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Security

+ - 153 ATM Skimming Ring Compromised 6,000 Bank Accounts->

Submitted by
Orome1
Orome1 writes "U.S. federal authorities have announced the filing of an indictment against two alleged leaders of an international scheme to steal customer bank account information using “skimming” technology that secretly recorded the data of customers who used ATMs at banks in New York, New Jersey, Illinois, and Wisconsin. The ring targeted J.P. Morgan Chase (“Chase”), and Capital One, N.A. banks. Throughout the course of the scheme, they engaged in over 50 skimming incidents that resulted in the compromise of over approximately 6,000 individual bank accounts, from which the defendants made and attempted to make over approximately $3 million in unauthorized withdrawals."
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Security

+ - 139 New Adobe Reader zero day used in phishing attacks-> 1

Submitted by mask.of.sanity
mask.of.sanity (1228908) writes "Zero day holes found in Adobe Reader are being exploited by attackers in phishing campaigns.

The attack drops two dll files: One opens a PDF to distract users while the other opens a backdoor.

Adobe confirmed the latest versions of Reader and Acrobat (10.1.5, and 11.0.1) are affected."

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Government

+ - 211 Obama Signs Executive Order on Cybersecurity->

Submitted by wiredmikey
wiredmikey (1824622) writes "President Barack Obama signed an executive order on Tuesday designed to better protect critical infrastructure from computer hackers.

Obama, in his annual State of the Union speech to a joint session of the US Congress, said his executive order would "strengthen our cyber defenses by increasing information sharing, and developing standards to protect our national security, our jobs and our privacy." The president also urged Congress to pass legislation "to give our government a greater capacity to secure our networks and deter attacks." The executive order (PDF) calls for voluntary reporting of threats to US infrastructure, such as power grids, pipelines and water systems. The directive, which follows two failed attempts in Congress to pass cybersecurity legislation, allows the government to lead an information-sharing network but stops short of making mandatory the reporting of cyber threats.

House Homeland Security Chairman Michael McCaul said he was "concerned that the order could open the door to increased regulations that would stifle innovation, burden businesses and fail to keep pace with evolving cyber threats."

Leslie Harris of the Center for Democracy & Technology welcomed the directive, arguing it "says that privacy must be built into the government's cybersecurity plans and activities, not as an afterthought but rather as part of the design."

White House officials noted that the measure would not apply to consumer-based services or information systems that do not meet the standard of "critical infrastructure." But the director of George Mason University's Technology Policy Program Jerry Brito said in a tweet that "top-down regulation is the last thing that will improve cybersecurity.""

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United Kingdom

+ - 230 Britain Could Switch Off Airport Radar And Release Spectrum->

Submitted by
judgecorp
judgecorp writes "Britain is considering switching off air traffic control radar systems and using "passive radar" instead. A two year feasibility study will consider using a network of ground stations which monitor broadcast TV signals and measure echoes from aircraft to determine their location and velocity. The system is not a new idea — early radar experiments used BBC shortwave transmitters as a signal source before antenna technology produced a transceiver suitable for radar — but could now be better than conventional radar thanks to new antenna designs and signal processing techniques. It will also save money and energy by eliminating transmitters — and release spectrum for 5G services."
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Software

+ - 260 Retail copies of Office 2013 are tied to a single computer forever -> 1

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "With the launch of Office 2013 Microsoft has seen fit to upgrade the terms of the license agreement, and it’s not in favor of the end user. It seems installing a copy of the latest version of Microsoft’s Office suite of apps ties it to a single machine. For life.

On previous versions of Office it was a different story. The suite was associated with a “Licensed Device” and could only be used on a single device. But there was nothing to stop you uninstalling Office and installing it on another machine perfectly legally. With that option removed, Office 2013 effectively becomes a much more expensive proposition for many."

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Software

+ - 147 Ancient Languages Reconstructed by Computers->

Submitted by
halls-of-valhalla
halls-of-valhalla writes "Researchers have developed a new software which can be used to reconstruct dead, ancient languages using probabilistic models of sound change.

This new software was tested by taking 637 Austronesian languages currently spoken in Asia and the Pacific, and attempting to reconstruct the ancient languages they're based on. The system was found to have provided a relatively accurate, large-scale automatic reconstruction of the protolanguages. A language believed to be roughtly seven thousand years old was reconstructed using a database of 142,000 words.

When compared to the results of linguists specializing in Austronesian languages, more 85% of the system's reconstructions were found to be within one character of the manual reconstruction. These are very promising results, however a linguist is still able to produce a higher accuracy, so this will be likely to become a tool used by linguists rather than a replacement for them."

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+ - 189 Obama Administration Asks Supreme Court To Not Hear Jammie Thomas Case->

Submitted by Jane Q. Public
Jane Q. Public (1010737) writes "The Jammie Thomas-Rasset case has been in the news for years now. As of the last court ruling, she has been ordered to pay $222,000 for sharing 24 songs. Her attorney argues that you can buy the same songs on iTunes for $24, and imposing a penalty of almost 10,000 times as much is "excessive and oppressive". The case has been appealed to the Supreme Court.

The Obama Administration has asked the Supreme Court to not review the case. Is this another example of this administration pandering to the copyright tro... I mean corporations, rather than The People they are supposed to represent?"

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+ - 185 Ask Slashdot: What is your favorite monitor for programming?

Submitted by BadassFractal
BadassFractal (2736365) writes "I'm in the market for a new large desktop monitor (or two) which I intend to use almost exclusively for programming and all sorts of software development-related work. I'm trying to keep the cost down reasonable, and I do enjoy as large of a resolution as possible. What do people "in the know" out there use these days for that purpose? I'm thinking a 1920x1200 24" would be good, unless there's an affordable 2560xFoo option out there. I keep hearing about nameless Korean 27" screens, any thoughts on that one?

Thanks!"
NASA

+ - 154 NASA's Garver Insists that American Commitment to Space Exploration Undiminished->

Submitted by
MarkWhittington
MarkWhittington writes "Space.com reports that NASA Deputy Administrator Lori Garver, at a space-entrepreneurship forum organized by Stanford University's Institute for Economic Policy Research, insisted that the space agency's commitment to space exploration is undiminished. To support her contention, Garver cited overall spending for NASA as compared to that of space agencies of other countries. But other data, from the money spent on the space agency's space exploration and planetary science accounts to a scathing report from the National Research Council tells a different story."
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Earth

+ - 194 Obama Proposes 'Meaningful Action' on Climate Change->

Submitted by
astroengine
astroengine writes "President Barack Obama called for "meaningful progress" on tackling climate change in his State of the Union speech in Washington, DC on Tuesday night. While acknowledging that "no single event makes a trend," the President noted that the United States had been buffeted by extreme weather events that in many cases encapsulated the predictions of climate scientists. "But the fact is, the 12 hottest years on record have all come in the last 15. Heat waves, droughts, wildfires, and floods — all are now more frequent and intense. We can choose to believe that Superstorm Sandy, and the most severe drought in decades, and the worst wildfires some states have ever seen were all just a freak coincidence. Or we can choose to believe in the overwhelming judgment of science — and act before it’s too late," Obama added."
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Security

+ - 205 How Lockheed Martin's 'Kill Chain' Stopped An Attacker Already Inside->

Submitted by ancientribe
ancientribe (1057834) writes "Lockheed Martin's director of cybersecurity provided a rare inside look at how the Defense contractor was able to stop sophisticated attackers who had gotten inside its network from actually stealing anything. Lockheed's multi-million dollar Cyber Kill Chain framework, a combination of security intelligence tools and manpower was built to prevent determined attackers who inevitably gain a foothold in the network from taking anything with them. This Dark Reading article highlights an incident where an attacker posed as one of Lockheed's business partners, using legitimate credentials and a stolen RSA SecurID token."
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Education

+ - 169 Missouri Legislation Redefines Science, Pushes Intelligent Design->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Ars reports on new legislation in the Missouri House of Representatives which is seeking equal time in the classroom for Intelligent Design as well as to redefine science itself. You can read the text of the bill online. It uses over 600 words to describe Intelligent Design. Scientific theory, the bill says, is 'an inferred explanation of incompletely understood phenomena about the physical universe based on limited knowledge, whose components are data, logic, and faith-based philosophy.' It would require that 'If scientific theory concerning biological origin is taught in a course of study, biological evolution and biological intelligent design shall be taught.' The legislation's references to 'scientific theory' and 'scientific law' make it clear the writers don't have the slightest idea how science actually works. It also has this odd line near the end: 'If biological intelligent design is taught, any proposed identity of the intelligence responsible for earth's biology shall be verifiable by present-day observation or experimentation and teachers shall not question, survey, or otherwise influence student belief in a nonverifiable identity within a science course.'"
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Government

+ - 199 Earth-buzzing asteroid could be worth big bucks: $195B if we could catch it->

Submitted by
coondoggie
coondoggie writes "The asteroid NASA say is about the half the size of a football field that will blow past Earth on Feb 15 could be worth up to $195 billion in metals and propellant. That's what the scientists at Deep Space Industries, a company that wants to mine these flashing hunks of space materials, thinks the asteroid known as 2012 DA14 is worth — if they could catch it."
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+ - 140 Computer Repair Company Takes Revenge on Devious Customer-> 3

Submitted by herrshuster
herrshuster (2839577) writes "Nerds on call, a small computer repair company, was sued for $500,000 dollars by a customer claiming that they had lost critical information in his litigation. But when they looked into his history, they found this was not the first time he had tried to get money from a company through either his own error or ignorance: http://blog.oregonlive.com/complaintdesk/2011/07/when_store_clerks_give_advice.html In retaliation, they posted an explanation of the circumstances on their site that totalled more than 17,000 words in an attempt to google-bomb his name. Their closing statement: "In the end we won’t label him a scam artist, or assume he had nefarious intent, however, we will let the entire history of our interactions with him stand on their own.""
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