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China ALSO building encryption-cracking quantum computer

It’s not just the NSA that’s said to be working on a quantum computer – China is also pulling out all the stops to beat its arch rival with a crypto-cracking machine of its own. The National Natural Science Foundation of China funded 90 quantum-based projects in 2013, with the order from Beijing to get the job done irrespective …
Phil Muncaster, 10 Jan 2014

Kiwis get cracking with gigabit residential broadband

While Australians wait for a copper network “upgrade” that can't be guaranteed to deliver better than 25 Mbps, a speed war has broken out across the Tasman, with residential gigabit plans arriving at wholesale prices that could see households pay under $NZ100 per month. The wholesaler has announced the offering is now available …
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Get cracking on STARTTLS says Facebook

Facebook has debunked the idea that SMTP STARTTLS encryption still isn't taking hold, after an analysis of the billions of messages it sends to millions of servers each day. In this blog post, The Social NetworkTM says the numbers are clear: “STARTTLS has achieved critical mass and there is immediate value in deploying it”, and …
Indonesia's spiffing No Spam logo

Guess which major US telco ISN'T cracking down on premium SMS spam?

AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile have agreed to stop charging their customers for premium text messages (PSMS), a practice that costs US folks an estimated $2bn in excess charges a year. The ban isn't total – Verizon isn't stopping the practice because it says it is still in the process of winding down its PSMS service. But it's not a …
Iain Thomson, 23 Nov 2013

Snowden docs: NSA building encryption-cracking quantum computer

The latest document stash from whistle-blower Edward Snowden shows that the NSA has budgeted $79.7m for the development of a quantum computer capable of "owning the net." "The Owning the Net (OTN) Project provides the technological means for NSA/CSS to gain access to and securely return high value target communications," one …
Iain Thomson, 03 Jan 2014
The Register breaking news

Behold, replica Nazi-code-cracking Colossus computer IN LEGO FORM

A Lego fan's miniature representation of the famous codebreaking Colossus Mark 2 has agreeably gone on show at Bletchley Park, where the original machine did vital wartime work breaking Germany's Lorenz ciphers. James Pegrum's homage to Colossus is entertaining visitors as part of the The National Museum of Computing's (TNMOC) …
Lester Haines, 06 Aug 2013
Bletchley Park

Bletchley Park vows to upload secret World War II code-cracking archives

Bletchley Park, the British wartime code-breaking center that housed computing legends such as Alan Turing and Tommy Flowers, will put its paper archives online after HP provided the scanning hardware to get the job done. "We've been wanting to do this for a while. It was first discussed five years ago, but we have just never …
Iain Thomson, 08 Nov 2013

British boffin muzzled after cracking car codes

Here is a tale of two security research presentations, both looking at motor vehicle security in a world in which even the humblest shopping trolley now has more brainpower than a moonshot. Flavio Garcia, a University of Birmingham lecturer familiar with insecurity in car systems – here, for example, is a paper he co-authored …
The NSA Unchained

That earth-shattering NSA crypto-cracking: Have spooks smashed RC4?

Fresh revelations from whistleblower Edward Snowden suggest that the NSA can crack TLS/SSL connections, the widespread technology securing HTTPS websites and virtual private networks (VPNs). Although reports from the New York Times and its allied publications held off on the specifics, it may all mean that US spooks can reliably …
John Leyden, 06 Sep 2013

Speaking in Tech: 'Software-defined' anything makes me BARF in my MOUTH

speaking_in_tech Greg Knieriemen podcast enterprise Hosted by Greg Knieriemen, Ed Saipetch and Sarah Vela. This week, Ed is out so it's just Sarah and Greg celebrating Canada Day with special guest (and proud Canadian) Chad Sakac, senior veep for Global Presales Technical Resources at EMC. This week we discuss… Greg, Sarah …
Team Register, 02 Jul 2014
The Register breaking news

Cracking software retrieves iPhone 4 passwords

A Russian password-cracking company has released software it says can recover passwords stored on Apple's latest iPhone without modifying the device or any of the data stored on it. ElcomSoft of Moscow says the latest version of its iPhone Password Breaker will recover the encrypted keychains that the iPhone 4 uses to store …
Dan Goodin, 05 Aug 2010

Bill Gates asks telcoms standards boffins to define future of money

Two-and-a-half billion adults in the world don't have bank accounts, and the the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation thinks it's got the answer: deliver financial services to mobile phones. And the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) agrees: late in June, it established a focus group to look at Digital Financial Services …
The Register breaking news

Web service automates WordPress password cracking

Hackers have developed a distributed Wordpress admin account cracking scheme that poses a severe risk for the security of blogs whose owners select insecure passwords. PHP scripts located on a virtual server run bruteforce (password guessing) attacks on targeted sites. Many sites can be attacked at the same time by the system, …
John Leyden, 30 Nov 2009
SOURCE: http://www.sxc.hu/photo/959469

HP offers $150,000 for 'exploit unicorn' in Pwn2Own hacker competition

HP has been laying out the ground rules for the latest Pwn2Own contest and is offering a new prize of $150,000 to the cunning cracker who can get root access to a Windows 8.1 PC running Redmond's Enhanced Mitigation Experience Toolkit (EMET). "Last year we launched a plug-in track to the competition, in addition to our …
Iain Thomson, 01 Feb 2014
Random numbers

L337 crackrz use dumb passwords too

Black hats are just as blithe about the passwords they use as the rest of the world, according to a bit of research by security outfit Avast. The anti-virus company's Antonín Hýža, writes here that after he'd built a dictionary of hacked hackers' passwords, the most common password was “hack”. Hýža says his work began because …

128-bit crypto scheme allegedly cracked in two hours

Crypto researchers are preparing to scatter the ashes of a class of Discrete Logarithm Problems (DLPs) as the future of security, following a claim by Swiss researchers to have cracked a 128-bit crypto scheme in two hours. So as not to frighten the horses, The Register will start by pointing out that our understanding of this …
The Register breaking news

Virtual Nazi-code-cracking Colossus in fundraising appeal

The National Museum of Computing (TNMOC) has turned to a tried-and-tested fundraising method to establish a home for the rebuilt Colossus computer at Bletchley Park. Individuals and firms are invited to buy up pixels of an online picture of the wartime code-breaking machine - at 10 pence per dot with a minimum spend of £10 - …
John Leyden, 10 Feb 2012
Lock security

Student promises Java key to unlock Simplocker ransomware

A university student claims he is set to release a Java application to decrypt the first ransomware to hit Android devices. The Simplelocker ransomware was revealed 7 June by malware analysts at Eset targeting devices in Eastern Europe. It encrypted via AES large swathes of files on Android device SD cards demanding users pay a …
Darren Pauli, 17 Jun 2014
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e-Reader feeling empty? Top it up at El Reg's book shop

We feel your pain. We understand what you want. So whether it’s that last minute dash for presents, or the prospect of spending the festive period squished in with your extremely un-techy relatives, ease your distress with the latest crop of Register ebooks. Planning the year ahead? Thinking of some New Year resolutions? Need a …
Team Register, 11 Dec 2013
Beginners All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code

Amazon is decompiling our apps in security gaffe hunt, says dev

Amazon's crackdown on mishandling AWS credentials has astonished one software developer, who says the cloud giant is reverse-engineering Android apps for inspection. In this blog post, Raj Bala admitted his app included his private "AWS credentials as simple strings within the app itself”, and as a result, he's received a notice …
Rosetta Flash diagram

Weaponised Flash flaw can pinch just about anything from anywhere

Get cracking with the latest Flash upgrade, because the vulnerability it patches is a peach, allowing a cross-site request forgery (CSRF) attack for stealing user credentials. According to the Switzerland-based Google engineer that turned up the vulnerability, Michele Spagnuolo, sites that are/were vulnerable to the attack …
Peril Sensitive Sunglasses - Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

Is the answer to life, the universe and everything hidden in Adams' newly uncovered archive?

We all know that the, er, "bad guys are Vogons". Douglas Adams explained as much in his cracking 1979 sci-fi novel The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. But what if there are new baddies to be unearthed and nerdish gags to marvel at – well, nerdishly – from the words of the great man himself? Wait no longer: a new biography – …
Kelly Fiveash, 31 May 2014

WORLD CUP SHOCK: England declared winner in 2-1 defeat to Italy

Spud-faced footie ace Wayne Rooney may not face the chop – after England was declared the WINNER in its World Cup opening match against Italy. The quick-tempered, woodwork-bothering Liverpudlian's fate was said to be hanging in the balance after the Italians scored two goals to England's one on Saturday night. Even though he …
Team Register, 17 Jun 2014
Angry Birds pig

Apple rats on Google to FTC: You thought WE were in-app-ropriate?

Apple turned in Google to the Federal Trade Commission for the same in-app purchase issues for which the iPhone-maker itself had been criticised, according to a report in Politico. Earlier this year, the FTC started cracking down on iPhone and iPad apps that allowed kids to spend their parents’ hard-earned dosh without their …
Routers

L33t haxxors compete to p0wn popular home routers

Gird your loins router-makers: a throng of hackers are set to pry apart your woefully insecure hardware in a competition to expose bad firmware and hard-coded credentials. The competition will take place at the DEF CON 22 conference and glories in the name "SOHOpelessly Broken". The event is the brainchild of the Electronic …
Darren Pauli, 18 Jul 2014

Napster cofounder's Jerk.com accused of acting like ... err ... jerks

The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is cracking down on a site they say lifted user information to create smear profiles on a for-profit reputation site. The FTC said that the operators of Jerk.com (which appears to have since been taken down) harvested data from millions of Facebook users to create profiles without permission …
Shaun Nichols, 09 Apr 2014
Drawing of brain

Programmers! Have you been asked to solve a computationally intractable task?

And so to El Reg forums, where Julian Bradfield, an academic, writes: In a vigorous discussion about revising courses in a computer science degree, one of my colleagues opined that "every decent programmer is sometime going to come across a task that is NP-hard, so they need to know to tackle NP-hard problems". I'm curious as …
Drew Cullen, 23 Oct 2013
The Register breaking news

Trucker prangs rig while cracking one off

Swedish police believe that a German lorry driver who crashed his vehicle near Borås earlier this week may have been off his box on drugs, according to the Borås Tidning newspaper. Suspicions that the unnamed 30-something trucker, who collided with the central reservation and flipped his vehicle, could have ingested illegal …
Lester Haines, 25 Sep 2009
The Register breaking news

ACCC to NBN Co: 'get cracking'

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has threatened to step in with price regulation if it thinks that NBN Co, the company building the country's National Broadband Network, is moving too slowly. The regulator told the NBN parliamentary committee that NBN Co has not yet lodged its "Special Access Undertaking …
San Francisco cable car

San Francisco issues SMACKDOWN on parking spot sale software

San Francisco city officials are cracking down on mobile applications that allow users to buy and sell public parking spaces. City Attorney Dennis Herrera said Monday that his office had sent a cease-and-desist notice to the developers of Monkey Parking, a mobile app which lets users sell their public parking spaces in crowded …
Shaun Nichols, 23 Jun 2014
Lights out image

207 thousand lights-out boxes are STILL hackable

Researchers have found 207,000 publicly-accessible Baseboard Management Controllers (BMCs) can be hacked with a "handful" of basic command and config flaws, despite previous warnings about the problem. The exposed devices were found during a global trawl of UDP 623 that netted 230,000 public BMCs, half of which ran holey 13-year …
Darren Pauli, 11 Jun 2014
hands waving dollar bills in the air

eBay says database leak dump offers are fake

Cybercrooks are offering to sell "stolen copies" of the leaked eBay database through an advert posted through Pastebin. However eBay says the sale is fake. "We have checked all published data and so far none are authentic eBay accounts," eBay's press office told El Reg. Security experts, although far from certain, seem inclined …
John Leyden, 22 May 2014
Neutron star collision

Interstellar FIGHT CLUB: Watch neutron star TEAR Goliath a new hole

Ever wanted to see two super-dense neutron stars rip each other apart in a mega-annihilation that leaves nothing behind but a gaping black hole? Now you can, after NASA put together a supercomputer simulation of just such an event in our universe. Youtube video A neutron star is the compressed core left behind when a huge star …
Sign outside the National Security Agency HQ

Reporters without Borders confirms, yes, lots of nations are spying on their citizens

Revelations of domestic and international phone and web surveillance operations by US and UK spies have earned the two countries a dubious distinction on the Reporters Without Borders' "Enemies of the Internet" list. The press freedom and privacy activist group said the two nations earned a place on the 2014 edition of the list …
Shaun Nichols, 14 Mar 2014
HTC One

HTC offers FREEBIE repair on new models with cracked screens

HTC is offering users free fixes for cracked screens on the company's new handset models. The company said that all HTC One, One Max and One Mini customers in the US who purchase their device on or after February 18 will be eligible to receive one free repair from the company on cracked screens in the first six months of …
Shaun Nichols, 19 Feb 2014
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CERN and MIT chaps' secure webmail stalled by stampede of users

A bunch of CERN alumni has taken time out of the weighty world of particle physics to take another shot at cracking the e-mail encryption nut. Their offering, Proton Mail, has gone into public beta, and proved so popular the group has had to suspend new registrations while it upgrades its servers. As a concept, encrypting e- …
TWIT billboard

You TWITS! Facebook exec erects billboards shaming texting drivers

A Facebook exec is so sick of drivers texting behind the wheel that he now photographs them and puts the images on billboards to shame them. "I've been blown away by the number of people texting while in traffic, on the freeway," Brian Singer, manager of communication design at Facebook, told Gizmodo. "For every nose picker, …
Iain Thomson, 26 Mar 2014
Surface Pro 3 cracked screen from iFixit

DISPLAY DESTRUCTION D'OH! Teardown cracks Surface Pro 3 screen

Microsoft has pitched its Surface Pro 3 as a "tablet that can replace your laptop." That is unless, it seems, you want to repair or upgrade your laptop. Teardown specialists iFixit have posted their initial dissection of the latest Redmond tablet, and they've concluded that the surface on the Surface is poor for service. The …
Shaun Nichols, 23 Jun 2014

China cuffs 60,000 pirates in 2013 crackdown

Police in China arrested just shy of 60,000 people suspected of copyright abuses last year, in cases worth 173 billion yuan (£17bn). A total of 59,222 perps involved in 55,180 cases were cuffed in 2013, according to Ministry of Public Security stats revealed by state-run newswire Xinhua. Some 1,260 criminal networks were …
Phil Muncaster, 24 Jan 2014
The thieving eagle caught on camera

Eagle steals crocodile-cam, records video selfie

A juvenile sea-eagle with (sadly) no cinematographic skills whatever has created what could, regardless, be the selfie of the year, stealing a wildlife camera and taking it for a fly. The camera was set up near Margaret River* in the Kimberley region of Western Australia in order to capture images of crocodiles. As Gooniyandi …
Plastic Japanese gun arsenal

Japanese cops arrest man with five 3D printed guns at home

Japanese police have arrested a 27-year-old man after finding he had manufactured five handguns using a commercial 3D printer, two of which they say were capable of firing. Plastic Japanese gun arsenal Guns they may be, but dangerous they aren't Yoshitomo Imura, an employee of Shonan Institute of Technology in Fujisawa, made …
Iain Thomson, 08 May 2014

Cops cuff 5 suspects after Silk Road copycat secret drug souk bust

Five alleged drug dealers - who used a concealed website called Utopia to sell their illegal wares - have been arrested by Dutch and German police. The website was seized by cops working on Operation Commodore, Netherlands' public prosecutions service said in a statement on Wednesday. Utopia, a copycat of Silk Road that was …
Team Register, 13 Feb 2014
Car hacking device

Want to remotely control a car? $20 in parts, some oily fingers, and you're in command

Spanish hackers have been showing off their latest car-hacking creation; a circuit board using untraceable, off-the-shelf parts worth $20 that can give wireless access to the car's controls while it's on the road. Car hacking device Car cracking on a budget The device, which will be shown off at next month's Black Hat Asia …
Iain Thomson, 06 Feb 2014

Superphone system-CRACKING cable of DOOM ... is quite handy

It used to be that a large part of owning a cellphone, using it a lot, and being on the road involved hauling around a massive charging unit. When your plan expired, you got a new phone – and along with that came a new car charger, a new brick to plug in at home and a second one to be wrapped up in a ball and shoved in your …
Trevor Pott, 09 Feb 2011
The Register breaking news

Aus govt gets cracking on cyber threats

Australians might not have decent security disclosure laws or privacy protection, but the government has finally noticed that its agencies might need guidelines about secure storage of citizens’ data. Launching the government’s National Cyber Security Awareness Week , federal attorney-general Robert McClelland said new security …

D-Link hole-prober finds 'backdoor' in Chinese wireless routers

Security researchers say they have discovered a hidden backdoor in wireless routers from Chinese hardware manufacturer Tenda. Craig Heffner, the same researcher who uncovered a backdoor in routers from D-link, found the latest problem. He uncovered the functionality, which ships with Tenda's products, after unpacking firmware …
John Leyden, 22 Oct 2013

Kepler data yields Earth-mass 'gas giant'

It's almost-but-not-quite like Earth. Actually, it's nothing like Earth, except for a coincidence of mass: the newly-discovered exoplanet KOI-314c, 200 light-years distant from us, has roughly Earth mass, but turns out to be a gas planet. The discovery, described here at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA), is …
P/2013 R3 breaking up

Hubble 'scope snaps 200,000-ton chunky crumble conundrum

The Hubble space telescope has filmed strange asteroid P/2013 R3 disintegrating chunk by chunk as it screams around our Sun. As announced at the orbiting probe's website here, this particular crumbling space rock is something that's never been seen before. It all started when two surveys, Catalina and Pan-STARRS, spotted an odd …
Bletchley Park's replica Turing Bombe

UK spooks STILL won't release Bletchley Park secrets 70 years on

Spooks are still withholding the vital codebreaking secrets of Bletchley Park some 70 years after its boffins first cracked the Nazis' encrypted transmissions. Even though Bletchley has not been an active military facility for more half a century, GCHQ is still refusing to release algorithms which were used to decode Second …
Jasper Hamill, 06 Feb 2014

Dry martini, shaken not stirred: Cracking the physics of Bond's martini

"A distressingly large amount of rubbish is talked about cocktails," Noel Jackson, top boffin at the Life Science Centre in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, tells The Reg. You know, that's not half bad. I'm going to have to think up a name for that Jackson, a Cambridge-University-educated chemist, has all the straight-up science on …
Gavin Clarke, 31 Oct 2012