Iain Thomson

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prison

Phiendish phisher gets phive years in phederal for $2m phlights phraud

A hacker who screwed airlines out of millions of dollars was jailed on Monday for four years and ten months. Eric Donys Simeu, of Cameroon, had pleaded guilty to computer and wire fraud in December. The 32-year-old admitted he used stolen usernames and passwords to access booking systems to buy flights that were resold for …
Iain Thomson, 06 Jun 2017

Japanese cops arrest their first ransomware-slinging menace – er, a 14-year-old school boy

Japanese cops have, for the first time ever, arrested a ransomware maker – a teenage tearaway. The 14-year-old from Osaka Prefecture in western Japan was collared on June 5 after police tracked him down as the suspected creator of home-grown ransomware that was being spammed out on social media and hosted on an overseas …
Iain Thomson, 06 Jun 2017

Microsoft totters from time machine clutching Windows 10 Workstation

It looks like the 1990s are back in fashion: Microsoft is, it seems, preparing another flavor of Windows 10 – the tentatively named Windows 10 Pro for Workstations. We can't help but be reminded of the Windows NT Workstation era in the early 1990s – the branding Microsoft used to distance Windows for beefy work PCs from …
Iain Thomson, 06 Jun 2017
winner

Cuffed: Govt contractor 'used work PC to leak' evidence of Russia's US election hacking

A 25-year-old contractor has been charged with leaking NSA files that claim Russian intelligence hacked at least one maker of voting software used in 2016's US elections. Reality Leigh Winner, who held a top-secret clearance and worked at government tech provider Pluribus International, is accused of passing classified …
Iain Thomson, 06 Jun 2017
Harvard

Class clowns literally classless: Harvard axes meme-flinging morons

At least ten students due to start at Harvard this fall have had their admission offers torn up – after they swapped offensive piffle online. Specifically, the cyber-garbage was posted on the official Harvard College Class of 2021 Facebook group, set up for applicants who have been accepted by the Ivy League university. Some …
Iain Thomson, 05 Jun 2017

ESA astronaut decelerates from 28,800kph to zero in first bumpy landing

The crew of the International Space Station is down to three after European Space Agency astronaut Thomas Pesquet and Russian cosmonaut Oleg Novitski landed rather uncomfortably in the wilds of Kazakhstan. The duo departed the ISS in their Soyuz capsule at 0347 PDT (1037 UTC) and rotated 180 degrees to fire the engines in …
Iain Thomson, 02 Jun 2017
ViaSat2

ViaSat lofts world's most powerful communications satellite into orbit

American comms specialist ViaSat is set to put the world's most powerful communications satellite into orbit on Thursday afternoon atop an Ariane rocket. The launch – scheduled for 1645 PDT (Friday 2345 UTC) from the Guiana Space Centre in French Guiana – will see the 6,418kg (14,149lb) Boeing-built ViaSat 2 sent up into …
Iain Thomson, 01 Jun 2017
SpaceX

After reusing a rocket, SpaceX tries reusing Dragon capsule for ISS resupply

Updated On Thursday afternoon, SpaceX is planning to relaunch a Dragon supply capsule that already spent a month in space nearly three years ago. The Commercial Resupply Services mission (CRS-11) will, weather permitting, blast off from Launch Complex 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida at 1755 EDT (2155 UTC) with nearly 6, …
Iain Thomson, 01 Jun 2017

Florida court's schizophrenic rulings throw mobe passcode privacy into doubt

Two Tuesday court rulings in the strange Sunshine State of Florida have given very mixed messages on the rights of phone users to keep their passcodes private. In a case of suspected child beating, Broward Circuit Court Judge Michael Rothschild sentenced Christopher Wheeler, 41, to 180 days in jail after the passcode he …
Iain Thomson, 31 May 2017
judy

Android apps punched out by Judy malware

As many as 36.5 million Android users may have been infected by advertising fraud malware that could have been lurking in Google Play Store for years. The malware, dubbed "Judy" by the researchers at Check Point who discovered it, was found in 41 apps in the Store, all made by Korean publisher ENISTUDIO. While Google has now …
Iain Thomson, 30 May 2017
box

Andy Rubin teases next week's launch of Essential phone

Android creator Andy Rubin has been running in stealth mode with his forthcoming smartphone startup Essential, but has now released a teaser picture of his new handset. Next week the startup will unveil its first comms device, and judging from the silhouette image, it's going to look very odd indeed. The handset follows the …
Iain Thomson, 26 May 2017
bubble

Bitcoin exchange Coinbase crashes after Asian buying frenzy

Over the past couple of weeks, the price of Bitcoin has gone up 50 per cent, spiking at over $2,700 per unit on Thursday. Demand has been so great that popular exchange Coinbase has been unable to keep up. "Coinbase has experienced unprecedented traffic and trading volume this week," the exchange warned. "As a result, …
Iain Thomson, 26 May 2017
jupiter

Juno's first data causing boffins to rewrite the text books on Jupiter

Scientists were expecting a lot of new data from the Juno space probe orbiting Jupiter, and they haven't been disappointed. The most massive planet in the Solar System is turning out to have a lot of surprises. In a press conference on Thursday, NASA engineers and astrophysicists detailed the first science results from the …
Iain Thomson, 25 May 2017
jail

Three Nigerians sentenced to 235 years in prison for online scamming

A court in Mississippi has sentenced three Nigerian men to 235 years in prison for running online scams that duped people out of tens of millions of dollars. Oladimeji Seun Ayelotan, 30, was sentenced to 95 years in prison today, with associates Rasaq Aderoju Raheem, 31, getting 115 years and Femi Alexander Mewase, 45, getting …
Iain Thomson, 25 May 2017
Psyche

Orbital boffins cut four years off NASA mission to shiniest object in the Solar System

NASA has come up with a cunning plan that will allow it to shave four years of flight time off its mission to the biggest chunk of visible iron in the Solar System, and will use souped-up solar power to get there. In January NASA approved the mission to send a probe out to the asteroid 16 Psyche, which is thought to be a …
Iain Thomson, 25 May 2017
Election hacking

Democracy-minded DEF CON hackers promise punishing probe on US election computers

Organizers at the DEF CON hacking conference in July are planning a mass cracking of US electronic election machines. The event, which for over 20 years has attracted the best and the brightest in the hacking community, will see a group hackathon against the voting machines that are used in every US election these days. The …
Iain Thomson, 24 May 2017

Target inks $18.5m deal with US states to settle 2013 data breach

Target, the shopping behemoth for people who are too classy to go to Walmart, has today reached a settlement with 47 states and the District of Columbia over the 2013 hacking incident that saw 70 million customers lose their personal information. In December 2013, at the height of the shopping season, the retailer announced …
Iain Thomson, 23 May 2017
LeEco car

Bloodbath at LeEco US as Chinese tech upstart implodes with layoffs

It has all gone pear-shaped for Chinese conglomerate LeEco after the firm told nearly 70 per cent of its US staff that their services will no longer be required. LeEco had around 500 employees in the US, largely based in Silicon Valley. They hired some big-name engineers from competitors, but on Tuesday management announced …
Iain Thomson, 23 May 2017
Windows 10 China

Redmond puts wall around Windows 10 for Chinese government edition

While much attention has been focused on the new Surface Pro laptop Microsoft has launched in Shanghai on Tuesday, the company also announced a special build of its operating system for China. Dubbed the Windows 10 China Government Edition, the new OS is a product of over a year of collaboration with local trader China …
Iain Thomson, 23 May 2017
drone

Chinese e-tailer beats Amazon to the skies with one-ton delivery drones

JD.com, China's largest online retailer, has announced it is beginning trials of a new delivery drone capable of carrying a ton of cargo to rural Chinese customers. Just like Amazon, JD.com (also known as "Jingdong") has a vast network of warehouses and delivery networks crisscrossing the Middle Kingdom and, like Amazon, it …
Iain Thomson, 23 May 2017
lock

New York Attorney General settles with Bluetooth lock maker over insecurity claims

Computer-controlled locks are some of the more popular Internet of Things devices making it into the home, and in the first settlement of its kind, the New York Attorney General has reached an agreement with a manufacturer to make them more secure against hackers. At last year's DEF CON hacking conference, two researchers …
Iain Thomson, 22 May 2017
wannacry

Wannacry: Everything you still need to know because there were so many unanswered Qs

Vid It has been a week since the Wannacry ransomware burst onto the world's computers – and security researchers think they have figured out how it all started. Many assumed the nasty code made its way into organizations via email – either spammed out, or tailored for specific individuals – using infected attachments. Once …
Iain Thomson, 20 May 2017
Google, photo by lightpoet via Shutterstock

Cook fights for life after Google summit blaze

Google I/O A kitchen worker remains in critical condition after suffering life-threatening injuries from a blaze at the annual Google I/O developer conference on Thursday. Three people were taken to hospital as a result of the fire at the event's venue, the Shoreline Ampitheatre in Mountain View, California. The flames flared up as …
Iain Thomson, 19 May 2017
fraud

Wow, someone managed to make money on Fitbit stock – oh, 'fraudulently'

While Fitbit investors may be weeping over the wearable upstart's slumped share price, at least one person made out like a bandit on the stock, allegedly. On Friday, America's financial watchdog, the SEC, filed fraud charges against Robert Murray, of Virginia, accusing him of ramping up Fitbit's stock price temporarily via …
Iain Thomson, 19 May 2017
White House

White House sicko sent down for 20 years after sexting underage girls

A US Secret Service agent tasked with protecting the White House has started a 20-year stretch for sending explicit snaps to underage girls – sometimes while on duty. Lee Robert Moore, 38, a uniformed member of the Secret Service, pled guilty in March to charges of enticement of a minor to engage in sexual activity and …
Iain Thomson, 18 May 2017

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