Iain Thomson

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FBI: Look out – hackers are breaking into US election board systems

IT admins have received a flash warning from the FBI to harden up their systems following attacks against servers run by two US state election boards. The security advisory states that the security breaches in June and August emanated from IP addresses around the world and involved Acunetix, SQLMap, and DirBuster tools. It …
Iain Thomson, 29 Aug 2016

Our pacemakers are totally secure, says short-sold St Jude

The manufacturer of pacemakers and defibrillators has slammed a report by security researchers, arguing it puts patients' lives at risk. On Thursday security startup MedSec claimed that St Jude Medical pacemakers and defibrillators were easily hackable and that hackers could either run down the batteries in patent's implanted …
Iain Thomson, 29 Aug 2016
Dragon

SpaceX Dragon capsule lands in Pacific carrying 12 moustronauts

The SpaceX team has successfully recovered its Dragon capsule which was sent back to Earth by the International Space Station. Recovery teams en route to Dragon, pic taken from about 10 miles out pic.twitter.com/B4ofhGZptD — SpaceX (@SpaceX) August 26, 2016 The capsule, carrying more than 3,000 pounds of cargo, was detached …
Iain Thomson, 26 Aug 2016
Money laundering

'Fake CEO' Chinese chap cuffed in $54m fraud probe

Police in Hong Kong have arrested a Chinese man on charges of laundering the proceeds of an online robbery that netted millions of dollars. In January, Austrian engineering firm FACC – which makes aircraft parts for the likes of Boeing and Airbus – admitted that it had lost up to €50m ($54m) after someone impersonating the CEO …
Iain Thomson, 26 Aug 2016
Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko

I fart in your general direction! Comet 67P lets rip on Europe's Rosetta probe

Pic Scientists at the European Space Agency (ESA) got lucky when the Rosetta probe, currently orbiting Comet 67P, picked up a massive outgassing from the frozen body. On February 19, the comet suddenly started to emit dust and gas in an unprecedented display, as Rosetta was orbiting 35 kilometers away. Nine of the probe's …
Iain Thomson, 26 Aug 2016
shark

Muddying the waters of infosec: Cyber upstart, investors short medical biz – then reveal bugs

Analysis A team of security researchers tipped off an investment firm about alleged software vulnerabilities in life-preserving medical equipment in order to profit from the fallout. Researchers at MedSec Holdings, a cybersecurity startup in Miami, Florida, believed they found numerous holes in pacemakers and defibrillators …
Iain Thomson, 26 Aug 2016
Wi-Fi

MIT brainiacs triple the speed, double the range of Wi-Fi

Video Researchers at MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab (CSAIL) think they have perfected a system that dramatically improves Wi-Fi connections by eliminating signal interference. Dubbed MegaMIMO 2.0 (multiple-input and multiple-output), the technique uses a processor, a real-time baseband processing system, and …
Iain Thomson, 25 Aug 2016
Chinese Martian probe

Mars to get Chinese delivery. Estimated time of arrival: 2020

The Chinese space program has taken a massive step forward as the country unveiled its design for a rover to scoot across the surface of Mars. The mission to the Red Planet will see the rover launched on a Long March-5 carrier rocket from the Wenchang Satellite Launch Center in China's Hainan province. It is scheduled to land …
Iain Thomson, 25 Aug 2016
bomb

Windows Update borks PowerShell – Microsoft won't fix it for a week

You'd be forgiven for thinking Microsoft is actively trying to stop people using Windows 10 Anniversary Edition. A patch this week broke one of the key features of the OS: PowerShell. KB 3176934, released on Tuesday as an automatic update, addresses a good number of bugs and other oddities in the operating system, including …
Iain Thomson, 25 Aug 2016
Airlander 10 crash

Watch the world's biggest 'flying bum' go arse over tit in a crash

Video The Airlander 10 hybrid – part airplane and part airship – has had a bumpy touchdown after piling into its landing site nose first. The 92-meter (302-foot) aircraft gets 60 per cent of its lift from the helium that fills its two massive airbags, which have earned the aircraft its nickname of the Flying Bum, although the …
Iain Thomson, 24 Aug 2016
Mobile adverts

Google tells popup ads to p*** off on mobes

Google will be rejigging its search algorithm to downgrade websites that slap up a large advert, aka an "interstitial," before readers can actually get to see the content. On January 10, the Chocolate Factory will start scanning websites for interstitials and, if they break the recommended guidelines, they'll be kicked down …
Iain Thomson, 24 Aug 2016
ASIC

Boffins design security chip to spot hidden hardware trojans in processors

Scientists at the NYU Tandon School of Engineering have designed a new form of application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) designed to spot hidden vulnerabilities deep within a processor's design. Very few people run their own chip fabrication plants these days. Most processors are designed by one firm, which then …
Iain Thomson, 24 Aug 2016
Kim Jong Un

North Korea unveils its home-grown Netflix rival – Manbang

Denizens of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (aka Best Korea) get precious little internet access as it is, but the lucky (and loyal) few will now have a Netflix-style streaming service to match similar systems in the decadent rest of the world. The system – unfortunately dubbed Manbang – comes as a set-top box …
Iain Thomson, 23 Aug 2016
Spy hides in dustbin, lifts lid to take photograph

Californian gets 50 months in prison for Chinese 'technology spy' work

A sting operation by the US Department of Homeland Security has netted one California woman a 50-month sojourn in prison after she was found guilty of trying to break the US Arms Export Control Act. The court heard that between March 2011 and June 2013, Wenxia Man, 45, of San Diego, worked with a Chinese national – who she …
Iain Thomson, 23 Aug 2016
Android Nougat

Chocolate Factory exudes Nougat as Android 7 begins rollout

Google is starting its rollout of Android 7, codenamed Nougat, but you're only going to get it if you're running one of the newer models of the firm's Nexus devices. From Monday, the system update will be sent out to Nexus 6, Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, Nexus 9, Nexus Player, Pixel C, and Android One users, with Google saying it'll …
Iain Thomson, 22 Aug 2016
Falcon 9 raising

Gaze in awe at Elon Musk’s historic 156-foot erection

SpaceX has retired the first rocket it managed to land in one piece and erected the remains on Sunday outside the company's US headquarters. The 156-foot (47-meter) rocket is the first stage of SpaceX's Flight 20 launch, which touched down at Cape Canaveral last December. Since then, its innards have been removed and …
Iain Thomson, 22 Aug 2016
Millennials snap pics of their food with smartphones for Facebook/Twitter/instagram. Photo by shutterstock

Honor 8: Huawei targets millennials with high-spec cheapie. 3 words – Food pic mode

Hands on Huawei might be the third biggest smartphone seller on the planet but it has very little traction outside Asia. The Chinese firm is hoping the Honor 8 will change that. The handset, which was launched in the US last week and will be formally launched in Europe at an event in Paris on Wednesday, is being aimed firmly at the …
Iain Thomson, 22 Aug 2016

NSA's Cisco PIX exploit leaks

Cisco PIX firewalls can be made to cough up their VPN configurations and RSA private keys, allowing network eavesdroppers to decrypt secure connections. The NSA's Equation Group exploit code – leaked online this week – includes a tool called BENIGNCERTAIN that crafts and sends a special Internet Key Exchange (IKE) packet to …
Iain Thomson, 20 Aug 2016
NSA

Snowden files confirm Shadow Brokers spilled NSA's Equation Group spy tools over the web

Documents from the Edward Snowden archive prove that the malware and exploits dumped on the public internet on Monday originated from the NSA. Among the files leaked by whistleblower Snowden in 2013 is a draft NSA manual on how to redirect people's web browsers using a man-in-the-middle tool called SECONDDATE. This piece of …
Iain Thomson, 19 Aug 2016

Shopped in an Eddie Bauer store recently? Your card's probably gone. It's just gone

Clothing chain Eddie Bauer has admitted the payment terminals in more than 350 of its stores have been siphoning customers' bank card details to criminals. The retailer – which sells high-end clobber for hikers or anyone who wants to pretend they're outdoorsy – said malware infected its cash registers on January 2 and the code …
Iain Thomson, 19 Aug 2016

Banking system SWIFT was anything but on security, ex-boss claims

You'd think, with the amount of money the SWIFT inter-bank payment system transfers every day, that the group would be strong on security. Not so, says a former head of the organization. The SWIFT organization has been trying to up its security game after a string of high-profile hacking attacks that siphoned off millions from …
Iain Thomson, 18 Aug 2016
Smilin' Marv

Cisco confirms two of the Shadow Brokers' 'NSA' vulns are real

It's looking increasingly likely that the hacking tools put up for auction by the Shadow Brokers group are real – after Cisco confirmed two exploits in the leaked archive are legit. The two exploits, listed in the archive directory as EPICBANANA and EXTRABACON, can be used to achieve remote code execution on Cisco firewall …
Iain Thomson, 17 Aug 2016
Russian astronauts

Russia investigates downsizing space station crew from three to two

NASA has confirmed that the Russian Federal Space Agency Roscosmos is mulling whether or not to continue staffing the International Space Station with its usual complement of astronauts. Last week the Russian newspaper Izvestia quoted Sergei Krikalev, director of manned programs at Roscosmos, saying that the agency had …
Iain Thomson, 17 Aug 2016
rage meme

Reddit explains outage

Last Thursday, office productivity soared when popular online forum Reddit went down for over an hour. Now the site has explained why. Reddit uses a server synchronisation system called ZooKeeper, but turned this off on August 11 so that it could roll out a new infrastructure build with its cloud providers. However, in the …
Iain Thomson, 16 Aug 2016
Hacker

LinkedIn sues 100 information scrapers after technical safeguard fail

Microsoft-owned LinkedIn has filed a lawsuit in California against 100 unnamed individuals who circumvented its security technology to harvest data from its network of 400 million people. The lawsuit claims that the individuals used a specially created botnet that has been collecting data from the site since December 2015 and …
Iain Thomson, 16 Aug 2016