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Submission + - Lloyds Bank Survives Three-Day DDoS Onslaught (thestack.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Lloyds Bank, the largest retail banking outlet in the UK, was subject to an unusually sustained Distributed Denial of Service attack earlier this month. The attack, from 'multiple systems', began on the morning of January 11th and ran until the close of Friday 13th, though Lloyds reports that none of its 20 million accounts were compromised.

Submission + - Nasdaq Completes 'Successful' Blockchain E-voting Trial

An anonymous reader writes: U.S. stock exchange Nasdaq has released the findings of a recent blockchain e-voting trial, declaring the system a ‘success’. The test was conducted across the Tallinn exchange in Estonia in 2016 and aimed to reduce the complexity and cost of organizing shareholder voting. The experiment hoped to encourage investor engagement and participation at voting activities linked to Annual General Meetings (AGM) and trading and settlement issues. Using digital identification solutions provided by Estonia’s e-Residency platform and smart contract technology from startup Chain, Nasdaq created a system through which digital assets marking voting rights and tokens used to cast votes were distributed to each shareholder. According to Nasdaq, overall feedback on the trial was positive. Participants noted, however, that the system needs to deliver increased mobile support to encourage greater participation.

Submission + - Massive Twitter Botnet Dormant Since 2013 (threatpost.com)

msm1267 writes: A sizable and dormant Twitter botnet has been uncovered by two researchers from the University College London, who expressed concern about the possible risks should the botmaster decide to waken the accounts under his control.

Research student Juan Echeverria Guzman and his supervisor and senior lecturer at the college Shi Zhou said the 350,000 bots in the Star Wars botnet could be used to spread spam or malicious links, and also, more in line with today’s social media climate, it could start phony trending topics, attempt to influence public opinion, or start campaigns that purport a false sense of agreement among Twitter users.

Compounding the issue is a larger botnet of more than a half-million bots that the researchers have uncovered since their initial research. That research, the two academics said, will be shared in a future paper. In the meantime, the Star Wars botnet dataset is available for study; the researchers said the data is tens of times larger than any public collection on Twitter bots.

The researchers also said they have not shared their data with Twitter yet because they are waiting for their current research to be approved in a scientific journal.

“We would also like to give researchers a chance to get the dataset by themselves before they are gone, this is why we have not reported to Twitter directly, but we will as soon as the paper gets accepted,” Echeverria Guzman said.

Submission + - China Cracks Down On International VPN Usage (thestack.com)

An anonymous reader writes: China's government has announced a 14-month crackdown on the use of unauthorised Virtual Private Networks (VPNs), commonly used by visitors and native activists, amongst others, to communicate with the world beyond the Great Firewall of China. Sunday’s announcement [Chinese] from the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology reiterated regulations first outlined in 2002, but which have since been subject to sparse, selective or lenient enforcement. The new announcement promises a ‘clean up’ regarding the VPN situation in China, beginning immediately and running until March of 2018

Comment Re:Competitors don't get it (Score 1) 115

This is so true. I got a $5 Raspberry Pi Zero just for kicks. I have spent 10 hours on it and still don't have my bluetooth chip working, and it's a very common chip. Why can't Raspbian come with hardware drivers for the 10 or so most common chips used with it?

Comment We understand the "squirrel problem" (Score 4, Informative) 148

Problems like this have existed for decades or more and we know how to prevent it.

It's a business decision whether to invest in prevention, mitigation, both, or neither.

The "foreign government cyber-warfare" problem is less well-understood and is ever-evolving.

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For what it's worth, most "mother nature" problems can be handled by having adequate redundancy and/or backup systems and, for most users, having an expected service level that allows for the grid (or internet, or other utility) to be offline for several seconds at a time while backup systems kick in. A state-level attacker is likely to be aware of the backup systems and attack both simultaneously.

Submission + - Humans, not climate change, wiped out Australian megafauna (phys.org)

schwit1 writes: New evidence involving the ancient poop of some of the huge and astonishing creatures that once roamed Australia indicates the primary cause of their extinction around 45,000 years ago was likely a result of humans, not climate change.

Led by Monash University in Victoria, Australia and the University of Colorado Boulder, the team used information from a sediment core drilled in the Indian Ocean off the coast of southwest Australia to help reconstruct past climate and ecosystems on the continent. The core contains chronological layers of material blown and washed into the ocean, including dust, pollen, ash and spores from a fungus called Sporormiella that thrived on the dung of plant-eating mammals, said CU Boulder Professor Gifford Miller.

Miller, who participated in the study led by Sander van der Kaars of Monash University, said the sediment core allowed scientists to look back in time, in this case more than 150,000 years, spanning Earth's last full glacial cycle. Fungal spores from plant-eating mammal dung were abundant in the sediment core layers from 150,000 years ago to about 45,000 years ago, when they went into a nosedive, said Miller, a professor in the Department of Geological Sciences.

"The abundance of these spores is good evidence for a lot of large mammals on the southwestern Australian landscape up until about 45,000 years ago," he said. "Then, in a window of time lasting just a few thousand years, the megafauna population collapsed."

Submission + - France to review food whitener additive, titanium dioxide, for health risks (reuters.com)

Eloking writes: The French government has ordered a review of the safety of titanium dioxide as a food additive after a scientific study released on Friday found health effects in animals that consumed the substance.

Titanium dioxide is widely used in industry as a whitener, notably for paint. It is an ingredient in some foods such as sweets and known as additive E171.

France's National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA) and partners in a study on oral exposure to titanium dioxide had shown for the first time that E171 crosses the intestine wall in animals to reach other parts of the body, INRA said.

Submission + - The 32-Bit Dog Ate 16 Million Kids' CS Homework

theodp writes: Tech backed-Code.org explains in a blog post that it encountered technical difficulties Friday that temporarily made the work of 16 million K-12 students who have used the nonprofit's Code Studio offering disappear. Code.org CTO Jeremy Stone gave the kids an impromptu lesson on the powers of two with his explanation of why The Cloud ate their homework: "This morning, at 9:19 am PST, coding progress by students stopped saving on Code Studio, and the issue briefly brought the Code Studio site down. We brought the site back up shortly thereafter but student progress was still not being saved, and instead students saw an outdated message about the Hour of Code from December. [...] The way we store student coding activity is in a table that until today had a 32-bit index. What this means is that the database table could only store 4 billion rows of coding activity information. We didn’t realize we were running up to the limit, and the table got full. We have now made a new student activity table that is storing progress by students. With the new table, we are switching to a 64-bit index which will hold up to 18 quintillion rows of information. On the plus side, this new table will be able to store student coding information for millions of years. On the down side, until we’ve moved everything over to the new table, some students’ code from before today may temporarily not appear, so please be patient with us as we fix it."

Submission + - Trump's problem: Will China, Japan, Europe or U.S. build first exascale system? (computerworld.com)

dcblogs writes: The global race to develop an exascale supercomputer may be a Sputnik moment for President Donald Trump. The new administration has said nothing about its plans for supercomputing. Will it participate in the global race to develop an exascale supercomputer? The supercomputing race is going to turn very real for the Trump administration. China and Japan both have plans to deliver an exascale system by 2020. Europe is well in the race and has targeted 2022, but it could deliver something earlier. The U.S. plan had a delivery date of 2023-24 — until a few weeks ago. In the final weeks of the Obama administration, a new plan emerged to produced the nation's first exascale system by 2021. The U.S. Department of Energy's Exascale Computing Project "is now a 7-year project, not a 10-year project, but it will cost more," said Paul Messina, a computer scientist at the Argonne National Laboratory and head of the project. But the Hill recently reported that the Trump administration is considering cutting the Dept. of Energy's advance computing budget to 2008 levels.

Submission + - What issues do you have with Slashdot functionality? 8

hackwrench writes: We know about Slashdot's Unicode, nonspecific issues with features around what was Slashdot beta, Slashdot launching you some arbitrary distance down the page, the mobile site missing features and hiding posts without the option to turn it off and apparently I and others have been banned from moderating. What features do you find problematic with the Slashdot interface and what would you like to have added?

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