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Submission + - New Version of Kelihos Botnet Appears (threatpost.com)

Trailrunner7 writes: Researchers are tracking a new version of the Kelihos botnet, one that comes complete with better resistance to sinkholing techniques and a feature that enables it to remain dormant on infected machines for long periods to help avoid detection. The botnet also is using an advanced fast-flux capability to hide the domains it uses for command-and-control and malware distribution.

This is the third time the Kelihos botnet has reared its head. The first two instances, security researchers were able to sinkhole the domains that Kelihos was using, effectively crippling the attackers' ability to communicate with infected machines. The first Kelihos botnet takedown in 2011 was a joint effort between Kaspersky Lab and Microsoft and the teams were able to reverse-engineer the communications protocol that the bots use. Kelihos, also known as Hlux, is a peer-to-peer botnet, meaning that there is no central server or servers that spit out new commands for the bots.


Submission + - Inside the Project Holodeck VR Game World, First Impressions (roadtovr.com)

Hesh writes: "The space-pirates themed Project Holodeck game (http://www.ProjectHolodeck.com) out of USC is a VR game that is initially targeted for the Oculus Rift and will marry VR with a world so interactive and immersive that it feels like you can almost reach out and touch it. Ben Lang over at RoadToVR recently got a chance to sit down with the team and try it out and came out extremely impressed with how immersive the experience was: '...at one point I needed to set the Razer Hydra controllers down to adjust my helmet and I nearly tried to set them down on a virtual table next to me. There was no table in real life — had I not quickly realized what I was about to do, I would have dropped the controllers straight onto the floor below.'"

Submission + - Vote To Name Two Moons of Pluto (plutorocks.com)

An anonymous reader writes: The SETI Institute has set up a site to name two moons of Pluto, current referred to as P4 and P5. No need to register and you can vote multiple times, but only once per day. If you don't like the choices, you can submit a write-in, although within limits explained on the site. The rather informative site also gives the origins of each candidate name and the current vote tally.

Voting ends at noon EST on Monday, February 25th, 2013.


Submission + - Scientists Use Gene Therapy to Cure Dogs of Type 1 Diabetes (gizmag.com)

Zothecula writes: Researchers from the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB) have claimed a first by successfully using a single session of gene therapy to cure dogs of type 1 diabetes. The work has shown that it is possible to cure the disease in large animals with a minimally-invasive procedure – potentially leading the way to further developments in studies for human treatment of the disease.

Submission + - BlackBerry Z10 now available in U.S. with $50 unlimited plan (bgr.com)

zacharye writes: BlackBerry’s (BBRY) first next-generation smartphone won’t be available from major U.S. carriers until sometime in mid-March, but a smaller carrier called Solavei is making the BlackBerry Z10 available starting immediately. What’s more, BlackBerry’s Z10 is available with unlimited service and nationwide access to Solavei’s partner 4G networks for just $50 per month. The catch? The Z10 costs $1,000 online from Solavei’s online retail partner...

Submission + - Ballot-stuffing bot skews online polls, news reports (scmagazine.com.au)

mask.of.sanity writes: An Australian software dev has built a bot to automatically cast tens of thousands of votes through online polls run by the country's biggest news outlets.

It skewed subsequent media reports on the results which continued for months despite the engineer's efforts to warn reporters of the hoax.

He coupled his simple bash script with Tor that was made to change exit relays every 10 minutes, defeating measures to prevent repeat voting from one IP address.


Submission + - Why USPTO awards so many outrageously stupid patents ? (slashdot.org)

morto writes: "Why USPTO awards so many outrageously stupid patents?

I am always amazed by the ever-growing stupidity of software patents. Why is that so? Is it dumbness, corruption or something else?

Please illuminate me because it is looking pretty crazy from outside (and take into account that I am Brazilian, meaning I should be at this point well desensitized by government agencies stupidity and corruption)."


Submission + - Kazakhstan Wants Russia to Hand Over Their Baikonur Space City

Hugh Pickens writes writes: "RIA Novosti reports that Kazakhstan and Russia are in talks over returning the city of Baikonur to Kazakhstan — the site of the first Soviet rocket launches and Russia's most important space launch center. Baikonur, built in Kazakhstan in the 1950s, is the main launch facility for the current generation of Russian rockets and was leased by Russia from Kazakhstan under an agreement signed in 1994 after the collapse of the Soviet Union. "Today both nations' governments have decided to set up a new intergovernmental commission for the Baikonur complex to be headed up by first or other deputy prime ministers," said Talgat Musabayev, head of Kazakhstan's space agency. At issue is control over Baikonur and the rent Russia pays Kazakhstan to use the facility, a subject of ongoing dispute between the two nations ever since Kazakhstan gained independence from the USSR. Earlier this year, Kazakhstan blocked Russia from launching several rockets from Baikonur in a dispute over a drop zone for debris and Kazakhstan insisted this must be covered by a supplement to the main rental agreement signed in Astana in 2004, extending Russia's use of the space center's facilities until 2050. Russia pays an annual fee of approximately $115 million to use the space center, which currently has the world's busiest launch schedule, as well as $50 million annually for maintenance. Russia and Kazakhstan are working to build a new space launch facility at Baikonur, called Baiterek, to launch Angara carrier rockets capable of delivering 26 metric tons of payload to low-Earth orbits but Russia intends to eventually withdraw from Baikonur and conduct launches from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome, an operating spaceport about 500 miles north of Moscow — and the unfinished Vostochny Cosmodrome in the Russian Far East."

Submission + - Gunmen crash van into Microsoft's Greek headquarters in Athens (msn.com)

lightbox32 writes: As reported in MSNBC, gunmen rammed a van packed with gas canisters into Microsoft's Athens headquarters on Wednesday and then set the vehicle on fire, causing damage but no injuries..
Previous assaults have been mostly blamed on left-wing extremist groups, but police said it was too early to say who was behind Wednesday's attack.


Submission + - Intel Releases Ivy Bridge Programming Docs Under CC License (phoronix.com)

An anonymous reader writes: The Ivy Bridge graphics processor from Intel is now fully documented under the Creative Commons. Intel released four volumes of documents (2400+ pages) covering their latest graphics core as a complete programming guide with register specifications. Included with the graphics documentation is their new execution unit and video engine.

Submission + - NuStar to Launch on Wednesday from Plane (nasa.gov)

TWToxicity writes: "NuSTAR, which stands for Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope ARray, is set to launch from Kwajalein Atoll in the central Pacific Ocean on June 13, no earlier than 8:30 a.m. PDT (11:30 a.m. EDT).

NuSTAR is to be launched from a Pegasus XL rocket carried by an Orbital Science Corp. L-1011 "Stargazer" plane. It will orbit at 550 km above Earth's surface. A week after launch, NuSTAR will deploy its 10 meter boom , which allows the telescope to focus X-rays and capture images that will help scientists survey black holes in other galaxies, study the black hole at the heart of the Milky Way, and study supernovae to discover hoe atomic elements are formed."

The 2000 Beanies

Submission + - Committee lowers Nobel Prize. (thelocal.se)

Snirt writes: "The Nobel Committee has chosen to lower this year's Nobel prize winnings by two million kronor ($283,030) due to turbulence in the current economic climate.

The prize now stands at 8 million kronor, down from the 10 million of 2011. “The reason behind this decision is that the financial markets are really unstable and there are reasons to suspect that this turbulence will continue for a while still,” said Lars Heikensten, head of the Nobel Committee, to the TT news agency. “Long term, we aim to raise the figure, even though we think that the Nobel Prize’s value should lie in the prize itself and not the prize money,” he said. While Heikensten admits that it was a “tough decision” to cut the prize money, he told the news agency that it’s not the first time the prize sum has been altered, adding that it has been lowered and raised several times over the past few years."


Submission + - The Pirate Bay Continues to Avoid ISP Blockade (batblue.com)

JohnBert writes: "British, Dutch, Finnish and Belgian judges and governments have been forcing ISPs to block The Pirate Bay and drop thepiratebay.org from their DNS servers. To avoid the blockade, The Pirate Bay has now enabled IPv6 and obtained a /32 block. This enables The Pirate Bay to simply change their IP address, which they can do another 18 quintillion times to avoid being blocked. It can be assumed that, at some point, ISPs and governments will give up trying to block The Pirate Bay."

Submission + - India Bolsters Their Cyber Security To Prevent Stuxnet-Like Attacks (batblue.com) 1

JohnBert writes: "India is beefing up their cyber security capabilities to protect their national infrastructure from a Stuxnet-like attack. Prime minister, Manmohan Singh, is finalizing plans to give the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) and National Technical Research Organization (NTRO) the authorization to commit undisclosed offensive operations. Although not deliberate and no revealed serious damage was caused, India has already been hit by Stuxnet. This added initiative will increase security for the country that has been criticized in the past for having slow responses to DoS and web defacement attacks."
The Military

Submission + - DARPA is pushing big data on the military (patexia.com)

sarfralogy writes: "Armed with a 1.8 gigapixel camera rig, A U.S. Army Hummingbird copters over Afghanistan looking for suspicious insurgent activity. On board, a robo cameraman called ARGUS pulls focus on 36 square miles and shoots six petabytes of video – all in a day’s work. Somewhere in that ocean of media, a military spy mission is accomplished. Somewhere on the ground, a bleary-eyed analyst stares at six petabytes of what the military calls Death TV. It’s not a wrap. And there will be a mountain more tomorrow, generated by other drones, blimps, spy planes and covert cameras patrolling the Afghan countryside, looking for the perfect shot. Air Force, Army – and even Homeland Security – now boast Hollywood technology, but can’t scale qualified personnel fast enough to view, process and communicate the montage of surveillance footage piling up in the name of freedom.
The U.S. Military has a big data problem. And DARPA, the neo-Frankenstein brains behind national security, has been trying to fix it through the Mind’s Eye, a brainy collective tasked to develop machine-based visual intelligence. And, as part of President Obama’s “Big Data Initiative,” DARPA has a new project called XDATA in March, a DoD related program focused on developing computational techniques and software tools for processing and analyzing large volumes of mission-oriented data collected by federal agencies. If they can build a flying humvee, maybe DARPA has enough imagination to transform big data into a strategic differentiator."

My mother is a fish. - William Faulkner