Iain Thomson

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A burning dumpster

Half! a! billion! Yahoo! email! accounts! raided! by! 'state! hackers!'

Updated Hackers strongly believed to be state-sponsored swiped account records for 500 million or more Yahoo! webmail users. And who knew there were that many people using its email? The troubled online giant said on Thursday that the break-in occurred in late 2014, and that names, email addresses, telephone numbers, dates of birth, …
Iain Thomson, 22 Sep 2016
Larry Ellison photo by drserg via Shutterstock

Oracle's cloud strategy is simple – woo and win the latecomers

OpenWorld Throughout this year's Oracle OpenWorld conference, the company's message has been fairly simple – the database firm is moving to cloud but can offer buyers either on-prem kit, full public cloud, or anything in-between. It's a tempting pitch for those who are somewhat nervous about diving into the cloud with their systems, and …
Iain Thomson, 22 Sep 2016
Chan Zuckerberg Initiative

Zuckerberg to spend $3bn+ to rid world of all disease by 2100 (Starting with Facebook, right?)

Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan have promised at least $3bn in funding for a medical initiative to cure, prevent or manage all known diseases by the end of the century. The program, managed by the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI) that the duo set up after the birth of their first child, will fund scientific research that …
Iain Thomson, 21 Sep 2016

Will US border officials demand social network handles from visitors?

Updated People visiting America may be pressured or told to reveal their social network profiles to border officials, judging by a draft visa form. In June, the US government announced it was considering adding a box to the I-94W form that gives folks the option of declaring their social media handles when entering the country. Uncle …
Iain Thomson, 21 Sep 2016

What's Chinese and crashing in flames? No, not its economy – its crocked space station

The first space station lofted into orbit by China is coming down next year, the country's space agency has confirmed. The Tiangong-1 mini-station was launched on 29 September 2011, and has been visited by three manned missions. Its size is nothing on the scale of the International Space Station – Tiangong-1 is just 12 meters …
Iain Thomson, 21 Sep 2016

Larry Ellison today said really nice things about rival Amazon's cloud

OpenWorld Oracle’s founder and CTO Larry Ellison took to the stage for his second OpenWorld keynote today, and spent the bulk of his presentation pointing out flaws in his chief cloud rival Amazon. Amazon Web Services (AWS) has three database products running on its cloud (Redshift, Aurora and DynamoDB), and in terms of features they …
Iain Thomson, 21 Sep 2016

2,000 year old man found dead near 2,000 year old computer

Video The ancient shipwreck off the Greek island of Antikythera has already yielded up archeological wonders but now marine archeologists have found a body buried in the wreck that could yield up some clues as to the ship’s origins. The shipwreck, one of the largest found from the ancient world, was discovered in 1900 and is best …
Iain Thomson, 20 Sep 2016

ROBO-PLOD! 'Droid snatches scumbag's shotgun in standoff

A stealthy robot run by a Los Angeles SWAT team has successfully disarmed a murder suspect by sneaking up behind him and stealing his weapon. Ray B Bunge, 52, of Lancaster, California, was on the run from the police after charges of attempted murder, criminal threats, assault with a deadly weapon, robbery and felony vandalism …
Iain Thomson, 20 Sep 2016
Mark Hurd OpenWorld

Lack of Hurd mentality at Oracle OpenWorld: Co-CEO's cloud claims fall flat live on stage

OpenWorld Once again, Oracle's co-CEO Mark Hurd was in a prognosticative mood during his OpenWorld keynote, but the crowd of attendees wasn't buying it. As he did last year, Hurd made some predictions as to where the industry was going on cloud computing by the year 2025, including that two companies would control 80 per cent of the …
Iain Thomson, 19 Sep 2016
Picture by Sunshine Press

Edward Snowden's 40 days in a Russian airport – by the woman who helped him escape

Interview Sarah Harrison, the British WikiLeaks journalist who successfully spirited Edward Snowden from Hong Kong to safe(ish) asylum in Russia, has told The Register how she did it – and what’s next for the NSA whistleblower, and for Julian Assange. She spoke to us a week before the Oliver Stone film Snowden is released*, although she …
Iain Thomson, 12 Sep 2016
Katherine Archuleta

Read the damning dossier on the security stupidity that let China ransack OPM's systems

The congressional investigation into the hacking of the US Office of Personnel Management has shown how a cascade of stupidity that allowed not one but two hackers access to critical government secrets. The 227-page report [PDF] details how two hacking teams, both thought to be state-sponsored groups from China, managed to …
Iain Thomson, 08 Sep 2016

McAfee's back! Intel flogs security software biz, pockets $3.1bn

Intel is selling off a majority stake in its security software arm – formerly known as McAfee – to private equity firm TPG, which will rename itself to, er, McAfee. Chipzilla absorbed McAfee Inc in 2010 for $7.68bn, and in 2014 it phased out the McAfee brand name. According to Intel, that software division is today valued at …
Iain Thomson, 07 Sep 2016
Nexus smartphone sniffer

Scientists' sneaky smartphone software steals 3D printer designs

Uni eggheads have stolen 3D printing designs by monitoring the acoustic and electromagnetic signatures of a printer in action using a nearby smartphone. The team, based at the University at Buffalo in New York state, used a Nexus 5 to eavesdrop on production. The mobe uses a Qualcomm WCD9320 audio codec and Asahi Kasei 3D …
Iain Thomson, 07 Sep 2016
Yelp search

Rate our bugs, says Yelp

Yelp has joined the growing ranks of outfits offering cash for security bug reports, after it started a bounty program with HackerOne. The customer-submitted reviews website is offering a maximum bounty of $15,000 for the most serious programming blunders, with a string of lower prizes going all the way down to a parsimonious …
Iain Thomson, 07 Sep 2016
Michael Dell, photo: Dell

What's Dell brewing the day before its EMC mega-slurp? A latte money? Oh, a flat white

Dell has reported near-flat revenues for its second quarter of the year, up just 1 per cent from its position 12 months ago. The company pulled in revenues of $13.1bn in the three months to July 29, compared to just under $13bn this time last year. This generated an operating income of $63m, up from a loss of $103m 12 months …
Iain Thomson, 06 Sep 2016
Delta Airlines, photo by Lerner Vadim via Shutterstock

Delta computer outage costs $100m

Last month's computer outage at US airline Delta cost the company around $100m, its CEO has admitted. In a financial statement, Delta's boss Ed Bastian said that the disruption was caused by a power outage in Atlanta and led to more than 2,300 flights being cancelled over a three-day period. While in purely financial terms the …
Iain Thomson, 06 Sep 2016
Android Nougat

Google emits three sets of Android patches to fend off evil texts, files

It's a smaller-than-usual Android patch bundle from Google – just 47 patches for 57 flaws. These software bugs can be exploited by installed apps or malicious code smuggled in multimedia messages and files to gain total control of vulnerable phones, tablets, internet-connected fridges and other Android gadgets – allowing …
Iain Thomson, 06 Sep 2016
Photo by Christian Bertrand / Shutterstock

ABBA-solutely crapulous! Swedish router-maker won't patch gaping hole

European customer-premises equipment (CPE) kit-maker Inteno has said it isn't going to patch a hole that has been sitting in some of its routers for the last nine months, saying it's not the firm's problem. That's bad news if a European carrier, Inteno's key customers, dropped one of the problematic devices into your home. …
Iain Thomson, 02 Sep 2016

FBI Clinton email dossier

The FBI has published online a thorough report of its investigation into US presidential wannabe Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server while she was secretary of state. It was feared the system would be ransacked by hackers – government and private – looking for juicy sensitive files. According to the Washington Post …
Iain Thomson, 02 Sep 2016

Bloke accused of Linux kernel.org hack nabbed during traffic stop

A man who allegedly hacked the Linux Kernel Organization's kernel.org and the Linux Foundation's servers has been collared by cops. Donald Ryan Austin, 27, of El Portal, Florida, will appear in court in San Francisco later this month. He is accused of four counts of "intentional transmission causing damage to a protected …
Iain Thomson, 02 Sep 2016
Big bill

Surge pricing? How about surge fines: Pennsylvania orders Uber to cough up $11.4m

The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission has upheld an $11,364,736 fine, the largest in its history, against Uber for running an unlicensed taxi operation and obstructing attempts to investigate the firm. The PUC issued the fine in May after finding that Uber had provided 122,998 trips to paying customers without receiving …
Iain Thomson, 01 Sep 2016
Mr Freeze

Ice to see you! Windows 10 fix for freezing PCs finally flung at folks

Microsoft has finally patched its Windows 10 Anniversary Edition to hopefully stop it from freezing some PCs. A bunch of unlucky folks hit the rocks as soon as they installed the anniversary upgrade, and duly lit up Microsoft's support boards. It appears if you have multiple logical drives with app data stored on one of them, …
Iain Thomson, 01 Sep 2016

Watch SpaceX's rocket dramatically detonate, destroying a $200m Facebook satellite

Updated Elon Musk has confirmed that today's SpaceX rocket explosion – which destroyed a $200m satellite – was caused by a cockup during fueling. Footage of the disastrous static firing test shows an inferno breaking out at the top of the Falcon 9 rocket, close to the fueling point for the liquid oxygen reservoir. After the initial …
Iain Thomson, 01 Sep 2016

MedSec's 'hackable pacemaker' report autopsy: Bombshell crash claim in doubt

Researchers at the University of Michigan (U-M) have poured doubt on one claim by MedSec that St Jude Medical's implanted pacemakers and defibrillators are remotely breakable. Last week MedSec went public with a report saying that life-giving devices sold by St Jude Medical could be wirelessly compromised by hackers – who …
Iain Thomson, 01 Sep 2016
Photo by a katz / Shutterstock.com

FBI Director wants 'adult conversation' about backdooring encryption

FBI Director James Comey is gathering evidence so that in 2017 America can have an "adult" conversation about breaking encryption to make crimefighters' lives easier. Speaking at Tuesday's 2016 Symantec Government Symposium in Washington, Comey banged on about his obsession with strong cryptography causing criminals to "go …
Iain Thomson, 31 Aug 2016