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How The Navy Tried To Turn Sharks into Torpedos

Slashdot - Sat, 08/13/2016 - 21:34
Long-time Slashdot reader v3rgEz writes: Documents recently declassified show one of the odder experimental weapons developed after World War II: Weaponized sharks. Guided by sharp electric shocks, the sharks were trained to deliver explosive payloads -- essentially turning them into living, breathing, remote-controlled torpedoes that could be put to use in the Pacific Theater. Following years of research on "shark repellent," the Navy spent 13 years building a special head gear for sharks which sensed the shark's direction and tried to deliver shocks if the sharks strayed off-course. The journalist who tracked down details of "Project Headgear" published the recently-declassified information on MIT's journalism site Undark, noting that "The shark wasn't so much a 'torpedo' as a suicide bomber... "

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Irish Court Orders Alleged Silk Road Admin To Be Extradited To US

Slashdot - Sat, 08/13/2016 - 20:32
An anonymous reader writes: A 27-year-old Irishman who American prosecutors believe was a top administrator on Silk Road named "Libertas" has been approved for extradition to the United States. According to the Irish Times, a High Court judge ordered Gary Davis to be handed over to American authorities on Friday. In December 2013, federal prosecutors in New York unveiled charges against Davis and two other Silk Road staffers, Andrew Michael Jones ("Inigo") and Peter Phillip Nash ("Samesamebutdifferent"). They were all charged with narcotics trafficking conspiracy, computer hacking conspiracy, and money laundering conspiracy. After a few years of operation, Silk Road itself was shuttered when its creator, Ross Ulbricht, was arrested in San Francisco in October 2013. Ulbricht was convicted at a high-profile trial and was sentenced to life in prison in May 2015.

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'GoldenEye: Source' Updated: A Classic, Free Multiplayer Game

Slashdot - Sat, 08/13/2016 - 19:34
An anonymous reader quotes The Verge: GoldenEye: Source received its first update in more than three years this week. It's free to download and it features 25 recreated maps, 10 different multiplayer modes, and redesigned versions of the original game's 28 weapons. It was created using Valve's Source engine, the same set of tools used to create Counter Strike and Half-Life games. So it's a massive step up in both visuals and performance for one of the more drastically dated gaming masterpieces of the last 20 years... GoldenEye 007, the beloved N64 first-person shooter, has been recreated in high-definition glory by a team of dedicated fans over the course of 10 years...the attention to detail and the amount of effort that went into GoldenEye: Source make it one of the most polished HD remakes of a N64 classic. With 8 million copies sold, Wikipedia calls it the third best-selling Nintendo 64 game of all-time (although this version doesn't recreate its single-player campaigns). Anyone have fond memories of playing Goldeneye 007?

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New Cache Attack Can Monitor Keystrokes On Android Phones

Slashdot - Sat, 08/13/2016 - 18:34
Trailrunner7 quotes a report from OnTheWire: : Researchers from an Austrian university have developed techniques that allow them to perform cache attacks on non-rooted Android phones that can monitor the keystrokes, screen taps, and even observe code execution inside the ARM processor's TrustZone secure execution environment. The attacks the team developed are complex and rely on a number of individual building blocks. The techniques are similar to some used against Intel x86 processor-based systems, but the team from Graz University of Technology in Austria shows that they can be used on ARM-based systems, such as Android phones, as well. "Based on our techniques, we demonstrate covert channels that outperform state-of-the-art covert channels on Android by several orders of magnitude. Moreover, we present attacks to monitor tap and swipe events as well as keystrokes, and even derive the lengths of words entered on the touchscreen," the researchers wrote in their paper, which was presented at the USENIX Security Symposium this week. It's a proof-of-concept attack. But interestingly, another recently-discovered Android vulnerability also required the user to install a malicious app -- and then allowed attackers to take full control of the device.

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Wild Abuse Allegations Taint Indiegogo Helmet Maker Skully

Slashdot - Sat, 08/13/2016 - 17:34
Skully raised $2.4 million on Indiegogo in 2014 to manufacture motorcycle helmets with built-in Augmented Reality. Now they're filing for bankruptcy, and informing customers that refunds are unlikely on their $1,500 pre-ordered helmets. But a lawsuit filed by Skully bookkeeper Isabelle Faithhauer "claims the Wellers used the funds raised by the Indiegogo campaign and a secondary $11 million round of funding in 2015 as their personal 'piggy banks' to buy several motorcycles, two Dodge Vipers, groceries, and so on," according to a Digital Trends article shared by KingGypsy: The Wellers took trips to Bermuda and Hawaii using company funds, she said, went to strip clubs, rented a Lamborghini, and paid for personal housekeeping services on the company credit card, as well as paying out funds ranging from $500 to $80,000. Lastly, she claims that the Wellers asked her to fudge the books to obscure the expenses. Faithhauer claims that when accountants came calling with questions about the expenses, she was up front about what was going on. She says that when she took a pre-approved vacation to Disneyland in December of 2015, she was fired upon her return and offered a severance package, which the suit calls "hush money." She declined the offer. "Following her termination at Skully, Faithhauer claims that when she found a new job, her new employer contacted the Wellers at Skully and were told she could not be trusted with confidential information. She was fired from that job as well."

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Disable WPAD Now or Have Your Accounts Compromised, Researchers Warn

Slashdot - Sat, 08/13/2016 - 16:34
It's enabled by default on Windows (and supported by other operating systems) -- but now security researchers are warning that "Man-in-the-middle attackers can abuse the WPAD protocol to hijack people's online accounts and steal their sensitive information even when they access websites over encrypted HTTPS or VPN connections," according to CSO. Slashdot reader itwbennett writes: Their advice: disable WPAD now. "No seriously, turn off WPAD!" one of their presentation slides said. "If you still need to use PAC files, turn off WPAD and configure an explicit URL for your PAC script; and serve it over HTTPS or from a local file"... A few days before their presentation, two other researchers named Itzik Kotler and Amit Klein independently showed the same HTTPS URL leak via malicious PACs in a presentation at the Black Hat security conference. A third researcher, Maxim Goncharov, held a separate Black Hat talk about WPAD security risks, entitled BadWPAD.

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Google Working On New 'Fuchsia' OS

Slashdot - Sat, 08/13/2016 - 15:30
An anonymous reader writes: Google is working on a new operating system dubbed Fuchsia OS for smartphones, computers, and various other devices. The new operating system was spotted in the Git repository, where the description reads: "Pick + Purple == Fuchsia (a new Operating System). Hacker News reports that Travis Geiselbrech, who worked on NewOS, BeOS, Danger, Palm's webOS and iOS, and Brian Swetland, who also worked on BeOS and Android will be involved in this project. Magenta and LK kernel will be powering the operating system. "LK is a kernel designed for small systems typically used in imbedded applications," reads the repository. "On the other hand, Magenta targets modern phones and modern personal computers with fast processors, non-trivial amounts of RAM with arbitrary peripherals doing open-ended computation." It's too early to tell exactly what this OS is meant for. Whether it's for an Android and Chrome OS merger or something completely new, it's exciting nonetheless.

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How a 1967 Solar Storm Nearly Led To Nuclear War

Slashdot - Sat, 08/13/2016 - 12:00
schwit1 quotes a report from Space.com: A powerful solar storm nearly heated the Cold War up catastrophically a half century ago, a new study suggests. The U.S. Air Force began preparing for war on May 23, 1967, thinking that the Soviet Union had jammed a set of American surveillance radars. But military space-weather forecasters intervened in time, telling top officials that a powerful sun eruption was to blame, according to the study. "Had it not been for the fact that we had invested very early on in solar and geomagnetic storm observations and forecasting, the impact [of the storm] likely would have been much greater," Delores Knipp, a space physicist at the University of Colorado Boulder and the study's lead author, said in a statement. "This was a lesson learned in how important it is to be prepared." Initially, it was assumed that the Soviet Union was to blame. Since radar jamming is considered an act of war, "commanders quickly began preparing nuclear-weapon-equipped aircraft for launch." Spoiler: Solar forecasters at the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) figured out it was a flare that caused the outages, not the Soviets. You can read the abstract of the paper for free here.

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China Starts Developing Hybrid Hypersonic Spaceplane

Slashdot - Sat, 08/13/2016 - 09:00
hackingbear quotes a report from Popular Science: While SpaceX is making news with its recoverable rockets, China announced that it is working on the next big thing in spaceflight: a hypersonic spaceplane. The China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation is beginning advanced research on a high tech, more efficient successor to the retired Space Shuttle, with hybrid combined cycle engines combining turbofan, ramjet, scramjet and rocket engines, that can takeoff from an airport's landing strip and fly straight into orbit. CASTC's rapid research timeline also suggests that the reports in 2015 of a Mach 4 test flight for a recoverable drone testbed for a combined cycle ramjet/turbofan engine were accurate. And China also has the world's largest hypersonic wind tunnel, the Mach 9 JF-12, which could be used to easily test hypersonic scramjets without costly and potentially dangerous flight testing at altitude. Its nearest competitor, the British Skylon in contrast uses pre-cooled jet engines built by Reaction Engines Limited to achieve hypersonic atmospheric flight, as opposed to scramjets. Both spacecraft will probably first fly around the mid 2020s.

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US Seizure of Kim Dotcom's Assets Will Stand, Says Appeals Court

Slashdot - Sat, 08/13/2016 - 05:30
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: The 4th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Friday in favor of the American government's seizure of a large number of Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom's overseas assets. Seized items include millions of dollars in various seized bank accounts in Hong Kong and New Zealand, multiple cars, four jet skis, the Dotcom mansion, several luxury cars, two 108-inch TVs, three 82-inch TVs, a $10,000 watch, and a photograph by Olaf Mueller worth over $100,000. After years of delay, in December 2015, Dotcom was finally ordered to be extradited to the United States to face criminal charges. But his appeal is set to be heard before the High Court in Auckland on August 29. In its court filings, prosecutors argued that because Dotcom had not appeared to face the charges against him in the United States, he is therefore susceptible to "fugitive disentitlement." That legal theory posits that if a defendant has fled the country to evade prosecution, he or she cannot make a claim to the assets that the government wants to seize under civil forfeiture. But as the Dotcom legal team claimed, the U.S. can neither use its legal system to seize assets abroad nor can Dotcom be considered a fugitive if he has never set foot in the United States. However, the 4th Circuit disagreed: "Because the statute must apply to people with no reason to come to the United States other than to face charges, a "sole" or "principal" purpose test cannot stand. The principal reason such a person remains outside the United States will typically be that they live elsewhere. A criminal indictment gives such a person a reason to make the journey, and the statute is aimed at those who resist nevertheless." Civil forfeiture in the United States allows law enforcement to seize one's assets if they are believed to be illegally acquired -- even without filing any criminal charges.

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GM Expressed Interest In Buying Lyft, But Lyft Declined

Slashdot - Sat, 08/13/2016 - 03:25
An anonymous reader writes from a report via TechCrunch: The Information has reported that GM has expressed interest in purchasing the ride-sharing company Lyft. GM reportedly specified a price it would've paid for the company, but Lyft declined their offer and opted instead to raise new funding. TechCrunch reports: "The Information's info suggests that GM's interest in the car sharing market extends beyond simply partnering up with an external party (Warning: paywalled). In statements to The Information, both companies expressed continued excitement and enthusiasm about their ongoing partnership. Depending on the size of the offer on the table, this could prove a risky move by Lyft. It already faces steep competition from Uber, which has far more cash on hand thanks to a series of monster equity and debt raises. Meanwhile GM could decide it wants to own its own operation, and either look around for another acquisition target like Daimler, or build an in-house on-demand ride-service, which is what Ford appears to be doing with its Smart Mobility subsidiary."

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LinkedIn Suffers Huge Bot Attack That Steals Members' Personal Data

Slashdot - Sat, 08/13/2016 - 02:45
An anonymous reader quotes a report from SiliconBeat: Data thieves used a massive "botnet" against professional networking site LinkedIn and stole member's personal information, a new lawsuit reveals. "LinkedIn members populate their profiles with a wide range of information concerning their professional lives, including summaries (narratives about themselves), job histories, skills, interests, educational background, professional awards, photographs and other information," said the company's complaint, filed in Northern California U.S. District Court (PDF). "During periods of time since December 2015, and to this day, unknown persons and/or entities employing various automated software programs (often referred to as 'bots') have extracted and copied data from many LinkedIn pages." It is unclear to what extent LinkedIn has been able to stymie the attack. A statement from the firm's legal team suggests one avenue of penetration has been permanently closed, but does not address other means of incursion listed in the lawsuit. "Their actions have violated the trust that LinkedIn members place in the company to protect their information," the complaint said. "LinkedIn will suffer ongoing and irreparable harm to its consumer goodwill and trust, which LinkedIn has worked hard for years to earn and maintain, if the conduct continues." LinkedIn says it has more than 128 million U.S. members and more than 400 million worldwide. According to the complaint, the hackers got around six LinkedIn cybersecurity systems, and also manipulated a cloud-services company that was on the company's "whitelist" of "popular and reputable service providers, search engines and other platforms" which interact with LinkedIn under less severe security measures than other third parties. The manipulation allowed the hackers to send requests to LinkedIn servers. "This was not an attack or data breach where confidential data was stolen," LinkedIn's legal team said in a statement. "This suit is about unknown entities using automated systems to scrape and copy data that members have made available on LinkedIn, violating the law and our Terms of Service."

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Hacker Publishes Cell Phone Numbers of House Democrats

Slashdot - Sat, 08/13/2016 - 02:06
Another day, another leak. A suspected Russian hacker known as "Guccifer 2.0" has published the phone numbers of House Democrats on his website Friday. The Hill reports: "The document was obtained from the cyberattack on the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC). The hacker also published DCCC shared passwords to several online databases and news networks. The dump also included the memos on the House race for Florida's 18th district, including opposition research on the Republican contenders, which is being vacated by Democrat Patrick Murphy as he vies for the Senate. The hacker also claimed to have breached House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi's computer and published a memo sent to her about a 2015 fundraiser for Morgan Carroll, who is running for a Colorado House seat against Republican Mike Coffman."

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First US Offshore Wind Farm To Usher In New Era For Industry

Slashdot - Sat, 08/13/2016 - 01:20
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Associated Press: The nation's first offshore wind farm is set to open off the coast of Rhode Island this fall, ushering in a new era in the U.S. for the industry. Developers, federal regulators and industry experts say the opening will move the U.S. industry from a theory to reality, paving the way for the construction of many more wind farms that will eventually provide power for many Americans. Deepwater Wind is building a five-turbine wind farm off Block Island, Rhode Island to power about 17,000 homes. The project costs about $300 million, according to the company. CEO Jeffrey Grybowski said the Block Island wind farm enables larger projects because it proves that wind farms can be built along the nation's coast. Offshore wind farms, which benefit from strong winds because of their location, are being proposed near population epicenters that lack the space to build on land. Indeed, several states are pushing ambitious clean energy goals, which include offshore wind. Among them is California, which has a target of generating 50 percent of its power from renewable sources by 2030. Vermont hopes to hit 55 percent by next year and Hawaii has called for 100 percent renewable power by 2045.

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DDoSCoin: New Crypto-Currency Rewards Users For Participating In DDoS Attacks

Slashdot - Sat, 08/13/2016 - 00:40
An anonymous reader writes from a report via Softpedia: "In the most innovative, weirdest, and stupidest idea of the month, two researchers from the University of Colorado Boulder and the University of Michigan have created a crypto-currency that rewards people for participating in DDoS attacks," reports Softpedia. "Called DDoSCoin, this digital currency rewards a person (the miner) for using their computer as part of a DDoS attack. Just like Bitcoin, DDoSCoin uses cryptographic data to provide a proof-of-work. In DDoSCoin's case, this proof-of-work is extracted from the TLS connection a miner establishes with the website they're supposed to attack." This means that DDoSCoin can be used only with DDoS attacks on TLS-enabled websites. Participating in DDoS attacks gives miners DDoSCoin, which can then be converted in Bitcoin or fiat currency. Furthermore, anyone can request a DDoS attack via the PAY_TO_DDOS transaction. The research paper that proposes DDoSCoin is only a theoretical exercise, and a DDoSCoin crypto-currency does not currently exist in the real world. For now.

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