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Hardware Hacking

+ - Russian scambot passes Turing Test?

Submitted by UbuntuDupe
UbuntuDupe (970646) writes "CNet reports that a chatterbot has been extracting personal information by pretending to flirt in Russian chatrooms — information that could be used for identity theft. Apparently, its flirting is realistic enough to make people want to share that information, as if it were a real human flirter. From the article:

A program that can mimic online flirtation and then extract personal information from its unsuspecting conversation partners is making the rounds in Russian chat forums, according to security software firm PC Tools.

The artificial intelligence of CyberLover's automated chats is good enough that victims have a tough time distinguishing the "bot" from a real potential suitor, PC Tools said. The software can work quickly too, establishing up to 10 relationships in 30 minutes, PC Tools said. It compiles a report on every person it meets complete with name, contact information, and photos.

"As a tool that can be used by hackers to conduct identity fraud, CyberLover demonstrates an unprecedented level of social engineering," PC Tools senior malware analyst Sergei Shevchenko said in a statement.
Via Marginal Revolution."
Businesses

+ - Big Dairy Can't Compete, Bans Innovator

Submitted by
UbuntuDupe
UbuntuDupe writes "It blew my mind that they could be so direct about it, but, as reported by the Washington Post, Congress has shut down a farmer who competitively bottled his own milk, outside of the regulated system of farm subsidies. From the story:

In the summer of 2003, shoppers in Southern California began getting a break on the price of milk.

A maverick dairyman named Hein Hettinga started bottling his own milk and selling it for as much as 20 cents a gallon less than the competition, ... .

That was when a coalition of giant milk companies and dairies, along with their congressional allies, decided to crush Hettinga's initiative. For three years, the milk lobby spent millions of dollars on lobbying and campaign contributions and made deals with lawmakers, including incoming Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.).

Last March, Congress passed a law reshaping the Western milk market and essentially ending Hettinga's experiment — all without a single congressional hearing.

Considering that the only reason many voters allow agricultural subsidies is to protect the small family farmer, how does Congress get away with this? It reminds me of Congressman Barney Frank's (D-Ma.) speech a while back."

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