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Comment Was it hacking or just good police work? (Score 4, Informative) 75

Did the Queensland Police hack any computers? They appear to have simply sent emails containing links. When the link was clicked, the IP address of the mail client as recorded.

From the TLA:

>> Details on how exactly this was achieved are limited, but according to a court document from another case,
>> “When a user clicked on that hyperlink, the user was advised that the user was attempting to open a video
>> file from an external website. If the user chose to open the file, a video file containing images of child pornography
>> began to play, and the FLA [foreign law enforcement agency] captured and recorded the IP address of the user accessing the file.”

So it doesn't appear that any code was inserted into the target computer. The offenders didn't follow good opsec - they clicked on a link while they were not connected to a TOR proxy.

As for jurisdiction - it appears that the server was moved to Brisbane. Again from the TLA:

>> At one point, The Love Zone server was also reportedly moved to Brisbane, giving Task Force Argos,
>> the Queensland Police Service unit that took over the site, access to every private message on the site.

If the server was located in Queensland, then Queensland court orders could legitimately apply to it. So no evidence of hacking or of extra-territoriality. Move along folks, no misconduct, just good police work.

Submission + - Drug-test the Rich - Not the Poor - to Qualify for Tax Benefits (

Press2ToContinue writes: "The (tax) benefits we give to poor people are so limited compared to what we give to the top 1%” of taxpayers, Congresswoman Gwen Moore says, “It’s a drop in the bucket.” Many states implement drug-testing programs to qualify for benefit programs so that states feel they are not wasting the value they dole out.

However, seven states who implemented drug testing for tax benefit program recipients spent $1m on drug testing from the inception of their programs through 2014. But the average rate of drug use among those recipients has been far below the national average – around 1% overall, compared with 9.4% in the general population – meaning there’s been little cost savings from the drug testing program. Why? “Probably because they can’t afford it,” say Moore.

“We might really save some money by drug-testing folks on Wall Street, who might have a little cocaine before they get their deal done,” she said, and proposes a bill requiring tests for returns with itemized deductions of more than $150,000.

“We spend $81bn on everything – everything – that you could consider a poverty program,” she explained. But just by taxing capital gains at a lower rate than other income, a bit of the tax code far more likely to benefit the rich than the poor, “that’s a $93bn expenditure. Just capital gains,” she added. Why not drug-test the rich to ensure they won't waste their tax benefits?

She is “sick and tired of the criminalization of poverty”. And, she added: “We’re not going to get rid of the federal deficit by cutting poor people off Snap. But if we are going to drug-test people to reduce the deficit, let’s start on the other end of the income spectrum.”

Submission + - Are Major Domains In Genuine Decline Or Going To Walled Gardens?

An anonymous reader writes: A look at the last 12 months of traffic performance shows a number of the internet's most popular domains taking a drastic fall in traffic. Sites including Wired, Forbes, The Wall St Journal, Buzzfeed and Time seems to be in freefall. But is the truth that meaningful publicly available statistics about a venture's reach are actually in decline, as sites exit traditional net-metrics for the walled gardens of bespoke apps and the hard-to-quantify reach created by direct content on social networks?

Submission + - Australian music industry wants ISPs to block Kickass Torrents (

angry tapir writes: Four music labels have joined forces and launched legal action aimed at forcing Australia’s largest Internet service providers (ISPs) to block access to a major piracy-linked BitTorrent site. The move to block Kickass Torrents comes as a separate legal action involving The Pirate Bay and other sites launched by pay TV company Foxtel and movie studios is still in court. The legal action is taking place under a controversial amendment to the Copyright Act passed by the Australian parliament last year.

Submission + - Kindle Unlimited Scammers Gaming the System at the Expense of Real Authors ( writes: Kindle Unlimited is Amazon's book service that lets customers "check out" any book from a large selection without paying for individual titles. Like most things on the Internet, it's fallen prey to scammers. The system is designed to pay authors out of a single pool of money based on how many pages of their books are actually read. However, scammers have figured out how to rig the system by posting large, fake books, then hiring click farms to "read" them. This doesn't affect people using the service to read books (other than the nuisance of occasionally stumbling over bogus titles). But legitimate authors are getting squeezed as more of the KU payment pool goes to thieves and their bogus books.

Submission + - Flaw In HID Door Controllers Lets Attackers Unlock Doors, Deactivate Alarms

An anonymous reader writes: Trend Micro researcher Ricky Lawshae has unearthed a critical vulnerability in HID’s VertX and Edge door controllers. Exploiting the flaw is easy, and could result in attackers gaining complete control of the device, meaning they could unlock doors and switch off alarms controlled through it. HID’s access control systems are ubiquitous, and keep unwanted individuals out of many rooms and spaces in a huge number of office buildings, government complexes, hospitals, aeroports, etc. These vulnerable devices are part of those systems: the controllers check the information sent by the card readers once an access card is swiped through them, and control all the functions of the door.

Submission + - Reddit removes warrant canary, probably served with a secret court order (

AmiMoJo writes: Reddit has removed the warrant canary posted on its website, suggesting that the company may have been served with some sort of secret court order or document for user information. At the bottom of its 2014 transparency report, the company wrote: "As of January 29, 2015, reddit has never received a National Security Letter, an order under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, or any other classified request for user information. If we ever receive such a request, we would seek to let the public know it existed." That language was conspicuously missing from the 2015 transparency report that was published Thursday morning. CEO Steve Huffman wrote: "I've been advised not to say anything one way or the other."

Submission + - ESA is asking to mine data from Mars Express telemetry to prolong its life (

Dario Izzo writes: The Mars Express spacecraft from ESA has been orbiting the Red Planet for 12 years. While its controllers know the spacecraft inside out, additional insights are hidden within the mounds of telemetry the mission generates – inspiring the first of ESA’s new data mining competitions: the Mars Express Power Challenge. The goal is to use machine learning techniques to predict Mars Express’s thermal power consumption during the martian year ahead, based on its past telemetry. ESA is targeting the international data mining and machine learning community – including students, research groups or companies”. The website Kelvins is hosting the competition.

Submission + - Regis McKenna's 1976 notes on his new client, Apple Computer (

harrymcc writes: Apple, which was established as a partnership on April 1, 1976, officially turns 40 today. Over at Fast Company, I wrote about its original marketing guru, Regis McKenna, and the notes he took when he was formulating a marketing plan for the company that year. They're an amazing snapshot of where the tiny startup was and where it hoped to go.

Submission + - Work with EML, MHT & MSG Email Messages in Python using Aspose.Email Cloud S

An anonymous reader writes: This is a major revamp release for Aspose.Email Cloud SDK for Python. It covers all the Aspose.Email Cloud APIs. This SDK provides a complete solution to work with cloud emails in Python using powerful Aspose.Emails Cloud APIs, so you can manipulate message formats such as MSG, EML, and MHT files in the cloud seamlessly. Aspose.Email for Cloud is a REST API for manipulating email in the cloud. It is a true REST API that can be used with any language: .NET, Java, PHP, Ruby, Rails, Python, jQuery and many more. You can use it with any platform — web, desktop, mobile, and cloud. Complete source code of this release of Aspose.Email Cloud SDK for Python is freely available on your favorite GitHub and Codeplex repositories. Aspose.Email Cloud SDK for Python is also available as released package in the PyPI (Python Package Index). You can bypass source code repository and depend directly on the released package by installing from PyPI. In order to manipulate any files, you first need to upload them to the Aspose cloud storage or 3rd party cloud storage using Aspose.Storage Cloud SDK for Python. Aspose.Email for Cloud Documentation is available to guide developers to get familiar with the specific resources and operations within the Aspose.Email for Cloud REST API. Start a free trial today – all you need is to sign up with the Aspose for Cloud service. Once you have signed up, you are ready to try the powerful file processing features offered by Aspose for Cloud.

Submission + - VW Emissions Issues Spread to Gasoline Cars (

schwit1 writes: Volkswagen AG said it found faulty emissions readings for the first time in gasoline-powered vehicles, widening a scandal that so far had centered on diesel engines. Separately, the company’s Porsche unit said it’s halting North American sales of a model criticized by U.S. regulators.

Volkswagen said an internal probe showed 800,000 cars had “unexplained inconsistencies” concerning their carbon-dioxide output. Previously, the automaker estimated it would need to recall 11 million vehicles worldwide — more than Volkswagen sold last year. It was unclear how much overlap there was between the two tallies. The company said the new finding could add at least 2 billion euros ($2.2 billion) to the 6.7 billion euros already set aside for fixes to the affected vehicles but not litigation, fines or customer compensation.

Submission + - Large scale survey shows correlation between 'autism' and STEM jobs (

Bruce66423 writes: A 450,000 response survey in the UK has shown there is a significant correlation between a higher score on the Autism Quotient and being a scientist or engineer. AQ scores are also higher for males than female. This appears to provide a rationale for the underrepresentation of women in STEM field other than institutional structures.

Submission + - Five Eyes oversight agency says Snowden shows 'protected disclosure is critical (

An anonymous reader writes: In the wake of NSA leaks debacle, New Zealand's Inspector General of Security and Intelligence has developed a process to enable whistleblowers to act safely. “The Edward Snowden disclosures demonstrate how critical it is to have a clear path, with appropriate protections, for disclosing information about suspected wrongdoing within an intelligence and security agency,” Cheryl Gwyn says. The Inspector General's powers were boosted after it was discovered New Zealand's Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) had been spying illegally on Kim Dotcom and others.

Submission + - Leading theory of solar system's formation just disproven

StartsWithABang writes: In 2005, scientists put forth the Nice Model to explain the configuration of the Solar System's planets. It was thought that the outer planets, Jupiter in particular, migrated through the inner Solar System, and were then pulled back out by the presence of the outer giants, causing the late heavy bombardment of the terrestrial planets as it crossed the asteroid belt. But not only are extra gas giants that have since been ejected required to explain the outer worlds, but the migration would have ejected the inner, terrestrial worlds, indicating that the rocky planets finished forming after the gas giants were already in place. R.I.P., Nice Model: 2005-2015.

Submission + - Owners Help Police Track Stolen Tesla Through Mobile App (

Eloking writes: When a thief steals a car it can take owners days, week or even years to retrieve their property. Apparently that’s not the case when your vehicle happens to be a Tesla Model S: a Canadian couple was able to help authorities track their stolen car in real-time with the help of the Tesla mobile app.

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