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The Status of the Fukushima Clean-Up

samzenpus posted about a year ago | from the cleaning-things-up dept.

Japan 136

doom writes "Ian Sample at the Guardian UK does a really thorough write-up of what's going on with the Fukushima Clean-up. From the article: 'Though delicate and painstaking, retrieving the fuel rod assemblies from the pools is not the toughest job the workers face. More challenging by far will be digging out the molten cores in the reactors themselves. Some of the fuel burned through its primary containment and is now mixed with cladding, steel and concrete. The mixture will have to be broken up, sealed in steel containers and moved to a nuclear waste storage site. That work will not start until some time after 2020.'"

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TL;DR version (3, Interesting)

Gravis Zero (934156) | about a year ago | (#45606287)

it still sucks and it's going to take forever to clean up.

Re:TL;DR version (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45606341)

Nah, they are just going to dump it in the ocean. What color do you want you sushi to be today?

Re:TL;DR version (1)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | about a year ago | (#45606351)

What color do you want you sushi to glow tonight?

There, fixed that for you.

Re:TL;DR version (2)

discord5 (798235) | about a year ago | (#45606483)

What color do you want your sushi to glow tonight?

There, fixed that for you.

At least fix the damn typo while you're improving the content.

Re:TL;DR version (1)

ciderbrew (1860166) | about a year ago | (#45606509)

your knew to gernalism arnt' You?

Re:TL;DR version (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45606681)

What color do you want your sushi to glow tonight?

There, fixed that for you.

At least fix the damn typo while you're improving the content.

My wet-ware spell checker (grammar nazi^W^W^W^Wbobby edition) stopped when it encountered the first mistake ("color") and refused to parse any further.

TL;DR version : Dump it all in the ocean (0, Flamebait)

FriendlyLurker (50431) | about a year ago | (#45606595)

Maybe this news "update" is to sugar coat this news: They’re Going to Dump the Fukushima Radiation Into the Ocean [nakedcapitalism.com] .

Re:TL;DR version : Dump it all in the ocean (3, Insightful)

Sockatume (732728) | about a year ago | (#45606835)

That post's own source article says quite the opposite, that the water will only be returned to the Pacific after treatment. Not exactly being honest with the readership, there.

Re:TL;DR version : Dump it all in the ocean (1)

FriendlyLurker (50431) | about 10 months ago | (#45607051)

that the water will only be returned to the Pacific after treatment.

What treatment are you talking about?! If you call the plan for dilution a "treatment" then yeah. other than that how exactly to they plan to "treat" irradiated water before dumping it in the ocean?

Re:TL;DR version : Dump it all in the ocean (2)

Gareth Iwan Fairclough (2831535) | about 10 months ago | (#45607129)

that the water will only be returned to the Pacific after treatment.

What treatment are you talking about?! If you call the plan for dilution a "treatment" then yeah. other than that how exactly to they plan to "treat" irradiated water before dumping it in the ocean?

Erm, nothing? Because diluting it to the point where it's not a big deal is the plan? It's not as if the stuff is going to magically re-concentrate itself after dilution and sea dumping. Hell, they could probably just dump it all into the depths of the pacific as is without dilution. It's a lot of ocean with a relatively tiny amount of radioactive material going into in as a one off. Really, it's just about the safest thing they can do with the stuff.

By the way, where did they get the info saying that the fuel had "burned through" the pressure vessel? Afaik, that is essentially impossible.

Re:TL;DR version : Dump it all in the ocean (1)

FriendlyLurker (50431) | about 10 months ago | (#45607283)

Soooo diluting the irradiated water, with clean water, before dumping it into more water (i.e. the ocean) is all Ok because it has been "treated". The mind boggles.

Re:TL;DR version : Dump it all in the ocean (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45607389)

You don't understand how radiation works, but that's ok. The world needs ditch diggers too Billy.

Re:TL;DR version : Dump it all in the ocean (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45607635)

If it is all tossed into the Marianas Trench, you won't be endangered by any radiation from it at all unless you happen to wander within a few feet from it. How often do you go about cruising down the MT in James Cameron's yellow submarine, if I may so boldly ask?

Re:TL;DR version : Dump it all in the ocean (1)

Curunir_wolf (588405) | about 10 months ago | (#45607941)

If it is all tossed into the Marianas Trench, you won't be endangered by any radiation from it at all unless you happen to wander within a few feet from it. How often do you go about cruising down the MT in James Cameron's yellow submarine, if I may so boldly ask?

But ... but ... Godzilla!

Re:TL;DR version : Dump it all in the ocean (1)

Zeromous (668365) | about 10 months ago | (#45609051)

Actually yes, that's how the Universe also deals with Radiation.

Re:TL;DR version : Dump it all in the ocean (5, Informative)

nojayuk (567177) | about 10 months ago | (#45607479)

They are filtering the waste water and using ion exchange systems, zeolite cartridges and the like to remove the radioactive materials in solution. That's how they're "treating" contaminated water (irradiation isn't the problem).

The water itself isn't radioactive, it's just hydrogen and oxygen. There may be some tritiated water in there but very very little, same with radioactive isotopes of oxygen. The contamination they are dealing with is radioactive particles in some cases, in others chemical substances in solution like cesium and strontium. Until the levels for all the contaminants are below international standards then the water can't be released into the sea.

Re:TL;DR version : Dump it all in the ocean (1)

jafac (1449) | about 10 months ago | (#45609777)

Simple fix. Raise the international standards for contamination thresholds. Oh wait - they did that.

Re:TL;DR version : Dump it all in the ocean (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45607483)

They intend to strip the most common of the radioactive elements that have dissolved in it out, it wont 100% fix it but will massively reduce the level of radiation.

Re:TL;DR version (1)

Sockatume (732728) | about a year ago | (#45606811)

I thought this was the Windows news item for a second.

Re:TL;DR version (2)

Luckyo (1726890) | about a year ago | (#45606979)

To be exact, "forever" is probably equal to enough half-lives of most active and dangerous materials so that they become relatively harmless.

Same idea as in Chernobyl. Unlike chemical waste, radioactive waste destroys itself over time. It makes sense to contain it and let most of it destroy itself to manageable levels before cleaning it up.

Re:TL;DR version (1)

Big Hairy Ian (1155547) | about 10 months ago | (#45607287)

Well I hope the Nuclear Waste Storage site isn't being designed by the same bozos who built a Fission Reactor over an active fault in a tsunami zone otherwise they'll build it on top of Mt St Helens!

Re:TL;DR version (1)

Luckyo (1726890) | about 10 months ago | (#45607605)

Nothing wrong with this. Another reactor that was closer to epicenter and got hit by larger tsunami survived just fine. Of course, it was a generation newer, and not 60s tech with better seawall to boot.

Re:TL;DR version (1)

Andy Dodd (701) | about 10 months ago | (#45608105)

Yup. The reactor sustained no damage from the earthquake itself.

It was the following tsunami they didn't properly plan for.

Also - more modern plants would have weathered this tsunami without problems. Newer plant designs have significantly improved passive safety, rendering the diesel generators (which are safety-critical in older plants) non-safety-critical.

Re:TL;DR version (1)

Anne_Nonymous (313852) | about 10 months ago | (#45607365)

>> it still sucks and it's going to take forever to clean up.

Those crazy Japanese are making this way harder than it needs to be. Just dig up all that crap and leave it on a truck in Mexico someplace. Ta-da! All clean.

Re:TL;DR version (1)

nospam007 (722110) | about 10 months ago | (#45607539)

"it still sucks and it's going to take forever to clean up."

No, not forever. People can go back to their homes from 12 pm January 5th 186013.

Re:TL;DR version (1)

nospam007 (722110) | about 10 months ago | (#45607581)

"from 12 pm January 5th 186013."

Oops typo. Should have been the year 186014, obviously.

FUKISHIMA !! THERE IS A JOKE IN THERE !! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45606291)

But where ??

Re:FUKISHIMA !! THERE IS A JOKE IN THERE !! (-1, Troll)

Sockatume (732728) | about a year ago | (#45606331)

Easy: "Did you hear the one about the AC who tried to make a joke without having one thought up? Something something. Your mother."

Re:FUKISHIMA !! THERE IS A JOKE IN THERE !! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45606559)

The joke is Tepco's pretense at cleaning up.

They even have a mascot now.

http://www.japanrealm.com/the-amazing-fukuppy/ [japanrealm.com]

Re:FUKISHIMA !! THERE IS A JOKE IN THERE !! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45606619)

Now that is just all fukuppy.

Re:FUKISHIMA !! THERE IS A JOKE IN THERE !! (1)

Sockatume (732728) | about a year ago | (#45606993)

Fukushima Industries is a company that happens to originate in Fukushima. They make refridgerators. They're not TEPCO.

I gleaned this from reading the link you provided.

Re:FUKISHIMA !! THERE IS A JOKE IN THERE !! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45607085)

Thanks Cap'n Obvious. Nice to see you're still with us...

bad BIOS saga continues - 12/13 (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45606349)

Scientist-developed malware prototype covertly jumps air gaps using inaudible sound
-
Malware communicates at a distance of 65 feet using built-in mics and speakers.

by Dan Goodin - Dec 2, 2013 7:29 pm UTC

http://arstechnica.com/author/dan-goodin [arstechnica.com]
https://twitter.com/dangoodin001 [twitter.com]

"Dan is the IT Security Editor at Ars Technica, which he joined in 2012 after working for The Register, the Associated Press, Bloomberg News, and other publications."

http://arstechnica.com/security/2013/12/scientist-developed-malware-covertly-jumps-air-gaps-using-inaudible-sound/ [arstechnica.com]

-
Topology of a covert mesh network that connects air-gapped computers to the Internet:

http://cdn.arstechnica.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/acoustical-mesh-network.jpg [arstechnica.net]

http://www.jocm.us/index.php?m=content&c=index&a=show&catid=124&id=600 [www.jocm.us]
-

"Computer scientists have proposed a malware prototype that uses inaudible audio signals to communicate, a capability that allows the malware to covertly transmit keystrokes and other sensitive data even when infected machines have no network connection.

The proof-of-concept software-or malicious trojans that adopt the same high-frequency communication methods-could prove especially adept in penetrating highly sensitive environments that routinely place an "air gap" between computers and the outside world. Using nothing more than the built-in microphones and speakers of standard computers, the researchers were able to transmit passwords and other small amounts of data from distances of almost 65 feet. The software can transfer data at much greater distances by employing an acoustical mesh network made up of attacker-controlled devices that repeat the audio signals.

The researchers, from Germany's Fraunhofer Institute for Communication, Information Processing, and Ergonomics[1], recently disclosed their findings in a paper published in the Journal of Communications[2]. It came a few weeks after a security researcher said his computers were infected with a mysterious piece of malware that used high-frequency transmissions to jump air gaps[3]. The new research neither confirms nor disproves Dragos Ruiu's claims of the so-called badBIOS infections, but it does show that high-frequency networking is easily within the grasp of today's malware."

[1] http://www.fkie.fraunhofer.de/en.html [fraunhofer.de]
[2] http://www.jocm.us/index.php?m=content&c=index&a=show&catid=124&id=600 [www.jocm.us]
[3] http://arstechnica.com/security/2013/10/meet-badbios-the-mysterious-mac-and-pc-malware-that-jumps-airgaps/ [arstechnica.com]

""In our article, we describe how the complete concept of air gaps can be considered obsolete as commonly available laptops can communicate over their internal speakers and microphones and even form a covert acoustical mesh network," one of the authors, Michael Hanspach, wrote in an e-mail. "Over this covert network, information can travel over multiple hops of infected nodes, connecting completely isolated computing systems and networks (e.g. the internet) to each other. We also propose some countermeasures against participation in a covert network."

The researchers developed several ways to use inaudible sounds to transmit data between two Lenovo T400 laptops using only their built-in microphones and speakers. The most effective technique relied on software originally developed to acoustically transmit data under water. Created by the Research Department for Underwater Acoustics and Geophysics in Germany, the so-called adaptive communication system (ACS) modem was able to transmit data between laptops as much as 19.7 meters (64.6 feet) apart. By chaining additional devices that pick up the signal and repeat it to other nearby devices, the mesh network can overcome much greater distances.

The ACS modem provided better reliability than other techniques that were also able to use only the laptops' speakers and microphones to communicate. Still, it came with one significant drawback-a transmission rate of about 20 bits per second, a tiny fraction of standard network connections. The paltry bandwidth forecloses the ability of transmitting video or any other kinds of data with large file sizes. The researchers said attackers could overcome that shortcoming by equipping the trojan with functions that transmit only certain types of data, such as login credentials captured from a keylogger or a memory dumper.

"This small bandwidth might actually be enough to transfer critical information (such as keystrokes)," Hanspach wrote. "You don't even have to think about all keystrokes. If you have a keylogger that is able to recognize authentication materials, it may only occasionally forward these detected passwords over the network, leading to a very stealthy state of the network. And you could forward any small-sized information such as private encryption keys or maybe malicious commands to an infected piece of construction."
Remember Flame?

The hurdles of implementing covert acoustical networking are high enough that few malware developers are likely to add it to their offerings anytime soon. Still, the requirements are modest when measured against the capabilities of Stuxnet, Flame, and other state-sponsored malware discovered in the past 18 months. And that means that engineers in military organizations, nuclear power plants, and other truly high-security environments should no longer assume that computers isolated from an Ethernet or Wi-Fi connection are off limits.

The research paper suggests several countermeasures that potential targets can adopt. One approach is simply switching off audio input and output devices, although few hardware designs available today make this most obvious countermeasure easy. A second approach is to employ audio filtering that blocks high-frequency ranges used to covertly transmit data. Devices running Linux can do this by using the advanced Linux Sound Architecture in combination with the Linux Audio Developer's Simple Plugin API. Similar approaches are probably available for Windows and Mac OS X computers as well. The researchers also proposed the use of an audio intrusion detection guard, a device that would "forward audio input and output signals to their destination and simultaneously store them inside the guard's internal state, where they are subject to further analyses."

* * *
Update
* * *

On Wednesday Hanspach issued the following statement:

        Fraunhofer FKIE is actively involved in information security research. Our mission is to strengthen security by the means of early detection and prevention of potential threats. The research on acoustical mesh networks in air was aimed at demonstrating the upcoming threat of covert communication technologies. Fraunhofer FKIE does not develop any malware or viruses and the presented proof-of-concept does not spread to other computing systems, but constitutes only a covert communication channel between hypothetical instantiations of a malware. The ultimate goal of the presented research project is to raise awareness for these kinds of attacks, and to deliver appropriate countermeasures to our customers.

Story updated to add "prototype" to the first sentence and headline and to change "developed" to "proposed," in the first sentence. The changes are intended to make clear the researchers have not created a piece of working malware."

-
RE: #badBIOS, badBIOS, bad BIOS
-

* * *
Some User Comments:
* * *

"What makes so many people here think that getting a computer first infected is such an impossible task?

Who is to To say computers don't come pre-configured with that ability in hardware, say the CPU? We know that the NSA has altered silicon in the "distant" past and if there is anything recent revelations have taught us then it is that things have only ever become technically more advanced and aggressive in the last ten years or so.

Remember: just because you're not paranoid doesn't mean they are not out to get you....Australia being happy to share medical records of its ordinary citizens being a prime example of that in today's press."

Amadeus71 Smack-Fu Master, in traininget Subscriptor

http://arstechnica.com/security/2013/12/scientist-developed-malware-covertly-jumps-air-gaps-using-inaudible-sound/?comments=1&post=25785017#comment-25785017 [arstechnica.com]

-

"This was controversial at the time Dragos Ruiu brought it up. My guess was that it was possible, I'm glad to see someone actually put in the hard work to find out! Good job Fraunhofer."

MujokanArs Praetorian

http://arstechnica.com/security/2013/12/scientist-developed-malware-covertly-jumps-air-gaps-using-inaudible-sound/?comments=1&post=25785087#comment-25785087 [arstechnica.com]

-

"Human hearing also gets worse at high frequencies before cutting out: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Equal-loudness_contour [wikipedia.org]

Several years ago, I had a neighbor with an old-fangled CRT TV. I couldn't hear its 15.9kHz squeal from my apartment, but it did show up clearly in spectral graphs of recordings I made while it was on. It's not hard to imagine something using audio band frequencies at volumes low enough to escape audibility but still able to be picked up by nearby microphones."

LnxPrgr3 Smack-Fu Master, in training

http://arstechnica.com/security/2013/12/scientist-developed-malware-covertly-jumps-air-gaps-using-inaudible-sound/?comments=1&post=25785217#comment-25785217 [arstechnica.com]

-

"The signal can be hidden in fully audible sounds, so that wouldn't help much. As other commenters have alluded, using spread-spectrum techniques, a signal can be hidden in a way that looks like just part of the ambient noise environment, at many different frequencies, perhaps both at the same time and in a time-varying distribution. For example, if there is a fan (perhaps a notebook fan) going in the environment, that can be measured, and information could be encoded in a slight deformation of that sound signature, in a way that no one would notice. Or if someone is speaking, tiny undetectable side-frequencies could be added in a way that sounds like part of their voice, but isn't really. Or if you use a random spread-spectrum approach, it could just sound like a slight bit of white noise in the background, a little hiss, that mingles with all the noise around you.

Be afraid. In cyberspace, all microphones can hear you scream."

AreWeThereYeti Ars Scholae Palatinaeet Subscriptor

http://arstechnica.com/security/2013/12/scientist-developed-malware-covertly-jumps-air-gaps-using-inaudible-sound/?comments=1&post=25785535#comment-25785535 [arstechnica.com]
-

"If you're breaking your laptop open to put a capacitor across your speaker why not cut the wires or put a mechanical switch in instead?"

Wickwick Ars Scholae Palatinae

http://arstechnica.com/security/2013/12/scientist-developed-malware-covertly-jumps-air-gaps-using-inaudible-sound/?comments=1&post=25786631#comment-25786631 [arstechnica.com]
-

"Personally I would physically disable every mic and speaker on these air-gapped computers, juts in case."

blacke Ars Praetorianet Subscriptor

http://arstechnica.com/security/2013/12/scientist-developed-malware-covertly-jumps-air-gaps-using-inaudible-sound/?comments=1&post=25789071#comment-25789071 [arstechnica.com]
-

"I wonder if you couldn't just cut off a jack from some old headphones, and keep it plugged in as a countermeasure..."

zantoka Smack-Fu Master, in training

http://arstechnica.com/security/2013/12/scientist-developed-malware-covertly-jumps-air-gaps-using-inaudible-sound/?comments=1&post=25791713#comment-25791713 [arstechnica.com]
-

"NorthGuy wrote:
My florescent light has been buzzing for weeks, do you think it's trying to hack my computer?"

Li-Fi

http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg21128225.400-will-lifi-be-the-new-wifi.html [newscientist.com]

Jimmy McNulty Smack-Fu Master, in training

http://arstechnica.com/security/2013/12/scientist-developed-malware-covertly-jumps-air-gaps-using-inaudible-sound/?comments=1&post=25792319#comment-25792319 [arstechnica.com]
-

"are the sounds in their [mainstream] music transmitting data to invaded brains?"

DaHum Smack-Fu Master, in training

http://arstechnica.com/security/2013/12/scientist-developed-malware-covertly-jumps-air-gaps-using-inaudible-sound/?comments=1&post=25799877#comment-25799877 [arstechnica.com]

-

The New Zealand Copyright Act 1994 specifies certain circumstances where all or a substantial part of a copyright work may be used without the copyright owner's permission. A "fair dealing" with copyright material does not infringe copyright if it is for the following purposes: research or private study; criticism or review; or reporting current events.

-

* * *
Related Story:
* * *

Researchers create malware that communicates via silent sound, no network needed

"When security researcher Dragos Ruiu claimed malware dubbed "badBIOS"[1] allowed infected machines to communicate using sound waves alone-no network connection needed-people said he was crazy. New research from Germany's Fraunhofer Institute for Communication, Information Processing, and Ergonomics suggests he's all too sane.

As outlined in the Journal of Communications (PDF)[2] and first spotted by ArsTechnica[3], the proof-of-concept malware prototype from Michael Hanspach and Michael Goetz can transmit information between computers using high-frequency sound waves inaudible to the human ear. The duo successfully sent passwords and more between non-networked Lenovo T400 laptops via the notebooks' built-in microphones and speakers. Freaky-deaky!

"The infected victim sends all recorded keystrokes to the covert acoustical mesh network. Infected drones forward the keystroke information inside the covert network till the attacker is reached."

The most successful method was based on software developed for underwater communications. The laptops could communicate a full 65 feet apart from each other, and the researchers say the range could be extended by chaining devices together in an audio "mesh" network, similar to the way Wi-Fi repeaters work.

While the research doesn't prove Ruiu's badBIOS claims, it does show that the so-called "air gap" defense-that is, leaving computers with critical information disconnected from any networks-could still be vulnerable to dedicated attackers, if attackers are first able to infect the PC with audio mesh-enabled malware."

[1] http://www.pcworld.com/article/2060360/security-researcher-says-new-malware-can-affect-your-bios-be-transmitted-via-the-air.html [pcworld.com]
[2] http://www.jocm.us/uploadfile/2013/1125/20131125103803901.pdf [www.jocm.us]
[3] http://arstechnica.com/security/2013/12/scientist-developed-malware-covertly-jumps-air-gaps-using-inaudible-sound/ [arstechnica.com]

-

Sending data via sound

http://images.techhive.com/images/article/2013/12/air-gap-keystrokes-100154940-orig.png [techhive.com]

-

"Transmitting data via sound waves has one glaring drawback, however: It's slow. Terribly slow. Hanspach and Goetz's malware topped out at a sluggish 20 bits-per-second transfer rate, but that was still fast enough to transmit keystrokes, passwords, PGP encryption keys, and other small bursts of information.

"We use the keylogging software logkeys for our experiment," they wrote. "The infected victim sends all recorded keystrokes to the covert acoustical mesh network. Infected drones forward the keystroke information inside the covert network till the attacker is reached, who is now able to read the current keyboard input of the infected victim from a distant place."

In another test, the researchers used sound waves to send keystroke information to a network-connected computer, which then sent the information to the "attacker" via email.

Now for the good news: This advanced proof-of-concept prototype isn't likely to work its way into everyday malware anytime soon, especially since badware that communicates via normal Net means should be all that's needed to infect the PCs of most users. Nevertheless, it's ominous to see the last-line "air gap" defense fall prey to attack-especially in an age of state-sponsored malware run rampant."

#

The New Zealand Copyright Act 1994 specifies certain circumstances where all or a substantial part of a copyright work may be used without the copyright owner's permission. A "fair dealing" with copyright material does not infringe copyright if it is for the following purposes: research or private study; criticism or review; or reporting current events.

##

EOT

Re:bad BIOS saga continues - 12/13 (1)

Sarten-X (1102295) | about 10 months ago | (#45607109)

APK has taken up journalism.

The Radioactive Sea And a Paper Cup (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45606375)

Critcalities, meltdowns, structural f*up, "lost" cores wandering away underground, 3 years of rain and pumped water draining away into the sea, burning contaminated trash into the air (Night of The Living Dead II?), twisted rods, shattered rods, pieces found a mile away, plutonium MOX rods where they shouldn't be, acres of 3-story high radioactive water tanks "rivetted, not welded" (shaken and stirred) springing leaks and corroding ... etc.

And a shrink-wrapped blasted out structure, on its last legs in an earthquake and hurricane zone, with the national "operation" game champions trying ti prise the rods out without even tweezers.

And all the suits are really, really optimistic. And the stock market's going up. Housing will recover. And the olympics will draw the world in to viisit, spend, and make everything better. Then they'll all go home, taking that extra little piece of Japan back home with them. How wonderful!

I live on the Pacific (1, Interesting)

Suiggy (1544213) | about a year ago | (#45606445)

And I've stopped eating Sushi.

Re:I live on the Pacific (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about a year ago | (#45606511)

And I've stopped eating Sushi.

Me too, but who cares [infiniteunknown.net] what we're doing?

Re:I live on the Pacific (4, Insightful)

serviscope_minor (664417) | about a year ago | (#45606617)

And I've stopped eating Sushi.

So you were happy when the coal plants were dumping untold amounts of mercury and other crap into the sea (it all winds up there eventually), but now you've stopped eating fish because of Fukishima?

You need to evaluate your risk assessment strategies.

Re:I live on the Pacific (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45606783)

And you need to eat more sushi.

Please. You can have mine.

Re:I live on the Pacific (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45606791)

So you were happy when the coal plants were dumping untold amounts of mercury and other crap into the sea (it all winds up there eventually)

Nope. And for your information, mercury content is still one of the biggest health concerns regarding seafood. Let's wait and see whether or not additional contaminants have an effect.

but now you've stopped eating fish because of Fukishima?

Sushi from the Pacific, specifically. It's not hard to avoid that until I have more information about how hazardous it actually is. Seriously, there's no need to blow this out of proportion.

You need to evaluate your risk assessment strategies.

You need to ease up on the straw man arguments.

PS: I'm not Suiggy, but answering anyway because your question/accusation is just as applicable to just about anyone who's not keen on Sushi at the moment.

Re:I live on the Pacific (0)

Gareth Iwan Fairclough (2831535) | about 10 months ago | (#45607137)

And I've stopped eating Sushi.

So you were happy when the coal plants were dumping untold amounts of mercury and other crap into the sea (it all winds up there eventually), but now you've stopped eating fish because of Fukishima?

You need to evaluate your risk assessment strategies.

OOOrah. Mod this guy up! Again!

Re:I live on the Pacific (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45607415)

Why is this upvoted? it is a blatant strawman argument.

Re:I live on the Pacific (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45608955)

Actually it is not. Serviscope is questioning why Suiggy is worried about something not measured in seafood when a hazardous substance (mercury) is already present. He is questioning the rationale of Suiggy immediate boycott of pacific seafood.

It's similar to questioning why someone would only leave a room solely because it smells bad without any regard that the furniture was engulfed in flames for the past hour.

Re:I live on the Pacific (1)

khallow (566160) | about 10 months ago | (#45608959)

Because the previous poster claimed that they stopped eating sushi, implying that they had eaten it before. That meant that they found toxins in sea animals from coal burning plants (and other sources) acceptable, but not the trivial extra amount from the Fukushima accident.

It's not a straw man argument, if it directly and appropriately applies to the person being spoken to.

Re:I live on the Pacific (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45609531)

Implying that he was happy with the mercury caused by coal is the fallacy. nothing in anything said implies that he was happy nor aware of the previous situation. the entire post is argumentative and does not belong on slashdot. It is being upvoted because people here like nuclear power and are feeling defensive of it. I'm not arguing over the correctness of of one power system over the other. Just trying to improve the quality of slashdot.

a none sensationalist way to say the same thing would be"I feel that the small increase in radioactivity caused by this accident is better than the alternative of mercury poisoning which is statistically a larger problem" Thats insight sayig someone happy that he is eating mercury is ridiculous.

Re:I live on the Pacific (1)

khallow (566160) | about 10 months ago | (#45609717)

Implying that he was happy with the mercury caused by coal is the fallacy. nothing in anything said implies that he was happy nor aware of the previous situation.

Changing one's behavior based on a trivial increase in risk implies ignorance of the previous state of affairs. And "happy" is used sarcastically.

the entire post is argumentative and does not belong on slashdot.

You would be wrong here. Slashdot's whole business model revolves around argumentative geeks collecting in one place and writing argumentative posts.

It is being upvoted because people here like nuclear power and are feeling defensive of it.

Given the unthinking libel that gets throw around (like assuming right after the accident that TEPCO has to be incompetent without information), I think that's a reasonable concern.

Re:I live on the Pacific (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45610183)

You are correct, it is slashdots business model and does belong here, poor choice of words on my part, What I should have said it does not deserve a plus 5 insightful rating. As for fighting libel with libel I strongly disagree,
hence my first post. I like to see logical arguments. (Like you are doing with me) Responding to ridiculous claims with more ridiculousness does not further any cause, it only serves to make everyone look stupid.

Re:I live on the Pacific (2)

tommeke100 (755660) | about a year ago | (#45606909)

Most fish used in sushi doesn't come from the Pacific.
It comes from fishing farms, where the fish have so little room that most are sick, so pesticides and anti-biotics are used to keep them alive until they're good to harvest.
No need to tell you eat that stuff as well.

Re:I live on the Pacific (1)

quenda (644621) | about 10 months ago | (#45607095)

And I've stopped eating Sushi.

The Pacific is kind of big. The ocean water naturally contains about 100 million tonnes of uranium.
And while the reactor isotopes will cross the ocean in detectable quantities, that takes years.

Re:I live on the Pacific (1)

rapidmax (707233) | about 10 months ago | (#45608425)

I would not be that certain. If the waste is distributed evenly then it should not increase the natural radiation much. But it may come in concentrated bubbles:

http://www.ingenieur.de/Fachbereiche/Kernenergie/Radioaktive-Wasserblase-Fukushima-treibt-amerikanische-Westkueste [ingenieur.de]

Re:I live on the Pacific (2)

Applehu Akbar (2968043) | about 10 months ago | (#45607779)

I love sushi, but what I fear about it is the possibility of parasites. I would be a lot happier if sushi were routinely irradiated.

Please explain to a dum-dum... (1)

jones_supa (887896) | about a year ago | (#45606467)

Why did they continue to run the plant after the tsunami incident? There has been little malfunctions all the time since then.

Re:Please explain to a dum-dum... (1)

AlecC (512609) | about a year ago | (#45606503)

They didn't. The malfunctions have all been in containment and cleanup systems. All Japanese nuclear reactors were closed down after the tsunami, and only two, a long way from Fukushima, have restarted - against considerable protest. None of the reactors at that site will ever run again.

Re:Please explain to a dum-dum... (4, Informative)

Trepidity (597) | about a year ago | (#45606529)

All Japanese nuclear reactors were closed down after the tsunami, and only two, a long way from Fukushima, have restarted

They haven't actually restarted yet, fwiw. The operator has applied for permission to restart them, and after some controversy, the government has decided in principle to consider the request, so the relevant agency has started a safety assessment [japandailypress.com] . Even if approved, they are unlikely to restart before 2016 [japandailypress.com] .

Re:Please explain to a dum-dum... (2)

nojayuk (567177) | about 10 months ago | (#45609237)

Two reactors at Ohi were restarted back in 2012. Japanese nuclear regulations require a shutdown and inspection of all reactors every thirteen months, usually done as part of a refuelling operation. The Ohi reactors have been shut down again after operating for thirteen months but are not restarting after inspection and refuelling for various reasons, mainly bureaucratic and local-political.

Re:Please explain to a dum-dum... (1)

quenda (644621) | about 10 months ago | (#45607125)

None of the reactors at that site will ever run again.

The Japanese are such wimps. The three remaining reactors at Chernobyl continued operating for 10 to 14 years after the #4 reactor incident.
Fukushima may have lost 3 reactors, but there are still another 3 perfectly good ones on site that happened to be shut down for maintenance when the Tsunami hit.

Re:Please explain to a dum-dum... (1)

DSElliot (3445351) | about 10 months ago | (#45609007)

Good hunting, Stalker.

Re:Please explain to a dum-dum... (1)

Trepidity (597) | about a year ago | (#45606505)

It's not still operating; they shut it down completely after the incident. The subsequent incidents, like this one [reuters.com] , have been related to the containment/cooling/cleanup operation.

Re:Please explain to a dum-dum... (2)

Calinous (985536) | about a year ago | (#45606513)

The plants were stopped. Unfortunately, stopped nuclear plants still produce heat, so they need cooling (lots of cooling at that).
      The tsunami broke the cooling installation, so the heat from the "non-functional" reactors (or storage pools or whatever) had nowhere else to go fast. If I remember correctly, two of the nuclear plants were to be decommissioned, and were kept at "zero operating power" (that is, as low as possible). As they weren't cooled enough, they had a heat buildup that ended with meltdown.

Re:Please explain to a dum-dum... (4, Interesting)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about a year ago | (#45606929)

That a simplification but essentially correct.

In fact both the earthquake and tsunami damaged the cooling system. They could have recovered from that using emergency pump trucks, which in fact they did try to do. The problem was that all the monitoring equipment was out of action due to lack of power, so they were unaware that a valve was open and syphoning off the water they were pumping in before it reached the reactors. The tsunami damage made getting near enough to make manual checks difficult, and then things started to explode as well.

The plant was designed to survive flooding and tsunami, it just didn't work in a real emergency situation. That is why when operators claim that their plants are safer or they have some new design that can't possibly go wrong people are sceptical. The same reassurances have been made before.

This is it! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45606475)

Katsumoto: I have introduced myself. You have introduced yourself. This is a very good conversation.

I Live 90 Miles From the Site (5, Interesting)

fullback (968784) | about a year ago | (#45606547)

And I have two things to say.

1. It's an incredibly difficult job where new challenges have to be met with new thinking every day.

2. The people who are doing the difficult work deserve a huge gratitude of thanks for their effort. Working in full radiation suits and masks in 35C temperatures in summer took extraordinary strength of purpose and determination.

All of you that are going to make jokes about glowing whatever and Godzilla can go fuck yourselves. And I mean it. Go Fuck Yourself.

Re:I Live 90 Miles From the Site (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45606607)

Humour is a coping strategy. If people are not allowed to make jokes about stuff that scares them it gets much scarier for them.

Live with it.

Re:I Live 90 Miles From the Site (1)

tp1024 (2409684) | about a year ago | (#45606819)

It's not a "coping strategy" when you're 10000 miles away.

Self-justifying "coping mechanism" bull (1)

Dogtanian (588974) | about a year ago | (#45606869)

Humour is a coping strategy. If people are not allowed to make jokes about stuff that scares them it gets much scarier for them.

Oh, fuck off.

Most of the time I see that argument parrotted on Slashdot, it's being intentionally misused some borderline sociopathic asshole that's just made an insensitive joke about something that happened on the other side of the world and been called out on it.

Sure, we all know that you made that sick joke about that tragedy in the Philippines/China/wherever that'll never affect your home in Buttfuck, Illinois (which you'll have forgotten about by the time you move on to the next news item) as a "coping strategy". It's because you were scared by it.

Bullshit.

We all know that people closely affected by events (or feel themselves likely to be affected) often take solace in black humour- fair enough. We also know that many people are just dicks that like to make sick jokes about stuff that doesn't affect them personally. Anyone in the latter group trying to justify themselves and place themselves *above* their critics with a self-righteous appropriation of the "non-PC coping mechanism" argument is full of it.

Live with it.

He's 90 miles from the site, he's closer to living with it than you are. Unless you're actually living in the bloody reactor, I think he's more entitled to lecture people like you than vice versa.

Re:Self-justifying "coping mechanism" bull (1)

Sarten-X (1102295) | about 10 months ago | (#45607683)

Joking about such a tragedy is not a nice and cheerful thing to do. I've never claimed to be a nice and cheerful person, though.

Japan is the only country to have a nuclear bomb detonated on civilians. A significant percentage of the population was directly affected by those blasts and the fallout, and in the decades that followed those same victims got to see the terror of radioactivity go from being a horror to a power source... but the trauma isn't forgotten. Godzilla was a horror movie, exhibiting the terror Japan saw (and still sees) in all things nuclear.

Now those fears are real yet again. No, Fukushima's leaks haven't been terribly dangerous, and radiation levels are still in the typical range of most vegetables, but the fear is back in full force. If life were a horror movie franchise, this is the point in the sequel where the new characters start doing the same things we saw in the first movie. Nothing too bad has happened yet, but we know it's coming...

Life isn't a movie, though. Religion aside, we aren't here to entertain some external audience. After the horror is over, we still have to live on this spinning rock, and there's still a wide spectrum of things that can go wrong. Ultimately, we won't make it out alive, and we all know that.

Why, then, must we be miserable, just because of misery? Why must we suffer our misfortunes alone? As humans, we have evolved to share our fortunes (good or bad) as a society. Talking is therapeutic, but what more is there to say? "Thousands died, and now I'm sad" is a good way to start depression, but not really a conversation.

That is the job of dark humor. For a few fleeting moments, a simple joke provides human contact outside the bleak devastation of a disaster. Perhaps you chuckle at the juxtaposition, or perhaps you get angry at the insensitivity, or maybe, just maybe, you start a dialog on a tangential topic.

The horror is still there. The fear is still lurking in the background. The risk hasn't changed... but now you're not facing them alone. We are all still living on this spinning rock, together, and the curse of fate just happened to land on you this time. We'll pick up the pieces together and move on. Next week, it might be my turn. Please, come talk to me too, even if all you can say is adding insult to my injury. It's your injury, too, and this spinning rock has lost a bit more of its brilliance. In my moment of darkness, remind me that the rock keeps spinning, and its brilliance keeps coming back. Remind me that my species will live on.

I'm an asshole. I will make jokes about anyone or anything at any time... because I care.

Re:Self-justifying "coping mechanism" bull (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45609259)

He's 90 miles from the site, he's closer to living with it than you are. Unless you're actually living in the bloody reactor, I think he's more entitled to lecture people like you than vice versa.

He's more than an hour drive away, while some of us have actually lived and survived within a disaster zone and had to deal first hand with property loss, death and cleanup. To top it off we had people on Slashdot tell us that we should not have lived there and should pull up stakes and move our lives elsewhere. Fullback is complaining about a fucking "godzilla joke"? He needs to get a thicker skin and no he doesn't have any additional entitlement to lecture us.

Re:I Live 90 Miles From the Site (1)

Sockatume (732728) | about a year ago | (#45607037)

It's a coping strategy to joke about the threat, not the victims. If you're joking about people glowing in the dark and those people lost access to the very ground their home used to stand on, you're a dick.

Re:I Live 90 Miles From the Site (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45606615)

I hope godzilla rips you in half while he fucks you and all the other fuck-u-shima appologists up the ass with his scaly atomic fire ejaculating cock.

Re:I Live 90 Miles From the Site (1)

Trax3001BBS (2368736) | about a year ago | (#45606621)

2. The people who are doing the difficult work deserve a huge gratitude of thanks for their effort. Working in full radiation suits and masks in 35C temperatures in summer took extraordinary strength of purpose and determination.

I hear that, and it is an effort to do it for long, I've worked in full plastics, rain gear, pants, top, hood it's no joy, and damn hot work.

Re:I Live 90 Miles From the Site (1)

Gareth Iwan Fairclough (2831535) | about 10 months ago | (#45607173)

The worst I ever had to put up with was military NBC gear. That stuff was bad enough on a hot (British) summer day.

Re:I Live 90 Miles From the Site (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45607739)

Back in the nineties I worked at a glass bottle factory. Middle of the summer, temperatures out in the streets up to 42 degrees celsius in the shade. And then you go and do repair work on top of a molten glass furnace, wearing lots of heavy clothing for protection against the heat radiating from the damn thing. There's no greater pleasure than feeling the warm breezes of hell blowing on your face, as the pirate Lechuck (was that his name?) from Monkey Island once said.

Re:I Live 90 Miles From the Site (2)

NandGate1 (2611447) | about a year ago | (#45606693)

I think it's great that someone close to the site posted something like this. It could have opened up a wonderful dialog. However, you really diluted your message by adding those last two sentences.

Re:I Live 90 Miles From the Site (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about 10 months ago | (#45609055)

All of you that are going to make jokes about glowing whatever and Godzilla can go fuck yourselves. And I mean it. Go Fuck Yourself.

Hey, I strongly recommend anger management classes there, bro. Those classes really helped old Godzilla.

Re:I Live 90 Miles From the Site (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45609143)

Don't fall off that tall soap box you built for yourself.

No one is making disparaging remarks about the people trying to clean up Fukushima nor are they saying anything negative about the survivors.

People on slashdot find humor in most disasters reported... you aren't really that special.

Re:I Live 90 Miles From the Site (1)

Tomas de Lemon (2505678) | about 10 months ago | (#45609243)

There's nothing funny about the disaster and I think the jokes and potshots marginalize the Plant workers and responders who risked their life trying to control the damage. I might have an emotional response if the Nuke Plant in my area blew up. Oh, there's two.

Re:I Live 90 Miles From the Site (1)

Bill_the_Engineer (772575) | about 10 months ago | (#45609853)

You have the luxury of being 90 miles away from the nuclear plant, but I understand that you are sensitive to any remarks concerning this disaster. It's comparable to Americans being upset at people who make light of the September 11 attack on the twin towers. Fukushima is a national concern for Japan.

I don't particularly care for your "fuck yourself" comment because not only does it take away all the positive energy you projected on the people working at the site, it squashed most chances to have a positive dialog.

Some people are assholes and I experienced what you are talking about. I live on the US Gulf Coast and was in a disaster zone. I've seen comments condemning me and my neighbors for living where we do despite the fact that there are very few places that doesn't have some potential for natural disaster. There is nothing like being figuratively spit on by slashdot while you have to clean up debris, survey and repair damages, and care for your neighbors. That said I do think you are overreacting a little about the Godzilla comments.

Fukushima NO-HYPE information sources (4, Informative)

TheRealHocusLocus (2319802) | about a year ago | (#45606555)

I am held AGHAST by the biblical-level hysteria that is circulating about Fukushima these days. It is being served up and replicated with the relish of the street-corner preacher with an end-of-world sign. Every die-off of fish is related (ignore the Atlantic), the melting starfish (never mind it's happening worldwide), from mammals to narwhals there is some serious confirmation bias being stirred.

The computer model plume of currents has DEATH arriving at the United States West coast; mere detection of miniscule amounts of Cesium -- which science is capable of to an extraordinary level of precision -- is being fronted as a radioactive death sentence.

There seems to be no deference to expert or even medical opinion on true risk factors; and in the tired vein of disaster porn, any appeals to consider such generates a (predictable) backlash of conspiracy coverup allegations. At times it is literally a no-think zone.

Radioactivity is the new whipping boy of disaster porn.

NO-HYPE Fukushima information:

Fukushima Accident Updates [hiroshimasyndrome.com] . Leslie Corrice has done an excellent job chronicling the accident from 2011. Following the latest posting thread backwards in time (some 60 pages so far) is a detailed account you will find nowhere else.

Fukushima Accident Commentary [hiroshimasyndrome.com] Leslie Corrice again, exhibiting a level of journalistic integrity that is fast-fading on today's news and Internet sources, has maintained a separate thread of personal opinion and commentary. It is as fascinating a read as the last, here you will find topics of politics, culture and status and observation of the Fukushima victims' compensation fund and resettlement.

Nuclear Industry source: Nuclear Street tag: Fukushima [nuclearstreet.com]

Rod Adams' Atomic Power Review [blogspot.com] has scaled down its Fukushima coverage as of late, but in the archives you will find some detailed articles with week-by-week coverage.

Do add more!

Re:Fukushima NO-HYPE information sources (3, Insightful)

Viol8 (599362) | about a year ago | (#45606633)

The hysteria is whipped up by the more extreme hippy enviromentalists and their patsies in the ignorant media and governments (hello Germany). The hippies have a deep seated hatred of anything nuclear simply because SOME power stations in SOME countries were used to generate plutonium. So regardless of its benefits they damn the best form of power generation we have to offset climate change - and don't anyone bloody start about fucking stupid windfarms that cost a fortune, blanket god knows how many square miles and produce sod all power most of the time - simply because of their political leanings and their mindset being stuck in the 1980s along with whats left of CND.

Frankly these people are a disgrace and should be ashamed of themselves, but instead they just make more and more noise. The only consolation is they'll all be dead in a few decades and hopefully sanity will prevail once more. And anyone who still thinks nuclear power is dangerous should think twice about visiting France. Though I'm not aware of it being radioactive yet.

Re:Fukushima NO-HYPE information sources (1)

Talderas (1212466) | about a year ago | (#45606935)

I thought the hippies hated nuclear because it increased energy production which increased human population which leads to the rape of earth as they likely call it.

Re:Fukushima NO-HYPE information sources (2)

hey! (33014) | about 10 months ago | (#45607515)

Yes, dagnebbit. If only them long-haired hippies with their free love, LDS and bell-bottom trousers would go away, TEPCO would have this licked.

Re:Fukushima NO-HYPE information sources (1)

Applehu Akbar (2968043) | about 10 months ago | (#45608045)

The problem is not in Japan, which is a place where science and engineering are respected and which will, after appropriate safety checks and emergency procedure redesign, restart most of its reactors. It's Western media, riddled as it is by ex-hippies who were fricasseed in Seventies anti-technology culture, that keeps crying Wolf about the imminent death of the Pacific.

Re:Fukushima NO-HYPE information sources (1)

Andy Dodd (701) | about 10 months ago | (#45608173)

Yup. In fact, this accident could be blamed on them.

At least one of the Fukushima reactors was originally scheduled for decommissioning prior to the accident. However, because it's so damn difficult to get new modernized plants with improved safety features built, and the population still needs electricity - the end result is that old clunkers like Fukushima (which consisted of some of the oldest operating reactors on the planet) get service life extensions.

Re:Fukushima NO-HYPE information sources (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45608407)

hello Germany

What, you want us to keep our ancient pieces of crap running? The whole hype about the "nuclear exit" after Fukushima was just the conservatives backpedaling on a runtime extension for plants that were supposed to be EOL'd. But that's Merkel, does nothing and presents it as a gift to mankind.

Re:Fukushima NO-HYPE information sources (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45606795)

I cant believe I had to scroll this far down to read a reasoned comment. After all the people who died that day through natural disasters the people seem to be looking for more people to die to appease their blood lust. The zero casualties from radiation seems to mean nothing and the blown up assumption that people will suddenly die off from cancer is ridiculous.

What is worse is that this second only to Chernobyl incident that killed nobody will be blamed for every instance of cancer from now on (to the ignorance of normal cancer rates).

Re:Fukushima NO-HYPE information sources (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45606845)

Radioactivity is the new whipping boy of disaster porn.

I auditioned for the role, but they only wanted someone with a third penis on their forehead.

Re:Fukushima NO-HYPE information sources (1)

Gareth Iwan Fairclough (2831535) | about 10 months ago | (#45607181)

Another comment that ought to be modded up. I read a lot of those sources, Rod Adams' blog in particular.

Re:Fukushima NO-HYPE information sources (3, Insightful)

Sockatume (732728) | about 10 months ago | (#45607613)

I'm sorry but where is this hysterical coverage? The Guardian article you're critiquing here ends with:

"Two years ago there was a huge earthquake and tsunami that killed around 20,000 people. But every day when I read the paper, it said, 'nuclear disaster, nuclear disaster, nuclear disaster'. In actual fact, not one person has died of radiation, nor is anyone likely to. The straight story is the Japanese didn't have a nuclear response plan. There were a lot of human errors during what happened at Fukushima. It was old technology, badly maintained, and the regulator was not respected. Those are the facts. They have to be faced and dealt with."

Re:Fukushima NO-HYPE information sources (1)

DerekLyons (302214) | about 10 months ago | (#45607743)

I am held AGHAST by the biblical-level hysteria that is circulating about Fukushima these days. It is being served up and replicated with the relish of the street-corner preacher with an end-of-world sign. Every die-off of fish is related (ignore the Atlantic), the melting starfish (never mind it's happening worldwide), from mammals to narwhals there is some serious confirmation bias being stirred.

And that's just the 'calm' comments here on /., everywhere else it's much worse.

Re:Fukushima NO-HYPE information sources (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45607765)

Atomic Power Review is written by a guy named Will Davis. It says so on the right sidebar. Who is Rod Adams?

Re:Fukushima NO-HYPE information sources (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about 10 months ago | (#45609085)

I am held AGHAST by the biblical-level hysteria that is circulating about Fukushima these days. It is being served up and replicated with the relish of the street-corner preacher with an end-of-world sign. Every die-off of fish is related (ignore the Atlantic), the melting starfish (never mind it's happening worldwide), from mammals to narwhals there is some serious confirmation bias being stirred.

It's like global warming. Probably the same people are whipping up the hysteria, too.

Fukushima news will become scarce (5, Informative)

vix86 (592763) | about a year ago | (#45606637)

This will get little coverage in news outlets around the world, but its worth spreading and this article is as good as any to mention it. The Japanese Lower House, in the Diet, passed a bill which set up a National Secrets law. Essentially it is an anti-whistleblower law. It has many of the usual sections present in other countries save for one. The bill sets forth that all information dealing with "nuclear energy" will be considered a national secret and releasing any information without the oversight of the government will basically be illegal.

This means that if something bad is happening at the Fukushima plant, then we have to rely on someone doing the moral thing and telling the world and then going to jail.

The bill still has to go through the Upper House but it's likely to pass without much opposition even though the media and the public have been strongly opposed to it. It seems very likely that the bill is there to cover up any bad information that might tarnish Japan or TEPCO's image.

Japan state secrets bill on track to become law despite protests [yahoo.com]

Re:Fukushima news will become scarce (1)

Luckyo (1726890) | about a year ago | (#45607003)

It's a good thing that all such findings can simply be passed over internet to journalists over the border of the country anonymously. Or just posted on twitter/pastebin.

Re:Fukushima news will become scarce (1)

bob_super (3391281) | about 10 months ago | (#45609201)

Let me use my 5-ring divination technique ... Yep, no bad news at all starting 366 days before summer 2020.

bad BIOS saga continues - 12/13 (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45606741)

Scientist-developed malware prototype covertly jumps air gaps using inaudible sound
-
Malware communicates at a distance of 65 feet using built-in mics and speakers.

by Dan Goodin - Dec 2, 2013 7:29 pm UTC

http://arstechnica.com/author/dan-goodin [arstechnica.com]
https://twitter.com/dangoodin001 [twitter.com]

"Dan is the IT Security Editor at Ars Technica, which he joined in 2012 after working for The Register, the Associated Press, Bloomberg News, and other publications."

http://arstechnica.com/security/2013/12/scientist-developed-malware-covertly-jumps-air-gaps-using-inaudible-sound/ [arstechnica.com]

-
Topology of a covert mesh network that connects air-gapped computers to the Internet:

http://cdn.arstechnica.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/acoustical-mesh-network.jpg [arstechnica.net]

http://www.jocm.us/index.php?m=content&c=index&a=show&catid=124&id=600 [www.jocm.us]
-

"Computer scientists have proposed a malware prototype that uses inaudible audio signals to communicate, a capability that allows the malware to covertly transmit keystrokes and other sensitive data even when infected machines have no network connection.

The proof-of-concept software-or malicious trojans that adopt the same high-frequency communication methods-could prove especially adept in penetrating highly sensitive environments that routinely place an "air gap" between computers and the outside world. Using nothing more than the built-in microphones and speakers of standard computers, the researchers were able to transmit passwords and other small amounts of data from distances of almost 65 feet. The software can transfer data at much greater distances by employing an acoustical mesh network made up of attacker-controlled devices that repeat the audio signals.

The researchers, from Germany's Fraunhofer Institute for Communication, Information Processing, and Ergonomics[1], recently disclosed their findings in a paper published in the Journal of Communications[2]. It came a few weeks after a security researcher said his computers were infected with a mysterious piece of malware that used high-frequency transmissions to jump air gaps[3]. The new research neither confirms nor disproves Dragos Ruiu's claims of the so-called badBIOS infections, but it does show that high-frequency networking is easily within the grasp of today's malware."

[1] http://www.fkie.fraunhofer.de/en.html [fraunhofer.de]
[2] http://www.jocm.us/index.php?m=content&c=index&a=show&catid=124&id=600 [www.jocm.us]
[3] http://arstechnica.com/security/2013/10/meet-badbios-the-mysterious-mac-and-pc-malware-that-jumps-airgaps/ [arstechnica.com]

""In our article, we describe how the complete concept of air gaps can be considered obsolete as commonly available laptops can communicate over their internal speakers and microphones and even form a covert acoustical mesh network," one of the authors, Michael Hanspach, wrote in an e-mail. "Over this covert network, information can travel over multiple hops of infected nodes, connecting completely isolated computing systems and networks (e.g. the internet) to each other. We also propose some countermeasures against participation in a covert network."

The researchers developed several ways to use inaudible sounds to transmit data between two Lenovo T400 laptops using only their built-in microphones and speakers. The most effective technique relied on software originally developed to acoustically transmit data under water. Created by the Research Department for Underwater Acoustics and Geophysics in Germany, the so-called adaptive communication system (ACS) modem was able to transmit data between laptops as much as 19.7 meters (64.6 feet) apart. By chaining additional devices that pick up the signal and repeat it to other nearby devices, the mesh network can overcome much greater distances.

The ACS modem provided better reliability than other techniques that were also able to use only the laptops' speakers and microphones to communicate. Still, it came with one significant drawback-a transmission rate of about 20 bits per second, a tiny fraction of standard network connections. The paltry bandwidth forecloses the ability of transmitting video or any other kinds of data with large file sizes. The researchers said attackers could overcome that shortcoming by equipping the trojan with functions that transmit only certain types of data, such as login credentials captured from a keylogger or a memory dumper.

"This small bandwidth might actually be enough to transfer critical information (such as keystrokes)," Hanspach wrote. "You don't even have to think about all keystrokes. If you have a keylogger that is able to recognize authentication materials, it may only occasionally forward these detected passwords over the network, leading to a very stealthy state of the network. And you could forward any small-sized information such as private encryption keys or maybe malicious commands to an infected piece of construction."
Remember Flame?

The hurdles of implementing covert acoustical networking are high enough that few malware developers are likely to add it to their offerings anytime soon. Still, the requirements are modest when measured against the capabilities of Stuxnet, Flame, and other state-sponsored malware discovered in the past 18 months. And that means that engineers in military organizations, nuclear power plants, and other truly high-security environments should no longer assume that computers isolated from an Ethernet or Wi-Fi connection are off limits.

The research paper suggests several countermeasures that potential targets can adopt. One approach is simply switching off audio input and output devices, although few hardware designs available today make this most obvious countermeasure easy. A second approach is to employ audio filtering that blocks high-frequency ranges used to covertly transmit data. Devices running Linux can do this by using the advanced Linux Sound Architecture in combination with the Linux Audio Developer's Simple Plugin API. Similar approaches are probably available for Windows and Mac OS X computers as well. The researchers also proposed the use of an audio intrusion detection guard, a device that would "forward audio input and output signals to their destination and simultaneously store them inside the guard's internal state, where they are subject to further analyses."

* * *
Update
* * *

On Wednesday Hanspach issued the following statement:

        Fraunhofer FKIE is actively involved in information security research. Our mission is to strengthen security by the means of early detection and prevention of potential threats. The research on acoustical mesh networks in air was aimed at demonstrating the upcoming threat of covert communication technologies. Fraunhofer FKIE does not develop any malware or viruses and the presented proof-of-concept does not spread to other computing systems, but constitutes only a covert communication channel between hypothetical instantiations of a malware. The ultimate goal of the presented research project is to raise awareness for these kinds of attacks, and to deliver appropriate countermeasures to our customers.

Story updated to add "prototype" to the first sentence and headline and to change "developed" to "proposed," in the first sentence. The changes are intended to make clear the researchers have not created a piece of working malware."

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RE: #badBIOS, badBIOS, bad BIOS
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* * *
Some User Comments:
* * *

"What makes so many people here think that getting a computer first infected is such an impossible task?

Who is to To say computers don't come pre-configured with that ability in hardware, say the CPU? We know that the NSA has altered silicon in the "distant" past and if there is anything recent revelations have taught us then it is that things have only ever become technically more advanced and aggressive in the last ten years or so.

Remember: just because you're not paranoid doesn't mean they are not out to get you....Australia being happy to share medical records of its ordinary citizens being a prime example of that in today's press."

Amadeus71 Smack-Fu Master, in traininget Subscriptor

http://arstechnica.com/security/2013/12/scientist-developed-malware-covertly-jumps-air-gaps-using-inaudible-sound/?comments=1&post=25785017#comment-25785017 [arstechnica.com]

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"This was controversial at the time Dragos Ruiu brought it up. My guess was that it was possible, I'm glad to see someone actually put in the hard work to find out! Good job Fraunhofer."

MujokanArs Praetorian

http://arstechnica.com/security/2013/12/scientist-developed-malware-covertly-jumps-air-gaps-using-inaudible-sound/?comments=1&post=25785087#comment-25785087 [arstechnica.com]

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"Human hearing also gets worse at high frequencies before cutting out: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Equal-loudness_contour [wikipedia.org]

Several years ago, I had a neighbor with an old-fangled CRT TV. I couldn't hear its 15.9kHz squeal from my apartment, but it did show up clearly in spectral graphs of recordings I made while it was on. It's not hard to imagine something using audio band frequencies at volumes low enough to escape audibility but still able to be picked up by nearby microphones."

LnxPrgr3 Smack-Fu Master, in training

http://arstechnica.com/security/2013/12/scientist-developed-malware-covertly-jumps-air-gaps-using-inaudible-sound/?comments=1&post=25785217#comment-25785217 [arstechnica.com]

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"The signal can be hidden in fully audible sounds, so that wouldn't help much. As other commenters have alluded, using spread-spectrum techniques, a signal can be hidden in a way that looks like just part of the ambient noise environment, at many different frequencies, perhaps both at the same time and in a time-varying distribution. For example, if there is a fan (perhaps a notebook fan) going in the environment, that can be measured, and information could be encoded in a slight deformation of that sound signature, in a way that no one would notice. Or if someone is speaking, tiny undetectable side-frequencies could be added in a way that sounds like part of their voice, but isn't really. Or if you use a random spread-spectrum approach, it could just sound like a slight bit of white noise in the background, a little hiss, that mingles with all the noise around you.

Be afraid. In cyberspace, all microphones can hear you scream."

AreWeThereYeti Ars Scholae Palatinaeet Subscriptor

http://arstechnica.com/security/2013/12/scientist-developed-malware-covertly-jumps-air-gaps-using-inaudible-sound/?comments=1&post=25785535#comment-25785535 [arstechnica.com]
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"If you're breaking your laptop open to put a capacitor across your speaker why not cut the wires or put a mechanical switch in instead?"

Wickwick Ars Scholae Palatinae

http://arstechnica.com/security/2013/12/scientist-developed-malware-covertly-jumps-air-gaps-using-inaudible-sound/?comments=1&post=25786631#comment-25786631 [arstechnica.com]
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"Personally I would physically disable every mic and speaker on these air-gapped computers, juts in case."

blacke Ars Praetorianet Subscriptor

http://arstechnica.com/security/2013/12/scientist-developed-malware-covertly-jumps-air-gaps-using-inaudible-sound/?comments=1&post=25789071#comment-25789071 [arstechnica.com]
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"I wonder if you couldn't just cut off a jack from some old headphones, and keep it plugged in as a countermeasure..."

zantoka Smack-Fu Master, in training

http://arstechnica.com/security/2013/12/scientist-developed-malware-covertly-jumps-air-gaps-using-inaudible-sound/?comments=1&post=25791713#comment-25791713 [arstechnica.com]
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"NorthGuy wrote:
My florescent light has been buzzing for weeks, do you think it's trying to hack my computer?"

Li-Fi

http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg21128225.400-will-lifi-be-the-new-wifi.html [newscientist.com]

Jimmy McNulty Smack-Fu Master, in training

http://arstechnica.com/security/2013/12/scientist-developed-malware-covertly-jumps-air-gaps-using-inaudible-sound/?comments=1&post=25792319#comment-25792319 [arstechnica.com]
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"are the sounds in their [mainstream] music transmitting data to invaded brains?"

DaHum Smack-Fu Master, in training

http://arstechnica.com/security/2013/12/scientist-developed-malware-covertly-jumps-air-gaps-using-inaudible-sound/?comments=1&post=25799877#comment-25799877 [arstechnica.com]

-

The New Zealand Copyright Act 1994 specifies certain circumstances where all or a substantial part of a copyright work may be used without the copyright owner's permission. A "fair dealing" with copyright material does not infringe copyright if it is for the following purposes: research or private study; criticism or review; or reporting current events.

-

* * *
Related Story:
* * *

Researchers create malware that communicates via silent sound, no network needed

"When security researcher Dragos Ruiu claimed malware dubbed "badBIOS"[1] allowed infected machines to communicate using sound waves alone-no network connection needed-people said he was crazy. New research from Germany's Fraunhofer Institute for Communication, Information Processing, and Ergonomics suggests he's all too sane.

As outlined in the Journal of Communications (PDF)[2] and first spotted by ArsTechnica[3], the proof-of-concept malware prototype from Michael Hanspach and Michael Goetz can transmit information between computers using high-frequency sound waves inaudible to the human ear. The duo successfully sent passwords and more between non-networked Lenovo T400 laptops via the notebooks' built-in microphones and speakers. Freaky-deaky!

"The infected victim sends all recorded keystrokes to the covert acoustical mesh network. Infected drones forward the keystroke information inside the covert network till the attacker is reached."

The most successful method was based on software developed for underwater communications. The laptops could communicate a full 65 feet apart from each other, and the researchers say the range could be extended by chaining devices together in an audio "mesh" network, similar to the way Wi-Fi repeaters work.

While the research doesn't prove Ruiu's badBIOS claims, it does show that the so-called "air gap" defense-that is, leaving computers with critical information disconnected from any networks-could still be vulnerable to dedicated attackers, if attackers are first able to infect the PC with audio mesh-enabled malware."

[1] http://www.pcworld.com/article/2060360/security-researcher-says-new-malware-can-affect-your-bios-be-transmitted-via-the-air.html [pcworld.com]
[2] http://www.jocm.us/uploadfile/2013/1125/20131125103803901.pdf [www.jocm.us]
[3] http://arstechnica.com/security/2013/12/scientist-developed-malware-covertly-jumps-air-gaps-using-inaudible-sound/ [arstechnica.com]

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Sending data via sound

http://images.techhive.com/images/article/2013/12/air-gap-keystrokes-100154940-orig.png [techhive.com]

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"Transmitting data via sound waves has one glaring drawback, however: It's slow. Terribly slow. Hanspach and Goetz's malware topped out at a sluggish 20 bits-per-second transfer rate, but that was still fast enough to transmit keystrokes, passwords, PGP encryption keys, and other small bursts of information.

"We use the keylogging software logkeys for our experiment," they wrote. "The infected victim sends all recorded keystrokes to the covert acoustical mesh network. Infected drones forward the keystroke information inside the covert network till the attacker is reached, who is now able to read the current keyboard input of the infected victim from a distant place."

In another test, the researchers used sound waves to send keystroke information to a network-connected computer, which then sent the information to the "attacker" via email.

Now for the good news: This advanced proof-of-concept prototype isn't likely to work its way into everyday malware anytime soon, especially since badware that communicates via normal Net means should be all that's needed to infect the PCs of most users. Nevertheless, it's ominous to see the last-line "air gap" defense fall prey to attack-especially in an age of state-sponsored malware run rampant."

#

The New Zealand Copyright Act 1994 specifies certain circumstances where all or a substantial part of a copyright work may be used without the copyright owner's permission. A "fair dealing" with copyright material does not infringe copyright if it is for the following purposes: research or private study; criticism or review; or reporting current events.

##

EOT

The Status of the Cleanushima Fuck-Up ? (1)

Mister Liberty (769145) | about a year ago | (#45606855)

Sorry.

Fukushima clean-up? Really? (1)

kbdd (823155) | about a year ago | (#45607031)

Should it be the Cleanushima fuk-up instead?

you 7ai7 it!! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45607041)

on b4by...don't All major marketing just yet, but I'm that the project coomunity. The Than make a sincere

There was no 'clean-up' at Fukushima (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45609163)

When Russia had its nuclear disaster, the best Russian minds were IMMEDIATELY set to creating engineering solutions, that were applied without delay, at the cost of vast numbers of Russian lives. Russia made its mess, and Russia cleaned its mess up.

Contrast with Japan. ALL Japan did was engage in a massive PR campaign, in conjunction with nuclear propagandists across the world (including the owners of Slashdot) to say to the world that there was no real problem, no risk of Human harm, and anyway plutonium is "good for you" (I'm not joking, shills actually flooded technical sites stating that exposure to radiation actually creates healthy Humans).

Japan, as you should know, has tragically weak governments, especially post WW2 when Japan fell under US control (a situation that continues to the present day). Despite the fact that Japan NEVER lost its culture of racism, considering itself inherently superior to the other nations in Asia, America forced Japan to become a military nuclear power, scattering the islands with the types of 'civilian' power plants that exist purely to produce the Plutonium for nuclear warheads. The USA wanted and demanded that Japan DOMINATE its region of the Earth post WW2.

The consequence of American interference is that Japan has a history, now more than ever, of telling its sheeple to do as they are told, and NEVER attempt independent thinking or organisation. Hence, there could be no serious pressure groups formed in Japan to demand real action be taken to deal with the aftermath of their nuclear disaster. Worse, cynical evil forces in the nuclear weapons industries (especially in the UK, France and the USA) wanted the region around Fukushima to act as a real time Human laboratory, where the effects of massive radiation poisoning by Plutonium and other exotic radioactive materials could be studied across a very long period.

One of the most significant early events at Fukushima was an explosion at the containment plant used to store weapon grade plutonium, scattering this metal all around the civilian areas in proximity to the plant. At the time, sites like Slashdot did their best to deny any such thing had happened, despite the video evidence.

Today, EVERYTHING the people described by Slashdot's owners as 'tin-foil hat conspiracy theorist idiots' told you went down at Fukushima in the first few weeks is now accepted as true by anyone who spends more than 30 seconds looking at the facts. People like the owners of Slashdot KNEW that if they and other vile shills could work to prevent people taking Fukushima seriously in the first month or so, it would not matter if the truth later came out, because people would then be passively accepting a situation where nothing useful was being done.

In cynical, evil journalism, this is know as the phenomena of "five minutes of fame"- where any news story, no matter how important, has a finite life in the minds of the sheeple, and if you can bury a story (or subvert the truth) for the first period, no significant pressure will be created by the attitudes of the sheeple later. The vile shills only had to confuse and obfuscate the truth about Fukusima for the first few months or so.

It will kill you. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45609791)

I expect japan becoming number one with anything "nuclear" in it.
Let's be honest, japan is where it is today because of nuclear.
There's no modern japan without nuclear. So a Fukushima "solution"
is vital and will be declared a success come hell or high-water.
in the future if you need anything "nuclear" japan will be the ultimate
go-to. Just don't expect returning in any way more healthy after the
business meeting.
The quest for nuclear-zen perfectionism seems to have hard-set limits
by nature and i fear that the struggle for nuclear enlightenment
will consume many more novices lives until the ultimate truth is
revealed ... there is no spoon.

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