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Jeremy Hunt: Telcos must block teens from sexting each other

The likes of Facebook must stop under-18s from sending each other sexually explicit pictures, UK health secretary Jeremy Hunt has told a Parliamentary committee. Giving evidence to the Health Select Committee about suicide prevention yesterday, Hunt demanded that social media companies must take responsibility for stopping …
Gareth Corfield, 30 Nov 2016

UK cops spot webcam 'sextortion' plots: How vics can hit stop

The NCA has said that "at least four young men have taken their own lives" after being targeted by financially motivated webcam blackmailers, while UK police forces are sharing stats and tips in a campaign to combat the rising problem. Police say they've recorded 864 cases of webcam blackmail cases so far in 2016, more than …
John Leyden, 30 Nov 2016
Shall we lay our own cable too? Photo by Shutterstock

Virgin Media is so rustic and artisan you get to hand-sort your own spam

Virgin Media has overhauled its botched spam filtering system, which has resulted in UK businesses and customers missing thousands of legit emails. The issues have blighted customers for over a year, since Virgin Media was forced take its email hosting back in-house after Google closed the service used by ISPs last year. Many …
Kat Hall, 30 Nov 2016
lottery

UK National Lottery data breach: Fingers crossed – it might not be you

Cyber criminals appear to be using passwords and email addresses from previous breaches to gain access to 26,000 online UK National Lottery accounts. Camelot, the company behind the National Lottery, detected the scam and subsequent attempted frauds and responded by locking down accounts, triggering compulsory password resets …
John Leyden, 30 Nov 2016
Big bill

UK.gov was warned of smart meter debacle by Cabinet Office in 2012

The government was warned of the risks surrounding its controversial smart meter programme four years ago, according to a leaked internal report seen by The Register, but appears to have largely ignored those concerns. A review of the programme from March 2012 highlights the vulnerability of smart meters to cyber-attacks, and …
Kat Hall, 30 Nov 2016
Skydivers photo via Shutterstock

'Significant' number of HPE OpenStackers flung to SUSE

A "significant" number of Hewlett Packard Enterprise staff are accompanying OpenStack code going to SUSE Linux. The Linux shop is taking them along with software and people for HPE's Platform as a Service and its Cloud Foundry efforts. SUSE would not reveal financial terms of the deal nor how many HPE staff are shifting. …
Gavin Clarke, 30 Nov 2016
Bank vault

'Tesco Bank's major vulnerability is its ownership by Tesco,' claims ex-employee

A former techie at the UK's Tesco Bank reckons the recent high-profile breach may be down to security shortcomings at the bank's parent supermarket. Earlier this month Tesco Bank admitted that an estimated £2.5m had been stolen from 9,000 customer accounts in the biggest cyber-heist of its kind to affect a UK bank. The …
John Leyden, 30 Nov 2016

Speaking in Tech: The limitations of Android's crypto

Podcast speaking_in_tech Greg Knieriemen podcast enterprise This week our Podcast Idols Peter Smallbone and Melissa Gurney join Greg and Ed to talk Black Friday, auto shopping, Android encryption and the big AWS show. The details… (0:00) Peter and Melissa assimilate into the podcast (1:35) Raving and Black Friday (8:58) Car …
Team Register, 30 Nov 2016
Nuclear War

Chernobyl cover-up: Giant shield rolled over nuclear reactor remains

The world's largest moving structure has been moved to cover up the melted-down reactor which caused the Chernobyl nuclear disaster in the former Soviet Union. In April 1986, Reactor Number Four at the Chernobyl nuclear power station went into meltdown as a result of a botched systems test which the plant's night-shift …
Gareth Corfield, 30 Nov 2016

What's the first emotion you'd give an AI that might kill you? Yes, fear

As artificially-intelligent software continues to outperform humans, it's natural to be anxious about the future. What exactly is stopping a neural network, hard at work, from accidentally hurting or killing us all? The horror of a blundering AI injuring people has been explored heavily in science fiction; to this day, boffins …
Katyanna Quach, 30 Nov 2016

CERN concern: Particle boffins join backlash against Euro Patent Office's King Battistelli

The European Organization for Nuclear Research, better known as CERN, has joined the list of organizations and media outlets calling for action against the president of the European Patent Office (EPO). In its weekly staff bulletin, the particle physicists' take issue with Benoit Battistelli for targeting and firing staff. " …
Kieren McCarthy, 30 Nov 2016

Aw, how sweet: Google Brain claims to clock diabetic eye diseases just like a proper doc

Machines can detect diabetic retinopathy – a leading cause of blindness from diabetes – from retinal scans to the same degree of accuracy as ophthalmologists, according to a paper published by Google Brain. Recent advances in machine learning and computer vision have boosted the potential for machines to aid in medical …
Katyanna Quach, 30 Nov 2016

UK's new Snoopers' Charter just passed an encryption backdoor law by the backdoor

Among the many unpleasant things in the Investigatory Powers Act that was officially signed into law this week, one that has not gained as much attention is the apparent ability for the UK government to undermine encryption and demand surveillance backdoors. As the bill was passing through Parliament, several organizations …
Kieren McCarthy, 30 Nov 2016
A Combined Charging System plug

Six car-makers team to build European 'leccy car charge bar network

Six auto-makers have signed a memorandum of understanding that will see them build a network of electric car charging stations across Europe. BMW, Daimler, Ford, Volkswagen, Audi and Porsche have given themselves an initial target of 400 facilities, but say by 2020 “customers should have access to thousands of high-powered …
Simon Sharwood, 30 Nov 2016

Banks' bid to board iPhones' NFC chips rebuffed

The four Australian banks attempting to use iPhones' near-field communications chips for their own payment services, and not Apple Pay, have all-but failed. Australia's Commonwealth Bank, National Australia Bank and Westpac together control about 70 per cent of the nation's credit card market. Together with minnow The Bendigo …
Simon Sharwood, 30 Nov 2016

PayPal proffers patch for OAuth app hack hole

Paypal has patched a phishing vulnerability that could allow attackers to steal any OAuth token for its payment apps and gain access to accounts. Adobe software engineer and OAuth wonk Antonio Sanso discovered the token request flaw after messing with redirect URLs. He found PayPal's authorisation server setup to handle OAuth …
Team Register, 30 Nov 2016
Pennies in a jar. Photo via Shutterstock

Bare metal switches racked up a whole $23m of sales in H1 2016

Bare metal switches are mostly still in lab deployments, it seems: according to analyst IHS Markit, sales of branded bare metal switches hit US$23m. For perspective, a giant like Cisco turns over close to $8bn in switch revenue in a half-year. IHS Markit put the first half of 2016 as worth about 125 per cent more than for the …
disk head crash

Spinning rust supply chain seizes up after BIG disk demand spike

Storage analyst outfit Trendfocus says that the hard disk industry has just posted its best growth in seven years, but that it comes with its own problems. The firm classifies Q3 2016 as having delivered the industry a “strong rebound in demand”, thanks largely to demand for nearline storage. But the disk-counters says …
Simon Sharwood, 30 Nov 2016
Swiss army knife in cloud

Microsoft adds SDN automation to System Center's Virty Manager

Microsoft's J.C. Hornbeck has valiantly tried to announce VMM SDN Express for Microsoft System Center VMM: a bundle of automation scripts covering SDN stack deployment; setup inputs; and a dummy parameters file. More accurately, perhaps, Microsoft has nearly added software-defined networking (SDN) automation to its System …

GET pwned: Web CCTV cams can be hijacked by single HTTP request

An insecure web server embedded in more than 35 models of internet-connected CCTV cameras leaves devices wide open to hijacking, it is claimed. The gadgets can be commandeered from the other side of the world with a single HTTP GET request before any password authentication checks take place, we're told. If your camera is one …
Lego gandalf by https://www.flickr.com/photos/isherwoodchris/  CC 2.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/ attribution sharealike

systemd free Linux distro Devuan releases second beta

The self-proclaimed “Veteran Unix Admins” forking Debian in the name of init freedom have released Beta 2 of their “Devuan” Linux distribution. Devuan came about after some users felt it had become too desktop-friendly. The change the greybeards objected to most was the decision to replace sysvinit init with systemd, a move …
Simon Sharwood, 30 Nov 2016
Pic: Shutterstock

Drive-by web nasty unmasks Tor Browser users, Mozilla dashes to patch zero-day vuln

Updated Mozilla is scrambling to patch a vulnerability in Firefox that is apparently being exploited in the wild to unmask Tor Browser users. Earlier today, a small package of SVG, JavaScript and x86 code popped up on a Tor mailing list that, when opened by Firefox or Tor Browser on a Windows PC, phones home to a remote server and …
Darren Pauli, 30 Nov 2016
Chad Kroeger of rock band Nickelback

Has Canadian justice gone too far? Cops punish drunk drivers with NICKELBACK

Police in Canada says it will be punishing drunk drivers by not only arresting them, but forcing them to listen to corporate boy band Nickelback on the way to the cop shop. A Facebook post from the Kensington Police Department of Prince Edward Island warns would-be partiers in the Great White North to avoid getting behind the …
Shaun Nichols, 30 Nov 2016
A screenshot of Perfect Assistant

Need to tailor Swift for servers? Software upstart claims to have 'perfect' assistant

Deploying server-side Swift applications isn't necessarily as fast as the programming language's name suggests. To hasten the process, Toronto-based PerfectlySoft has released a beta of Perfect Assistant, which isn't as perfect as its name suggests but nonetheless can make life a bit easier for those writing Swift code. " …
Thomas Claburn, 30 Nov 2016

Another Canadian uni hit by ransomware, students told to keep Windows PCs away

Carleton University in Ontario, Canada, has confirmed it has been hit by a ransomware infection that crippled some of the Windows machines on its main campus. Systems at the university started to go down on Tuesday, and its IT department reported that email, network drives and the central university student portal had all …
Iain Thomson, 29 Nov 2016

Doctor AI will see you now: US military vets will be diagnosed by deep-learning bots

The US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has signed a five-year deal with Flow Health, an AI company, to develop personalized healthcare plans for veterans using deep learning. Deep learning is a tool in machine learning that is useful for sifting through huge heaps of data to find useful information. Flow Health is focusing …
Katyanna Quach, 29 Nov 2016
CaSSIS Mars

ExoMars probe snaps photos of your next dystopian home world when Earth goes to crap

Video The European Space Agency's ExoMars orbiter has beamed back its first photos and sensor readings of the Red Planet after circling the harsh dust world. The agency's astro-boffins needed some good news: last month, their Schiaparelli Mars lander – which was dropped from the ExoMars craft – smashed onto the Martian surface after …
Iain Thomson, 29 Nov 2016

Ommm... devs, align your Chakra, whispers Microsoft, you don't need Google's V8...

Microsoft has released an early version of Node-ChakraCore for macOS, following a similar release for Linux at Node Summit in July. Why is this important? Well, Node-ChakraCore is Microsoft's open-source glue that plugs Node.js into ChakraCore, the MIT-licensed JavaScript engine within its Edge web browser. It's all part of …
Thomas Claburn, 29 Nov 2016
Trump, photo by uplift the world via Shutterstock

Internet Archive preps Canadian safe haven to swerve Donald Trump

It's something many Americans have talked about – moving to Canada to escape President Donald Trump – but now the Internet Archive is preparing to do just that. "On November 9th in America, we woke up to a new administration promising radical change," reads a blog post from the organization's founder, Brewster Kahle. "It was a …
Kieren McCarthy, 29 Nov 2016

Outlook.com is still not functioning properly for some Microsoft punters

Microsoft is still working to resolve "difficulties" faced by its Outlook customers, despite months of complaints about the disappearance of sent emails and 550 Errors. A growing number of complaints threads have been posted to Microsoft's questions page regarding Outlook after recent upgrades to the service. They both precede …
The Type 26 Global Combat Ship. Image: BAE Systems

Give BAE a kicking and flog off new UK warships, says review

A government-commissioned review into naval shipbuilding has torn into BAE Systems – while hinting that the number of British fighting warships should be increased, albeit with a sting in the tail. Sir John Parker’s review into Royal Naval shipbuilding was predictably critical of BAE, whose Naval Ships division has built …
Gareth Corfield, 29 Nov 2016
Moments of perspiration

HPE: Keep cool, cloud peeps. Store hot data in on-premises flash

HPE is pushing its 3PAR Flash Now initiative to customers to buy 3PAR StoreServ all-flash storage array technology starting at $0.03 per usable Gigabyte per month. It claims this is a fraction of the cost of public cloud alternatives. In full market-speak glory, a canned quote from HPE's Bill Philbin, VP and GM for Storage, …
Chris Mellor, 29 Nov 2016

Heard of Brexit? The UK vows to join Europe’s Patent Titanic

Comment Astonishment has greeted the UK’s promise to join Europe’s Unified Patent Court despite Brexit. It’s a stunning victory for the nation's powerful legal lobby. The FT euphemistically notes that “the legal system” will be around “£200m a year” richer. Meaning: you know who will be £200m richer. The announcement was made by the …
Andrew Orlowski, 29 Nov 2016
Man shouting the news from a rolled up newspaper

HPE: We're 'opening floodgates' for Synergy orders... a year after launch

Hewlett Packard Enteprise's composable infrastructure is going into mainstream distribution in January, a year after the covers were first lifted off the machine – with some added fluffy white stuff and hyper-converged extensions. Synergy was made public at HPE's Discover event in London in December 2015. It offers IT bosses a …
Paul Kunert, 29 Nov 2016

Oh no, software has bugs, we need antivirus. Oh no, bug-squasher has bugs, we need ...

Flaws in security products are among the most commonly encountered desktop software vulnerabilities, according to a new study. Eleven of the 46 products that made it into monthly top 20 most vulnerable product charts between August and October were security packages, Secunia reports. Products from vendors including AlienVault …
John Leyden, 29 Nov 2016
Avalanche

K2 promises faster data avalanche with NVMe drives

Interview NVMe adoption by array and storage software vendors is shaping up to be one of the single biggest transitions in the storage industry as the long-lived Fibre Channel SAN becomes the NVMeF SAN. How does non-NVMe SSD-using all-flash array vendor Kaminario view NVMe adoption? We asked CTO Shachar Fienblit how and why and when …
Chris Mellor, 29 Nov 2016
Snooping image via Shutterstock

UK Parliament waves through 'porn-blocking' Digital Economy Bill

MPs have passed the UK government's controversial Digital Economy Bill, which will force internet service providers to impose blocks on porn sites that do not include mandatory age checks or feature kinky sex acts. The proposed law has also been heavily criticised for enabling government departments greater access to citizens …
Kat Hall, 29 Nov 2016
Queen's Speech 2015. Screen grab from Parliament TV

Investigatory Powers Act signed into UK law by Queen

IPBill Queen Elizabeth II today signs off on Parliament's Investigatory Powers Act, officially making it law in the UK. Her Maj not only had the last word on the new legislation — aka the Snoopers' Charter — she had the first. She publicly announced what the law would be called during the official opening of Parliament after last …

Vegans furious as Bank of England admits ‘trace’ of animal fat in £5 notes

Slacktivist vegetarians and vegans have been writing strongly worded tweets after the Bank of England confirmed that there are animal fats in the new polymer £5 notes. The plastic fivers were introduced earlier this year to replace the UK’s battered and disintegrating stocks of paper £5 notes. While at the time the bank was …
Gareth Corfield, 29 Nov 2016
TFinity_ExaScale

HPE getting long-term archives taped

Fancy that – flash-loving HPE is getting into big tape boxes. It's extending its high-end tape portfolio by reselling SpectraLogic tape libraries. The Spectra products involved are the T950 and TFinity ExaScale Edition, one of, if not the largest tape libraries in the industry. We're told this will drive down long-term storage …
Chris Mellor, 29 Nov 2016

Huawei Mate 9: The Note you've been waiting for?

Hands On Can you believe Huawei’s luck? Imagine discovering a new planet, populated entirely by Irish people, which has a dozen orbiting satellite moons all harvesting shamrocks, all the year round. That lucky. Through extraordinary timing, the Chinese giant finds itself with the big screen phone category to itself, thanks to its new …
Andrew Orlowski, 29 Nov 2016
Alan Turing (Benedict Cumberbatch) and the Bombe machine

Bletchley Park Trust vows to shore up insecure website

The Bletchley Park Trust has promised that a website revamp due in January will address security concerns highlighted by a security expert on Sunday. Paul Moore slammed the site, which was home of the WWII Enigma codebreakers, for all manner of security shortcomings including emailing password resets and vulnerabilities to the …
John Leyden, 29 Nov 2016

Geek's Guide To Britain