Iain Thomson

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Elon Musk

What did we say about Tesla's self-driving tech? SpaceX Roadster skips Mars, steers to asteroids

Pic The final rocket burn of the SpaceX craft carrying Elon Musk's personal Tesla Roadster into the cosmos pushed the billionaire's flash jalopy much further than anticipated. It's now heading out toward the Solar System's asteroid belt rather than swinging close by Mars as planned. Yesterday, SpaceX launched its powerful Falcon …
Iain Thomson, 7 Feb 2018

Registrar Namecheap let miscreants slap spam, malware on unlucky customers' web domains

Updated Namecheap has admitted it accidentally let miscreants set up and control fraudulent subdomains on websites belonging to other customers. These hijacked sites were subsequently used to host dodgy material. This caused them to be flagged up as malicious by Google's search engine, blocking netizens from visiting them, and piling …
Iain Thomson, 7 Feb 2018
falcon heavy

MY GOD, IT'S FULL OF CARS: SpaceX parks a Tesla in orbit (just don't mention the barge)

Video After years of setbacks, SpaceX today successfully launched its Falcon Heavy three-in-one rocket and delivered into orbit its cherry-red payload – Elon Musk's very own Tesla Roadster. After a morning of delays due to high winds, the mighty rocket lifted off from the Kennedy Space Center Launch Complex 39, in Florida, USA, at …
Iain Thomson, 6 Feb 2018

Adobe: Two critical Flash security bugs fixed for the price of one

Adobe has issued an emergency security patch for two bugs in its Flash player – after North Korea's hackers were spotted exploiting one of the flaws to spy on people investigating the creepy hermit nation. At the start of the month, South Korea's Computer Emergency Response Team put the world on alert after it found miscreants …
Iain Thomson, 6 Feb 2018
Mike Hughes

A Hughes failure: Flat Earther rocketeer can't get it up yet again

Video An American bloke, who reckons Earth is flat as a frisbee, is on a quest to send himself into space to verify his theory. And on Sunday, he failed to even launch a rocket to a few hundred feet. Limousine driver, self-taught rocket maker, and headline generator "Mad" Mike Hughes hoped to blast off his homemade rocket from …
Iain Thomson, 5 Feb 2018

Don't worry, it'll be all Reich! Googler saves Grammarly nazis from hacker invasion

Updated A critical flaw in the Chrome extension of Grammarly – the grammar-checking software with online ads second only to Geico in terms of their ability to annoy – has left all 22 million users' personal records available to all. The vulnerability, spotted on February 2 by Google Project Zero's Tavis Ormandy – allows any website to …
Iain Thomson, 5 Feb 2018
Spectre, photo Metro Goldwyn Mayer Studios Danjaq and Columbia Pictures Industries

Spectre shenanigans, Nork hackers upgrade, bad WD drives and more

Roundup Here's a summary of this week's infosec news beyond what we've already covered in detail. Exploits for chip blunders spook antivirus land First up, January's Meltdown and Spectre processor security design flaws continue to haunt the IT world. Fortinet put out an advisory on Tuesday warning 119 variants of code that exploit …
Iain Thomson, 3 Feb 2018
bank

Google prints money for Alphabet to stuff into Uncle Sam's pockets: $10bn blow from Donald Trump's tax shakeup

Google-parent Alphabet suffered a $3bn loss of the final quarter of 2017 after handing over $9.9bn to Uncle Sam due changes in the US tax system. Despite that hit, Alphabet is still very profitable [PDF] as you'd expect for a biz with near monopolies in ads, search and mobile phone operating systems: it would have banked $6. …
Iain Thomson, 2 Feb 2018

Nork hackers exploit Flash bug to pwn South Koreans. And Adobe will deal with it next week

Adobe will next week emit patches to squash a security bug in Flash that can be exploited by malicious webpages and documents, when opened, to hijack and spy on vulnerable computers. The flaw is being abused right now by North Korean hackers to infect victims' PCs. You should update your browser or Flash installation – if you' …
Iain Thomson, 1 Feb 2018

Ignore that FBI. We're the real FBI, says the FBI that's totally the FBI

Some scammers may have bitten off more than they can chew after they tried impersonating the FBI to spread malware. The Feds' Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) issued an alert on Wednesday warning that it has received numerous complaints from citizens who have received emails purporting to be from IC3. Each message states …
Iain Thomson, 1 Feb 2018
cash

AT&T's financial figures reveal 19 BEEELLLION reasons why it lobbied hard for US tax cuts

AT&T lobbied hard for tax cuts in the US – and that effort has rather paid off. Thanks to the President-Trump-championed Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the telco revealed this week it rounded out 2017 with some stonking financial figures. In the final quarter of 2016, the comms giant bagged a profit of $2.4bn. A year later, in 2017, …
Iain Thomson, 1 Feb 2018
miner

Good news, everyone: Ransomware declining. Bad news: Miscreants are turning to crypto-mining on infected PCs

For the past few years, ransomware has been a bane of computer users. These software nasties infect PCs, scramble files, and demand payment in cryptocurrency to restore the documents. Those cryptocurrencies are a right faff to get hold of and transfer to miscreants at short notice. And there's no guarantee crooks will hand …
Iain Thomson, 1 Feb 2018
flags

In America, tech support conmen get a mild slap. In Blighty, scammers get the book thrown at them

Two bogus technical support operations have been shut down over the past two days – but the punishment dished out highlights eyebrow-raising differences between the US and UK in how they deal with these scumbags. On Monday, the US Federal Trade Commission reached a settlement with six people accused of running a technical …
Iain Thomson, 31 Jan 2018
overdose

I'll torpedo Tor weirdos, US AG storms: Feds have 'already infiltrated' darknet drug souks

The US Attorney General has set up a task force of FBI agents and tech nerds to further smoke out online peddlers of illegal opioids. The team, dubbed the Joint Criminal Opioid Darknet Enforcement, aka J-CODE, will be sent out to a dozen American cities that have hotspots of opioid abuse to work out where the gear is coming …
Iain Thomson, 30 Jan 2018

Timeout everyone. Y'all know that Musk's $500 'flamethrower' is literally a Boring blowtorch?

You've got to hand it to Elon Musk – the guy could sell pork pies at a rabbinical convention. Over the weekend, his Boring Company started flogging thousands of "flamethrowers," netting the Tesla and SpaceX billionaire a cool $4.5m in sales as the internet went bananas for the gimmick. The thought of Musk wielding an actual …
Iain Thomson, 29 Jan 2018

US Pentagon scrambles after Strava base leaks. Here's a summary of the new rules: 'Secure that s***, Hudson!'

The American military has ordered a review of its grunts' personal electronics – after the Strava fitness app used by soldiers revealed base locations and other operational security gaffes. In November, the exercise-tracking software maker released a "heatmap" to show where in the world people were using the application to …
Iain Thomson, 29 Jan 2018
sex work

Brit escorts: Without the internet to keep us safe, we'd be totally screwed

A study into the effect of the internet on professional sex workers has shown the online world keeps them safer, happier in their job, and more able to weed out creepy customers. Researchers at the universities of Leicester and Strathclyde in the UK interviewed 641 courtesans – with a roughly 80/20 per cent female to male …
Iain Thomson, 25 Jan 2018
Canada

Bell Canada Canucks it up again: Second hack in just eight months

Executives at Bell Canada have been left with faces redder than their nation's flag – after their subscriber database was hacked for the second time in eight months. In May 2017, 1.9 million customer records were stolen from Canada's largest telco after its anti-hacking defenses failed. Now the biz has admitted miscreants have …
Iain Thomson, 24 Jan 2018

Biker nerfed by robo Chevy in San Francisco now lobs sueball at GM

A motorcyclist is suing General Motors in the US after he was knocked off his motorbike by one of the automaker's self-driving cars. In a civil lawsuit [PDF] alleging negligence and demanding damages, photographer Oscar Nilsson claimed he was hit by an autonomous Chevrolet Bolt that had a human driver at the wheel. The driver …
Iain Thomson, 24 Jan 2018

H-1B visa hopefuls, green card holders are feeling the wrath of 'America first' Trump

Following President Donald Trump's demands for a crackdown on H-1B visas, there has been a radical shift in how US immigration officials handle applications for the program. Every year, Uncle Sam allocates 65,000 H-1B visas for highly skilled foreigners keen to work in the Land of the Free™, with an additional 20,000 reserved …
Iain Thomson, 24 Jan 2018
Mars storm

NASA rethinking InSight probe mission after dust storm predicted for Mars

It's highly likely that Mars is going to suffer one of its periodical planet-wide dust storms this year – and NASA is concerned the event could disrupt its operations on the Red Planet. When the American agency's Mariner 9 spacecraft became the first probe to orbit another world – specifically, Mars – in November 1971, …
Iain Thomson, 24 Jan 2018
tesla

Aut-doh!-pilot: Driver jams 65mph Tesla Model S under fire truck, walks away from crash

Another Tesla driver needs reminding that the flash motor's Autopilot mode doesn't mean you can ignore what's on the road. On Monday morning, a Tesla Model S slammed into a stationary firetruck at around 65mph on Interstate 405 in Culver City, California. The car was driven under the fire engine, although the driver was able …
Iain Thomson, 23 Jan 2018
voting

Electronic voting box makers want kit stripped from eBay – and out of hackers' hands

Shmoocon Vendor intimidation, default passwords, official state seals for sale. Yes, we're talking about computer-powered election machines. The organizers of last year's DEF CON Voting Village – a corner of the annual infosec conference where peeps easily hacked into electronic ballot boxes – are preparing for a similar penetration- …
Iain Thomson, 23 Jan 2018

That's not very ice! Blizzard silently patches games hack hole, gives Googler cold shoulder

Blizzard games – played every month by half a billion netizens, apparently – could be hijacked by malicious websites visited by gamers, according to Google's Project Zero team. Googler Tavis Ormandy spotted the vulnerability in the Blizzard Update Agent, which is installed alongside all Blizzard titles. This particular …
Iain Thomson, 23 Jan 2018
shutdown

US govt shutdown lobs spanner in SpaceX's Falcon Heavy launch

SpaceX's Falcon Heavy maiden launch, pencilled in for the end of this month, is set to be delayed due to the ongoing US government shutdown. Since Friday night, all federal agencies have suspended non-essential work as congressfolk bicker over budget cuts, increases, and allocations. The Senate today inched closer to passing a …
Iain Thomson, 22 Jan 2018

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