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Crime

Mars Rover Code Used For Cyber-Espionage Malware 78

An anonymous reader writes: Two open-source libraries used in the Mars Rover software have been integrated in the source code of a malware family (nicknamed Rover) used as part of a cyber-espionage campaign against the Indian government (Indian Ambassador to Afghanistan). The two libraries are OpenCV and OpenAL, two libraries for processing image and audio information. As such, the Rover malware can take screenshots, record video and audio.

Comment This is called "cable mining" in the telephone biz (Score 1) 169

And Ma Bell has been doing it for a century. Cable rack in the central offices gets crowded after just a few decades, otherwise.

There's precedent, there are specialized tools and procedures for error reduction, and worldwide there are at least dozens, perhaps hundreds, of people with lots of experience in this very specific field.

Comment Blind folks still use cassette tape quite a lot. (Score 5, Interesting) 169

You can feel the weight balance to tell how much of the tape is on one reel versus the other. You can rewind and fastforward by gut-feeling, with no display. Every operation of the player is tactile, and there are no hidden options menus, touchscreens, or any of that crap.

Comment Opportunity (Score 1) 89

Police are not thinking on all cylinders. Anonymity works both ways. They need some undercover agents on Tor joining (and reporting on) plans ASAP (at least to the extent they are leaked to new recruits). I suspect, however, that ISIS recruits have to meet physically with handlers at some point - and at that point the undercover work becomes exceedingly dangerous.

Power

Company Extends Alkaline Battery Life With Voltage Booster 243

New submitter ttsai writes: Batteroo is a Silicon Valley company preparing to release its Batteriser product in September. The Batteriser is a small sleeve that fits around alkaline batteries to boost the voltage to 1.5V. This means that batteries that would otherwise be thrown into the trash when the voltage dips to 1.3V or 1.4V could be used until the unboosted voltage reaches 0.6V, extending the useful life of a battery 8x, according to the company. This product has the potential to reduce the number of batteries in landfills as well as increasing the time between replacing batteries. The expected price of the sleeve is $10 for a pack of 4 sleeves.

Comment The Face (Score 1) 290

Our small software company had a customer that would often complain, "The computer is sticking it's tongue out at me again!" For a custom module, I installed an error dialog for one particular error that displayed an animated face sticking it's tongue out. When she finally ran into this error, she was so tongue tied, she for the first time did *not* say "The computer is sticking it's tongue out at me!"

Encryption

Tor Project Aims To Eclipse US Government Funding 53

An anonymous reader writes Developed by the U.S. Navy and the recipient of millions of dollars of government grants, the Tor Project is now aiming to ween itself off dependence of U.S. government funds "including setting a goal of 50 percent non-U.S. government funding by 2016." The initiative comes after months of discussion over what some vocal critics deemed a contradiction in funding and purpose.

Submission + - A ChillingEffects.org for Domain Names (indolering.com)

fsterman writes: Domain name seizures used to be a rare occurrence, but US law enforcement has become adept at exploiting a quirk in the Internet's governance structure that allows them to seize a wide range of domains without due process. The rate has been increasing exponentially, with a total of 87 in 2010 to 1,700 in mid-2013. A month ago, nearly 5,000 domains were seized by a corporation using civil proceedings. The types of attacks targeting DNS have been increasing as well, such as when a US embassy had GoDaddy shut down a political protest site.

Comment So, we've already paid experts to plan this... (Score 1) 352

And it's pretty cool:
The integrated space plan is an update of the document originally drawn up in the 1980s, and has been variously rediscovered since.

It's a long-view look at where we need to go and what we need to get there. In the 1980s, commercial spaceflight was envisioned somewhat differently than it's happened, and robotics have gotten way more capable, so the refresh is definitely needed.

Comment resources (Score 5, Informative) 102

(for some reason the first time I loaded this page there were no comments, so some of this is duplicate)

Excellent! Very glad to hear it. There are a /ton/ of helpful resources out there for you. Here's a brain-dump of some of the most popular:

* CTFTime : http://ctftime.org/ : Website that tracks team scores, upcoming events, and writeups for previous events.
* CapTF : http://captf.com/ : My CTF dump-site that includes a calendar, links to "practice" sites (aka Wargames), and many years worth of CTF events archived
* Field Guide : http://trailofbits.github.io/c... : Specifically covering the skills / approaches, the field guide is a good read for anyone getting into this world.
* Guide for Running a CTF : https://github.com/pwning/docs... : Written by PPP (CMU's ever-dominant CTF team) along with feedback from the broader CTF community, this guide is more relevant when making a CTF, but can aid in understanding how the good CTFs are designed.
* PicoCTF : https://picoctf.com/ : PicoCTF is designed for high school students, but had an awesome difficulty curve, getting up to some relatively advanced challenges by the end of it. It's also extremely well designed, runs for a longer period of time and is a
* CSAW : https://ctf.isis.poly.edu/ : One of the best events targeted specifically at College students, unfortunately the qualifier round just finished, and the participants already selected for the final round, but you can always check out the archives of previous challenges to get a feel for the difficulty. Note that the qualifier event is typically intended to be much easier than the in-person finals to better encourage new students to get into the sport.
* IRC : irc.freenode.net#pwning : There's a lively and active community in #pwning on freenode that would be happy to help you with questions/advice related to CTFs.
* YouTube : There's a couple of different presentations/talks on CTFs over the years. If your'e interested in learning more about attack-defense CTFs and in-particular DEF CON CTF, I gave an old talk that's mostly still relevant (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=okPWY0FeUoU), though I'd recommend you not focus on A/D at first, but just get into the regular challenge based or jeopardy boards as they're sometimes called.

The best way to prepare for CTF is by... playing CTFs. There's no real magic formula, just go out there and start working on challenges. Old CTFs are great as learning exercises since you can usually cheat and read a writeup, but avoid the temptation as much as possible. If stuck, go off and try another problem first, and only if you're /really/ stuck should you check out a writeup.

Cellphones

Samsung Announces Galaxy Alpha Featuring Metal Frame and Rounded Corners 220

mrspoonsi (2955715) writes with word that Samsung is hopping on the metal case and rounded corners design bandwagon. From the article: Samsung says a metal frame and curved corners give the Galaxy Alpha a "sophisticated" look. The South Korean company describes the Galaxy Alpha as representing a "new design approach". The firm has previously been criticised for the plastic feel of its handsets at a time when other firms have opted to use materials marketed as having a "premium" feel. Samsung Electronics saw a 20% year-on-year drop in its last quarter's profit. The phone features 2G of RAM, a 4.7" AMOLED display, and either an 8-core Exynos 5 or 4-core Snapdragon 801.

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