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Submission + - Online Security - Friend Request from Yourself? Watch out for Facebook Fakes

shexiamaechi writes: A few weeks ago, I got a Facebook request from “myself.” I recognized it right away as a common Facebook cloning scam.

The way it works is simple. Cyber-crooks snag a photo of you, usually right from your own profile page, poach any information you’ve made public, then reach out to all your real friends and family. Once anyone you actually know accepts the fake Facebook friend request or engages with them on Messenger, the scammers typically make a play for money, personal info, or even try to infect your computer or phone with malware.

When the same thing happened to my mom last year, the scammer (pretending to be my mother) hit up my cousin with a sob story asking for money. He texted me instead and I told my cousin how to report it to Facebook.

A few hours later, another one of her friends received a message from the crook to “click this link to see a great YouTube video you’re in.” She too, smelled a skunk. Had she actually clicked the link, though, it could have infected her computer with malware or a virus, logged her passwords and given hackers the fast track to her bank account, email or store accounts

Spotting the fakes

So how do you know that a friend request is real vs. fake? Here are a few questions to help you figure that out.

Are they a duplicate? This is the most obvious test for any fake friend, and all you have to do is see if someone with the same name is already friends with you on Facebook. Nobody has any reason to make more than one account, so if your best friend from college is still on your friends list but just sent you another friend request, send it straight into the trash. Then report it.

Check their photos. Okay, so a hacker will probably find a few freebie photos for their profile, but if you dig into their albums their plan totally falls apart. Before you accept a shady friend request, click on their name and go to their profile page. Browse through their photos and albums and see what’s there. If it’s bare, aside from the profile picture, or has just a couple random photos with no comments or likes, you’ve just nabbed a faker.

Don't become a victim to a Facebook impostor

Frisk their friends list. If someone is targeting you, their fake account is likely just a shell with very little going on. Click on their friends list and see how many they have. If it’s blank, run for the hills, but even if it’s well populated, those could all be fake or spam profiles too, so be sure to check what mutual friends you have in common. If the person isn’t friends with any of your friends, it’s almost certainly a scammer. If you do spot a fake, block, report, and warn your friends. (Facebook also cracks down pretty hard on these kind of shenanigans these days.) From the scammer's main Facebook profile page, you can click the little “more” icon (three little dots in a row) next to their profile picture and then select “Report.” A little menu pops up asking you what you want to report, so select “Report this Profile.” Once you do this, Facebook will know to look at the account and take any actions needed. After you’ve reported, click that little “more” icon again and select “Block” to remove the account from your life forever.

Leave the links behind

Even if you’re good about ditching fake friends and ignoring anonymous requests, anyone on Facebook can still send a message to your "Other" inbox. In Facebook Messenger, these pop up as “Message Requests,” and even if someone isn’t your friend, he or she can still send you nasty links and malware without much consequence.

Never ever click on any links you get in these unverified messages, and do your best to avoid interaction with anyone who sends you a chat request out of the blue, even if he or she looks like someone you know. Follow the rules above and verify before you even reply, and if you determine it's a fake, head to the scammer's profile page and block them.

Submission + - Why Don't Mobile OSs offer a Kill Code? 1

gordo3000 writes: Given all the recent headlines about border patrol getting up close and personal with phones, I've been wondering why phone manufacturers don't offer a second emergency pin that you can enter and it wipes all private information on the phone?

In theory, it should be pretty easy to just input a different pin (or unlock pattern) that opens up a factory reset screen on the phone and in the background begins deleting all personal information. I'd expect that same code could also lock out the USB port until it is finished deleting the data, to help prevent many of the tools they now have to copy out everything on your phone.

This nicely prevents you from having to back up and wipe your phone before every trip but leaves you with a safety measure if you get harassed at the border.

So slashdot, what say you?

Submission + - Huge Necurs Botnet Adds DDoS Module (securityledger.com)

chicksdaddy writes: One of the globe’s largest networks of infected systems (or “botnets”) is now equipped with features that will allow it to launch denial of service attacks that could dwarf anything seen to date, the security Anubis Networks, a division of BitSight Technologies, reported.(http://blog.anubisnetworks.com/blog/necurs-proxy-module-with-ddos-features)

Research by Anubis found that the Necurs botnet, a global network of more than one million machines infected with the Necurs malware added a module in recent months that permits it to launch distributed denial of service (or DDoS) attacks against designated targets. The botnet has mostly been used for distribution of spam email to date and has not be enlisted to launch DDoS attacks.

Necurs has been documented since 2014 and spreads via infected email attachments. It is often installed as a secondary program by other “downloader” programs, according to an analysis by Trend Micro. To date, Necurs has been employed almost exclusively to send out spam email messages. However, the software is modular and supports other features, as well, Anubis notes. A module added in late August appears to provide DDoS attack features to the botnet, Anubis researchers said. Reverse engineering of the module identified commands used to send HTTP or UDP requests to arbitrary Internet addresses in an endless loop – typical denial of service activity.

DDoS features are not uncommon in botnet malware. What is different is the size of the Necurs botnets compared with others, including the recent Mirai botnet that took down managed DNS provider DYN, The Security Ledger notes (https://securityledger.com/2017/02/locked-and-loaded-huge-botnet-updated-for-ddos/). Mirai, which launched the largest denial of service attacks on record, topped out at around 200,000 infected hosts. But research by BitSight puts the number of nodes in the Necurs botnet at more than 650,000 as of June, 2016. The number may be smaller now, but an infection map currently puts the number of Necurs hosts at 208,000 – almost three times the size of the Mirai botnet (77,000 hosts).(https://intel.malwaretech.com/botnet/necurs)

Submission + - Why Uber Is Doomed (jalopnik.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Jalopnik points out that in 2016 Uber "burned through more than $2 billion, amid findings that rider fares only cover roughly 40% of a ride, with the remainder subsidized by venture capitalists" (covering even less than the fares of government-subsidized mass transit systems). So despite Google's lawsuit and other recent bad publicity, "even when those factors are removed, it's becoming more evident that Uber will collapse on its own."

Their long analysis argues that the problems are already becoming apparent. "Uber, which didn't respond to questions from Jalopnik about its viability, recently paid $20 million to settle claims that it grossly misled how much drivers could earn on Craigslist ads. The company's explosive growth also fundamentally required it to begin offering subprime auto loans to prospective drivers without a vehicle."

Submission + - Even China Can't Kill Bitcoin (bloomberg.com)

hackingbear writes: As part of an effort to control capital outflows, the Chinese central bank required bitcoin exchanges to suspend withdrawals until they could update their compliance systems. Trading on the exchanges took a big hit, but the bitcoin activity resurfaced on less formal over-the-counter venues like craigslist-like sites LocalBitcoins, or WeChat channels. Even if a government shuts down every bitcoin node in its country, a bitcoin user can still transact as long as a single node is accessible overseas. This puts regulators in a tough spot. It’s hard to control something that exists nowhere and everywhere at the same time. This is nothing new for the Chinese regulators though. For most of the last three decades, including now, the Chinese government has been trying to pop up the value of Yuan, contrary to the currency rate suppression narratives you might have heard repeatedly in the last decade, by restricting citizens from buying U.S. dollars, only seeing that the vibrant black markets reset Yuan's rate to the lower real market value. Markets can’t be regulated out of existence. The next best thing might be to let them operate in the open.

Submission + - First Look at the Brand New LG G6 (m2now.co.nz) 1

Izak Flash writes: LG has just showcased the new G6, which is a followup from the LG G5. New wide angle cameras, a 5.7" screen, and a compact body. The design is doing its best to shy away from hitting the "phablet zone", but all in all, the specs are a decent step up from its predecessor.

Submission + - Science Fiction Actor Bill Paxton Dies At Age 61 (ew.com) 1

An anonymous reader writes: Bill Paxton starred in a surprising number of cult science fiction favorites. After playing the blue-haired punk rocker who confronts The Terminator , and the mean older brother in John Hughes nerd comedy Weird Science, Paton was cast as private Hudson in Aliens , the soldier who at one point wails "Game over, man!" Sigourney Weaver called his performance "brilliant', while James Cameron said Paxton's character released some of the audience's tension. "Bill made up different dialogue on every take, and he was yelling it over a machine gun, so none of it actually recorded."

Paxton also appeared in Predator 2, Apollo 13, Twister, and James Cameron's Titanic. Most recently provided the voice of the executive Kahn in Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare and had a recurring role as Hydra agent John Garrett in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D

Submission + - Annotation is now a web standard (hypothes.is)

etum writes: The W3C standards are a key milestone towards a future in which all pages could support rich layers of conversation without requiring any action by their publishers—because that capability can be built into the browser itself and be available as a native feature, just like like web search. The shared vision is that conversations will be able happen anywhere on the Web, or even on documents in native apps, and inline instead of below-the fold, in a federated, standards-based way.

Submission + - New Nokia 3310 Arrives Alongside Three Android Smartphones

Mickeycaskill writes: Nokia has officially brought back the iconic 3310 handset via HMD Global, only it’s with a modern twist on a retro handset.

Rather than simply re-release the old 3310 in order to tap into a vein of tech nostalgia, the 3310 has a few twists, notably 2.4inch QVGA display, a 2MP rear camera and Nokia’s Series 30+ software, as well as a microSD slot and micro USB port for charging the mobile.

Support for 2G connectivity is present but no Wi-Fi or GPS, so one could call it a semi-smartphone. However it does promise 22 hours of talk-time battery life and a lengthy month work of power when on standby.

Available in matt grey and blue, and glossy red and yellow colours, the 3310 will sell for €49 (around £40) and will go on sale in the second quarter of 2017.

Submission + - New auto-destruct system to increase launch rate (spaceflightnow.com)

schwit1 writes: A new auto-destruct system operating by computer, using GPS, and installed on each rocket should allow the launch rate in Florida to ramp up significantly.

Up until now it took several days to reconfigure the ground-based radar facilities. This system, first used on the most recent Falcon 9 launch, does not require this. It also involves fewer people to operate it. They expect that they will soon be able to launch up to 48 missions per year, some on the same day.

Submission + - Google Goes Public with Unpatched Microsoft Edge and IE Vulnerability (bleepingcomputer.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Google has gone public with details of a second unpatched vulnerability in Microsoft products, this time in Edge and Internet Explorer, after last week they've published details about a bug in the Windows GDI (Graphics Device Interface) component. The bug, discovered by Google Project Zero researcher Ivan Fratric, is tracked by the CVE-2017-0037 identifier and is a type confusion, a kind of security flaw that can allow an attacker to execute code on the affected machine, and take over a device.

Details about CVE-2017-0037 are available in Google's bug report, along with proof-of-concept code. The PoC code causes a crash of the exploited browser, but depending on the attacker's skill level, more dangerous exploits could be built. Besides the Edge and IE bug, Microsoft products are also plagued by two other severe security flaws, one affecting the Windows GDI component and one the SMB file sharing protocol shipped with all Windows OS versions.

Microsoft canceled February's Patch Tuesday security updates, citing a "last minute issue." The company said last week it intended to ship the February Patch Tuesday updates during March's Patch Tuesday, scheduled for March 15.

Submission + - How to Get Back to the Moon in 4 Years--This Time to Stay (scientificamerican.com)

schwit1 writes: It’s a way to get to the Moon and to stay there permanently. A way to begin this process immediately and to achieve moon landings in less than four years.

How?

Turn to private industry. Turn to two companies in particular—Elon Musk’s SpaceX and Robert Bigelow’s Bigelow Aerospace. Why? Because the approach that NASA’s acting administrator Robert Lightfoot is pushing won’t allow a Moon landing.

Lightfoot’s problem lies in the two pieces of NASA equipment he wants to work with: a rocket that’s too expensive to fly and is years from completion—the Space Launch System; and a capsule that’s far from ready to carry humans—the Orion. Neither the SLS nor the Orion are able to land on the Moon. Let me repeat that. Once these pieces of super-expensive equipment reach the moon’s vicinity, they cannot land.

Who is able to land on the lunar surface? Elon Musk and Robert Bigelow. Musk’s rockets—the Falcon and the soon-to-be-launched Falcon Heavy—are built to take off and land. So far their landing capabilities have been used to ease them down on earth. But the same technology, with a few tweaks, gives them the ability to land payloads on the surface of the Moon. Including humans. What’s more, SpaceX’s upcoming seven-passenger Dragon 2 capsule has already demonstrated its ability to gentle itself down to earth’s surface. In other words, with a few modifications and equipment additions, Falcon rockets and Dragon capsules could be made Moon-ready.

There’s more. Within the space community, there is a wide disenchantment with “flags and footprints” missions. Flags and footprints missions are those like the Apollo landings in which astronauts land, plant a flag, hit a golf ball, then disappear for 45 years. Major segments of the space community want every future landing to add to a permanent infrastructure in the sky. And that’s within our grasp thanks to Robert Bigelow.

In 2000, Bigelow purchased a technology that Congress had ordered NASA to abandon: inflatable habitats. For the last sixteen years Bigelow and his company, Bigelow Aerospace, have been advancing inflatable habitat technology. Inflatable technology lets you squeeze a housing unit into a small package, carry it by rocket to a space destination, then blow it up like a balloon. Since the spring of 2016, Bigelow, a real estate developer and founder of the Budget Suites of America hotel chain, has had an inflatable habitat acting as a spare room at the International Space Station 220 miles above your head and mine. And Bigelow’s been developing something far more ambitious—an inflatable Moon Base, that would use three of his 330-cubic-meter B330 modules. What’s more, Bigelow has been developing a landing vehicle to bring his modules gently down to the Moon’s surface.

Then there’s a wild card—Jeff Bezos. Bezos’ Blue Origin rockets already have a well-tested capacity to take off, land, then take off again. Which means that in the next few years Bezos’ rockets, too, could land cargoes and passengers on the Moon.

Submission + - Microsoft Bing Predicts says Denny Hamlin will win Daytona 500 today (betanews.com)

BrianFagioli writes: âoeVroom. Vroom. You know what that sound is? Rubber hitting the pavement and NASCAR in all its glory. The DAYTONA 500 is on this weekend and Bing is a finely-tuned, heavy-horsepower search engine to help you stay in the race. Bing search results for NASCAR topics give you the lowdown on the teams, drivers, standings, schedule, latest news, and more for the first Sprint Cup Series,â says The Bing Team.

The team further says, âoeWho do you have taking the race? We feel pretty good about who Bing predicts. As NASCAR season progresses weâ(TM)re looking to bring NASCAR fans and newcomers the latest information and predictions for all the races so make checking in with Bing part of your NASCAR routine.â

Submission + - BlackBerry KeyOne Resurrects The QWERTY Keyboard Smartphone 1

Mickeycaskill writes: BlackBerry is back with its final smartphone, the QWERTY keyboard-toting, business-focussed BlackBerry KeyOne, previously codenamed Mercury.

Launched in the run-up to Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2017 in Barcelona, the KeyOne was designed by BlackBerry but made by TCL Communications, which will take over the design and creation of future BlackBerry branded handsets.

Sporting a 4.5inch display with a resolution of 1620×1080, a Snapdragon 625 system-on-a-chip, a 3,505mAh battery, 12 megapixel rear camera and an eight megapixel one to the front, the KeyOne does not initially dazzle the smartphone market with its specifications.

But the standout feature is the phone’s QWERTY keyboard, something that both appealed and repulsed punters with the BlackBerry Priv, with the aim of making hacking out emails on the go far easier than the more haphazard process of tapping on a smartphone for some users.

Submission + - If your TV rats you out, what about your car? (autoblog.com)

schwit1 writes: Nowadays, auto manufacturers seem to be tripping over each other pointing out that they offer Apple CarPlay and Google Android Auto. And more recent phenomenon are announcements—from companies including Ford and Hyundai—that they are offering Amazon Alexa capabilities. You talk. It listens.

In late January, General Motors said it is releasing a next-generation infotainment software development kit (NGI SDK) to software developers to write apps for GM cars. The NGI SDK includes native Application Program Interfaces (APIs) that allow access to expected things — like oil life and tire pressure and whether lightbulbs are burned out — but unexpected things, as well. Like the presence of passengers in the vehicle.

Here's the thing. While it may seem appealing to have all manner of connectivity in cars, there is the other side of that. Without getting all tinfoil hat about this, when your TV set is ratting you out, isn't it likely that your car will?

It drives. And watches. And listens. And collects data the likes of which you might otherwise not have shared.

Submission + - Risk Of Cascadia Quake Elevated As Puget Sound 'Slow Slip' Event Begins (patch.com) 1

schwit1 writes: On Wednesday, the semi-annual "slow slip" event began, according to the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network (PNSN) at the University of Washington. The event happens about every 14 months deep underneath the Puget Sound area and is essentially a slow earthquake that takes place over the course of two weeks.

During a slow-slip event, after 14 months of moving eastward, the Juan de Fuca tectonic plate stalls and moves westward, which puts stress on the Cascadia subduction zone.

Seismologists often refer to this as a "straw that broke the camel's back" scenario.

"It's loading up the edge of the lock zone of the Cascadia subduction zone more rapidly than normal tectonic processes would do," explained Bill Steele, director of communications at the PNSN. "You're getting seven months of strain accumulation applied to the back edge of the fault over a week."

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