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What was highest label on your first car speedometer?

  • 80 mph
  • 88 mph
  • 100 mph
  • 120 mph
  • 150 mph
  • it was in kph like civilized countries use you insensitive clod
  • Other (please specify in comments)

[ Results | Polls ]
Comments:67 | Votes:247

posted by janrinok on Sunday February 04, @10:23PM   Printer-friendly
from the ass-technica-website! dept.

https://arstechnica.com/science/2024/01/study-closing-toilet-lid-while-flushing-doesnt-stop-spread-of-airborne-bacteria/

"If it's something you can't see, it's easy to pretend it doesn't exist," study co-author John Crimaldi said at the time. They found that the ejected airborne particles could travel up to 6.6 feet per second, reaching heights of 4.9 feet above the toilet within 8 seconds. And if those particles were smaller (less than 5 microns), they could hang around in that air for over a minute.

More relevant to this latest paper, it has been suggested that closing the lid before flushing could substantially reduce the airborne spread of contaminants. For example, in 2019, researchers at University College Cork deployed bioaerosol sensors in a shared lavatory for a week to monitor the number and size of contaminant particles. They concluded that flushing with the toilet lid down reduced airborne droplets between 30 and 60 percent. But this scenario also increased the diameter of the droplets and bacteria concentration. Leaving the lid down also means the airborne microdroplets are still detectable 16 minutes after flushing, 11 minutes longer than if one flushed with the lid up.

[...] Perhaps the least surprising finding is that rigorous cleaning with a toilet bowl brush and Lysol reduced the contamination by 99.99 percent compared to cleaning with just a brush. Therefore, "The most effective strategy for reducing restroom cross-contamination associated with toilet flushing include the addition of a disinfectant to the toilet bowl before flushing and the use of disinfectant/detergent dispensers in the toilet tank," the authors concluded. They also recommend regularly disinfecting all restroom surfaces after flushing or cleaning with a toilet brush in health care facilities—which often have a lot of immunocompromised people—and if someone in your house has an active infection like norovirus.

Got it. Pardon us while we scrub our toilet bowls with Lysol and stock up on toilet tank disinfectant dispensers.

American Journal of Infection Control, 2024. DOI: 10.1016/j.ajic.2023.11.020 (About DOIs).


Original Submission

posted by janrinok on Sunday February 04, @05:40PM   Printer-friendly
from the I-can-see-you-through-the-keyhole dept.

Apparently the bad guys can now use a device's ambient light sensor:

That tape over your webcam may not be enough. Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have highlighted imaging privacy threats enabled by ambient light sensors, in a paper recently published in Science Advances. Device users concerned with security and privacy may be comforted by hardware solutions (shutters) and software permissions restricting webcam use. However, researchers have shown visual information can be gathered via one of the common ambient light sensors installed in many devices. These small sensors usually aren’t shuttered or disabled by users and are typically permission-free on a device level.

Ambient light sensors are categorized as low-risk by device makers and can often be accessed directly by software (or malware) without any permissions or privileges. Nevertheless, previous studies have shown such a rudimentary sensor can provide enough information to infer keystrokes on a virtual keyboard and steal a device PIN, about 80% of the time. The new research shows what an ambient light sensor can do when combined with an active light source component – namely the device' screen.

For their experiments, the MIT researchers used a Samsung Galaxy View 2. This rather old and large (17.3-inch) consumer tablet has its ambient light sensor next to the front-facing (selfie) camera, which is still a very common configuration.

[...] The scientists explained that the ambient light sensor reads the light emitted by the screen shining on a person’s face and being partially blocked by the hand / screen interaction. A whole lot of complicated math, aided by AI and image processing technology, was used by the researchers to deliver their results.

Journal Reference: Imaging privacy threats from an ambient light sensor - Yang Liu, Gregory W. Wornell, William T. Freeman, and Frédo Durand - https://www.science.org/doi/10.1126/sciadv.adj3608

Related: Now That Everyone's Using Zoom, Here Are Some Privacy Risks You Need to Watch Out For


Original Submission

posted by janrinok on Sunday February 04, @12:54PM   Printer-friendly

https://physicsworld.com/a/nuclear-powered-spacecraft-why-dreams-of-atomic-rockets-are-back-on/

Launching rockets into space with atomic bombs is a crazy idea that was thankfully discarded many decades ago. But as Richard Corfield discovers, the potential of using the energy from nuclear-powered engines to drive space travel is back on NASA’s agenda

In 1914 H G Wells published The World Set Free, a novel based on the notion that radium might one day power spaceships. Wells, who was familiar with the work of physicists such as Ernest Rutherford, knew that radium could produce heat and envisaged it being used to turn a turbine. The book might have been a work of fiction, but The World Set Free correctly foresaw the potential of what one might call “atomic spaceships”.

The idea of using nuclear energy for space travel took hold in the 1950s when the public – having witnessed the horrors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki – gradually became convinced of the utility of nuclear power for peaceful purposes. Thanks to programmes such as America’s Atoms for Peace, people began to see that nuclear power could be used for energy and transport. But perhaps the most radical application lay in spaceflight.

Among the strongest proponents of nuclear-powered space travel was the eminent mathematical physicist Freeman Dyson. In 1958 he took a year’s sabbatical from the Institute of Advanced Study in Princeton to work at General Atomics in San Diego on a project code-named Orion. The brainchild of Ted Taylor – a physicist who had worked on the Manhattan atomic-bomb project at Las Alamos – Project Orion aimed to build a 4000-tonne spaceship that would use 2600 nuclear bombs to propel it into space.

[...] Despite Project Orion ending, the lure of nuclear propulsion never really went away (see box “Nuclear space travel: a brief history”) and is now enjoying something of a resurgence. Rather than using atomic bombs, however, the idea is to transfer the energy from a nuclear fission reactor to a propellant fuel, which would be heated to roughly 2500 K and ejected via a nozzle in a process called “nuclear thermal propulsion” (NTP). Alternatively, the fission energy could ionize a gas that would be fired out of the back of the spacecraft – what’s known as “nuclear electric propulsion” (NEP).

So, is nuclear-powered space travel a realistic prospect and, if so, which technology will win out? [...] A nuclear spacecraft would instead use fission energy to heat a fuel (figure 1) – most likely cryogenically stored liquid hydrogen, which has a low molecular mass and high heat of combustion. “Nuclear propulsion, either electric or thermal, could extract more energy from a given mass of fuel than is possible via combustion-based propulsion,” says Dale Thomas, a former associate director at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, now at the University of Alabama in Huntsville.

Thomas says that today’s most efficient chemical propulsion systems can achieve a specific impulse of about 465 seconds. NTP, in contrast, can have a specific impulse of almost 900 seconds due to the higher power density of nuclear reactions. Combined with a much higher thrust-to-weight ratio, NTP could get a rocket to Mars in just 500 days, rather than 900.

“The thrust-to-weight ratio is crucial because it determines the spacecraft’s ability to accelerate, which is especially critical during key mission phases, like escaping Earth’s gravity or manoeuvring in deep space,” says Mauro Augelli, head of launch systems at the UK Space Agency. “The specific impulse, on the other hand, is a measure of how effectively a rocket uses its propellant.”


Original Submission

posted by janrinok on Saturday February 03, @09:23PM   Printer-friendly
from the oops-ibm-does-not-own-the-community dept.

Red Hat's new source code policy and the intense pushback, explained:

When CentOS announced in 2020 that it was shutting down its traditional "rebuild" of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) to focus on its development build, Stream, CentOS suggested the strategy "removes confusion." Red Hat, which largely controlled CentOS by then, considered it "a natural, inevitable next step."

Last week, the IBM-owned Red Hat continued "furthering the evolution of CentOS Stream" by announcing that CentOS Stream would be "the sole repository for public RHEL-related source code releases," with RHEL's core code otherwise restricted to a customer portal. (RHEL access is free for individual developers and up to 16 servers, but that's largely not the issue here).

Red Hat's post was a rich example of burying the lede and a decisive moment for many who follow the tricky balance of Red Hat's open source commitments and service contract business. Here's what followed.

Rocky Linux, launched by CentOS co-founder Greg Kurtzer as a replacement RHEL-compatible distro, announced Thursday that it believes Red Hat's moves "violate the spirit and purpose of open source." Using a few different methods (Universal Base Image containers, pay-per-use public cloud instances), Rocky Linux intends to maintain what it considers legitimate access to RHEL code under the GNU General Public License (GPL) and make the code public as soon as it exists.

"[O]ur unwavering dedication and commitment to open source and the Enterprise Linux community remain steadfast," the project wrote in its blog post.

AlmaLinux, a similarly RHEL-derived distribution, is also working to keep providing RHEL-compatible updates and downstream rebuilds. "The process is more labor intensive as we require gathering data and patches from several sources, comparing them, testing them, and then building them for release," wrote Jack Aboutboul, community manager for AlmaLinux, in a blog post. "But rest assured, updates will continue flowing just as they have been."

The Software Freedom Conservancy's Bradley M. Kuhn weighed in last week with a comprehensive overview of RHEL's business model and its tricky relationship with GPL compliance. Red Hat's business model "skirts" GPL violation but had only twice previously violated the GPL in newsworthy ways, Kuhn wrote. Withholding Complete Corresponding Source (CCS) from the open web doesn't violate the GPL itself, but by doing so, Red Hat makes it more difficult for anyone to verify the company's GPL compliance.

Kuhn expressed sadness that "this long road has led the FOSS community to such a disappointing place."

Shorter, pithier versions of the GPL-minded community's reaction to Red Hat's news are exemplified by Jeff Geerling's blog post called "Dear Red Hat: Are you dumb?," or his YouTube Video "Huge Open Source Drama." Geerling, who says he's dropping RHEL support from his Ansible and other software projects, says that Red Hat's moves are intended to "destroy" Rocky, Alma, and other RHEL derivatives and that after the "knife in the back" of abandoning full CentOS Linux, the recent moves "took that knife and twisted it, hard."

See also:

RHEL's Source Code Access Change Is Causing Issues For CentOS SIGs:


Original Submission

posted by janrinok on Saturday February 03, @04:40PM   Printer-friendly
from the was-it-worth-it? dept.

A former CIA programmer was sentenced to 40 years in prison on Thursday for leaking the US spy agency's most valuable hacking tools to WikiLeaks:

Joshua Schulte, 35, was found guilty in 2022 of espionage and other charges in what the CIA called a "digital Pearl Harbor" -- the largest data breach in the history of the intelligence agency.

[...] US District Judge Jesse Furman sentenced Schulte to 40 years in prison for espionage, computer hacking, contempt of court, making false statements to the FBI and child pornography.

Schulte worked for the CIA's elite hacking unit from 2012 to 2016 when he quietly took cyber tools used to break into computer and technology systems, according to court documents.

After quitting his job, he sent them to WikiLeaks, which began publishing the classified data in March 2017.

[...] The leaked data included a collection of malware, viruses, trojans, and "zero day" exploits that, once leaked out, were available for use by foreign intelligence groups, hackers and cyber extortionists around the world, they said.

Previously:


Original Submission

posted by janrinok on Saturday February 03, @11:53AM   Printer-friendly
from the think-of-the-AI-generated-children dept.

https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2024/01/surge-of-fake-ai-child-sex-images-thwarts-investigations-into-real-child-abuse/

Law enforcement is continuing to warn that a "flood" of AI-generated fake child sex images is making it harder to investigate real crimes against abused children, The New York Times reported.

Last year, after researchers uncovered thousands of realistic but fake AI child sex images online, every attorney general across the US quickly called on Congress to set up a committee to squash the problem. But so far, Congress has moved slowly, while only a few states have specifically banned AI-generated non-consensual intimate imagery.
[...]
"Creating sexually explicit images of children through the use of artificial intelligence is a particularly heinous form of online exploitation," Steve Grocki, the chief of the Justice Department's child exploitation and obscenity section, told The Times. Experts told The Washington Post in 2023 that risks of realistic but fake images spreading included normalizing child sexual exploitation, luring more children into harm's way and making it harder for law enforcement to find actual children being harmed.

In one example, the FBI announced earlier this year that an American Airlines flight attendant, Estes Carter Thompson III, was arrested "for allegedly surreptitiously recording or attempting to record a minor female passenger using a lavatory aboard an aircraft." A search of Thompson's iCloud revealed "four additional instances" where Thompson allegedly recorded other minors in the lavatory, as well as "over 50 images of a 9-year-old unaccompanied minor" sleeping in her seat. While police attempted to identify these victims, they also "further alleged that hundreds of images of AI-generated child pornography" were found on Thompson's phone.
[...]
The NYT report noted that in 2002, the Supreme Court struck down a law that had been on the books since 1996 preventing "virtual" or "computer-generated child pornography." South Carolina's attorney general, Alan Wilson, has said that AI technology available today may test that ruling, especially if minors continue to be harmed by fake AI child sex images spreading online. In the meantime, federal laws such as obscenity statutes may be used to prosecute cases, the NYT reported.

Congress has recently re-introduced some legislation to directly address AI-generated non-consensual intimate images after a wide range of images depicting fake AI porn of pop star Taylor Swift went viral this month.
[...]
There's also the "Preventing Deepfakes of Intimate Images Act," which seeks to "prohibit the non-consensual disclosure of digitally altered intimate images." That was re-introduced this year after teen boys generated AI fake nude images of female classmates and spread them around a New Jersey high school last fall. Francesca Mani, one of the teen victims in New Jersey, was there to help announce the proposed law, which includes penalties of up to two years' imprisonment for sharing harmful images.

Previously on SoylentNews:
AI-Generated Child Sex Imagery Has Every US Attorney General Calling for Action - 20230908
Cheer Mom Used Deepfake Nudes and Threats to Harass Daughter's Teammates, Police Say - 20210314


Original Submission

posted by janrinok on Saturday February 03, @07:07AM   Printer-friendly

Arthur T Knackerbracket has processed the following story:

A medical treatment given to children in the UK may have led to some developing Alzheimer’s disease decades later, new research out Monday suggests. The study presents evidence that at least five people contracted the neurodegenerative disorder from having received human growth hormones contaminated with rogue amyloid beta protein. The authors point out that Alzheimer’s cannot be caught person-to-person through conventional means, however, and this specific infection risk no longer exists today.

Starting in the 1950s, scientists learned how to extract human growth hormone (HGH) from the pituitary glands of cadavers. Unfortunately, the method only provided minute amounts of hormone at a time, which limited the supply of HGH available for medical and research purposes. As a result, its distribution was meticulously handled, and it was typically only given to treat the most severe growth-related conditions in children.

This remained the status quo for the next 30 years, with more than 20,000 children worldwide having received this form of cadaver-derived HGH. But in the mid-1980s, health officials in the U.S. and elsewhere began to get unusual reports of people coming down with Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD), a rare but universally fatal neurodegenerative disease. These cases were happening in much younger people than typically seen with CJD, and it was soon discovered those affected shared a history of past HGH treatment. Within months of this discovery, the U.S. and other countries shut down their cadaver HGH programs.

These cases, as it turned out, were caused by HGH seeded with a person’s misfolded prions—mutinous proteins that eat away at the brain by gradually transforming normal prions into their misfolded form. It can take years to decades before the symptoms of a prion disease appear, explaining why it took so long for the connection to be discovered. As of today, there have been around 220 cases of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease linked to cadaver-derived HGH, with some showing up to 40 years later.

[...] The paper details eight patients who visited the UCL’s National Prion Clinic. Five of them appear to have developed early onset Alzheimer’s, with a sixth having mild cognitive impairment. But none of the patients seemed to have known genetic mutations that cause Alzheimer’s to happen at a younger age or other shared factors besides a past history of HGH treatment.

Alzheimer’s is caused by the build-up of two misfolded proteins in the brain, amyloid beta and tau, with amyloid beta seen as the driving force of the two. The team’s past research has found amyloid beta inside the brains of people who died from HGH-caused Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, as well as inside samples of preserved HGH. And in the lab, they’ve been able to successfully cause mice to develop Alzheimer’s-like illness after exposing them to these contaminated samples.

Put all the pieces together, the study authors say, and it’s enough to show that “Alzheimer’s disease should now be recognized as a potentially transmissible disorder.”

[...] “It is important to stress that the circumstances through which we believe these individuals tragically developed Alzheimer’s are highly unusual, and to reinforce that there is no risk that the disease can be spread between individuals or in routine medical care,” said study author Jonathan Schott, a UCL neurologist and chief medical officer at Alzheimer’s Research UK, in a statement from the university. “These findings do, however, provide potentially valuable insights into disease mechanisms, and pave the way for further research which we hope will further our understanding of the causes of more typical, late onset Alzheimer’s disease.”

More Information: Iatrogenic Alzheimer's disease in recipients of cadaveric pituitary-derived growth hormone
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41591-023-02729-2.


Original Submission

posted by janrinok on Saturday February 03, @02:22AM   Printer-friendly

A Consumer Reports analysis looks at who is sending information about your online activity to Facebook

By now most internet users know their online activity is constantly tracked. No one should be shocked to see ads for items they previously searched for, or to be asked if their data can be shared with an unknown number of "partners."

But what is the scale of this surveillance? Judging from data collected by Facebook and newly described in a unique study by Consumer Reports (PDF), it's massive, and examining the data may leave you with more questions than answers.

Using a panel of 709 volunteers who shared archives of their Facebook data, Consumer Reports found that a total of 186,892 companies sent data about them to the social network. On average, each participant in the study had their data sent to Facebook by 2,230 companies. That number varied significantly, with some panelists' data listing over 7,000 companies providing their data. The Markup helped Consumer Reports recruit participants for the study. Participants downloaded an archive of the previous three years of their data from their Facebook settings, then provided it to Consumer Reports.

[...] Meta spokesperson Emil Vazquez defended the company's practices. "We offer a number of transparency tools to help people understand the information that businesses choose to share with us, and manage how it's used," wrote Vazquez in an emailed statement to The Markup.

While Meta does provide transparency tools like the one that enabled the study, Consumer Reports identified problems with them, including that the identity of many data providers is unclear from the names disclosed to users and that companies that provide services to advertisers are often allowed to ignore opt-out requests.

This article was copublished with The Markup, a nonprofit, investigative newsroom that challenges technology to serve the public good.

Consumer Reports

[Also Covered By]: Schneier on Security


Original Submission

posted by hubie on Friday February 02, @09:37PM   Printer-friendly
from the subscription-everything dept.

https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2024/01/apple-declares-last-macbook-pro-with-an-optical-drive-obsolete/

Sometimes, it's worth taking a moment to note the end of an era, even when that ending might have happened a long time ago. Today, Apple announced that it considers the mid-2012 13-inch MacBook Pro obsolete. It was the last MacBook Pro to include an optical drive for playing CDs or DVDs.

This means that any MacBook Pro with an optical drive is no longer supported.
[...]
Apple stopped selling the mid-2012 13-inch MacBook Pro in October 2016 (it was available for a while as the company's budget option in the Pro lineup), so anyone doing the math saw this coming.
[...]
The exclusion of an optical drive in subsequent MacBook Pro models was controversial, but it's now clear that whether Apple was jumping the gun at that point or not, optical drives have fallen away for most users, and many Windows laptops no longer include them.
[...]
That's a sign of just how irrelevant optical drives are for today's users, but this seems like a good time to remember a bygone era of physical media that wasn't so long ago. So farewell, mid-2012 13-inch MacBook Pro—honestly, most of us didn't miss you by this point.

[Do you still have a collection of Blu-rays/DVDs? Do you use an Optical Disc drive anymore?] I do.


Original Submission

posted by hubie on Friday February 02, @04:50PM   Printer-friendly
from the I-see-the-light dept.

Arthur T Knackerbracket has processed the following story:

Known as SKAMPI, the [tele]'scope was designed by a team whose members hailed from ten nations and built in China. The model tested last week was assembled in 2018 in the Karoo region of South Africa, which will host some of the SKA's thousands of 'scopes.

Tests commenced in 2019, and the SKA org last week explained that technical commissioning work such as "system evaluation, radio frequency interference testing and performance testing took place until early 2022."

That effort helped the SKA team to create system design qualification documentation. SKA boffins have since worked to enable robotic operations of the instrument, and Docker-based software tools to make that possible.

"We have performed first-light observations with SKAMPI in the S-band at frequencies between 1.75 and 3.5GHz, demonstrating the telescope's spectral and pulsar capabilities with imaging of the radio emission of the Southern Sky and detection of the Vela pulsar," reported SKAMPI project scientist Hans-Rainer Klöckner of the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy (MPIfR).

[...] While SKAMPI has been a success, much remains to be done. Work on this 'scope will inform development of the 197-dish SKA-Mid telescope – currently under construction in South Africa.

The project will also see the SKA-Low facility built in Australia, which will house 131,072 log-periodic antennas spread across 512 sites.


Original Submission

posted by hubie on Friday February 02, @12:04PM   Printer-friendly

https://medicalxpress.com/news/2024-01-nature-attention.html

New research from University of Utah psychology researchers is helping prove what American authors John Muir and Henry David Thoreau tried to teach more than 150 years ago: Time spent in nature is good for the heart and soul.

Amy McDonnell and David Strayer are showing it is good for your brain, too. Their latest research, conducted at the university's Red Butte Garden, uses electroencephalography (EEG), which records electrical activity in the brain with small discs attached to the scalp, to measure participants' attentional capacity.

"A walk in nature enhances certain executive control processes in the brain above and beyond the benefits associated with exercise," concludes the study appearing in Scientific Reports. The paper contributes to the growing body of scientific literature on how natural settings contribute to a person's physical and mental health. The university itself has recently established a new research group, Nature and Human Health Utah, that explores these issues and proposes solutions for bridging the human-nature divide.

Many researchers suspect a primal need for nature is baked into humans' DNA, and diminishing access to nature is putting our health at risk.

"There's an idea called biophilia that basically says that our evolution over hundreds of thousands of years has got us to have more of a connection or a love of natural living things," said Strayer, a professor of psychology. "And our modern urban environment has become this dense urban jungle with cell phones and cars and computers and traffic, just the opposite of that kind of restorative environment."

Strayer's past research into multitasking and distracted driving associated with cellphone use has drawn national attention. For the past decade, his lab has focused on how nature affects cognition. The new research was part of McDonnell's dissertation as a grad student in Strayer's Applied Cognition Lab. She has since completed her Ph.D. and is continuing the attention research as a postdoctoral fellow with the University of Utah.

The study, conducted in 2022 between April and October, analyzed EEG data recorded on each of 92 participants immediately before and after they undertook a 40-minute walk. Half walked through Red Butte, the arboretum in the foothills just east of the university, and half through the nearby asphalt-laden medical campus.
...
"The participants that had walked in nature showed an improvement in their executive attention on that task, whereas the urban walkers did not, so then we know it's something unique about the environment that you're walking in," McDonnell said. "We know exercise benefits executive attention as well, so we want to make sure both groups have comparable amounts of exercise."

What sets this study apart from much of the existing research into the human-nature nexus is its reliance on EEG data as opposed to surveys and self-reporting, which do yield helpful information but can be highly subjective.

Journal Reference:
Amy S. McDonnell et al, Immersion in nature enhances neural indices of executive attention, Scientific Reports (2024). DOI: 10.1038/s41598-024-52205-1


Original Submission

posted by janrinok on Friday February 02, @07:21AM   Printer-friendly
from the like-a-grape-not-cheese dept.

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/the-moon-shrinking-nasa-missions-pj0j9wp7w

Moonquakes due to shrinkage. The moon is shrinking and by doing so is putting future moon plans in jeopardy.

[...] A new study estimates that the circumference of Earth's only natural satellite has decreased by about 45m over the past few hundred million years.

That isn't a lot of shrinkage, but apparently enough to lead to problems.

[...] ... the shrinkage causes potentially severe "moonquakes" around the lunar South Pole

[...] Right where they, NASA, want to land and build their new moon base.

[...] Its diminished outline is a result of the moon's iron core cooling and contracting over time. In much the same way as a grape wrinkles as it shrinks to become a raisin, the lunar surface

And the analogy explanation. The moon is like a grape ... not cheese. Do you know what goes with cheese? Wine. That is made from grapes. See it all ties together.

How much has earth shrunk or grown in the past few hundred million years?


Original Submission

posted by janrinok on Friday February 02, @02:35AM   Printer-friendly
from the all-your-pixels-belong-to-us dept.

https://arstechnica.com/security/2024/01/chinese-malware-removed-from-soho-routers-after-fbi-issues-covert-commands/

The US Justice Department said Wednesday that the FBI surreptitiously sent commands to hundreds of infected small office and home office routers to remove malware China state-sponsored hackers were using to wage attacks on critical infrastructure.

The routers—mainly Cisco and Netgear devices that had reached their end of life—were infected with what's known as KV Botnet malware, Justice Department officials said.

[...] "To effect these seizures, the FBI will issue a command to each Target Device to stop it from running the KV Botnet VPN process," an agency special agent wrote in an affidavit dated January 9. "This command will also stop the Target Device from operating as a VPN node, thereby preventing the hackers from further accessing Target Devices through any established VPN tunnel.

[...] The takedown disclosed Wednesday isn't the first time the FBI has issued commands to infected devices without the owners' knowledge ahead of time. In 2021, authorities executed a similar action to disinfect Microsoft Exchange servers that had been compromised by a different China-state group tracked as Hafnium.

[...] In 2018, researchers reported that more than 500,000 SOHO routers had been compromised by sophisticated malware dubbed VPNFilter. The mass hack was later revealed to be an operation by a Russian-state group tracked as Sofacy. In that event, the FBI issued an advisory urging people to restart their routers to remove any possible infections. The agency also seized a domain used to control VPNFilter.

[...] This month's takedown comes as the Chinese government has stepped up attacks in recent years to compromise routers, cameras, and other network-connected devices to target critical infrastructure. warned of the trend in May last year. Researchers in the private sector have issued similar warnings.

Previously on SoylentNews:
Backdoored Firmware Lets China State Hackers Control Routers With "Magic Packets" - 20230930
Microsoft Comes Under Blistering Criticism for "Grossly Irresponsible" Security - 20230805
Malware Turns Home Routers Into Proxies for Chinese State-Sponsored Hackers - 20230518
US Warns of Govt Hackers Targeting Industrial Control Systems - 20220415
State Hackers Breach Defense, Energy, Healthcare Orgs Worldwide - 20211111
Microsoft Exchange Server Zero Day Hack Roundup - 20210316
Breached Water Plant Employees Shared Same Password, No Firewall - 20210211
Iranian Spies Accidentally Leaked Videos of Themselves Hacking - 20200716
Hackers Can Seize Control of Ballots Cast Using the Voatz Voting App, Researchers Say - 20200215
Microsoft Takes Court Action Against Fourth Nation-State Cybercrime Group - 20191231

"state actors" search on SoylentNews for even more: https://soylentnews.org/search.pl?threshold=0&query=state+actors


Original Submission

posted by janrinok on Thursday February 01, @09:52PM   Printer-friendly
from the selling-out-to-the-microsofters dept.

Vlogger Jeff Geerling has an analysis of rumors of a future IPO for Raspberry Pi Trading Ltd.

But long-term, will Eben's vision for what makes Raspberry Pi change? Will there be turnover and some of the people who make the Pi a joy to use be gone?

Will the software side start leaning on subscriptions to increase revenues to make shareholders happy?

And ultimately, could Eben be replaced, and would that change things? Yes, probably, but I won't speculating about any that here. See my blog post about enshittification from last month if you wanna read more about that topic.

What I will do is answer some misconceptions I've seen about Raspberry Pi and the IPO.

The Register covered the IPO discussion the other day and while bankers have been appointed to the task, the CEO asserts that nothing will change.

"The business is in a much better place than it was last time we looked at it. We partly stopped because the markets got bad. And we partly stopped because our business became unpredictable."

"Unpredictable" is an understatement for many who attempted to acquire certain models of the computer during the supply chain crunches of recent years. "The public markets value predictability as much as they value performance," said Upton.

Previously:
(2023) Arm Acquires Minority Stake in Raspberry Pi
(2023) Eben Upton Interview on Raspberry Pi Availability Update and Painful Decisions
(2023) Raspberry Pi Produced 10 Million RP2040s in 2021, More Pi Stores Likely
(2022) 10 Years of Raspberry Pi: the $25 Computer Has Come a Long Way
(2021) Raspberry Pi Raises Price for First Time, Reintroduces 1 GB Model for $35
... and many more.


Original Submission

posted by janrinok on Thursday February 01, @05:08PM   Printer-friendly

The Register

An apocryphal tale regarding the late, great footballer George Best being interviewed by a reporter just after getting suspended from Manchester United offers an apt description of today's tech industry right now.

Best was the finest footballer (or soccer in Freedom Language) of his generation during the Swinging Sixties and was one of the first big-money athletes to transcend sport and achieve celebrity. He was handsome, ferociously talented on the pitch, and famously debauched off it. He was once quoted as saying "I spent a lot of money on booze, birds and fast cars – the rest I just squandered."

According to the tale, the journalist was ushered into his hotel suite – strewn with empty champagne bottles after a wild party. A former Miss United Kingdom was freshening up in the shower and George sat in an armchair with a cigar and a huge glass of Scotch in his fist. The journalist's first question was: "So Bestie, where did it all go wrong?"

The same question can be asked of today's tech industry which, like Best, experienced initial greatness but has arguably wasted the spoils with loutish behavior and cashing in on past achievements.

Attracting customers and then exploiting them is a phenomenon that's as old as capitalism, but it's become endemic in the tech industry where it has earned a new name: "enshittification."

The coiner of the term, author and activist Cory Doctorow, described it thus.

Here is how platforms die: first, they are good to their users; then they abuse their users to make things better for their business customers; finally, they abuse those business customers to claw back all the value for themselves. Then, they die.

Doctorow gave a speech on the topic at last year's DEF CON infosec conference, and his analysis is gaining traction on all sides of the political and technological spectrum.

[...] Doctorow suggested enshittification of services happens due to the kind of management that such mega-companies demand.

Traditionally, CEOs progress in a large company by taking a new idea and growing it into a valuable business unit. It worked for Microsoft's Satya Nadella in developing cloud platforms for Redmond, and Andy Jassy followed a similar route to success with Amazon after pioneering AWS. Meanwhile, Sundar Pichai oversaw the growth of ChromeOS before taking leadership at Alphabet.

Doctorow thinks that the same process might also harm innovation. Uneasy lies the head that bears the crown, and CEOs might be unwilling to promote major new innovations – he cited the failure of social network Google+ as a classic example.

[...] In the end it should be possible to reverse the current trend and reintroduce a more competitive technology industry environment that can spur innovation, spread the wealth, and grow more efficient for users, employers, and investors.

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Original Submission