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Submission + - FBI advice for Cryptolocker victims? Just pay the ransom. (

chicksdaddy writes: The FBI has some simple advice for individuals or companies who have been infected with ransomware like Cryptolocker and CryptoWall: just pay the ransom and be done with it, The Security Ledger reports. (

“The ransomware is that good,” said Joseph Bonavolonta, the Assistant Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s CYBER and Counterintelligence Program in its Boston office, who said the FBI has seen a sharp increase in complaints about ransomware infections in recent years, and that many victims with no other options (such as recent backups of the affected system) must simply pay what the cyber criminals are demanding.

Ransomware programs like Cryptolocker, Cryptowall, Reveton and other malicious programs spread via malicious email attachments or drive by downloads from web sites or online ads. Once installed on a victim's system, they encrypt the contents of a victim’s hard drive, as well as other directories accessible from the infected system. The owner is then asked to pay a ransom – typically hundreds of dollars – for the key to unencrypt the data.

The FBI issued a notice in June (, which identified CryptoWall as the most common form of ransomware affecting individuals and businesses in the US. The Bureau said it had received 992 complaints related to CryptoWall between April 2014 and June 2015 with losses totaling $18 million.

That message advised victims of ransomware to contact their local FBI field office. Bonavolonta echoed that advice in his remarks on Wednesday, but also cautioned that the Bureau may not be able to pry encrypted data from the clutches of the ransomware authors, who use ultra secure encryption algorithms to lock up ransomed data.

“The amount of money made by these criminals is enormous and that’s because the overwhelming majority of institutions just pay the ransom.”

Ironically, that success ends up benefitting downstream victims, Bonavolonta suggested: because so many people pay, the malware authors are less inclined to wring excess profit out of any single victim and keep ransoms relatively low. Beyond that, most ransomware scammers are good to their word, Bonavolonta said. “You do get your access back.”

Submission + - New Hubble Release Puts Another Nail In The Coffin Of Dark Matter's Competitors

StartsWithABang writes: When it comes to the structure of the Universe — forming the galaxies, clusters, and Universe as we see it — the normal matter we know of simply isn’t enough. Given our best-understood laws of physics, including Einstein’s general relativity, what we see of galaxies and the Universe in general simply doesn’t match up to our predictions. The simplest solution, arguably, is to just add a new ingredient: a new form of matter, a dark matter if you will. But a counterargument is that we’ve got the laws of gravity wrong, and that no new matter is necessary. There’s only one way to settle an argument like this: with data, evidence and the full suite of observations at our disposal. The newest Hubble release, along with four other independent lines of evidence, rule out modifications of gravity and leave dark matter as the only option standing.

Submission + - Programmer creates online library with every book that has/could be written (

An anonymous reader writes: The digital Library of Babel contains all possible permutations that can exist in 3,200 characters in the English language. Because of that, it contains all possible conversations you could have, have had, or will have, all possible scenarios of your death, and even this entire article.

The digital “The Library of Babel” is based on the short story by Jorge Borges. The library houses all the possible combinations of the letters of the alphabet, plus some punctuation, in 410 page long novels. The librarians are incredibly excited about the endless possibilities the library presents to them. The tomes essentially contain every one’s death, birth, all written books, and all yet un-written books. The problem with all of this, however, is the enormity of the library.

Article: http://www.relativelyinteresti... and the library itself

Submission + - Searching the Sky for the Wobbles of Gravity (

An anonymous reader writes: While some experiments are attempting to find indirect evidence for gravitational waves that may have existed just after the Big Bang, Advanced LIGO’s primary aim is to directly detect evidence of gravitational waves from astronomical sources — colliding neutron stars or black holes, for example. It is a telescope that collects gravity, not light.

Like the initial LIGO, Advanced LIGO has detectors at two locations: Hanford, Wash., and Livingston, La. The use of two detectors allows scientists to correlate the signal. A real event should produce a soundlike signal that is recognized by both; a cargo train will not be. The upgraded instrument is some 10 times as sensitive as the initial LIGO.

Gabriela González, a physicist at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, has been involved in building, testing and calibrating LIGO since 1993. In 1997 she helped organize the hundreds of scientists involved with the project into the LIGO Scientific Collaboration. Today, the collaboration has more than 900 member scientists. González was elected spokesperson for the collaboration in 2011, effectively making her the organization’s leader. She continues to hold the position today.

Quanta Magazine spoke with González about listening for gravitational waves, the start of Advanced LIGO, and the possibility of seeing gravitational waves for the first time.

Submission + - Marijuana Use, Disorders Doubled Since 2001 ( 1

Mr D from 63 writes: Not sure if medical science qualifies as tech, but this is an interesting study. It basically says that 3 of 10 marijuana users develop what they call 'usage disorders'. That is a bit surprising to me.

Should this impact our path down the legalization for recreational use road?


Submission + - Wikipedia Edits Around the World (

billlava writes: "Wikipedia continues on its inexorable march toward becoming the repository for the world's knowledge — to the tune of four and a half edits a second. Just who is doing all these edits? And where do they live? Erik Zachte compiled data from a day in May 2011 into an interesting set of animations and maps to show update activity as it occurred during the day."


Submission + - The Humble Homebrew Collection (

An anonymous reader writes: The Humble Homebrew Collection is an initiative that aims to convince Sony to provide us with a legitimate and official way to create homebrew applications for the consoles that we own.

We are providing you with a free homebrew game that aims to be polished and look professionally made which includes 33 very good and addictive puzzle games. We've tried to make this homebrew games collection as good as possible so that even the anti-homebrew purists will be jealous of it.

Homebrew does not equal piracy, and this is proof of it. These games are all free and are released under the MIT license.


Submission + - Human Astrocytes Developed From Stem Cells (

RogerRoast writes: Astrocytes are the most ubiquitous cells in the brain. They perform critical support function to the neurons. These cells are also implicated in several human brain disorders. The U of Wisconsin researchers developed a method to create these cells from stem cells. The paper was published in Nature Biotechnology (May 22, 2011 online issue) and reported in According to the lead author Dr Zhang, “not a lot of attention has been paid to these cells because human astrocytes have been hard to get, but we can make billions or trillions of them from a single stem cell." The technology developed by the Wisconsin group lays a foundation to make all the different species of astrocytes. It may be possible to genetically engineer them to mimic disease so that previously inaccessible neurological conditions can be studied in the lab.

Submission + - iTunes upgrade forces users to buy new OSX ( 1

NoAkai writes: "The Guardian writes this about newer iDevices not being supported on older versions of OSX: "[...]I connected the shuffle to our computer, but a message came up saying the iPod "cannot be used because it requires iTunes version 10.0 or later". So I downloaded iTunes 10, but then another message popped up: "Open Failed This package type requires Mac OS X 10.5." It was the same story with the iPhone 4.""

Submission + - Do You Buy the Source License for Your Vendor Apps

dg41 writes: I work for a large inner-city school district. Recently, we implemented two new enterprise systems to replace our in-house systems for tracking student and financial data. We had developed our previous system over 15 years, and had made several customizations to the source code to meet our business needs. With our new systems, our management was told that organizations don't buy source code licenses for enterprise apps anymore. While the application's source code license is available, management doesn't see its purchase as a priority. My question is, for your vendor applications, do you buy the source code license? If you do, do you use it to determine how the application functions, or do you actually make changes to their source? In your experience, do vendors accept customer patches and integrate it into their base product, like an open-source project?

You have a massage (from the Swedish prime minister).