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Comment: Re:Easily defeated.... (Score 1) 391

by mlts (#49751787) Attached to: Ads Based On Browsing History Are Coming To All Firefox Users

Or use a VM with snapshots or change logs, and when done, roll back all changes, so no matter how much the browser tries to stash, all gets eradicated.

It also works well to deal with compromised browsers, especially if the VM is run in its own NAT segment, so the compromised instance can't gain knowledge of network topology.

Comment: Re:Firefox becomes Netscape (Score 1) 391

by mlts (#49751709) Attached to: Ads Based On Browsing History Are Coming To All Firefox Users

I actually paid for Netscape because it was a good browser at the time.

If the Mozilla Foundation needs cash, maybe a commercial browser may not be a bad idea, especially if it had enterprise level items like being able to be shipped as a .MSI, updated from an internal server like WSUS (not all internal machines have access to the Net in a lot of companies), offered GPO-like functionality to allow for insertion of internal keys, allowed for a recovery mechanism to the security key store, and so on.

This may not mean much to the average consumer, but a supported browser version that can be managed by IT quite well might be a good revenue source, especially with it being platform independent.

Similar with Thunderbird and SeaMonkey. Other than Outlook and, there are not many good MUAs out there these days. Eudora is dead, and the Bat and Lotus Notes are niche products. Having an alternative to Outlook might be a good thing for businesses, especially if enterprise level management/update functionality could be added in.

Comment: Re:bye (Score 1) 391

by mlts (#49751537) Attached to: Ads Based On Browsing History Are Coming To All Firefox Users

If it is sitting empty on Windows 8.1, it is being used for read/write cache by the OS. Same with Linux.

With RAM as relatively inexpensive as it is today, one shouldn't have less than 16-32 GB of RAM on a desktop, especially if one is using virtualization, sandboxing, or other type of container usage to keep their Web browser separate from their sensitive stuff [1].

[1]: In fact, it doesn't hurt to keep different things in separate VMs, and with SSD and a decent amount of RAM, the performance loss is negligable, while one gains a lot in security. Plus, it is easy to move to new hardware... just copy the VM's images to the new machine.

Comment: Re:Android. The "PC" of mobile devices (Score 1) 85

by mlts (#49751209) Attached to: Factory Reset On Millions of Android Devices Doesn't Wipe Storage

I like Android's customizability and the ability to replace things. For example, I toss the launcher and go with Nova's. The keyboard app gets replaced, and I use a custom texting app that supports encryption.

Plus, I have more privacy on Android with XPrivacy. For example, a lot of apps pull your ad info, IMEI, hardware serial number, and anything they can find for behavioral tracking. With XPrivacy, the app will happily get a number... but it will be a random one. I can also ad block on the IP level.

Comment: Re:All using ancient devices (Score 1) 85

by mlts (#49751147) Attached to: Factory Reset On Millions of Android Devices Doesn't Wipe Storage

Newer phones respond to fstrim/blkdiscard, so one can use those tools to fire off TRIM commands, zeroing all data. For example, if one wants to ensure /data isn't available, one could do a blkdiscard of /data's device, or run fstrim on the mounted /data partition to have the SSD zero out all free pages. Similar with /system. Delete all extraneous data, mount it read-write, fstrim it.

Comment: Re:All using ancient devices (Score 1) 85

by mlts (#49751111) Attached to: Factory Reset On Millions of Android Devices Doesn't Wipe Storage

The good news is that there are apps (which require root) which will modify SELinux so that the SD card is usable. Since most SD cards are using FAT32, there isn't any real way to enforce permissions, so for security reasons, the card wound up being locked from most apps completely.

Of course, it would be nice if the SD card could be formatted with ext4, so permissions could be enforced.

Another option, which was part of Linux, but pulled out a long time ago, was the UMSDOS filesystem. What this did was put Linux permissions and ACLs atop of FAT/FAT32. Yes, this was a kludge... but it worked without having any changes to the filesystem (other than the marker files) in place. This might be a way to go, since it would allow the phone to enforce app permissions on a filesystem that normally doesn't support it.

Comment: Re:If that's possible, then it isn't encryption. (Score 3, Interesting) 85

by mlts (#49751049) Attached to: Factory Reset On Millions of Android Devices Doesn't Wipe Storage

The Windows format command does this. If one uses it on a BitLocker encrypted volume, it will go and zero the parts on the volume that hold the BitLocker master key, so even if someone later has a recovery password, the data is still completely gone. Same with secure erase on a number of SSDs.

Since Android is sitting on a SSD, it might be wise to move to a smarter wiping system. One that would wipe the dm-crypt data, core places of the filesystem, and after that, TRIM the entire data partition before formatting and rebuilding it. The TRIM command helps ensure that the data present isn't recoverable at the drive level, and likely will get utterly destroyed when the drive erases the TRIMmed pages.

I read about some newer phones using a chip to store the encryption key for /data, similar to how iOS does it, but when hardware starts getting involved, it becomes harder to deal with a potential backdoor.

Maybe the ideal is a small bit of storage that is used, and if it is erased, the erasure is guarenteed (where there is no way to recover previously stored data.) Then, the master key is stored there. On initial bootup, the phone prompts the user for the PIN, decrypts the key stored on that small bit of storage for the master key to /data, and proceeds from there. On an erase, /data gets force unmounted, the small storage is erased, and a blkdiscard is issued for the /data's device. Not 100%, but it will pretty much ensure anything stashed in /data is gone.

Then there is the external SD card. Unlike /data, there isn't a real standard to encrypt that storage partition. Usually it winds up being encrypted on a file by file basis with some EncFS offshot. The key for this is stored in /data, so if the phone is wiped, there isn't any way to retrieve the SD card's data. What might be an idea would be to offer the file based mechanism, but also offer the ability to format the SD card and encrypt the entire card on a device level, not just on a file by file basis.

Of course, something like phonebookfs could be used so that someone looking at the encrypted file stash on the SD card can't tell between real data and randomly generated chaff, but that may not be something for mainstream phones.


ESA Satellite Shows Sudden Ice Loss In Southern Antarctic Peninsula 208

Posted by Soulskill
from the uber-for-ice-cubes dept.
ddelmonte tips news that the ESA's CryoSat spacecraft has detected a sharp increase in the rate at which ice is being lost in a previously stable section of Antarctica. In 2009, glaciers at the Southern Antarctic Peninsula began rapidly shedding ice into the ocean, at a rate of roughly 60 cubic kilometers per year (abstract). From the ESA's press release: This makes the region one of the largest contributors to sea-level rise in Antarctica, having added about 300 cubic km of water into the ocean in the past six years. Some glaciers along the coastal expanse are currently lowering by as much as four m each year. Prior to 2009, the 750 km-long Southern Antarctic Peninsula showed no signs of change. ... The ice loss in the region is so large that it has even caused small changes in Earth’s gravity field, detected by NASA’s GRACE mission. Climate models show that the sudden change cannot be explained by changes in snowfall or air temperature. Instead, the team attributes the rapid ice loss to warming oceans.

Comment: Re:Camer was owned by the school (Score 5, Informative) 364

The school owned the camera he used. Therefore all work from that camera belongs to the school.

No. It does not work like that. If you borrow my guitar and write a hit song, it's your song, the copyright is yours. If you borrow my camera and take a Pulitzer-winning photo, it's your photo, the copyright is yours. Copyright goes to the creator of a work, not to the owner of any tools incidental to the creation.

One good suit is worth a thousand resumes.