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Author Topic: Tech News Weekly: Edition 06-09  (Read 10068 times)

Ehtyar

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Tech News Weekly: Edition 06-09
« on: February 07, 2009, 05:30:14 PM »
The Weekly Tech News
TNWeekly01.gifHi all.
As usual, you can find last week's news here.
Enjoy :)


1. Global ATM Caper Nets Hackers $9 Million in One Day
Spoiler
http://www.privacydigest.com/2009/02/04/global+atm+caper+nets+hackers+9+million+one+day
RBS WorldPay was the victim of a hack last year that, although appeared to be minimal at the time, has been revealed as a $9 million heist.

Quote
A carefully coordinated global ATM heist last November resulted in a one-day haul of $9 million in cash, after a hacker penetrated a server at payment processor RBS WorldPay, New York's Fox 5 reports.

RBS WorldPay announced on December 23 that they'd been hacked, and personal information on approximately 1.5 million payroll-card and gift-card customers had been stolen. (Payroll cards are debit cards issued and recharged by employers as an alternative to paychecks and direct-deposit.) Now we know that account numbers and other mag-stripe data needed to clone the debit cards were also compromised in the breach.


2. Experts Question Fallout from New Monster Hack
Spoiler
http://news.findlaw.com/ap/high_tech/1700/02-04-2009/20090204115005_19.html
Job search site Monster.com and USAJobs.gov have been breached for the second time in a year and a half with data thievs making off with user IDs, passwords, e-mail addresses, names and phone numbers.

Quote
For the second time in less than 18 months, the job-search Web site Monster.com was breached, along with USAJobs.gov, which Monster's parent company runs for the federal government. And yet Monster might suffer little fallout - because the overall state of computer security is so bad anyway.

Attacks against Web sites have become so common, security experts say, that Monster Worldwide Inc. won't necessarily scare customers away with its January disclosure that its database was plundered of user IDs, passwords, e-mail addresses, names and phone numbers. Monster makes money by charging employers that post jobs and scan the resumes of applicants, who use the service for free.


3. Google Mistakes Entire Web for Malware
Spoiler
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/01/31/google_malware_snafu/
Discussion started by Paul Keith: http://www.donationcoder.com/forum/index.php?topic=16841.0
Human error at Google recently caused Google to report all websites as unsafe.

Quote
A human error at Google caused its main search engine to briefly identify every site on the web as a potentially malicious destination that represented a threat to end users, the company said.

Starting early Saturday morning California time, the world's largest search engine flagged each search result with the warning: "This site may harm your computer"

Attempts to visit a search link were met with Google's standard malware warning, which blocks users from actually reaching the intended destination:


4. Passport RFIDs Cloned Wholesale by $250 EBay Auction Spree
Spoiler
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/02/02/low_cost_rfid_cloner/
A security expert has assembled an inexpensive portable device that is capable of cloning US RFID passports and drivers licenses.

Quote
Using inexpensive off-the-shelf components, an information security expert has built a mobile platform that can clone large numbers of the unique electronic identifiers used in US passport cards and next generation drivers licenses.

The $250 proof-of-concept device - which researcher Chris Paget built in his spare time - operates out of his vehicle and contains everything needed to sniff and then clone RFID, or radio frequency identification, tags. During a recent 20-minute drive in downtown San Francisco, it successfully copied the RFID tags of two passport cards without the knowledge of their owners.


5. Sony Taps Veins for Better Biometrics
Spoiler
http://www.reghardware.co.uk/2009/02/02/sony_mofria/
Sony has released details of a new technology that allows biometric identification based on the circulatory system layout of your fingers.

Quote
Sony has unveiled the next step in biometric security: a camera-based system that analyses veins in your fingers.

The user first lays one side of their index finger down on a small pad, after which a series of LEDs shine infrared light onto it. A CMOS sensor sat on the other side of the finger then picks up light scattered off of the veins inside the user’s finger.

An algorithm uses this information to build up a picture of the user’s vein layout. Sony claims that, much like a fingerprint, a person’s vein arrangement is unique and that it doesn’t ever change.


6. Open Source Bulletin Board Offline After Hack Attack
Spoiler
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/02/04/phpbb_breach/
PHPBB.com was taken offline after hackers breached their servers through a vulnerability in PHPlist.

Quote
The website for one of the net's more popular bulletin board software packages has been taken offline following a security breach that gave an attacker full access to a database containing names, email, address, and hashed passwords for its entire user base.

In a message posted Sunday, administrators of phpBB.com said the attacker gained access through an unpatched security bug in PHPlist, a third-party email application. The miscreant had access for more than two weeks before the breach was discovered, and phpBB remained down at time of writing, more than three days later. Administrators didn't respond to emails seeking comment.


7. UK Gov Unleashes Biometric IDs
Spoiler
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/02/07/ips_card_readers/
The UK have rolled out their new biometric ID system, but have yet to deliver on the promise of readers for the cards.

Quote
The British Identity and Passport Service (IPS) has spent £4.7bn ($6.6bn) on its new biometric ID card system. But it has not established a timeline for a card-reader rollout.

Without the necessary card readers, the biometric information such as fingerprint scans stored in the cards is inaccessible and therefore useless for ID verification.

In a statement released on January 29, the IPS reiterated its schedule for releasing the cards, beginning with over 50,000 foreign nationals by this April, then airport workers in the fall of 2009, and leading up to full availability in 2011 and 2012 "to the wider population on an entirely voluntary basis."


8. Cap Mania Spreads to Charter
Spoiler
http://arstechnica.com/telecom/news/2009/02/charter-modifies-acceptable-use-policy-to-add-caps.ars
US ISP Charter have rolled out monthly download caps to all their customers.

Quote
The US ISP market is rapidly heading towards a future where unlimited monthly usage will be the exception rather than the rule. Comcast has already imposed usage caps, while a number of other ISPs are experimenting with limiting their subscribers' downloads. Although most of them are testing the limits in individual markets, it looks like Charter has decided to roll out caps for all its customers.

DSL Reports was tipped off about the plans earlier this week; we received confirmation from a Charter spokesperson this afternoon. She told Ars that the the changes will be implemented through an update to Charter's acceptable use policy that will roll out on Monday, February 9.


9. Department of Defense Launches Open Source Site Forge.mil
Spoiler
http://arstechnica.com/open-source/news/2009/02/department-of-defense-launches-open-source-site-forgemil.ars
Discussion started by 40hz: http://www.donationcoder.com/forum/index.php?topic=16902
The DoD has launched a new open source website for its own open source initiatives, Forge.mil. It was taken offline shortly after going live due to unexpectedly high visitor traffic.

Quote
The Department of Defense (DoD) has launched Forge.mil, a software project management site that will host the military's public open source software projects. Inspired by SourceForge, the new site was created to accelerate development by facilitating broader collaboration between government agencies.

The DoD is a major proponent of the open development model and uses open source software extensively in the field. With the aim of fostering broader military adoption of open source software, the DoD defined an Open Technology Development roadmap in 2006 in collaboration with the Open Source Software Institute. In that report, the DoD discussed a wide range of issues that make open source software desirable for government adoption, including reduced risk of vendor lock-in, increased flexibility, greater interoperability, and reduced IT costs.


10. Electric Motorcycle Promises 150 MPH
Spoiler
http://blog.wired.com/cars/2009/02/mission-motors.html
Mission Motors, a San Francisco startup has released details of a dedicated electric motorcycle they claim will reach 150 mph.

Quote
A San Francisco startup led by a former Tesla Motors engineer is developing an electric motorcycle capable of 150 mph, a claim that, if true, would make it the fastest production electric vehicle in the world.

Mission Motors unveiled the bike, dubbed Mission One, at the TED conference and said it will begin selling them next year for $69,000 apiece. Although several electric motorcycles have been announced in recent weeks, Mission Motors sticks out because its 12 employees have worked for Tesla, Ducati North America and Intel, and the bike they're building could set a new benchmark for EVs of all kinds.


11. Google Earth Dives Under the Sea
Spoiler
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/7865407.stm
Google maps will now take you under the ocean's surface.

Quote
Google Ocean expands this map to include large swathes of the ocean floor and abyssal plain.

Users can dive beneath a dynamic water surface to explore the 3D sea floor terrain.

The map also includes 20 content layers, containing information from the world's leading scientists, researchers, and ocean explorers.

Al Gore was at the launch event in San Francisco which, Google hopes, will take its mapping software a step closer to total coverage of the entire globe.


12. Privacy Fears Over Google Tracker
Spoiler
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/7872026.stm
Google has launched their "Latitude" service which enables users to advertise their current physical location to their contacts.

Quote
The "opt-in" Latitude service uses data from mobile phone masts, GPS, or wi-fi hardware to update a user's location automatically.

Users can also manually set their advertised location anywhere they like, or turn the broadcast off altogether.

The service has raised a number of security concerns, as many users may not be aware that it is enabled.

Latitude is based on Google's My Location feature that has been in place since last year.


13. Deceased Ex-Football Player's Shady Half Sister Foiled By Microsoft Office Fonts (Thanks 40hz :))
Spoiler
http://i.gizmodo.com/5146551/deceased-ex+football-players-shady-half-sister-foiled-by-microsoft-office-fonts
An attention seeker has been caught out in a lie when a letter she alleged was written in 1999 was using the Calibri font which has been available in Microsoft Office only since the 2007 edition.

Quote
At a recent Hall of Fame news conference, a woman claiming to be Ex-Cowboys receiver Bob Hayes' half sister read an emotional thank you letter written by him in 1999. But something is amiss.

Bob Hayes died in 2002 and this letter was supposedly a thank you pre-written in the the hope that he would someday enter into the Hall of Fame after three decades of disappointment. Naturally, a reading at the conference by his half-sister Lucille Hester sparked a lot of emotion among the Cowboy's organization, the fans and the NFL. However, it appears that the letter is actually a forgery, and Lucille may be a Texas-sized fraud.


14. Are Reality Shows Setting Unrealistic Standards For Skanks?
Spoiler
http://www.theonion.com/content/video/in_the_know_are_reality_shows
Onion news debates whether or not reality television sets unattainable goals for todays Skanks.

onion.png



Ehtyar.
« Last Edit: February 07, 2009, 05:32:11 PM by Ehtyar »

tomos

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Re: Tech News Weekly: Edition 06-09
« Reply #1 on: February 07, 2009, 07:12:05 PM »

thanks as ever Ethyar :Thmbsup:

interesting mix this week!
unfortunately the Onion is overloaded at the moment (you've swamped them ;-)
Tom

Lutz_

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Re: Tech News Weekly: Edition 06-09
« Reply #2 on: February 07, 2009, 10:50:18 PM »
Love report #13 -  Font detective, a job with future.    :up:

nosh

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Re: Tech News Weekly: Edition 06-09
« Reply #3 on: February 07, 2009, 11:44:52 PM »
#13 - Note to self... for all future frauds: Comic Sans MS.

Shades

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Re: Tech News Weekly: Edition 06-09
« Reply #4 on: February 08, 2009, 12:09:24 AM »
10: Awesome motor bike! ...in look :Thmbsup: and price :down:

Ehtyar

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Re: Tech News Weekly: Edition 06-09
« Reply #5 on: February 08, 2009, 12:17:16 AM »
My pleasure, as always gents :)

I wasn't a fan of the bike, but everyone one at work was frosting their panties over it so I included it. The futility of electric over petroleum really irritates me.

Ehtyar.

Shades

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Re: Tech News Weekly: Edition 06-09
« Reply #6 on: February 08, 2009, 01:09:13 AM »
I disagree, electricity is a lot cleaner. Before you start about the powerplant...I have rather one point of toxic going into the air...which is a whole lot cheaper/easier to filter/clean than all the fumes internal combustion engines put out everywhere they go. The price you (the consumer) pay for petroleum is not nearly enough for the real cost (the real cost includes the renewal of the material you use). The same can be said for wood, but that is a whole different topic. 

Actually, if there is no hydro power generation possible I would say to build more nuclear power plants, they are the most efficient ones (price/performance wise (and that includes the environmental risks)).

It looks like there is something good happening for the people in the hydrogen camp. Scientist have created/found a new material (graphene) which is unbelievable strong, even when it is only 1 molecule thick. Besides that, it is also an excellent (semi) conductor (graphane). Because of its strength it is ideally suited for hydrogen tanks. Actually the strength of the material comes from hydrogen. When this  material will become cheap enough to produce, expect a boom in hydrogen powered stuff...and even smaller CPU's. From the article I read (on a Dutch website) it looks like it is ideal to replace silicium.

zridling

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Re: Tech News Weekly: Edition 06-09
« Reply #7 on: February 08, 2009, 05:46:02 AM »

Carol Haynes

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Re: Tech News Weekly: Edition 06-09
« Reply #8 on: February 08, 2009, 07:16:58 AM »
10: Awesome motor bike! ...in look :Thmbsup: and price :down:

I am not really a fan of motorbikes but I always thought one of the attractions was the engine noise? Who will buy a silent bike - esp. at $63,000? Maybe they could fit hi powered speakers with a range of engine noises geared to the throttle - that way you could ride a different bike every day!

My pleasure, as always gents :)

Is this a boys own column then?

CWuestefeld

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Re: Tech News Weekly: Edition 06-09
« Reply #9 on: February 08, 2009, 11:40:59 AM »
I think the absurdity of #7 (non-readable biometric IDs) demonstrates that the government's real intent is not to provide a secure means for the populace to prove their identity to one another. It's really because the government wants a more-complete database of all its subjects. Period.

Ehtyar

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Re: Tech News Weekly: Edition 06-09
« Reply #10 on: February 08, 2009, 01:12:03 PM »
My pleasure, as always gents :)
Is this a boys own column then?

Did you see any women reply prior to that comment?
I think the absurdity of #7 (non-readable biometric IDs) demonstrates that the government's real intent is not to provide a secure means for the populace to prove their identity to one another. It's really because the government wants a more-complete database of all its subjects. Period.
Very well said.

Ehtyar.

Carol Haynes

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Re: Tech News Weekly: Edition 06-09
« Reply #11 on: February 08, 2009, 02:20:20 PM »
Did you see any women reply prior to that comment?

I don't know - it is difficult to tell with the use of nick names  :-*

40hz

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Re: Tech News Weekly: Edition 06-09
« Reply #12 on: February 08, 2009, 02:55:01 PM »
Did you see any women reply prior to that comment?

I don't know - it is difficult to tell with the use of nick names  :-*

Zing! :Thmbsup: ;D

(Score is Carol: 15 / Ehtyar: Love...Ehtyar's serve... :P)
« Last Edit: February 08, 2009, 02:58:41 PM by 40hz »

Ehtyar

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Re: Tech News Weekly: Edition 06-09
« Reply #13 on: February 09, 2009, 03:40:45 AM »
Any ladies who posted prior to Carol care to speak up?

Ehtyar.

Carol Haynes

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Re: Tech News Weekly: Edition 06-09
« Reply #14 on: February 09, 2009, 04:49:52 AM »
Don't stress - I don't mind being one of the boys ... if it'll make you happy  :Thmbsup:

Ehtyar

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Re: Tech News Weekly: Edition 06-09
« Reply #15 on: February 09, 2009, 05:02:34 AM »
I was hoping to match you 15-15 :P

Ehtyar.

40hz

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Re: Tech News Weekly: Edition 06-09
« Reply #16 on: February 09, 2009, 04:03:05 PM »
I don't mind being one of the boys ... if it'll make you happy  :Thmbsup

Bravo. Subtlety within a subtlety. Almost zen-like that one... :)

(Now it's thirty - love.)
« Last Edit: February 09, 2009, 04:05:05 PM by 40hz »

Ehtyar

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Re: Tech News Weekly: Edition 06-09
« Reply #17 on: February 09, 2009, 04:46:50 PM »
LOL, bastard :P

**Ehtyar pouts

Ehtyar.

Deozaan

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Re: Tech News Weekly: Edition 06-09
« Reply #18 on: February 09, 2009, 05:05:18 PM »
#12: "The service has raised a number of security concerns, as many users may not be aware that it is enabled."

How could they not be aware that it's enabled if you have to opt-in to enable it in the first place?


Ehtyar

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Re: Tech News Weekly: Edition 06-09
« Reply #19 on: February 10, 2009, 04:29:07 AM »
I thought the same. Opt-in is in quotes, so there's no telling what the truth actually is. The article is there simply because it was, believe it or not, the least sensationalist I could find.

Ehtyar.

Lashiec

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Re: Tech News Weekly: Edition 06-09
« Reply #20 on: February 10, 2009, 07:07:02 AM »
The way in which the launch of Latitude was reported by the mass media can only be described as a complete, scaremonger failure. Well, a few of them did an accurate and to the point report, but the rest...
« Last Edit: February 10, 2009, 07:09:32 AM by Lashiec »

Deozaan

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Re: Tech News Weekly: Edition 06-09
« Reply #21 on: February 10, 2009, 03:27:13 PM »
#12: "The service has raised a number of security concerns, as many users may not be aware that it is enabled."

How could they not be aware that it's enabled if you have to opt-in to enable it in the first place?
I thought the same. Opt-in is in quotes, so there's no telling what the truth actually is. The article is there simply because it was, believe it or not, the least sensationalist I could find.

Ehtyar.

Don't get me wrong, I'm a bit concerned too about things like this, too, but as long as you have to opt-in first then that helps alleviate some of the concern.


ewemoa

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Re: Tech News Weekly: Edition 06-09
« Reply #22 on: February 11, 2009, 04:01:07 AM »
Thanks as usual  :Thmbsup:

Not surprised at 4, but still, sigh...hoping that eventually, continued demonstrations of this sort might have an impact on future decisions...

Ehtyar

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Re: Tech News Weekly: Edition 06-09
« Reply #23 on: February 11, 2009, 05:00:07 AM »
Don't get me wrong, I'm a bit concerned too about things like this, too, but as long as you have to opt-in first then that helps alleviate some of the concern.
I feel the same way. Personally I'd prefer it didn't exist at all, given the very limited applications.
Not surprised at 4, but still, sigh...hoping that eventually, continued demonstrations of this sort might have an impact on future decisions...
Amen.

Ehtyar.