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Comment Re:This is not new information (Score 1) 66

All of the cracking events you read about are done through social engineering and sloppy security practices.

False. As I stated, many of the attacks involve sophisticated ways to simply bypass the encryption, rather than cracking it directly. These attacks are neither social engineering or because the vendor had sloppy security. Their security would in most cases stop 99.9% of attacks. However a government with essentially unlimited money to throw at it is another story.

None of them happen because state-of-the-art encryption is cracked. That doesn't happen.

Also false. I think you need to read some of the recent NSA disclosures. Widespread successful attacks against VPN and SSL are already becoming somewhat commonplace in intelligence. Vendors are having to accelerate the transition to new protocols compared to what the state of things were just a few years ago.

Comment This is not new information (Score 1) 66

It's been common wisdom for years that with physical access to the device and unlimited time and resources, almost all encryption schemes can be defeated. In many cases this might simply mean using a mechanism to bypass the encryption rather than defeating it through brute force. But the fact is, regardless of what protections they have, devices have to ultimately present the data to the user unencrypted to actually use it. So there is usually always some kind of way in.

Submission + - DoD Announces "Hack the Pentagon" Bug Bounty Program (

Quince alPillan writes: Announcing what it calls "the first cyber bug bounty program in the history of the federal government," the Department of Defense says it's inviting vetted hackers to test the security of its web pages and networks. Vetted hackers will need to pass a background check and will be attacking a predetermined system that's not a part of critical operations. This program is being put together by the Digital Defense Service, launched last fall.

Comment Re:Safely??? (Score 4, Insightful) 101

The rocket is not in question.

Right now the long pole in manned Mars surface missions is not rocket launch technology, it is Mars surface survival.

What kind of structure will people live in on Mars? How will it land? Heavy large structures that would be required for human habitation have not been landed on Mars to date and that is quite tricky.

How will the people live there? What kind of suits and structures will they use for radiation protection? For oxygen and water generation? For food production?

Obviously all of these problems have been addressed on ISS but only in the sense of solutions that can be relatively quickly resupplied from earth which won't be the case with a Mars surface mission.

Comment I can help! (Score 5, Funny) 118

Dear Mr Amuegbunam:

I have been requested by the Nigerian National Petroleum Company to contact you in the hope that we may be of assistance to you. Your countrymen are quite distressed at the reporting we have read which states that you are being held and are in need of funds to make bail. We can help you in this matter. The Nigerian National Petroleum Company has recently concluded a large number of contracts for oil exploration in the sub-Sahara region. The contracts have immediately produced moneys equaling US$1,500,000. The Nigerian National Petroleum Company is desirous of oil exploration in other parts of the world, however, because of certain regulations of the Nigerian Government, it is unable to move these funds to another region.

You assistance is requested as a Nigerian citizen to assist the Nigerian National Petroleum Company, and also the Central Bank of Nigeria, in moving these funds out of Nigeria. If the funds can be transferred to your name, to your United States account, then you can forward the funds as directed by the Nigerian National Petroleum Company. In exchange for your accommodating services, the Nigerian National Petroleum Company would agree to allow you to retain 10%, or US$150,000 of this amount. This should be enough for you to post bond.

However, to be a legitimate transferee of these moneys according to Nigerian law, you must presently be a depositor of at least US$10,000 in a Nigerian bank which is regulated by the Central Bank of Nigeria.

If it will be possible for you to assist us with this initial required deposit, we would be most grateful and can proceed with the funds transfer.
Please call me at your earliest convenience at 18-467-4975. Time is of the essence in this matter; very quickly the Nigerian Government will realize that the Central Bank is maintaining this amount on deposit, and attempt to levy certain depository taxes on it.

Yours truly,

Prince Alyusi Islassis

Comment Re:Punishing people who get degrees we need the mo (Score 3, Insightful) 230

Virtually all respected colleges and universities with any sort of historically recognized quality are non-profit.

For-profit universities (if they can even be called that) are in many cases little more than diploma mills. The primary goal is to move bodies through the system as efficiently as possible and extract the maximum payment, not provide a usable education.

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