Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive

 



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Submission + - Former IT Admin Accused of Leaving Backdoor Account, Accessing It 700+ Times (bleepingcomputer.com)

An anonymous reader writes: An Oregon sportswear company is suing its former IT administrator, alleging he left backdoor accounts on their network and used them more than 700 times to search for information for the benefit of its new employer.

Court papers reveal the IT admin left to be the CTO at one of the sportswear company's IT suppliers after working for 14 years at his previous employer. For more than two years, he's been using an account he created before he left to access his former colleague's emails and gather information about the IT services they might need in the future. The IT admin was fired from his CTO job after his new employer found out what he was doing.

Submission + - Firefox 52 forces pulseaudio, dev claims that telemetry is essential (mozilla.org) 3

jbernardo writes: While trying to justify breaking audio on firefox for several linux users by making it depend on pulseaudio (and not even mentioning it in the release notes), Anthony Jones, who claims, among other proud achievements, to be "responsible for bringing Widevine DRM to Linux, Windows and Mac OSX", informs users that disabling telemetry will have consequences — "Telemetry informs our decisions. Turning it off is not without disadvantage."
The latest one is, as documented on the mentioned bug, that firefox no long has audio unless you have pulseaudio installed. Many bug reporters suggest that firefox telemetry is disabled by default on many distributions, and also that power users, who are the ones more likely to remove pulseaudio, are also the ones more likely to disable telemetry.
As for the pulseaudio dependence, apparently there was a "public" discussion on google groups, and it can be seen that the decision was indeed based on telemetry.
So, if for any reason you still use firefox, and want to have some hope it won't be broken for you in the future, enable all the spyware/telemetry.

Submission + - Critical Information for Aviators Bogged Down In 'Ridiculous' 1920s NOTAM System 2

Freshly Exhumed writes: Mark Zee of OpsGroup, an entity that provides airlines and aircraft operators worldwide with critical flight information, has had enough of the NOTAM system of critical information notices to aviators, decrying that it has become 'absolutely ridiculous. We communicate the most critical flight information, using a system invented in 1920, with a format unchanged since 1924, burying essential information that will lose a pilot their job, an airline their aircraft, and passengers their lives, in a mountain of unreadable, irrelevant bullshit.'

Submission + - CIA Developed 24 Decoy Applications to Spy on Targets (bleepingcomputer.com)

An anonymous reader writes: According to documents from the recent WikiLeaks dump, the CIA has developed a collection of 24 "decoy" applications for usage in field missions. Named "Fine Dining," these decoy applications are infected with malware that can operate from under a victim's nose.

Just like in the movies, while the agent is using the app, let's say to show a slideshow presentation in Prezi or LibreOffice, the decoy Prezi/LibreOffice app also runs malicious code that scans the victim's storage space and steals a list of selected file types.

The types of decoy applications range from browsers (Opera, Chrome, Firefox) to office tools, movie players, and text editors. Before each mission, CIA agents are suppose to fill in a survey, and a case operator generates a custom decoy app for their needs.

Similarly, the WikiLeaks Vault 7 dump also revealed the CIA was capable of bypassing at least 21 security products, including all the major antivirus vendors, such as Bitdefender, Kaspersky, Avast, AVG, Avira, ESET, F-Secure, Symantec, and others.

Comment Re:Cost savings bullshit from a fool... (Score 1) 88

Way to troll. How do you even know what the "Office Expenses" in a "Budget at a glance" head contains? FYI, it is just that - "office" expenses and no, that does not include software/hardware for schools. Kerala's expenditure on education is around Rs.15,000 crore in 2016-17 - refer page 25 of the detailed financial statement straight from Finance dept. You are either a fool or far removed from India and reality if you think just Rs.220 crore includes entire Kerala's education spend. You are two magnitudes off - in future, do a favor and do not comment authoritatively on things you know zilch about.

The 150k value per machine includes not just Office software but FOSS replacements for other highly valuable ones like Matlab, Animation software, Molecular modelling, Interactive geometric sketching etc.

Finally, what's with the ad hominem argument? I'll just leave this here.

Submission + - Malaysian Police: VX nerve gas killed N Korea leader's brother in airport attack (reuters.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Malaysian police have announced their finding that Kim Jong Nam, half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jon Un, was killed by assassins using VX nerve gas in an attack in the busy Kuala Lumpur airport. Malaysian authorities plan to decontaminate the airport and other sites visited by the attackers. Police are holding the two female attackers, one of whom was affected by the chemical agent, as well as two other men. They are seeking seven more North Koreans connected to the case. VX is the most toxic of the nerve gasses and the UN has declared it a weapon of mass destruction. The manufacture and stockpiling of more than 100 grams of VX per year is prohibited by the Chemical Weapons Convention of 1993. It has no commercial uses. The Malaysian police are trying to discover if it was smuggled into their country, or manufactured there. The Malaysian government has recalled its ambassador to North Korea for consultation. North Korea is blaming the death of Kim Jong Nam on Malaysia. North Korea is believed to have major stockpiles of chemical weapons, and is alleged to conduct experiments on prisoners and social undesirables.

Submission + - Software Vendor Who Hid Supply Chain Breach Outed (krebsonsecurity.com)

tsu doh nimh writes: Researchers at RSA released a startling report last week that detailed a so-called "supply chain" malware campaign that piggybacked on a popular piece of software used by system administrators at some of the nation's largest companies. This intrusion would probably not be that notable if the software vendor didn't have a long list of Fortune 500 customers, and if the attackers hadn't also compromised the company's update servers — essentially guaranteeing that customers who downloaded the software prior to the breach were infected as well. Incredibly, the report did not name the affected software, and the vendor in question has apparently chosen to bury its breach disclosure as a page inside of its site — not linking to it anywhere. Brian Krebs went and digged it up.

Submission + - Mozilla will deprecate XUL add-ons before the end of 2017 2

Artem Tashkinov writes: Mozilla has published a plan of add-ons deprecation in future Firefox releases. Firefox 53 will run in multi process mode by default for all users with some exceptions. Most add ons will continue to function, however certain add ons have already ceased to function because they don't expect multi user mode under the hood. Firefox 54-56 will introduce even more changes which will ultimately break even more addons. Firefox 57, which will be preliminarily released on the 28th of Novermber, 2017, will only run WebExtensions: which means no XUL (overlay) add ons, no bootstrapped extensions, no SDK extensions and no Embedded WebExtensions. In other words by this date the chromification of Firefox will have been completed. If you depend on XUL add ons your only choice past this date will be Pale Moon.

Submission + - India's Rocket Launcher PSLV Launches 104 satellites in one go ... (indiatimes.com)

pmadhan writes: Indian Space Research Organisation or ISRO today created a world record in the space arena by sending 104 satellites in a single rocket.

The space agency's trusted workhorse Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle PSLV-C37, on its 39th mission, took off in the morning, at 9.28 am, today, from Sriharikota space centre with the 104 satellites, of which 101 belongs to international customers.

Read more at:
http://economictimes.indiatime...

Submission + - Its time to have a talk about Slashdot technology 3

hackwrench writes: On top of not fixing the problems that Slashdot has. the new owners have added an annoying ad that persistently blocks actual usage on every load.
Slashdot also frequently launches users some distance into comments for no explicable reason.
It doesn't do Unicode.
The new interface is horrendous. Fortunately it can be switched off.
Features that used to be free are now subscription-only items.
Let's all hash it out. Not just technological issues but editorial grievances as well. And how many of us are on a moderation ban list for some long forgotten stupid reason?

Submission + - Report Finds PFAS Chemicals In One-Third Of Fast Food Packaging (cnn.com)

dryriver writes: Most of the time, when you order fast food, you know exactly what you're getting: an inexpensive meal that tastes great but is probably loaded with fat, cholesterol and sodium. But it turns out that the packaging your food comes in could also have a negative impact on your health, according to a report published Wednesday in the journal Environmental Science & Technology Letters. The report found fluorinated chemicals in one-third of the fast food packaging researchers tested. These chemicals are favored for their grease-repellent properties. Along with their use in the fast food industry, fluorinated chemicals — sometimes called PFASs — are used "to give water-repellant, stain-resistant, and non-stick properties to consumer products such as furniture, carpets, outdoor gear, clothing, cosmetics (and) cookware," according to a news release that accompanied the report. "The most studied of these substances (PFOSs and PFOAs) has been linked to kidney and testicular cancer, elevated cholesterol, decreased fertility, thyroid problems and changes in hormone functioning, as well as adverse developmental effects and decreased immune response in children."

Submission + - LibreOffice 5.3 Officially Released

prisoninmate writes: The Document Foundation, a non-profit organization established to promote and advance the development of the open-source LibreOffice office suite, announced the general availability of LibreOffice 5.3. Probably the most important feature of LibreOffice 5.3 is its new user-friendly and flexible user interface concept called MUFFIN (My User Friendly & Flexible INterface), which many reported last year as a Microsoft Office-like Ribbon UI. In fact, the tasty new UI concept is a "personal" user interface capable of adapting to your needs and the device's screen you're currently using for editing LibreOffice documents.

While still experimental, MUFFIN is the big LibreOffice interface change that users requested for so long, providing a total of four different UI styles that will change depending on whether you're deploying the office suite on a laptop or desktop computer. These include the default look with toolbars, the Single Toolbar UI, the Sidebar UI with a Single Toolbar, and a new Notebook Bar UI. The LibreOffice Writer received a new "Go to Page" dialog so you can easily jump to another page of a lengthy document. Table Styles have been implemented as well with support for importing and exporting ODF table styles. New Arrows toolbox provides a bunch of drawing tools that were previously available only for LibreOffice Draw and Impress, borderless padding is now displayed by default, and you can now set the small capitals character property.

Submission + - 16 Years Of GPS Space Weather Data Made Publicly Available

An anonymous reader writes: Over 16 years of GPS space weather data has been released to the public for the first time, in a bid to help boost understanding around radiation threats to Earth’s satellites, communications networks, and aircraft. The ‘unprecedented’ collection of data, released by the Los Alamos National Laboratory, comes from space weather sensors onboard Global Positioning System (GPS) satellites, which measure charged particles in Earth’s magnetic field. The detailed measurements are expected to provide an invaluable resource for space weather research and for understanding how best to protect our critical infrastructure. Prior to the public release, GPS data has long remained a U.S. military asset, with a “general hesitancy to broadcast even fairly innocuous things out to the broad community.”

Submission + - Ransomware Locks Guests Out of Their Rooms at Austrian Hotel (bleepingcomputer.com)

An anonymous reader writes: A ransomware infection has locked guests out of their rooms at Romantik Seehotel Jägerwirt, a four-star hotel in the Austrian Alps, on the lip of the Turracher Höhe mountain lake. The incident took place earlier this month and hit the computer managing the hotel's electronic key lock system, reservation system and the cash desk system. As a result, hotel guests were locked out of their rooms, as the key lock system wouldn't open doors, new keys couldn't be issued, and new arrivals couldn't be confirmed as guests.

Despite other English media reports, hotel guests **were not locked in their rooms** since fire code regulations dictate that all electronic locks open manually from the inside. According to the hotel manager, all the hotel's 180 guests were on the ski slopes and were locked out of their rooms when they returned (local Austrian media reports 1, 2). The hotel opted to pay the €1500 ransom to unlock their computers.

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