Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
DEAL: For $25 - Add A Second Phone Number To Your Smartphone for life! Use promo code SLASHDOT25. Also, Slashdot's Facebook page has a chat bot now. Message it for stories and more. Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 internet speed test! ×

Submission + - FBI investigation into GamerGate may have closed

An anonymous reader writes: In early November of 2014, Twitter user @livebeef submitted a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to the FBI concerning its investigation into Gamergate. In December of 2016, he finally received his information. It reveals that the FBI began investigating Gamergate very early on and has since closed the investigation, stating, “To date, all available investigative steps failed to identify any subjects or actionable leads.” The heavily redacted 169-page PDF files contain some of the threatening letters sent to Utah State University. Another event detailed an FBI visit to the home of a man whose name was involved in a threatening email. This is most likely YouTube user MrRepzion. Further on, the report details correspondence with one of the victims of the threats, repeatedly cautioning her against taking matters to the media. "I am attempting to collect the evidence for your case that would be useful in prosecution of any subject (once a subject is identified) and it is very difficult to do this when people know about the FBI involved and their need for use of Thor and other Proxies. [sic]”

Submission + - Google Preparing 'Invisible ReCAPTCHA' System For No user Interaction (bleepingcomputer.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Google engineers are working on an improved version of the reCAPTCHA system that uses a computer algorithm to distinguish between automated bots and real humans, and requires no user interaction at all. Called "Invisible reCAPTCHA," and spotted by Windows IT Pro, the service is still under development, but the service is open for sign-ups, and any webmaster can help Google test its upcoming technology. Invisible reCAPTCHA comes two years after Google has revolutionized CAPTCHA technologies by releasing the No CAPTCHA reCAPTCHA service that requires users to click on one checkbox instead of solving complex visual puzzles made up of words and numbers. The service helped reduce the time needed to fill in forms, and maintained the same high-level of spam detection we've become accustomed from the reCAPTCHA service. The introduction of the new Invisible reCAPTCHA technology is unlikely to make the situation better for Tor users since CloudFlare will likely force them to solve the same puzzle if they come from IPs seen in the past performing suspicious actions. Nevertheless, CloudFlare started working on an alternative.

Submission + - UK Government Warns Growth Of AI Increases Reidentification Risk

An anonymous reader writes: A new report from the UK’s Government Office For Science warns that the explosive growth in artificial intelligence, driven by Big Data, could make anonymised individuals in datasets extraordinarily easy to re-identify, due to the interlinking of vast semi-supervised systems and sets. Chief Scientific Adviser Professor Sir Mark Walport wrote in the report: 'As the volume of publically available data increases...and more powerful artificial intelligence techniques are developed, what was a ‘remote’ chance of re-identification may become more likely, and organisations will periodically need to revisit the protection they have in place.'

Submission + - Google Safe Browsing Adds 'Repeat Offender' Category (thestack.com) 1

An anonymous reader writes: Google's Safe Browsing service will now brand sites which fall victim to malware repeatedly as 'repeat offenders'. When a site is identified as serving malware — which usually occurs via an SQL injection attack or through auction-driven network advertising — Google adds a 'This site will harm your computer' tag to domain entries in its search results, and serves further warnings by way of interstitial pages. From today, sites which continue to succumb to attackers will not be permitted to resubmit their domain for consideration via Search Console for thirty days — enough time to do significant SEO damage. That period does not include additional time for Google to respond to submissions about repaired sites and to remove the warnings.

Submission + - France could face winter power cuts, hit by nuclear dependence (reuters.com)

mdsolar writes: France could impose power cuts this winter due to an electricity shortage, an unprecedented step in the wealthy nation which would expose the vulnerabilities of its dependence on nuclear power.

The warning was issued on Tuesday by grid operator RTE, which said power supply had been hit by the closure of around a third of the country's ageing nuclear reactors for safety checks. The country's regulator has ordered a review of the strength of crucial steel components after the discovery of manufacturing irregularities.

France relies on nuclear for three-quarters of its power, more than any other country. RTE said the amount of nuclear power available was at a record low for this time of year, around 10,000 megawatts lower than a year ago — equivalent to more than twice the consumption of Paris and Marseille combined.

"During some periods of the day in winter, and during some days, we may need to use exceptional measures to guarantee the balance of electricity demand and supply on the network," RTE President Francois Brottes told reporters at a news conference.

RTE would start by boosting power imports and could also pay some industrial customers to switch off their machinery or curb usage, but Brottes said the gird operator might also have to impose short, rolling power blackouts in parts of the country.

Submission + - De Beers Scientists Fight the Growing Threat of Man-Made Diamonds 1

HughPickens.com writes: The WSJ reports that a small team of scientists working for De Beers is scrambling to stave off a looming threat that could tarnish the luster of natural-mined diamonds: high-quality man-made stones. For now, while synthetics make up just a fraction of the market, they have growing appeal to younger buyers — a headache for mine owners, who are under pressure to cut supply and lower prices, because traders, cutters and polishers are struggling to profit amid a credit squeeze and languishing jewelry sales. Synthetic producers can make 250,000 carats to 350,000 carats of rough diamonds annually, according to industry estimates, compared with about 135 million rough carats mined every year. But Martin Roscheisen, chief executive of Diamond Foundry Inc., a San Francisco synthetic-diamond producer with a capacity of 24,000 carats, says he believes nearly all diamonds consumers purchase will be man-made in a few decades. To counter the threat, last year De Beers helped launch a trade association with other producers to market the attraction of natural diamonds. At a plant about 30 miles west of London, De Beers scientists have been working to detect synthetic diamonds for years. The company has its own synthetic-diamond facility, called Element Six, which produces synthetic diamonds for industrial purposes, such as drilling, and helps De Beers keep up with technological developments. It also started marketing a new, cheap detector called PhosView, that uses ultraviolet light to detect lab-grown stones that quickly screens tiny synthetic diamonds. “We’re very focused on detection,” says Simon Lawson, head of Technologies U.K. at De Beers. “It underpins the integrity of natural diamonds and ensures that consumers cannot be duped into buying a synthetic diamond.” Despite the increased competition, De Beers has no intention of selling synthetics. “De Beers’ focus is on natural diamonds,” says Lawson. “We would not do anything that would cannibalize that industry.”

Submission + - Online Security: Which? Files Supercomplaint Against Banks Over Transfer Fraud

mialyhne writes: Banks may face formal inquiry into whether they can refuse to reimburse victims conned into transferring money into fraudsters’ accounts

UK banks should do more to protect customers tricked into transferring money to fraudsters, according to a consumer body that has lodged a “supercomplaint” with financial regulators. The move by Which? means banks could now face a formal investigation into whether they can continue refusing to reimburse victims.

The organisation submitted its first supercomplaint this year in the same week that official data revealed that fraud in the UK payments industry had soared by 53% as criminals develop increasingly sophisticated tactics to steal bank customers’ cash.

Which? said banks should “shoulder more responsibility” when someone is conned into transferring money to another person’s account, just as they reimburse customers who lose money due to scams involving debit and credit cards or fraudulent account activity.

Some customers have lost considerable sums. In March this year the Guardian featured the case of Sarah and David Fisher, who were conned out of £25,000 after a fraudster posed as their builder and emailed them a fake invoice that was virtually identical to the one they were expecting.

The explosion in online and mobile banking means UK consumers now make more than 70m bank transfers a month, compared with just over 100m in a whole year just a decade ago. Which? claims that “protections have not kept up”.

Using its legal powers, the organisation has submitted a supercomplaint to the Payment Systems Regulator, the watchdog for the UK’s £75tn payment systems industry, which must now respond within 90 days.

There are many financial frauds that directly target customers, such as phishing emails and phone- and text-based scams. However, among the biggest growth areas are impersonation and deception scams where fraudsters hack into someone’s email account and then pose as the builder, solicitor, landscape gardener or other tradesperson that the consumer has legitimately employed. Typically, the victim receives an invoice via email, which does not rouse suspicion because they were expecting it. It looks authentic and is usually for the correct amount – however, unbeknown to the consumer, the bank account number and sort code have been changed to those of the fraudster.

This is what happened to the Fishers, from north-west London. Last October they received a genuine invoice for building work that was being carried out, then what appeared to be a follow-up email from the same firm with a fresh invoice attached that included “our new banking details”. The couple duly paid the requested £25,000, and while it quickly emerged they had been scammed, by the time the bank that operated the account used to accept their money was alerted, the cash had been withdrawn.

Almost a year after the incident, they have yet to recover a penny of their money. Sarah Fisher, a record label manager, told the Guardian this week that the police had identified the fraudster as someone living in Denmark. As a result, the case was “not being progressed” and had effectively come to a halt.

She added: “We took it to the financial ombudsman, who said that Barclays [which operated the account] had not behaved improperly.” However, she said their MP, Tulip Siddiq, had said the case raised important issues and intended to pursue the matter in parliament.

Victims conned in this way currently have no legal right to get their money back from their bank, said Which?. Banks typically refuse to refund customers on the basis that they made the payment voluntarily. However, Which? said: “Consumers can only protect themselves so far. People cannot be expected to detect complex scams pressuring them to transfer money immediately, or lookalike bills from their solicitor or builder.”

The organisation said banks had invested in security systems to detect and prevent fraud where they were liable to reimburse the victim, but added: “There aren’t sufficient checks if someone is tricked into transferring money directly to another person’s account.”

Which? said it wanted the regulators to formally investigate the scale of bank transfer fraud and how much it was costing consumers, and propose new measures and greater liability for banks to ensure consumers are better protected.

The Payment Systems Regulator confirmed that it had received the supercomplaint and said it would examine the evidence Which? had supplied and gather its own, “to build a clearer picture of the issue and decide a course of action”.

Possible outcomes might include regulatory action, a review or a referral of the complaint to another body.

Submission + - SPAM: Pentagon paid a British PR firm $500M for top secret Iraq propaganda

geekymachoman writes: "The Pentagon gave a controversial UK PR firm over half a billion dollars to run a top secret propaganda programme in Iraq, the Bureau of Investigative Journalism can reveal.

Bell Pottinger’s output included short TV segments made in the style of Arabic news networks and fake insurgent videos which could be used to track the people who watched them, according to a former employee.

The agency’s staff worked alongside high-ranking US military officers in their Baghdad Camp Victory headquarters as the insurgency raged outside."

Link to Original Source

Submission + - First Computer Music from 1951 Restored (bbc.co.uk)

BoxRec writes: Alan Turing was part of a team who created the earliest known recording of music produced by a computer. It starts with a few bars of "God Save the Queen", a snippet of Baa Baa Black Sheep and then Glenn Miller's swing hit In The Mood.

Submission + - EU court being asked to rule on legality of surveillance by US, UK

BarbaraHudson writes: The ACLU, Amnesty International, Privacy International and 7 other human rights groups have filed this complaint with the top EU human rights court, claiming violations of law by the UK in conjunction with the mass surveillance programs uncovered by Edward Snowden. Pages 114-115 of the filing (pdf) contain the applicant's responses to 6 questions asked by the court.

From The Intercept

"Through bulk surveillance programs, the U.S. and U.K. governments intercept the private communications and data of millions of people around the world," said Ashley Gorski, staff attorney at the ACLU National Security Project. "Not only is bulk surveillance unlawful, but it has a deeply chilling and corrosive effect on political discourse and our personal communications. We are hopeful that the European Court of Human Rights will recognize that this mass surveillance violates fundamental rights to privacy and freedom of speech, and that the court’s ruling will help put an end to these practices on a global scale."

The complaint argues that the scale of the surveillance "is unprecedented in terms of (a) the number of individuals whose communications are potentially affected; (b) the quantity of communications content and related communications data that is actually initially intercepted, extracted, filtered, stored, analysed and/or disseminated by the U.K. intelligence agencies." It adds that the "the operation of sophisticated covert surveillance powers without adequate safeguards is ipso facto disproportionate."

(Warning: commenting on this will no doubt get you on yet another watch list)

Submission + - SPAM: TEPCO's 'ice wall' failing at Fukushima nuclear plant 1

mdsolar writes: Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s “frozen wall of earth” has failed to prevent groundwater from entering the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant, and the utility needs a new plan to address the problem, experts said.
An expert panel with the Nuclear Regulation Authority received a report from TEPCO on the current state of the project on Aug. 18. The experts said the ice wall project, almost in its fifth month, has shown little or no success.
“The plan to block groundwater with a frozen wall of earth is failing,” said panel member Yoshinori Kitsutaka, a professor of engineering at Tokyo Metropolitan University. “They need to come up with another solution, even if they keep going forward with the plan.”

Link to Original Source

Submission + - Is it time for a new audio format for recording? 4

tezbobobo writes: Why isn't recording information embedded in recorded audio files? When I edit a photo in Photoshop Lightroom the RAW file usually contains information about the camera, lens, location, and settings used. When I import a WAV from my field recorder the software is completely oblivious to the recorder used and the microphone. I can't even tell the software to compensate for a certain mic with profiles. So, it it time for some new standards?

Submission + - Computer Science Professor Gives Failing Grade to Newly Leaked NSA Hacking Tool (softpedia.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Stephen Checkoway, an Assistant Professor at the Department of Computer Science at the University of Illinois at Chicago, has analyzed some of the exploit code included in the recent Equation Group leak, and his verdict is "not impressed." The professor, who teaches Software Vulnerability Analysis and Advanced Computer Security at the University of Illinois, Chicago, gripes about the cryptography operations employed in the code of an exploit called BANANAGLEE, used against Fortinet firewalls. Some of his criticism include the words "ridiculous", "very bad", "crazy" and "boring memory leaks".

"I would expect relatively bug-free code. And I would expect minimal cryptographic competence. None of those were true of the code I examined which was quite surprising," the professor told Softpedia in an email.

Submission + - Chinese Consortium To Purchase Opera Browser Business (bloomberg.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Opera Software ASA agreed to sell its browser business to a Chinese consortium for $600 million, saying a full takeover of the company was canceled after the suitor failed to get government approval.

The company will sell businesses including browsers for mobile devices and desktops, technology licensing and a stake in a Chinese venture to the same group that attempted the full takeover, according to a statement Monday. Opera will keep businesses such as applications and games.

The consortium of investors includes the gaming firm Beijing Kunlun Tech and the so-called Internet security provider Qihoo 360, plus Chinese financiers.

Submission + - Worst Mass Shooting in U.S. History (cnn.com) 17

An anonymous reader writes: From CNN:

"Fifty people were killed inside Pulse, a gay nightclub, Orlando Police Chief John Mina and other officials said Sunday morning, just hours after a shooter opened fire in the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history. At least 53 more people were injured, Mina said. Police have shot and killed the gunman, he told reporters.

The shooter is not from the Orlando area, Mina said. He has been identified as Omar Saddiqui Mateen, 29, of Fort Pierce, about 120 miles southeast of Orlando, two law enforcement officials tell CNN.
Orlando authorities said they consider the violence an act of domestic terror. The FBI is involved. While investigators are exploring all angles, they "have suggestions the individual has leanings towards (Islamic terrorism), but right now we can't say definitely," said Ron Hopper, assistant special agent in charge of the FBI's Orlando bureau."

Slashdot Top Deals

"It's when they say 2 + 2 = 5 that I begin to argue." -- Eric Pepke

Working...