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Submission + - Review of documentary Zero Days: The U.S. has pwned Iran (

alphadogg writes: The new documentary about Stuxnet, ‘Zero Days’, says the U.S. had a far larger cyber operation against Iran called Nitro Zeus that has compromised the country’s infrastructure and could be used as a weapon in any future war. Quoting unnamed sources from inside the NSA and CIA, the movie says the Nitro Zeus program has infiltrated the systems controlling communications, power grids, transportation and financial systems, and is still ready to “disrupt, degrade and destroy” that infrastructure if a war should break out with Iran. The movie, by academy award winning director Alex Gibney, opened in U.S. theaters this weekend.

Submission + - Researchers add software bugs to reduce the number of software bugs (

alphadogg writes: Researchers are adding bugs to experimental software code in order to ultimately wind up with programs that have fewer vulnerabilities. The idea is to insert a known quantity of vulnerabilities into code, then see how many of them are discovered by bug-finding tools. By analyzing the reasons bugs escape detection, developers can create more effective bug-finders, according to researchers at New York University in collaboration with others from MIT’s Lincoln Laboratory and Northeastern University. They created large-scale automated vulnerability addition (LAVA), which is a low-cost technique that adds the vulnerabilities.

Submission + - Wi-Fi Alliance has started certifying 802.11ac Wave 2 products (

alphadogg writes: As the Wi-Fi Alliance starts certifying the latest gigabit-speed products to work together, users may not get as excited as they did for some earlier standards. On Wednesday, the industry group launched its certification program for IEEE 802.11ac Wave 2, a technology that’s been on the market for more than a year. Wave 2 can deliver up to 6.8Gbps (bits per second) and lets an access point talk to more than one device at a time. But due to issues like timing and wired backhaul, Wave 2 adoption has been relatively slow.

Submission + - Cisco unearths its inner startup culture via companywide innovation contest (

alphadogg writes: For a giant 30-plus-year-old company, Cisco has a reputation for keeping things fresh via spin-ins, buyouts and venture investments. But late last year, the vendor launched the Innovate Everywhere Challenge — inspired in part by Adobe's open-source Kickbox program — just to make sure it wasn’t overlooking any great new ideas among its 74,000 employees. About half the company got involved, more than 1,100 ideas were submitted and 3 grand winners were selected, with projects focused on virtual reality, remote access for the disabled and logistics for priority digital media campaigns.

Submission + - FCC emphasizes that users of authorized wireless gear must obey rules (

alphadogg writes: Just because your wireless equipment is authorized for use by the FCC doesn't mean you can do whatever the heck you please with it, according to a new enforcement advisory issued by the commission. This would apply to things like WiFi hotspot blocking or setting up pirate radio stations. While the advisory might appear to be stating the obvious, an FCC spokesman elaborates that "the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau is taking proactive measures to decrease the number of complaints about the use of authorized equipment in a manner that is not compliant with their authorizations. Reducing complaint volume helps us handle those that do come in in a timely manner. The issue is an ongoing, steady problem."

Submission + - Commercial drones gaining altitude with top IT vendors (

alphadogg writes: Google, Verizon and others are partnering with NASA on an Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) traffic management scheme. Microsoft has been working with universities on drone-enabled mosquito traps in an effort to stall infectious diseases from spreading. Cisco has shown off drones whose cameras feed into the company’s collaboration technologies. And AT&T, IBM and Intel have all demonstrated advanced drone-based research. All of this activity by enterprise IT vendors in the commercial drone field is a far cry from what was being done — or at least being publicly discussed — back in late 2014, when the FAA first started approving exemptions to fly commercial drones.

Submission + - Almost two-thirds of software companies contributing to open source (

alphadogg writes: Open source’s march toward preeminence in business software continued over the past year, according to a survey https://www.blackducksoftware.... released by open source management provider Black Duck Software and venture capital firm North Bridge. Roughly two-thirds of respondents to the survey – which was administered online and drew 1,300 respondents – said that their companies encouraged developers to contribute to open-source projects, and a similar proportion said that they were actively engaged in doing so already. That’s a 5% increase from the previous year’s survey.

Submission + - The battle between LTE and Wi-Fi may have left LTE-U out in the cold (

alphadogg writes: After more than a year of rancor over whether it would hurt Wi-Fi, a technology that lets LTE networks use unlicensed spectrum may have already missed its window of opportunity. LTE-Unlicensed is designed to improve cellular service by tapping into some of the frequencies used by Wi-Fi and other unlicensed technologies. But almost as soon as LTE-U was proposed in late 2014, Wi-Fi supporters pounced. They charged that it would drown out Wi-Fi signals because LTE didn’t know how to make room for other users. Now carriers may be getting ready to bypass LTE-U altogether in favor of another system, called LAA (Licensed Assisted Access), that does the same thing but with additional protections for Wi-Fi. The LAA standard is complete, and products are expected to start shipping later this year.

Submission + - Open-source vulnerabilities database shuts down

alphadogg writes: An open-source project dedicated to cataloguing a huge range of computer security flaws has closed its doors as of Tuesday, according to an announcement on the Open-Source Vulnerability Database’s blog. The OSVDB, which was founded in 2002, was meant to be an independent repository for security information, allowing researchers to compare notes without oversight from large corporate software companies.

Submission + - Volkswagen chooses OpenStack for private cloud (

alphadogg writes: The second largest car manufacturer in the world, Volkswagen Group, will use the open-source cloud computing platform OpenStack to build a private cloud that will host websites for its brands VW, Audi and Porsche, and be a platform for innovating automotive technology. For the past two years VW officials at the company’s Wolfsburg, Germany, headquarters debated what platform to use.

Submission + - HTTP compression continues to put encrypted communications at risk (

alphadogg writes: Security researchers have expanded and improved a three-year-old attack that exploits the compression mechanism used to speed up browsing in order to recover sensitive information from encrypted Web traffic. The attack, known as BREACH, takes advantage of the gzip/DEFLATE algorithm used by many Web servers to reduce latency when responding to HTTP requests. This compression mechanism leaks information about encrypted connections and allows man-in-the-middle attackers to recover authentication cookies and other sensitive information.

Submission + - Massachusetts AG sues ITT Tech for exploiting computer network students (

alphadogg writes: Browsing through the latest news releases from ITT Technical Institute you'd never think the for-profit school would be capable of the things that Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey says the state is suing it for. The school, which boasts of over 130 locations in 38 states, touts its efforts for women in STEM, its donation of laptops to public schools in Indiana and its record giving for United Way. But AG Healey is suing ITT Tech "for engaging in unfair and harassing sales tactics and misleading students about the quality of its Computer Network Systems program, and the success of the program’s graduates in finding jobs." ITT Educational Services, however, rejected the AG office's claims and lashed out at the office for the manner in which it has brought the suit. ITT's statement reads in part: "The litigation follows the Office's wide-ranging fishing expedition that lasted for more than three years..." If the state wins, the school could be forced to reimburse students for tuition and fees, though ITT says it will defend itself against the charges.

Submission + - Longtime Cisco CEO Chambers invests in drone startup, joins board (

alphadogg writes: News from startup Airware that it has begun offering full-blown drone packages to enterprises such as insurance company State Farm is indeed interesting, but this is even more intriguing: retired Cisco CEO John Chambers (now executive chairman) is one of the company's new investors.
Airware said it has raised $30M in fresh Series C funding, including from Chambers, who now joins the company's board of directors and is helping to guide the young drone maker's enterprise sales efforts.

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