Feeds

Articles about Prevalence

Microsoft to patch ASP.NET mess even if you don't

Microsoft has taken the final step in sunsetting a dangerous server setting, announcing that all future versions of ASP.NET will enforce the deprecation of EnableViewStateMac=“false”. Since December 2013, when this security advisory landed, Redmond has warned sysadmins that the setting had a privilege escalation vulnerability. …
Still from Miley Cyrus music video for Wrecking Ball

Facebook, Google and Instagram 'worse than drugs' says Miley Cyrus

Offensively-and-dangerously-in-control of her sexuality popette Miley Cyrus has declared that social media is worse than drugs. In an interview with Australian news magazine program Sunday Night ahead of a tour down under, Cyrus was asked whether her use of marijuana has deleterious effects on her health. Her response was to …
Simon Sharwood, 01 Sep 2014
cookies_eyes_privacy evercookies flash cookies

Boffins plot global (browser) cookie crumb trail

Privacy laws covering the use of personally-identifiable information are, on a global scale, creating a dizzying patchwork of cookie-cutter cookie-serving companies created to sniff our Web browsing. That's one conclusion of research led by Marjan Falahrastegar at Queen Mary University, London. The group, which included …
Money image

Comcast-Time Warner merger: CloudFlare's fare flare fair warning

Distributed web host CloudFlare says its costs rise dramatically in places where telcos have little to no competition. The company, which is hired by website owners to rapidly sling pages and other stuff at visitors, today published a report detailing its peering operations – and the deals it signs with internet connection …
Shaun Nichols, 26 Aug 2014

Apple stabs Heartbleed bug in AirPort Extreme, Time Capsule gear

Apple has posted a security update to address instances of the Heartbleed security vulnerability in its AirPort router and file back-up gadgets. The company said that a firmware update for the AirPort Extreme and AirPort Time Capsule home network appliances would address the infamous CVE-2014-0160 OpenSSL security vulnerability …
Shaun Nichols, 24 Apr 2014
Windows 8.1 update 1 power search

Microsoft: We plan to CLEAN UP this here Windows Store town

Microsoft has promised to crack down on rogue apps in its Windows Store following criticisms that the marketplace is littered with "scam" software. Windows Store – which debuted with Windows 8 – is littered with misleading apps. Typical problems include knock-off "unofficial" packages of free apps such as the VLC media player. …
John Leyden, 21 Aug 2014

Not even CRIMINALS want your tablets, Blighty - but if that's an iPhone you're waving...

UK smartphone thieves prefer iPhones while their light-fingered counterparts in Germany favour Android, according to the results of a new survey. Mobile security firm Lookout's Phone Theft in Europe study found iPhones are the most popular target of theft in the UK. 39 per cent of stolen phones in Blighty are iPhones, …
John Leyden, 02 Sep 2014
Windows XP

Windows 7 settles as Windows XP use finally starts to slip … a bit

Windows XP lost nearly one per cent of global market share during August, according to both Netmarketshare and StatCounter, but there's not been a corresponding bounce in the prevalence of other Microsoft operating systems. The Reg has been tracking the two OS-counters for 11 months now and during that time Netmarketshare has …
Simon Sharwood, 01 Sep 2014
Peter Gutmann

Crypto-guru slams 'NSA-proof' tech, says today's crypto is strong enough

History is filled with companies shamed by their shoddy cryptography implementations – even though the underlying maths is bang on. In a presentation titled "Crypto Won't Save You" at the AusCERT conference on Australia's Gold Coast, respected cryptographer Peter Gutmann of the University of Auckland took security bods through a …
Darren Pauli, 16 May 2014
The Four Horsemen Apocalypse ride up the grassy mound that adorns the WinXP desktop

Win XP usage down but not out as support cutoff deadline looms

Windows XP usage on the web is decreasing as the venerable operating system edges ever closer towards its "end of life" from Microsoft support next week. Data from cloud security firm's Qualys QualysGuard shows that the percentage of XP on machines decreased from 35 per cent as of January 2013 to 14 per cent in February 2014. …
John Leyden, 04 Apr 2014

Exploits no more! Firefox 26 blocks all Java plugins by default

The latest release of the Firefox web browser, version 26, now blocks Java software on all websites by default unless the user specifically authorizes the Java plugin to run. The change has been a long time coming. The Mozilla Foundation had originally planned to make click-to-run the default for all versions of the Java plugin …
Neil McAllister, 10 Dec 2013

Good news: 'password' is no longer the #1 sesame opener, now it's '123456'

Despite the fact that users continue to cling to predictable and insecure passwords, the worst of them all is no longer the most popular. Security firm SplashData reports that in 2013, "password" slipped from the top spot as the most popular log-in code. Taking over the dubious distinction of most popular (and perhaps least …
Shaun Nichols, 20 Jan 2014
Life of Brian

Internet is a TOOL OF SATAN that destroys belief, study claims

A US computer scientist has released a study claiming to have found out why so many Americans are abandoning their religious faith and says it's the internet's fault. "Internet use decreases the chance of religious affiliation," reports Allen Downey, professor of computer science at Olin school of engineering. Downey analyzed …
Iain Thomson, 07 Apr 2014
The European flag

ENISA wants mobes to wander freely between carriers in emergencies

The European Union Agency for Network and Information Security (ENISA) has floated the idea that all mobile phones should be able to roam to another network within their country of residence, in order to enhance the resilience of mobile networks. The idea is outlined in a new report, titled ”National Roaming for Resilience: …
Simon Sharwood, 29 Nov 2013

Romans, Han Dynasty, kick-started climate change

Anthropogenic climate change may not be a recent phenomenon, with researchers reporting ice cores from the first two centuries AD show big spikes in methane prevalence. Those two centuries, the researchers note, co-incide with the most prosperous periods for the Roman Empire and Han Dynasty. A Nature paper, Natural and …
Simon Sharwood, 04 Oct 2012
Homer Simpson reading on a tablet

Target IGNORED hacker alarms as crooks took 40m credit cards – claim

Staff at US chain Target reportedly failed to stop the theft of 40 million credit card records despite an escalating series of alarms from the company's computer security systems. Bloomberg Businessweek claims that security technology from FireEye detected the malware-powered hack – but Target staff failed to act on the alerts, …
John Leyden, 14 Mar 2014
Artist's impression of Voyager 1 in space

Voyager 1 arrives on ‘magnetic highway for charged particles’

Venerable spacecraft Voyager 1 has arrived in the most distant part of space that can be considered part of the solar system. NASA has labelled this region of space “a magnetic highway for charged particles” because it contains particles radiating out from the sun along with interstellar particles zipping into our neighbourhood …
Simon Sharwood, 04 Dec 2012
channel_teaser_money_top

Why a plain packaging U-turn from UK.gov could cost £3bn a year

According to friendly "leaks" passed to newspapers overnight, the government may force cigarette manufacturers to sell their wares in plain packaging after yet another review, despite rejecting the policy earlier this year. But the gambit is unlikely to withstand the scrutiny of the Chancellor. Why? Plain packaging legislation …
Andrew Orlowski, 28 Nov 2013
Thunderbolt technology block diagram

Acer silences Thunderbolt

Intel's Thunderbolt I/O protocol looks just a little less likely to threaten USB's status as the world's preferred way of connecting stuff to computers, after Acer decided it can't be bothered using it in PCs any more. The Taiwanese company, which is clinging on as the world's fourth most-prolific PC-pusher, last week slipped …
Simon Sharwood, 16 Jul 2013
u-boat

WW II U-boat attacks prompt new US response

May 1943 is held by many to have been the turning point in the Battle of the Atlantic. “Black May”, as it has come to be known, saw 43 U-boats destroyed by allied forces. That number that reduced the size of the German submarine fleet to levels that meant later convoys stood a far better chance of successful Atlantic crossings. …
Simon Sharwood, 22 May 2013
Statcounter browser data

Samsung takes mobile net traffic crown from Apple

Samsung devices are now the world’s dominant source of mobile internet traffic, after web-watching outfit StatCounter revealed that in June 2013 the Korean concern conquered Cupertino. In a report (PDF) styled to set up competition for browser share as an epic conflict, the researchers say “Samsung has seen its internet usage …
Simon Sharwood, 11 Jul 2013
The Register breaking news

Australia lacks cash for cybercrime study

The Australian Institute of Criminology (AIC) does not have the resources to repeat its 2009 Australian Business Assessment of Computer User Security (ABACUS) study into the prevalence of cybercrime in Australia. An AIC spokesperson told The Register that the cost and complexity involved in an ABACUS study is not something the …
Simon Sharwood, 16 Mar 2012
Microsoft Surface Pro

Microsoft carves out 'niche' in tablets, says numbers chap

Apple had to watch Android match then exceed its share of the smartphone market and now it’s having to watch Google’s OS do the same thing in the tablet space. First quarter figures from Strategy Analytics show Android running in 52 per cent of the fondleslabs that shipped during the period. Apple’s iOS was in 41 per cent of …
Tony Smith, 25 Apr 2013
Dinosaurs

Dinosaur flatulence may have warmed Earth

Giant herbivorous dinosaurs may have emitted sufficient methane to warm the Mesozoic  climate, according to a new paper in Current Biology. The new theory, expounded in the article Could methane produced by sauropod dinosaurs have helped drive Mesozoic climate warmth? starts by advancing a theory that very large, long-necked …
Simon Sharwood, 07 May 2012
Various devices including phone, laptop and tablet

Danger, Will Robinson! Beware the hidden perils of BYOD

When I first became involved with networked PCs, the company I was working with was upgrading its NetWare 2.0a installation to 2.15. We were pushing the boundaries of networking with our three-way gateway connecting Ethernet, Token Ring and PCnet. The only local storage on all but the most high-end PCs was a floppy drive, and …
Dave Cartwright, 06 May 2014
 A pair of merging galaxies in the young Universe discovered with Herschel (left panel) and imaged at higher resolution at near-infrared, sub-millimetre and radio wavelengths (right panel). Credit: ESA/NASA/JPL-Caltech/UC Irvine/STScI/Keck/NRAO/SAO

Herschel Space Observatory spots galaxies merging

The European Space Agency's Herschel Space Observatory has beamed home pictures of two galaxies inexorably moving towards each other and boffins offered simulations of what happens next. The galaxies concerned are known as HXMM01, the name given to a bright spot in the sky. Closer examination of HXMM01 tells us it is very old: …
Simon Sharwood, 23 May 2013
shutterstock_interview_sidey

Corporate IT bod? Show 'em what it costs and management WILL pay

Getting IT departments to start thinking like service providers is an uphill struggle; getting beyond cost-to-value seems to be a leap too far for many. I wonder if it is driven by fear of change or simply a fear of assessing value. How do you assess the value of a service? Well, arguably, it is quite simple ... it is worth …
StorageBod, 20 Mar 2013

Toshiba reveals spin transfer RAM

Toshiba has revealed it has developed a model for transfer torque magnetoresistive random access memory (STT-MRAM)  and has claimed it has, for the first time, beaten the power requirements of static random-access memory (SRAM). STT-MRAM has been on memory-makers' radar for a few years, and works by imparting spin – the angular …
Simon Sharwood, 11 Dec 2012
Network Cables Index Image

Websites stagger to feet, Network Solutions wears off DDoS hangover

Web-hosting biz and domain-name registrar Network Solutions was pummelled offline by attackers last night - and took its customers' websites down with it. The distributed denial-of-service assault (DDoS) lasted for about two or three hours before the US company was able to mitigate the effects and get its systems back online. …
John Leyden, 18 Jul 2013
Tetris on Game Boy

Happy Birthday Tetris: It's flipping 30

Forget the oil, forget the gas – even forget the aggressive foreign policy. The commodity that granted Russia its modern day super-wealth is clearly Tetris, which clocks up its 30th birthday today. Youtube Video Poor old beardie Alexey Pajitnov – the title’s original designer and programmer – bashed out his first attempt on a …
Giles Hill, 06 Jun 2014
The Register breaking news

Verizon: 96 PER CENT of state-backed cyber-spying traced to China

Spooks carrying out state-sponsored cyber-espionage were responsible for one in five data breaches last year, researchers have claimed. New statistics contained in Verizon’s Data Breach Investigation Report 2012 found that 19 per cent of all attacks were carried out by agents acting on behalf of their government. Researchers …
Jasper Hamill, 23 Apr 2013
The Register breaking news

GIANT KANGAROOS wiped out by humans, not climate change

In a land before time – or at least Australia about 40,000 years ago – five meter kangaroos bounded across the landscape. Some were fleeing colossal marsupial lions. Others were trying to stay out of the way of Emus twice the size of today's specimens or Diprotodon Optatum, a rhinoceros-like beastie that was the largest …
Simon Sharwood, 23 Mar 2012
Photo of a vintage analog modem with an acoustic coupler

SQUEEEEE! Microsoft goes retro with pay-by-squawk NFC tech

Researchers at Microsoft Research India have proposed a new form of near-field communication (NFC) for mobile phones, one that even works on devices that lack any kind of specialized NFC hardware. The technique is a modern throwback to the earliest days of computer communications, and a big clue to how it works can be found in …
Neil McAllister, 16 Aug 2013
balaclava_thief_burglar

Moscow cops cuff suspect in Blackhole crimeware bust

The infamous Blackhole Exploit Kit has gone dark following the reported arrest in Russia of a suspect whom police believe is linked to the malware. Blackhole has been the preferred tool for running drive-by download attacks and therefore a menace to internet hygiene for the last three years. A suspect linked to Blackhole was …
John Leyden, 10 Oct 2013
The Register breaking news

Yanks outweigh Canucks: Official

It's official: US adults have the edge in the heavyweight stakes over their Canadian counterparts, with the 2007-9 figures showing "the prevalence of obesity among adults in Canada is lower than it is in the United States". That's according to a study which took data from the Canadian Health Measures Survey, 2007–2009; the …
Lester Haines, 03 Mar 2011

Symantec: Don't blame us for New York Times hack

Symantec has taken the unusual step of commenting on a story about a customer, issuing a robust statement denying its anti-virus products were to blame for sophisticated targeted attack on the New York Times. The Gray Lady revealed yesterday that it had been persistently attacked for four months by China-based cyber insurgents. …
Phil Muncaster, 01 Feb 2013
Balls of Mercury. Source http://www.flickr.com/photos/pgordon/

Global mercury ban to hit electronics, plastics, power prices

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has signed off on the Minamata Convention, a new global agreement that will ban mercury from most uses by 2020. UNEP's Mercury: Time to Act book says the substance “damages the central nervous system, thyroid, kidneys, lungs, immune system, eyes, gums and skin” and can result in “ …
Simon Sharwood, 21 Jan 2013
Plants Vs Zombies

Boffins develop microwave weed-zapper

Reg readers frustrated by the never-ending presence of weeds in their veggie patches may find salvation in the next few years in the form of a microwave device that can pick out garden invaders and blast them into mulch. The device is the brainchild of Australia's Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation , which …
Simon Sharwood, 11 Jan 2013
The Register breaking news

Brit boffins build projectile-vomiting robot to kill norovirus

Bioboffins at the Health and Safety Laboratory in Derbyshire, UK, have developed a robot that can projectile vomit on command as a tool for studying the spread of the highly infectious norovirus. Reuters reports that the hyperemetic droid has been dubbed "Vomiting Larry" by its creator, researcher Catherine Makison, who …
Neil McAllister, 03 Jan 2013
The Register breaking news

Want to know what CIA spooks really think of spy movies and books?

CIA spooks are attempting to prove they deserve the word intelligence in their job titles by moonlighting as arts critics. Writing for the CIA's Studies in Intelligence house journal, spies have been scribbling reviews of books and films, sometimes taking on pseudonyms to mask their true identities. Studies in Intelligence …
Jasper Hamill, 02 May 2013

Phishing up, malware down, says Google

Google has revealed a new analysis of five years’ worth of data gathered by its Safe Browsing service. The analysis, as any discussion of online security seems obliged to, includes lots of Scary Big NumbersTM, such as the 9500 malware-infected sites the Chocolate Factory says it finds every day or the 12-14 million warnings it …
Simon Sharwood, 20 Jun 2012
The Register breaking news

Report: Android malware up 614% as smartphone scams go industrial

While the mobile industry is still deciding if there's a market for two, three, or four smartphone operating systems, mobile malware writers have picked their target and are flocking to Android, according to the latest annual security report data from Juniper Networks. The company's Mobile Threat Center has analyzed nearly two …
Iain Thomson, 26 Jun 2013

CO2 warms Earth FASTER than previously thought

The time lag between increased quantities of CO2 reaching or leaving the atmosphere and global temperature change may be far shorter than previously thought, according to a new paper, Tightened constraints on the time-lag between Antarctic temperature and CO2 during the last deglaciation published this week by Climate of the …
Simon Sharwood, 25 Jul 2012
Ultimate Ears Boom

We need to talk about SPEAKERS: Sorry, 'audiophiles', only IT will break the sound barrier

Today’s loudspeakers are nowhere near as good as they could be, due in no small measure to the presence of "traditional" audiophile products. In the future, loudspeakers will increasingly communicate via digital wireless links and will contain digital processing. Indeed, the link between IT and loudspeakers is destined to grow …
John Watkinson, 02 Jul 2014

Voyager ticks one box for interstellar arrival

The venerable Voyager 1 spacecraft seems to be a little closer to leaving our Sun's neighbourhood behind and entering interstellar space, says NASA. The space agency has outlined three criteria that must be satisfied before Voyager will be deemed to have left the heliosphere, the first of which is detection of galactic cosmic …
Simon Sharwood, 18 Jun 2012

Researchers find not all EC2 instances are created equal

Researchers from Deutsch Telekom Laboratories and Finland's Aalto University have claimed it is possible to detect the CPUs of servers powering at Amazon Web Services' (AWS') Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2), and that the fact the cloudy giant uses different kit in different places means users can select more powerful servers at the …
Simon Sharwood, 22 Oct 2012
The Register breaking news

Pret-a-porter: LG boffins' bendy battery can be worn as PANTS

You can shrink them, make them skinny, or make them swallow more charges – but unless you're a Maker Faire type, you can’t actually wear a battery. Until now. Engineering and chemistry boffins working with LG Chem have devised a cable-like lithium-ion battery just a few millimetres in diameter – and flexible enough to be twisted …
Gavin Clarke, 31 Aug 2012
A photograph of the Canberra suburb of Chapman showing the path of a fire tornado

First FIRE TORNADO documented in Australia

A fire in Australia grew so powerful that it spawned a tornado nearly 500 metres wide, contributing to the destruction of more than 500 homes. The documentation of the tornado is said to be important because while columns of flame known as “fire whirls” have previously been observed, full-scale tornadoes caused by fire are less …
Simon Sharwood, 21 Nov 2012
The Register breaking news

Aussie fatties tell fewer porkies

Australians are less likely to lie about their height and weight than was the case in the past, and exaggerate less about their dimensions, according to a new analysis by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). But we still tell an unhealthy amount of fibs about our bodies, leading the ABS to a strict regime of statistical …
Simon Sharwood, 16 Mar 2012
The Register breaking news

Dark matter hits you once a minute

Weakly Interacting Massive Particles (WIMPS) hit you about once a minute, according to a new paper titled Dark Matter collisions with the Human Body. That’s not something to be unduly worried about, as the paper suggests billions of WIMPs pass through our bodies every minute without so much as nudging a particle. That they do so …
Simon Sharwood, 10 Apr 2012