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Comment Commodity Hardware (Score 1) 199

As I recall, prior to SCO, every Unix system ran on some kind of proprietary (aka not cheap) hardware. SCO became popular around the time that relatively inexpensive servers started being built with 80286 or 80386 processors. The ability to run Unix on commodity hardware was a great combination. (It would be a while before Linux became a widely accepted alternative).

Comment Re:This has been going on for decades (Score 1) 74

By printing "1000 copies" in 50-point typeface, the self-professed "hacker" wasn't just harmlessly drawing attention to the exposure. He was deliberately using up a significant amount of consumables and causing unnecessary wear on limited-lifespan parts such as the fuser unit. This is not akin to eating a piece of chocolate from a box left lying around. There is nothing "ambiguous" about it. Anyone with an ounce of common sense should understand that the printer exposure is not a "voluntary offering" for "anyone on the internet" to use up the owner's expensive consumables.

Comment Re:This has been going on for decades (Score 1) 74

I used to use Alta-Vista (which shows you how far back this goes) to search for the welcome text of the page -- and found hundreds of exposed printers.

I'd open the webpage and instruct the printer to print 1000 copies of a page that says "you've been hacked!" in 50-point typeface. It was an amusing prank...

Here's a hypothetical scenario for you:

I'm walking through a public parking lot looking at all the cars to see if any are left unlocked. Either by ignorance or oversight you've left your car unlocked. I decide to open your door and take a piss on your seat. Would you consider that an "amusing prank"?

I mean, after all, you deserve it. You should have known better than to leave your vehicle unlocked.

Comment Acceleration / Decelartion (Score 5, Interesting) 100

From the video:

The Arduino is responsible for controlling highly-tuned acceleration / deceleration curves to drive the stepper motors.

This is very similar to the way mechanical hard drives position their read/write heads via magnetic coil. Depending on the distance (number of cylinders) that the heads need to travel across, a proportional amount of current is applied to accelerate the arm with the heads attached. After just a few milliseconds, however, the heads need to start decelerating in order to come to rest precisely over the desired track without overshooting.

With both the Rubik's Cube and the hard drive, a physical object needs to be moved and then come to rest precisely in the blink of an eye. It's quite a neat trick of engineering.

Comment Tip of the iceberg (Score 1) 34


The tool was designed to check that the download URLs pointed to files hosted under the domain name. However, man-in-the-middle attackers would have been able to both modify the XML files in transit and to bypass the tool's domain check by using techniques such as ARP poisoning and DNS spoofing.

If you have someone doing ARP poisoning on your LAN and hijacking your DNS, you have a hell of a lot bigger problem than the issue with Intel's update utility.

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