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Fire Phone opened

Amazon mobile strategy pivots with swipes at in-app buys, own hardware

Amazon.com looks to be changing its hardware strategy in significant ways. Exhibit A is the new Underground app for Android. Underground walks users through the process required to install a non-Google-Play app on Android and once resident on a device offers an Amazon.com shopping app and access to Amazon's app store. Amazon …
Simon Sharwood, 27 Aug 2015

Malware menaces poison ads as Google, Yahoo! look away

Feature Online advertising has become an increasingly potent threat to end-user security on the internet. More hackers than ever are targeting the internet's money engine, using it as a powerful attack vector to hide exploits and compromise huge numbers of victims. Malvertising, as poisoned ads are known, is as deadly as it is diverse …
Darren Pauli, 27 Aug 2015
Rat

Cisco's RAT-catchers spot sysadmin-targeted phish

File this under “it was bound to happen one day”: Cisco has spotted a targeted phishing attack based on a popular sysadmin automation tool. If someone in the “IT crowd” bunker falls for the phishing attack, Cisco's Talos Group says the payload exploits AutoIT, a scripting admin environment for Windows. Talos explains what's …

FireEye intern VXer pleads guilty for Darkode droid RAT ruse

A former FireEye intern has pleaded guilty to creating and selling the Dendroid malware on the raided Darkode criminal forum. Morgan Culbertson, 20, of Pittsburgh, pleaded guilty before a Pittsburgh federal judge and faces sentencing 2 December. He faces a maximum of 10 years prison and a $250,000 fine, and has no prior …
Darren Pauli, 27 Aug 2015

Google Cloud in nine-hour storage SNAFU

Google's suffered another cloud storage outage. The Alphabet subsidiary's cloud outfit recently suffered very slight data loss after four lightning strikes took out power flows to a Belgian data centre. This new incident is global and has impacted Google Cloud Storage XML API signed URLs. Google what? The Chocolate Factory …
Simon Sharwood, 27 Aug 2015
Ray O'Farrell VMWARE CTO and CDO

VMware appoints development chief as new CTO

Imagine for a moment that you're a top-tier enterprise vendor and a week before your big annual conference, the one at which you try to impress the pants off the world, your chief technology officer (CTO) departs. They guy had about a zillion meetings lined up, with all sorts of important folks you were counting on impressing …
Simon Sharwood, 27 Aug 2015
Dunce's cap graffiti by https://www.flickr.com/photos/lord-jim/ cc 2.0 attribution https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Why is the smart home insecure? Because almost nobody cares

It's easy to laugh-and-point at Samsung over its latest smart-thing disaster: after all, it should have already learned its lesson from the Smart TV debacle, right? Except, of course, that wherever you see “Smart Home”, “Internet of Things”, “cloud” and “connected” in the same press release, there's a security debacle coming. …
Car crash

Verizon wants to smartify old cars

Black, grey, and white hats associated with car hacking are flying in the air today, with Verizon announcing it's going to vastly expand their attack surface. That's not what the US network operator actually says, of course. What the company has announced is that its “project hum” has gone general-availability. Hum is …
D-Wave chip

D-Wave: 'Whether or not it's quantum, it's faster'

D-Wave is getting ready to drop a new benchmark on Arxiv, which the company says demonstrates its latest 1000-qubit processor outperforming classical machines. And it's bound to provoke the “other side” of the “is it quantum and is it faster?” debate, because the latest paper – the company has posted it here – describes “a …
Raspberry Pi Official Case

The Raspberry Pi is succeeding in ways its makers almost imagined

“Grandpa is getting pretty old. Out there all alone on that farm, he has no one to look in on him, just to see if he’s ok. He’ll use the landline, but he’s beyond of the range of mobile, and he’s never been really great with computers. No Skype or emails. Grandpa does have internet. So I built this for him.” The girl points …
Mark Pesce, 27 Aug 2015

The most tragic thing about the Ashley Madison hack? It was really 1% actual women

When the Ashley Madison databases were splashed all over the internet by hackers, it emerged that about 31 million accounts on the Tinder-for-affairs website were created by men. And about 5 million by women. Not great odds if you're a straight fella looking to cheat on your spouse. It turns out the odds were even worse: very …
Team Register, 27 Aug 2015
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Password 'XXXXairocon' pops Wi-Fi routers from ASUS, ZTE and others

A bunch of home gateway vendors, presumably sourcing their firmware from the same place, can be hijacked using depressingly common hard-coded logins. As the Carnegie-Mellon CERT states, the vendors involved are ASUS and ZTE in Asia, European vendors Digicom and Observa Telecom, and carrier Philippine Long Distance Telephone ( …
Game of War advertisement

FBI collars exec who allegedly tried to nick secrets of game fronted by babe Kate Upton

A former games company executive, who allegedly tried to steal trade secrets from his old bosses and flee to China, has been arrested and charged by the FBI. The US Department of Justice (DoJ) claims Jing Zeng, formerly the director of global infrastructure at Machine Zone, stole confidential information from the games maker, …
Shaun Nichols, 26 Aug 2015
US Pentagon. Pic: DoD photo by MSgt Ken Hammond, USAF

You're hosting Uncle Sam's files in the cloud. You get hacked. This is what happens next

The US government has posted a new set of rules outlining how cloud providers should report IT security cockups that involve Uncle Sam's data. The new Department of Defense (DoD) rules [PDF] include requirements on how contractors who handle government information should deal with computer network breaches and attacks, and how …
Shaun Nichols, 26 Aug 2015
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Deja vMware: 'Virty biz to buy its parent EMC' rumor just won't die

Rumors that VMware will buy EMC – which owns 80 per cent of VMware – are back from the dead. And just in time for VMworld 2015, to be held next week in San Francisco. The last time around this particular block, we heard that EMC could buy up the 20 per cent of VMware it didn't own – or VMware could buy EMC in a so-called …
Chris Mellor, 26 Aug 2015

Krebs: I know who hacked Ashley Madison

It appears someone closely linked to the hacking gang that ransacked adultery website Ashley Madison has accidentally outed him or herself. Investigative computer security journo Brian Krebs, with the help of pals, today named a Twitter user they believe is involved with Impact Team, which publicly leaked 33 million accounts …
Team Register, 26 Aug 2015
Angry Birds 2 poster

Angry Birds maker Rovio takes aim at staff, axes a third of them

Angry Birds maker Rovio has announced plans to lay off 260 employees. The Finnish mobile-games-developer-turned-entertainment-franchise said on Wednesday that roughly one third of its work force will be cut as it narrows its focus on its core games and media businesses. "This is personally a difficult decision," said Rovio …
Shaun Nichols, 26 Aug 2015
CarPlay

Glaring flaw in Apple car hype-gasm: The iGiant likes to make money

Despite rumblings of secret research projects and hiring sprees, Apple is not going to be building its own cars anytime soon, says one analyst. Edison Investment Research analyst Richard Windsor told The Register that Apple's preferred model of high profit margins wouldn't translate well into the world of auto manufacturing …
Shaun Nichols, 26 Aug 2015
Windows 10

Windows 10 now on 75 million devices, says Microsoft

Microsoft's corporate veep Yusuf Mehdi reports that Windows 10 is now on 75 million devices, following its general availability four weeks ago. This suggests that Windows 10 is being installed faster than any previous version. Exact figures are hard to come by, but Microsoft took around four months to sell 90 million Windows 7 …
Tim Anderson, 26 Aug 2015
Bradley_Wiggins_Tour_de_france

Velostrata gets you on yer bike to the compute cloud

Interview/Analysis Velostrata sounds like a bicycle brand. In fact, it's a compute cloud-bursting startup marrying on-premises storage with public cloud compute and has burst onto the scene from its Israeli base, apparently out of nowhere with $14m in A-round funding. We’ll get to its history later: first the technology. Velostrata claims it …
Chris Mellor, 26 Aug 2015
willy wonka oompa loompa

Google Images: EU Commish opens new front against Chocolate Factory

In its latest round of questions sent to rivals regarding the activities and workings of Google, the European Commission has turned the spotlight on the search giant’s image grabbing facilities. Its most recent questionnaires (RFIs, or requests for information) contain five pages of detailed questions on the issue, revealed …
Jennifer Baker, 26 Aug 2015
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'Edward Snowden' discovered hiding in Indonesian river by boffins

‪A German biologist has decided to name a new species of crayfish he helped describe in honour of international whistleblower Edward Snowden.‬ The Cherax snowden hails from the freshwater tributary creeks of West Papua, Indonesia. Parallels between the crustacean and the former NSA contractor are tricky to discern. The only …
John Leyden, 26 Aug 2015
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C For Hell – Day Two: Outage misery continues for furious C4L customers

C4L has zero clue about when its network will return to normal service, nearly two days since the outage first struck the cloud provider. Customers have, in the meantime, continued to grouse about the severe disruption the Total Inability To Support Usual Performance (TITSUP) incident has caused to their businesses. Roughly …
Kelly Fiveash, 26 Aug 2015

Oh no Wikiwon't: Russians plan own version of 'distorted' Wikiland

Following the country's short-lived ban on Wikipedia, Russian politicians have come up with another wheeze to divert traffic from the encyclopedia site. Moscow’s head of communication and culture, Yevgeny Gerasimov, set out plans (selfishly in Russian) on Tuesday (25 August) for a Russian version of the site. He told Russia's …
Jennifer Baker, 26 Aug 2015
Speed

Gone in 60 seconds – SimpliVity's new promise to the admins

Converged infrastructure "visionary" SimpliVity today released the third version of its modestly-named OmniStack Data Virtualisation Platform, the code that turns its collections of servers and disks into combined storage and compute rigs. This time around the emphasis is on ROBO. No, silly, not anthropogenic automata, but …
Simon Sharwood, 26 Aug 2015
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Ashley Madison hacked potential competitor, leaked emails suggest

Ashley Madison ran a hack attack against a potential competitor three years ago, according to leaked emails. Hackers from the self-styled Impact Team leaked the email archive of Avid Life Media president and CEO Noel Biderman last week, days after separately releasing user database files and other material from the adultery- …
John Leyden, 26 Aug 2015

Aviva phone hacker jailed for 18 months over revenge attack

A senior techie has been jailed for 18 month after he was convicted of hacking into hundreds of phones at insurance firm Aviva, an act of sabotage designed to extract revenge against a firm that supplied security services to the insurance giant. Richard Neale, 40, pleaded guilty to a hack against Aviva designed to cause …
John Leyden, 26 Aug 2015
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Nimble Storage revenues soar as mainstream rivals experience droop

Nimble Storage had another successful quarter in terms of revenue, beating its own estimates: the figure of $80.1m in its second fiscal 2016 quarter was 49 per cent higher than a year ago, and 12 per cent more than the previous quarter. Nimble_revs_to_Q2_fy2016 Nimble generated losses of $30.1m, 15 per cent worse than the $ …
Chris Mellor, 26 Aug 2015

Ads watchdog slams Mind Candy for upselling subscriptions to kids

UK entertainment company Mind Candy has been slammed by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) for targeting membership ads at kiddies in an attempt to up-sell its paid-for content. The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) believed Mind Candy's kids' game Moshi Monsters contained "a direct exhortation to buy a membership …
Kat Hall, 26 Aug 2015
4 arrows signs in arrow on wooden wall

Booked that expensive holiday yet Mr Server Maker? Maybe just a day trip for now

The EMEA server market is on fire, but not in a good way – both shipments and factory revenues declined in Q2 amid the currency issue and uncertain business climate. Unit sales dropped 5.6 per cent year-on-year to 523,800 servers, and the money coughed for them dipped 2.3 per cent to $3.1bn, abacus fondlers at Gartner have …
Paul Kunert, 26 Aug 2015
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Britain’s device-theft capital is now … lovely Leicestershire

Leicestershire – slap-bang in the middle of rural England – has leapfrogged London as the UK’s electronic device-theft capital, according to a comparison of police force stats. A series of FoI (Freedom of Information) requests by ViaSat showed 51 per cent of thefts in Leicestershire were of electronic devices, compared with 27 …
John Leyden, 26 Aug 2015
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Speaking in Tech: Big Blue's big libido tops the Ashley Madison league

Podcast speaking_in_tech Greg Knieriemen podcast enterprise Hosted by Greg Knieriemen, Ed Saipetch and Sarah Vela. This week we cover Intel, more Ashley Madison fallout, hangouts, IPOs and much, much more. Our special guest this week is Mark Twomey (aka Storagezilla). This week, we cast our eye over... (1:00) Eddie line dances …
Team Register, 26 Aug 2015
Stock market. Pic: Alberto Carrasco Casado

It's all go for Softcat's £500m IPO, Credit Suisse, Jefferies hired

Tech reselling steamroller Softcat is edging ever closer to flotation on the London Stock Exchange after appointing brokers to manage the process, insiders have told El Chan. The fast growing Marlow-based business, which is expected to be valued at between £400m to £500, has hired Credit Suisse and investment bank Jefferies …
Paul Kunert, 26 Aug 2015
Babel Fish

Perhaps the AIpocalypse ISN'T imminent – if Google Translate is anything to go by, that is

Worstall on Wednesday There's been quite the little chortle in this part of Central Europe this week regarding the actions of a tourist board in Moravia. To set the scene, Moravians are thought of as the slightly slower country brothers of the Bohemians, (or “true Czechs” ... one local bar has “We have Moravian and Czech wine” in the window) in …
Tim Worstall, 26 Aug 2015
Twitter for Mac New

Can't get a woop, woop! Twitter gives politicians nice Gaffe-Delete button

Twitter has decided to suspend API access to Diplotwoops and Politwoops, websites that tracked politicians’ deleted tweets. Open State Foundation (OSF), which runs the sites, said in a blog post that its sites have been “extensively used and cited by journalists around the world” and that it is committed to democratic …
Jennifer Baker, 26 Aug 2015
Facepalming statue

Android in user-chosen lockscreen patterns are grimly predictable SHOCKER

People choose predictable Android lock screen patterns just like they pick predictable passwords. Research by Marte Løge, a recent graduate from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, confirmed that the problems people have in setting up secure passwords and PINs are replicated in the field of Android lockscreen …
John Leyden, 26 Aug 2015
Data scientist image via Shutterstock

Relax, System Center users, Microsoft won't herd you to Azure Stack

Hybrid clouds are the new black. So much so that Microsoft has three ways to manage them. System Center, the workhorse of the Windows-centric data center, is one. Azure Stack, the part of Azure for on-premises use revealed at Ignite back in May, is another. Then there's the Microsoft Operations Management Suite (OMS). The …
Simon Sharwood, 26 Aug 2015

Boffins promise file system that will NEVER lose data

Six MIT research boffins have demonstrated a system capable of recovering all data in the event of a crash that was previously constrained to high-end theory. The team will October showcase the first albeit slow file system "mathematically guaranteed" to not lose data during crashes. Authors Haogang Chen; Daniel Ziegler; Tej …
Darren Pauli, 26 Aug 2015
NHS defacement

NHS site defaced with screed protesting Syrian conflict

A UK National Health Service (NHS) site on which the organisation posts patients' stories describing their experience with illness has been defaced by an entity calling itself “Moroccanwolf” who claims the attack is an act of protest regarding western governments' lack of humanitarian actions in Syria. Google's cache suggests …
News team, 26 Aug 2015

The Onion Router is being cut up and making security pros cry

IBM is warning corporates to start blocking TOR services from their networks, citing rising use of the encrypted network to deliver payloads like ransomware. The advice comes in the company's latest X-Force research team report (PDF). IBM claims there were around 180,000 malicious traffic “events” in the USA between January 1 …

Why Nobody Should Ever Search The Ashley Madison Data

Analysis Some readers of the Register – or perhaps their spouses or significant others, or their bosses or colleagues or other people who may think they want to know if someone is "trustworthy" – may have heard that it is now possible to search online for evidence that a person may have been using the website Ashley Madison. Some users …

Motorola monsters Apple's swipe-to-unlock patent in German court

Apple has suffered yet another setback in its Bleak House lawsuits, with another German court deciding to throw out its swipe-to-unlock patent. The ruling confirms an earlier decision that the patent just didn't have the goods to stand up in Europe. As The Register reported at the time, “European law doesn't allow for the …