Iain Thomson

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theft

After years of warnings, mobile network hackers exploit SS7 flaws to drain bank accounts

Experts have been warning for years about security blunders in the Signaling System 7 protocol – the magic glue used by cellphone networks to communicate with each other. These shortcomings can be potentially abused to, for example, redirect people's calls and text messages to miscreants' devices. Now we've seen the first case …
Iain Thomson, 03 May 2017
surface laptop

Windows 10 S: Good, bad, and how this could get ugly for PC makers

Analysis Tuesday’s launch of Windows 10 S, a cut-down version of the operating system designed for the education market, has raised some interesting questions about Microsoft’s ongoing efforts to hit Google and Apple where it hurts. Traditionally Microsoft and Apple have carved up the school user base between them. Apple gained an …
Iain Thomson, 03 May 2017
MS event

Microsoft sparks new war with Google with, er, $999+ lappies for kids

Liveblog It's a warm day in New York City and Microsoft is holding a large press event that is expected to be the debut for its plans to take over some of Chromebooks' market share. The Redmond event is focused on education, an area where Google has been eating Microsoft for breakfast, particularly with ChromeOS-powered computers. Over …
Iain Thomson, 02 May 2017
Cory Doctorow

Don't listen to the doomsayers – DRM is headed for the historical dustbin, says Doctorow

Interview In 2015, writer and activist Cory Doctorow told the DEF CON hacking conference that he was rejoining the EFF on a new campaign to eliminate digital rights management regulations by 2025. The campaign got off to an interesting start. Legal cases against the rights of farmers to repair their own tractors are being fought by John …
Iain Thomson, 29 Apr 2017
spying

NSA pulls plug on some email spying before Congress slaps it down

Updated The NSA has, in theory, stopped snooping on American citizens' private communications that loosely involve foreigners in some way. According to the US government today, the spy agency has halted at least some of the surveillance it conducts under the legal fig leaf provided by the 2008 FISA Amendments Act. This is the law …
Iain Thomson, 28 Apr 2017
brain

Shock horror: US military sticks jump leads on human brains to teach them a lesson

The boffinry nerve center of the US military is working with seven American universities to see if electrically stimulating the brain will increase the ability to learn new skills. The Targeted Neuroplasticity Training (TNT) program is focused on synaptic plasticity, the ability of the brain to build new neural pathways to …
Iain Thomson, 28 Apr 2017
Satya Nadella

Scratch the Surface: Slabtop sales slump takes the shine off Microsoft's 2017 so far

Microsoft has reported strong results in its latest quarter, pulling in nearly $5bn in profits and showing good cloud revenue growth. Just don't mention the sagging Surface fondleslab sales. Still, CEO Satya Nadella was in ebullient form on a conference call Thursday with investors and analysts, saying the Windows giant was …
Iain Thomson, 28 Apr 2017
Cassini

NASA's Cassini snaps pic inside Saturn's ring – peace among the stars

Photo NASA's Cassini probe has made its first dive inside Saturn's rings, skimming about 1,900 miles (3,000KM) over the surface of the gas giant's stormy atmosphere. America's space boffins briefly lost contact with their craft during its descent on Wednesday. That's because the dish antenna used to phone home to Earth acted as a …
Iain Thomson, 27 Apr 2017
vomit

Chipotle may have banished E coli, but now it has a new infection

The last quarter has been a trying one for Mexican fast-food chain Chipotle. People are returning to its restaurants after the great 2015 E coli outbreak, but now customers are being struck by a different kind of virus. The taco takeaway admitted that it had become the latest victim of what sounds like classic cash register …
Iain Thomson, 26 Apr 2017
idiot

Beware of geeks bearing gifts: Evil game guides infect 2 million Androids

Ad-displaying malware in nearly 50 apps on the Google Play Store has infected nearly two million phones. And it's all thanks a combination of user stupidity, and the ad giant failing to spot and remove the software nasty lurking in its application souk. The rogue code – dubbed Falseguide because it is contained within game …
Iain Thomson, 26 Apr 2017
broken window

Don't install our buggy Windows 10 Creators Update, begs Microsoft

Microsoft has urged non-tech-savvy people – or anyone who just wants a stable computer – to not download and install this year's biggest revision to Windows by hand. And that's because it may well bork your machine. It's been two weeks since Microsoft made its Creators Update available, and we were previously warned it will be …
Iain Thomson, 26 Apr 2017
lamb

Ewe, get a womb! Docs grow baby lambs in shrink-wrap plastic bags

Video Scientists in Philadelphia have created a plastic womb that has successfully incubated eight premature lambs – and the doctors behind the project say they will be ready for human trials within three years. The machine, described in the journal Nature Communications, consists of a plastic bag which is kept full of electrolyte …
Iain Thomson, 26 Apr 2017
Hacker

Expedia IT bod gets all-expenses-paid trip to prison after hacking execs' emails for profit

An ex-Expedia IT admin has been fined and jailed for 15 months after he spied on the emails of the travel giant's top brass to make insider trades. According to documents filed in the US district court of Seattle, Washington, Jonathan Ly was hired by Expedia in March 2013 as a mid-level tech support bod. Within three months, …
Iain Thomson, 25 Apr 2017

After blitzing FlexiSpy, hackers declare war on all stalkerware makers: 'We're coming for you'

A Brit biz selling surveillance tools that can be installed on phones to spy on spouses, kids, mates or employees has been comprehensively pwned by hackers – who promise similar stalkerware peddlers are next. The miscreants, supposedly Brazilian and dubbing themselves the Decepticons, have explained how they, allegedly, easily …
Iain Thomson, 25 Apr 2017
Charlie Miller and Chris Valasek

Car hacking's dynamic duo offers to save others $1m in research

Two famed car hackers claim they can save fellow tinkerers and security researchers a lot of time and money – by handing over their tools and blueprints for free. The pair boast the gear is worth over a million bucks. Charlie Miller and Chris Valasek were both hackers of renown before they started working together to see if …
Iain Thomson, 25 Apr 2017
panic

Webroot antivirus goes bananas, starts trashing Windows system files

Updated Webroot's security tools went berserk today, mislabeling key Microsoft Windows system files as malicious and temporarily removing them – knackering countless PCs in the process. Not only were people's individual copies of the antivirus suite going haywire, but also business editions and installations run by managed service …
Iain Thomson, 25 Apr 2017
tears

We're 'heartbroken' we got caught selling your email records to Uber, says Unroll.me boss

Jojo Hedaya, the CEO of email summarizer Unroll.me, has apologized to his users for not telling them clearly enough that they are the product, not his website. Unroll.me is owned by analytics outfit Slice Intelligence, and the site began life in 2011 with a fairly useful function. Its software crawls through your email inbox, …
Iain Thomson, 24 Apr 2017
china hacking

China 'hacked' South Korea to wreck Star Wars missile shield

Well-connected security biz FireEye is claiming Chinese hackers are trying to break into South Korea's military to halt the deployment of an anti-ballistic weapons system in the country. In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, FireEye's director of cyber-espionage analysis John Hultquist said his organization – which is …
Iain Thomson, 21 Apr 2017
schoolkids

Base specs leak for Windows 10 Cloud – Microsoft's wannabe ChromeOS assassin

The base tech specs for Microsoft's Windows 10 Cloud laptops have leaked out ahead of a rumored launch next month, giving you an idea of their target market. Clue: Google-powered Chromebooks in education. Windows 10 Cloud will be a cutdown version of Redmond's latest operating system, and is designed to be run on cheap kit. …
Iain Thomson, 21 Apr 2017

Script kiddies pwn 1000s of Windows boxes using leaked NSA hack tools

The NSA's Equation Group hacking tools, leaked last Friday by the Shadow Brokers, have now been used to infect thousands of Windows machines worldwide, we're told. On Thursday, Dan Tentler, founder of security shop Phobos Group, told The Register he's seen rising numbers of boxes on the public internet showing signs they have …
Iain Thomson, 21 Apr 2017
elon musk

Tesla's latest car crash: Its 'meritless' lawsuit against ex-Autopilot bod

Less than three months after Tesla sued a former manager, claiming he'd stolen its blueprints and tried to poach staff, the flash automaker has settled out of court. In January the Elon Musk-led upstart filed a lawsuit against its former of Autopilot program boss, Sterling Anderson, after he quit to start up an autonomous …
Iain Thomson, 21 Apr 2017
Orion Hindawi

'We should have done better' – the feeble words of a CEO caught using real hospital IT in infosec product demos

The CEO of computer security biz Tanium has admitted his staff logged into hospital networks and accessed live IT systems during product demos with potential customers. Since 2014 Tanium sales executives have used healthcare systems at the El Camino Hospital in Mountain View, California, to demonstrate their endpoint …
Iain Thomson, 20 Apr 2017
headphones

SPY-tunes scandal: Bloke sues Bose after headphones app squeals on his playlist

A chap in Chicago is suing headphone maker Bose after discovering how much personal information its app was phoning home to base – this slurped data includes songs listened to, for how long, and when. The class-action lawsuit, filed Tuesday in the US district court of Illinois by a one Kyle Zak, claims the Bose Connect …
Iain Thomson, 20 Apr 2017
hotel

If you've stayed at a Holiday Inn you may have lost more than a good night's sleep (like maybe your bank card)

In February, Intercontinental Hotels Group alerted customers that some of its US locations had been infected with credit-card-stealing malware. Now it has admitted the cyber-outbreak is much worse than first thought. IHG, which owns brands like Holiday Inn and Crown Plaza, has warned that around 1,200 of its hotels across the …
Iain Thomson, 19 Apr 2017

PACK YOUR BAGS! Boffins spot Earth-size planet most likeliest yet to harbor alien life

Scientists have spotted a planet slightly larger than Earth orbiting a distant star that looks to be the best contender yet for hosting life as we know it. In a paper in the journal Nature, published today, the team lead by Jason Dittmann of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics described LHS 1140, a rocky exoplanet …
Iain Thomson, 19 Apr 2017

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