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Highly Advanced Backdoor Trojan Cased High-Profile Targets For Years

Vlad_the_Inhaler Re:Nation uses malware to spy on ISP Customers... (141 comments)

Start from the countries on the list: Russia, Saudi Arabia, Mexico, Ireland, India, Afghanistan, Iran, Belgium, Austria, Pakistan. The percentages added up to 100, a surprise because I would expect at least one or two percent to be "other". That makes me mistrust the figures a bit.

"Significant" countries not on the list include: the US, Canada, Britain, Germany, Israel, Japan, Australia, France, Turkey, Yemen, Iraq, Syria or any of the smaller Gulf States such as Qatar, Bahrain, Dubai. What is also interesting is that Snowden has said nothing about it.

That makes it look a bit like a co-production to me, one state organisation produced it but they shared it with at least one other country.
Russia being top back around 2008-2011 implicates some of the main western countries.
Saudi Arabia being so high on the list implicates Israel, Gulf States, or possibly the U.S.
Austria could possibly point towards Israel.
Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan point towards the U.S.
Mexico being up there implicates the U.S.
Ireland? The only reason I can see for them being on the list is Transatlantic Cables. The GCHQ would maybe care that much.

I would expect the country which produced this to have infected some servers in their own country, to deflect suspicion.
Finally, one significant political event in 2011 was the fall of Mubarak in Egypt. If they were behind it then the dates when it was inactive would make sense, so would the subsequent reappearance. Do they have the ability?

3 days ago
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Dealer-Installed GPS Tracker Leads To Kidnapper's Arrest in Maryland

Vlad_the_Inhaler Re:Summary is hogwash (271 comments)

Looking at the Article, I see that with "Imports City" the customer is required to sign a form acknowledging there's a GPS unit in their vehicle. The article does *not* say that he got his car from them, or even any other dealership in Raleigh NC although that is implied. He kidnapped a random person and drove her to a hideout two hours away? Sheesh.

about three weeks ago
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OpenSUSE 13.2 Released

Vlad_the_Inhaler Re:It's got to be asked. (42 comments)

Since 13.1. At least the worst of the transition is now in the past.

about three weeks ago
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OpenSUSE 13.2 Released

Vlad_the_Inhaler Re:Don't bother trying Btrfs. (42 comments)

I used xfs for years, most of the time it was fine. The problems I had came from one assumption: xfs was written for high quality SGI hardware with UPS, not consumer PCs. It is not as hardware-failure tolerant as - for example - ext3 or ext4.

about three weeks ago
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OpenSUSE 13.2 Released

Vlad_the_Inhaler Re:Question for btrfs users... (42 comments)

I installed it in this machine a couple of hours ago - after testing on a spare machine yesterday.
I have used SuSE and then Opensuse for years, and have had problems with pretty much every single upgrade. The only problem I had with this one was that my DVD writer ejected the dvd while there was still some data in the buffer. I used the mount/loop command to extract the .iso to a partition, booted from the dvd (that part was ok) and used the partition as the source instead of the dvd. There is now a separate "Update" option now and for the first time for years, the install went through without any problems at all. Even the multimedia stuff was fine, once I added the two repositories.

Surprising was the number of updates (around 60) to a release which came out 3 days ago.

Tomorrow I'll start testing the network options, but so far so good.

btw, if you have ext4 partitions, 13.2 is not going to start mounting them as btrfs or converting them or something. Existing partitions will keep their existing filesystems, although the content will be updated if appropriate. The default for *new* partitions is apparently btrfs but I'll be using that sparingly for a while now.

about three weeks ago
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Tim Cook: "I'm Proud To Be Gay"

Vlad_the_Inhaler Re:Gay? (764 comments)

I don't see why it should be a reason to be "proud". Gay is the way he is rather than something he has chosen but it does not confer some form of superiority on him. If he was a paedeophile though, that definitely *would* be a reason to be "unproud".

Whatever, see if I care.

about a month ago
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FBI Warns Industry of Chinese Cyber Campaign

Vlad_the_Inhaler Re:What's the difference? (106 comments)

The first thing I thought of when I saw this was: "Incredibly tricky, these orientals". Cliches I grew up with! Great!
Time to put out the honeypots. All the gory details on lukewarm fusion, and AS YET UNPATENTED. It just needs to look very plausible, 'cos they're very tricky.

about a month and a half ago
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How English Beat German As the Language of Science

Vlad_the_Inhaler Re:Germany had the last laugh... (323 comments)

One period!
One space!

Nah, it does not have that ring to it.

about a month and a half ago
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How English Beat German As the Language of Science

Vlad_the_Inhaler Re:I am SHOCKED! (323 comments)

I don't know about Japan (but I imagine you are wrong), but Germany is not an "occupied country" any more. One of the side-effects of reunification was a peace treaty formally ending that status. With the USSR giving up control of "their part" the western allies had no reason not to do the same. Margaret Thatcher was less than enthusiastic about this but could do little once George Bush the Elder (I think it was him and not Clinton) had made the decision. Thatcher was dumped around then anyway and John Major was a lot less bigoted.

Going back to the actual story here: At the time the Nazis took power, a large proportion of German scientists were jewish. Once their initial fears proved to be overly optimistic, those who could headed for the exits and were mostly not replaced. At that point German as the "Language of Science" was pretty much dead, losing WW2 just confirmed this.

about a month and a half ago
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BitHammer, the BitTorrent Banhammer

Vlad_the_Inhaler Re: blocking the networks owners ? (429 comments)

Did you read the same synopsis I did? He is not talking about the owners, he is talking about other users coming in and grabbing all the bandwidth in public hotspots.
That would be an extremely useful tool in Germany, the hotspot owner is liable if someone is caught file-sharing over his/her access point. I can see owners wanting to run this, it would have to run under Windows though.

about a month and a half ago
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Hackers Compromised Yahoo Servers Using Shellshock Bug

Vlad_the_Inhaler Re:How Hard? (69 comments)

If somebody 30 years ago would have created a sentence like that one, they would have received nothing but puzzled stares.

Sounds like Yahoo's managers have thet problem as well.

about 2 months ago
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Hackers Compromised Yahoo Servers Using Shellshock Bug

Vlad_the_Inhaler Re:Color me shellshocked! (69 comments)

It is.
I ran a sanitised version of the initial exploit in a virtual Konsole, updated and ran it again in a new Konsole. The second time the attempted exploit was rejected, no reboot required.

This was early last week, the day the update became available. What made these muppets wait until they were attacked? Do they have some cretinous system in place where even security-relevant updates have to be scheduled a week in advance?

about 2 months ago
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Only Two States Have Rules To Prevent Cheating On Computerized Tests

Vlad_the_Inhaler Re:Codification (95 comments)

Back when I took exams - when the world was young and sheep were nervous - kids caught cheating were automatically failed and were in line for other sanctions as well, rather like doping in sport. Why the hell does a/the state need to get involved? An examination board is more likely to be able to keep up with newer ways of cheating than a state which has something codified and inflexible, an examination board is also more likely to be able to understand the subject than a collection of antagonistic lawyers dedicated to opposing whatever their opponents think is a good idea.

A Bulgarian chess player was caught cheating around a year ago. It took a while to work out exactly *how* he was cheating but it had been obvious for months that he was and he was already finding it very difficult to be allowed to play tournaments. The Bulgarian Chess Federation has banned him for life. The system in place worked.

about 2 months ago
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Possible Reason Behind Version Hop to Windows 10: Compatibility

Vlad_the_Inhaler Re:This is Java code (349 comments)

Just out of curiosity, when was that particular call (which is depreciated anyway) first implemented? Was it available under Windows 95?
Depreciating it is also annoying - presumably whatever is replacing it has not been around forever so that will prevent it running on "legacy" systems.

(I have never programmed under this environment so I don't know the specifics)

about 2 months ago
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Possible Reason Behind Version Hop to Windows 10: Compatibility

Vlad_the_Inhaler Re:And Java fail again (349 comments)

The search string was 9" which is why it came up with all those false positives. The obvious string to test would have been "Windows 9 but who are we to reason why?

about 2 months ago
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David Cameron Says Brits Should Be Taught Imperial Measures

Vlad_the_Inhaler Re:Simple answer (942 comments)

The farthing was phased out decades (?) before decimalisation, the halfpenny just a few years before the conversion.
A half-crown was 2 and 6, you will not have found anyone who could not make sense of that at the time.

about 2 months ago
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Are the World's Religions Ready For ET?

Vlad_the_Inhaler Re:Trolololo (534 comments)

I read that series decades ago and seem to remember that there is a twist in the tail.
The way I remember it, the aliens had been created by the devil in order to undermine christian faith. Once that became obvious (some symbols were involved) they ceased to exist. What a strange world-view, I have no idea what Blish's beliefs were.

about 2 months ago
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Why did Microsoft skip Windows 9?

Vlad_the_Inhaler Re:I pick marketing (399 comments)

Every second release is ok, every second one is a turkey.
This way they get to skip a decent release and can have two turkeys in a row.

about 2 months ago

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