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Ask Slashdot: Who's Going To Win the Malware Arms Race? 155

An anonymous reader writes: We've been in a malware arms race since the 1990s. Malicious hackers keep building new viruses, worms, and trojan horses, while security vendors keep building better detection and removal algorithms to stop them. Botnets are becoming more powerful, and phishing techniques are always improving — but so are the mitigation strategies. There's been some back and forth, but it seems like the arms race has been pretty balanced, so far. My question: will the balance continue, or is one side likely to take the upper hand over the next decade or two? Which side is going to win? Do you imagine an internet, 20 years from now, where we don't have to worry about what links we click or what attachments we open? Or is it the other way around, with threats so hard to block and DDoS attacks so rampant that the internet of the future is not as useful as it is now?

How the World's Agricultural Boom Has Changed CO2 Cycles 186

An anonymous reader writes Every year levels of carbon dioxide drop in the summer as plants "inhale," and climb again as they exhale after the growing season in the Northern Hemisphere. However, the last 50 years has seen the size of this swing has increase by as much as 50%, for reasons that aren't fully understood. A team of researchers may have the answer. They have shown that agricultural production, corn in particular, may generate up to 25% of the increase in this seasonal carbon cycle. "This study shows the power of modeling and data mining in addressing potential sources contributing to seasonal changes in carbon dioxide" program director for the National Science Foundation's Macro Systems Biology Program, who supported the research, Liz Blood says. "It points to the role of basic research in finding answers to complex problems."

77 Million Accounts Stolen From Playstation Network 645

Runaway1956 was one of many users to continue to update us about the intrusion we've been following this week. "Sony is warning its millions of PlayStation Network users to watch out for identity-theft scams after hackers breached its security and plundered the user names, passwords, addresses, birth dates, and other information used to register accounts. Sony's stunning admission came six days after the PlayStation Network was taken down following what the company described as an 'external intrusion'. The stolen information may also include payment-card data, purchase history, billing addresses, and security answers used to change passwords, Sony said on Tuesday. The company plans to keep the hacked system offline for the time being, and to restore services gradually. The advisory also applies to users of Sony's related Qriocity network."

Submission + - Debian 6.0 Released (

Tubal-Cain writes: The Debian Project has announced the release of version 6.0 (codenamed "Squeeze") of their popular operating system. This version, the first first since they adopted a release schedule a year and a half ago, features KDE 4.4.5, Gnome 2.30, 2.7, and the Linux 2.6.32 kernel. They are also introducing a port to a FreeBSD kernel on x86 and x86_64 platforms. Accompanying this new version is an updated layout for their websites, bringing a bit of consitency between their home page, wiki, package search, etc.

Submission + - NFL Teams Considering iPads To Replace Playbooks (

bonch writes: Pete Walsh, technology head for the Dallas Cowboys, says he and other teams are considering iPads and other tablets as a replacement for paper playbooks, saving about 5,000 pages of printouts per game. Not only is it a huge savings in paper, but a lost iPad might also be remotely wiped to prevent a team's plays falling into the wrong hands. One concern is security and whether or not a tablet could be wirelessly hacked.

Submission + - I guess Anonymous isn't Anonymous anymore? (

An anonymous reader writes: Apparently some small security firm has been able to determine the real identity's of several key Anonymous hackers which is resulting in a ton of arrests.

Submission + - Microsoft, Apple, EMC, Oracle Form Patent Bloc (

An anonymous reader writes: When Novell finally sold itself, part of the deal included the sale of 882 patents to a consortium backed by Microsoft MSFT). Thanks to a tip from Florian Mueller, it turns out that Microsoft’s partners are Apple, Oracle, and EMC, which raise questions about where these companies are heading and what it means for the rest of the industry.

Submission + - Lawmakers Warn Against Rushed Anti-WikiLeaks Laws (

Trailrunner7 writes: The WikiLeaks disclosures this fall that have precipitated so much controversy and agita among national security officials and politicians should not be used as a springboard for new, more restrictive laws, lawmakers, attorneys and policy analysts said in a House hearing Thursday. In fact, the reaction from Congress and the Obama administration should be just the opposite, according to witnesses who testified during a hearing held by the House Judiciary Committee on the legal and national-security ramifications of the WikiLeaks incident.

"When everyone is calling for someone's head, it's a pretty good sign that we might want to slow down," said John Conyers (D-Mich.), chairman of the Judiciary Committee.

The reflexive secrecy that emerged after 9/11 has helped contribute to an atmosphere in which far too much government data is classified or otherwise kept secret without any real justification, the witnesses said. Perhaps the strongest comments came from consumer advocate Ralph Nader and Rep. William Delahunt, both of whom referred to the secrecy as damaging to the country's ideals.

"There's an overwhelming overclassification of documents. Who does the classification? Is it the Secretary of State or the attorney general? I found out that it's some low level bureaucrat and the process itself is arcane and there is no accountability in the classification processes in the exec branch and that's very dangerous," said committee member Delahunt (D-Mass.), who is leaving at the end of his current term. "Secrecy is the trademark of totalitarianism and transparency and openness is what democracy is all about. WikiLeaks provides an opportunity for this committee. There is far too much secrecy and classification in the executive branch and I think it puts American democracy at risk."

Submission + - Hackers dual-boot Chrome OS with Ubuntu Linux (

jbrodkin writes: Google's Chrome OS makes Web surfing an incredibly pleasant and secure experience, but most of the knocks against it relate to what it can't do — namely, nearly everything traditional desktop operating systems like Windows, Mac and Linux can. The easiest solution might be dual-booting, allowing users to choose either Chrome OS or a Linux distro at startup. Google's Chromium project site is now hosting instructions for booting Ubuntu Linux alongside Chrome OS. The process is cumbersome but indicates that dual-booting Chrome OS should be possible — and hopefully a bit simpler — once Google releases commercially available netbooks in mid-2011.

Submission + - Opera 11 release keeps browser relevant, innovativ (

Roberto123 writes: Opera Software today introduced Opera 11, the latest upgrade of its "little browser that could." While it doesn't have the market share of Internet Explorer or Mozilla Firefox, Opera has 150 million users worldwide. The CTO of Opera, though, gives Microsoft credit for finally adopting industry standards like HTML, CSS and Javascript in IE 8 and IE 9.

Submission + - UK Twitter Users Declare "I'm Spartacus" (

An anonymous reader writes: Tweeters have joined forces to support Paul Chambers, the man convicted and fined for a Twitter message threatening to blow up an airport. A so-called "I'm Spartacus" campaign encouraging users to "re-tweet" his words has also become a huge hit. The hashtag #IAmSpartacus is currently the number one trending topic on Twitter in the UK, with #twitterjoketrial in second place. Chambers is believed to be the first person convicted in the UK for posting an offensive tweet. After the hearing, actor and Twitter fan Stephen Fry tweeted that he would pay Chambers' fine. Comedian Dara O'Briain tweeted that the verdict was "ludicrous" while Peep Show actor David Mitchell said it was "punishment for flippancy".

To downgrade the human mind is bad theology. - C. K. Chesterton