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Submission + - Global warming? No, actually we're cooling, claim scientists ( 1

bricko writes: Global warming? No, actually we're cooling, claim scientists
A cold Arctic summer has led to a record increase in the ice cap, leading experts to predict a period of global cooling.

  There has been a 60 per cent increase in the amount of ocean covered with ice compared to this time last year, they equivalent of almost a million square miles.

In a rebound from 2012's record low an unbroken ice sheet more than half the size of Europe already stretches from the Canadian islands to Russia's northern shores, days before the annual re-freeze is even set to begin.

The Northwest Passage from the Atlantic to the Pacific has remained blocked by pack-ice all year, forcing some ships to change their routes.

A leaked report to the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) seen by the Mail on Sunday, has led some scientists to claim that the world is heading for a period of cooling that will not end until the middle of this century.

Submission + - Australia Elects Libertarian Senator (By Accident) (

LordLucless writes: Australia's Liberal Democratic Party, which describes itself as a classically liberal, free-market libertarian party, has had their candidate for New South Wales elected to the upper house, with roughly double the number of votes they were expecting.

In part, this has been attributed to them being placed first on the ballot paper (which is determined by a random process) and similarities in name to one of the major parties, the Liberal Party of Australia.

Submission + - The Secret War: NSA's commander (

An anonymous reader writes: Alexander runs the nation’s cyberwar efforts, an empire he has built over the past eight years by insisting that the US’s inherent vulnerability to digital attacks requires him to amass more and more authority over the data zipping around the globe. In his telling, the threat is so mind-bogglingly huge that the nation has little option but to eventually put the entire civilian Internet under his protection, requiring tweets and emails to pass through his filters, and putting the kill switch under the government’s forefinger. “What we see is an increasing level of activity on the networks,” he said at a recent security conference in Canada. “I am concerned that this is going to break a threshold where the private sector can no longer handle it and the government is going to have to step in.”

In its tightly controlled public relations, the NSA has focused attention on the threat of cyberattack against the US—the vulnerability of critical infrastructure like power plants and water systems, the susceptibility of the military’s command and control structure, the dependence of the economy on the Internet’s smooth functioning. Defense against these threats was the paramount mission trumpeted by NSA brass at congressional hearings and hashed over at security conferences.

Submission + - Which incumbents should we vote out in the upcoming election? ( 2

Okian Warrior writes: A few congressional seats will be on the ballot for this year's upcoming federal elections.

Based on past performance, who would you vote against? Ignoring party affiliations and looking only at history, which of them has made decisions that are bad for the people? Which professional politicians should be opposed, in favor of untried alternatives?

Submission + - Futurama airs 4th "Series Finale" before returning in Simpsons crossover episode (

McGruber writes: Futurama ( aired its fourth "series finale" on September 4. However, during the "Futurama Live" finale event at the YouTube Space LA, creators Matt Groening and David X. Cohen discussed their planned crossover episode with the Simpsons. (

Groening and Cohen also discussed plots that they did not get around to making into episodes. As Cohen explained, "There was a story where time froze and Fry and Leela were stuck there and there was one character traveling backwards in time who turned out to be Fry and Leela's offspring. This was a story that was so complicated; it involved a character not just moving backwards in time but whose dialogue was all reversed digitally. None of it made a lick of sense, but it would have been really cool."

Submission + - UK Mobile Internet provider starts blocking VPN citing access to porn.

santosh.k83 writes: "In the UK mobile Internet providers are required to block content that may be considered “harmful” to children. The filter mainly targets adult oriented content, but one provider now says that VPN services also fall into this category as they allow kids to bypass age restrictions. All mobile Internet providers are currently complying with a voluntary code of practice to make adult content inaccessible on their networks by default. Subscribers then have the option to lift the block if they can verify that they are at least 18 years old. However, mobile filtering alone is not enough to protect the children. Last month Prime Minister David Cameron announced a default filter for all Internet connections. This means that in the near future UK Internet subscribers will be required to opt-in if they want to view adult content online.

TorrentFreak has learned that VPN provider iPredator is already blocked under the “adult filter” of some, if not all, mobile providers. TorrentFreak has seen communication between the mobile provider GiffGaff and iPredator which makes it clear that the VPN’s website is blocked because it allows kids to bypass the age restrictions. Based on the above it is safe to say that censorship is a slippery slope, especially without any oversight. VPNs are used for numerous purposes and bypassing age restrictions is certainly not the most popular one. If this holds up then proxy services and even Google’s cache may soon be banned under the same guise."

Submission + - Bitcoin Kiosks coming to five Canadian cities (

dreamstateseven writes: Canadian Bitcoin enthusiasts will be able to exchange Canadian cash for the digital currency through a kiosk that's similar to an ATM. Bitcoiniacs says it has ordered five Bitcoin kiosks from a Las Vegas-based company called RoboCoin and intends to roll them out across Canada in the coming months, with the first machine expected to land in Vancouver in early October.

The kiosks allow users to select how much money they would like to spend, insert cash into the machine and then scan a QR code on their phone to transfer the Bitcoins to their wallet.

Submission + - Global warming? No, actually we're cooling, claim scientists ( 2

schwit1 writes: A cold Arctic summer has led to a record increase in the ice cap, leading experts to predict a period of global cooling.

A leaked report to the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) seen by the Mail on Sunday, has led some scientists to claim that the world is heading for a period of cooling that will not end until the middle of this century.

Book Reviews

Submission + - Book review: The Practice of Network Security Monitoring

benrothke writes: Title: The Practice of Network Security Monitoring: Understanding Incident Detection & Response

Author: Richard Bejtlich

Pages: 376

Publisher: No Starch Press

Rating: 9/10

Reviewer:Ben Rothke

ISBN: 978-1593275099

Summary:Definitive guide to the new world of Network Security Monitoring (NSM)

It has been about 8 years since my friend Richard Bejtlich's (note, that was a full disclosure 'my friend') last book Extrusion Detection: Security Monitoring for Internal Intrusionscame out. That and his other 2 books were heavy on technical analysis and real-word solutions. Some titles only start to cover ground after about 80 pages of introduction. With this highly informative and actionable book, you are already reviewing tcpdump output at page 16.

In The Practice of Network Security Monitoring: Understanding Incident Detection and Response, Bejtlich takes the approach that your network will be attacked and breached. He observes that a critical part of your security posture must be that of network security monitoring (NSM), which is the collection and analysis of data to help you detect and respond to intrusions.

In this book, Bejtlich details how to design a NSM program from the initiation state. Being a big open source proponent, the book lists no proprietary tools and myriad open source solutions. The book is designed for system and security administrators, CIRT managers and analysts with a strong background in understanding threats, vulnerabilities and security log interpretation.

The book is about the inevitable, that attackers will get inside your network. While it's foreseeable they will get in, it's not inevitable that you have to be caught off-guard. For those who are serious about securing their network, this is an invaluable book that provides a unique and very workable model to create a fully-functioning NSM infrastructure.

The book is a hands-on guide to installing and configuring NSM tools. The reader who is comfortable using tools such as Wireshark, Nmap and the like will be quite at home here.

This is a book about how not to be surprised and its 13 chapters detail how to create and manage a NSM program, what to look for, and details myriad tools to use in the process.

The focus of the book is not on the planning and defense phases of the security cycle, hopefully, that is already in place in your organization, rather on the actions to take when handling systems that are already compromised or that are on the verge of being compromised, as detailed in the preface.

In chapter 1, the book details the difference between continuous monitoring(CM) and NSM; since their terms are similar and many people confuse the two. CM is big in the federal computing space and NIST provides an overview and definition of it here. The book notes that CM has almost nothing to do with NSM or even with trying to detect and respond to intrusions. NSM is threat-centric, meaning adversaries are the discussion of the NSM operation; while CM is vulnerability-centric; focusing on configuration and software weaknesses.

Also in chapter 1, Bejtlich asks the important question: is NSM legal? He writes that there is no easy answer to that questions and anyone using or deploying an NSM solution should first consult with their legal counsel; in order not to potentially violate the US Wiretap Act and other laws and regulations. This is especially true for those who are in European Union (EU) countries, as the EU places a high threshold on information security teams who want to monitor network traffic. Something as simple as running Wireshark on a corporate network in the US, would require court approval if done on an EU-based network.

One of the main NSM tools the book references and details is Security Onion(SO). SO is a Linux distro for IDS and NSM. Its based on Ubuntu and the distro contains Snort, Suricata, Bro, Sguil, Squert, Snorby, ELSA, Xplico, NetworkMiner and many other useful security tools.

The book details and explains how use these tools in an NSM environment. An important point Bejtlich makes in chapter 9 regarding the tools, is that analysts need tools to find intruders. But methodology is more important than just software tools. Tools collect and interpret data, but methodology provides the conceptual model. He explains that CIRT analysts must understand how to use tools to achieve a particular goal, but it is imperative and important to start with a good operational model first, and then select tools to provide data supporting that model.

The book has a short discussion of how cloud computing effects NSM. In a nutshell, the cloud throws a monkey wrench into an NSM effort. For example, it is generally not an option for SaaS offerings since customers are limited to the back-end logs.

The book closes with the observation that NSM is not just about all the tools that the author spent over 300 pages discussing, rather it is more about the workflows, metrics and collaboration. Unfortunately, this title does not detail the necessary workflows for a NSM and it is hoped that the follow-up to this book will.

The only negative in the book is that as CSO of Mandiant, Bejtlich references his firm's products, mainly their MIR appliance for a CIRT. In the spirit of objectivity and not trying to have the book come across as marketing PR, if an author is going to mention a product their firm sells, they should also mention alternative solutions.

For those looking for a comprehensive guide on the topic of NSM, written by one of the experts in the field, The Practice of Network Security Monitoring: Understanding Incident Detection and Responseis an excellent reference that is certain to make the reader a better information security practitioner, and their network more secure.

Reviewed by Ben Rothke

Submission + - Google Speeding Up New Encryption Project After Latest Snowden Leaks ( 3

coolnumbr12 writes: In a new leak published by the Guadrian, New York Times and ProPublica, Edward Snowden revealed new secret programs by the NSA and GCHQ to decrypt programs designed to keep information private online. In response to NSA’s Bullrun and GCHQ’s Edgehill, Google said it has accelerated efforts to build new encryption software that is impenetrable to the government agencies.

Google has not provided details on its new encryption efforts, but did say it would be “end-to-end,” meaning that all servers and fiber-optic lines involved in delivering information will be encrypted.

Submission + - Silicon Beach Startups spawn from the ashes of Myspace (

McGruber writes: The NY Times reports ( how the alumni of distant also-ran social network Myspace have created an impressive number of spinoff internet companies. These companies have so significantly changed the Los Angeles area’s tech scene that the area has been dubbed the "Silicon Beach".

The article also provides details about the demise of Myspace under the ownership of Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation. When Youtube launced in February 2005, many at Myspace wanted to introduce a similar feature. Travis Katz, who had joined Myspace as general manager of international business just after the acquisition, said he remembered telling News Corporation representatives that they would need to hire 40 developers immediately and 200 the next year. “That was much faster than anything they were accustomed to,” Mr. Katz said. “They said, ‘We’re going to do a hiring freeze for six months and take a deep breath and determine then what we really need.’ But we couldn’t wait six months. In six months, YouTube went from two million to 80 million users.”

Submission + - Unboxing Atlas (

mikejuk writes: If you think its cool to video the unboxing of your latest mobile phone — think again. Unboxing a robot has a lot more going for it and reaches a whole new level of sci-fi realized.
The Atlas robot is a standard humanoid robot to be used by competitors in the DARPA Robotics challenge. Built by Boston Dyamics, it is in the same line as Petman and BigDog. It is now being delivered to the labs that will take part and the temptation to make an unboxing video has been irresistible They arrive in plain of wooden crates as if they were auto parts. Next it is unwrapped and lifted out of its packing case using a crane. It looks black and threatening — just like a sci-fi movie but watch the videos and see.

Submission + - NSA Can Spy on Smart Phone Data

An anonymous reader writes: SPIEGEL has learned from internal NSA documents that the US intelligence agency has the capability of tapping user data from the iPhone, devices using Android as well as BlackBerry, a system previously believed to be highly secure. The United States' National Security Agency intelligence-gathering operation is capable of accessing user data from smart phones from all leading manufacturers. Top secret NSA documents that SPIEGEL has seen explicitly note that the NSA can tap into such information on Apple iPhones, BlackBerry devices and Google's Android mobile operating system. The documents state that it is possible for the NSA to tap most sensitive data held on these smart phones, including contact lists, SMS traffic, notes and location information about where a user has been.

Bonus: Washington Post: Obama administration had restrictions on NSA reversed in 2011.
The Obama administration secretly won permission from a surveillance court in 2011 to reverse restrictions on the National Security Agency’s use of intercepted phone calls and e-mails, permitting the agency to search deliberately for Americans’ communications in its massive databases, according to interviews with government officials and recently declassified material. In addition, the court extended the length of time that the NSA is allowed to retain intercepted U.S. communications from five years to six years — and more under special circumstances, according to the documents, which include a recently released 2011 opinion by U.S. District Judge John D. Bates, then chief judge of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.

Submission + - Linux health given the reveletion of NSA crypto-subverting attacks? 4

deepdive writes: I have a basic question. What is the privacy/security health of the Linux kernel (and indeed other FOSS OS's) given all the recent stories about the NSA going in and deliberately subverting various parts of the privacy/security sub-systems. Basically, can one still sleep soundly thinking that the most recent latest/greatest ubuntu/opensuse/what-have-you distro she/he downloaded is still pretty safe. Or do people need to get a little worried and start burning some extra night oil over this?

Submission + - Intel Rejects Supporting Ubuntu's XMir (

An anonymous reader writes: Just days after Intel added XMir support to their Linux graphics driver so it would work with the in-development the X11 compatibility layer to the Mir display server premiering with Ubuntu 13.10, Intel management has rejected the action and had the XMir patch reverted. There's been controversy surrounding Mir with it competing with Wayland and the state of the display server being rather immature and its performance coming up short while it will still debut in Ubuntu 13.10. Intel management had to say, "We do not condone or support Canonical in the course of action they have chosen, and will not carry XMir patches upstream." As a result, Canonical will need to ship their own packaged version of the Intel (and AMD and Nouveau drivers) with out-of-tree patches.

Submission + - Can Even Apple Make a Watch Insanely Smart?

theodp writes: Throwing some cold water on the buzz surrounding the Galaxy Gear Smartwatch launch, The New Yorker's Matt Buchanan questions how smart a watch can really be. Calling offerings like the Galaxy Gear useful but not the stuff of dreams and revolutions, Buchanan writes, 'So there remains a strange undercurrent of hope that somebody-Apple-will figure out, soon, some grander vision for wearable technology, transforming it from something that people have vaguely imagined into something people intensely desire. It did it for smartphones, once, and again, for tablets. The question that Apple has been charged with, since nobody has definitively answered it yet, is whether the lack of an invention that truly carries us beyond the last five hundred years of wrist-mounted technology is the result of a failure of imagination or simply a fact of nature-that a watch will always just be a watch, no matter how smart it might think it is.' So, will you be an early adopter and drink Samsung's or Sony's smartwatch Kool-Aid, wait to see what Apple comes up with, or hold out for a Windows Forearm Pad 8?

Submission + - Why Not Replace SSL Certificates With PGP Keys? 9

vik writes: The whole SSL process has been infiltrated by the NSA, GCSB and other n'er-do-wells. If governments want a man-in-the-middle certificate they simply issue a secret gagging order to the CA to make them issue one. Consequently "certified" SSL certificates can no longer be trusted. Ironically self-issued certificates are more secure, but not easily verified.

However, PGP/GPG keys can be trusted and independently verified. They are as secure as we can get for now. Why not replace the broken SSL CA system with GPG/PGP encryption keys? Make the NSA-infiltrated stuff obsolete, and rely on a real-world web of trust?

Submission + - Indiana man gets 8 months for teaching how to beat lie-detector tests

Frosty Piss writes: An Indiana Little League coach accused of threatening national security by teaching government job applicants how to beat lie-detector tests was sentenced Friday to eight months in prison. Prosecutors described Chad Dixon as a “master of deceit”. Prosecutors, who had asked for almost two years in prison, said Dixon crossed the line between free speech protected under the First Amendment and criminal conduct when he told some clients to conceal what he taught them while undergoing government polygraphs. Although Dixon appears to be the first charged publicly, others offering similar instruction say they fear they might be next. “I've been worried about that, and the more this comes about, the more worried I am,” said Doug Williams, a former police polygraphist in Oklahoma who claims to be able to teach people to beat what he now considers a “scam” test.

Submission + - Japan's L-Zero Maglev Train Reaches 310 MPH In Trials (

coolnumbr12 writes: Japan’s magnetic-levitation train is still more than decade away from completion, but the L-Zero recently proved that it really is the world’s fastest train. On a 15-mile stretch of test track, the L-Zero reached speeds of 310 miles per hour. After the successful trials, Central Japan Railway Co. is going ahead with a 5.1 trillion yen ($52 billion) plan to build a 177-mile maglev line between Tokyo and Nagoya. CJR says the trip will take just 40 minutes on the L-Zero.

Submission + - Time For X-No-Wiretap HTTP Header (

Freshly Exhumed writes: A security blogger, acknowledging that the NSA methodically ranks communications on the basis of their “foreignness” factor to determine candidacy for prolonged retention proposes, is proposing ' opportunity for us on the civilian front to aid the NSA by voluntarily indicating citizenship on all our networked communications. Here, we define the syntax and semantics of X-No-Wiretap, a HTTP header-based mechanism for indicating and proving citizenship to well-intentioned man-in-the-middle parties. It is inspired by the enormously successful RFC 3514 IPv4 Security Flag and HTTP DNT header.' When I saw the proposed crypto standard I was sold! BTW a shout out to my friends over there in the Caesarian section!

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