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Submission + - Republican National Committee Security Foiled Russian Hackers (wsj.com)

OverTheGeicoE writes: The Wall Street Journal is reporting that, according to U.S. officials who have been briefed on the attempted intrusion, Russian hackers unsuccessfully tried to penetrate the computer networks of the Republican National Committee using the same techniques that allowed them to infiltrate its Democratic counterpart. (Warning: article may be paywalled.) According to the article, "electronic filters" at RNC blocked phishing e-mails from being delivered to their intended RNC recipient, a former employee. Similar attacks against the Democratic National Committee helped reveal a treasure trove of damaging e-mails.

The article states that the attacks against the RNC were "less aggressive and much less persistent". Why? Was this disparity of effort evidence of Russian bias against the Democrats, or were Republicans simply better protected by superior information security practices?

Submission + - SPAM: US Defense official: Chinese warship stole US underwater drone

schwit1 writes: (CNN)A US oceanographic vessel Thursday had its underwater drone stolen by a Chinese warship literally right in front of the eyes of the American crew, a US defense official told CNN Friday.

In the latest encounter in international waters in the South China Sea region, the USNS Bowditch was sailing about 100 miles off the port at Subic Bay when the incident occurred, according to the official.

Bowditch had stopped in the water to pick up two underwater drones. At that point a Chinese naval ship that had been shadowing the Bowditch put a small boat into the water. That small boat came up alongside and the Chinese crew took one of the drones.

Link to Original Source
Android

Verizon Says It Will Not Push Samsung's Update That Disables Galaxy Note7 Because Of User Inconvenience (verizon.com) 192

Samsung confirmed on Friday that it will indeed release an update to Galaxy Note7 smartphones in the United States to "prevent US Galaxy Note7 devices from charging and will eliminate their ability to work as mobile devices." In a new wrinkle to this whole situation, Verizon said today it will not be releasing Samsung's software update to Galaxy Note7 users on Verizon network. In a blog post, Verizon said: "Verizon will not be taking part in this update because of the added risk this could pose to Galaxy Note 7 users that do not have another device to switch to. We will not push a software upgrade that will eliminate the ability for the Note 7 to work as a mobile device in the heart of the holiday travel season. We do not want to make it impossible to contact family, first responders or medical professionals in an emergency situation." To recall, the Galaxy Note7 remains banned on airlines by the FAA and has also been prohibited from being used on many other public transit services in the United States. Elsewhere in the world, similar bans have been imposed on the phone.

Submission + - Trump to Attack Visas That "Undercut the American Worker" (cio.com.au)

OverTheGeicoE writes: On Monday, US President-elect Donald Trump released a video message outlining his policy plans for his first 100 days in office. At 1 minute, 56 seconds into the message, he states that he will direct the Department of Labor to investigate "all abuses of the visa programs that undercut the American worker." During his presidential campaign, Trump was critical of the H-1B visa program that has been widely criticized for displacing US high-technology workers. "Companies are importing low-wage workers on H-1B visas to take jobs from young college-trained Americans," said Trump at an Ohio rally. At other rallies, Trump invited former IT workers from Disney who had been forced to train their H-1B replacements to speak. According to TFA, the Monday Trump video is "the strongest signal yet that the H-1B visa program is going get real scrutiny once he takes office."

Submission + - Tesla Model 3 Deliveries Delayed Until 2018 (supercars-news.co.uk)

polishgranite writes: Unless of course you have been living in the cage within the last year, it is possible acquainted with the Tesla model 3 — a vehicle that made headlines and broke records through getting around 500, 000 orders within times of getting announced.

Initially first deliveries were scheduled for 2017 however, it emerged today they have been delayed until mid-2018 or later.

Submission + - Bruce Schneier: 'The internet era of fun and games is over' (dailydot.com)

campuscodi writes: Internet pioneer Bruce Schneier issued a dire proclamation in front of the House of Representatives’ Energy & Commerce Committee Wednesday: “It might be that the internet era of fun and games is over, because the internet is now dangerous.”

The meeting, which focused on the security vulnerabilities created by smart devices, came in the wake of the Oct. 21 cyberattack on Dyn that knocked Amazon, Netflix, Spotify, and other major web services offline.

Schneier’s opening statement provided one of the clearest distillations of the dangers posed by connected devices I’ve seen. It should be required viewing. He starts around the 1:10:30 mark in the livestream below, but we’ve also transcribed most of his remarks.

Security

Submission + - Airport Manager Won't Let TSA Replace Body Scanner With Magnetometer (spokesman.com)

OverTheGeicoE writes: TSA recently announced that it would remove all of Rapiscan's X-ray body scanners from airports by June. As part of this effort, it is trying to move a millimeter-wave body scanner from the Helena, Montana airport to replace an X-ray unit at a busier airport. Strangely enough, they have encountered resistance from the Helena's Airport Manager, Ron Mercer. Last Thursday, workers came to remove the machine, but were prevented from doing so by airport officials. Why? Perhaps Mercer agrees with Cindi Martin, airport director at Montana's Glacier Park International Airport airport, who called the scheduled removal of her airport's scanner 'a great disservice to the flying public' in part because it 'removed the need for the enhanced pat-down.'
Security

Submission + - Taking Sense Away: Confessions of a Former TSA Screener (wordpress.com)

OverTheGeicoE writes: TSA gets discussed on Slashdot from time to time, usually negatively. Have you ever wondered about the TSA screeners' perspective? Taking Sense Away is a blog, allegedly written by a former TSA screener, offering insider perspectives on TSA topics. For example, there's the Insider's TSA Dictionary, whose entries are frequently about the code screeners use to discuss attractive female passengers (like 'Code Red,' 'Fanny Pack,' and 'Hotel Bravo'). Another posting explains what goes on in private screening rooms, which the author claims is nothing compared to screener conduct in backscatter image operator rooms. Apparently what happens in the IO room stays in the IO room. Today's posting covers how TSA employees feel about working for 'a despised agency'. For many the answer is that they hate working for 'the laughing stock of America’s security apparatus,' try to hide that they work for TSA, and want to transfer almost anywhere else ASAP.
Security

Submission + - House Subcommittee Holds Hearing on TSA's 'Scanner Shuffle' (house.gov)

OverTheGeicoE writes: The Homeland Security Subcommittee on Transportation Security held a hearing on TSA's recent decision to move X-ray body scanners from major airports to smaller ones, which the subcommitte refers to as a 'Scanner Shuffle.' John Sanders, TSA's assistant administrator for security capabilities, testified that 91 scanners recently removed from major airports were now in storage due to 'privacy concerns.' Although TSA originally planned to relocate the scanners to smaller airports, those plans have been shelved because smaller airports don't have room for them. The subcommittee is also investigating allegations that the machines' manufacturer, Rapiscan, 'may have falsified tests of software intended to stop the machines from recording graphic images of travelers' (VIDEO). Coincidentally, shares of Rapiscan's parent company, OSI Systems Inc., dropped in value almost 25% today, its biggest intraday decline in about 12 years. If wrongdoing is proven, Rapiscan could face fines, prison terms and a ban on government contracting, according to a former head of federal procurement.
Encryption

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: Is TSA's PreCheck System Easy to Game? (wordpress.com)

OverTheGeicoE writes: TSA has had a preferred traveler program, PreCheck, for a while now. Frequent fliers and other individuals with prior approval from DHS can avoid some minor annoyances of airport security, like removing shoes and light jackets, but not all of the time. TSA likes to be random and unpredictable, so PreCheck participants don't always get the full benefits of PreCheck. Apparently the decision about PreCheck is made when the boarding pass is printed, and a traveler's PreCheck authorization is encoded, unencrypted, on the boarding pass barcode. In theory, one could use a barcode-reading Web site (like this one, perhaps) to translate a barcode into text to determine your screening level before a flight. One might even be able to modify the boarding pass using PhotoShop or the GIMP to, for example, get the screening level of your choice. I haven't been able to verify this information, but I bet Slashdot can. Is TSA's PreCheck system really that easy to game? If you have an old boarding pass lying around, can you read the barcode and verify that the information in TFA is correct?
Red Hat Software

Submission + - Is Ubuntu Development Becoming Less Open? (muktware.com)

sfcrazy writes: While the larger Ubuntu community was busy downloading, installing and enjoying the latest edition of Ubuntu yesterday, a post by Ubuntu founder Mark Shuttleworth rustled some feathers. He gave indications that from now onwards only selected members of the community will be involved in some development and it will be announced publicly only after completion. Unlike other open source projects where all development happens in open manner. There as some criticism of this move and Shuttleworth ate his words and responded that they are actually opening up those projects where were being developed internally by Canonical employees instead of closing currently open projects. He also attacked Red Hat, as usual. This attitude or Shuttleworth is causing much discomfort for the entire Linux community. Is Canonical doing something wrong?
Security

Submission + - TSA Moving X-ray Body Scanners To Smaller Airports (propublica.org)

OverTheGeicoE writes: If you're concerned about possible health effects from TSA's X-ray body scanners, you might be pleased to learn that TSA is making changes. TSA is removing X-ray body scanners from major airports including Los Angeles International, Boston's Logan, Chicago's O'Hare, and New York City's JFK. Then again, these changes might not please you at all, because they are not mothballing the offending devices. No, they are instead moving them to smaller airports like the one in Mesa, AZ. Is this progress, or is TSA just moving potentially dangerous scanners from 'Blue' areas to 'Red' ones right before a presidential election?
Math

Submission + - Randomly generated math article accepted by ``open-access'' journal (thatsmathematics.com)

call -151 writes: Many years ago, a human-generated intentionally nonsense paper was accepted by the (prominent) literary culture journal Social Text. In August, a randomly-generated nonsense mathematics paper was accepted by one of the many low-tier ``open-access'' research mathematics journals. The software Mathgen which generated the accepted submission takes as inputs author names (or those can be randomly selected also) and generates nicely TeX'd and impressive-sounding sentences which are grammatically correct but mathematically disconnected nonsense. This was reviewed by a human, (quickly, for math, in 12 days) and the reviewers' comments mention superficial problems with the submission. The references are also randomly-generated and rather hilarious. For those with concerns about submitting to lower-tier journals in an effort to promote open access, this is not a good sign!

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