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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 …
Targeted Spam

Fed-up bloke takes email spammers to court – and WINS PILE of CASH

It's 9am. You open your email client and wade through the usual pile of spam that's dropped in overnight. It's boring and tiresome. But what if you could earn yourself a few hundred quid and kill the spam off as well? In a landmark court hearing last week, Sky News producer Roddy Mansfield won unspecified damages from retail …
Gareth Corfield, 05 Jun 2014
Screenshot - Confide app

Undeterred by Snapchat's snafus, upstart Confide punts self-destruct selfies

While the world wonders whether Snapchat is a three-billion-dollar disaster because of its recent hack, an AOL alumnus has launched a disappearing message app designed for corporate audiences. Confide, which hit the app store on January 8 US time, pitches itself as an app that “lets you say what you want … messages disappear …
DNS? It's a real bind

DNS cockup locks Virgin Media customers out of ntlworld.com email

Virgin Media customers who retained their old @ntlworld.com email addresses are currently blocked from accessing their accounts after the cable company appeared to have made an embarrassing DNS blunder. Legacy NTL account names have apparently been spitting out DNS errors when messages were sent to those email addresses since …
Kelly Fiveash, 26 Aug 2014

Cybercrooks breed SELF-CLONING MUTANT that STEALS your BANK DETAILS

Cybercrooks have put together a botnet client which bundles in worm-like functionality that gives it the potential to spread quickly. Seculert warns that the latest version of the Cridex (AKA Geodo) information stealing Trojan includes a self-spreading infection method. Infected PCs in the botnet download a secondary strain of …
John Leyden, 02 Jul 2014
Hazelcast

Hazelcast trousers cash, poises open-source cutlass against Exadata belly

Another day, another bunch of VCs pour cash into a tech startup. Move along; there’s nothing to see here - or is there? The lucky recipient of $11 million in a B-round of funding is Hazelcast, an in-memory computing hopeful which claims it is the leading open source in-memory data grid and up and coming InMemory NoSQL technology …
Chris Mellor, 19 Sep 2014

IT gets $AU200 million new spend in Qld budget

The IT sector will be busily trawling through the Australian state of Queensland's budget papers, with the government yesterday announcing tech spends in health, emergency services communications, and online service delivery. Queensland Health, whose troubled history in IT has previously left it out-of-pocket by a cool billion …
Double Facepalm; when one facepalm is not enough.

Google BLOCKS access to Goldman client-leak email

A Goldman Sachs contractor's inadvertent leak of client data through Gmail has brought the banking giant to a New York court to try and force The Chocolate Factory on a search-and-destroy mission - and Google seems to agree with the bank. Reuters says the slip, which sounds to The Register like someone trusted autocomplete in …
Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer and CFO Ken Goldman

Yahoo! starts $1.99 'watch list' to recycle old usernames

Yahoo! has begun to recycle old usernames from inactive accounts and is starting a three-year paid service so that users can put dibs on the ones that they want. In July, Yahoo! said it planned to allow people to change their usernames for something a little more personal and asked for volunteers to sign up for the program. It …
Iain Thomson, 26 Aug 2013
Square reader on an iPod Touch

Send dosh (insecurely) via email, Jack Dorsey's Square tells punters

Not content with revolutionising shopping as we know it, uber-cool money-transfer outfit Square has launched a peer-to-peer payment system – secured only by an SMTP password. Square – the payment firm developed by Twitter founder Jack Dorsey – has debuted a new service, Square Cash, which authorises transactions with an email. …
Bill Ray, 17 Oct 2013
megaphone loudhailer

BitTorrent launches decentralised crypto-fied chat app

BitTorrent has joined the increasingly crowded post-Snowden market for anonymous online chat services with "Bleep", a decentralised voice and text communications platform. The platform uses the BitTorrent network to spread users' voice and text through nodes rather than a centralised server. Project head Farid Fadaie (@ffadaie …
Darren Pauli, 31 Jul 2014
hands waving dollar bills in the air

Vodafone brings African tech to Europe

Vodafone is to launch mobile-money-for-the-masses service M-Pesa in Romania, which introduces and interesting challenge for the European telcos and banks who have spent a decade wrangling over mobile money and got nowhere. M-Pesa was launched in Kenya under the stewardship of Nick Hughes of Vodafone, initially as a corporate …
Simon Rockman, 01 Apr 2014

Internet of Stuff my Pockets: Investors plough 1 BEELLION dollars into IoT

The "internet of things" – the rebranding of good old machine-to-machine comms – has investors chucking ludicrous amounts of cash at firms who hope to get our gadgets talking to each other. Now new research from analyst StrategyEye has found that investors have bunged more than $1bn at companies associated with the internet of …
Jasper Hamill, 24 Jul 2014
Google Chocolate Factory

Gmail gains support for non-ASCII email addresses

Google has decided to give a two-year-old IETF e-mail standard a push towards universal adoption, by switching on support for RFC 6530 international character support in Gmail. The RFC was crafted to allow people “to use close variations on their own names (written correctly in their own languages and scripts) as mailbox names …
Hacker baseball cap

Another 'NSA-proof' webmail biz popped by JavaScript injection bug

German startup Tutanota has admitted its webmail service was vulnerable to a cross-site scripting bug despite boasting it offered an "NSA-proof email service." The flaw, which would have allowed attackers to inject malicious JavaScript into victims' browsers, was uncovered and reported last night by German security researcher …
John Leyden, 11 Jul 2014

Google FAILS in attempt to nix Gmail data-mining lawsuit

Google faces a torrid court battle in the US after a judge ruled that a class action lawsuit brought against the company that challenges its practice of scanning emails for ad-targeting can proceed. Mountain View had protested against plaintiffs in the case, who claimed that Google had breached several stateside laws including …
Kelly Fiveash, 27 Sep 2013
Stuart Parkin of IBM

Brit IBM prof gets life-changing 'Tech Nobel' for work in spintronics

A Brit boffin at IBM’s Almaden Research Centre has won a Finnish prize for spintronics research which led to a thousandfold increase in disk capacity. The €1m (£824,400) Millennium Technology prize has been awarded by the Technology Academy of Finland to Stuart Parkin, an IBM Fellow at Almaden where he manages the …
Chris Mellor, 09 Apr 2014

Consumers agree to give up first-born child for free Wi-Fi – survey

Consumers carelessly use public Wi-Fi without regard for their personal privacy, even blithely agreeing to surrender their first born in exchange for the opportunity to check their emails without paying. That's according to an experiment which involved setting up a "poisoned" Wi-Fi hotspot. Unsuspecting users who connected to …
John Leyden, 30 Sep 2014

Writing about an Australian Snowden would land Vulture South in the clink

Australia isn't just passing a spooks' charter: it's creating a regime in which journalists would be as much at risk as the whistle-blowers whose efforts they chronicle. Here's the bill, and here's the explanatory memorandum. In spite of Attorney-General George Brandis' insistence that the government doesn't intend to target …
Looks cooler than a flux capacitor

UK.gov chucks £28m at F1 tech for buses and diggers plan

Grant money amounting to over £28m will be awarded to four British engineering companies to take technology initially designed for Formula 1 cars and develop it for more widespread use. Four energy-efficient projects will receive a total of £28.8m in grants to "support investments of £133m". These grants is the first tranche …
Simon Rockman, 23 Apr 2014

Google: OK world, make our 'End-to-End' crypto tool SPOOK PROOF

Google has released the source code for an encryption plugin for Chrome that makes the secure sending of email easier. The web giant said its End-to-End Chrome plugin, currently in alpha development status, will provide a secure method for transmitting data between users, with data encrypted locally in a user's browser and …
Shaun Nichols, 03 Jun 2014
Close-up of a woman's lips, slightly pixelated as if on a CRT TV

Self-destructing selfies? Not so fast! Snapchat now offers one-time Replay

Stealthy selfie service Snapchat has added a new feature to its mobile apps that makes it possible for users to hang onto messages for longer than the senders may have intended. Dubbed "Replay," the feature added to Snapchat 6.1.0 for Android and iOS allows users to view a Snapchat message, image, or video a second time before …
Neil McAllister, 23 Dec 2013

US officials vote to allow Bitcoin for political donations

The US Federal Election Commission (FEC) has officially approved Bitcoin as a medium of exchange for political donations. The Thursday ruling will allow Bitcoin holders to legally donate the digital currency to politicians, either when exchanged through a processor or transferred directly to a candidate – although the payments …
Shaun Nichols, 09 May 2014
Spam

Ancient pager tech SMS: It works, it's fab, but wow, get a load of that incoming SPAM

The infrastructure for text messaging is creaking. Not only does it need to be fixed, but it seems mobile operators don’t understand enough about their own systems to do it themselves. This is according to Louise O'Sullivan, CEO of mobile solutions firm Anam Technologies. She maintains that the problem that needs fixing lies in …
Simon Rockman, 11 Aug 2014
Nvidia Tegra K1 die

Nvidia slips love letter to open source driver devs

Nvidia is cozying up just a little with the open source community, with it emerging in late January that it's kicked some driver code into the Nouveau open source graphics driver project. The company has previously been the recipient of hate mail from the open source community as being difficult to work with. However, with a new …
SKA antennas close-up - artist's impression

Square-kilometre radio telescope wins millions in UK funding

UK science minister David Willetts has announced £11m of funding to help the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) process the expected deluge of data it will produce. Handling the expected 915-petabyte daily data firehose from the entire SKA radio telescope will require advances in practically every computing discipline: the data will …

Telstra Borgs O2 networks for hit of services oxygen

Melbourne-based O2 Networks is the lucky recipient of a bag of cash from Telstra, which has paid $AU60 million for the business. O2 company has 370 customers and 100 staff, and according to Telstra “has designed, implemented and managed networks for clients including some of Australia’s largest financial institutions and …

Data retention: encryption won't protect you much

The standard infosec advice of “encrypt it all and use strong passwords” is good advice, but it wouldn't save us from governments intent on mass data collection. In this piece in The Guardian, Paul Farrell notes that metadata collection is a threat to journalism. His point is quite simple: Australia already allows metadata …
Google UK office logos

Stanford Uni: Google cash leaves us entirely impartial and unbiased

A court document drafted by a recipient of Google's generosity appears to show that the latter comes with strings attached, prohibiting university researchers from investigating its controversial data slurping practices. The donation went to the Stanford’s Center for Internet and Society, which drafted the filing. The part that …
Andrew Orlowski, 26 Sep 2014

Microsoft saddles up for a ride on Sky Giraffe

Microsoft Ventures, Redmond's entry to the wonderful world of high-risk technology investing, has written its first cheque. The recipient of Redmond's largesse is Israeli outfit Sky Giraffe, which says it provides “a platform to securely extend on-premise enterprise systems directly to mobile devices.” Microsoft’s description …
Simon Sharwood, 17 Oct 2013
John McAfee

McAfee chap is back in crypto-wrap chat app back flap

Antivirus pioneer and one-time fugitive John McAfee has backed Chadder, a new instant-messaging app for smartphones that promises "the highest degree of security and privacy." The app is being marketed by Future Tense Central, a J.McAfee-owned company that claims to be headquartered in Silicon Valley, although McAfee himself was …
Neil McAllister, 05 May 2014
cloud

OpenStack Foundation thunks down cloud buyers guide

The OpenStack Foundation has launched a catalogue of products, services and even companies based around the cloud management tech. The "Openstack Marketplace" is meant to solve the confusion that buyers deal with when inspecting the fragmented OpenStack ecosystem, and makes it simple for prospective users of the open source …
Jack Clark, 12 May 2014
Small image of ArduSat

Chaps propose free global WiFi delivered FROM SPAAAACE

Free WiFi is an idea that just won't go away, with a new proposal calling for it to be made available to everyone in the world via. satellite. This arrangement is dubbed an “Outernet” by a band of chaps who have floated an idea of how to build one, namely by sending aloft a swarm of tiny satellites that would beam down a subset …
Simon Sharwood, 03 Feb 2014
Iranian flag flying

Iranian hacktivists move into hardcore hacking against West, dissidents

Security firm FireEye has been tracking an Iranian hacking group that has moved from simple defacement of websites to actively targeting Western defense contractors and those within Iran's borders who are trying to circumvent the regime's censorship firewall. The hacking group, calling itself the Ajax Security Team, has been …
Iain Thomson, 14 May 2014

Virgin Media spanked by ad watchdog over 'in your neighbourhood' fibs

Virgin Media is on the naughty step with the UK's advertising watchdog, after wrongly claiming in two separate circulars that its broadband service was available in areas where the ad was posted through people's letterboxes. Two complainants successfully refuted the telco's fibs, after taking their gripes to the Advertising …
Kelly Fiveash, 08 Jan 2014

Baldness fix from foreskin follicles

Boffins from America and the UK are claiming success in the decades-long hunt to create new hair follicles: they've successfully grown follicles in the lab, on circumcised foreskins. The Columbia University / Durham University group of biologists, geneticists and dermatologists took cells from newborns' foreskins, and grew them …

Brilliant Brit bloke builds breakfast-belching BACON DRONE

In what is described as "a breakthrough moment for humanity", a British bloke has constructed a tricopter designed to remotely deliver a full English breakfast of bacon, egg, sausage, mushroom and tomato ketchup. Joel Veitch's Bacon Drone Joel Veitch's cutting-edge design of "sticks and tape and coat hangars" is controlled by …
Lester Haines, 16 Dec 2013

Network Solutions apologises for 'You just paid us $1850' email

Domain Name registrar Network Solutions has blamed a backlash over extra fees for secured domains on a “badly worded e-mail”. Customers of Network Solutions recently received an e-mail saying that to combat domain hijacks, “Starting 9:00 AM EST on 2/4/2014, all of your domains will be protected via our WebLock Program”. This …
An Amazon Coin

Amazon patents caches for physical goods

Amazon.com has been granted a patent for “a method and system for anticipatory package shipping”. The patent's concept is simple: Amazon wants to pack up single items and ship them closer to customers, even before they order the item. These “speculatively shipped packages” will be distributed to a “hub” in locations Amazon …
Simon Sharwood, 20 Jan 2014
Snapchat logo

Slurped self-destruct selfie slinger Snapchat so sore, suddenly says sorry

The brains behind self-destructing selfies app Snapchat have apologized, and claimed to have now tackled security vulnerabilities that exposed millions of people's phone numbers. The startup has released an update for its iOS and Android applications that allows users to opt out of appearing in the find-a-friend search feature, …
Shaun Nichols, 10 Jan 2014

Tor users locked out of Facebook after wave of dodgy traffic

Users of the Tor traffic anonymizing service are currently locked out of Facebook after a flood of dodgy traffic triggered an automatic lockdown by the social network's security systems. Given the paranoid post-PRISM times we live, in the outage on Tuesday caused a certain amount of online panic. A report highlighting the issue …
Iain Thomson, 18 Jun 2013
Spam

How do I escape this damned email blacklist?

Commentard m0rt writes in El Reg Forums: Someone who has a mailing account with one of my domains, which in turn is hosted on a mate's server, had his email password lifted from his XP laptop and subsequently that account was used to send out a near a million spam messages. Or attempted to, I caught it with 847k still to go. So …
Drew Cullen, 24 May 2014
A United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket prepared fro launch in 2002. Pic: United Launch Alliance

SpaceX billionaire claims Air Force official 'likely' made job-for-spy-sat-contract deal

Elon Musk appears to have taken to his official Twitter account to accuse a former Air Force official of having "likely" accepted a bribe to grant the exclusive black sat launch contract to United Launch Alliance. Musk, who is campaigning to have his own rocket firm SpaceX considered for the lucrative spy satellite blast-offs, …

Zaphod Beeblebrox style third arm cyborg prosthesis unveiled

Yet another development ripped from the pages of that great work, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, has moved a large step closer to reality this week as a professor in the US reveals a special prosthetic arm which - rather than being intended solely to replace missing limbs - could be used instead to create "a three-armed …
Lewis Page, 07 Mar 2014
management regulation7

Nooo, ANYTHING but BT! Cisco gives 'stay of execution' to Phoenix IT

Cisco has prolonged Phoenix IT Group's termination notice period following what sources describe as a backlash from some customers over the planned novation of certain contracts to BT. The networking goliath gave Phoenix marching orders at the end of last month, with sources alleging it was caught selling grey market kit and had …
Paul Kunert, 20 Nov 2013

Lads from Lagos turn from 419 scams to basic malware slinging

Nigerian scammers are developing beyond 419 advance-fee fraud scams against individuals by using trojans to steal valuable information from businesses instead. Security researchers at Palo Alto Networks reports that cyber criminals in Nigeria have evolved common malware campaigns to infiltrate businesses that have not previously …
John Leyden, 22 Jul 2014

FaceTime now on patent troll list

A Texas-based company, Intercarrier Communications, is lining up its lawyers against a small throng of companies over a messaging patent. Apple is on the list, with FaceTime and Apple Messages accused of infringing its patent, but the company has been far busier than that. Similar suits have been filed against Iris Wireless, Kik …

Google: Cloud users have 'no legitimate expectation of privacy'

A motion to dismiss filed by Google in a court case last month has offered some juicy quotes about the company's privacy policy, but legally it looks like the Chocolate Factory is in the clear. "Just as a sender of a letter to a business colleague cannot be surprised that the recipient's assistant opens the letter, people who …
Iain Thomson, 14 Aug 2013
eyeofSauron

BitTorrent trialling P2P secure messaging

BitTorrent wants to (a) take another step towards either respectability, or (b) take itself further outside the mainstream by defying Uncle Sam (take your pick), announcing that it's trialling a secure, serverless messaging application. The P2P messaging system is taking alpha sign-ons now, here. The idea is that if messages …

Brother, can you spare a DIME for holy grail of secure webmail?

Lavabit founder Ladar Levison promised attendees at security conference DefCon that he'd carve out a secure messaging service from the wreckage of the email service favoured by rogue NSA sysadmin Edward Snowden within six months. The Dark Internet Mail Environment (DIME) project is promising, but recent problems experienced by …
John Leyden, 20 Aug 2014