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

 



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Security

MI6 Terror Photos, Data Accidentally Sold On Ebay 317

Barence writes "In what's turning out to be a bad week for security in the UK, confidential MI6 documents, fingerprints and photos relating to suspected Al-Qaeda terrorists have been found in the memory of the second-hand Nikon Coolpix camera, which was bought on eBay for only £17. The buyer immediately went to the police, who initially treated it as a joke; when they realised he was serious, they swooped on his home and seized his camera and PC. Remember, this is the same MI6 which plans to recruit new members via Facebook, a userbase not exactly famous for its dedication to privacy, security and discretion. The news comes on the back of yesterday's embarrassment over a local council whose VPN device ended up on eBay with confidential login details left on it."
Security

Asus Ships Cracking Software On Recovery DVD 263

Barence writes "Asus is accidentally shipping software crackers and confidential documents on the recovery DVDs that come with its laptops. The startling discovery was made by a PC Pro reader whose antivirus software was triggered by a key cracker for the WinRAR compression software, which was located on the recovery DVD for his Asus laptop. Along with the key cracker the disc also contained confidential Asus documents including a PowerPoint presentation that details 'major problems' identified by the company, including application compatibility issues. The UK reader is not alone, either — several users in the US and Australia have also found suspicious files on Asus discs."
Google

Automated News Crawling Evaporates $1.14B 546

cmd writes "The Wall Street Journal reports that Google News crawled an obscure reprint of an article from 2002 when United Airlines was on the brink of bankruptcy. United Airlines has since recovered but due to a missing dateline, Google News ran the story as today's news. The story was then picked up by other news aggregators and eventually headlined as a news flash on Bloomberg. This triggered automated trading programs to dump UAL, cratering the stock from $12 to $3 and evaporating 1.14 billion dollars (nearly United's total market cap today) in shareholder wealth. The stock recovered within the day to $10 and is now trading at $9.62, a market cap of $300M less than before Google ran the story." The article makes clear that Google's news bot only noticed the old story because it has been voted up in popularity on the site of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel newspaper. The original thought was that stock manipulation may have been behind the incident, but this suspicion seems to be fading.
Slashdot.org

Unexpected Slashdot Downtime 219

Netcraft confirmed it ... Slashdot was dying for several hours (along with SourceForge, which shares a corporate overlord and router). Some planned downtime from our provider apparently didn't come back up quite as planned. Sorry for the inconvenience. On the upside, we're moving to a new network and hardware soon, so the site should be much faster and more stable rsn.
Security

G-Archiver Harvesting Google Mail Passwords 462

Thwomp writes "It appears that a popular Gmail backup utility, G-Archiver, has been harvesting users' Gmail passwords. This was discovered when a developer named Dustin Brooks took a look at the code using a decompiler. He discovered a Gmail account name and password embedded in the source code. Brooks logged in and found over 1,700 emails all with user account information — with his own at the top. According to a story in Informationweek, he deleted the emails, changed the account password, and notified Google. The creator of G-Archiver has pulled the software, stating that it was debug code and was unintentionally left in the product."
It's funny.  Laugh.

Police Busted When Tracking Device Found On Car 367

uh oh notes a story from Down Under where a police investigation came to a screeching halt as a man being investigated by the police found tracking devices in two of his cars, ripped them out, and listed them on an auction site. "Ralph Williams, of Cromwell, said he found the devices last week in his daughter's car, which he uses, and in his flatmate's car after the cars were seized by police and taken away for investigation."
United States

Air Force Mistakenly Transports Live Nukes Across America 898

kernel panic attack writes "Surely the late Stanley Kubrick is somewhere smiling at this one. Forbes.com has a story about a B-52 Bomber that mistakenly flew 6-nuclear tipped cruise missles across several states last week. The 3-hour flight took the plane from Minot Air Force Base, N.D, to Barksdale Air Force Base, La., on Aug. 30. The incident was so serious that President Bush and Defense Secretary Robert Gates were quickly informed and Gates has asked for daily briefings on the Air Force probe, said Defense Department press secretary Geoff Morrell."
Security

Contractor Folds After Causing Breaches 274

talkinsecurity writes "A single contractor, privately-held Verus Inc., has been traced as the source of no less than five hospital security breaches in the past two months — and those breaches have put the company out of business in a matter of weeks. Verus, which managed the websites of as many as 60 of the country's largest hospitals, has folded its entire business within the past few weeks, without a word to anyone. Apparently, a single IT error led to the exposure of at least five hospitals' patient data — at least 100,000 individuals' personal information — and caused Verus' primary investor to pull the plug. The hospitals, which initially reported their breaches separately, were left with no one to sue."
The Courts

US Dept. of Justice May Intervene To Help RIAA 215

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "In a Corpus Christi, Texas, case, Atlantic v. Boggs, where the defendant interposed a counterclaim alleging that the RIAA's $750-per-song file damages theory is unconstitutional, and the RIAA moved to dismiss the counterclaim, the US Department of Justice has sought and obtained an extension of time in which to decide whether to intervene in the case on the side of the RIAA. What probably precipitated the issue is that the constitutional question was raised not just as a defense as it was in UMG v. Lindor, but as a counterclaim, thus prompting a dismissal motion by the RIAA."
United States

US Military Leaks its Secrets Online 198

athloi writes "Detailed schematics of a military detainee holding facility in southern Iraq, geographical surveys and aerial photographs of two military airfields outside Baghdad and plans for a new fuel farm at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan are among the items accidentally left online by government agencies and contractors."
United States

DOJ Accidentally Gives Lawyer Wiretap Transcript 319

good soldier svejk writes "'It could be a scene from Kafka or Brazil. Imagine a government agency, in a bureaucratic foul-up, accidentally gives you a copy of a document marked "top secret." And it contains a log of some of your private phone calls. You read it and ponder it and wonder what it all means. Then, two months later, the FBI shows up at your door, demands the document back and orders you to forget you ever saw it.' That is what happened to Washington D.C. attorney Wendell Belew. His lawsuit takes on special significance given today's Sixth Circuit Court ruling that surveillance victims can only sue the DOJ if they can prove they were affected."
Oracle

SAP Admits to 'Inappropriate' Downloading of Oracle Code 149

netbuzz writes "SAP's CEO Henning Kagermann uses the undoubtedly lawyered term 'inappropriate download' to describe the company's questionable actions. Henning blames a rogue business unit, but there can be no mistaking the fact that Oracle caught SAP with its hand in the IP jar on this one. The legal proceedings that will follow should prove interesting. 'The admission hurts SAP's reputation in the battle with Larry Ellison's Oracle in the $56 billion market for software that manages tasks such as payroll. The rivalry between SAP and Oracle escalated when Oracle filed its March 22 lawsuit claiming SAP workers hacked into a Web site and stole software codes on a grand scale.'"
Microsoft

Ubuntu Linux Validates As Genuine Windows 401

bobbocanfly writes "Another crack in the Windows Genuine Advantage wall. A user at UbuntuForums.org managed to validate an Ubuntu installation as a genuine copy of Microsoft Windows and get to the download page of Windows Defender, using IE4Linux and Wine. (Here is an OGG video of the process.) Along with the advancement of LiveCD technology, this could spell the end of Microsoft's control over who gets their updates."
Businesses

Dell Thinks Ubuntu Makes Hardware More Fragile? 380

WolfWings writes "Apparently Dell has decided that Ubuntu-based computers are ineligible for their famed CompleteCare service, or any form of hardware warranty what-so-ever. The news has only recently hit Dell's own IdeaStorm website, via a forum post describing an interaction with the company's customer service. Says the customer, 'I am looking for protection from bricks. The laws of physics do not differ from one OS to the other...do they?' After so recently decided to support Linux on their machines, including limited technical support, Dell seems to be squandering any possible good-will with this decision to leave purchasers of these machines high and dry for hardware warranty coverage." Update: 06/05 23:40 GMT by KD : many readers let us know that Dell has said that the omission of extended warranty and CompleteCare options from the configurator for Ubuntu systems was an "ordering system glitch." It should be fixed by now according to DesktopLinux.com.

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