

Quigley: FTTP wasn't a failed project

Founding NBN CEO Mike Quigley has given a speech defending both his legacy and the original fibre-to-the-premises network plan. The speech, given to Melbourne University's Networked Society Institute and the Telecommunications Society, is most notable for the extensive detail Quigley provides to support his case. Posted here …
Big cloud, image via Shutterstock

Secure Islands digested, Redmond pushes out DLP tool

The offering is based on Redmond's October 2015 acquisition of Israeli firm Secure Islands, whose technology is being integrated into Azure Rights Management (RMS). The aim, quoth Microsoftie Dan Plastina, is to use employee identity as the basis for protecting corporate information. The product, Azure Information Protection, …
Man in a suit drinking tea out doors reading from his tablet

Linux on PS3 white flag

Sony has offered up a settlement in its long-running Linux-on-PS3 class action, and as many as 10 million owners could be in line for a payout. When it first shipped, the PlayStation 3 was celebrated by Penguinistas as the first gaming console that could boot up Linux out-of-the-box. It quickly regretted the decision, because …
band_aid_648

Libarchive needs patching again

Users, developers, sysadmins – World+Dog, really – need to get busy patching libarchive, after Cisco Talos researchers turned up three new vulnerabilities. Described here, the bugs all relate to input validation. CVE-2016-4300 is a heap overflow in its handling of 7zip files: a malicious file can cause an integer overflow, …
European flag with sad face

Intel still chip, chip, chippin' away at the European Commission's anti-trust fine

Intel's rearguard action to avoid a billion-Euro-plus fine continued this week in a Luxembourg court, with the company arguing that the 2009 European Commission penalty was unfair. The ancient spat – it began with an October 2000 complaint by AMD – concerns whether or not rebates Intel paid to OEMs to use its processors …

Boffins map Netflix's Open Connect CDN

Brit boffins have peeled back the covers of how Netflix has built its CDN, by requesting movies from all over the world and working out what the responses told them about the hosts. The research incidentally explains why the entertainment biz wants the Internet exchange (IXP) industry to trim its costs: in the USA, IXPs …

Clouds rain revenue on Adobe's business

Adobe's reported continued growth in its cloud subscriptions, but not enough to satisfy investors. Its Q2 2016 revenue rose 20.4 per cent year-on-year to US$1.4 billion on the back of Creative Cloud subscriptions: the digital media business piled on 26 per cent year-on-year to hit $943 million, with Creative Cloud chipping in …