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Comment: Interesting note about cryptoviruses (Score 4, Informative) 79

by wbr1 (#48624607) Attached to: Over 9,000 PCs In Australia Infected By TorrentLocker Ransomware
Most are rather dumb. They will encrypt standard file types such as jpg and doc, but leave really critical stuff (qbw, pst, etc) alone. I guess the writers, not knowing what files being encrypted in a user profile might brick a machine only go for easy targets. They will readily encrypt any attached drive as well, following the same ruleset. If your backup program stores in a standard .zip or in the clear, it will be encrypted too. The best safety net is an online backup that does versioning so you can roll back to pre-infection versions of files.

One last note, in about 5%-10% of the cases I have worked on, I was able to recover files from VSS. Most of these variants attempt to disable VSS and delete the shadow copies, but they either are not successful or do it slowly. Yanking the drive from the running environment and looking at it with shadow explorer on a clean box can sometimes save some data. Here in the US Cryptorbit variants seem to be the most frequent I see (cryptodefense, cryptolocker, howdecrypt, etc). They have really exploded in the past month. A recent fake ADP email that was making it through spam filters was responsible for a lot. The linked site downloaded a zip containing an exe with an adobe pdf icon. If you have a suspect exe, see if it has been analyzed n and you can get a good breakdown of its precise behavior.

Comment: And who pays???? (Score 4, Insightful) 769

by wbr1 (#48558373) Attached to: CIA Lied Over Brutal Interrogations
The taxpayer.. for all of it. The beatings, the reports, the politicians and bureaucrats dickering over minutia.
Who doesn't pay? Those responsible for such atrocities. We increasingly live in a society where a few - IE military and intelligence brass, the rich, the police, and corporations and individuals with the money to play the game can do nearly anything with impunity.

This meets the definition of tyranny - arbitrary or unrestrained exercise of power - and we live it every day, but most do not see it. The question is, is the natural state of being for humans - people abusing their power over others, or can it be changed and transcended?

Comment: Politics, plain and simple (Score 2) 116

by wbr1 (#48538877) Attached to: NSF Accused of Misuse of Funds In Giant Ecological Project
I wonder how this stacks up against waste in huge projects at Boeing or blackwater? The waste is bad but no surprise and seems to be a very small percentage. I wonder how much pressure to generate bad press has been applied by vested interests who do not want data like that made available?

Comment: Re:when dirty? (Score 4, Insightful) 194

by wbr1 (#48470211) Attached to: Jackie Chan Discs Help Boost Solar Panel Efficiency

The data density in bluray means that the pits are far, far, far, far too small for dirt to get stuck in, or on. Think of it like placing a pebble on a beach. There are pits between sand grains but the size disparity means it acts like a flat surface for most intents and purposes.

Not only this, but presumably the pits can be under the glass, just as they are under polycarbonate on a disc. Then the pits are not exposed to dir, and a normal washing will remove surface dust, bird poop, etc.

"There is nothing new under the sun, but there are lots of old things we don't know yet." -Ambrose Bierce