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Contactless card fraud? Easy. All you need is an off-the-shelf scanner

Consumer association magazine Which? has highlighted a security flaw in contactless card systems, which, if combined with a lack of checks by retailers, could be exploited by thieves to make expensive online purchases. Researchers bought contactless card-reading technology from a mainstream website before using it to remotely …
John Leyden, 23 Jul 2015
Exoplanet around a star

NASA briefing in HOURS: 'We are upon the CUSP of finding ANOTHER EARTH'

Updated Everyone knows the Kepler space telescope, whose six year mission (so far) has seen it discover many planets orbiting other stars - the task it was specifically built for, indeed. Now, it would seem, it has found something unusually important, as NASA has announced major press briefing on Kepler for later today. All the space …
Lewis Page, 23 Jul 2015
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EMC's turbulent trifecta temporarily ties Tucci to top table

Comment Succession, transformation and a customer buying pattern sea-change are simultaneously embroiling EMC’s top management and board in a perfect storm, according to CEO Joe Tucci in the quarterly results earnings call. Six months after Joe Tucci’s last – and deferred – retirement date from running the EMC Federation, where he is …
Chris Mellor, 23 Jul 2015
Parliament in the clouds

Parliament wants to splash £6m on network build 'n' run contract

The Houses of Parliament is looking to splash up to £6m on a data network management and support services network. The contract is worth between £3m-£6m over a six year period. The managed services deal will cover maintenance, support, management and monitoring of the Houses of Parliament Network Security Services. That …
Kat Hall, 23 Jul 2015

SPACE FARMER 'nauts arrive safely at International Space Station

Three fresh 'nauts have arrived at the International Space Station, bringing it up to its regular complement of six - and clearing the way for the first off-Earth farming. The arriving 'nauts are NASA astronaut Kjell Lindgren, Russian cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko and Japanese astronaut Kimiya Yui. The trio took off from Baikonur …
Lewis Page, 23 Jul 2015
Giant Red Hat shadowman logo in field, with message, "Calling all enterprisers"

Red Hat bolts the stable with RHEL 6.7

Enterprises are rarely in a rush to upgrade their operating systems – they want others to do the battle testing for them first. As is the way with Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7, released in June 2014. Red Hat has many customers on the “stable, proven and predictable” RHEL 6.xx and is living up to its 10-year support pledge with …
Drew Cullen, 23 Jul 2015
Herdwick sheep walk towards the camera

You can do more with backup than just cloning your data

As we all know, the world of backup is changing, and not just in obvious ways such as the move to disk and cloud-based backup, the adoption of deduplication, the need to copy, back up and restore virtual machines, and so on. First, flash memory and the wider availability of snapshots and replication means that other elements …
Bryan Betts, 23 Jul 2015

Blessed are the cheesemakers, for they have defined the smidge

We're obliged to Reg reader Stephen Gunnell for providing a possible answer to the pressing question of how much exactly is a "smidge". To recap, this diminutive measure is a favoured unit in our post-pub nosh neckfiller recipes, as in "a smidge of furikake seasoning" – although we've never defined it scientifically. This …
Lester Haines, 23 Jul 2015
Larry Page's new yacht, 'Senses'

Investors fling fresh cash at Mike Lynch-backed Darktrace

Cyber security outfit Darktrace, which is backed by billionaire superyacht owner Mike Lynch, has raised yet more cash, this time drumming up the princely sum of $22.5m (£14.4m). Darktrace uses machine learning and mathematics to detect early-stage cyber threats. The biz was founded by former members of the intelligence …
Kat Hall, 23 Jul 2015
Suit lifting weight, photo via Shutterstock

We need the power of corporates, says OpenStack exec

The OpenStack Foundation’s executive director has defended the community project’s growing corporatisation following criticism from a former colleague and lead pioneer. Jonathan Bryce told The Reg big companies are critical to the success of OpenStack as they bring vital resources lacking at startups and among individuals. …
Gavin Clarke, 23 Jul 2015
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Four phone hijack bugs revealed in Internet Explorer after Microsoft misses patch deadline

Updated Microsoft has run out of time to fix four critical security vulnerabilities in the mobile edition of Internet Explorer – prompting HP's Zero Day Initiative (ZDI) to disclose their existence without revealing any damaging details. All four of the flaws present a remote code execution (i.e. malicious code injection on a Windows …
John Leyden, 23 Jul 2015
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Object storage adoption: Why, when, where… and, importantly, but

Comment In one of my recent posts, I wrote about private object storage not being for everyone, especially if you don’t have the size to make it viable. On the other hand, we are all piling up boatloads of data and users need to access it from many different locations, applications and devices at anytime. Object storage …
Reconstruction of past climate. Credit: Insititute of Geography, Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz

SCORCHIO! This JUNE was the SIXTY-SIXTH HOTTEST on record

The press is full of reports that Planet Earth is undergoing it's hottest year EVER - that the first half of 2015 is the hottest first half yet seen, according to the NOAA among others. Is it true? In fact the contiguous US saw the tenth hottest first half of a year since 1880, when the NOAA database begins. Only such recent, …
Lewis Page, 23 Jul 2015
hacker

NSPCC: Two nonces nailed by cops every day

Two years on from the launch of David Cameron's internet crackdown in Blighty, the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) reckons two offenders are convicted every day for possessing child-abuse images. "This is an alarming study and just a fragment of the hundreds of other similar convictions …
Credit: Speedy Gonsales / Edward S Curtis CC 3.0 Attribution Share-Alike Unported

Were the FIRST AMERICANS really FIRST? MYSTERY of vanished 'Population Y'

A long-vanished race of humans, whose descendants now survive only among certain indigenous peoples in Australasia and in the Amazon jungles, may have been the true, original Native Americans, according to new genetics research. The clue to the existence of this mysterious "Population Y" has been found by boffins probing the …
Lewis Page, 23 Jul 2015
Ideal for a summer blast

How to keep track of your flexible workers

It has been two years since Yahoo! chief Marissa Meyer hauled her remote working employees back into the office, intent on eliminating flexible working. The concept is becoming more popular, though, whether people like Ms Meyer like it or not. In June 2014, an amendment to the UK’s Children and Families Act came into effect. …
Robin Birtstone, 23 Jul 2015
GCHQ Benhall doughnut aerial view

Galloway and Greens challenge Brit spooks over dragnet snooping

A trio of politicians are challenging the government in a rare public hearing at the Investigatory Powers Tribunal today, alleging that British authorities ignored a ban on the tapping of MPs' and peers' telephones under a system of "blanket surveillance". The government and spooks are being dragged to the tribunal by the …
Marconi and transmission equipment

Austrian court rules online radio streaming is not broadcasting

An Austrian court has ruled that online radio streaming does not actually constitute “broadcasting”, and therefore listeners do not need to pay a licence fee. The Verwaltungsgerichtshof (Federal Administrative Court) ruled on Monday that computers with an internet connection, but without radio reception modules such as a TV …
Jennifer Baker, 23 Jul 2015
Walther PPK pistol. Pic: Art Bromage

How British spies really spy: Information that didn't come from Snowden

Feature David Anderson QC’s review of Britain’s anti-terrorism laws, published earlier this month, has mostly been examined for its potential impact on the government’s plans for a new act of Parliament on surveillance, known as the Snooper’s Charter to opponents. He made extensive recommendations as to what should be in the …
SA Mathieson, 23 Jul 2015
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Cyber poltergeist threat discovered in Internet of Stuff hubs

New security research has revealed a whole new area of concerns for the soon-to-be-everywhere Internet of Things – smart home hubs. Hubs – devices that link into home networks to control lighting, dead-bolt locks and cameras – can be dangerously vulnerable to attack, according to security tools firm TripWire. Craig Young, a …
John Leyden, 23 Jul 2015

Ad rivals whimper: Hey Commish, we've 'ad it up to here with ad giant Google

There’s seemingly no let up in Google’s European antitrust woes, as yet another new possible battlefront opens. Advertising competitors OpenX and AppNexus have complained whinged to the European Commission that the Chocolate Factory is using unfair contracts to stop customers employing rivals services (erm, hmmm, theirs …
Jennifer Baker, 23 Jul 2015
Microsoft's new "Send" email client

Even Microsoft thinks Outlook is bloated and slow

Microsoft has admitted that its Outlook email and calendar app is too weighty and slow, releasing a new version, essentially a lighter and faster email client for the times you want to send snappy messages. Dubbed “Send”, Microsoft suggests the new app is for use when “... you just need to send a quick, short note to your co- …
Simon Sharwood, 23 Jul 2015

Flash zero-day monster Angler dominates exploit kit crime market

SophosLabs researcher Fraser Howard says the Angler exploit kit is dominating the highly competitive underground malware market: Angler's market share has exploded from a quarter to 83 per cent within nine months. The growth occurred between September and May this year, we'e told. Angler emerged in 2013 to become one of the …
Darren Pauli, 23 Jul 2015
Exit sign. Pic:  Lukas Kästner

Cisco exits set-top box biz, sheds US$1.8bn of revenue

Cisco's Connected Devices Division, a purveyor of set top boxen for service providers, is off to Europe having been acquired for €550 million / US$600 million by Technicolor. The French company, formerly Thomson (as most of its customer premises equipment/set-top boxes are branded), will take on the division first created by …

Universal Pictures finds pirated Jurassic World on own localhost, fires off a DMCA takedown

Universal Pictures France appears to have tracked down one source of pirated copies of dino-flick Jurassic World: the loopback address of one of its own boxen. In a Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) notice obtained by Chilling Effects, an entity called TMG on behalf of Universal's French limb demanded that Google remove …
Simon Sharwood, 23 Jul 2015

Cloudy VMs leak ID details that could allow attacks, says researcher

Research published by a US masters student reaches the somewhat unsettling conclusion that current cloud technologies don't separate virtual machines (VMs) as well as they could. By spying on shared resources at a low level, the research suggests, an attacker's VM can retrieve data written by another (like crypto keys), and …
Customer RCSAndroid upgrade e-mail

Hacking Team had RATted on Android: Trend Micro

The next piece of weaponised malware to emerge out of the Hacking Team leak has arrived: a Remote Access Trojan (RAT) for Android. Trend Micro researchers trawling the 400 GB of leaked files apparently have the honour of first discovery: RCSAndroid, it says, is “one of the most professionally developed and sophisticated” …

Microsoft launches Advanced Threat Analytics

Microsoft's Advanced Threat Analytics is going general-availability next month, so – as Redmond says – enterprises can more quickly spot intruders in their networks. Since the last preview version, ATA engineering head Idan Plotnik says the framework has 13 new features to make it more scalable, with improved threat detection …
Team Register, 23 Jul 2015

OpenSSH server open to almost unlimited password-guessing bug

A flaw in OpenSSH lets attackers bypass simple limits on the number of password login attempts that can be made per connection. By default, the encrypted service accepts six tries within a grace period of two minutes before breaking off a connection, which hampers brute-force attacks, but this mechanism can be easily …
Darren Pauli, 23 Jul 2015

Jeep hackers broke DMCA, says EFF, and that's stupid

It's pretty obvious really: the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has pointed out that the researchers responsible for the now-infamous “Jeep hack” broke America's Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). Similarly obvious, they say, is that such research should be legal if Detroit wants to avoid creating the cyber-Pinto. …
Sony drone

Sony eyes enterprise drone biz as next big little thing

Sony has found a bottle of Jeff Bezos' Kool-Aid lying around, drunk it, and signed a deal with Japanese UAV outfit ZMP. To be fair, the new venture isn't predicated on delivering books by drone. Rather, Sony wants to get some of its key technologies airborne. Under the joint venture, Sony will contribute “camera, sensing, …
A Chinese laundry on the back streets of Shanghai

Chinese IT spending with western firms goes OVER A CLIFF

US tech companies report big trouble in China, despite official data claiming strong growth in the middle kingdom. The official data has growth ticking along at 7 per cent per annum. While that's at the low end of what Beijing wants, it was still welcomed by articles like this one, in state-owned organ Xinhua, explaining “The …
Simon Sharwood, 23 Jul 2015

Microsoft joins attack on 'non-consensual pornography'

Microsoft has joined the online drive against so-called "revenge porn" in which people's naked or otherwise embarrassing/erotic pictures are posted widely online. In June, The Chocolate Factory announced an initiative to let individuals report images and videos for removal. Microsoft's now done likewise, with chief online …
Ashlee Vance, Elon Musk: How the Billionaire CEO of SpaceX and Tesla is shaping our Future

Intelsat to FCC: For the love of satellites, STOP ELON MUSK!

Elon Musk wants to use his commercial SpaceX rockets to put satellites into orbit that will bring broadband to the next billion, but one of SpaceX's own customers has thrown a wrench into the works. Musk's plan involves encircling the globe with a few thousand high-capacity, low-latency satellites that the Tesla Motors boss …
Neil McAllister, 23 Jul 2015
Bob and Doug McKenzie of Canada

Canucks: Hey, Big Dog Telcos. Share that fiber with the little guys, eh?

The government of Canada has ruled that large broadband providers will have to open up their fiber data lines for use by smaller carriers. The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) said Wednesday that large incumbent companies who control high-speed data lines will now be required by law to make …
Shaun Nichols, 23 Jul 2015
warrant

Facebook fails to block NY DA's fat warrants for profiles of suspected September 11 fraudsters

A decision by a New York judge means that people's Facebook profiles are an open book to prosecutors armed with a warrant, despite the firm's best efforts. Back in July 2013, the New York District Attorney obtained court warrants to access the full profiles and message databases of 381 NY Facebook users suspected of defrauding …
Iain Thomson, 23 Jul 2015

You can secretly snoop on someone if they butt-dial you – US judges

A US court of appeals has ruled that phone calls started by accident in your pocket – so-called butt dialing – can be lawfully recorded. The Ohio Sixth Circuit appeals court found in favor [PDF] of a woman who recorded the conversations of a colleague who had unknowingly dialed her number before entering a meeting. James …
Shaun Nichols, 22 Jul 2015

Dear diary. Gotta axe 15% of staff, it's like I'm cracking up – Qualcomm

Mobile chipmaker Qualcomm says it's putting its business under the microscope with an eye to restructuring after posting lackluster third-quarter results, including revenue that missed estimates. "We are making fundamental changes to position Qualcomm for improved execution, financial and operating performance," Qualcomm CEO …
Neil McAllister, 22 Jul 2015
UNicorn

Storage unicorns and their hyped-up horns

Comment A venture-capitalist-tracking website has revealed a list of unicorns, which are startups valued at a billion dollars or more. Eight storage companies are in the list; does this mean a glorious outcome for them? The CB Insights’ list contained these familiar names: Dropbox at $10bn (£6.4bn), and hence a “decacorn” Cloudera …
Chris Mellor, 22 Jul 2015

Get root on an OS X 10.10 Mac: The exploit is so trivial it fits in a tweet

Code dive You can bypass Apple's space-age security and gain administrator-level privileges on an OS X Yosemite Mac using code that fits in a tweet. Yosemite, aka version 10.10, is the latest stable release of the Mac operating system, so a lot of people are affected by this vulnerability. The security bug can be exploited by a logged- …
Chris Williams, 22 Jul 2015

Security tool bod's hell: People think I wrote code for Hacking Team!

A respected security researcher has denied any involvement with Hacking Team after open-source code he wrote was found in smartphone spyware sold by the surveillance-ware maker. Collin Mulliner works in SecLab at Northeastern University in Massachusetts, US, and is a regular at hacking conferences. He told The Register he's …
Iain Thomson, 22 Jul 2015
apple music

'Apple lures labels from free streams – and why is no one doing anything about it' shrieks group

A pressure group in America has urged US watchdog the FTC and Uncle Sam's Department of Justice to probe Apple Music for signs of antitrust violations. Consumer Watchdog has written a letter [PDF] to the five commissioners of the FTC as well as DoJ attorney general Loretta Lynch and assistant attorney general William Baer …
Shaun Nichols, 22 Jul 2015