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Submission + - US ISP Goes Down as Two Malware Families Go to War Over Its Modems (bleepingcomputer.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Two malware families battling for turf are most likely the cause of an outage suffered by Californian ISP Sierra Tel at the beginning of the month, on April 10. The attack, which the company claimed it was a "malicious hacking event," was the work of BrickerBot, an IoT malware family that bricks unsecured IoT and networking devices.

"BrickerBot was active on the Sierra Tel network at the time their customers reported issues," Janit0r told Bleeping Computer in an email, "but their modems had also just been mass-infected with malware, so it's possible some of the network problems were caused by this concomitant activity."

The crook, going by Janit0r, tried to pin some of the blame on Mirai, but all the clues point to BrickerBot, as Sierra Tel had to replace bricked modems altogether, or ask customers to bring in their modems at their offices to have it reset and reinstalled. Mirai brought down over 900,000 Deutsche Telekom modems last year, but that outage was fixed within hours with a firmware update. All the Sierra Tel modems bricked in this incident were Zyxel HN-51 models, and it took Sierra Tel almost two weeks to fix all bricked devices.

Comment Re:It is so unfair. (Score 1) 269

It means that it's a place that I usually fly over to get to one of the two more civilized places in the US. There's really nothing in the middle of the US except for Chicago and a few sized-cities. There's little culture, economy, or population to speak of.

I grew up in flyover territory, but have lived on both coasts, as well as in Chicago.

The poster is correct. The mid-west is a barren landscape as far as culture goes. Even in the cities.

Comment Re:Except (Score 1) 269

Oak Ridge National Laboratory in TN receives federal money for an employee working offsite CA. TN gets dinged for the receiving tax dollars. CA gets to claim the employees federal taxes as paid to the government.

You have no idea how things work.

No ORNL employee would be working off-site in CA. They might go to a conference for a few days each year, but that's about it. ORNL has facilities, and ORNL staff use and maintain them. In Tennessee.

Comment Re:Aerodynamics don't look right (Score 1) 175

You want high presure (relatively) below the wing, and low pressure above the wing.
With impellers blowing/sucking air over the upper surface this is achived.

So the airfoil shape of the long, narrow "hat" on the main-wing impellers is just for decoration? Or, effectively close to it, as pressure underneath them will have a 'seagull'-like shape in lift versus distance along the axial direction of the craft? (That is, the nacelles have v. low pressure in front, and v. high pressure behind, so an airfoil on top is a waste of material. No?)

Submission + - Are accurate software development time predictions a myth? (medium.com)

DuroSoft writes: For myself and the vast majority of people I have talked to, this is the case. Any attempts we make to estimate the amount of time software development tasks will take inevitably end in folly. Do you find you can make accurate estimates, or is it really the case, as the author suggests, that "writing and maintaining code can be seen as a fundamentally chaotic activity, subject to sudden, unpredictable gotchas that take up an inordinate amount of time" and that therefore attempting to make predictions in the first place is itself a waste of our valuable time?

Submission + - Oregon fines man for writing a complaint email stating "I am an engineer..." (vice.com) 2

pogopop77 writes: In September 2014, Mats Järlström, an electronics engineer living in Beaverton, Oregon, sent an email to the state's engineering board. The email claimed that yellow traffic lights don't last long enough, which "puts the public at risk." "I would like to present these facts for your review and comments," he wrote. This email resulted not with a meeting, but with a threat from The Oregon State Board of Examiners for Engineering and Land Surveying stating "ORS 672.020(1) prohibits the practice of engineering in Oregon without registration — at a minimum, your use of the title 'electronics engineer' and the statement 'I'm an engineer' create violations." In January of this year, Järlström was officially fined $500 by the state for the crime of "practicing engineering without being registered."

Comment Re:This is bullshit (Score 1) 155

Either all speech is protected or none of it is.

Google doesn't have to publish/display anything they don't want to. Free Speech does not mean companies are required to give you a platform to express your views.

If the Trumpettes don't like that -- they are free to create their own Alternate-Google.

Submission + - Why Did Google Really Block A Guerrilla Fighter In The Ad War? (fastcompany.com)

tedlistens writes: Google's decision to ban the Chrome plug-in AdNauseum due to a violation of its "single purpose policy"—shortly after the app began supporting the EFF's new Do Not Track standard—was only the latest salvo in an ongoing war over online advertising. The ad industry knows that ads are a nuisance, and it's now taking pre-emptive measures to make them more palatable—or, in Google's case, to block the unpalatable ones. But Google's positions also point to a crucial disagreement at the heart of the ad war: What makes ads such a nuisance to begin with?

Ads aren't just ugly, annoying, and bandwidth-sucking: They pose a risk to privacy, as the networks of software behind ads—cookies, trackers, and malware—watch not only where you go on the web but, through your phone and your purchases, what you do in real life. But privacy is largely missing from Google's discussion of problematic ads, says Howe. By avoiding mentioning AdNauseum's actual intent, Google's explanation for banning it echoes the advertising industry's discussion of web ads, which focuses on aesthetics rather than privacy.

Comment Checksum and recheck (Score 1) 59

This is a solved problem. For performance, scan all system files with an MD5 checksum and flag all suspects (but don't do anything yet). Scan multiple files at once multithreaded for extra performance. Now, go back and rescanned all suspect files with SHA-1 or SHA-256 to validate any potential false-positives that may have been flagged from the previous MD5.

Submission + - Caterpillars Munch Plastic Bags. An Insect Solution to the Problem of Landills. (sciencemag.org)

Yergle143 writes: We live in an age of plastic. Finding uses at every level of human enterprise and industry, our plastic polymer refuse will be the unmistakable signature of our civilization. The chemically inert nature of plastics is the feature that makes recycling difficult. Someday enriched deposits of Prell bottles and Saran Wrap may decorate a geologic layer that defines us as clearly as the calcium carbonate exoskeleton of extinct bivalves. As reported in the Journal Current Biology a serendipitous discovery may form the basis for a biological remedy to our plastic waste problem. While purging empty bee hives of an infestation by the larvae of the greater wax moth (Galleria mellonell) who dine on beeswax, researchers at the Institute of Biomedicine and Biotechnology of Cantabria in Spain, found that caterpillars that had been placed in a an ordinary plastic grocery bag were able to rapidly eat their way out. They report that these voracious wax worms, due to the action of their own suite of enzymes or that of their microflora, can breakdown polyethylene to polyethylene glycol, a substance found in antifreeze and one that is easily metabolized. While other reports on the bioremediation of polyethylene plastics have appeared, the wax worm seems to exhibit a special processivity for this intractable polymeric material. Is our age of plastic at wax?

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