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The Military

Is Cyber Arms Control a Lost Cause? 9

Posted by timothy
from the gentlemen-do-not-read-each-other's-mail dept.
Nicola Hahn writes In light of a classified document regarding state-sponsored cyber ops, the editorial board at the New York Times has suggested that the most constructive approach to reducing the spread of cyber threats would be to "accelerate international efforts to negotiate limits on the cyberarms race, akin to the arms-control treaties of the Cold War."

While such advice is by all means well-intentioned there are significant differences between nuclear weapons and malware that would make treaty verification problematic. Not to mention that the history of the Cold War itself illustrates that certain countries viewed arms control treaties as an opportunity to secretly race ahead with their own covert weapons programs. Rather than take on the Sisyphean task of trying to limit the development of offensive cyber technology, why not shift national priorities towards creating robust, fault-tolerant, systems that render offensive tools ineffective?"

Comment: Re:Just make it less bloated (Score 1) 277

by Grishnakh (#49201635) Attached to: Mozilla: Following In Sun's Faltering Footsteps?

Firefox opens much faster than chrome because it only loads the active tab initially.

Yeah, what's with this anyway? This is the most brain-dead thing I've seen in Chrome. The Firefox way is smart because it recalls all your tabs, but doesn't slow your computer to a crawl for a minute or two by trying to load everything at once.

I will say I haven't seen FF crash in quite a while now; I'm using 36 on Linux. A couple years or so ago, it was pretty bad, but lately I haven't had any trouble at all, though I do have to restart it every other week like you say.

Comment: Re:basically how the UAE works (Score 1) 246

by RockDoctor (#49201491) Attached to: Facebook Rant Lands US Man In UAE Jail

I never understood the whole 'take your passport' thing. I was under impression that if I show up at the US embassy,

First you've got to get to the Embassy. If the country in question requires you to carry your ID card, visa and passport at all times, then the odds of you making it to the Embassy are pretty slender.

Remember, Dorothy, you're not in Kansas any more. The rules of home don't apply there because, uh, you're not at home any more.

Communications

GSM/GPS Tracking Device Found On Activist's Car At Circumvention Tech Festival 58

Posted by timothy
from the just-can't-catch-a-break-with-you-people dept.
vivaoporto writes A GSM/GPS tracking device was found this March 4 on an activist's car attending the Circumvention Tech Festival in Valencia, Spain, a festival that proposes to gather "the community fighting censorship and surveillance for a week of conferences, workshops, hackathons, and social gatherings, featuring many of the Internet Freedom community's flagship events." They are now asking for the internet tech community for help in order to identify the device. Below verbatim is the plea for help published on the Tor Project website. The fine article also contains pictures of the device.

"On March 4th, 2015, we found a tracking device inside of the wheel well of a car belonging to an attendee of the Circumvention Tech Festival in Valencia, Spain. This was reported in the local media.

If you have information about this device — please send information to jacob at appelbaum dot net using gpg.

The device was magnetically mounted inside of the left wheel well of the car. The battery is attached by cable to the tracking device. The battery was magnetically mounted to the frame of the car. The tracking device was similarly magnetically mounted. The device itself has an external magnetically mounted GPS antenna. It has a very simple free hanging GSM antenna. The device included a Movistar SIM card for GSM network access. The entire device was wrapped in black tape."

Comment: Re:And still (Score 1) 195

by RockDoctor (#49201361) Attached to: One Astronomer's Quest To Reinstate Pluto As a Planet

That way, maybe we will finally get to name its companion "Goofy", rather than that dumbass Charon moniker.

I'm going to assume that you don't know the origin of the name of Charon. It's quite a sophisticated semi-private joke between the rules of astronomical nomenclature and classical literature. "Goofy", on the other hand is just some stupid cartoon joke.

Comment: Re:Lost grant funding? (Score 1) 195

by RockDoctor (#49201319) Attached to: One Astronomer's Quest To Reinstate Pluto As a Planet

some sort of sensible criteria to separate them from asteroids

It does - gravity high enough to deform it into a sphere.

Making Ceres and Vesta planets.

That's OK, I'm cool with an 11-planet solar system. Given the near certainty of there being other spherical planets in the Kuiper Belt and Oort Cloud, I'm cool with a solar system of a couple of dozen planets.

Comment: Re:And still (Score 1) 195

by RockDoctor (#49201281) Attached to: One Astronomer's Quest To Reinstate Pluto As a Planet

Really, the only categorization issue that I'm adamant about is that Pluto-Charon is called a binary.

What does describing Pluto and Charon as a binary bring to the conversation? Does it allow you to describe the properties of the entire system without having to individually describe the component parts?

+ - GSM/GPS tracking device found on activist's car at Circumvention Tech Festival->

Submitted by vivaoporto
vivaoporto (1064484) writes "A GSM/GPS tracking device was found this March 4 on an activist's car attending the Circumvention Tech Festival in Valencia, Spain, a festival that proposes to gather "the community fighting censorship and surveillance for a week of conferences, workshops, hackathons, and social gatherings, featuring many of the Internet Freedom community's flagship events"

They are now asking for the internet tech community for help in order to identify the device. Below verbatim is the plea for help published on torproject website. The fine article also contains pictures of the device.

"On March 4th, 2015, we found a tracking device inside of the wheel well of a car belonging to an attendee of the Circumvention Tech Festival in Valencia, Spain. This was reported in the local media.

If you have information about this device — please send information to jacob at appelbaum dot net using gpg.

The device was magnetically mounted inside of the left wheel well of the car. The battery is attached by cable to the tracking device. The battery was magnetically mounted to the frame of the car. The tracking device was similarly magnetically mounted. The device itself has an external magnetically mounted GPS antenna. It has a very simple free hanging GSM antenna. The device included a Movistar SIM card for GSM network access. The entire device was wrapped in black tape.""

Link to Original Source

Comment: Not that simple (Score 1) 211

by fyngyrz (#49201149) Attached to: Laser Takes Out Truck Engine From a Mile Away

You are making a LOT of assumptions. All of these matter: Ability of the mirror to dissipate energy prior to ablation or meaningful distortion. Collimation of the beam. Reflectivity of the mirror at the laser frequency. Ability of the laser to stay on target, and for how long. Distance from the laser. Atmospheric clarity and particulate density. Atmospheric turbulence. Disruption from atmospheric heating.

It's just not as simple as you paint it.

Comment: Re:how much it took (Score 1) 211

by fyngyrz (#49201115) Attached to: Laser Takes Out Truck Engine From a Mile Away

CIWS targeting is, as the acronym hints, "close in." You should think of the distance between the shooter (of anything) and the target as a lever. A tiny pivot at one end of the lever (the weapon's aim) translates to a "much" larger motion at the end of the lever (the point of impact.) Tolerances that will work at 100 yards aren't anywhere near close enough to work at many miles, or hundreds of miles in the case of missiles not aimed particularly at you (so you can be sure they will get close enough to hit.)

Comment: Suitable defensive grid? (Score 1) 211

by fyngyrz (#49201075) Attached to: Laser Takes Out Truck Engine From a Mile Away

There are other issues. That truck was relatively close, between 1 and 2 miles ("more than a mile away"). To hit an ICBM at apogee, even it it goes right over you, you are going to have to spend a lot of energy on atmospheric heating, and you'll lose even more to atmospheric distortion. We're talking 300 to 700 times the distance, depending on exactly what "more than a mile away" actually means. But it is certain that 30 kw at the source will not equate to 30 kw at the target at those distances. So now the problem becomes more than "hit the target", it is also "stay on target for X time", and that assumes that enough energy can be delivered to overcome the missile skin's ability to dissipate it. Because if you can't do all those things, you can't hurt the missile.

Also, the odds of it going right over you kind of suck.

+ - Is Cyber Arms Control a Lost Cause? ->

Submitted by Nicola Hahn
Nicola Hahn (1482985) writes "In light of a classified document regarding state-sponsored cyber ops the editorial board at the New York Times has suggested that the most constructive approach to reducing the spread of cyber threats would be to “accelerate international efforts to negotiate limits on the cyberarms race, akin to the arms-control treaties of the Cold War.”

While such advice is by all means well-intentioned there are significant differences between nuclear weapons and malware that would make treaty verification problematic. Not to mention that the history of the Cold War itself illustrates that certain countries viewed arms control treaties as an opportunity to secretly race ahead with their own covert weapons programs. Rather than take on the Sisyphean task of trying to limit the development of offensive cyber technology, why not shift national priorities towards creating robust, fault-tolerant, systems that render offensive tools ineffective?"

Link to Original Source

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