Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Cyber War: Does this sound like the work of a bored teenager? Or 'the continuation of Politics by other means?'


Stuxnet Was Designed To Subtly Interfere With Uranium Enrichment

Posted by Soulskill on Tuesday November 16, @05:04AM

"Wired is reporting that the Stuxnet worm was apparently designed to subtly interfere with uranium enrichment by periodically speeding or slowing specific frequency converter drives spinning between 807Hz and 1210Hz. The goal was not to cause a major malfunction (which would be quickly noticed), but rather to degrade the quality of the enriched uranium to the point where much of it wouldn't be useful in atomic weapons. Statistics from 2009 show that the number of enriched centrifuges operational in Iran mysteriously declined from about 4,700 to about 3,900 at around the time the worm was spreading in Iran."

(Related) Think of software that locates and monitors targeting systems and changes coordinates randomly...


State-Sponsored CyberAttacks Expected To Rise

Posted by Soulskill on Monday November 15, @05:26PM

"According to a report released today, IT security professionals will see a rise in State-sponsored attacks, like the Stuxnet worm, that will build on concepts and techniques from the commercial hacker industry to create more powerful 'Advanced Persistent Threats.' The researchers also expect an increase in compromised mobile devices leading to data theft or loss as a result of lagging security measures, and that next year will bring the first major data breaches as a result of compromised devices. The biggest potential impact will be caused by the proliferation of sophisticated mobile devices interacting with corporate networks."

Was it a case of “Ready, Fire, Aim?” Or simply, “we can, therefore we must?” Note that questions we've been asking about how long they keep the scanned images are no longer “important”


November 15, 2010

Frequent Flyer Backlash Heightens Over Full-body Scanners at Airports

Follow up to previous postings on government implementation of whole body scanning technology at airports, via National Journal, "The Transportation Security Administration is working to create an alternative screening process for pilots, the agency's chief said this morning, amid mounting protests by airline pilots over new airport scanners criticized as invasive and hazardous to health due to radiation exposure."

A fair summary of Facebook's new tool. Can we live without it? Can we live with it? Seems that this will increase “interruption”


New Facebook Messaging System Announced

Posted by Soulskill on Monday November 15, @02:01PM

Mark Zuckerberg just held a presentation to unveil Facebook's "next generation messaging" system. He repeatedly drove home the idea that "this is not email," nor is it "an email killer." Their plan is to tie together multiple forms of communication — email, texts, social updates, etc. — and blend them into conversations. As users go about their days, interacting with a variety of devices, the communication method automatically updates to whatever is appropriate at the time. If a user receives an email while he's at a desktop, browsing Facebook, it will bring up the message in a Facebook chat window. If the user is browsing on a smartphone, it will bring up the message there, instead. If it's a dumbphone, then a text message can be sent. Another central feature is the idea that conversation histories from multiple sources and different forms of communication can be integrated through Facebook, so that you no longer have to separately root through IM logs, SMS logs, old emails, etc., to see old correspondence. (Users will have the ability to delete these, should they desire.) The last major feature they mentioned is what they call the "social" inbox, which is based on whitelisting. Users will be able to set up primary inboxes which only display communications they definitely want to see, while leaving low-priority messages, spam, and all the other noise typical to email in an inbox they check less frequently. The new system will be rolled out slowly over the next few months.

Making Security the default!


Forcing browsers to use encryption

Help is on the way for Web surfers who run the risk of having their Facebook, Twitter, and other Web accounts hijacked over unsecured Wi-Fi networks and other security issues that result from sites not using encryption.

A Web security mechanism called HTTP Strict Transport Security (HSTS) is making its way through the IETF (Internet Engineering Task Force) standards process, and two of the major browsers are supporting it. Web sites that implement HSTS will prompt the browser to always connect to a secure version of the site, using "https," without the Web surfer having to remember to type that in the URL bar.

It will render useless tools like Firesheep, a Firefox add-on that lets people easily capture HTTP session cookies that sites use to communicate with computers. Firesheep was released at ToorCon last month.

HSTS is used in Google Chrome and the NoScript [One I recommend Bob] and Force-TLS Firefox plug-ins and is being implemented in the upcoming version of FireFox, according to a blog post by Jeff Hodges, a security engineer at PayPal. Hodges wrote the original draft specification for HSTS with Collin Jackson, a former Googler and current assistant research professor at Carnegie Mellon University Silicon Valley, and Adam Barth, a Google engineer.

"This allows for full-session encryption," Jackson told CNET. "A user won't see an insecure version of the site."

There is no “E-mily Post,” but perhaps there should be.


The 12 Rules of Sex and Tech

Every man and woman in a modern relationship must navigate a complicated set of unspoken rules and etiquette for technology. Is it OK to tweet from the dinner table? Can one go online while the other watches TV? To find out, The Daily Beast's Claire Howorth and Brian Ries spoke with people in various stages of relationships about the sensibility of sharing passwords, the importance of the Facebook relationship status, and the ignorance of checking the phone after sex.

In our list, we present 12 common situations where technology has wormed its way into our lives, introduce the rules we should live by, and get the scoop from both sexes.

How does “Hey chubby! Want a diet drink?” improve sales?


'Smart' Vending Machines Triple Sales

Posted by Soulskill on Monday November 15, @03:24PM

"A vending machine in Japan which recommends drinks to customers based on facial recognition data has tripled sales. JR East Water Business has previously installed two vending machines in JR Shinagawa station and it is believed that the recognition technology is responsible for a vast increase in sales in comparison to traditional machines. The vending machines recommend beverages after physical attributes of customers are picked up by sensors which allow the machines determine age, sex and other attributes, before offering a number of suggestions."

A tool for my Ethical Hackers (Moving hacking tools into the cloud) Making your tools portable.


Spoon.net - Running Desktop Apps From The Cloud

Spoon is a virtualization platform that lets you run desktop apps from the cloud. If you install the provided plug-in, you will be able to access these applications you love without having to worry about installing or updating them. Since everything is hosted on the cloud, that part is done for you. And I am sure you have guessed as much by now, but you can also use Spoon to play games.

Again - the same principles apply. There is nothing to install, and no need to ensure you have the latest version or patch. As long as you have installed the Spoon plug-in, you will be able to play all the games that are included on the site.

Some of the featured apps are TweetDeck, Skype, VLC Media Player, Adobe Reader, WinAmp, GOMPlayer... You can check the best of the best on the main page. And the same goes for the featured games, of course - the best titles are spotlighted for all to see.


No comments: