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Hacking Team Flash exploit leak revealed lightning reflexes of malware toolkit crafters

Black Hat 2015 When the Italian surveillanceware maker Hacking Team got hacked last month, the intruders unwittingly set the groundwork for a very interesting research project. Tracking the time from a vulnerability being found in some software to seeing it exploited in the wild is tricky – malware writers don't often publicize their …
Iain Thomson, 5 Aug 2015
Adrian Ludwig

Biggest security update in history coming up: Google patches Android hijack bug Stagefright

Black Hat 2015 For those of you worried about the Stagefright flaw in Android, be reassured, a patch will be coming down the line in the next few days. "My guess is that this is the single largest software update the world has ever seen," said Adrian Ludwig, lead engineer for Android security at Google. "Hundreds of millions of devices are …
Iain Thomson, 5 Aug 2015
The Child Catcher

Windows 10 wipes your child safety settings if you upgrade from 7 or 8

Are you a Windows 10 converts responsible for young computer users? Be on your guard. Child-friendly Family Features from Windows 7 and 8 won’t be recognised or accepted in the new operating system. Rather, children using Windows 10 PCs are seen as standard users; no dedicated child-user account exists. That means any …
Gavin Clarke, 5 Aug 2015
Woman packs up contents of desk. Image via shutterstock

Fork off! FFmpeg project leader quits, says he's had enough with these forking AV libraries

The leader of the FFmpeg open source project has resigned amid ongoing turmoil among the project's developers. FFmpeg, a set of cross-platform, open source libraries for playback of video formatted according to standards created by the MPEG organization, was founded in 2000 by French developer Fabrice Bellard, working under …
Outlook for the web's new calendar

Microsoft changes 'Outlook Web Access' to 'Outlook on the web'

Fresh from showing glimpses of the next-generation Outlook Web Access client in a preview of Exchange Server 2016, Microsoft has now detailed just how the new version of the browser-bound Outlook will work. There's a new name for starters: “Outlook Web Access” is now “Outlook on the web”. Those marketers sure are earning their …

Mac fans! Don't run any old guff from the web: Malware spotted exploiting OS X root bug

The amusing vulnerability in Apple's OS X that grants administrator-level access to anyone who asks is being exploited in the wild by malware. Yeah, malware exists for Macs, this isn't the 1990s. Anyone logged in to a vulnerable OS X computer, or any software running on it, can use the security hole to gain the same privileges …
Windsurfer mid-flight (3CX logo in sail)

SDN: It's living the dream – and just using what you've got

Software Defined Networking (SDN) and Network Functions Virtualisation (NFV) are growing in importance. Genuine interest around them is growing fast, faster even than the hype would indicate. This is having some curious knock-on effects. Networking vendors are cautious about SDN and NFV, as both trends threaten to commoditise …
Trevor Pott, 4 Aug 2015
Couple laying in tent with laptop

Hacklands introducing geeks to something called 'outdoors'

A new take on a hackathon is being tried by the team behind more traditional geek gatherings such as Swedish Beers and Heroes of the Mobile Fringe. They are going to do it outdoors. Yes, outside. In fresh air. Hacklands combines key elements from hackathons (where software and hardware developers get together to make stuff …
Simon Rockman, 4 Aug 2015

Windows 10 Start menu replacements shifting like hot cakes

Microsoft had one job to do with Windows 10 – but it looks like it's failed to get even that right. Start Menu replacements for Windows 10 are moving almost as fast as they did for Windows 8, which didn't have a Start menu at all, according to Brad Wardell, whose company makes the most popular commercial drop-in Start menu. …
emo guy

We made a new Do Not Track thing – not like you'll use it or anything, huffs emo teen EFF

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is making a second attempt to sell online publishers and ad networks on a Do Not Track specification. The new guidelines have the backing of privacy peeps at Disconnect, blogging website Medium, search engine DuckDuckGo, and analytics biz Mixpanel. Also on board are the developers of …
Shaun Nichols, 4 Aug 2015
Cloud foundry login screen

Pivotal brings its labs to Asia, starting in Australia and Japan

UPDATE EMC Federation member Pivotal will brings its “Labs” consultancy services to Australia and Japan. Australia gets a joint ventures with Telstra. Japan's effort is owned by Pivotal, but will kick off with foundation client Toshiba Solutions. Melissa Ries, Pivotal's veep and general manager for Asia, tells us the labs start out …

If you installed Windows 10 and like privacy, you checked the defaults, right? Oh dear

Here's a quick FYI: if you installed Windows 10, and in a rush to try out Microsoft's new operating system, you clicked through the default settings without looking, you may want to look again. If you value your privacy, or have a distrust of Microsoft, you probably want to make sure some or all of the settings are flipped to …
Intel SSD750 NVMe 1.2TB PCIe SSD

Assessing the power of Intel’s SSD 750 … but check your motherboard before buying

Review Although SSDs have a huge performance advantage over the good, old-fashioned clattering mechanical drive, they have (up till now) been held back because of their reliance on AHCI (Advanced Host Controller Interface) architecture, developed in 2004 for standard disks and, in particular, SATA interfaced disks. Intel SSD750 NVMe …
Simon Crisp, 3 Aug 2015
Linus Torvalds flips the bird

Linus Torvalds warns he's in no mood to be polite as Linux 4.2 drags

Linus Torvalds' regular Sunday night missive on the state of kernel development has labelled version 4.2 as a bit of a problem child and warned he “might not react politely” to some developer requests. Announcing the release of release candidate five (rv5), Torvalds says “it's looking like 4.2 might be one of the releases …
facebook mobile ads

Axis of evil: Facebook uses Google code to slash page load times

Facebook has rolled out an open source project from Google to try and improve its ad-slinging performance on Android. After a six-month implementation of Google's FlatBuffers across its Android client, Facebook reckons it's slashed the time it takes to load stories from the disk cache “from 35ms to 4ms”, slashed transient …

Windows 10 collects colossal 0.375 per cent market share in July

Windows 10 has rocketed to account for 0.375 per cent of the world's PC-driven web traffic, according to ratings firms Netmarketshare and Statcounter. For those of you domiciled beneath stones, Microsoft released Windows 10 on July 29th, meaning it had a chance to make a mark on the month-by-month desktop OS market share data …
Liam Neeson, Taken

Wait, STOP: Are you installing Windows 10 or RANSOMWARE?

People aren't good at waiting for stuff, and with computer users queueing up to download Windows 10, ransomware purveyors have started to move in. CTB-Locker This is going to be expensive ... Cisco's security team has noticed a new spamming campaign attempting to spread the CTB-Locker ransomware using emails purporting to …
Iain Thomson, 31 Jul 2015

No, Microsoft: Your one-billion Windows 10 goal is just sad ... really sad

Comment Targeting one million of anything is no longer cool, according to Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg. Only one billion will do. It's not surprising, therefore, that Microsoft has set itself a billion-device goal for Windows 10. What is surprising is just how unambitious that goal is, given the computing giant's aspirations. Indeed, …
Matt Asay, 31 Jul 2015
Handing over dollars picture via Shutterstock

Windows 10 marks the end of 'pay once, use forever' software

Comment Windows 10 is the last version of Windows that will ever be released. If this really is the last version of Windows desktop operating system ever, though, where will Microsoft make its money? Microsoft, after-all, has built a multi-billion-dollar business on sales of new versions of Windows through retailers and to PC makers, …
Stuart Burns, 31 Jul 2015
Security guard, picture via Shutterstock

Don't want Windows 10 FILTH on the company network? Step this way

Windows 10 is here. Now, while I have Windows Upgrade Fatigue and I'm in no rush to make the change, plenty of people out there received the upgrade when it arrived. There will certainly going to be a mighty spike in net traffic that day – not least because the upgrade from Windows 7 or Windows 8 is a free one. If you're a …
Dave Cartwright, 31 Jul 2015
The Windows 10 (optional) full screen Start menu now looks more like 8

Microsoft's Windows 10 Torrent-U-Like updates GULP DOWN your precious bandwidth

Feel like your network bandwidth is slipping away? Windows 10 could be the culprit. Microsoft’s new desktop operating system has employed a torrent-style approach to sharing updates with your fellow Windows 10 users. The OS employs a system of sharing updates between users’ PCs and across their own networks rather than …
Gavin Clarke, 31 Jul 2015
Star Trek: "Let That Be Your Last Battlefield"

Google, Oracle's endless Java copyright battle extended to ... 2016

The long-running copyright dispute between Oracle and Google over the latter's use of the Java language APIs in its Android operating system will likely drag on for another year or more, based on the latest developments in the case in a US federal court. Reuters reports that US District Judge William Alsup, who has been …
Neil McAllister, 31 Jul 2015
Microsoft monopoly

Edge out rivals? No! Firefox boss BLASTS Microsoft's Windows 10 browser brouhaha

Mozilla chief Chris Beard has fired off a tetchy open letter to Microsoft supremo Satya Nadella – because Windows 10 shunts Firefox users onto Redmond's new Edge web browser. Internet Explorer users were warned that Edge, Microsoft's Chrome-chasing new browser, would be the default in Windows 10. But as it turns out, users of …
Neil McAllister, 30 Jul 2015
Containers_at_port

Oracle: Docker container tech will be in the Zone on Solaris

Oracle is the latest company to get on the Docker bandwagon, having announced support for the application container technology to come in a future version of Solaris Unix. Docker arose out of the Linux world, and its original implementation takes advantage of a number of Linux kernel features, including LXC, cgroups, and …
Neil McAllister, 30 Jul 2015
Edge first run

Microsoft Edge web browser: A well-presented mea culpa

Review Edge, the new web browser in Windows 10 that was released on Wednesday isn't just a browser: it's an atonement. Microsoft, it seems, wants to apologize not just for its recent Windows 8, but for the entirety of Internet Explorer. And, surprisingly, Edge turns out to be a great apology. Perhaps the most surprising and welcome …
depressed_648

'Fix these Windows 10 Horrors': Readers turn their guns on Redmond

Mailbag “Clearly the first year of ‘free’ is really beta testing – what should a sensible IT manager do?” asks one Reg reader Down Under. I’ve heard this from a few of you and collected your thoughts. You’ve no doubt already read Tim Anderson’s review and Trevor Pott's sysadmin’s view. There are plenty of other concerns and questions …
Andrew Orlowski, 30 Jul 2015

Don't want pranksters 'bricking' your Android? Just stop using the internet, duh – Google

Video Trend Micro peeps say they have discovered a security bug that miscreants can exploit to seemingly murder millions of Android smartphones. A device will appear lifeless and unable to make calls, with a dead screen and no sound output, if an attack is successful, we're told. All a victim has to do is visit a dodgy webpage, or …
Iain Thomson, 30 Jul 2015
Github octodex

Git a load of this: GitHub now valued at $2 billion

GitHub has received a $250m infusion of venture-capital cash that values the code-sharing website at $2bn. That means it's worth more than ZenDesk ($1.78bn), slightly less than the New York Times ($2.17bn), and more than stricken Yelp ($1.87bn). The San Francisco-based upstart said its Series-B funding round was led by VC …
Shaun Nichols, 30 Jul 2015

Oh look – Office Mobile apps to go with your shiny Windows 10

Now that Windows 10 has begun shipping to customers who reserved their free upgrades, Microsoft has also announced general availability of the touch-centric Office Mobile apps for the new OS. This isn't the next version of the full Office productivity suite for desktop PCs. That version, dubbed Office 2016, won't ship until …
Neil McAllister, 29 Jul 2015
IT Crowd's Roy: "Have you turned it off and on again?"

Windows 10: A SYSADMIN speaks his brains – and says MEH

Sysadmin blog It's Windows 10 day. That means it's time for a completely biased and in-no-way-even-remotely-objective assessment of Windows 10. The internet is filled with people trying to act all objective about Microsoft and Windows 10, and explain what it all "means." I'm forgoing all of that this round. This review is not from the …
Trevor Pott, 29 Jul 2015

Microsoft admits critical .NET Framework 4.6 bug, issues workaround

Microsoft has published a workaround for a critical bug in the .NET Framework 4.6 that can result in incorrect parameters being passed, with unpredictable results. Program manager Rich Lander has blogged about the problem. According to Lander, it can affect any .NET 4.x application, but once the .NET Framework 4.6 has been …
Tim Anderson, 29 Jul 2015
Windows 10 on Surface 3

MORE Windows 10 bugs! Too many Start menu apps BREAK it

An issue with the new Windows 10 Start menu means that those with more than 512 application shortcuts will have missing entries. In Windows 10, the Start menu includes an All Apps list, which you can search for quick access to installed applications. Start menu shortcuts are still shortcut files placed in the same special …
Tim Anderson, 29 Jul 2015
Windows 10 with its revived Start menu

Windows 10: THE ULTIMATE GUIDE to Microsoft's long apology for Windows 8

Review Take a deep breath. This is it, the big one: Microsoft has released Windows 10, which will make everything good again after Windows 8. Windows 10 is distinctive for several reasons. First, it introduces the "Windows as a service" concept, in which most users will automatically receive incremental updates with both feature and …
Tim Anderson, 29 Jul 2015
Arrow screenshot

Microsoft's Arrow brings pane to Androids

For reasons El Reg doesn't quite understand, Microsoft has decided that the one thing missing from the Android user's life is the Windows phone app launcher experience. Seeking to save Android users from themselves, Redmond has accordingly posted this “garage” project (ie, after-hours coding or "get your staff to create test- …

Windows 10 in head-on crash with Nvidia drivers as world watches launch

Microsoft's automatic updates feature in Windows 10 has collided with Nvidia's driver system, sending the new operating system off the rails as it launches. Early adopters are experiencing glitches (particularly in multi-monitor setups), and in some cases crashes, all triggered when Windows 10 automatically updates its …
John Leyden, 28 Jul 2015

Puppet draws back the curtain on devops magic with funky gfx and UI

“Less magic, more visibility” is what Puppet Labs reckons devops devotees need. Announcing the company's Puppet Enterprise 2015.2, the company's director of marketing communications Tim Zonca told The Register the rapid turnaround ideal of the devops world has a trust problem that the new code is trying to address. Someone …
Whack-a-mole

BONK! BONK! Windows 10 whack-a-mole – Microsoft still fixing bugs

Microsoft is still trying to crush the remaining bugs in its latest and supposedly greatest operating system. Build 10240, which was released to the Windows Insider program two weeks ago, is widely considered to be the "release to manufacturing" (RTM) build, even though Redmond itself says the RTM concept doesn't apply in its …
Neil McAllister, 28 Jul 2015
Selection of Australian banknotes

Software spec slip denies Westpac chance at a MILLION A DAY

Some of Australia's major banks' databases don't distinguish between loans to housing investors and owner-occupiers, meaning they're missing out on the chance to charge differential interest rates. Along the way, they're providing an object lesson to businesses that depend on IT: if you don't ask for a capability, you won't …
Fujitsu-Oracle Athena server logo

Debian Project holds Sparc port's hand, switches off life support

Following years of waning popularity, the Debian GNU/Linux Project has dropped support for the Sparc architecture, effective immediately. "As Sparc isn't exactly the most alive architecture anymore," Debian maintainer Joerg Jaspert wrote in a mailing list post last week, "not in [Debian 8.x] jessie and unlikely to be in [ …
Neil McAllister, 27 Jul 2015
Sad Android

Got an Android phone? SMASH IT with a hammer – and do it NOW

Android smartphones can be secretly infected by malware smuggled in via video text messages, allowing criminals to sneak inside as many as 950 million devices. You just need to know a victim's cellphone number to silently inject malicious software in their vulnerable gizmo. Once infected, your mobe's camera and mic can be used …
Iain Thomson, 27 Jul 2015

Hold that upgrade: Critical bug in .NET 4.6 'breaks applications'

A critical bug in the optimizer in the just-released .NET 4.6 runtime could break and crash production applications, we're warned. "The methods you call can get different parameter values than you passed in," says Nick Craver – software developer and system administrator for Stack Exchange, home of the popular programming …
Tim Anderson, 27 Jul 2015
Suits you

Don't suit up: Microsoft drops dress code for Android visitors

Windows will run Android binaries "unchanged", according to a Microsoft job posting. "Project Astoria" is one of several ambitious ventures announced at Microsoft's annual developer conference Build 2015, intended to lure iOS, Android, and web developers to Windows 10. All were intended to make porting to Windows easy. New …
Andrew Orlowski, 27 Jul 2015