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+ - Cisco Security Appliances Found to Have Default SSH Keys

Trailrunner7 writes: Many Cisco security appliances contain default, authorized SSH keys that can allow an attacker to connect to an appliance and take almost any action he chooses. The company said that all of its Web Security Virtual Appliances, Email Security Virtual Appliances, and Content Security Management Virtual Appliances are affected by the vulnerability.

This bug is about as serious as they come for enterprises. An attacker who is able to discover the default SSH key would have virtually free reign on vulnerable boxes, which, given Cisco’s market share and presence in the enterprise worldwide, is likely a high number. The default key apparently was inserted into the software for support reasons.

“The vulnerability is due to the presence of a default authorized SSH key that is shared across all the installations of WSAv, ESAv, and SMAv. An attacker could exploit this vulnerability by obtaining the SSH private key and using it to connect to any WSAv, ESAv, or SMAv. An exploit could allow the attacker to access the system with the privileges of the root user," Cisco said.

+ - DARPA is already working on designer organisms to terraform Mars->

MarkWhittington writes: Space visionaries dream of a time when human beings will not only settle Mars, but will terraform the Red Planet into something more Earth-like, with a breathable atmosphere, running water, and a functioning biosphere. Evidence exists that Mars was more or less Earth-like billions of years ago before the atmosphere leached away into space and the water became frozen under the ground and at the poles. Terraforming Mars is decades away from the beginning and probably centuries away from the end. But DARPA, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, is already genetically engineering organisms that will help turn the Red Planet blue, according to a story in Motherboard.
Link to Original Source

+ - Final step in sugar-to-morphine conversion deciphered->

sciencehabit writes: The last piece of the poppy puzzle is now in hand: Plant geneticists have isolated the gene in the plant that carries out the last unknown step in converting glucose and other simple compounds into codeine, morphine, and a wide variety of other medicines. The discovery sets the stage for splicing the full suite of genes needed to produce these drugs into yeast, which could then produce safer and cheaper versions.
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Amen brother! (Score 1) 424 424

...now one seldom goes to the second page.

Speak for yourself. I have Google set to deliver not 10, but 100 results per page; yet I regularly get 5, 6, or more pages into the results looking for what I want - especially with all the irrelevant crap that Google insists on throwing up in the vain hope that it will be 'helpful'.

Comment: Re:Amen brother! (Score 1) 424 424

How is it useful to give me thousands of results that are completely irrelevant to what I am searching for? Only give me results that contain EXACTLY the words I typed. And I shouldn't have to use quotations marks or other silly nonsense.

Amen brother!!

It would be interesting to see how much their energy usage would go down if they defaulted to basic pattern matches and only applied their 'crystal ball and tea leaves' algorithms on demand. I bet they'd chew through a lot fewer CPU cycles. But then, since Google threw 'don't be evil' under the bus they haven't exactly been all about choice and customization.

Comment: Re:Verbatim FTW (Score 1) 424 424

but you had to be something of a lexicographer (i.e. you effectively "think like a search engine" and do your own categorizations, rather than relying on the search engine) to get better results out of it than the average person, who is a relatively poor classifier, gets out of Google doing their classifying for them.

I don't mind that Google panders to the lowest common denominator; I just really REALLY wish they'd introduce an 'advanced' mode for people who know how to do more sophisticated searches. Especially, I want them to stop trying to give me more 'information' at any cost when I'm trying to reduce the number of hits to just the relevant ones, especially where having zero legitimate hits is a really important piece of information. And they really need to just totally fuck off with the full-of-fail, utterly inane, ESL versions of 'synonyms' that they keep contaminating their search results with. I get really tired of using allintext and double quotes, and I've noticed that the effectiveness of both of these is starting to decrease anyway.

Yeah, I might get better results if I signed in, but I'd rather walk around with stones in my shoes than do that. And I suspect I'd have to enable JS to make that work anyway; for me Google is even worse with JS enabled.

Comment: Re:Drone regulation? (Score 1) 164 164

The 'share' buttons are indeed ugly and annoying - enough so that I immediately went looking for comments like this. But I could live with the stupid, useless buttons if the number of comments was beside them instead of all the way on the other side of my screen where it totally fucks up the flow. The dipshits who are trying to "improve" Slashdot really have no clue about how people use the site.

Comment: Re:Yet another on the pile. (Score 1) 116 116

While I do not condone the activities of Paypal here, changing bank accounts is pretty trivial these days to short-circuit this kind of automated bullshit.

I long ago gave up on PayPal because I consider them to be hopelessly evil and corrupt. I simply refuse to use PayPal, (and advise everyone who will listen to also not use them); not because I can't successfully evade their attempts at organized theft, but because I choose not to support what amounts to criminal behaviour.

If everyone who knows how bad PayPal is simply stopped using their services, we might not be having this discussion now.

Comment: Re:Video blocker? (Score 1) 60 60

The problem with NoScript is that, once I've enabled video on a tab, it stays enabled; when I reload the page, the video plays automagically. I don't want video permissions to survive a page reload. Flashblock does exactly what I want, and I haven't found anything else works the same way.

Comment: Video blocker? (Score 1) 60 60

Will I be able to get an HTML5 video blocker to do what the Flashblock plugin currently does? I'd hate to go back to the days when multiple YouTube browser tabs all started playing as soon as the pages loaded. My DVD player doesn't start playing a disc when I turn the power on - why should a web page start playing the video as soon as it loads?

Comment: Re:Stupid reasoning. (Score 4, Insightful) 1094 1094

Lets look at this for a second.... Who are a businesses customers? Hint: It's the people who get paid a wage. These people get more money, more businesses get more customers. More customers mean more sales. More sales means more profits.

The part you're missing there is that the money you give to the employee needs to come from somewhere, and it usually comes from people who would have done something more useful with it than the employee spending it on consumption.

"More useful" by whose definition? Money is llike water - it can only generate power if it's moving. That 'useful stuff' you speak of often looks like putting the money behind a dam, where it does nothing to stimulate the economy. Consumption, on the other hand, drives the economy.

Not that I'm in favour of this state of affairs - the entire economy is a pyramid scheme/shell game, and the sooner everybody realizes that, the sooner we can put in place something sensible that minimizes the wealth gap and drastically reduces our senseless raping of Earth.

Comment: What I don't understand (Score 1) 393 393

Why couldn't the trains simply be equipped with GPS connected to the on-board computers that control the throttle and brakes? Seems like a pretty simple programming exercise to say "hey, our current coordinates indicate the need for reduced speed", then adjust throttle and/or brakes as required. I understand the need for integration into the greater system to prevent accidents from trains following too closely, etc, but even using GPS as a failsafe mechanism could have prevented this derailment.

I was asking similar questions after the Lac Megantic disaster. Having a train a) apply its own brakes if the train is moving when it shouldn't be, and b) send out a distress call if it can't stop itself, isn't rocket science; and it isn't even expensive. Why is the whole railroad industry on this continent so far behind the technology curve?

Philosophy: A route of many roads leading from nowhere to nothing. -- Ambrose Bierce