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Patents

Submission + - Say NO to software patents (whitehouse.gov) 1

hAckz0r writes: The WhiteHouse.gov ( https://wwws.whitehouse.gov/petitions#!/petitions ) now has an online petition to stop the USPTO from issuing any more software patents. One must register first with the petition site, wait for the confirming email, login, then locate the "Open Petitions" menu to go to the list of petitions. Scroll down to the one called "Direct the Patent Office to Cease Issuing Software Patents", and then do what you think is right. They need 3,428 petitions total to make it meaningful, and has logged 1,572 as of my entry.
Privacy

Submission + - VPN Service Snitched on Alleged LulzSec Member (securityweek.com) 2

wiredmikey writes: Yesterday, Cody Kretsinger, a 23-year-old from Phoenix, Arizona was arrested and charged with conspiracy and the unauthorized impairment of a protected computer.

How did the Feds track down the alleged LulzSec member? It turns out that a VPN service reportedly used to mask his online identify and location was the one who handed over data to the FBI.

According to the federal indictment, Kretsinger registered for a VPN account at HideMyAss.Com under the user name “recursion”. Following that, the indictment said that Kretsinger and other unknown conspirators conducted SQL injection attacks against Sony Pictures in attempt to extract confidential data.

“At a later date it came as no surprise to have received a court order asking for information relating to an account associated with some or all of the above cases,” they wrote in the post this morning. “As stated in our terms of service and privacy policy our service is not to be used for illegal activity, and as a legitimate company we will cooperate with law enforcement if we receive a court order (equivalent of a subpoena in the US).”

You can be sure that HideMyAss is not the only provider to be hit with subpoenas to hand over user data. It’s likely the FBI and other officials are digging deep and requesting similar information from other VPN providers and online services such as Pastebin, Twitter, and other tools and web services commonly used by hackers.

Privacy

Submission + - Are Some CAs Too Big to Fail? (threatpost.com)

Trailrunner7 writes: In the wake of this weekend's revelations of the seriousness of the attack on certificate authority DigiNotar, security experts have renewed criticism of the Internet's digital certificate infrastructure, with some wondering if larger certificate authorities (CAs) might be too big to fail.

Would Mozilla and Microsoft and Google have revoked trust in root certificates from VeriSign or Thawte had they been compromised? Unlikely.

"It's not a simple matter of removing certificates from a database, because they're not in any databases," says researcher Moxie Marlinspike, who presented an alternative approach to the current SSL infrastructure last month at DEFCON. "We may never track them all down."

Submission + - CS Majors do badly in the jobs market (wordpress.com)

An anonymous reader writes: British CS majors do badly in the job market — with, four years after graduation, a higher than average (for college graduates) unemployment rate and fewer returning to higher education. The only good news is that a higher propertion than average are in employment. Brit CS majors also do badly immediately after graduation. No similar US figures exist reports the Computing Education Blog.

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