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Submission + - Ubuntu Forums Hacked, IPs and Emails of 2 Million Users Compromised

prisoninmate writes: It would appear that, on the day of July 14, 2016, the Ubuntu Forums were compromised by someone who managed to get past the security measures implemented by Canonical and access the forum's database. Canonical was immediately notified of the fact that someone claimed to have a copy of the Ubuntu Forums database. After some investigation, it appears that the forum's database was indeed attacked at 20:33 UTC on July 14, 2016, by someone who injected certain formatted SQL to the database servers on the Ubuntu Forums. Canonical reports that the attacker managed to download parts of the "user" table that contained IP addresses, email addresses, and usernames of over 2 million registered users, but no valid password were compromised. Canonical apologise for any inconvenience caused by the breach.

Submission + - Alzheimer's gene already shrinking brain by age of three (telegraph.co.uk)

schwit1 writes: The Alzheimer’s gene, which dramatically raises the risk of developing dementia, is already affecting carriers by the age of three, shrinking their brains and lowering cognition, a new study suggests.

Children who carry the APOEe4 gene mutation , which raises the chance of dementia by 15 fold, were found to do less well in memory, attention and function tests.

Areas of the brain affected by Alzheimer’s disease, such as the hippocampus and parietal gyri, were also found to be up to 22 per cent smaller in volume.

Submission + - "Miniature Pluto" Discovered in Outer Solar System (seeker.com)

astroengine writes: Astronomers have found another Pluto-like dwarf planet located about 20 times farther away from the sun than Neptune. The small planet, designed 2015 RR245, is estimated to be about 435 miles in diameter and flying in an elliptical, 700-year orbit around the sun. At closest approach, RR245 will be about 3.1 billion miles from the sun, a milestone it is expected to next reach in 2096. At its most distant point, the icy world is located about 7.5 billion miles away. It was found by a joint team of astronomers using the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope (CFHT) on Maunakea, Hawaii, in images taken in September 2015 and analyzed in February. The discovery was announced on Monday in the Minor Planet Electronic Circular.

Submission + - Slackware 14.2 Released, Still systemd-Free

sombragris writes: Slackware, the oldest GNU/Linux distribution still in active maintenance, was released just minutes ago. Slackware is noted for being the most Unix-like of all Linux distributions. While sporting kernel 4.4.14 and gcc 5.3, other goodies include Perl 5.22.2, Python 2.7.11, Ruby 2.2.5, Subversion 1.9.4, git-2.9.0, mercurial-3.8.2, KDE 4.14.21 (KDE 4.14.3 with kdelibs-4.14.21) Xfce 4.12.1... and no systemd!

According to the ChangeLog:

The long development cycle (the Linux community has lately been living in "interesting times", as they say) is finally behind us, and we're proud to announce the release of Slackware 14.2. The new release brings many updates and modern tools, has switched from udev to eudev (no systemd), and adds well over a hundred new packages to the system. Thanks to the team, the upstream developers, the dedicated Slackware community, and everyone else who pitched in to help make this release a reality.

Grab the ISOs at a mirror near you. Enjoy!

Submission + - NASCAR Team Pays Ransomware Fee To Recover Files Worth $2 Million (softpedia.com)

An anonymous reader writes: NASCAR team Circle Sport-Leavine Family Racing (CSLFR) revealed today it faced a ransomware infection this past April when it almost lost access to crucial files worth nearly $2 million, containing car parts lists and custom high-profile simulations that would have taken 1,500 man-hours to replicate.

The infection took place on the computer belonging to CSLFR's crew chief. Winston's staff detected the infection when encrypted files from Winston's computer began syncing to their joint Dropbox account. It was later discovered that he was infected with the TeslaCrypt ransomware. Because the team had no backups of the crucial data, they eventually paid the ransom (around $500). This happened before TeslaCrypt's authors decided to shut down their operations and release free decryption keys.

Submission + - Supreme Court Gives Police More Leeway on Illegal Searches

HughPickens.com writes: NBC reports that Justice Sonia Sotomayor let loose a scorching dissent in a case involving the Fourth Amendment and police conduct. The case concerns Edward Strieff, who was stopped while leaving a house a police officer was watching on suspicion of drug activity. When the officer discovered Strieff had an outstanding warrant for a minor traffic violation, he searched Strieff and found methamphetamine. The court had to decide whether the drugs found on Strieff could be used as evidence or whether such evidence was disqualified by the Fourth Amendment's prohibition on "unreasonable searches and seizures." Clarence Thomas wrote for the majority, saying the evidence was "admissible because the officer's discovery of the arrest warrant attenuated the connection between the unlawful stop and the evidence seized incident to arrest."

Sotomayor refused to let the majority get away with this Fourth Amendment diminution without a fight. In a stunning dissent, Sotomayor explains the startling breadth of the court’s decision. “This case allows the police to stop you on the street, demand your identification, and check it for outstanding traffic warrants—even if you are doing nothing wrong,” Sotomayor writes. “If the officer discovers a warrant for a fine you forgot to pay, courts will now excuse his illegal stop and will admit into evidence anything he happens to find by searching you after arresting you on the warrant.” The Department of Justice, Sotomayor writes, “recently reported that in the town of Ferguson, Missouri, with a population of 21,000, 16,000 people had outstanding warrants against them.” That means 76 percent of Ferguson residents have, under the court’s decision, effectively surrendered their Fourth Amendment right against unreasonable seizure. “In the St. Louis metropolitan area,” moreover, “officers ‘routinely’ stop people—on the street, at bus stops, or even in court—for no reason other than ‘an officer’s desire to check whether the subject had a municipal arrest warrant pending.’ ”

Submission + - TeamViewer Servers Go Down as Users Complain on Reddit About Getting Hacked (softpedia.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Something is happening with TeamViewers servers at the moment, and all clues point to a massive breach that has led to many users going on Reddit and complaining about having their computers hacked. Some users have reported finding new transactions in their PayPal and bank accounts, while others discovered someone had been poking around their email account.

Other lucky users said they barely avoided getting hacked at the last minute, noticing their mouse starting to move across the screen, and hurrying to disconnect their Internet connection. On Twitter, the TeamViewer team wrote that they're only experiencing issues in some parts of their network, but they denied any security breach, at least on their side.

In the past months, we've seen malware use TeamViewer many times to infect computers, but most of those cases were because of users who used weak passwords, which is certainly not TeamViewer's fault. It is strange that this time around, just when TeamViewer servers go down, multiple users also flock to social media to complain about getting hacked. This is either one huge strange cosmic coincidence or TeamViewer is really at fault and won't be able to pin the blame on its users.

Submission + - NASA Satellite Finds 39 Unreported Sources of Toxic Air Pollution (phys.org)

An anonymous reader writes: Using a new satellite-based method, scientists at NASA, Environment and Climate Change Canada, and two universities have located 39 unreported and major human-made sources of toxic sulfur dioxide emissions. A known health hazard and contributor to acid rain, sulfur dioxide (SO2) is one of six air pollutants regulated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The 39 unreported emission sources, found in the analysis of satellite data from 2005 to 2014, are clusters of coal-burning power plants, smelters, oil and gas operations found notably in the Middle East, but also in Mexico and parts of Russia. In addition, reported emissions from known sources in these regions were—in some cases—two to three times lower than satellite-based estimates. Altogether, the unreported and underreported sources account for about 12 percent of all human-made emissions of sulfur dioxide — a discrepancy that can have a large impact on regional air quality, said Chris McLinden, an atmospheric scientist and lead author of the study.

Submission + - What Greta Van Susteren got wrong about transmitting pictures from Pluto (examiner.com)

MarkWhittington writes: Greta Van Susteren, the former defense lawyer who does a news and commentary show on Fox News, tweeted some annoyance that NASA has been slow to release some of the photos taken of the surface of Pluto taken last summer. “Why did they wait until NOW to release these? pics taken in 2015 and we pay their salaries in tax dollars.” The statement is somewhat understandable for someone who is more accustom to reporting on criminal justice news than she is on space and science issues. However, the Internet has erupted in derision at the FNC host’s ignorance of the realities of low bandwidth transmissions across the gulf of billions of miles.

Submission + - Theoretical Breakthrough Made in Random Number Generation (threatpost.com)

msm1267 writes: Two University of Texas academics have made what some experts believe is a breakthrough in random number generation that could have longstanding implications for cryptography and computer security.

David Zuckerman, a computer science professor, and Eshan Chattopadhyay, a graduate student, published a paper in March that will be presented in June at the Symposium on Theory of Computing. The paper describes how the academics devised a method for the generation of high quality random numbers. The work is theoretical, but Zuckerman said down the road it could lead to a number of practical advances in cryptography, scientific polling, and the study of other complex environments such as the climate.

“We show that if you have two low-quality random sources—lower quality sources are much easier to come by—two sources that are independent and have no correlations between them, you can combine them in a way to produce a high-quality random number,” Zuckerman said. “People have been trying to do this for quite some time. Previous methods required the low-quality sources to be not that low, but more moderately high quality. We improved it dramatically."

Submission + - Philadelphia Union Accused of Using Drones to Intimidate Enemies (heatst.com)

schwit1 writes: Hotel developer Mihir Wankawala clicked on the link a friend had sent him and watched in shock: Drone-shot video shows dozens of union protestors, the view rising to peer in the windows of the historic hotel property Wankawala was carefully refurbishing. The whole video, which the unions posted to YouTube, is ominously set to Rockwell’s “Somebody’s Watching Me.”

“I guess they were trying to show their power,” says Wankawala, who says he sought bids from union and non-union contractors and discovered that using solely organized labor would increase his costs by around 30 percent. “I’m the new kid on the block. This is my first project [in Philadelphia]. I think they were trying to send a message that you have to use union labor to get your project done.”

Such scare tactics are nothing new; for decades, Philadelphia’s construction unions have used violence, vandalism, harassment and intimidation to dominate the construction industry.

Submission + - Mexican voter database containing 93.4 million records leaks online (ibtimes.co.uk)

NeonBible writes: A database reportedly containing roughly 93.4 million Mexican voter registration records was discovered on an Amazon cloud server without any password protection and includes everything from home addresses to ID numbers, a security researcher has disclosed.

MacKeeper researcher Chris Vickery, who is well known in security circles for unearthing database flaws by using the Shodan search engine, found the massive trove of records on 14 April and quickly contacted the authorities – including the US State Department, the Department of Homeland Security and the Mexican Embassy in Washington. According to the researcher, the database was finally taken offline on 22 April.

Submission + - Lithium-ion batteries that last a lifetime (computerworld.com)

Socguy writes: A typical Lithium-ion battery breaks down badly between 5000-7000 cycles. Researchers at the University of California may have discovered a simple way to build a Lithium battery that can withstand 100,000+ cycles.

This was a serendipitous discovery as the researcher was playing around with the battery and coated it in a thin gel layer. The researchers believe the gel plasticizes the metal oxide in the battery and gives it flexibility, preventing cracking.

Submission + - Has the 'impossible' EM drive being tested by NASA finally been explained? (examiner.com) 1

MarkWhittington writes: The EM drive, the so-called “impossible” space drive that uses no propellant, has roiled the aerospace world for the past several years, ever since it was proposed by British aerospace engineer Robert Shawyer. In essence, the claim advanced by Shawyer and others is that if you bounced microwaves in a truncated cone, thrust would be produced out the open end. Most scientists have snorted at the idea, noting correctly that such a thing would violate physical laws. However, organizations as prestigious as NASA have replicated the same results, that prototypes of the EM drive produces thrust. How does one reconcile the experimental results with the apparent scientific impossibility? MIT Technology Review suggested a reason why.

Submission + - BREAKING: Belgian nuclear power plants evacuated after Brussels terror attack (express.co.uk)

mdsolar writes: The Tihange power plant, an hour's drive from the Belgian capital in the province of Liege, and the Doel power plant in Antwerp have been cleared amid heightened fears of another attack.

Security has been stepped up at both Doel, which houses four reactors, and Tihange, which houses three.

Armed police and the Belgian military have been on site since the weekend following growing calls from the energy industry to beef up security at the potentially vulnerable plants.

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