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"Extremely Critical" OS X Keychain Vulnerability Steals Passwords Via SMS 123

Mark Wilson writes: Two security researchers have discovered a serious vulnerability in OS X that could allow an attacker to steal passwords and other credentials in an almost invisible way. Antoine Vincent Jebara and Raja Rahbani — two of the team behind the myki identity management security software — found that a series of terminal commands can be used to extract a range of stored credentials. What is particularly worrying about the vulnerability is that it requires virtually no interaction from the victim; simulated mouse clicks can be used to click on hidden buttons to grant permission to access the keychain. Apple has been informed of the issue, but a fix is yet to be issued. The attack, known as brokenchain, is disturbingly easy to execute. Ars reports that this weakness has been exploited for four years.

Nobel Prize-Winning Scientist Criticizes Role of Women In Labs 412

An anonymous reader writes: Tim Hunt is an English biochemist most notable for winning the 2001 Nobel prize in physiology or medicine. Today he's become notable for something else entirely — at the World Conference of Science Journalists, Hunt suggested science labs should be segregated by gender. He said, "Let me tell you about my trouble with girls three things happen when they are in the lab You fall in love with them, they fall in love with you and when you criticize them, they cry." As you might expect, this set off a firestorm of criticism. Many asked Hunt to treat women in labs with the same respect he is afforded, and others held it up as an explicit example of the sexism that pervades the scientific community. Hunt later issued an apology, saying, "I'm very sorry that what I thought were light hearted ironic remarks were taken so seriously, and I'm very sorry if people took offence. I certainly did not mean to demean women, but rather be honest about my own shortcomings."
United States

US Lawmakers Want Sanctions On Any Country Taking In Snowden 650

An anonymous reader points out this story about the latest effort by the U.S. to get Edward Snowden back in the country. "A U.S. Senate panel voted unanimously on Thursday to seek trade or other sanctions against Russia or any other country that offers asylum to former spy agency contractor Edward Snowden, who has been holed up for weeks at a Moscow airport. The 30-member Senate Appropriations Committee adopted by consensus an amendment to a spending bill that would direct Secretary of State John Kerry to meet with congressional committees to come up with sanctions against any country that takes Snowden in."

Paper On Conspiratorial Thinking Invokes Conspiratorial Thinking 371

Layzej writes "Last summer a paper investigating the link between conspiratorial thinking and the rejection of climate science provoked a response on blogs skeptical of the scientific consensus that appeared to illustrate the very cognitive processes at the center of the research. This generated data for a new paper titled 'Recursive fury: Conspiracist ideation in the blogosphere in response to research on conspiracist ideation (PDF).' The researchers reviewed the reactions for evidence of conspiratorial thinking, including the presumption of nefarious intent, perception of persecution, the tendency to detect meaning in random events, and the ability to interpret contrary evidence as evidence that the conspiracy is even greater in scope that was originally believed. Some of the hypotheses promoted to dismiss the findings of the original paper ultimately grew in scope to include actors beyond the authors, such as university executives, a media organization, and the Australian government. It is not clear whether the response to this paper will itself provide data for further research, or how far down this recursion could progress. I fear the answer may be 'all the way.'"

Apple Angers Mac Users With Silent Shutdown of Java 7 451

An anonymous reader writes in with news of the continuing saga of Java patches and exploits. "If you're a Mac user who suddenly can't access websites or run applications that rely on Java, you're not alone. For the second time in a month, Apple has silently blocked the latest version of Java 7 from running on OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard or higher via its XProtect anti-malware tool. Apple hasn't issued any official statements advising users of the change or its reasons, but it's a safe bet that the company has deemed Oracle's most recent update to Java insecure. That's why the company stealthily disabled Java on Macs back on Jan. 10, the same day a Java vulnerability was being exploited in the wild."

History Will Revere Bill Gates and Forget Steve Jobs, Says Author 679

Hugh Pickens writes "PC Magazine reports that journalist Malcolm Gladwell, author of The Tipping Point and Outliers, has stirred up quite a controversy in tech circles with his off-the-cuff remarks that history will remember Bill Gates fondly while Steve Jobs slips into obscurity. Gladwell likened Gates' charitable work to the German armaments maker Oskar Schindler's famous efforts to save his Jewish workers from the gas chambers during World War II, and added that because of Gates there's a reasonable shot we will cure malaria. 'Gates, sure, is the most ruthless capitalist. And then he decides, he wakes up one morning and he says, "Enough." And he steps down, he takes his money, takes it off the table ... and I think, I firmly believe that 50 years from now, he will be remembered for his charitable work,' said Gladwell. 'And of the great entrepreneurs of this era, people will have forgotten Steve Jobs. Who's Steve Jobs again?' For all his dismissal of Jobs' legacy, however, Gladwell remains utterly fascinated with him. 'He was an extraordinarily brilliant businessman and entrepreneur. He was also a self-promoter on a level that we have rarely seen,' said Gladwell. 'What was brilliant about Apple, he understood from the get-go that the key to success in that marketplace was creating a distinctive and powerful and seductive brand.' Gladwell concludes that the most extraordinary moment in the biography of Jobs is when Jobs is on his deathbed and it's over and he knows it. 'And on, I forget, three, four occasions, he refuses the mask because he is unhappy with its design. That's who he was. Right to the very end, he had a set of standards. If he was going to die, dammit, he's going to die with the right kind of oxygen mask. To him it was like making him send his final emails using Windows.'"

Ballmer Slams Android As Cheap and Overcomplicated 645

jfruhlinger writes "On the day Android Ice Cream Sandwich was released, Steve Ballmer livened up the Web 2.0 conference by lobbing potshots at Google's mobile OS, calling it the choice of 'cheap' phones and claiming 'the biggest advantage we have over Android is that you don't need to be a computer scientist to use a Windows Phone.'"

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