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Submission + - Dridex Banking Malware Adds a New Trick

itwbennett writes: The Dridex banking malware has proven to be resilient despite law enforcement action last year by the U.S. and U.K. that took down part of its network. And now it's got a new trick. IBM's X-Force researchers have found that the latest version of Dridex uses a technique known as DNS cache poisoning to direct victims asking for a legitimate banking website to a fake site. Dridex's operators have created clones of the websites of 13 U.K. banks, which are used in the attacks.

Submission + - Detailed Seafloor Gravity Map Brings the Earth's Surface Into Sharp Focus (gizmag.com)

Zothecula writes: Not so long ago the ocean floor was as unknown as the far side of the Moon. Now, an international team of scientists is using satellite data to chart the deep ocean by measuring the Earth's gravitational field. The result is a new, highly-detailed map that covers the three-quarters of the Earth's surface that lies underwater. The map is already providing new insights into global geology.

Submission + - U.S. Army Automated Airdrops Experimenting With Image Recognition Instead Of GPS (thestack.com) 1

An anonymous reader writes: The U.S. Army’s Joint Precision Airdrop System (JPADS) is trialling new technology which uses a satellite relay to guide unmanned drops more accurately to their target, by comparing what they see in descent to commercial satellite imagery of the terrain. Three thousand casualties occurred in Afghanistan in 2007 due to troops trying to retrieve dropped consignments which strayed into enemy territory or down the sides of mountains in rough terrain.

Submission + - Hawking Says Scientific Progress is Major Source of New Threats to Humanity

HughPickens.com writes: BBC reports that according to Stephen Hawking most of the threats humans now face come from advances in science and technology, including nuclear war, global warming and genetically-engineered viruses. "Although the chance of a disaster to planet Earth in a given year may be quite low, it adds up over time, and becomes a near certainty in the next thousand or ten thousand years," said Hawking in answer to a question during the BBC Reith Lectures. "By that time we should have spread out into space, and to other stars, so a disaster on Earth would not mean the end of the human race. However, we will not establish self-sustaining colonies in space for at least the next hundred years, so we have to be very careful in this period."

During his lecture Hawking also answered a question on whether his synthesized electronic voice had shaped his personality, perhaps allowing the introvert to become an extrovert. Replying that he had never been called an introvert before, Hawking added: “Just because I spend a lot of time thinking doesn’t mean I don’t like parties and getting into trouble.”

Submission + - Second OPM Hack Revealed: Even Worse Than The First (techdirt.com)

nickweller writes: Oh great. So after we learned late yesterday that the hack of all sorts of data from the federal government's Office of Personnel Management (OPM) was likely much worse than originally believed — including leaking all Social Security numbers unencrypted — and that the so-called cybersecurity "experts" within the government weren't even the ones who discovered the hack, things are looking even worse.

'The forms authorities believed may have been stolen en masse, known as Standard Form 86, require applicants to fill out deeply personal information about mental illnesses, drug and alcohol use, past arrests and bankruptcies. They also require the listing of contacts and relatives, potentially exposing any foreign relatives of U.S. intelligence employees to coercion. Both the applicant's Social Security number and that of his or her cohabitant is required.'

Submission + - Why I Defaulted on My Student Loans (nytimes.com)

schwit1 writes: There are some valid points raised in Lee Siegel's 1100 word rant against college loans (if not so much against college education). There are some bad ones. But two things are clear: the words "personal" and/or "responsibility" were used precisely zero times, and the op-ed writer, who described himself as "the author of five books who is writing a memoir about money", is hardly a glowing advertisement for an education attained (funded with either debt or equity) at one of the Ivy League's "best", Columbia University.

That, or the return on money after spending nearly a decade in university and taking out tens of thousands in loans just to achieve a Master of Philosophy degree.

Submission + - How to prevent an idea from being patented? 6

Simon Brooke writes: I have an idea for a simple medical device which would greatly help in the monitoring of a disease I have, and several other diseases as well. Sooner or later one of the medical device companies is going to come up with this idea, patent it, and make a monopoly profit from it. I would much rather it were in the public domain, so all device manufacturers could use it freely, and it would therefore be available to patients at lower cost. Is there any way I can publish it that puts it in the public record, and prevents patents? Or should I actually apply for a patent and then give it away royalty free?

Submission + - 7 Timeless Lessons Of Programming 'Graybeards'

snydeq writes: The software industry venerates the young — sometimes to its own detriment. There are just some things you can experiences come only after many lost weeks of frustration borne of weird and inexplicable bugs. InfoWorld's Peter Wayner offers up several hard-earned lessons of seasoned programmers that are often overlooked when chasing after the latest, trendiest architectures, frameworks, and stacks. 'In the spirit of sharing or to simply wag a wise finger at the young folks once again, here are several lessons that can't be learned by jumping on the latest hype train for a few weeks. They are known only to geezers who need two hexadecimal digits to write their age.' What are yours?

Submission + - DEA Planned to Monitor Cars Parked at Gun Shows Using License Plate Readers

HughPickens.com writes: According to a newly disclosed DEA email obtained by the ACLU through the Freedom of Information Act, the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives collaborated on plans to monitor gun show attendees using automatic license plate readers. Responding to inquiries about the document, the DEA said that the monitoring of gun shows was merely a proposal and was never implemented. “The proposal in the email was only a suggestion. It was never authorized by DEA, and the idea under discussion in the email was never launched,’’ says DEA administrator Michele Leonhart.

According to the Wall Street Journal the proposal shows the challenges and risks facing the U.S. as it looks to new, potentially intrusive surveillance technology to help stop criminals. Many of the government’s recent efforts have scooped up data from innocent Americans, as well as those suspected of crimes, creating records that lawmakers and others say raise privacy concerns. "Automatic license plate readers must not be used to collect information on lawful activity — whether it be peacefully assembling for lawful purposes, or driving on the nation's highways," says the ACLU. "Without strong regulations and greater transparency, this new technology will only increase the threat of illegitimate government surveillance." National Rifle Association spokesman Andrew Arulanandam says the NRA is “looking into this to see if gun owners were improperly targeted, and has no further comment until we have all the facts.”

Submission + - Man Saves Wife's Sight by 3D Printing Her Tumor (makezine.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Michael Balzer, a former software engineer and Air Force technical instructor, found himself unsatisfied with a doctor's diagnosis of a small tumor behind his wife's left eye. Balzer had recently become proficient at creating 3D models, so he asked the doctor for the raw medical imaging data and took a look himself. In addition to correcting a later misdiagnosis, Balzer 3D printed models of his wife's cranium and helped neurosurgeons plan a procedure to remove the tumor, instead of waiting to see how it developed, like previous doctors had recommended. During the procedure, surgeons found the tumor was beginning to entangle her optic nerve, and even a six-month wait would have had dire consequences for her eyesight.

Medical researchers like Dr. Michael Patton believe this sort of prototyping will become "the new normal" in a very short time. "What you can now do through 3D printing is like what you’re able to do in the software world: Rapid iteration, fail fast, get something to market quickly. You can print the prototypes, and then you can print out model organs on which to test the products. You can potentially obviate the need for some animal studies, and you can do this proof of concept before extensive patient trials are conducted.

Submission + - OpenBSD's kernel gets W^X treatment on amd64 (marc.info) 2

brynet writes: Theo de Raadt wrote:

Over the last two months Mike Larkin (mlarkin@) modified the amd64 kernel to follow the W^X principles. It started as a humble exercise to fix the .rodata segment, and kind of went crazy. As a result, no part of the kernel address space is writeable and executable simultaneously. At least that is the idea, modulo mistakes. Final attention to detail (which some of you experienced in buggy drafts in snapshots) was to make the MP and ACPI trampolines follow W^X, furthermore they are unmapped when not required. Final picture is many architectures were improved, but amd64 and sparc64 look the best due to MMU features available to service the W^X model. The entire safety model is also improved by a limited form of kernel ASLR (the code segment does not move around yet, but data and page table ASLR is fairly good.


Submission + - Suggested Programming Books for Young Kids

sydsavage writes: I've been tasked with recommending some good books for the child of a friend who is interested in learning to program. He's just shy of 13 years old, and is an avid Minecrafter. Last year I built a server for him, and he has shown real aptitude managing and customizing various plugins, managing permissions, and creating redstone circuits and command blocks. So what would you recommend for a young person to begin learning to program? And what languages would you recommend? Java is an obvious choice, due to his interest in Minecraft, but I'd like to hear reasoning for other languages with which to get started.

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