Iain Thomson

Contact Mail Follow Twitter RSS feed
Waiting

Andy Rubin's overhyped and underdelivered Essential phone out 'in a few weeks'

After months of hype and missed deadlines, it seems as though Andy Rubin's new smartphone might actually make it onto the market. The Android creator's mobile phone startup Essential Products unveiled the phone at the end of May after talking about it for months, but so far there has been no sign of the actual handset. Now …
Iain Thomson, 21 Jul 2017

They say we're too mean to Microsoft. Well, how about this... Redmond just had a stonking year. And only 8% tax. Whee!

In its final quarter of its fiscal 2017, Microsoft more than doubled its profits, saw massive cloud growth, and managed to get a rebate from US taxpayers at the same time. For the three months to June 30, Microsoft's net income rose 109 per cent and earnings per share 112 per cent. All of its divisions, with the exception of …
Iain Thomson, 21 Jul 2017
Secretary Kelly

US Homeland Sec boss has snazzy new laptop bomb scanning tech – but admits he doesn't know what it's called

Flying into America? Don't worry about that crackdown on laptops and similar gear in your carry-on luggage. It's no longer happening. No, instead, the US has something else up its sleeve. New screening technology in airports will sniff out any bombs in your IT kit. So says Homeland Security boss John Kelly has, although he …
Iain Thomson, 20 Jul 2017
phishing

UK uni warns students of phishers trying to nick their tuition fees

Foreign students looking to experience the stochastic joys of a year at Newcastle University in England are being warned that phishers are after their cash – using an unusually well-crafted attack. The raiders set up a very realistic-looking fake website proclaiming itself to be Newcastle International University, complete …
Iain Thomson, 20 Jul 2017
hands through the jail bars. Photo by shutterstock

Remember that Citadel bank-slurping malware? Its main man was just jailed for five years

Russian programmer Mark Vartanyan has been sentenced to five years in US federal prison for developing and spreading the Citadel malware that stole $500m (£383m) from bank accounts around the world. Citadel is a variant of the Zeus banking Trojan, the source code of which leaked online in 2011. These software nasties could …
Iain Thomson, 20 Jul 2017
soap

'Millions of IoT gizmos' wide open to hijackers after devs drop gSOAP

Security researchers investigating internet-connected video cameras have uncovered a bug that could conceivably leave millions of devices open to easy pwnage. The team from embedded security specialists Senrio was looking into the code running an M3004-V network camera from Axis Communication. They found a serious hole in the …
Iain Thomson, 19 Jul 2017
signal

.. ..-. / -.-- --- ..- / -.-. .- -. / .-. . .- -.. / - .... .. ... then a US Navy fondleslab just put you out of a job

For over a hundred years, navies around the world have messaged each other at the speed of light – signal lamp light. Communicating using Morse code and lamps has been outpaced by modern radio and satellite transmissions, although every US Navy ship still carries one of these lights. The problem, however, is that no one is …
Iain Thomson, 19 Jul 2017
segway

Segway hoverboard hijack hack could make hipsters eat pavement

The latest two-wheel transporter toy from Segway was disturbingly easy to hack, with miscreants requiring just seconds to take control of a vehicle, we're told. Researchers at hacking house IOActive probed the Chinese Segway miniPro, and said they found the wireless link between the machine and its accompanying mobile app was …
Iain Thomson, 19 Jul 2017
gag

It's A-OK for FBI agents to silence web giants, says appeals court

Gagging orders in the FBI's National Security Letters are all above board and constitutional, a California court has ruled. These security letters are typically sent to internet giants demanding information on whoever is behind a username or email address. Crucially, these requests include clauses that prevent the …
Iain Thomson, 18 Jul 2017

The curious case of a Tesla smash, Autopilot blamed, and the driver's next-day U-turn

On Saturday evening, a Tesla Model S skidded off the road in central Minnesota, in America's Midwest, and ended up on its roof in a swamp. Inside was driver David Clark, 58, and four adult passengers. They all managed to climb out of the wreck with nothing more than cuts and bruises. After the cops asked Clark what had …
Iain Thomson, 18 Jul 2017
mayak

Russia launches non-TERRIFYING satellite that focuses Sun's solar rays onto Earth

Skywatchers are going to see a new light in the heavens this week after the successful launch of the Russian satellite Mayak this past weekend. Mayak, the Russian word for "beacon," is a standard tiny CubeSat probe. It will deploy 170 square feet (16 square metres) of reflective Mylar material in a pyramid shape that will …
Iain Thomson, 17 Jul 2017
angry phone user

Ew! HTC jams pop-up adverts into people's smartphone keyboards

HTC, which needs all the love it can get these days, has enraged its customers by bunging adverts into the onscreen keyboard on its phones. Outrage over the tacky money-grab exploded online at the weekend after folks spotted banner advertisements appearing in the TouchPal keyboard that came with the HTC 10. These are annoying …
Iain Thomson, 17 Jul 2017

SAP rips and replaces South African bosses amid corruption probe

SAP has installed an acting managing director and acting chief financial officer at its scandal-hit South Africa subsidiary. This comes after the German software giant suspended four senior managers at the SA operation, and launched a probe into claims bribes were used to secure a top government contract. Late on Friday, SAP …
Iain Thomson, 17 Jul 2017
Tardigrade

Eggheads identify the last animal that will survive on Earth until the Sun dies

Humans are newcomers on Earth and it's almost certain that we won't be around, on this planet at least, when the solar system's star finally goes nova. But boffins have identified at least one animal that will be. It is estimated that our star will die in about five billion years, after growing to a red giant that will most …
Iain Thomson, 14 Jul 2017
Office Space

Want to kill your IT security team? Put the top hacker in charge

Managing an IT department at the best of times can be a struggle, and managing a security team has its own special challenges. But whatever you do, don't put an engineer, even your best, in charge, unless their people management skills are as good as their infosec knowhow. “All my staff are basically volunteers,” Mike Murray …
Iain Thomson, 14 Jul 2017
note

'Help! I'm stuck in this ATM,' writes poor bloke on a scribbled note

Police were called to a bank in Corpus Christi, Texas, after a customer getting money out of an ATM was passed a note pleading for help from inside the machine. The contractor working on the cash machine had accidentally locked himself inside the ATM room and realized he had left his phone in his truck. He scribbled notes …
Iain Thomson, 14 Jul 2017
Jupiter red spot

Juno beams back first closeups of Jupiter's unsightly red acne

NASA has released the first closeup images of Jupiter’s Great Red Spot, the massive storm system that has been swirling on its surface for over 180 years. On July 10, the Juno space probe swooped within 5,600 miles (9,010 kilometers) of Jupiter’s surface, directly over the storm system. Now the pictures are back and the space …
Iain Thomson, 13 Jul 2017
cannon

Ready, aim... Ignition! Valley VC bigwig ejects after conduct complaints

Frank Artale, managing partner at Ignition Ventures, has resigned at the request of the board following multiple claims of inappropriate behavior. In a statement on Tuesday evening, Ignition said it had received a complaint about Artale on July 5, this year, and had investigated the allegation. The bigwig also had a gripe …
Iain Thomson, 12 Jul 2017

14 MEEELLION Verizon subscribers' details leak from crappily configured AWS S3 data store

Updated Another day, another leaky Amazon S3 bucket. This time, one that exposed account records for roughly 14 million Verizon customers to anyone online curious enough to find it. The cloud-hosted repository, ironically owned by Israeli-based software security vendor NICE, contained terabytes of Verizon customer names, addresses, …
Iain Thomson, 12 Jul 2017

May the excessive force be with you: Chap cuffed after Star Trek v Star Wars row turns bloody

Poll A bloke was arrested after a shouting match with a pal over Star Wars versus Star Trek led to blood being spilled. Jerome Dewayne Whyte, 23, was collared by Oklahoma police at 6pm on July 1 after he and his roommate argued about the relative merits of the snooty space opera versus the sci-fi merchandizing vehicle turned …
Iain Thomson, 07 Jul 2017
wrestling

Bah Gawd! WWE left wrasslin' fans' privates on display online

World Wrestling Entertainment – the home of America's top costumed pantomime actors – has admitted that it exposed members online for anyone to see. Kromtech Security Research Center found a database containing information on three million US subscribers to WWE on an unsecured Amazon S3 bucket. The data included addresses, …
Iain Thomson, 07 Jul 2017
Tokamak

While USA is distracted by its President's antics, China is busy breaking another fusion record

Chinese boffins say they have smashed yet another world fusion record using their EAST contraption – aka the Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak. The experimental fusion system managed to maintain a stable plasma state for 101.2 seconds, with the temperature peaking at 50,000,000 K (90,000,000°F, 50,000,000°C), we're …
Iain Thomson, 06 Jul 2017
layoffs

Microsoft hits Alt-F4 on 3,000 global sales staff

Microsoft today announced it is dumping 3,000 workers. Rumors of the layoffs have been swirling all week. On Thursday, the Windows giant confirmed that it is trimming its ranks. It's understood that the vast majority of the job losses will be in sales, and staff outside the US will be hardest hit. "Microsoft is implementing …
Iain Thomson, 06 Jul 2017
John Brennan

Crackas With Attitude hacker 'Incursio' gets two years in the clink for embarrassing CIA boss

Another member of the Crackas With Attitude hacking group has been sent down – after breaking into the email accounts of more than 10 US government officials, including the then-director of the CIA. Andrew Otto Boggs, aka "Incursio," 23, was part of a five-person group – three in the UK and two in the US – calling itself …
Iain Thomson, 06 Jul 2017
hacker

Brit teen accused of running malware factory and helpdesk for crims

A British teenager is accused of flogging and supporting malware used to launch distributed denial-of-service attacks against top multinationals. Jack Chappell, 18, from Stockport in Cheshire, appeared before Manchester magistrates on Tuesday charged with impairing the operation of computers under the UK's Computer Misuse Act …
Iain Thomson, 05 Jul 2017

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2017