Iain Thomson

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US Congress quietly slips cloud-spying powers into page 2,201 of spending mega-bill

For months now, US Congress has mulled new laws to strengthen Feds' powers to access American citizens' private messages and files stored on computers overseas. Now, rather than actually debate and refine such legislation, lawmakers have decided to tack it onto the massive 2018 Omnibus Spending Bill [PDF] and seek to pass it …
Iain Thomson, 23 Mar 2018

Prof Stephen Hawking's ashes will be interred alongside Sir Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin

The ashes of British physics ace Professor Stephen Hawking will be placed in Westminster Abbey after a special service of thanksgiving for his life. Hawking died at the age of 76 last week after a long struggle with motor neuron disease and was cremated. His ashes will be placed in the abbey, in London, England, between the …
Iain Thomson, 22 Mar 2018

Now that's a bad trip: 880k credit cards 'likely' stolen by Orbitz hackers

Vacation-booking biz Orbitz has warned that sensitive details on as many as 880,000 credit cards have "likely" been stolen from its servers by hackers. In a statement today, US-based Orbitz said it discovered evidence of an intrusion on one of its legacy platforms on March 1, and called in a third-party forensics team. It now …
Iain Thomson, 20 Mar 2018

FBI raids home of spy sat techie over leak of secret comms source code on Facebook

The FBI has raided the home of US intelligence contractor John Weed who is suspected of leaking classified blueprints online via a fake Facebook account. On Monday, the Feds confirmed to The Register they have executed a search warrant at the Virginia home of John Glenn Weed, who worked for the National Reconnaissance Office …
Iain Thomson, 20 Mar 2018

Facebook confirms Cambridge Analytica stole its data; it’s a plot, claims former director

Analysis Facebook has “suspended” any business with controversial analytics firm Cambridge Analytica (CA) and its holding company, following claims by CA’s former director that the social media ad slinger’s data was purloined and used for political dirty tricks. In a statement Facebook said that in April 2015 Dr Aleksandr Kogan, a …
Iain Thomson, 18 Mar 2018

AMD security flaw saga, browsers broken, Lamo dead at 37, and more

Roundup The lingering fallout of security flaws in AMD processor chipsets has dominated the news this week, and it ain't over yet. The initial flaw disclosure on Tuesday was short on details and high on hype, and some thought that either the issue was massively overhyped or was being used to try and manipulate AMD's stock price. The …
Iain Thomson, 17 Mar 2018

Chemical burns, explosive fires, they all come free with Amazon power packs

The US Consumer Product Safety Division has issued a recall notice for six types of lithium-ion battery packs sold by AmazonBasics. The batteries were sold by Bezos' bunch between December 2014 and July 2017 for prices ranging from $9 to $40 and range from larger 16,100 mAh power bricks with integrated USB cables down to …
Iain Thomson, 14 Mar 2018
Stupid computer

Russian anti-antivirus security tester pleads guilty to certifying attack code

A Russian coder who ran and franchised a dark web service that optimized malware and checked it against antivirus engines has pled guilty to one charge of conspiracy and one charge of aiding and abetting computer intrusion. Jurijs Martisevs was arrested while on a trip to Latvia and extradited to the US after the authorities …
Iain Thomson, 14 Mar 2018
airplane just kidding shot

Air Canada's network soars back up after Monday morning death dive

The famed politeness of Canadians was put to the test on Monday after the nation's largest airline suffered a massive computer outage, leaving travelers stranded. The outage occurred during the Monday morning rush hour and left staff unable to check-in passengers or their luggage, and communications with the airline's call …
Iain Thomson, 12 Mar 2018
Car crash

Auto manufacturers are asleep at the wheel when it comes to security

Cars are getting smarter every year but their increasing computational power isn’t being backed up by good IT security practices – hacking them is child’s play. That’s the conclusion of a series of speakers at the Kaspersky Security Analyst Summit. These security researchers have demonstrated how easy it is to introduce …
Iain Thomson, 10 Mar 2018

Slingshot malware uses cunning plan to find a route to sysadmins

If you’re trying to hack an organization then pwning the sysadmin's machine gives you the keys to the kingdom, and an advanced malware writer has found a clever way to do just that. The malware, dubbed Slingshot by researchers at Kaspersky Lab and showcased at the firm’s Security Analyst Summit, resides in Mikrotik routers – …
Iain Thomson, 9 Mar 2018

Hansa down, this is cool: How Dutch cops snatched the wheel of dark web charabanc

The takedown of the Hansa dark web marketplace, done live on national TV by Dutch police, was possible because officers had been running the site themselves – and on Thursday they detailed how they did it. In 2016, security shop Bitdefender tipped off the Dutch plod that Hansa, one of the most popular dark web markets, was …
Iain Thomson, 8 Mar 2018

Surprise: Norks not actually behind Olympic Destroyer malware outbreak – Kaspersky

A close analysis of the code that took down part of the 2018 Winter Olympics computer network reveals a cunning plan to seemingly falsely pin the blame on North Korea. On the first day of the games in Pyeongchang, South Korea, the main website crashed, Wi-Fi networks around the events became unusable, and data was wiped from …
Iain Thomson, 8 Mar 2018
Geek Squad

Fresh docs detail 10-year link between Geek Squad informers and Feds

Best Buy and the FBI have had a longstanding and very cosy relationship that incentivised Geek Squad techies to go hunting for porn on customers PCs, documents obtained under a Freedom of Information Act have shown. US tech retailer Best Buy has always denied having a relationship with the Feds, but the documents reveal …
Iain Thomson, 7 Mar 2018

Women of Infosec call bullsh*t on RSA's claim it could only find one female speaker

Day one of the annual RSA conference in San Francisco on April 17 will have some competition after a group of female infosec professionals decided to hold their own shindig - titled Our Security Advocates or OURSA - to showcase the work of women in the field. Last week RSA was hammered on social media when its keynote speaker …
Iain Thomson, 7 Mar 2018

World's biggest DDoS attack record broken after just five days

Last week, the code repository GitHub was taken off air in a 1.3Tbps denial of service attack. We predicted then that there would be more such attacks and it seems we were right. Arbor Networks is now reporting that a US service provider suffered a 1.7Tbps attack earlier this month. In this case, there were no outages as the …
Iain Thomson, 5 Mar 2018

British clockwork radio boffin Trevor Baylis terminally winds down

Obit Trevor Baylis, one of Britain's most well-loved inventors and the creator of the clockwork radio that was designed to save lives in the developing world, has died at the age of 80 after battling Crohn's disease. Baylis led an interesting life but became famous after inventing an ingenious wind-up radio that he was inspired to …
Iain Thomson, 5 Mar 2018

Cryptocurrency miners go nuclear, RSA blunder, Winner back in court, and plenty more

Roundup Here's a quick summary of infosec news from this week, beyond what we've already covered. Cloud security shop Cyren surveyed 500,000 websites over the past four months, and said it saw a 725 per cent increase in the use of surreptitious crypto-coin mining code. The bulk of that code has shown up in the past two months, and it' …
Iain Thomson, 4 Mar 2018

OK, who is shooting Apple staff buses in California? Knock it off

Over the past 45 days, a mystery sniper has been shooting the windows of 20 charter buses driving Apple staff and other geeks to work in Silicon Valley. The vehicles were shot at on Interstate 280, which runs from San Francisco down into the Valley. The situation has grown so worrisome that Apple has diverted its staff buses …
Iain Thomson, 2 Mar 2018
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Hypersonic nukes! Nuclear-powered drone subs! Putin unwraps his new (propaganda) toys

Vids Russian Federation president Putin has used his annual state-of-the-nation address to show off the latest additions to Russia's weapon's catalog and to warn the Western powers that his country will not be trifled with. Putin showed off video of new weapons systems, including a massive ICBM capable of launching hypersonic …
Iain Thomson, 2 Mar 2018
A burning dumpster

HTTPS cert flingers Trustico, SSL Direct go TITSUP after website security blunder blabbed

The websites for HTTPS certificate reseller Trustico, and one of its partners, SSL Direct, took a dive on Thursday – after a critical and trivial-to-exploit security flaw in Trustico.com was revealed on Twitter. The vulnerability could be leveraged by miscreants to execute arbitrary commands on the website's host server. A …
Iain Thomson, 1 Mar 2018

Gits club GitHub code tub with record-breaking 1.35Tbps DDoS drub

What's purported to be the world's largest distributed denial of service attack to date – measuring 1.35Tbps – knocked GitHub offline for a few minutes yesterday. The massive tsunami hit at 1721 UTC. During the assault, the popular code sharing website's admins noticed thousands of systems and devices slamming GitHub's web …
Iain Thomson, 1 Mar 2018

German government confirms hackers blitzkrieged its servers to steal data

The German Interior ministry has confirmed that it has identified a serious attack against its servers, amidst reports that the culprits were the Russian APT28 – aka Fancy Bear – hacking group. On Wednesday local news site DPA International reported that the German government discovered a serious intrusion into its servers in …
Iain Thomson, 1 Mar 2018

Paul Allen's six-engined monster plane prepares for space deliveries

The world's largest aircraft, designed to one day fling rockets into space, has tested out its taxiing capabilities at the Mojave Air and Space Port in New Mexico. The 500,000lb (227 metric ton) "Stratolaunch" is the brainchild of Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen and advanced materials aviation wizard Burt Rutan. The pair plan …
Iain Thomson, 1 Mar 2018
Mike Rogers

NSA boss: Trump won't pull trigger for Russia election hack retaliation

NSA boss Mike Rogers told a US congressional panel today that Russia’s online mischief-making in America's elections is not going to stop – because Uncle Sam isn’t hitting back. "I believe that President Putin has clearly come to the conclusion there’s little price to pay here, and that therefore I can continue this activity …
Iain Thomson, 27 Feb 2018

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