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Submission + - U.S. Links North Korea to Sony Hacking (nytimes.com)

schwit1 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.

Submission + - Top Five Theater Chains Won't Show "The Interview" After Sony Hack

tobiasly writes: "The country's top five theater chains — Regal Entertainment, AMC Entertainment, Cinemark, Carmike Cinemas and Cineplex Entertainment — have decided not to play Sony's The Interview . This comes after the group which carried off a massive breach of its networks threatened to carry out "9/11-style attacks" on theaters that showed the film. What should Sony do? Cut their losses and shelve it? Release it immediately online? Does giving in mean "the terrorists have won"?

Submission + - Navy develops a shark drone for surveillance (usatoday.com)

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.

Submission + - Swype Android keyboard makes almost 4000 location requests every day

postglock writes: Swype is a popular third-party keyboard for Android phones (and also available for Windows phones and other platforms). It's currently the second-most-popular paid keyboard in Google Play (behind SwiftKey), and the 17th highest of all paid apps.

Recently, users have discovered that it's been accessing location data extremely frequently, making almost 4000 requests per day, or 2.5 requests per minute. The developers claim that this is to facilitate implementation of "regional dialects", but cannot explain why such frequent polling is required, or why this still occurs if the regional function is disabled.

Some custom ROMs such as Cyanogenmod can block this tracking, but most users would be unaware that such tracking is even occurring.

Submission + - U-2 Caused Widespread Shutdown of US Flights out of LAX 2

Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes: Reuters reports that last week's computer glitch at a California air traffic control center that led officials to halt takeoffs at Los Angeles International Airport was caused by a U-2 spy plane still in use by the US military, passing through air space monitored by the Los Angeles Air Route Traffic Control Center that appears to have overloaded ERAM, a computer system at the center. According to NBC News, computers at the center began operations to prevent the U-2 from colliding with other aircraft, even though the U-2 was flying at an altitude of 60,000 feet and other airplanes passing through the region's air space were miles below. FAA technical specialists resolved the specific issue that triggered the problem on Wednesday, and the FAA has put in place mitigation measures as engineers complete development of software changes,” said the agency in a statement. “The FAA will fully analyze the event to resolve any underlying issues that contributed to the incident and prevent a reoccurrence.” The U.S. Air Force is still flying U-2s, but plans to retire them within the next few years. The U-2 was slated for retirement in 2006 in favor of the unmanned Global Hawk Block 30 system, before the Air Force pulled an about-face two years ago and declared the Global Hawk too expensive and insufficient for the needs of combatant commanders.

Submission + - Snowden offered asylum by Venezuelan President (telesurtv.net)

aBaldrich writes: Edward Snowden was offered "humanitarian asylum" by Nicolás Maduro, the president of Venezuela. The country's official news agency reports (oroginal spanish, google translation) that the decision was taken after a meeting of the presidents of Argentina, Bolivia, Ecuador, Suriname, Uruguay and Venezuela.
Maduro denounced an attempt to "colonize" several European Countries, and that he is acting "on behalf of the dignity of the Americas".

Submission + - Can the Slashdot effect save Ed Snowden? 1

NewtonsLaw writes: I read that Iceland has refused asylum and citizenship to whistleblower Ed Snowden.

In response to this, I wrote a very polite, email to the office of the Icelandic Prime Minister Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson (details on this webpage) expressing my disappointment at the decision and my sympathy for a once-proud nation that seems to have lost its nerve when faced with the might of the USA.

If anyone else wants to do the same then perhaps it's not too late to alert the Icelandic government to the fact that they could win millions of new friends from all over the world if they were to show their courage and bravery by helping Snowden, as they have with others in the past.

Of course any such communication needs to be polite, concise and focused on showing Iceland that the internet community supports Ed Snowden and those who are prepared to help him.

Maybe the Slashdot community can help. Why not spend a few quick minutes firing off an email so we can find out for sure.

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: Will the NSA Controversy Drive People to Use Privacy Software? (slashdot.org) 1

Nerval's Lobster writes: As the U.S. government continues to pursue former NSA contractor Edward Snowden for leaking some of the country’s most sensitive intelligence secrets, the debate over federal surveillance seems to have abated somewhat—despite Snowden’s stated wish for his revelations to spark transformative and wide-ranging debate, it doesn’t seem as if anyone’s taking to the streets to protest the NSA’s reported monitoring of Americans’ emails and phone-call metadata. Even so, will the recent revelations about the NSA lead to a spike in demand for sophisticated privacy software, leading to a glut of new apps that vaporize or encrypt data? While there are quite a number of tools already on the market (SpiderOak, Silent Circle, and many more), is their presence enough to get people interested enough to install them? Or do you think the majority of people simply don't care? Despite some polling data that suggests people are concerned about their privacy, software for securing it is just not an exciting topic for most folks, who will rush to download the latest iteration of Instagram or Plants vs. Zombies, but who often throw up their hands and profess ignorance when asked about how they lock down their data.

Submission + - Revelations on the French Big Brother (lemonde.fr)

Wrath0fb0b writes: Days after President François Hollande sternly told the United States to stop spying on its allies, the newspaper Le Monde disclosed on Thursday that France has its own large program of data collection, which sweeps up nearly all the data transmissions, including telephone calls, e-mails and social media activity, that come in and out of France. The report notes that "our email messages, SMS messages, itemised phone bills and connections to FaceBook and Twitter are then stored for years."

For those /.ers that grok Français, you can read the original at Le Monde or the translated version from LM. The NYT also has a writeup on the story.

Submission + - Spying Scandal: EU may sever Ties with American Internet Providers (rt.com) 1

dryriver writes: EU businesses are threatening to terminate relations with American internet providers in response to the National Security Agency surveillance scandal, the European Commission has warned. Neelie Kroes, Vice President of the European Commission, said that US providers of ‘cloud services,’ a technology that permits clients to store data on remote servers, could suffer steep losses if users fear the security of their material is at risk of being compromised. "If businesses or governments think they might be spied on, they will have less reason to trust cloud, and it will be cloud providers who ultimately miss out,” Kroes said. “Why would you pay someone else to hold your commercial or other secrets if you suspect or know they are being shared against your wishes?" The EC vice president then pointed to the “multi-billion euro consequences” facing US internet companies in the wake of the scandal. "It is often American providers that will miss out, because they are often the leaders in cloud services. If European cloud customers cannot trust the United States government, then maybe they won't trust US cloud providers either. If I am right, there are multibillion-euro consequences for American companies. If I were an American cloud provider, I would be quite frustrated with my government right now."

Submission + - New Study: How Copyright Makes Books and Music Disappear (ssrn.com) 1

An anonymous reader writes: A new study of books and music for sale on Amazon shows how copyright makes works disappear. The research, available at http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2290181 is described in the abstract: "A random sample of new books for sale on Amazon.com shows three times more books initially published in the 1850’s are for sale than new books from the 1950’s. Why? A sample of 2300 new books for sale on Amazon.com is analyzed along with a random sample of 2000 songs available on new DVD’s. Copyright status correlates highly with absence from the Amazon shelf. Second, the availability on YouTube of songs that reached number one on the U.S., French, and Brazilian pop charts from 1930-60 is analyzed in terms of the identity of the uploader, type of upload, number of views, date of upload, and monetization status. An analysis of the data demonstrates that the DMCA safe harbor system as applied to YouTube helps maintain some level of access to old songs by allowing those possessing copies (primarily infringers) to communicate relatively costlessly with copyright owners to satisfy the market of potential listeners.

Submission + - EU parliament supports suspending US data sharing

egladil writes: As seen previously here on slashdot the European Parliament was to vote on 'whether existing data sharing agreements between the two continents should be suspended, following allegations that U.S. intelligence spied on EU citizens.' With the votes now having been cast, the result is 483 in favor of the resolution and 98 against, while 65 abstained.
The resolution in question in part called for the USA 'to suspend and review any laws and surveillance programs that "violate the fundamental right of EU citizens to privacy and data protection," as well as Europe's "sovereignty and jurisdiction."', in part decided that the EU should investigate the surveillance of EU citizens, and finally gave backing to the European Commision in case they should decide to suspend the data sharing deals currently in place with the USA, such as the Passenger Name Record (PNR) and Terrorist Finance Tracking Program (TFTP) agreements.
The question now is whether the EU commision will go through with suspending these deals or not.

Submission + - Why are Japanese men refusing to leave their rooms?

fantomas writes: The BBC reports on the Japanese phenomenon of Hikikomori: young people, mainly men, who are holed up in rooms in their parents' houses, refusing to go out and engage with society. Why is this happening? and is it a global phenomenon or something purely due to Japanese culture? (we're all familiar with the standing slashdot joke of the geek in their mom's basement for example)

Submission + - NASA mulling joint lunar missions with commercial enterprises (examiner.com)

MarkWhittington writes: According to a July 3, 2013 story in SpaceRef, NASA has issued a Request for Information (RFI) concerning various commercial endeavors to create robotic lunar landers. NASA appears to be interested in assisting in those projects with a view of using the resulting vehicles for its own exploration plans.

Officially, thanks to a mandate by President Obama, NASA is not planning its own crewed mission to the moon. However the space agency seems to be interested in supporting, in some way, a commercially run lunar base. Joint robotic lunar landings might be seen as the start of such an effort.

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