Iain Thomson

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Equifax exec's inside trade shame: Software boss sentenced for mega-hack stock profit

An Equifax executive – who knew the biz had been hacked before it was made public and banked over $75,000 in stock trades using this inside knowledge – has avoided jail. Sudhakar Reddy Bonthu, formerly a software product development manager for Equifax’s Global Consumer Services team, admitted to learning that hackers have …
Iain Thomson, 18 Oct 2018
GOES-16 Earth with Moon

Chinese biz baron wants to shove his artificial moon where the sun doesn't shine – literally

Video A Chinese businessman has announced plans to light Chengdu at night by launching an artificial "moon" to direct the out-of-sight Sun's rays down onto the city's streets. The idea is the brainchild of Wu Chunfeng, chairman of Chengdu Aerospace Science and Technology Microelectronics System Research Institute. He said …
Iain Thomson, 18 Oct 2018
Dude in jail

LuminosityLink spyware mastermind gets 30 months in the clink, forfeits $725k in Bitcoin

A programmer who wrote and sold software that backdoored PCs so they could be remotely controlled has been jailed for 30 months – and forced to give up his stash of 114 Bitcoins. Colton Grubbs, 21, of Stanford, Kentucky, was sentenced this week after admitting to creating LuminosityLink, a software package he claimed was a …
Iain Thomson, 17 Oct 2018

Tech hub blames tech: San Francisco fingers Uber, Lyft rides for its growing traffic headache

As any San Francisco Bay Area resident knows traffic is bad and getting worse, but the city's officials think they have found the culprit: ride-hailing companies. In a report [PDF] issued on Tuesday the San Francisco County Transportation Authority acknowledged that a lot of new people have moved into the area, drawn by tech …
Iain Thomson, 16 Oct 2018

NASA's Chandra probe suddenly becomes an EX-ray space telescope (for now, anyway)

October is shaping up to be a lousy month for NASA. First, the Hubble space telescope went into hibernation. Then a Russian Soyuz rocket failed to get its astronauts and kit up to the orbiting International Space Station. And now the American agency's Chandra X-ray Observatory, tens of thousands of miles from Earth, is kaput – …
Iain Thomson, 12 Oct 2018

With sorry Soyuz stuffed, who's going to run NASA's space station taxi service now?

Comment Thursday's failed Soyuz launch, carrying kit and astronauts to the International Space Station means NASA is fast running out of options for shipping stuff into orbit. Especially since its homespun solutions aren't living up to their earlier promise. The US space agency hasn't been wild about using the Russians as a delivery …
Iain Thomson, 11 Oct 2018

I find your lack of faith disturbing, IBM: Big Blue fires photon torpedo at Pentagon JEDI cloud contract

IBM has officially griped to a top US government watchdog about JEDI – the Pentagon's proposed 10-year $10bn single-vendor IT system for America’s Green Machine. Whichever lucky lone supplier wins the coveted Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) contract will be responsible for providing all cloud activities for the …
Iain Thomson, 10 Oct 2018
Magic cloud castle

Clouds gather as Cloudera and Hortonworks settle on uneven merger

The big data market became a little less competitive on Wednesday when two of the biggest players, Cloudera and Hortonworks, agreed to merge. “Our businesses are highly complementary and strategic,” said Tom Reilly, chief executive officer at Cloudera. “By bringing together Hortonworks’ investments in end-to-end data …
Iain Thomson, 4 Oct 2018

Salesforce dogged by protests, leaked emails, and guerrilla blimps on first day of Dreamforce

It’s that time of year again: CRM loyalists flood San Francisco for the annual Dreamforce conference hosted by Salesforce – but day one hasn’t exactly gone to plan. For a start, on Tuesday, protestors wheeled a huge wooden cage down the street outside the busy conference center to rally against Salesforce signing a multi- …
Iain Thomson, 26 Sep 2018

Guilty: The Romanian ransomware mastermind who infected Trump inauguration CCTV cams

A Romanian woman has admitted running a ransomware operation from infected Washington DC's CCTV systems just days before President Trump was sworn into office in the US capital. Eveline Cismaru, 28, pled guilty this week to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, and one count of conspiracy to commit computer fraud, …
Iain Thomson, 21 Sep 2018
police in body armour doing a raid

Developer goes rogue, shoots four colleagues at ERP code maker

Cops have named the programmer who went on a gun rampage at WTS Paradigm – a US maker of enterprise resource planning software – this week. He shot four colleagues, leaving one in a critical condition. At around 10.20am on Wednesday, Anthony Tong, 45, who had worked at the company in Middleton, Wisconsin, for little over a …
Iain Thomson, 20 Sep 2018

No, the Mirai botnet masters aren't going to jail. Why? 'Cos they help Feds nab cyber-crims

The three brains behind the Mirai malware, which infects and pressgangs Internet-of-Things devices into a botnet army, have avoided jail. In December, Paras Jha, 22, Josiah White, 21, and Dalton Norman, 22, pleaded guilty in the US to breaking the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act after developing and masterminding the Mirai …
Iain Thomson, 20 Sep 2018
Yusaku Maezawa

Revealed: The billionaire baron who’ll ride Elon’s thrusting erection to the Moon and back

Video SpaceX today named its first paying passenger it will fly around the Moon and back to Earth – and it's Japanese biz baron Yusaku Maezawa. Yeah, him. You know. Him. “SpaceX has signed the world’s first private passenger to fly around the Moon aboard our BFR launch vehicle — an important step toward enabling access for everyday …
Iain Thomson, 18 Sep 2018

Florence and the Machines: Data centers brace as hurricane smashes into US coast

Hurricane Florence has now landed on US soil, bringing 100 MPH winds, torrential rain, and claiming at least four lives. Many residents have fled, though some can’t – because they are keeping the area’s data centers up and running during the carnage. The Carolinas, on America's east coast, are studded with data centers full of …
Iain Thomson, 14 Sep 2018

Space station springs a leak while astronauts are asleep (but don't panic)

NASA ground controllers received some disturbing readings from the International Space Station on Wednesday - air pressure inside the craft was falling. That’s not a good sign when you're 220 miles up in space. The ISS crew were asleep at the time, but ground control opted not to mention it to them, since the pressure drop …
Iain Thomson, 30 Aug 2018

Miss America 'scholarship program' adds Microsoft Azure developer to lineup

The annual Miss America beauty pageant scholarship program has a tech entry this year, Microsoft developer Allison Farris. Ms Farris, who holds both bachelor's and master's degrees in Management Information Systems from the University of Alabama, has spent the last three years as a Redmond developer in the US capital working …
Iain Thomson, 21 Aug 2018
Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, USA

Et tu, Brute? Then fail, Caesars: When it's hotel staff, not the hackers, invading folks' privacy

Comment The hacking world's summer camp has ended. The last of the Black Hat USA, BSides Las Vegas, and DEF CON attendees and organizers have now left Sin City after a week of lectures, networking, and partying. What unfolded over those seven or so days will have knock-on effects for years to come – not just from researchers and …
Iain Thomson, 20 Aug 2018

'Oh sh..' – the moment an infosec bod realized he was tracking a cop car's movements by its leaky cellular gateway

Black Hat If you want to avoid the cops, or watch deliveries and call-outs by trucks and another vehicles in real-time, well, there's potentially not a lot stopping you. Security researchers have found more than 100,000 internet-facing cellular gateways, some of which broadcast their exact whereabouts to the world. These particular …
Iain Thomson, 18 Aug 2018

US voting systems: Full of holes, loaded with pop music, and 'hacked' by an 11-year-old

DEF CON Hackers of all ages have been investigating America’s voting machine tech, and the results weren't great. For instance, one 11-year-old apparently managed to hack and alter a simulated, albeit deliberately hobbled, Secretary of State election results webpage in 10 minutes. The Vote Hacking Village, one of the most packed-out …
Iain Thomson, 13 Aug 2018

Criminal justice software code could send you to jail and there’s nothing you can do about it

DEF CON American police and the judiciary are increasingly relying on software to catch, prosecute and sentence criminal suspects, but the code is untested, unavailable to suspects' defense teams, and in some cases provably biased. In a presentation at the DEF CON hacking conference in Las Vegas, delegates were given the example of …
Iain Thomson, 13 Aug 2018
Rob Joyce

Former NSA top hacker names the filthy four of nation-state hacking

DEF CON Rob Joyce, the former head of the NSA’s Tailored Access Operations hacking team, has spilled the beans on which nations are getting up to mischief online. Joyce gave one of the first talks at the DEF CON hacking conference in Las Vegas and interest was intense - the lines to get in stretched around the hall. Joyce …
Iain Thomson, 13 Aug 2018

Google Spectre whizz kicked out of Caesars, blocked from DEF CON over hack 'attack' tweet

Updated At midnight on Thursday, Matt Linton, a senior Google bod who was one of the key players in sorting out the Spectre CPU security hole mess, went to his hotel room in Caesars Palace, Las Vegas – and found his key no longer worked. When he went to reception to find out what the problem was, he was met by two security guards who …
Iain Thomson, 10 Aug 2018

Hackers can cook you alive using 'microwave oven' sat-comms – claim

Black Hat Four years ago, IOActive security researcher Ruben Santamarta came to Black Hat USA to warn about insecurities in aircraft satellite-communication (SATCOM) systems. Now he’s back with more doom and gloom. During a presentation at this year's hacking conference in Las Vegas this week, he claimed he has found a host of flaws in …
Iain Thomson, 10 Aug 2018

Spec-exec CPU bugs sweep hacking Oscars – and John McAfee’s in there like a bullet

Black Hat The whizz kids who uncovered the Spectre and Meltdown data-leaking flaws in modern processors have scooped two Pwnie Awards – often referred to as the information security industry’s Oscars. Moritz Lipp, Michael Schwarz, Daniel Gruss, Thomas Prescher, Werner Haas, Stefan Mangard, Paul Kocher, Daniel Genkin, Yuval Yarom, Mike …
Iain Thomson, 10 Aug 2018
Two execs in a server room. Has to have happened some time heh. Photo by Shutterstock

Can we talk about the little backdoors in data center servers, please?

Black Hat Data centers are vital in this cloudy world – yet little-understood management chips potentially give hackers easy access to their servers in ways sysadmins may not have imagined. The components in question are known as baseband management controllers (BMCs). They are discrete microcontrollers popped into boxes by the likes of …
Iain Thomson, 10 Aug 2018

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