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Submission + - International Authorities Cooperate To Take Down Massive 'Avalanche' Botnet

plover writes: Investigators from the U.S. Department of Justice, the FBI, Eurojust, Europol, and other global partners announced the takedown of a massive botnet named 'Avalanche', estimated to have involved as many as 500,000 infected computers worldwide on a daily basis.

"The global effort to take down this network involved the crucial support of prosecutors and investigators from 30 countries. As a result, five individuals were arrested, 37 premises were searched, and 39 servers were seized. Victims of malware infections were identified in over 180 countries. In addition, 221 servers were put offline through abuse notifications sent to the hosting providers. The operation marks the largest-ever use of sinkholing to combat botnet infrastructures and is unprecedented in its scale, with over 800 000 domains seized, sinkholed or blocked."

Submission + - Not one, not two, but three undersea cables cut in Jersey (

An anonymous reader writes: Sometime before midnight Monday (UK local time) a ship dropped its anchor and broke, not one, not two, but three undersea cables serving the island of Jersey in the English Channel. Jersey is part of the Channel Islands along with Guernsey and some smaller islands. These things happen and that’s not a good thing. The cut was reported on the venerable BBC news website. For the telecom operators in Jersey (JT Global) this wasn’t good news. However looking at the traffic from Cloudflare’s point of view; we can see that while the cable cut removed the direct path from London to Jersey, it was replaced by the backup path from Paris to Jersey. The move was 100% under the control of the BGP routing protocol. It's a relief that there's a fallback for when these unpredictable events happen.

Russia Falls Behind In Annual Space Launches For First Time Ever ( 93

From a report on the Moscow Times: This year, for the first time in history, Russia has fallen behind the United States and China as the world's leading launcher of space rockets. Russia will finish 2016 with just 18 launches, according to open source data, compared to China's 19 and America's 20 launches. Alexander Ivanov, deputy chief of Russia's Roscosmos space agency, said on Nov. 29 that the launch rate has decreased because Moscow's space strategy has changed. Currently, it's top priority is reviving existing and aging satellite groupings. But there are other reasons Russia's launch rate may be falling behind. Since the 1957 launch of Sputnik, the world's first satellite, Russia has been the undisputed leader in annual launch rates -- a figure that spoke to the general health of its space program and aerospace industry. At the peak of the Soviet space program, Russia often launched around 100 rockets a year. Since 1957, Russia has launched over 3,000 rockets -- roughly twice as many as the U.S. But with the Russian economy in crisis, space budgets have plummeted. Funding for the next decade of Russian space activity stands at just 1.4 trillion rubles ($21.5 billion), a figure that was only finalized after three rounds of cuts to proposed funding, which began at 3.4 trillion rubles ($52.3 billion). The U.S. space agency, NASA, received a budget of $19.3 billion in 2016 alone. To make matters worse, Russian rockets are becoming uncharacteristically undependable.

Comment OSHWA Certification is an accident waiting to happ (Score 1) 57

i tried explaining the problem to the OSHWA group: they didn't get it. the problem with their Certification Programme is that there's nothing in their document which covers liability if a design causes injury or death (deliberate or accidental). the OSHWA group is therefore setting themselves up for a class action lawsuit where some incompetent person designs something extremely badly, slaps an OSHWA logo on it, then a chinese company goes and copies it (logo included... without bothering to find out what the logo's actually for), somebody dies in an electrical fire and the family gets an aggressive lawyer to sue and blame (rightly in this case) the people they deem to have been responsible.

what's particularly troublesome is that the OSHWA's Programme is "self-certifying" Certification Programmes *NEED* to actually have clout behind them, with money put aside to be able to take legal action against people who bring the Certificate into disrepute (using Trademark Law - not patents, not copyright), and there needs to be clauses and phrases that define and assign responsibility and liability. the OSHWA document has been written by well-meaning and unfortunately very naive people who cannot comprehend how much of a risk they are taking, who have not thought things through properly. they haven't taken legal advice, and they have no idea of the distinction between "Libre" and "Open".

what is useful however is that their mailing list is a focus for like-minded people to congregate and communicate.

Comment "consumption" of video??? (Score 2) 48

". According to the report, an estimated 279m music tracks, 56m TV shows, 34m movies, and 5m video games were consumed in the three month period."

how were they "consumed"? did they print them out on rice paper, frame by frame and then and only then manage to EAT them?? this is how the cartels manage to make it look like people are criminals - by using words like "pirate" and "consumption". videos are not "physical objects". copies can't be "stolen". or CONSUMED. the watching of a video does NOT subtract any physical substance from the universe (except perhaps indirectly reducing brain matter due to complete boredom and lack of stimulus). we're being duped here. time to take back control.

Comment Re:Why? (Score 2) 139

May I recommend a thermostatic mixing valve? It lets you keep your water heater very hot, but delivers the hot water mixed with cold water at the set point of the valve. You can then run a separate pipe from the water heater to appliances that need the very hot water, such as the dishwasher or washing machine. It also delivers more water than a regular water heater set to a safer temperature like 120F, effectively extending the capacity of a water heater by 20% or more.

I wouldn't recommend you plumb the very hot water directly to the tub, as the risk of scalding would be too great.

Comment Re:If all you have is a hammer... (Score 1) 153

I won't waste my time explaining you why NoSQL databases are suitable for many use cases

at the request of a client i did an evaluation of a range of databases, mongodb, postgresql, mysql, and after none of them matched up to the required performance tried leveldb and lmdb (which ended up the winner by a long, long margin). mongodb's performance was the worst of the worst. it wasn't so much that it was below the performance of the other databases, it was the *MASSIVE* pauses which began after about 90 seconds of continuous INSERTs, and continued to increase to over THIRTY SECONDS, that really put the nail in its coffin.

so after only ten minutes of INSERTs i gave up on the testing because it was clear that mongodb had some form of internal cacheing and administrative overhead that took absolute precedence over data entry. as the use-case was for the storage of real-time data, having massive pauses that effectively took the entire database offline was completely unacceptable, and i will not be using mongodb, ever.

Comment Re:Of course they have malware (Score 1) 161

When I set out to help her make it run faster, I didn't anticipate that it would be that difficult, or take that long. I thought I could just uninstall one or two things and she'd be fine; but the machine was running so badly that each thing I uninstalled was followed by an equally slow reboot in hopes that would fix the problem. The worst offender turned out to be the free McAfee "security" suite. Learning that I needed to download a McAfee Consumer Product Removal Tool, wading through their equally frustrating web site to find and download the damn thing, and actually running it took a surprising amount of time.

I actually thought finding all the the right device drivers for the brand new hardware would be so hard as to not be worth the hassle. I was very wrong.

Lesson learned, though. Next time I'm going to pull the "Geek Squad virus repair" trick and just reformat the drive.

Comment Re:Of course they have malware (Score 4, Informative) 161

Ever take a Lenovo Windows 8 machine out of the box? The shovelware that encumbers it boggles the mind. It took me three hours to scrape that crap from my sister's brand new machine. Given the performance of the machine before and after, I'd go to court today and testify it was legitimately infected with malware.

Ironically, for that much work at my rates, Office Depot would be undercharging.

Comment Toyota already has it (Score 4, Insightful) 361

At least Toyota already has this in their hybrid vehicles. And in Japan you have a toggle to temporarily turn it off (for when you arrive home late, for instance, and want to minimise noise). The "whine" you hear from a Prius or Aqua at low speed is actually the speaker; with it turned off they're almost completely silent.

Hardware Hacking

How I Freed My Android Tablet: A Journey in Reverse Engineering ( 79

Slashdot reader ttsiod is an embedded software engineer at the European Space Agency, and shares this story about his quest to "dominate" his new tablet: Just like it's predecessor, I wanted to run a Debian chroot inside it -- that would allow me to apt-get install and run things like Privoxy, SSH SOCKS/VPN tunnels, Flask mini-servers, etc; and in general allow me to stay in control. But there was no open-source way to do this... and I could never trust "one-click roots" that communicate with servers in China... It took me weeks to reverse engineer my tablet -- and finally succeed in becoming root. The journey was quite interesting, and included both hardware and software tinkering. I learned a lot while doing it -- and wanted to share the experience with my fellow Slashdotters...
He writes that "I trust Debian. Far more than I trust the Android ecosystem," and describes everything from how he probed the boot process and created his own boot image to hunting for a way "to tell SELinux to get off my lawn".

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