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+ - Hackers Compromise ICANN, Access Zone File Data System 2

Submitted by Trailrunner7
Trailrunner7 (1100399) writes "Unknown hackers were able to compromise vital systems belonging to ICANN, the organization that manages the global top-level domain system, and had access to the system that manages the files with data on resolving specific domain names.

The attack apparently took place in November and ICANN officials discovered it earlier this month. The intrusion started with a spear phishing campaign that targeted ICANN staffers and the email credentials of several staff members were compromised. The attackers then were able to gain access to the Centralized Zone Data System, the system that allows people to manage zone files. The zone files contain quite bit of valuable information, including domain names, the name server names associated with those domains and the IP addresses for the name servers.

ICANN officials said they are notifying any users whose zone data might have been compromised."

+ - Steam adding PC games region locking.->

Submitted by will_die
will_die (586523) writes "Because of the recent currency devaluation Steam has now added region locking for games sold in Russia and CIS. Brazil and local area and Indonesia and local area are also being locked.
Where the locking affects you is if you purchase a game from one of those regions you cannot gift it to somone outside of the area. So someone from Russia can gift a game to someone to Georgia but not to someone in the USA.
You want to see the prices in the Russia store and compare them to the Steam Christmas Sale which should be starting in a few hours."

Link to Original Source

+ - Coolpad's backdoor installs apps and tracks customers without their knowledge->

Submitted by SternisheFan
SternisheFan (2529412) writes "(from ComputerWorld)

Chinese smartphone maker Coolpad has built an extensive "backdoor" into its Android devices that can track users, serve them unwanted advertisements and install unauthorized apps, a U.S. security firm alleged today.

In a research paper released today, Palo Alto Networks detailed its investigation of the backdoor, which it dubbed "CoolReaper."

"Coolpad has built a backdoor that goes beyond the usual data collection," said Ryan Olson, director of intelligence at Palo Alto's Unit 42. "This is way beyond what one malicious insider could have done."

Coolpad, which sells smartphones under several brand names — including Halo, also called Danzen — is one of China's largest ODMs (original device manufacturers). According to IDC, it ranked fifth in China in the third quarter, with 8.4% of the market, and has expanded sales outside of the People's Republic of China (PRC) and Taiwan to Southeast Asia, the U.S. and Western Europe.

Tipped off by a string of complaints from Coolpad smartphone users in China and Taiwan — who griped about seeing advertisements pop up and apps suddenly appear — Palo Alto dug into the ROM updates that Coolpad offered on its support site and found widespread evidence of CoolReaper.

Of the 77 ROMs that Palo Alto examined, 64 contained CoolReaper, including 41 hosted by Coolpad and signed with its own digital certificate.

Other evidence that Coolpad was the creator of the backdoor, said Olson, included the malware's command-and-control servers — which were registered to domains belonging to the Chinese company and used, in fact, for its public cloud — and an administrative console that other researchers had found last month because of a vulnerability in Coolpad's backend control system. The console confirmed CoolReaper's functionality.

CoolReaper has a host of components that allow Coolpad to download updates and apps to devices, start services and uninstall apps, dial phone numbers and send texts, and more — all without user knowledge, much less authorization.

So far, the backdoor has been used to serve up unsolicited ads and install apps without user approval, said Olson, who speculated that both were being done for financial reasons. Coolpad may be getting a per-app-install fee, for example."

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+ - U.S. Links North Korea to Sony Hacking->

Submitted by schwit1
schwit1 (797399) writes "Speaking off the record, senior intelligence officials have told the New York Times, CNN, and other news agencies that North Korea was "centrally involved" in the hack of Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE).

It is not known how the US government has determined that North Korea is the culprit, though it is known that the NSA has in the past penetrated North Korean computer systems.

Analysis of code shows it used knowledge of Sony's Windows network to spread and wreak havoc.

Previous analysis of the malware that brought down Sony Pictures' network showed that there were marked similarities to the tools used in last year's cyber-attack on South Korean media companies and the 2012 "Shamoon" attack on Saudi Aramco. While there was speculation that the "DarkSeoul" attack in South Korea was somehow connected to the North Korean regime, a firm link was never published."

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+ - Blockchain messaging may herald 'the unerasable internet'->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Bitcoin developer Krzysztof Okupski has developed a messaging application which uses space in Bitcoin's blockchain data as the basis for storage. The intention of the thesis work was to create a means of communication for dissidents or activists that would be impervious to blocking or retroactive censorship by oppressive regimes. According to Okupski: "Binding a payments network like Bitcoin together with an anti-censorship system forces any repressive government to either accept or abandon both." This article examines the wider implications of a blockchain-based internet where controversial content may either be directly embedded within small BItcoin transactions or hash-linked in their data to broader content in 'side chain' networks, effectively creating content that can never be amended or erased without compromising — or blocking — an increasingly important financial transaction system."
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+ - NYC lawmaker wants to ban drones except for cops with warrants->

Submitted by SternisheFan
SternisheFan (2529412) writes "On Wednesday Councilman Dan Garodnick introduced a bill to the New York City council seeking to ban all use of drones except those operated by police officers who obtain warrants. A second, parallel bill introduced by councilman Paul Vallone would place more stringent restrictions on drone use but stop short of banning drones for hobbyists and companies altogether. Both bills have been passed to the city's committee on public safety.

An all-out ban on drones within the metropolis would be a quite wide-reaching step, especially as the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) seems poised to adopt more permissive rules, with respect to commercial interests in particular. Earlier this year, the FAA formally granted six Hollywood companies exemptions to drone ban rules. A couple of months later, the FAA granted similar exemptions for construction site monitoring and oil rig flare stack inspections.

Despite the FAA's tentative steps towards drone regulation, pilots of planes and helicopters have reported increased sightings of drones in their airspace, and several near-collisions. 12 incidents of dangerous encounters between drones and planes in the New York and Newark areas have been reported in recent months. In addition, in 2011, a man was fined $10,000 by the FAA for flying a remote-controlled plane recklessly through New York City. However, the National Transportation Safety Board struck down that fine. (ArsTechnica article....)"

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+ - New Findings - RNA Molecules under Hypoxia Cause Tumor Progression

Submitted by Eric Shawn
Eric Shawn (3815221) writes "University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center published one of its latest studies. The study uncovered a long-lasting secret of an unknown phenomenon. When oxygen is deficient, key regulatory molecules will drop in numbers. This fact finally leads to the progression of tumor regardless of in vivo and in vitro experiments.

As the tumor grows, blood vessels originally feeding it become incapable of covering all the outgrown part of the tumor. The partial tissue of some tumors consequently appear short of oxygen, which is a condition scientifically named tumor hypoxia. Normally thinking, hypoxia should delay tumor growth. However, the study from MD Anderson Cancer Center just released an opposite conclusion. Researchers observed how some enzymes in tumor cells were affected by lack of oxygen. They were surprised to find that hypoxia only resulted in tumor progression. Simply put, cancer cells can adapt to hypoxia and continue growing through crafty approaches.

Anil K. Sood, Doctor of Medicine and professor at MD Anderson Cancer Center, specializes in gynecologic oncology, reproductive medicine, and cancer biology. He explained the above phenomenon that hypoxia decreases the expression and further the quantity of the two enzymes Drosha and Dicer, which are producers of microRNA (miRNA). An miRNA, if expressing in a cell, is what regulates the activity of many cellular genes. On the other hand, tumor progression is the reflection of hypoxia in terms of cell and tissue functions."

+ - India successfully test fires its heaviest rocket

Submitted by vasanth
vasanth (908280) writes "India on Thursday moved forward in rocket technology with the successful flight testing of its heaviest next generation rocket and the crew module . The 630-tonne three-stage rocket, Geo-Synchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark III, carried active solid boosters, liquid core stage and a passive cryo stage and a crew module to test its re-entry characteristics.

This rocket is capable of doubling the capacity of payloads India can carry into space and it can deposit up to four tonne class of communication satellites into space. India also plans to use this rocket for ferrying Indian astronauts into space.

For India, ISRO the Indian space agency perfecting the cryogenic engine technology is crucial as India can save precious foreign exchange by launching heavy duty communication satellites by itself."

+ - Terrestrial Gamma Ray Bursts Very Common

Submitted by Rambo Tribble
Rambo Tribble (1273454) writes "It was long thought that gamma ray bursts were the exclusive province of deep space sources. More recently it was found that storms could produce such emissions, but such occurrences were thought rare. Now, data from NASA's Fermi satellite suggest such events happen over a thousand times a day. Per Prof. Joseph Dwyer, from the University of New Hampshire, "These are big, monster bursts of gamma rays, and one would think these must be monster storms producing them. But that's not the case. Even boring-looking, garden-variety, little storms can produce these.""

+ - Google Proposes to Warn People About non-SSL web sites

Submitted by mrspoonsi
mrspoonsi (2955715) writes "The proposal was made by the Google developers working on the search firm's Chrome browser. The proposal to mark HTTP connections as non-secure was made in a message posted to the Chrome development website by Google engineers working on the firm's browser. If implemented, the developers wrote, the change would mean that a warning would pop-up when people visited a site that used only HTTP to notify them that such a connection "provides no data security". Currently only about 33% of websites use HTTPS, according to statistics gathered by the Trustworthy Internet Movement which monitors the way sites use more secure browsing technologies. In addition, since September Google has prioritised HTTPS sites in its search rankings."

+ - Magic Leap Hires Sci-Fi Writer Neal Stephenson as Chief Futurist->

Submitted by giulioprisco
giulioprisco (2448064) writes "Magic Leap, a secretive Florida augmented reality startup that raised $542 million in October, hired renowned science fiction writer Neal Stephenson as its “Chief Futurist.” Stephenson offers hints at the company’s technology and philosophy: "Magic Leap is bringing physics, biology, code, and design together to build a system that is going to blow doors open for people who create things." According to the Magic Leap website, their Dynamic Digitized Lightfield Signal technology permits generating images indistinguishable from real objects."
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+ - Navy develops a shark drone for surveillance->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "The Navy is testing a new underwater drone called GhostSwimmer, which is designed to look like a shark and conduct surveillance work.

It is being adapted by the chief of naval operations' Rapid Innovation Cell (CRIC) project, Silent NEMO, in Norfolk, Va.

GhostSwimmer is 5 feet long and weighs almost 100 pounds. It can operate in water depths from 10 inches to 300 feet, and is designed to operate autonomously for long periods of time, according to the Navy."

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+ - NASA Provides Details of Unique Method for 3d Printing on Other Planets->

Submitted by ErnieKey
ErnieKey (3766427) writes "A major application of 3d printing that could revolutionize space travel, is that of ultimately using 3d printers to create structures on non-terrestrial bodies like the moon, other planets, and even asteroids. Researchers from NASA's Kennedy Space Center have been working to develop solutions to materials issues, and recently presented initial findings on the potential for using in-situ materials like basalt for 3D printing. Their innovative method is based on only using in-situ supplies, and not materials that need to be brought into space."
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