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Dan Goodin

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Google researchers propose fix for ailing SSL system

Security researchers from Google have proposed an overhaul to improve the security of the Secure Sockets Layer encryption protocol that millions of websites use to protect communications against eavesdropping and counterfeiting. The changes are designed to fix a structural flaw that allows any one of the more than 600 bodies …
Dan Goodin, 29 Nov 2011
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Malls suspend plan to track shoppers' cellphones

Two shopping malls have dropped plans to track shopper's movements after a US senator voiced privacy concerns about the practice, which involves monitoring individuals' cellphone signals. The Footpath tracking system will no longer be used at the Promenade Temecula mall in southern California or the Short Pump Town Center mall …
Dan Goodin, 29 Nov 2011
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Twitter crypto purchase leaves Egypt dissidents in lurch

A company that provided free cellphone encryption to dissidents in Egypt abruptly suspended its services on Monday so that Twitter could integrate some of its privacy enabling technology into the microblogging site. Twitter's acquisition of San Francisco-based Whisper Systems came on Monday, the same day Egyptian citizens …
Dan Goodin, 28 Nov 2011
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Assange shocker: 'Of course I'm a goddamn journalist'

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is running out of patience with those who question his rightful membership with the fourth estate. Just hours after receiving Australia's Walkley Award for "recognition of long-term commitment and achievement in the Australian media," Assange appeared by Skype at the News World Summit in Hong …
Dan Goodin, 28 Nov 2011
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Software maker sorry for trying to silence security researcher

A Silicon Valley software maker has withdrawn legal threats against an Android developer who claimed the company's diagnostic application amounted to a rootkit that posed a privacy threat to millions of handset owners. In a statement issued on Wednesday, Mountain View, California-based Carrier IQ apologized to Trevor Eckhart …
Dan Goodin, 24 Nov 2011
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Browser plugin brings strong crypto to Google webmail

Software developers have released a JavaScript implementation of the OpenPGP encryption message format that allows users to encrypt and decrypt communications within web-based mail services. GPG4Browsers is currently available only as an extension for the Google Chrome browser for integration with Gmail. It works with all …
Dan Goodin, 23 Nov 2011
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Apple one-day-only sale plans for Macs, iPads leaked to web

Apple plans to offer modest discounts on Macs, iPads, and iPods for one day only on Friday, according to the 9to5Mac website, which said a trusted tipster leaked the details of its day-after-Thanksgiving sales. iMacs, MacBook Airs and MacBook Pros will be marked down by $101, while iPads will be discounted by $41 to $61 …
Dan Goodin, 23 Nov 2011
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FBI: No evidence of water system hack destroying pump

Federal officials said there's no evidence to support a report that hackers destroyed a pump used by an Illinois-based water utility after gaining unauthorized access to the computer system it used to operate its machinery. In an email sent on Tuesday afternoon to members of the Industrial Control Systems Joint Working Group, …
Dan Goodin, 23 Nov 2011
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Google mail crypto tweak makes eavesdropping harder

Google engineers have enhanced the encryption offered in Gmail, Google Docs, and other services to protect users against retroactive attacks that allow hackers to decrypt communications months or years after they were sent. The feature, a type of key-establishment protocol known as forward secrecy, ensures that each online …
Dan Goodin, 22 Nov 2011
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Tor launches DIY relays in Amazon cloud

The Tor Project is tapping Amazon's EC2 cloud service to make it easier for volunteers to donate bandwidth to the anonymity network. Developers with the project have released preconfigured Tor Cloud images that volunteers can use to quickly deploy bridges that allow users to access the service. The new system is designed to …
Dan Goodin, 22 Nov 2011
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'Organized' hack targets AT&T wireless subscribers

Hackers used automatic scripts to target AT&T wireless subscribers in an unsuccessful attempt to steal information stored in their online accounts, company officials said. In an email sent to targeted subscribers, AT&T warned of an “organized attempt” to break into their accounts. The advisory was sent to less than 1 per cent …
Dan Goodin, 21 Nov 2011
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Smart meters blamed for Wi-Fi, garage opener interference

Smart meters issued by an electric utility in Maine are interfering with a wide range of customers' electronic devices, including wireless routers, cordless phones, electric garage doors, and answering machines. The Central Maine Power Company has received complaints from more than 200 customers since the meters were installed …
Dan Goodin, 21 Nov 2011
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Clegg orders fresh review of UK extradition treaty

Supporters of accused NASA hacker Gary McKinnon scored a small political victory after Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg ordered a fresh review of the lopsided extradition treaty between the US and the UK. Clegg broke ranks with the Government over a review issued last month that concluded the treaty wasn't biased. He has …
Dan Goodin, 19 Nov 2011
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Second water utility reportedly hit by hack attack

Images posted online suggest that hackers may have gained unauthorized access to computers controlling a second water treatment facility, a claim that raises additional concerns about of the security of the US's critical infrastructure. Five computer screenshots posted early Friday purport to show the user interface used to …
Dan Goodin, 18 Nov 2011
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World's first Win 8 malware 'bootkit' to debut next week

A security researcher said that he has developed malware for Microsoft's forthcoming Windows 8 operating system that is able to load during boot-up when it's run on older PCs. Peter Kleissner said Stoned Lite – as the latest version of his bootkit is called – doesn't bypass defenses that will be available to people using Windows …
Dan Goodin, 18 Nov 2011
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Water utility hackers destroy pump, expert says

Updated Hackers destroyed a pump used by a US water utility after gaining unauthorized access to the industrial control system it used to operate its machinery, a computer security expert said. Joe Weiss, a managing partner for Applied Control Solutions, said the breach was most likely performed after the attackers hacked into the …
Dan Goodin, 17 Nov 2011
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Crooks make it rain by seeding cloud with zombies

Malware operators are once again trying to generate profits from the cloud, this time by stealing the resources of infected computers and selling them to a new distributed-computing network, researchers from Kaspersky said. After infecting a computer, the malware downloads and installs the MetaTrader 5 Tester Agent, software …
Dan Goodin, 17 Nov 2011
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Facebook vows 'consequences' for extreme porn scammers

Updated Facebook officials have tracked down the scammers responsible for deluging the social network with images depicting bestiality, self-mutilation and other depravity and is vowing to seek swift justice. As previously reported, Facebook has blamed the torrent of extreme smut on a "self-XSS vulnerability in the browser" that …
Dan Goodin, 16 Nov 2011
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Windows 8 aims to make security updates less painful

The next version of Microsoft's Windows operating system will introduce changes that are designed to make automatic updates less disruptive by eliminating popup notifications and reducing the number of times machines must be restarted. In a blog post published on Monday, Microsoft Program Manager for the Windows Update Group …
Dan Goodin, 16 Nov 2011
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'Devastating' protocol flaw could paralyze Bitcoin system

Computer scientists say they've identified a fundamental flaw in the Bitcoin electronic currency system that could eventually stunt its development unless developers change the way users are rewarded for their participation. With about 7.5 million Bitcoins in circulation, the highly decentralized system relies on public-key …
Dan Goodin, 15 Nov 2011
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US anti-hacking law turns computer users into criminals

A commonly invoked anti-hacking law is so overbroad that it criminalizes conduct as innocuous as using a fake user name on Facebook or fibbing about your weight in a Match.com profile, one of the nation's most respected legal authorities has said. George Washington University Law School Professor Orin S. Kerr said he hopes the …
Dan Goodin, 15 Nov 2011
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Hackers port iPhone 4S' Siri to rival devices

Hackers say they've reverse engineered the Siri personal assistant that debuted in last month's release of the iPhone 4S, a feat that allows them to make it work from virtually any device. To back up their claim, the hackers – from the mobile-application developer Applidium – released a collection of tools on Monday that they …
Dan Goodin, 15 Nov 2011
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World's stealthiest rootkit pushes DNS hijacking trojan

One of the world's most advanced pieces of malware is being used to spread DNS Changer, a trojan at the heart of a massive click fraud scheme that has already hijacked 4 million PCs, security researchers said. Just a few days after federal prosecutors in the US shuttered the international conspiracy, researchers from Dell …
Dan Goodin, 14 Nov 2011
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Certificate stolen from Malaysian gov used to sign malware

Researchers have discovered malware circulating in the wild that uses a private signing certificate belonging to the Malaysian government to bypass warnings many operating systems and security software display when end users attempt to run untrusted applications. The stolen certificate belongs to the Malaysian Agricultural …
Dan Goodin, 14 Nov 2011
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Tour de France winner sentenced for hack of doping lab

Floyd Landis, the disgraced US cyclist who was stripped of his 2006 Tour de France victory for doping, was handed a suspended 12-month prison sentence for his part in a hack of an anti-doping lab computer. Arnie Baker, Landis's former trainer, also received a suspended 12-month term from the same French court in Nanterre, near …
Dan Goodin, 12 Nov 2011