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Open Source

Submission + - 'Anonymous OS' Taken Offline Over Security Concerns ( 2

wiredmikey writes: Slashdot Sister site SourceForge, has removed a controversial Ubuntu-based operating system from its Website due to claims the software is laced with Trojans.

Dubbed “Anonymous-OS”, the operating system was downloaded from SourceForge nearly 40,000 times before it was taken down. Affiliates of the Anonymous collective however have been crying foul. One of the more popular Anonymous Twitter accounts, AnonOps, declared Wednesday that the so-called AnonOS was fake and “wrapped in Trojans.” Another account, YourAnonNews, warned users they “can’t vouch for it.”


Submission + - 40% of federal Web sites still missing DNSSEC (

netbuzz writes: "It's been more than two years since federal agencies were required to support DNS Security Extensions (DNSSEC) on their Web sites. However, two recent studies show that about 40% of federal Web sites — including the Department of Defense and the CIA — have yet to do so."

Submission + - Thousands of side-effects from mixing meds revealed (

ananyo writes: An algorithm designed by US scientists to trawl through a plethora of drug interactions has yielded thousands of previously unknown side effects caused by taking drugs in combination ( The work provides a way to sort through the hundreds of thousands of 'adverse events' reported to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) each year.
The researchers developed an algorithm that would match data from each drug-exposed patient to a nonexposed control patient with the same condition. The approach automatically corrected for several known sources of bias, including those linked to gender, age and disease.
The team then used this method to compile a database of 1,332 drugs and possible side effects that were not listed on the labels for those drugs. The algorithm came up with an average of 329 previously unknown adverse events for each drug — far surpassing the average of 69 side effects listed on most drug labels.


Submission + - Vatican Attack Provides Insight into Anonymous

Hugh Pickens writes writes: "John Markoff writes that an unsuccessful campaign against the Vatican by Anonymous, which did not receive wide attention at the time, provides a rare glimpse into the recruiting, reconnaissance, and warfare tactics used by the shadowy hacking collective and may be the first end-to-end record of a full Anonymous attack. The attack, called Operation Pharisee in a reference to the sect that Jesus called hypocrites, was initially organized by hackers in South America and Mexico and was designed to disrupt Pope Benedict XVI’s visit to Madrid in August 2011 for World Youth Day and draw attention to child sexual abuse by priests. First the hackers spent weeks spreading their message through their own website and social sites like Twitter and Flickr calling on volunteers to download free attack software and imploring them to “stop child abuse” by joining the cause. It took the hackers 18 days to recruit enough people, then a core group of roughly a dozen skilled hackers spent three days poking around the church’s World Youth Day site looking for common security holes that could let them inside. In this case, the scanning software failed to turn up any gaps so the hackers turned to a brute-force approach of a distributed denial-of-service, On the first day, the denial-of-service attack resulted in 28 times the normal traffic to the church site, rising to 34 times the next day but did not crash the site. “Anonymous is a handful of geniuses surrounded by a legion of idiots,” says Cole Stryker, an author who has researched the movement. “You have four or five guys who really know what they’re doing and are able to pull off some of the more serious hacks, and then thousands of people spreading the word, or turning their computers over to participate in a DDoS attack.”"

Submission + - Facebook Has 25 People Dedicated to Handling Gov Info Requests (

nonprofiteer writes: A profile of Facebook's CSO reveals that his 70-person security team includes 25 people dedicated solely to handling information requests from law enforcement. They get thousands of calls and e-mails from authorities each week, though Facebook requires police to get a warrant for anything beyond a subscriber's name, email and IP address. CSO Joe Sullivan says that some gov agency tried to push Facebook to start collecting more information about their users for the benefit of authorities:

"Recently a government agency wanted us to start logging information we don’t log. We told them we wouldn’t start logging that piece of data because we don’t need it to provide a good product. We talked to our general counsel. The law is not black-and-white. That agency thinks they can compel us to. We told them to go to court. They haven’t done that yet.”


Submission + - Steam proves we don't own the games we buy ( 1

An anonymous reader writes: A recent decision to ban a user account has reminded us all we don’t technically own the games bought through the service. If your account is banned, you can’t login and play your games. All that money you spent on tens, or even hundreds of titles doesn’t count for anything.

The example that proves this is the story of a Russian gamer who goes by the name of gimperial. He has a Steam account with over 250 games stored on it that he paid for legitimately, spending over $1,500 purchasing them. However, Steam decided to ban his account for a terms of service violation. The problem is, they wouldn’t tell him what rule had been broken, and Steam’s support service refused to respond to his tickets after initially confirming the ban.

Submission + - Videotaping Law Enforcement Validated by Federal J (

jkyrlach writes: The abuse of the innocent citizen trying merely to document their encounters with law enforcement via videotape have been a frequent topic of /. discussions. Legal precedent may finally be developing to clearly establish the rights of citizenry to monitor their police force with an important victory for freedom that transpired last week in a federal court in Oregon.

Submission + - 350 UK Prisoners Used Facebook to Taunt their Vict (

hypnosec writes: In what could be termed as a rather bizarre and shocking use of social media sites, it was found that as many as 350 violent criminals serving their terms in jail used Facebook to taunt victims and their family. The disclosure was made by the Ministry of Justice and as per their statistics, hundreds of the prisoners were accessing social media platforms without the consent of the authorities. Facebook was quick to react and closed all those Facebook profiles following an investigation by the prison officials. Though inmates are actually not allowed to access the Internet, most of the times, they do it via mobile phones smuggled into the prison. A couple of years back, Colin Gunn — one of the most notorious gangster in the UK was caught using Facebook to threaten his enemies while serving his sentence in a high security prison cell.

Submission + - Microsoft confirms UEFI fears, locks down ARM devi (

walterbyrd writes: "At the beginning of December, we [Software Freedom Law Center] warned the Copyright Office that operating system vendors would use UEFI secure boot anticompetitively, by colluding with hardware partners to exclude alternative operating systems. As Glyn Moody points out, Microsoft has wasted no time in revising its Windows Hardware Certification Requirements to effectively ban most alternative operating systems on ARM-based devices that ship with Windows 8."

Submission + - NFL: National Football Luddites? 1

theodp writes: The National Football League has been brainstorming with tech and communications companies on how to bring the NFL into the 21st century. Major-league sports are famously technophobic — the NFL outlaws computers and PDAs on the sidelines, in the locker room and in press-box coaching booths within 90 minutes of kickoff. But that may be about to change, which the WSJ's Matthew Futterman speculates could mean: 'Coaches selecting plays from tablet computers. Quarterbacks and defensive captains wired to every player on the field and calling plays without a huddle. Digital video on the sidelines so coaches can review plays instantly. Officials carrying hand-held screens for replays. Computer chips embedded in the ball and in the shoulder pads (or mouth guards) that track every move players make and measure their speed, the impact of their hits, even their rate of fatigue.' Part of the impetus for the changes is the chance for a windfall — the NFL's sponsorship deals with Motorola and IBM will expire after this season, and the NFL will be seeking more technology (and presumably cash) from its next technology partner(s). Hey, there are worse ways that Microsoft could spend its advertising bucks!

Submission + - Facebook Censors Arizona Gov. Criticizing Obama ( 1

An anonymous reader writes: Arizona Governor Jan Brewer criticized President Obama’s immigration policies in a post on Facebook, only to have it removed. The company called the issue a mistake and has apologized.

Submission + - The five levels of ISP evil (

schwit1 writes: Recently a number of ISPs have been caught improperly redirecting end-user traffic in order to generate affiliate payments, using a system from Paxfire. A class action lawsuit has been filed against Paxfire and one of the ISPs.

This is a serious allegation, but it’s the tip of the iceberg. I’m not sure if everyone understands the levels of sneakiness that service providers can engage in.


Submission + - Libre Graphics: Free Software for Designers (

TheSilentNumber writes: "I recently had the pleasure of interviewing the editors of Libre Graphics, a magazine made entirely using free software (even using version control so you can see every change ever made) after they gave a talk at this year's Libre Graphics Meeting. This project is living proof of the printing abilities of free software, "That really is a constant refrain even within our own community. People always still talk about the printing problem. So what printing problem?". Libre Graphics magazine is doing a truly outstanding job showcasing free works made with free tools, creating a publication of record, and reaching out to designers with this project."

Submission + - NASA: Remember when we were relevant? (

lanimreT writes: Someone is messing with our timeline. Instead of talking about a Mars mission, NASA is offering an unfunded grant to rehash its glory days. It will provide "high-resolution electronic image and word processing text files" of "NASA historical publications" to the winner(s) of the grant. Securing its legacy is a shrewd way to inspire future generations, but how do we jump-start THIS generation?

Submission + - Judge approves $100 million Dell settlement (

crimeandpunishment writes: It's official. Dell will pay the US government $100 million to settle fraud charges. CEO Michael Dell will personally pay a $4 million fine. A federal judge approved the settlement after Michael Dell assured him the company will deliver on the reforms it promised. Dell was accused of pumping up its profits over five years by improperly using payments from Intel, in order to meet Wall Street targets.

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