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Bruce Schneier

Q&A: Schneier on trust, NSA spying and the end of US internet hegemony

Bruce Schneier is the man who literally wrote the book on modern encryption, publishing Applied Cryptography in 1994, and for the past 20 years has been an important and sometimes outspoken voice in the security industry. He founded the firm Counterpane Internet Security (later sold to BT), and is also a board member of the …
Iain Thomson, 27 Feb 2014
FBI's Cyber Most Wanted: Latest entries

New FBI boss says cyber crime, not terrorism, is top of Feds' todo list

The FBI's new director James Comey has told the RSA security conference in San Francisco that he is making thwarting online crime the major focus for his agency in the coming decade. As a result, agents will shift from a reactive mode into a more forward-looking approach when tackling internet crims, by offering services with …
Iain Thomson, 27 Feb 2014

Schneier: NSA snooping tactics will be copied by criminals in 3 to 5 years

If you thought NSA snooping was bad, you ain't seen nothing yet: online criminals have also been watching and should soon be able to copy the agency's invasive surveillance tactics, according to security guru Bruce Schneier. "The NSA techniques give about a three to five year lead on what cyber-criminals will do," he told an …
Iain Thomson, 26 Feb 2014

Microsoft: NSA snooping? Code backdoors? Our hands are clean!

Microsoft's isn't involved in mass spying or putting backdoors in its software, Redmond's VP of Trustworthy Computing Group Scott Charney told the RSA conference. Why? Because it's unethical and bad for business, he said. "We've not been concerned about the Snowden disclosures because we've been principled," he said. "We do …
Iain Thomson, 25 Feb 2014

Make cyberwar a no-no equal to nukes, bio, and chemical attacks, says RSA headman

RSA's chairman Art Coviello has come out fighting over claims that his firm is colluding with the NSA to weaken standards, calling for the breakup of the intelligence agency and a new global set of standards to make online warfare as unacceptable as the use of nuclear or chemical weapons. Coviello said that RSA, along with …
Iain Thomson, 25 Feb 2014
sandisk

Sandisk breaks 128GB barrier with new $199 MICROSD card

Ten years ago SanDisk showed off its first microSD card with what was then an impressive 128MB storage. Now the company has unveiled a 128GB model, specially designed for use in Android smartphones. "The new SanDisk Ultra microSDXC card again demonstrates how SanDisk continues to expand the possibilities of storage so that …
Iain Thomson, 25 Feb 2014
Giant impact, common at the end of planet formation

Moon flashes Earth after getting pounding from MASSIVE meteorite

Scientists have reported spotting the biggest meteorite impact ever seen on the Moon's surface – after a 400kg (900lb) rock slammed into the lunar regolith at an estimated 17km/s, leaving a crater about 50 metres wide. Youtube Video The impact was seen on September 11 by the Moon Impacts Detection and Analysis System (MIDAS) in …
Iain Thomson, 24 Feb 2014

1bn down, 6bn to go: Zuck to grow Facebook by touting 'free internet onramp' for the poor

Mark Zuckerberg has used his keynote address at this year's Mobile World Congress to expound on his rough plan to expand basic internet services to all humanity as a human right, and then sell them something on the back of them. He told the Barcelona audience that Internet.org – a partnership between Facebook and mobile …
Iain Thomson, 24 Feb 2014
Mars One colony development

Muslim clerics issue fatwa banning the devout from Mars One 'suicide' mission

A religious row has broken out over Mars One's plans to send volunteers to the Red Planet on a one-way mission that will be televised for the world's entertainment. In April the Dutch group Mars One announced plans to send four people to a Martian habitat by 2023, with more settlers arriving every two years. The estimated $6bn …
Iain Thomson, 22 Feb 2014

Google's 1Gbps fiber 'not driving' Time Warner Cable's sudden Austin speed increase

Time Warner Cable (TWC) is to upgrade its network in Austin, Texas over the summer to allow internet speeds of up to 300Mbps, but says this has nothing to do with Google's decision to make the city its third installation of 1Gbps fiber. "It's not driving it, it's more about customer demand," a company spokeswoman told The …
Iain Thomson, 21 Feb 2014

Uni of Maryland hacked: 300,000 SSNs of staff, students, alumni swiped

Former and current staff and students at the University of Maryland are going to be getting a free year of credit score protection after hackers slurped the names, social security numbers, dates of birth, and university identification numbers for 309,079 people. "The University of Maryland was the victim of a sophisticated …
Iain Thomson, 21 Feb 2014
Astrobotics rover

Google picks five teams to share $6 MEEELLION funding in Lunar X Prize

Next year Google could dish out its $30m Lunar X Prize if a private organization manages to safely land a vehicle on the surface of the Moon and trundle it across the lunar regolith. Now the first $6m of that money is up for grabs. Of the 18 teams competing for the grand prize, five have been selected to take part in trials this …
Iain Thomson, 21 Feb 2014
Project Tango handset

Project Tango: Google's all-ringing, all-dancing 3D-sensing smartphone

Google hasn’t just kept Motorola's patents in its deal with Lenovo, it's also keeping the mobile manufacturer's skunkworkish Advanced Technology and Projects (ATAP) group. And that team has just unveiled a new smartphone dubbed Project Tango, which is aimed at developers. Project Tango handset Project Tango ... watching you …
Iain Thomson, 20 Feb 2014

Beware Greeks bearing lists: Bank-raiding nasty Zeus smuggles attack orders in JPEGs

A new variant of the bank-account-raiding Zeus malware apparently uses the ancient technique of steganography to update its list of websites to subvert. Dubbed ZeusVM, the crafty strain is just like its cousins in that it intercepts activity in a victim's web browser, siphons off passwords and other sensitive personal …
Iain Thomson, 20 Feb 2014
FCC logo

FCC will have to drop a bombshell to solve net-neutrality conundrum

The Federal Communications Commission chairman's decision to draft new rules ensuring net neutrality principles are applied to internet traffic hasn't impressed many, and it's becoming clear that his agency will have to make an all-or-nothing decision on the issue. The January appeal court decision in Verizon v FCC gutted the …
Iain Thomson, 20 Feb 2014
Viking

Wurm turns! DDoSed online game universe offers €10,000 bounty for the hacker's head

Wurm Online, a popular massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG), has been taken offline in a troublesome distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack shortly after updating its software. Now the founders have put up a €10,000 ($13,743) reward for the conviction of those responsible. "Shortly after today's update …
Iain Thomson, 20 Feb 2014
The glowing remains of Cassiopeia A

Doomed Cassiopeia star was sloshed just before deadly supernova blast

The NuSTAR X-ray space telescope has shown the star Cassiopeia A, one of our most recent nearby supernova, was sloshing and bubbling before its final explosive collapse. The glowing remains of Cassiopeia A The glowing remains of Cassiopeia A Scientists have been focusing on Cassiopeia A (Cas A), which is one of the earliest …
Iain Thomson, 19 Feb 2014

Forget unified communications, we want universal comms, Microsoft insists

Microsoft has opened its Lync Conference in Las Vegas with the claim that it's the top dog in the unified communications (UC) market and demonstrations of new apps that Redmond thinks will move it into a position of providing "universal communications." "We believe that we are basically the number one vendor in terms of UC line …
Iain Thomson, 19 Feb 2014
NSA parody T-shirt

Fine, you can mock us: NSA spies back down in T-shirt ridicule brouhaha

The NSA and Department of Homeland Security have abandoned efforts to shut down an internet site selling parodies of its logos on T-shirts, coffee cups and bumper stickers. A tee with a slogan reads: The NSA, the only part of the government that listens Fort Meade shows a poor sense of humor Almost three years ago the NSA …
Iain Thomson, 18 Feb 2014
LLCD laser space broadband

NASA's orbiting space-broadband probe LADEE beams back Moon snaps

NASA's LADEE (Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer) probe orbiting the Moon has sent its first images of the lunar surface and the surrounding stars as it fine-tunes its navigation system. The satellite, which was launched in September during an unintentional amphibian barbecue, spent the early part of the past month …
Iain Thomson, 18 Feb 2014
Mars jelly doughnut

'The Mystery of the Martian Doughnut' solved by NASA sleuths

NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory says it has solved the mystery of a doughnut-shaped rock that appeared in front of its Opportunity Mars rover in January. Mars doughnut Before and after doughnut delivery (click to enlarge) The 1.5-inch rock, dubbed Pinnacle Island, appeared on Opportunity's cameras on January 8, and NASA …
Iain Thomson, 15 Feb 2014
Google Fiber

Google promises 10Gps fiber network to blast 4K into living rooms

Google Fiber is the fastest broadband internet provider in the US, but according to the Chocolate Factory's CFO Patrick Pichette, its 1Gbps connection speeds are going to increase ten-fold. Pichette told the Goldman Sachs Technology and Internet conference that the firm is actively developing the equipment to pump 10Gbps of data …
Iain Thomson, 14 Feb 2014

US Senate bill would mandate 'kill switch' on all smartphones

All mobile phones sold in the US will have to include free software that can remotely wipe and disable the device if it is stolen, should a new bill introduced in the Senate becomes law. "Cell phone theft has become a big business for thieves looking to cash in on these devices and any valuable information they contain, costing …
Iain Thomson, 14 Feb 2014
Tom Perkins

'No representation without taxation!' urges venerable tech VC

After apologizing for his comments comparing increased taxation on the rich to the Nazi pogrom of Kristallnacht, you might have expected Tom Perkins – the pioneering venture capitalist who backed firms such as Netscape, Genentech, AOL, and Google – to moderate his tone. Not a bit of it: on Thursday night he suggested that if you …
Iain Thomson, 14 Feb 2014
Cat 5 cable

Time Warner merger great for Comcast, but not for anybody else

The merger of the two biggest cable companies in the US has set the markets aflutter, but the government has the final say on whether to allow the deal, and regulators will now be taking a long, stern look at how the deal with change the US TV and broadband market. Under the terms of the merger, Comcast will pay out $45.2bn in …
Iain Thomson, 14 Feb 2014
Hackers deface the Las Vegas Sands website

DON'T PANIC! No credit card details lost after hackers crack world's largest casino group

IT administrators at the Las Vegas Sands casino are having a tough time restoring their systems after hackers successfully got inside the corporation's firewall, but it appears that the most valuable sections of the network are safe, according to the Nevada Gaming Control Board. Board chairman A.G. Burnett told Associated Press …
Iain Thomson, 13 Feb 2014
Nvidia GeForce 8700M GT

Gamers save Nvidia's bacon in storming fourth quarter

Nvidia has reported better-than-expected fourth quarter financial results, with revenues of $1.14bn over the three months ending January 26, up 9 per cent on the last quarter and 3 per cent on the year-ago period. "Quarterly revenue came in well above our outlook, driven by PC gaming, capping an outstanding year for our GPU …
Iain Thomson, 12 Feb 2014
The Yutu lunar rover

China confirms Jade Rabbit lunar rover has conked out

The Yutu rover delivered in China's first moon-probe mission has popped its clogs and will become a permanent fixture of the lunar landscape. "China's first lunar rover, Yutu, could not be restored to full function on Monday as expected, and netizens mourned it on Weibo, China's Twitter-like service," China News Service reports …
Iain Thomson, 12 Feb 2014
LIghtning

Wireless power groups join forces: One spec to rule them all

Two competing wireless power organizations have signed a pact to play nicely with each other in an attempt to defeat their bigger rival. On Tuesday the Alliance for Wireless Power (A4WP) and Power Matters Alliance (PMA) signed a deal for interoperability between their two very different standards for charging devices without a …
Iain Thomson, 12 Feb 2014
The two Wicked Lasers fired up

FBI offers $10,000 bounty for arrest of laser-wielding idiots

While laser pointers are very useful for presentations and distracting cats, the FBI is fed up with idiots using them to try to blind airline pilots, and is offering $10,000 to anyone who provides information leading to an arrest. Laser blinding aircraft pilot Blinded by the light "Aiming a laser pointer at an aircraft is a …
Iain Thomson, 11 Feb 2014

Europe shrugs off largest DDoS attack yet, traffic tops 400Gbps

Once again hackers are targeting content-delivery firm Cloudfare, and the company says this latest attack is its biggest yet, peaking at over 400Gbps of traffic. "Very big NTP reflection attack hitting us right now. Appears to be bigger than the #Spamhaus attack from last year. Mitigating," tweeted Cloudflare's CEO Matthew Price …
Iain Thomson, 11 Feb 2014
Bill Gates Reddit video

RISE of the MACHINES and Bitcoin: Bill Gates' Reddit tech predictions

Bill Gates has engaged in a Q&A on Reddit to dispel some of the myths about himself and to ask for the internet community's help in spreading the truth about US foreign aid. "That's the biggest myth about me: this idea that I'm the biggest philanthropist," he said in a video presentation. "I'm not sacrificing and living in …
Iain Thomson, 11 Feb 2014

Zuckerberg tops the list of most generous Americans with billion-dollar gift

Last year Mark Zuckerberg and his wife topped the list of the most philanthropic Americans thanks to a donation of $992.2m to the Silicon Valley Community Foundation. You might have thought that Bill Gates would top such a list, considering the billions he has ploughed into his own charitable foundation, but this year Big Bill …
Iain Thomson, 10 Feb 2014
Yahoo! crying baby

Yahoo! Mail users see crying baby who says firm is 'over capacity'

It's a bad Monday morning for the server managers at Yahoo! after the firm's Mail service took a dive at around 11am Pacific Time (7pm UTC). Yahoo! crying baby Users aren't crying, they're fuming Visitors to the site have been getting a ClipArt-style graphic of a crying baby with the message "Sorry, we are over capacity. …
Iain Thomson, 10 Feb 2014
Renault Kwid

Renault unveils mini-SUV equipped with a QUADCOPTER DRONE

Visitors to the Delhi Auto Expo motor show are getting the first look at a new concept car from Renault, the Kwid, which features a controllable quadrocopter drone that flies out of the roof. "This is the first time we have chosen to reveal a concept car outside Europe and this is an eloquent sign of our commitment to India," …
Iain Thomson, 08 Feb 2014
GCHQ road sign

Snowden documents show British digital spies use viruses and 'honey traps'

At the start of this week, documents released by whistleblower Edward Snowden detailed DDOS attacks on chatrooms by a British online intelligence unit dubbed the Joint Threat Research Intelligence Group (JTRIG). Now he has released a new trove showing that JTRIG is about much more than purely online annoyances. According to the …
Iain Thomson, 07 Feb 2014
Twitter for Mac Old

Twitter may sue US government over right to disclose snooping orders

Twitter says that the current compromise allowing tech companies to disclose some of the data requests orders made in secret by the US intelligence services isn't good enough, and it may sue to get the right to be more transparent. "We think the government’s restriction on our speech not only unfairly impacts our users' privacy …
Iain Thomson, 07 Feb 2014
NASA 'Blue Marble' image of Earth taken on December 7, 1972, by the crew of the Apollo 17 spacecraft

Mars rover Curiosity snaps 'pale blue dot' image of Earth, Moon

NASA's Jet propulsion Laboratory has published the first image of the Earth and Moon taken from one of the camera systems aboard the Curiosity rover. We look very small indeed. Earth from Mars You are here (click to enlarge) Curiosity's mast camera took the picture of us on Sol 529 of its mission to Mars (January 31 in …
Iain Thomson, 07 Feb 2014
Chromebox for Meetings

Google invades videoconferencing market with Chromebox for Meetings

Google is making a play for the videoconferencing market – and hoping to get ChromeOS to be more widely used – with a special version of its Chromebox desktop computer designed specifically for remote meetings. Chromebox for Meetings $1,000 – display not included "Meetings rooms haven't really changed that much for last 25 …
Iain Thomson, 06 Feb 2014
Car hacking device

Want to remotely control a car? $20 in parts, some oily fingers, and you're in command

Spanish hackers have been showing off their latest car-hacking creation; a circuit board using untraceable, off-the-shelf parts worth $20 that can give wireless access to the car's controls while it's on the road. Car hacking device Car cracking on a budget The device, which will be shown off at next month's Black Hat Asia …
Iain Thomson, 06 Feb 2014
Six million dollar man

First man/machine nerve grafts restore amputee's sense of touch

After years of research and hours of gruelling surgery, scientists have successfully attached sensors from a prosthetic hand to human nerve tissue to allow the device to give its wearer a sense of touch. A prosthetic hand with a sense of touch Lucky Dane gets to feel balls again "The sensory feedback was incredible," reported …
Iain Thomson, 06 Feb 2014

Forget ski-jumping – Russians setting records in Sochi visitor hacking

It isn't just athletes that have been training hard for the Winter Olympics in Sochi; Russian hackers have also been sharpening their skills to harvest a wealth of valuable data from visitors to the event. But they're not as fast as some of the more excitable reports from the troubled event are telling it. "The State Department …
Iain Thomson, 05 Feb 2014
Bounty hunters

Google adds its Chrome extensions and apps to cash-for-cracks bounties

Google is so happy with its bug bounty program that it has increased the rewards given for flaw-finding and has added all of its home-grown apps and extensions for Chrome to the prize pot. "We will broaden the scope of our vulnerability reward program to also include all Chrome apps and extensions developed and branded as 'by …
Iain Thomson, 05 Feb 2014
Artist's concept of Curiosity

NASA quandary: Should Curiosity channel Fast and Furious for Martian dune-buggy jump?

NASA scientists are preparing to put Curiosity through its toughest challenge yet, scaling a meter-high sand dune that could leave the Mars rover stranded, immobilized. Dingo Gap Let's go off-road! The boffins behind Curiosity are looking for the best possible route to the rover's next goal, Mount Sharp, but the two routes …
Iain Thomson, 05 Feb 2014
White flag

Google and Cisco sheath swords in patent-war deal

Google has signed another patent-licensing deal, this time with Cisco, signaling that it has had enough of the Great Patent War litigation frenzy – for the moment, at least. "Our agreement with Cisco will reduce the potential for litigation, letting us focus instead on building great new products," said Allen Lo, Google's deputy …
Iain Thomson, 04 Feb 2014

Democrats introduce net neutrality legislation in Senate and House

In a coordinated move, Congressional Democrats have introduced legislation in the Senate and House of Representatives to enshrine network neutrality principles in law until the Federal Communications Commission rules on the matter. "This bill ensures that consumers, not their Internet service provider, are in the driver's seat …
Iain Thomson, 04 Feb 2014

Google opens up data on secret data collection orders

Google has followed Apple's lead and published data on the secret orders it receives to hand over customer's information under the provisions of the US Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). According to the data, Google got between zero and 999 FISA requests every six months since 2009 for both content and non-content …
Iain Thomson, 03 Feb 2014
SOURCE: http://www.sxc.hu/photo/959469

HP offers $150,000 for 'exploit unicorn' in Pwn2Own hacker competition

HP has been laying out the ground rules for the latest Pwn2Own contest and is offering a new prize of $150,000 to the cunning cracker who can get root access to a Windows 8.1 PC running Redmond's Enhanced Mitigation Experience Toolkit (EMET). "Last year we launched a plug-in track to the competition, in addition to our …
Iain Thomson, 01 Feb 2014
Eve Online mega-battle

EVE Online erects mashed-up memorial to biggest space fight in history

A single missed micropayment sparked off an epic interstellar battle on EVE Online that was so costly the developers have decided to erect a permanent monument to the conflict. EVE Online battle The Titanomachy monument (click to enlarge) CCP Games, the Icelandic firm behind the massively multiplayer online role-playing …
Iain Thomson, 31 Jan 2014
NSA's Fort Meade headquarters

US government names new head of NSA and US Cyber Command

The Secretary of Defense has appointed new leadership for the NSA, the Central Security Service, and the US Cyber Command, with Vice Admiral Michael Rogers as the new boss and Richard Ledgett as his civilian deputy. Vice Admiral Rogers is currently head of the US Navy's 10th Fleet, which in the Second World War handled anti- …
Iain Thomson, 31 Jan 2014