hypnosec writes: The US Department of Energy has given a green light to the world’s most sensitive dark matter detector ever built — LUX-ZEPLIN (LZ). The dark matter detector, has received an approval for the scope, cost and schedule. LZ is named for the merger of two dark matter detection experiments: the Large Underground Xenon experiment (LUX) and the UK-based ZonEd Proportional scintillation in Liquid Noble gases experiment (ZEPLIN). LUX, a smaller liquid xenon-based underground experiment at SURF will be dismantled to make way for the new project.
MojoKid writes: If you thought that the massive DDoS attack earlier this month on Brian Krebs' security blog was record-breaking, take a look at what just happened to France-based hosting provider OVH. OVH was the victim of a wide-scale DDoS attack that was carried via network of over 152,000 IoT devices. According to OVH founder and CTO Octave Klaba, the DDoS attack reached nearly 1 Tbps at its peak. Of those IoT devices participating in the DDoS attack, they were primarily comprised of CCTV cameras and DVRs. Many of these types devices' network settings are improperly configured, which leaves them ripe for the picking for hackers that would love to use them to carry our destructive attacks.The DDoS peaked at 990 Gbps on September 20th thanks to two concurrent attacks, and according to Klaba, the original botnet was capable of a 1.5 Tbps DDoS attack if each IP topped out at 30 Mbps. This massive DDoS campaign was directed at Minecraft servers that OHV was hosting.
edxwelch writes: Reddit user "sammiesdog" discovered recently that the Visual Studio 2015 c++ compiler was inserting calls to a Microsoft telemetery function into binaries. "I compiled a simple program with only main(). When looking at the compiled binary in Ida, I see a calls for telemetry_main_invoke_trigger and telemetry_main_return_trigger. I can not find documentation for these calls, either on the web or in the options page." Only after the discovery did Steve Carroll, the dev manager for Visual C++, admit to the feature and posted a work around. The "feature" is to be removed in Update 3 of the product.
schwit1 writes: In the last five years, Ahmed Mansoor, a human rights activist in the United Arab Emirates, has been jailed and fired from his job, along with having his passport confiscated, his car stolen, his email hacked, his location tracked and his bank account robbed of $140,000. He has also been beaten, twice, in the same week.
Mr. Mansoor’s experience has become a cautionary tale for dissidents, journalists and human rights activists. It used to be that only a handful of countries had access to sophisticated hacking and spying tools. But these days, nearly all kinds of countries, be they small, oil-rich nations like the Emirates, or poor but populous countries like Ethiopia, are buying commercial spyware or hiring and training programmers to develop their own hacking and surveillance tools.
The barriers to join the global surveillance apparatus have never been lower. Dozens of companies, ranging from NSO Group and Cellebrite in Israel to Finfisher in Germany and Hacking Team in Italy, sell digital spy tools to governments.
A number of companies in the United States are training foreign law enforcement and intelligence officials to code their own surveillance tools. In many cases these tools are able to circumvent security measures like encryption. Some countries are using them to watch dissidents. Others are using them to aggressively silence and punish their critics, inside and outside their borders.
the_newsbeagle writes: The pocket-sized gadget called SCiO offers at-home chemical analysis of the stuff that makes up our daily lives — things like the food on our plates and the leaves of our houseplants. That's the official pitch, anyway. But the SCiO and similar devices may be most attractive to a certain subset of consumers who are very interested in chemistry and don't have access to real labs: namely, people who take illegal or semi-legal drugs.
mask.of.sanity writes: Bug bounty hunters are making hundreds of thousands of dollars a year finding and reporting vulnerabilities in what amounts to a casual job. Since its inception at a Netscape meeting some 20 years ago bounties have evolved to become a huge multi-million dollar industry that is making some hackers rich and lifting others out of poverty.
theodp writes: Police allege that Uber driver Jason Dalton shot 8 people in three different locations, killing six people. But the story gets even crazier, Gizmodo reports, as Dalton allegedly not only picked up Uber passengers between shootings, he continued to drive people around after his last shooting at 10:24pm at a Cracker Barrel restaurant. One of his last passengers before Dalton was arrested even joked, “You’re not the shooter, are you?” Uber Chief Security Officer Joe Sullivan issued the following Statement on Kalamazoo: "We are horrified and heartbroken at the senseless violence in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Our hearts and prayers are with the families of the victims of this devastating crime and those recovering from injuries. We have reached out to the police to help with their investigation in any way that we can."
schwit1 writes: Two Escondido, California, high school students-ages 16 and 18-could see their whole lives derailed because they committed the crime of keeping fishing supplies in cars they parked on school property.
The elder teen, Brandon Cappelletti, had three knives in his car: the remnants of a family fishing trip. The knives were used to cut lines and filet fish. The younger teen, Sam Serrato, had a pocketknife in his glove compartment. His father had left it there.
You might be wondering how administrators at San Pasqual High School even found out about the innocuous items. You might be wondering why the Escondido police became involved. You might also be wondering if the world has gone mad. I have answers to these questions, but you won't like them.
The high school pays a company to search its campus for contraband using drug-sniffing dogs. On January 27, the dogs indicated Cappelletti's vehicle-not because of the knives, but because he kept Advil in the car. It's not clear how Serrato was caught (one news story claims he also had Advil, but his father disputed this). But the knives were discovered, the police were called, and both boys are in big trouble.
lpress writes: Sci-Hub is a Russian site that seeks to remove barriers to science by providing access to pirated copies of scientific papers. It was established in 2011 by Russian neuroscientist Alexandra Elbakyan, who could not afford papers she needed for her research and it now claims to have links to 48 million pirated and open papers. I tried it out and found some papers and not others, but it provides an alternative for researchers who cannot afford access to paid journals. After visiting this site, one cannot help thinking of the case of Aaron Swartz, who committed suicide as a result of prosecution for his attempt to free scientific literature.
HughPickens.com writes: Greg Milner writes in the NYT that an American tourist in Iceland directed the GPS unit in his rental car to guide him from Keflavik International Airport to a hotel in nearby Reykjavik, and ended up 250 icy miles away in Siglufjordur, a fishing village on the outskirts of the Arctic Circle. Mr. Santillan apparently explained that he was very tired after his flight and had “put his faith in the GPS.” In another incident, a woman in Belgium asked GPS to take her to a destination less than two hours away and two days later, she turned up in Croatia. Finally disastrous incidents involving drivers following disused roads and disappearing into remote areas of Death Valley in California have became so common that park rangers gave them a name: “death by GPS.” "If we’re being honest, it’s not that hard to imagine doing something similar ourselves" says Milner. "Most of us use GPS as a crutch while driving through unfamiliar terrain, tuning out and letting that soothing voice do the dirty work of navigating."
Could society’s embrace of GPS be eroding our cognitive maps? Julia Frankenstein, a psychologist at the University of Freiburg’s Center for Cognitive Science, says the danger of GPS is that “we are not forced to remember or process the information — as it is permanently ‘at hand,’ we need not think or decide for ourselves.” "Next time you’re in a new place, forget the GPS device. Study a map to get your bearings, then try to focus on your memory of it to find your way around. City maps do not tell you each step, but they provide a wealth of abstract survey knowledge. Fill in these memories with your own navigational experience, and give your brain the chance to live up to its abilities."
sciencehabit writes: Today, LIGO physicists announced they had detected gravitational waves—ripples in spacetime itself—set off by the explosive collision of two massive black holes. But which of the 1000 scientists who work on LIGO, a pair of gargantuan instruments in Livingston, Louisiana, and Hanford, Washington, was the first to see the long-awaited signal? The honor fell to a soft-spoken postdoc who plays classical piano and has published two fantasy novels. His tale shows how elaborate plans devised to keep LIGO team members guessing whether a signal is real or a purposefully planted fake broke down, leaving one lucky physicist and, soon, the entire LIGO collaboration sitting on a thrilling secret.
schwit1 writes: U.S. Defense officials stated today that the satellite that North Korea launched on Sunday is now tumbling in orbit and is useless.
Do not take comfort from this failure. North Korea has demonstrated that it can put payloads in orbit. From this achievement it is a very short leap to aiming those payloads to impact any continent on Earth. They might not be able to aim that impact very accurately, but if you want to ignite an atomic bomb somewhere, you don't have to be very accurate.
szczys writes: You'd think Tide prediction would be quite easy, it comes in, it goes out. But of course it's driven by gravity between the moon and earth and there's a lot more to it. Today, computer models make this easy, but before computers we used incredible analog machines to predict the tides. The best of these machines were the deciding factor in setting a date for the Allies landing in Europe leading to the end of the second world war.
Hasaf writes: After taking a homemade clock to school, Irving MacArthur High student Ahmed Mohamed, 14, was taken in handcuffs to juvenile detention. Police say they may charge him with making a hoax bomb — though they acknowledge he told everyone who would listen that it’s a clock.