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Security

Submission + - How to Stop the Next WikiLeaks

Hugh Pickens writes writes: "Eli Lake reports that the nation's 16 intelligence agencies are using a program called SureView that makes it easier to spy on the spies and catch whistleblowers early in the act. SureView is a type of auditing software that specializes in “behavior-based internal monitoring" that monitors the intelligence officer’s computer activity. If the officer acts like a potential leaker, sending an encrypted email or using an unregistered thumb drive, the analyst might push a button and watch a screen video of the officer’s last hour of work. Once a case is made that a leak might be imminent, it is checkmate: the agent is thwarted. “Had SureView been on Bradley Manning’s machine, no one would know who Bradley Manning is today,” says Ryan Szedelo, manager for Raytheon’s SureView software. The intelligence community has had auditing software for years. SureView came on the market in 2002. But the programs were buggy and often prone to false positives, alerting a network administrator too often to routine behavior. “The technology has gotten substantially better in the last year,” says Jeffrey Harris, a former head of the National Reconnaissance Office. “The problem with audit files was it took an army of people to understand them. Now we have rule-driven systems and expert systems that help us reason through the data.”"
Google

Submission + - Google removed boolean "+" operator as a search mo (google.com)

An anonymous reader writes: I just noticed this today after using "+" in a search Google returns the following: "The + operator has been replaced. To search for an exact word or phrase, use double quotation marks."

I've been using alternative search engines a lot recently but that help forum post suggests this a very recent development. I would imagine this has the potential to break a lot of scripts/programs that use the "+" modifier. Hopefully this isn't a trend towards removing other modifiers as they are quite helpful in pruning unwanted results. Then again maybe that's the point; more searches equals more ads displayed.

Microsoft

Submission + - Microsoft Roslyn: Reinventing The Compiler As We K (infoworld.com)

snydeq writes: "Fatal Exception's Neil McAllister sees Microsoft's Project Roslyn potentially reinventing how we view compilers and compiled languages. 'Roslyn is a complete reengineering of Microsoft's .Net compiler toolchain in a new way, such that each phase of the code compilation process is exposed as a service that can be consumed by other applications,' McAllister writes. 'The most obvious advantage of this kind of "deconstructed" compiler is that it allows the entire compile-execute process to be invoked from within .Net applications. ... With the Roslyn technology, C# may still be a compiled language, but it effectively gains all the flexibility and expressiveness that dynamic languages such as Python and Ruby have to offer.'"

Submission + - Almost perfect dinosaur fossil. (spiegel.de)

howzit writes: "German paleontologists have discovered what they believe is the best-preserved dinosaur skeleton ever found.The flesh-eating member of the theropod subgroup, which walked on its hind legs
about 98 percent complete, and also includes preserved bits of skin. "The around 135-million-year-old fossil is of outstanding scientific importance"."

Software

Submission + - US Government Expand Tracking Programs

bs0d3 writes: On October 12, slashdot covered how US intelligence intends to mine social network data from sites like facebook and twitter in order to help them predict crimes and track people. Most people felt it was a no-brainer that public information should be expected to be used. Well, what if instead of limiting their tracking to publicly available information on the internet, they were expanding to all the public. A traffic cam at every stop light, and on every street corner, with facial recognition software to track the movements of Americans in the real world. That's exactly what they announced this week, with "Next Generation Identification (NGI)" facial recognition service. NGI will result in a massive expansion of government data collection for both criminal and noncriminal purposes. They already have the largest biometric database in the world, it includes 70 million subjects in the criminal master file and more than 31 million civil fingerprints. With a collection that already contains multimodal biometric identifiers such as iris scans, palm prints, photos, and voice data from criminals; data sharing between the FBI and other government agencies and the repurposing of photographs taken for noncriminal activities will further support the FBI's ability to track people as they move from one location to another. Photos can be taken; for example, from the DMV and implicitly from their social network data mining projects. Over the next two and a half years, the program will begin in four states: Michigan, Washington, Florida, and North Carolina.

Submission + - The best but still not human (telltalegames.com) 1

An anonymous reader writes: Last year Bruce Wilcox's chatbot Suzette won the Loebner's Turing Test competition by fooling a judge into thinking she was human. On October 19th his new chatbot Rosette won again (voted number one by all four judges) but not one of the computer-savvy judges out-for-blood was fooled. "Would it hurt if I stabbed you with a towel?"
So despite slowing down her 'typing speed' to a human pace, putting in some typos and using common spelling mistakes she still stood out as a computer.
The prize this year is $4,000 and a bronze medal – getting to the next level requires fooling two judges. That will take substantial progress. Try out Rosette at: labs.telltalegames.com/rosette

XBox (Games)

Submission + - XBox Security Chief: LIVE Hacks Linked To Phishing (threatpost.com)

chicksdaddy writes: "In a pattern that is becoming more common, hackers are hijacking X-Box Live accounts, then tricking them out with expansion modules and other add-ons before trying to resell them to unwitting third parties.
In an interview with Threatpost, Stephen Toulouse, Director of Xbox LIVE Policy and Enforcement, said that Microsoft hasn't found any evidence of a compromise of the XBox Live infrastructure, nor has it seen evidence of a flaw in FIFA 11 or FIFA 12, the games by Electronic Arts that media reports have linked to fraudulent in-game purchases. However, he said that the takeovers and illegal purchases fit a pattern of crime in which XBox Live accounts are taken over, tricked out with hot games and expansion packs and other features, then resold online."

Submission + - Belarus cracks down on VKontakte (charter97.org)

decora writes: "On several recent Wednesdays, Russian language social networking site Vkontakte has been blocked by the government of Belarus. The blocks are partly to prevent the organization of "Silent Protests", in which citizens gather in city squares, and clap in protest against president Alexander Lukashenko. The government has designated the people involved as "social network revolutionaries" and charged many with disorderly conduct. One VKontakte user, Mikhail Karatkevich, is to be put on trial August 10 for 'organizing a mass rally' after he posted a meeting notice onto his page. According to Charter 97, the regime has even set up fake proxy servers to capture the unwitting; Tor is the suggested solution."
Privacy

Submission + - Widespread hijacking of search traffic in the US (eff.org)

Peter Eckersley writes: "The Netalyzr research project from the ICSI networking group has discovered that on a number of US ISPs' networks, search traffic for Bing, Yahoo! and sometimes Google is being redirected to proxy servers operated by a company called Paxfire.

In addition to posing a grave privacy problem, this server impersonation is being used to redirect certain searches away from the user's chosen search engine and to affiliate marketing programs instead. Further analysis in a post at EFF."

Privacy

Submission + - Widespread hijacking of search traffic in the US (eff.org)

Peter Eckersley writes: "A research team at ICSI in Berkeley has discovered that on a number of US ISPs' networks, search traffic for Bing, Yahoo! and sometimes Google is being redirected to proxy servers operated by a company called Paxfire.

In addition to posing a grave privacy problem, this server impersonation is being used to redirect certain searches away from the user's chosen search engine and to affiliate marketing programs instead."

Cloud

Submission + - Why Businesses Move To The Cloud: They Hate IT (itworld.com)

jfruhlinger writes: "Cloud services can be unreliable, pricey, and often duplicate capabilities larger companies already have in-house. So why do many managers within organizations use them? Partly because they don't want to deal with their own company's IT department. Getting a big project started is often such a politically fraught process that for many managers its easier to simply write a check."
Idle

Submission + - We're All Mutants (livescience.com) 1

mcgrew writes: "My daughter Patty, who was born with only one kidney, isn't alone — Live Science reports that the average human has sixty genetic mutations. Without those mutations there would be no evolution."

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