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Tech News Weekly: Edition 35-09


The Weekly Tech NewsHi all.
Not a ton of good news this week (a lot of torrent-related news in the TPB article though).
As usual, you can find last week's news here.
1. Trojan Zaps Banking Credentials Via IM
In an attempt to beat out the ever-incresing vigilance of the credit card companies, bot harvesters have taken their business to IM to ensure near instantaneous receipt of sensitive info sent from their bots.

No longer the province of teens and chat-obsessed netizens, instant messaging is being adopted by a growing number of banking malware applications, which zap pilfered credentials to thieves in real time.

The latest entrant is Zeus, a trojan that monitors an infected PC for passwords entered into banking websites and other financial services. Over the past three months, investigators from RSA FraudAction Research Lab have observed the program, which also goes by the name Torpig and Mebroot, using the Jabber IM protocol to make sure the most valuable credentials don't get lost in the shuffle.

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2. WPA Keys Gone in 60 Seconds (Thanks Gothi[c])
Japanese researchers have improved upon an existing attack against WPA, breaking the encryption in under a minute.

Networking nerds claim to have devised a way of breaking Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA) encryption within 60 seconds.

The technique, developed by Toshihiro Ohigashi of Hiroshima University and Masakatu Morii of Kobe University, is based on the established Becks-Tews method, which involves making minor changes to packets encrypted with TKIP - Temporal Key Integrity Protocol, a WPA security mechamism - and then sending those packets back to the access point.

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3. Mobile Snooping for Everyone in Weeks
Privacy on our mobile phones is something many of us take for granted (unless of course your provider is aiding the snooper). Apparently, that sense of privacy is about to become a falsehood, as German researchers will be making a kit available that will allow anyone with a laptop and a special type of antenna to listen in on your calls.

he Chaos Computer Club has told the FT that in the couple of months it will be releasing code capable of cracking GSM with just a laptop and an antenna.

In comments made to the German edition of the Financial Times, the hacking group claims that governments, and criminals, are already using the technique which can break the encryption used to protect 2G GSM calls in near-real time using existing systems. The group says a public exposure of the technique will take place in the next month or two and allow anyone equipped with a laptop and an antenna to listen in to GSM phone calls.

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4. Pirate Bay Website Back Online
In yet another humerous display in the ongoing action against The Pirate Bay, Black Internet (one of TPB's ISPs) was ordered to stop supplying bandwidth to the site or face a ~$70,000 fine. A few hours later, TPB was back online.
In related news, a court has ruled that TPB admins are not able to pay their fines, despite approval of the sale of TPB.

Stockholm district court made the order on 21 August, saying ISP Black Internet would be fined 500,000 kronor (£43,000) if it did not comply.

The court order was the result of legal action brought against The Pirate Bay by the music and film industry.

However, TPB was back online within a few hours with a new carrier.

In a press release, parodying Winston Churchill's famous speech of 1940, the Pirate Bay team said they would keep the site running "for years if necessary".

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5. Mininova Ordered to Purge All Links to Copyrighted Files
And another one bites the dust...

Fresh off a set of legal wins against The Pirate Bay, the music and movie industries have just scored another court victory against the massive BitTorrent search engine Mininova. A Dutch judge in Utrecht has given Mininova three months to purge all links to copyrighted content from its site—or pay up to €5 million in penalties.

As with The Pirate Bay, Mininova's operators weren't accused of copyright infringement. In a peer-to-peer system, the actual files being transferred reside on millions of computers around the globe, and thus any direct infringement would be the responsibility of those users. But, like most countries, the Netherlands recognizes "contributory copyright infringement," which was the charge in this case.

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6. China Unicom Officially Says "Ni Hao" to IPhone 3GS
Apple have finally managed to (officially) get the iPhone into the hands of Chinese mobile phone users.

Apple and China Unicom have finally succeeded in reaching an agreement to bring the iPhone to China. Details are scarce at this point, but China Unicom officials revealed during a press conference on its recent financial results that it has made a three-year deal to sell the iPhone, and it should go on sale later this year. "This will provide users with brand new communication and information experience," according to a statement released by China Unicom.

The deal is the result of a long and winding process. Apple originally hoped to work out a deal with China Mobile, the country's largest carrier. However, China Mobile balked at Apple's original revenue sharing model. When Apple launched the iPhone 3G and moved to a more common subsidized model, negotiations began again with China Mobile, but supposedly broke down over operation and control of the App Store.

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7. Hackers Scalp Apache
Spoiler was compromised earlier this week via SSH, and defaced by unknown attackers.

The website of Apache was taken offline for several hours on Friday after the SSH remote administration key on one of its servers was compromised.

SSH is a widely used technology for remote administration, so in the worst scenario the compromise created a means for hackers to upload Trojanised code onto the download section of Apache's website. Around 50 per cent of webservers run Apache, according to the latest stats from Netcraft, so any problem would be extremely widely felt.

It's unclear at present whether any code on the Apache website was actually modified. Nor do we know how the attack was carried out or who was behind it.

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8. Swiss Privacy Commissioner Says "nein" to Google Street View
Yet another down vote for Google's StreetView. Makes one wonder what these countries see that the rest of us don't.

Whether you're searching for a storefront in a strange neighborhood or drunks passed out on the curb, Google Street View can be an extremely helpful tool. Street View has drawn its share of critics, however, and we can now add the government of Switzerland to that list. Just days after launching Street View in Portugal, Switzerland, and Taiwan, the search giant has been told by the Swiss Government that it needs to yank the Street View from its Swiss maps, a development that has left the search giant "surprised."

Hanspeter Thür, the Swiss Federal Data Protection and Information Commissioner (FDPIC), has accused Google of not having taken the necessary steps to safeguard the privacy of Swiss citizens. Thür has demanded that "Google Inc. immediately withdraw its online service Google Street View concerning Switzerland," according to a statement.

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9. N00b Boyfriend
I know I posted this in the funny videos thread earlier, but this is a must-see for everyone.


Pirate Bay saga is entertaining . . as of course the NOOb boyfriend

Pirate Bay saga is entertaining . . as of course the NOOb boyfriend
-tomos (August 30, 2009, 12:41 PM)
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Indeed, it's a circus. I wonder how it will end.

Mininova... :'(


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