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Submission + - Crypto-Ransomware Attacks Hit Over 700,000 Users In One Year (helpnetsecurity.com)

Orome1 writes: Kaspersky Lab found a drastic increase in encryption ransomware attacks, with 718,536 users hit between April 2015 and March 2016. This is an increase of 5.5 times compared to the same period in 2014-2015, showing that crypto-ransomware has become an epidemic. The biggest problem with crypto-ransomware today is that sometimes the only way to get the encrypted data back is to pay the criminals, and victims tend to pay. That brings a lot of money into the underground ecosystem that has grown up around this malware, and as a result we are seeing new cryptors appear almost daily.
Blackberry

BlackBerry Remains Committed To Smartphone Business, Despite $670M Net Loss In Last Three Months (baytoday.ca) 76

AchilleTalon writes: BlackBerry CEO John Chen refuses to give up on the company's hardware business despite lackluster sales of its first Android-powered smartphone, the Priv. The Canadian smartphone maker reported a $670 million net loss in the first quarter of its 2017 financial year, but said its recovery plan for the year remains on track. Chen, who has stated the company's No. 1 goal is to make its smartphone device business profitable this fiscal year, said he expects the company's new mobility solutions segment to break even or record a slight profit during the third quarter, which ends Nov. 30, 2016. During BlackBerry's first quarter -- second full quarter to include Priv sales -- the company sold roughly 500,000 devices at an average price of $290 each, he said, which is about 100,000 smartphones fewer than the previous quarter and about 200,000 fewer than two quarters earlier. Previously, the company said it needs to sell about three million phones at an average of $300 each to break even, though Chen indicated that may change as the software licensing business starts to contribute to revenue.

Submission + - Exfiltrating Data From Air-Gapped Computers By Modulating Fan Speed (helpnetsecurity.com)

Orome1 writes: For the last few years, researchers from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev have been testing up new ways to exfiltrate data from air-gapped computers: via mobile phones, using radio frequencies (“AirHopper”); using heat (“BitWhisper”), using rogue software (“GSMem”) that modulates and transmits electromagnetic signals at cellular frequencies. The latest version of the data-exfiltration attack against air-gapped computers involves the machine’s fans. Dubbed “Fansmitter,” the attack can come handy when the computer does not have speakers, and so attackers can’t use acoustic channels to get the info.
EU

BBC: UK Votes To Leave The European Union (bbc.com) 1376

An anonymous reader quotes a report from the BBC: The UK has voted by 52% to 48% to leave the European Union after 43 years in a historic referendum, a BBC forecast suggests. London and Scotland voted strongly to stay in the EU but the remain vote has been undermined by poor results in the north of England. Voters in Wales and the English shires have backed Brexit in large numbers. The referendum turnout was 71.8% -- with more than 30 million people voting -- the highest turnout since 1992. London has voted to stay in the EU by around 60% to 40%. However, no other region of England has voted in favor of remaining. Britain would be the first country to leave the EU since its formation -- but a leave vote will not immediately mean Britain ceases to be a member of the 28-nation bloc. That process could take a minimum of two years, with Leave campaigners suggesting during the referendum campaign that it should not be completed until 2020 -- the date of the next scheduled general election. The prime minister will have to decide when to trigger Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, which would give the UK two years to negotiate its withdrawal. Once Article 50 has been triggered a country can not rejoin without the consent of all member states. British Prime Minister David Cameron is under pressure to resign as a result of the decision. UK Independence Party (UKIP) leader Nigel Farage called on him to quit "immediately." One labor source said, "If we vote to leave, Cameron should seriously consider his position." Several pro-Leave Conservatives including Boris Johnson and Michael Gove have signed a letter to Mr. Cameron urging him to stay no matter the decision. Mr. Cameron did say he would trigger Article 50 as soon as possible after a leave vote.

Update 6/24 09:33 GMT: David Cameron has resigned.
The Almighty Buck

Leaked Docs Provide An Unprecedented Look At Income Of Uber Drivers (buzzfeed.com) 308

In 2013, Uber told the Wall Street Journal that a typical Uber driver takes in more than $100,000 in annual gross fares. The ride-hail platform, which has shared similar estimates many times since, says that the company's efforts toward its drivers is a pathway to a modest, more attainable American dream. Turns out, the it has been exaggerating. According to BuzzFeed News, which obtained leaked documents, drivers in some markets don't take home much more than service workers at major chains like Walmart when it comes to net pay. According to the publication, drivers in three major U.S. markets -- Denver, Detroit, and Houston -- earned less than an average of $13.25 an hour after expenses. From the report:Based on these calculations, it's possible to estimate that Uber drivers in late 2015 earned approximately $13.17 per hour after expenses in the Denver market (which includes all of Colorado), $10.75 per hour after expenses in the Houston area, and $8.77 per hour after expenses in the Detroit market, less than any earnings figure previously released by the company.

Submission + - Your Nearest And Dearest Are Snooping On Your Phone (helpnetsecurity.com)

Orome1 writes: If you needed one more reason for protecting your phone with a passcode or fingerprint, here it is: there’s a good chance that one or more of the people close to you have snooped on it in the last year. A group of researchers from University of British Columbia and University of Lisbon have found that the more people use their devices for personal purposes, the more likely they are to snoop on others, possibly because they become aware of the sensitive information that is kept, and how to access it. These findings do not bode well for the future, because more and more people are likely to adopt smartphones.

Submission + - California's last nuclear power plant to close in 2025 (engadget.com)

mdsolar writes: California's nuclear-powered dream has an expiration date. The state's utility conglomerate Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) announced yesterday that they will close the last remaining nuclear plants by 2025. They'll replace the output with renewable energy and better efficiency in other stations. But, barring any changes to the moratorium on new plants, it's likely the end for atomic power in the Golden State.

The plant closures were negotiated with environmentalists and labor unions, but unique state policies sealed their fates, PG&E's CEO Anthony Earley told Scientific American. Specifically, SB 350 passed last year raised the state's minimum energy needed to come from renewables to 50 percent. Despite PG&E's requests, the bill left nuclear energy out of the sources it considers "renewable." This, combined with the bill's doubling of mandated energy efficiency, along with the rise of homegrown electricity, contributed to their decision to close the plants.

The moratorium on building new nuclear plants only exists until California finds a permanent solution for existing radioactive waste, but that's another hurdle that doesn't exist for renewable energy sources. Environmentalists believe this agreement could be a template for other states to shutter nuclear or fossil-fuel plants and replace them with renewable energy sources

Submission + - FAA Finalizes Operational Rules For Drones (helpnetsecurity.com)

Orome1 writes: The Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration has finalized the first operational rules for routine commercial use of small unmanned aircraft systems (UAS or drones), opening pathways towards fully integrating UAS into the nation’s airspace. According to industry estimates, the rule could generate more than $82 billion for the U.S. economy and create more than 100,000 new jobs over the next 10 years. The new rule, which takes effect in late August, offers safety regulations for unmanned aircraft drones weighing less than 55 pounds that are conducting non-hobbyist operations.

Submission + - Why Are Hackers Increasingly Targeting The Healthcare Industry? (helpnetsecurity.com)

Orome1 writes: Cyber-attacks in the healthcare environment are on the rise, with recent research suggesting that critical healthcare systems could be vulnerable to attack. Cybercriminals have found medical data to be far more valuable than credit card fraud or other online scams. This is because medical information contains everything from a patient’s medical history to their medical prescriptions, and hackers are able to access this data via network-connected medical devices, now standard in hi-tech hospitals. This is opening up new possibilities for attackers to breach a hospital or a pharmaceutical company’s perimeter defences. If a device is connected to the internet and left vulnerable to attack, an attacker could remotely connect to it and use it as gateways for attacking network security.
Space

Computer Simulations Point To the Source of Gravitational Waves (theverge.com) 125

An anonymous reader writes from a report via The Verge: On February 11th, scientists at the LIGO observatory made history when they announced the detection of the first gravitational waves. A new study says the gravitational waves likely came from two massive suns that formed about 12 billion years ago, or two billion years after the Big Bang. The researcher's calculations have been published today in the journal Nature, and were determined by running a complex simulation called the Synthetic Universe: a computer model that simulates how the Universe may have evolved since the start of the Big Bang. The simulation even includes a synthetic LIGO detector to determine the types of objects that the observatory would detect over time. The Synthetic Universe can also make predictions as it includes a mock-LIGO to chronologically sync when we detected the waves. If the model is correct, we should see LIGO pick up to 60 detections when it begins its next observation run this fall. It could hear up to 1,000 detections annually at its peak sensitivity. The lead study author Chris Belczynski speculates specifically the size of black hole mergers that the LIGO should be able to detect from gravitational waves, a combined mass between 20 and 80 times the mass of our sun, indicating that they're likely from soon after the Big Bang when stars had lower metal content and formed proportionately larger black holes. His model suggests that the ones that collided to make these gravitational waves were stars that formed 12 billion years ago, became black holes 5 million years later, and then merged 10.3 billion years after that.
Earth

India Launches Record 20 Satellites In Space Using A Single Rocket (indiatimes.com) 109

William Robinson writes from a report via Times of India: The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) used its workhorse PSLV-C34 to inject 20 satellites which includes 17 satellites from various countries like US, Canada, Germany and Indonesia, into orbit in a single mission and set a new record on Wednesday. In the final stages of the mission, ISRO also demonstrated the vehicle's capability to place satellites in different orbits. In the demonstration, the vehicle reignited twice after its fourth and final stage and moved further a few kilometers into another orbit. Also included are a couple of satellites from academic institutions, Sathyabamasat from Sathyabhama University, Chennai and Swayam from College of Engineering, Pune. From the report: "The 320 ton Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C34) took off on its 36th flight at 9:26 a.m. from the Satish Dhawan Space Center with 20 satellites including its primary payload Cartosat-2 series, which provides remote sensing services, and earth observation and imaging satellites from U.S., Canada, Germany and Indonesia. It was also the 14th flight of PSLV in 'XL' configuration with the use of solid strap-on motors. ISRO scientists said, the vehicle had been pre-programmed for today's launch to perform tiny maneuvering to place the 20 satellites into polar sun-synchronous orbits with different inclinations and velocities. It ensured that the satellites were placed with enough distance to prevent collision."

Submission + - Computer Simulations Point To The Source of Gravitational Waves (theverge.com)

An anonymous reader writes: On February 11th, scientists at the LIGO observatory made history when they announced the detection of the first gravitational waves. A new study says the gravitational waves likely came from two massive suns that formed about 12 billion years ago, or two billion years after the Big Bang. The researcher's calculations have been published today in the journal Nature, and were determined by running a complex simulation called the Synthetic Universe: a computer model that simulates how the Universe may have evolved since the start of the Big Bang. The simulation even includes a synthetic LIGO detector to determine the types of objects that the observatory would detect over time. The Synthetic Universe can also make predictions as it includes a mock-LIGO to chronologically sync when we detected the waves. If the model is correct, we should see LIGO pick up to 60 detections when it begins its next observation run this fall. It could hear up to 1,000 detections annually at its peak sensitivity. The lead study author Chris Belczynski speculates specifically the size of black hole mergers that the LIGO should be able to detect from gravitational waves, a combined mass between 20 and 80 times the mass of our sun, indicating that they're likely from soon after the Big Bang when stars had lower metal content and formed proportionately larger black holes. His model suggests that the ones that collided to make these gravitational waves were stars that formed 12 billion years ago, became black holes 5 million years later, and then merged 10.3 billion years after that.

Submission + - Unsecured Security Cameras Lead To Privacy Erosion (helpnetsecurity.com)

Orome1 writes: The results of a recent analysis of some 6,000 open security cameras across the United States has shown that 15 percent of them are located in users’ private homes. Open cameras are those whose feeds are open to anyone because they are protected with a widely known default password, or not password-protected at all. While we expect feeds of cameras in public places like streets, shops, libraries and so on to be accessible to a certain number of strangers, most of us want feeds of or recordings by our home cameras to be for our eyes only. While businesses and organizations with open security cameras in operation might consider it as a theft deterrent, they should also be aware that these open feeds can be exploited by thieves to perform reconnaissance of future targets.
Encryption

Kernel of iOS 10 Preview Is Not Encrypted -- Nobody Knows Why (technologyreview.com) 82

Security experts are claiming that iOS 10 preview, which Apple made available to enthusiasts last week, is not secure. iOS 10 is the latest version of Apple's mobile operating system. It will be available to standard customers later this year (likely around September). According to security experts, iOS 10's kernel is not encrypted. MIT News reports: Why Apple has suddenly opened up its code is unclear. One hypothesis in the security community is that, as author Jonathan Levin puts it, someone inside the company "screwed up royally." But he and security researcher Mathew Solnik both say there are reasons to think it may have been intentional. Encouraging more people to pore over the code could result in more bugs being disclosed to Apple so that it can fix them.

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