Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


Forgot your password?
Slashdot Deals: Cyber Monday Sale! Courses ranging from coding to project management - all eLearning deals 25% off with coupon code "CYBERMONDAY25". ×

Comment Re:Mind Game (Score 1) 38

With AIs, this takes it to another level. If one AI knows the program the other is running, they can screw over the other one with impunity. "My 'minimum distance from another car' limit is smaller than yours, get off the track." It could be countered by having an AI that tries to detect when another is trying to screw them, but that is likely to have some hilarious miscalculations. Even then, if you have their AI program you can go just under the limit before counter-screwing routines activate.

In the end, it'll be fun to see how they do information security of their AI program vs social engineering. Mind games indeed.

Comment Re:torrent = thief (Score 1) 52

Not everyone thinks that granting people 1 billion years* of exclusive use of an idea is something that ought to be supported.

* Yes, it's only ~100 years now, but do you really think they'll ever let it expire? Since copyright's lifespan is now longer than human's lifespan, making it longer doesn't really make a difference other than to quash historical production so as to push up the price of new production.

Comment Double Whammy (Score 1) 20

It's not a dupe, it's a double whammy. They can't force ISPs to block piratebay, and they have to pay their legal costs.

Maybe instead of spending all our time complaining about dupes, we could instead use one post to laugh at them for being unable to block TPB and the other one to laugh about their having to pay the legal fees.

Comment Re:On the grounds that they might 'offend' people. (Score 1) 306

How would you feel about an ad supporting a particular murder-for-hire business?

How I feel doesn't matter. That cannot be considered sufficient justification for denying others their rights. You're still free to personally oppose it, speak in opposition, produce your own ads offering a counterpoint -- just like they are. That's the nice thing about the freedom of speech. It protects everyone, not just those with which some authority happens to agree.

So then you'd have no problem with me going around saying, "I'll pay $1000 to anyone who would murder narcc" and wouldn't want me arrested if I did that?

That is, as you are already well aware, a completely different issue. An issue, I might add, that is completely unrelated to the one under discussion.

Nope, I'm not seeing it. If you had been consistent and supported freedom of speech for all speech no matter the content, I would have respected you. Disagreed, but respected you. Just to be clear: I do believe that some speech is harmful and it would be beneficial to suppress, eg murder for hire offers, and as such I can't resent Mr Anonymous Coward his opinion that a similar thing holds true of commercial religious advertizing. That said, I do not trust any authority figure to make the distinction. In particular, people must be free to speak in support of illegal activities because otherwise bad laws can't be opposed.

I also consider media and communications companies to be a worse threat to free speech than government -- government can't stop you from speaking, can merely punish you afterwards, but the media and communications companies can directly censor your speech.

Going back to the first posts, all I have to say is "So ... you don't believe that narcc's life being worth more than $1000 can adequately compete in the marketplace of ideas and thus the only way it can succeed is by forcefully silencing the competition?"

Would your response to my post have been different [if it were an atheist ad being blocked instead]? We can safely assume your response would have been different. I can tell you why, if you're interested.

Is the reason because your post would have been different and therefore a different reply would have been appropriate?

Comment Re:Source Code (Score 1) 48

The ransomware gets its name from the fact that the "DecryptorMax" string is found in multiple places inside its source code.

They distributed the source code with the ransomware?

Or the strings in the source code ended up generating strings in the object code and something like the "strings" tool found them.

Comment Re: Because backups are important (Score 1) 48

We can only assume they are too cheap, lazy or distracted with other things to keep frequent backups.

Or they think they ARE keeping backups, because they ARE - on a different part of the same disk, using automated processes provided and touted by the vendor - but the ransomware disables the tools and deletes the backups. Oops!

There's a difference between "backups" and "adequate, off-machine, backups".

Comment Looks to me like an oversight. (Score 1) 48

Why would you need a random .png from the Internet? Can't they just keep whatever part they need (header?) as part of the binary?

I'd guess:
  - The authors wrote the tool to use enough of the start of an encrypted/clear file pair to generate / sieve the key and deployed that.
  - Some used discovered, after the tool was deployed, that the invariant header of a .png file was long enough that any .png file could function as the "clear" for any encrypted .png (or at least that many unrelated pairs could do that.)

I'd bet that, if the authors had thought there was a nearly-universally-present file type the ransomware would chose to encrypt, with a large enough header to pull off this trick, they'd have included a canned header and the option to use it in the tool.

Real programs don't eat cache.