Articles about Internet

Ladies in tech, have you considered not letting us know you're female?

Stop press It's one of the most pervasive problems in tech: ingrained sexism that sees women looked over for promotion or often not given a job in the first place. Fortunately, someone has arrived at the perfect solution and this time it's someone worth listening to: an old rich white guy. John Greathouse is a California-based venture …
Kieren McCarthy, 29 Sep 2016
Guilty

'Syrian Electronic Army' goon extradited from Germany now coughs to hacking, extortion

An associate of the self-styled Syrian Electronic Army has been sentenced to five years in an American prison for his part in running a cyber extortion scheme against businesses around the world. On Wednesday, Syrian-born Peter Romar, 37, pled guilty in a Virginia district court to conspiring to unlawfully access computers and …
Iain Thomson, 29 Sep 2016

Four US states demand restraining order to stop internet power handover to ICANN

Four states' attorneys general have filed suit to prevent the transition of critical internet functions from the US government to non-profit ICANN this Friday. The lawsuit from Arizona, Texas, Oklahoma and Nevada seeks a temporary restraining order that would prevent the IANA contract from expiring on September 30. (If or when …
Kieren McCarthy, 29 Sep 2016

Human rights orgs take Five Eyes nations to court

Human rights organisations have today made the most direct legal challenge against the UK and USA's surveillance activities since they were first revealed in 2013. Despite the outcry against surveillance which followed the outpourings of rogue NSA sysadmin Edward Snowden, and a few successful legal challenges, the utility and …
A Starship bot face-tp-face with a pensioner on the street

Pisspoor IoT security means it'd be really easy to bump off pensioners

Two things are fixed on everyone's minds when it comes to the Internet of Things: security and law. How does industry overcome the threats posed by these two hurdles? Speaking at yesterday's Cambridge Wireless IoT event in London, Max Heinemeyer from Darktrace was all in favour of automating away the security problems. He …
Gareth Corfield, 29 Sep 2016
Microsoft 'Tay' on Twitter

Microsoft chatbots: Sweet XiaoIce vs foul-mouthed Tay

AI chatbots can act like social experiments, offering a glimpse into human culture – for the good or the bad. Microsoft and Bing researchers found this out when they trialled their chatbots on China’s hugely successful messaging platform, WeChat, and on Twitter. The Chinese chatbot, XiaoIce, went viral within 72 hours and has …
Katyanna Quach, 29 Sep 2016

FCC death vote looms for the Golden Age of American TV

Special report We’re living in a “Golden Age of TV”, and the United States makes the most envied popular TV drama in the world. Breaking Bad, The Sopranos and The Wire raised the bar for everyone in TV drama. More cash is invested in content: last year Netflix alone spent more on shows than either the BBC or HBO. It takes more risks and …
Andrew Orlowski, 29 Sep 2016

Sad reality: Look, no one's going to patch their insecure IoT gear

If you think ordinary people are going to look out for and apply firmware fixes to patch vulnerabilities in the Internet of Things, you're crazy. It's going to be down to manufacturers to secure IoT devices, Intel Security's chief technical strategist says, because consumers will cheerfully give away their security and privacy …
Iain Thomson, 29 Sep 2016

Researchers crack Oz Govt medical data in 'easy' attack with PCs

Australian researchers have laid waste to the Federal Government's plan to criminalise the decryption of anonymised state data sets, just a day after it was announced, by 'easily' cracking government-held medical data. Federal attorney-general George Brandis yesterday announced that it would accept recommendations from the …
Darren Pauli, 29 Sep 2016
Snowball angry about being neutered

After AT&T's crushing blow, FTC tells Senate it wants its balls back

US trade watchdog the FTC says it will appeal the August decision stripping its ability to fine AT&T. In a hearing before the US Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation this week, FTC chairwoman Edith Ramirez confirmed her agency will challenge the Ninth Circuit Court's ruling that corporations that deliver a …
Shaun Nichols, 28 Sep 2016

South Australian mega-storm blacks out whole state

An “unprecedented” storm in South Australia blacked out the entire state yesterday, and the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) is warning another low pressure system will cross the state today. The attack by the Syrian Electronic Army's weather control unit – no, that's not right – the storm took down high-voltage power …

Google cranks out new developer center in San Francisco – inexplicably, we were at the opening

Google has opened a 14,000 square foot developer space in the heart of San Francisco to encourage the next generation of startups to use its products. The space takes up a whole floor on a newly renovated building in the city's SoMa tech hub and represents a big shift for Google away from its Silicon Valley campus 35 miles …
Kieren McCarthy, 28 Sep 2016

Internet of Things security? Start with who owns the data

“Defence is only as strong as the weakest link,” said Tim Phipps of Solarflare at today’s Cambridge Wireless event on security within the Internet of Things. Today's Cambridge Wireless event was part of its Special Interest Group focusing on security and defence. In particular, on securing and defending the Internet of Things …
Gareth Corfield, 28 Sep 2016
Bored cat on computer, photo via Shutterstock

The web is past peak innovation: It's all negative returns from here

Open Source Insider In all the years I have been using FOSS software, the most common complaint I've seen about FOSS software is that the "design" is "terrible", "laughable" or some witticism about forks and eyes. What's interesting about this criticism isn't its longevity, that's to be expected since for most of the people registering this …
Credit card fraud

Urgent! Log in for spear-phisher survey or your account will be deleted

Europol’s annual cyber-crime survey warns that the quality of spearphishing and other "CEO fraud" is continuing to improve and "cybercrime-as-a-service" means an ever larger group of fraudsters can easily commit online attacks. Many threats remain from last year – banking trojan attacks are still an issue for businesses and …
John Oates, 28 Sep 2016
Man sloppily eats a hamburger... chips and pickle fall out. Photo by Shutterstock

WAN, bam, thank you... oh @£$%. We've gone dead. Drop the burger. RUUUUUN!

This Damn War This Damn War image via Shutterstock Big, global WAN roll-outs have their hazards. Size is one of them, but you can deal with this with effective project planning and management. Complexity is another, but combining design and a team of highly effective and competent engineers can address that one too. And of course there …
Dave Cartwright, 28 Sep 2016

Google, Dropbox the latest US tech giants to sign up to the Privacy Shield

Internet giant Google has signed up to the Privacy Shield, a framework designed to facilitate the transfer of personal data between the EU and US by businesses. Data storage and software provider Dropbox has also self-certified under the Privacy Shield. The companies are the latest major US technology businesses to sign up to …
OUT-LAW.COM, 28 Sep 2016
Type arms of an old typewriter

BIND bashes bugs

The folk who maintain the ubiquitous BIND DNS server have issued a patch for two bugs, one of them serious. Most of the time, organisations treat denial-of-service bugs as less serious than, for example, information disclosure or remote code execution bugs. BIND, however, is special: it's a fundamental part of the Internet …

Approve dot-gay, ICANN told

DNS overseer ICANN has been told to approve the dot-gay internet extension in a new letter sent to its board. A 62-page report [PDF] written by Professor William Eskridge – a world expert in sexuality, gender, and the law from Yale Law School – tears apart the organization's "independent" report and highlights "fundamental …
Kieren McCarthy, 27 Sep 2016

Did last night's US presidential debate Wi-Fi rip-off break the law?

The host of the first presidential debate on Monday night, Hofstra University in New York, may have broken the law and could be in line for a huge fine. Reporters at the event were appalled to find that among the heavily marked-up items they were offered – $150 to rent a lamp, anyone? – was a $200 charge for a "secure wireless …
Kieren McCarthy, 27 Sep 2016

US govt pleads: What's it gonna take to get you people using IPv6?

The US government is entering the next stage of grief and loss over IPv6, asking companies to explain why they won't just move over to the new protocol. "We are on the verge of an explosion in the number of Internet-connected devices, from smartwatches to connected refrigerators, furniture and thermostats," the National …
Kieren McCarthy, 27 Sep 2016

New LITE working group takes up ARMs against the IoT

Linaro, the collaborative engineering effort focused around Linux for ARM-based devices, has spawned a new working group to develop open reference platforms for connected products, with an inevitable eye on the Internet of Things (IoT). Dubbed the Linaro IoT and Embedded (LITE) Segment Group, the new initiative is launching …
Dan Robinson, 27 Sep 2016

TalkTalk hack: Teen in court on hacking and blackmail charges

The fifth suspect to be arrested in connection with the megahack of TalkTalk last year has appeared in court today. Daniel Kelley, of Heol Dinbych, Llanelli, was arrested in Llanelli last November and arrived in court today charged with 14 offences relating to hacking, blackmail and fraud conducted between March and November …
Irritated man looks at office desktop screen in frustration. Photo by Shutterstock

No wonder we're being hit by Internet of Things botnets. Ever tried patching a Thing?

Internet of Things devices are starting to pose a real threat to security for the sensible part of the web, Akamai's chief security officer Andy Ellis has told The Register. Speaking in the aftermath of the large DDoS against security journalist Brian Krebs, Ellis elaborated a little on the makeup of the botnet which took down …
Gareth Corfield, 27 Sep 2016
fail_parking_meter_648

Ordinary punters will get squat from smart meters, reckons report

Smart meters will benefit suppliers nearly twice as much as consumers in terms of cost savings, according to an assessment by the late Department for Energy and Climate Change. The government's £11bn smart meter project will require energy suppliers to offer 53 million meters to homes and small businesses by 2020. Smart meters …
Kat Hall, 27 Sep 2016

Oh Snap! How intelligent people make themselves stupid for Snapchat

Comment Perv-magnet app Snapchat is no more. It has renamed itself Snap! as it wants to be a respectable media tech company. Specifically, it says “a camera company”. Here’s perhaps the only interesting thing about Snapchat. Nobody really understands what the point of it is, and maybe Snapchat doesn’t either. But it’s exploited this …
Andrew Orlowski, 27 Sep 2016
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152k cameras in 990Gbps record-breaking dual DDoS

The world's largest distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack has been clocked from the same network of 152,463 compromised low-powered cameras and internet-of-things devices which punted a media outlet off the internet. Last days, we got lot of huge DDoS. Here, the list of "bigger that 100Gbps" only. You can see the …
Team Register, 27 Sep 2016

Don't let banks fool you, the blockchain really does have other uses

Analysis It is a truth universally acknowledged that executives in the financial sector are capable of making the most exciting innovations boring, and in this respect their approach to the blockchain has been exemplary. During 2008's financial crash, a nine-page paper titled Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System [PDF] was …
Hammer, spanner and screw

STUN hack could help admins choose between 'net links

A proposal at the Internet Engineering Task Force suggests network admins can use the venerable STUN protocol to help them pick the best path across IP networks. STUN – Session Traversal Utilities for NAT – is well-known as a handy tool for setting up things like voice-over-IP (VoIP) sessions between users hidden behind …

Add 'fattism' and hacker stereotyping to the list of Donald Trump's list of non-PC positions

United States presidential candidate Donald Trump has questioned whether the Democratic National Committee was hacked by Russia, advancing theories that China or “someone sitting on their bed who weighs 400 pounds” may have pulled off the hack that saw numerous campaign documents leaked to the world. Trump made the remarks …
Simon Sharwood, 27 Sep 2016
Facepalm, photo via Shutterstock

Fax machines' custom Linux allows dial-up hack

Party like it's 1999, phreakers: a bug in Epson multifunction printer firmware creates a vector to networks that don't have their own Internet connection. The exploit requirements are that an attacker can trick the victim into installing malicious firmware, and that the victim is using the device's fax line. The firmware is …

Security man Krebs' website DDoS was powered by hacked Internet of Things botnet

The huge distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack which wiped security journalist Brian Krebs' website from the internet came from a million-device-strong Internet of Things botnet. "Attack appears to include numerous IoT devices, including security cameras. Still itemizing them," an Akamai spokesman told El Reg by email. …
Gareth Corfield, 26 Sep 2016
yak. pHOTO BY shUTTERSTOCK

Unimpressed with Ubuntu 16.10? Yakkety Yak... don't talk back

Before I dive into what's new in Ubuntu 16.10, called Yakkety Yak, let's just get this sentence out of the way: Ubuntu 16.10 will not feature Unity 8 or the new Mir display server. I believe that's the seventh time I've written that since Unity 8 was announced and here we are on the second beta for 16.10. Maybe that's why …
Image by KUCO http://www.shutterstock.com/gallery-111070p1.html

Silicon Valley’s top exorcist rushed off his feet as Demons infest California

A Catholic priest has said virtually all his free time is taken up with exorcisms these days as he struggles to counter the tide of demonic possession washing up Silicon Valley and the rest of Northern California. Father Gary Thomas, together with fellow exorcist Father Vincent Lampert, has been profiled in a lengthy piece in …
Joe Fay, 26 Sep 2016
Value pack of two tins of Spam

Dev teaches bot to talk spammers' ears off

Brian Weinreich has been trolling spammers for two years using a bot that fires realistic and ridiculous replies to the pervasive online salespeople. The noted security developer created the bot as a means to waste the time of the blowflies of the internet after being affronted by a deluge of unsolicited sales pitches directed …
Darren Pauli, 26 Sep 2016

The Great British domain name rip-off: Overcharged .uk customers help pay for cheaper .vodka

UK domain name holders are being overcharged while the company behind it wins contracts by undercutting the market in what may be illegal market abuse. In recent months, Nominet has signed a number of contracts with commercial operators of dozens of internet extensions ranging from .boston to .vodka. More deals are in the …
Kieren McCarthy, 26 Sep 2016

Avaya explains its 'hyper-segmentation' approach to security

Interview It's way too easy to get past a firewall, map out an enterprise's network, and start tapping IP addresses looking for vulnerable machines – so why are we using Layer 3 addressing as the basis of the enterprise network? Avaya's new software-defined-networking-based architecture proposes to stop TCP/IP-based attack traffic at …
Robert Croucher

UK copyright troll weeps, starts 20-week stretch in the cooler for beating up Uber driver

Updated The owner of a firm involved in sending speculative invoices to suspected downloaders is in trouble of his own after being convicted of a brutal assault on an Uber driver outside an exclusive London members-only club. Robert Croucher, MD of consultancy Hatton & Berkeley, wept in the dock after being found guilty of pushing …
Iain Thomson, 23 Sep 2016
wargames

Uni student cuffed for 'hacking professor's PC to change his grades'

A student at Kennesaw State University in Georgia is accused of hacking into his professor's computer to improve his grades. Chase Arthur Hughes, 19, was arrested and charged this week after allegedly raiding the university's computers in May. The teen made a number of alterations to his grades, and those of his friends, for …
Iain Thomson, 23 Sep 2016

Video service Binge On 'broke the internet' but 99pc of users love it

Analysis Do you remember the butthurt and angst heaped on T-Mobile US when it launched its Binge On service earlier this year? T-Mobile US offered a toll-free all-you-can-watch mobile video service, trading quality for quantity. The Binge On user would get video downsampled to 480 pixels, but none of it would count towards their data …
Andrew Orlowski, 23 Sep 2016

Plusnet outage leaves customers unable to stream Netflix. Horrors!

Ongoing technical problems at gaffe-prone Plusnet are leaving customers unable to stream videos or play games. According to the outfit's forum, the problems first began to appear yesterday. However, Plusnet also encountered packet loss problems earlier this month. One customer wrote to The Register to complain: "There is no …
Kat Hall, 23 Sep 2016
Crown courtroom. Pic: Shutterstock

Judge makes minor tweaks to sex ban IT man's order

A York judge has made some trifling tweaks to an order he imposed on a former IT contractor banning him from having sex unless he asked police 24 hours in advance. District Judge Adrian Lower, sitting at York Magistrates' Court yesterday, heard John O'Neill's application to vary a Sexual Risk Order (SRO) that the same judge …
Gareth Corfield, 23 Sep 2016
Pulling the plug

Pull the plug! PowerPoint may kill my conference audience

Something for the Weekend, Sir? The man on stage is baffled. It was his big moment, a chance to show off his company’s proficiency and expertise, but now he’s being made to look useless. Two huge screens on either side of the stage are supposed to be displaying his presentation. They remain resolutely blank. A 200-strong audience of paying conference …
Alistair Dabbs, 23 Sep 2016
NSA

Report: NSA hushed up zero-day spyware tool losses for three years

Sources close to the investigation into how NSA surveillance tools and zero-day exploits ended up in the hands of hackers has found that the agency knew about the loss for three years but didn’t want anyone to know. Multiple sources told Reuters last night that the investigation into the data dump released by a group calling …
Iain Thomson, 23 Sep 2016

Cops blasted for relying on IP addresses to hunt down suspects

A new white paper from the Electronic Frontier Foundation argues that police rely too heavily on IP addresses when conducting criminal investigations. The paper [PDF], written by EFF executive director Cindy Cohn along with legal fellow Aaron Mackey and senior staff technologist Seth Schoen, argues that the numerical addresses …
Shaun Nichols, 23 Sep 2016
Electric spark jump between silver wire isolated

Digital Realty gets into the cloud interconnect caper

Bit barn baron Digital Realty has decided it needs to be a player in the cloud connection caper. The company's therefore cooked up something called “Service Exchange” that offers software-defined links between its data centres and those operated by the likes of Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google, IBM SoftLayer and Microsoft's …
Simon Sharwood, 23 Sep 2016
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Valid logins to your workplace are on the net, right now

Enterprises are almost universally open to intrusion attempts with stolen credentials, and are at increased risk from compromised smartphones thanks to a spike in device malware. The findings stem from two separate studies. Digital Shadows research [PDF] reveals 97 percent of the Fortune top 1000 largest companies face …
Team Register, 23 Sep 2016

US Homeland Security launches IoT willy-waving campaign

The US Department of Homeland Security has announced plans to make the internet-of-things just a bit more complicated – by trying to shove itself into the market with a new security framework. On Thursday, assistant secretary for cyber policy at the DHS Robert Silvers told the Security of Things Forum in Cambridge, …
Kieren McCarthy, 22 Sep 2016

Game over: IANA power-grab block pulled from Congress funding bill

The attempt to prevent the US government from moving control of the internet's technical functions to a technical body appears to be over. Following an extraordinary few days where the transition seemed up in the air thanks to the persistent efforts of Senator Ted Cruz, majority leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) filed a continuing …
Kieren McCarthy, 22 Sep 2016
Photo by 360b / Shutterstock

Despite IANA storm, ICANN shows just why it shouldn't be allowed to take over internet's critical functions

Internet overseer ICANN has responded to allegations of mismanagement, opaque decision-making, and an institutional lack of accountability by launching a review. That review, however, will not touch on the most serious charges leveled at the organization, including the fact that its staff deliberately misled companies seeking …
Chris Williams, 22 Sep 2016