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Security

Forget Stuxnet: Banking Trojans Attacking Power Plants 34

Posted by Soulskill
from the subprime-malware-lending dept.
New submitter PLAR writes: Everyone's worried about the next Stuxnet sabotaging the power grid, but a security researcher says there's been a spike in traditional banking Trojan attacks against plant floor networks. The malware poses as legitimate ICS/SCADA software updates from Siemens, GE and Advantech. Kyle Wilhoit, the researcher who discovered the attacks, says the attackers appear to be after credentials and other financial information, so it looks like pure cybercrime, not nation-state activity.
Hardware Hacking

Ask Slashdot: Options For Cheap Home Automation? 189

Posted by timothy
from the fan-blows-out-the-candles dept.
New submitter goose-incarnated writes I'm looking at cheap and simple home automation. Unfortunately I'm not too clued up on what my options are. There are such a wide array of choices, none of which seem (to me) to be either cheap or simple. I'd like to: Turn switches on/off (lights, wall sockets, general relays, etc); Read the status of on/off switches; Read analog samples (for example, temperature sensors); 'Program' switches based on analog samples/existing switches (for example, program a relay to come on at 30C and go off at 25C, thereby controlling the temperature); Similarly, program switches to go on/off at certain times; Record the samples of analog or digital inputs for a given time . I'd like to do the above using smartphone+bluetooth (for when I'm in the vicinity of the room), or smartdevice+WiFi (for when I'm in the house, somewhere), or even in a pinch, using HTTP to access a server at home from 600km away (which is what I'm willing to do). I'm definitely not willing to stream all my requests/data/responses through a third-party so third party cloud subscription solutions, even if free, are out of the question. Finally (because I know the Slashdot crowd likes a challenge :-)), I'd like something that is easily reprogrammable without having to compile code, then reflash a device, etc. What languages for embedded devices exist for home automation programming, if any. A quick google search reveals nothing specially made for end-users to reprogram their devices, but, like I said above, I'm clueless about options.
Security

Asus Wireless Routers Can Be Exploited By Anyone Inside the Network 68

Posted by timothy
from the coming-from-inside-the-building dept.
An anonymous reader writes A currently unpatched bug in ASUS wireless routers has been discovered whereby users inside a network can gain full administrative control, according to recent research conducted by security firm Accuvant. Although the flaw does not allow access to external hackers, anyone within the network can take administrative control and reroute users to malicious websites, as well as holding the ability to install malicious software. The vulnerability stems from a poorly coded service, infosvr, which is used by ASUS to facilitate router configuration by automatically monitoring the local area network (LAN) and identifying other connected routers. Infosvr runs with root privileges and contains an unauthenticated command execution vulnerability, in turn permitting anyone connected to the LAN to gain control by sending a user datagram protocol (UDP) package to the router. In relevant part: The block starts off by excluding a couple of OpCode values, which presumably do not require authentication by design. Then, it calls the memcpy and suspiciously checks the return value against zero. This is highly indicative that the author intended to use memcmp instead. That said, even if this check was implemented properly, knowing the device’s MAC address is hardly sufficient authentication,” said Drake. Here are the technical details at GitHub.
Blackberry

BlackBerry's Survival Plan: the Internet of Things 74

Posted by samzenpus
from the a-new-basket-for-your-eggs dept.
jfruh writes BlackBerry's smartphone business is famously floundering, but the company isn't betting everything on its new retro physical-keyboard phones. It's also making moves into distributed, embedded, and asset-tracking computing for homes, cars, and businesses, which can all be lumped under the currently trendy "Internet of Things" buzzword umbrella. The company got a head start when it acquired the QNX OS in 2010, which was intended as the basis of a new smartphone OS but which already had credibility in the embedded market.
Technology

Thync, a Wearable That Zaps Your Brain To Calm You Down or Amp You Up 154

Posted by Soulskill
from the i-saw-that-episode-of-star-trek dept.
blottsie sends this first-hand report on how it felt to use a wearable device called Thync, which sends small amounts of electricity into your brain for the purpose of either calming you down or making you feel energized. While the unit I used isn't the finalized physical version, the best way to describe it is as a two-part device, one of which is fasted to the front of the right side of your temple, and one behind your right ear. It's not a helmet, which is what I absolutely assumed it would be. It's relatively discreet sort of dual patch system ... It didn't... hurt. Hurt isn't the right way to describe it. It felt like a tightness; it felt like the patch was trying to crawl across my skin. But — if you can believe this — in a good way. And while Thync was attached to the right side of my head, occasionally I felt 'tingles' pulling and hitting my brain on the left side and in the middle. I was feeling progressively awake and aware. Granted, I had patches stuck to my head sending gentle vibrations to my brain, so that might have been part of my sudden alertness. But still, after 20 minutes of Thync I just felt... better.

+ - Seismological Society of America Claims Fracking Reactivated Ohio Fault-> 1

Submitted by eldavojohn
eldavojohn (898314) writes "There have been suspicions that fracking has caused minor earthquakes in Ohio but last year seismic data recorded by the Earthscope Transportable Array was analyzed by the Seismological Society of America using template matching and has resulted in a new publication and press release making the statement that Hilcorp Energy's fracking in Poland Township in March of 2014 "did not create a new fault, rather it activated one that we didn’t know about prior to the seismic activity." The earthquakes occurred in the Precambrian basement and lead the researchers to posit that further unknown faults may be activated by fracking. The press release ends with urging for "close cooperation among government, industry and the scientific community as hydraulic fracturing operations expand in areas where there’s the potential for unknown pre-existing faults.""
Link to Original Source
Google

Nest Will Now Work With Your Door Locks, Light Bulbs and More 163

Posted by samzenpus
from the joining-the-party dept.
An anonymous reader writes with news about 15 new brand partnerships Nest announced today. "When Google purchased Nest Labs – the maker of Internet-connected thermostats and smoke detectors – the search engine giant saw the potential to create a software platform for controlling the myriad everyday devices and gadgets in consumers' homes, a central hub for the so-called "Internet of things." This vision took a major step towards becoming reality Monday morning, when Nest announced at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas that 15 new partners were joining its "Works with Nest" developer program. Soon, everything from washing machines to light bulbs will be connected with the Nest platform."

Comment: Early Soviet Computing? (Score 4, Interesting) 80

by eldavojohn (#48738403) Attached to: Interviews: Ask Alexander Stepanov and Daniel E. Rose a Question
Alexander Stepanov, I have never had a chance to ask someone as qualified as you about this topic. I grew up on the opposite side of the Iron Curtain and have constantly wondered if (surely there must have been) alternative computing solutions developed in the USSR prior to Elbrus and SPARC. So my question is whether or not you know of any hardware or instruction set alternatives that died on the vine or were never mass fabricated in Soviet times? I don't expect to you to reveal some super advanced or future predicting instruction set but it has always disturbed me that these things aren't documented somewhere -- as you likely know failures can provide more fruit than successes. Failing that, could you offer us any tails of early computing that only seem to run in Russian circles?

If you can suggest references (preferably in English) I would be most appreciative. I know of only one book and it seems to be a singular point of view.
Operating Systems

The Missing Piece of the Smart Home Revolution: The Operating System 252

Posted by samzenpus
from the one-code-to-rule-them-all dept.
An anonymous reader writes with this story about who will lead the IoT revolution, and whether it will follow in mobile's footsteps. "As these technologies sense and and react to changes in your environment, there are obvious parallels to computer operating systems, which receive input and return output. What does the 'operating system' for the smart home of the future look like? Alex Hawkinson is trying to help answer that very question. The founder and CEO of IoT company SmartThings is not only a leader in the market, he’s a consumer. He suggests there won’t be a singular, cohesive operating system for your home, that this stuff isn’t one-size-fits-all. 'I think it’s up to everyone to determine their own bits,' Hawkinson said. 'Some people love cameras in house, my wife wants none. It’s up to your preferences.'”
Businesses

The One Mistake Google Keeps Making 386

Posted by timothy
from the starry-eyed-dreamers dept.
HughPickens.com writes Gene Marks writes in Forbes Magazine that Google has brought us innovations that have literally changed our world yet the company continues to make the same mistake over and over. Google's mistake, which it keeps making, is building great products that no one will soon buy. Take Google Glass — a great idea with great technology that demonstrates the future power of the Internet of Things. There's just one problem: no one is buying Google Glass. And now there are driverless cars. After 700,000 miles of open road testing, Google has introduced its "first real build" of its driverless car and it's pretty amazing. But the mistake is the same as with Glass: it's a product without customers. "It's Google assuming that someday someone will actually buy a driverless car," writes Marks. "Not a hobbyist or an eccentric millionaire. But a customer who actually needs or desires a driverless car. Someone who, given the choice of spending $30K on a car that they fully control and can go anywhere they want at any speed they want – or another, likely more expensive buggy that will only travel on certain routes at slower speeds and with less options." Which car would you buy?

For driverless cars to work, to decrease congestion, increase safety, reduce lawsuits and lower our insurance premiums everyone would have to be driving one. For the driverless car system to truly work as desired, there would need to be more centralized control over our entire transportation system, from the roads and highways to the cars we're allowed to use, the speed we're allowed to travel and the places we're allowed to go. This, in the very country where the majority of the population fights against government regulations, red tape and bureaucracy. "But rest assured – Google knows this. They're not looking for short term profits," concludes Marks. "The dreamers behind Google, like the dreamers at Tesla and Virgin Galactic are people who are looking decades ahead."
Communications

Texas Instruments Builds New Energy Technology For the Internet of Things 54

Posted by samzenpus
from the power-up dept.
dcblogs writes Texas Instruments says it has developed electronics capable of taking small amounts of power generated by harvested sources and turning them into a useful power source. TI has built an efficient 'ultra-low powered' DC-to-DC switching converter that can boost 300 to 400 millivolts power to 3 to 5 volts. To power wearables, the company says it has demonstrated drawing energy from the human body by using harvesters the size of wristwatch straps. It has worked with vibration collectors, for instance, about the same size as a key. It is offering this technology as a means to power sensors in Internet of Things applications, as well as to augment battery power supplies in wearables.
Transportation

"Infrared Curtain" Brings Touchscreen Technology To Cheap Cars 123

Posted by samzenpus
from the go-ahead-and-touch dept.
An anonymous reader writes with news about an affordable way to integrate touch screen technology in any car. "Although touchscreen controls are appearing in the dashboards of an increasing number of vehicles, they're still not something that one generally associates with economy cars. That may be about to change, however, as Continental has announced an "infrared curtain" system that could allow for inexpensive multi-touch functionality in any automobile. The infrared curtain consists of a square frame with a series of LEDs along two adjacent sides, and a series of photodiodes along the other two. Each LED emits a beam of infrared light, which is picked up and converted into an electrical signal by the photodiode located in the corresponding spot on the opposite side of the frame."
Hardware Hacking

Extracting Data From the Microsoft Band 51

Posted by timothy
from the buncha-freeloaders dept.
An anonymous reader writes The Microsoft Band, introduced last month, hosts a slew of amazing sensors, but like so many wearable computing devices, users are unable to access their own data. A Brown University professor decompiles the app, finds that the data is transmitted to the Microsoft "cloud", and explains how to intercept the traffic to retrieve the raw minute-by-minute data captured by the Band.
Toys

Ask Slashdot: What Can I Really Do With a Smart Watch? 232

Posted by timothy
from the you-can-measure-the-battery-drain dept.
kwelch007 writes I commonly work in a clean-room (CR.) As such, I commonly need access to my smart-phone for various reasons while inside the CR...but, I commonly keep it in my front pocket INSIDE my clean-suit. Therefore, to get my phone out of my pocket, I have to leave the room, get my phone out of my pocket, and because I have a one track mind, commonly leave it sitting on a table or something in the CR, so I then have to either have someone bring it to me, or suit back up and go get it myself...a real pain. I have been looking in to getting a 'Smart Watch' (I'm preferential to Android, but I know Apple has similar smart-watches.) I would use a smart-watch as a convenient, easy to transport and access method to access basic communications (email alerts, text, weather maps, etc.) The problem I'm finding while researching these devices is, I'm not finding many apps. Sure, they can look like a nice digital watch, but I can spend $10 for that...not the several hundred or whatever to buy a smart-watch. What are some apps I can get? (don't care about platform, don't care if they're free) I just want to know what's the best out there, and what it can do? I couldn't care less about it being a watch...we have these things called clocks all over the place. I need various sorts of data access. I don't care if it has to pair with my smart-phone using Bluetooth or whatever, and it won't have to be a 100% solution...it would be more of a convenience that is worth the several hundred dollars to me. My phone will never be more than 5 feet away, it's just inconvenient to physically access it. Further, I am also a developer...what is the best platform to develop for these wearable devices on, and why? Maybe I could make my own apps? Is it worth waiting for the next generation of smart-watches?

Comment: Are You Joking? (Score 3, Interesting) 182

by eldavojohn (#48625017) Attached to: US Links North Korea To Sony Hacking

> It is not known how the US government has determined that North Korea is the culprit

Of course it's known. The same way they established that Iraq had chemical weapons. The method is known as "because we say so".

Are you joking? I thought it was well established that there were chemical weapons in Iraq we just only found weapons designed by us, built by Europeans in factories in Iraq. And therefore the US didn't trumpet their achievements. In the case of Iraqi chemical weapons, the US established that Iraq had chemical weapons not because they said so but because Western countries had all the receipts.

Unix is the worst operating system; except for all others. -- Berry Kercheval

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