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Submission + - US Dept. of Education Makes Ivanka Trump's K-12 CS Agenda a Top Priority

theodp writes: One underappreciated power political leaders within federal agencies have, explains Politico, is federal grant-making, funneling money to organizations that favor a certain policy agenda. On Thursday, Dept. of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos began to wield this power, releasing proposed priorities for competitive grant programs, including Promoting Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) Education, With a Particular Focus on Computer Science. The move comes after President Trump issued a presidential memorandum directing the Education Department to invest a minimum of $200 million in grant funding each year to expand STEM and computer science education in schools, part of a $1.3 billion public-private effort that is being spearheaded by Trump's daughter Ivanka, who tech-bankrolled Code.org revealed they have met with "many times" since the election. Interestingly, the just-published Federal Register backgrounder justifies the need for K-12 CS by citing and linking to the same Google-provided factoid ("9 out of 10 parents surveyed by Gallup say they want computer science taught at their child's school") that President Obama used to pitch his ultimately-unfunded $4B K-12 CS for All initiative. Hey, if the Google-Gallup education 'research' ("Among parents, 91% wanted their children to learn CS") is good enough for ACM publication, it's good enough for government work, right?

Submission + - 8.5 Ton Chinese Space Station 'Tiangong 1' Is Going To Crash To Earth (cnbc.com) 1

dryriver writes: China launched a space laboratory named Tiangong 1 into orbit in 2011. The space laboratory was supposed to become a symbol of China's ambitious bid to become a space superpower. After 2 years in space, Tiangong 1 started experiencing technical failure. Last year Chinese officials confirmed that the space laboratory had to be scrapped. The 8.5 ton heavy space laboratory has begun its descent towards Earth and is expected to crash back to Earth within the next few months. Most of the laboratory is expected to burn up in earth's atmosphere, but experts believe that pieces as heavy as 100 Kilograms (220 Pounds) may survive re-entry and impact earth's surface. Nobody will be able to predict with any precision where those chunks of space laboratory will land on Earth until a few hours before re-entry occurs.The chance that anyone would be harmed by Tiangong-1's debris is considered unlikely

Submission + - North Korea accused of using NSA tools to cripple the NHS with WannaCry (telegraph.co.uk)

StevenMaurer writes: Brad Smith, the President of Microsoft, publicly accused North Korea of being behind the WannaCry attack on the British National Health Service. This led to ambulances having to be rerouted, and vital equipment such as MRI scanners and X-ray machines being taken offline. Over 200,000 computers in 150 countries around the world were infected with the ransomware. North Korea has been widely thought to be behind the attack, but this is the first open and direct allegation.

While it is an obvious ploy on Microsoft's part to get the NHS to spend money upgrading their equipment, they do have a point. The simple truth is that seventeen-year out of date software is bound to have some vulnerabilities in it, no matter what is installed.

Submission + - Unpatched Exploit Lets You Clone Key Fobs and Open Subaru Cars (bleepingcomputer.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Tom Wimmenhove, a Dutch electronics designer, has discovered a flaw in the key fob system used by several Subaru models, a vulnerability the vendor has not patched and could be abused to hijack cars. The issue is that key fobs for some Subaru cars use sequential codes for locking and unlocking the vehicle, and other operations. These codes — called rolling codes or hopping code — should be random, in order to avoid situations when an attacker discovers their sequence and uses the flaw to hijack cars. This is exactly what Wimmenhove did. He created a device that sniffs the code, computes the next rolling code and uses it to unlock cars. The entire device costs between $15 and $30.

The researcher said he reached out to Subaru about his findings. "I did [reach out]. I told them about the vulnerability and shared my code with them," Wimmenhove told Bleeping. "They referred me to their 'partnership' page and asked me to fill in a questionnaire. It didn't seem like they really cared and I haven't heard back from them." A video of the exploit in action is available here.

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