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Privacy

Hacking Team Manuals: Sobering Reminder That Privacy is Elusive

Posted by timothy
from the legitimacy-generally-is-too dept.
Advocatus Diaboli writes with a selection from The Intercept describing instructions for commercial spyware sold by Italian security firm Hacking Team. The manuals describe Hacking Team's software for government technicians and analysts, showing how it can activate cameras, exfiltrate emails, record Skype calls, log typing, and collect passwords on targeted devices. They also catalog a range of pre-bottled techniques for infecting those devices using wifi networks, USB sticks, streaming video, and email attachments to deliver viral installers. With a few clicks of a mouse, even a lightly trained technician can build a software agent that can infect and monitor a device, then upload captured data at unobtrusive times using a stealthy network of proxy servers, all without leaving a trace. That, at least, is what Hacking Team's manuals claim as the company tries to distinguish its offerings in the global marketplace for government hacking software. (Here are the manuals themselves.)

+ - A review of CBS All Access online video streaming

Submitted by lpress
lpress (707742) writes "I tested CBS All Access video streaming. It has technical problems, which will be resolved, but I will still pass because they show commercials in addition to a $5.99 per month fee. Eventually, we will all cut the cord and have a choice of viewing modes — on-demand versus scheduled and with and without commercials — but don't expect your monthly bill to drop as long as our ISPs are monopolies or oligopolies."

Techdirt: FTC Fines Online Dating Site For Using 'Fake, Computer-Generated Profiles' To Lu->

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In the past, we've written about lawsuits involving dating site Match.com and "dating site for married people" Ashley Madison over concerns about fake profiles being set up on the site to lure in paying users. Now it appears the FTC is stepping in on such things, and it's reached a settlement (pdf) with one company, JDI Dating, which runs a bunch of dating sites, for tricking lots of people into buying premium plans based on fake profiles sending messages to "free" users.

According to a complaint filed by the FTC, JDI Dating and William Mark Thomas operate a worldwide dating service via 18 websites, including cupidswand.com, flirtcrowd.com and findmelove.com. The defendants offered a free plan that allowed users to set up a profile with personal information and photos. As soon as a new user set up a free profile, he or she began to receive messages that appeared to be from other members living nearby, expressing romantic interest or a desire to meet. However, users were unable to respond to these messages without upgrading to a paid membership. Membership plans cost from $10 to $30 per month, with subscriptions generally ranging from one to 12 months.

The messages were almost always from fake, computer-generated profiles – “Virtual Cupids” – created by the defendants, with photos and information designed to closely mimic the profiles of real people. A small “v” encircled by a “C” on the profile page was the only indication that the profiles were fake. Users were not likely to see – much less understand – this icon. The fake profiles and messages caused many users to upgrade to paid subscriptions.
It's actually somewhat surprising that they even indicated that the profiles were fake with that tiny VC logo. I would have expected that a company doing this sort of thing wouldn't have even bothered. Given that this sort of thing seems to happen quite a bit on dating sites, I wonder if lots of other dating sites are now rushing to scrub fake profiles...

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Businesses

Cutting the Cord? Time Warner Loses 184,000 TV Subscribers In One Quarter 93

Posted by timothy
from the jacked-up-my-bill-lately-too dept.
Mr D from 63 (3395377) writes Time Warner Cable's results have been buoyed recently by higher subscriber numbers for broadband Internet service. In the latest period, however, Time Warner Cable lost 184,000 overall residential customer relationships [Note: non-paywalled coverage at Bloomberg and Reuters]. The addition of 92,000 residential high-speed data customers was offset by 184,000 fewer residential video customers in the quarter. Triple play customers fell by 24,000, while residential voice additions were 14,000.

Google News Sci Tech: NASA's Space Probe's Grave Captured on the Moon - American Live Wire->

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American Live Wire

NASA's Space Probe's Grave Captured on the Moon
American Live Wire
A NASA spacecraft found the place at which one of the earlier space probes of NASA slammed into the surface of Earth's satellite around 6 months earlier. 14880779105_ef4503efcf_z. A new lunar crater was captured by the Agency's LRO (Lunar...
Crater marks the spot! Nasa finally finds where its Ladee probe crashed on the ... Daily Mail
NASA finds its spacecraft's crash site on the moonDaily Digest
NASA Spacecraft's Grave on the Moon Found (Photo)Space.com
Capital Wired-Astronomy Magazine
all 26 news articles

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Security

Drupal Warns Users of Mass, Automated Attacks On Critical Flaw 33

Posted by timothy
from the big-targets-get-hit-first dept.
Trailrunner7 writes The maintainers of the Drupal content management system are warning users that any site owners who haven't patched a critical vulnerability in Drupal Core disclosed earlier this month should consider their sites to be compromised. The vulnerability, which became public on Oct. 15, is a SQL injection flaw in a Drupal module that's designed specifically to help prevent SQL injection attacks. Shortly after the disclosure of the vulnerability, attackers began exploiting it using automated attacks. One of the factors that makes this vulnerability so problematic is that it allows an attacker to compromise a target site without needing an account and there may be no trace of the attack afterward.

+ - Secret manuals show the spyware sold to despots and cops worldwide->

Submitted by Advocatus Diaboli
Advocatus Diaboli (1627651) writes "The manuals describe Hacking Team’s software for government technicians and analysts, showing how it can activate cameras, exfiltrate emails, record Skype calls, log typing, and collect passwords on targeted devices. They also catalog a range of pre-bottled techniques for infecting those devices using wifi networks, USB sticks, streaming video, and email attachments to deliver viral installers. With a few clicks of a mouse, even a lightly trained technician can build a software agent that can infect and monitor a device, then upload captured data at unobtrusive times using a stealthy network of proxy servers, all without leaving a trace. That, at least, is what Hacking Team’s manuals claim as the company tries to distinguish its offerings in the global marketplace for government hacking software."
Link to Original Source

+ - Iron Man costume made on the shoulders of giants->

Submitted by Jason Hibbets
Jason Hibbets (2851661) writes "How much do you like Iron Man? Enough to make your own Iron Man costume? Meet Jeremy Hansen, a software engineer and web developer at Red Hat. Costume making, or cosplay (short for costume play), is his hobby. And he made his own Iron Man costume. But he couldn't have done it without a great community of designers and people sharing techniques and source files. Get ready for Halloween in this interview with Jeremy."
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Android

Lenovo Completes Motorola Deal 37

Posted by timothy
from the capital-is-mobile dept.
SmartAboutThings writes If somehow you missed the reports of Lenovo buying Motorola – which was also bought by Google for $12.5 billion back in 2011 – then you should know that the deal is now complete. Lenovo has announced today that Motorola is now a Lenovo company — which makes Lenovo not only the number one PC maker in the world but also the third-largest smartphone maker.
Australia

Australian Gov't Tries To Force Telcos To Store User Metadata For 2 Years 32

Posted by timothy
from the authority-problem dept.
AlbanX writes The Australian Government has introduced a bill that would require telecommunications carriers and service providers to retain the non-content data of Australian citizens for two years so it can be accessed — without a warrant- by local law enforcement agencies. Despite tabling the draft legislation into parliament, the bill doesn't actually specify the types of data the Government wants retained. The proposal has received a huge amount of criticism from the telco industry, other members of parliament and privacy groups. (The Sydney Morning Herald has some audio of discussion about the law.)

+ - Drupal Warns Users of Mass, Automated Attacks on Critical Flaw

Submitted by Trailrunner7
Trailrunner7 (1100399) writes "The maintainers of the Drupal content management system are warning users that any site owners who haven’t patched a critical vulnerability in Drupal Core disclosed earlier this month should consider their sites to be compromised.

The vulnerability, which became public on Oct. 15, is a SQL injection flaw in a Drupal module that’s designed specifically to help prevent SQL injection attacks. Shortly after the disclosure of the vulnerability, attackers began exploiting it using automated attacks. One of the factors that makes this vulnerability so problematic is that it allows an attacker to compromise a target site without needing an account and there may be no trace of the attack afterward."
Medicine

Ebola Forecast: Scientists Release Updated Projections and Tracking Maps 99

Posted by timothy
from the hashtag-ebola dept.
An anonymous reader writes Scientists of the Northeastern University, in collaboration with European scientists, developed a modeling approach aimed at assessing the progression of the Ebola epidemic in West Africa and its international spread under the assumption that the outbreak continues to evolve at the current pace. They also considered the impact of travel restrictions, and concluded that such restrictions may delay by only a few weeks the risk that the outbreak extends to new countries. Instead, travel bans could hamper the delivery of medical supplies and the deployment of specialized personnel to manage the epidemic. In the group's page, there's also an updated assessment of the probability of Ebola virus disease case importation in countries across the world, which was also invoked during the Congressional Ebola debate. The group also released a map with real-time tracking of conversations about Ebola on Twitter. Policy makers and first responders are the main target audience of the tool, which is able to show a series of potential warnings and events (mostly unconfirmed) related to Ebola spreading and case importation.

+ - Lenovo Completes Motorola Deal

Submitted by SmartAboutThings
SmartAboutThings (1951032) writes "If somehow you missed the reports of Lenovo buying Motorola – which was also bought by Google for $12.5 billion back in 2011 – then you should know that the deal is now complete. Lenovo has announced today that Motorola is now a Lenovo company which makes Lenovo not only the number one PC maker in the world but also the third largest smartphone maker."

Google News Sci Tech: Why It Took 23 Years to Link Amelia Earhart's Disappearance to This Scrap of ...->

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Wired

Why It Took 23 Years to Link Amelia Earhart's Disappearance to This Scrap of ...
Wired
Even a piece of metal can get a second chance. In 1991, a group of researchers investigating the disappearance of Amelia Earhart found a sheet of aluminum on the island of Nikumaroro in the Western Pacific. Earhart's plane, a Model 10 Electra, mysteriously...
Is this all that remains of Amelia Earhart's plane?Telegraph.co.uk
New clue may point to Amelia Earhart wreckageDetroit Free Press
Debris found on beach may be from Earhart's planeRTE.ie
Washington Post-The Independent-Business Standard
all 175 news articles

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