another random user (2645241) writes "Researchers have revealed how cyber-thieves sliced into cash machines in order to infect them with malware earlier this year. The criminals cut the holes in order to plug in USB drives that installed their code onto the ATMs. Details of the attacks on an unnamed European bank's cash dispensers were presented at the hacker-themed Chaos Computing Congress in Hamburg, Germany.
The thefts came to light in July after the lender involved noticed several its ATMs were being emptied despite their use of safes to protect the cash inside. After surveillance was increased, the bank discovered the criminals were vandalising the machines to use the infected USB sticks. The malware was installed onto the ATMs via USB sticks, and once the malware had been transferred they patched the holes up. This allowed the same machines to be targeted several times without the hack being discovered." Link to Original Source top
Owners report that new Dell laptops 'have cat urine smell'
Dell engineers have ruled out biological contamination, and said the smell was not a health hazard. The problem lay in the manufacturing process, which has now been changed, the company said.
"A few weeks ago I got a new Lattitude 6430u for work," one user called Three West complained on Dell's hardware support forum. "The machine is great, but it smells as if it was assembled near a tomcat's litter box. It is truly awful!"
Another customer, Hoteca, said: "I thought for sure one of my cats sprayed it, but there was something faulty with it so I had it replaced. The next one had the same exact issue. It's embarrassing taking it to clients because it smells so bad."" Link to Original Source top
Facebook lets beheading clips return to social network
another random user (2645241) writes "Facebook is allowing videos showing people being decapitated to be posted and shared on its site once again.
The social network had placed a temporary ban on the material in May following complaints that the clips could cause long-term psychological damage.
The US firm now believes its users should be free to watch and condemn, but not celebrate, such videos. One suicide prevention charity criticised the move.
"It only takes seconds of exposure to such graphic material to leave a permanent trace — particularly in a young person's mind," said Dr Arthur Cassidy, a former psychologist who runs a branch of the Yellow Ribbon Program in Northern Ireland. "The more graphic and colourful the material is, the more psychologically destructive it becomes."
Decapitation videos are available elsewhere on the net — including on Google's YouTube — but critics have raised concern that Facebook's news feeds and other sharing functions mean it is particularly adept at spreading such material." Link to Original Source top
Suspected creator of Blackhole and Cool exploit kits has been arrested
another random user (2645241) writes "Russian police have reportedly arrested a man on suspicion of masterminding two infamous hacking tools. He is suspected of being the man behind the alias Paunch — the nickname used by the creator of the Blackhole and Cool exploit kits, sold to cybercriminals to infect web users with malware.
The Russian authorities have not confirmed the details. But security firms said they had already detected a decline in the programs' use.
A spokesman for the law enforcement agency Europol told the BBC:
Europol and the European Cybercrime Centre has been informed that a high-level suspected cyber criminal has been arrested. We can only refer you to the Russian authorities, they are the ones who should speak about this topic.
another random user (2645241) writes "Edward Snowden, the fugitive American former intelligence worker, has made the shortlist of three for the Sakharov prize, Europe's top human rights award.
Mr Snowden was nominated by Green politicians in the European Parliament for leaking details of US surveillance. Nominees also include Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani teenager shot in the head for demanding education for girls.
Former recipients of the prize, awarded by the European Parliament, include Nelson Mandela and Aung San Suu Kyi.
Mr Snowden's nomination recognised that his disclosure of US surveillance activities was an "enormous service" to human rights and European citizens, the parliament's Green group said." Link to Original Source top
Online law banning discussion of current affairs comes into force in Vietnam
The decree, known as Decree 72, says blogs and social websites should not be used to share news articles, but only personal information. The law also requires foreign internet companies to keep their local servers inside Vietnam.
The new law specifies that social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook should only be used "to provide and exchange personal information".
It also prohibits the online publication of material that "opposes" the Vietnamese government or "harms national security".
Last month the US embassy in Hanoi said it was "deeply concerned by the decree's provisions", arguing that "fundamental freedoms apply online just as they do offline"." Link to Original Source top
Computer scientists develop 'mathematical jigsaw puzzles' to encrypt software
another random user (2645241) writes "The claim here is that the encrypted software can be executed, but not reverse-engineered. To quote from the article:
UCLA computer science professor Amit Sahai and a team of researchers have designed a system to encrypt software so that it only allows someone to use a program as intended while preventing any deciphering of the code behind it.
According to Sahai, previously developed techniques for obfuscation presented only a "speed bump," forcing an attacker to spend some effort, perhaps a few days, trying to reverse-engineer the software. The new system, he said, puts up an "iron wall," making it impossible for an adversary to reverse-engineer the software without solving mathematical problems that take hundreds of years to work out on today's computers — a game-change in the field of cryptography.
another random user (2645241) writes "It’s no secret that copyright holders are trying to take down as much pirated content as they can, but their targeting of open source software is something new. In an attempt to remove pirated copies of Game of Thrones from the Internet, HBO sent a DMCA takedown to Google, listing a copy of the popular media player VLC as a copyright infringement. An honest mistake, perhaps, but a worrying one.
Usually these notices ask Google to get rid of links to pirate sites, but for some reason the cable network also wants Google to
The same DMCA notice also lists various other links that don’t appear to link to HBO content, including a lot of porn related material, Ben Harper’s album Give Till It’s Gone, Naruto, free Java applets and Prince of Persia 5." Link to Original Source top
Microsoft and Blackberry cut Surface and Z10 prices
Microsoft dropped the price of the 32GB Surface RT to £279 from £400 in the UK, with the 64GB model's price down by the same amount to £359 (In the US, the cheapest Surface tablet went down to $349 from $499)
And in the US, Blackberry has cut the price of the Z10 phone to as low as $49 with a contract — down from $199 four months ago.
"It's a big deal for both companies," Tony Cripps, a telecoms analyst at Ovum, told the BBC. "Competing with the Apples and Samsungs of this world is tough, and it's a difficult climate to put out high-end products when the market is so dominated by a couple of players."
Recent figures from analysts IDC show that 49.2 million tablets shipped in January, February and March — and about 900,000 of those were Surfaces." Link to Original Source top
another random user (2645241) writes "Microsoft has made a dramatic U-turn over its decision to impose restrictions on pre-owned titles on its new Xbox One console.
The company had said it would restrict the free trade of pre-owned games, and that an internet connection was required to play all titles.
But following gamers' anger, Microsoft said it would drop the policies. Microsoft interactive president Don Mattrick said the company had "heard loud and clear" from its customers.
The statement, which was for some time inaccessible due to heavy traffic, went on to backtrack fully on the controversial aspects of their DRM — digital rights management — plans:
"An internet connection will not be required to play offline Xbox One games — after a one-time system set-up with a new Xbox One, you can play any disc based game without ever connecting online again. There is no 24-hour connection requirement and you can take your Xbox One anywhere you want and play your games, just like on Xbox 360.
"Trade-in, lend, resell, gift, and rent disc based games just like you do today — there will be no limitations to using and sharing games, it will work just as it does today on Xbox 360."" Link to Original Source top
Apple files patent for digital wallet and virtual currency
another random user (2645241) writes "Apple has applied for a patent on a combined virtual currency and digital wallet technology that would allow you to store money in the cloud, make payments with your iPhone, and maybe communicate with point-of-sale terminals via NFC.
The patent application, published today by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Organization, details how iPhone users could walk into a store, pay for goods with their phone, and walk out with their merchandise.
Though Apple is late to the virtual wallet game, that doesn't seem to stop them trying to patent the process. There does not appear to be anything in the patent application which describes something that can't already be done." Link to Original Source top
another random user (2645241) writes "The head of the messaging application Viber has said people in Saudi Arabia have had basic freedoms taken away, after his service was blocked there.
Talmon Marco told the BBC he did not know the reason for the move, but that Viber would be restored soon.
In March Saudi authorities warned Viber and other encrypted messaging services that they would be blocked unless they provided a means to to be monitored. Mr Marco said he had refused to provide data requested by Saudi officials.
The fact that Viber's free phone and text messaging service is no longer working in the country is not entirely unexpected. The Saudi telecoms regulator had warned the firm — along with Skype and Whatsapp — that they would be blocked if they did not agree to be monitored." Link to Original Source top
Apple loses US trade panel ruling in Samsung dispute
Reports in the Financial Times (registration required) say that the clips will last for around 15 seconds, and the first one users see each day will play automatically.
The first video will apparently play without audio, and restart if the account holder chooses to activate sound. Facebook is yet to officially confirm the move, but the report claims that the social network will gradually introduce video advertising to minimise user disruption.
The company's most lucrative marketing partners, including American Express, Coca Cola, Ford, Diageo and Nestle, are expected to be the first brands to make use of the feature. Facebook is said to have implemented the strategy in a bid to take a slice out of TV ad revenue by undercutting the sector." Link to Original Source top
another random user (2645241) writes "There is now so much debris in orbit that the space environment is close to a cascade of collisions that would make space extremely hazardous, a major international meeting has concluded.
Its summary position stated there was an "urgent need" to start pulling redundant objects out of the sky.
Scientists estimate there are nearly 30,000 items circling the Earth larger than 10cm in size. Some are whole satellites and rocket bodies, but many are just fragments.
These have resulted from explosions in fuel tanks and batteries, and from the high-velocity impacts between objects." Link to Original Source top
Super-powered battery breakthrough claimed by US team
another random user (2645241) writes "A new type of battery has been developed which its creators say could revolutionise the way we power consumer electronics and vehicles.
The University of Illinois team says its use of 3D-electrodes allows it to build "microbatteries" that are many times smaller than commercially available options, or the same size and many times more powerful.
It adds they can be recharged 1,000 times faster than competing tech.
The researchers said their innovation should help address the issue that while smartphones and other gadgets have benefited from miniaturised electronics, battery advances have failed to pace." Link to Original Source top
Film studios send takedown notices about takedown notices
Allowing people to interact with machines in the same way they do with solid objects could make computing much more intuitive, he told the BBC. He can see the system coming into general use within a decade.
The system consists of a transparent LED display with built-in cameras, which track the user's gestures and eye movements. The design was inspired by what he sees as a human need to interact with things.
"Spatial memory, where the body intuitively remembers where things are, is a very human skill," he said. Translating this to the digital world will enable people to use computers more easily as well as complete more complex tasks." Link to Original Source top
Ticketmaster dumps 'hated' Captcha verification system