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Contents contributed and discussions participated by John Lemke

John Lemke

Stepson of Stuxnet stalked Kaspersky for months, tapped Iran nuke talks | Ars Technica - 0 views

  • Since some time in the second half of 2014, a different state-sponsored group had been casing their corporate network using malware derived from Stuxnet, the highly sophisticated computer worm reportedly created by the US and Israel to sabotage Iran’s nuclear program.
  • the malware was more advanced than the malicious programs developed by the NSA-tied Equation Group that Kaspersky just exposed. More intriguing still, Kaspersky antivirus products showed the same malware has infected one or more venues that hosted recent diplomatic negotiations the US and five other countries have convened with Iran over its nuclear program.
  • We see this battle or arms race emerging and now it involves some kind of confrontation between the security industry and nation-state sponsored spies
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  • Kaspersky officials first became suspicious their network might be infected in the weeks following February's Security Analyst Summit, where company researchers exposed a state-sponsored hacking operation that had ties to some of the developers of Stuxnet. Kaspersky dubbed the highly sophisticated group behind the 14-year campaign Equation Group. Now back in Moscow, a company engineer was testing a software prototype for detecting so-called advanced persistent threats (APTs), the type of well-organized and highly sophisticated attack campaigns launched by well-funded hacking groups. Strangely enough, the developer's computer itself was having unusual interactions with the Kaspersky network. The new APT technology under development, it seemed, was one of several things of interest to the Duqu attackers penetrating the Kaspersky fortress. "For the developer it was important to find out why" his PC was acting oddly, Kamluk said. "Of course, he did not consider that machine could be infected by real malware. We eventually found an alien module that should not be there that tried to mask behind legitimate looking modules from Microsoft. That was the point of discovery."
  • What they found was a vastly overhauled malware operation that made huge leaps in stealth, operational security, and software design. The Duqu actors also grew much more ambitious, infecting an estimated 100 or so targets, about twice as many as were hit by the 2011 version.
  • So the Duqu 2.0 attackers pulled an audacious feat that Kaspersky researchers had never seen before. Virtually all of the malware resided solely in the memory of the compromised computers or servers. When one of them was restarted, the infection would be purged, but as the rebooted machine reconnected to the network, it would be infected all over again by another compromised computer in the corporate network. The secret lynchpin making this untraceable reinfection scheme possible was the Windows vulnerability Microsoft patched only Tuesday, which has been designated
John Lemke

UK prime minister wants backdoors into messaging apps or he'll ban them | Ars Technica - 0 views

  • He said the Paris attacks, including the one last week on satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo, underscored the need for greater access.
    • John Lemke
      Did they use such encryption in the attack? Would they have been caught even if encryption were not being used? what is up with that, we didn't do any better at catching thugs when they used CBs and many thugs are no smart enough to use encryption and still go uncaught.
John Lemke

Self-repairing software tackles malware -- ScienceDaily - 0 views

  • Unlike a normal virus scanner on consumer PCs that compares a catalog of known viruses to something that has infected the computer, A3 can detect new, unknown viruses or malware automatically by sensing that something is occurring in the computer's operation that is not correct. It then can stop the virus, approximate a repair for the damaged software code, and then learn to never let that bug enter the machine again.
  • To test A3's effectiveness, the team from the U and Raytheon BBN used the infamous software bug called Shellshock for a demonstration to DARPA officials in Jacksonville, Florida, in September. A3 discovered the Shellshock attack on a Web server and repaired the damage in four minutes, Eide says. The team also tested A3 successfully on another half-dozen pieces of malware.
John Lemke

Dotcom Faces Jail Following Application to Revoke Bail | TorrentFreak - 0 views

  • a bail revocation application is underway which could put back behind bars as early as next week.
  • Last week it was revealed that his New Zealand legal team had backed out of their arrangement to defend the Megaupload founder.
  • A full report on developments isn’t possible due to a news blackout, but Crown Prosecutor Christine Gordon told the Court that an application had been made to have Dotcom’s bail revoked after an apparent breach of conditions.
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  • In the meantime, apparently considering him a flight risk, Judge Nevin Dawson has taken the decision to clamp down on Dotcom’s movements ahead of next week’s hearing.
  • banning him from using his helicopter, Dotcom is forbidden from using boats and undertaking any travel whatsoever by sea. He must stay within 80km (50 miles) of his home and report to police every single day, rather than his previous weekly check-ins.
  • One interested firm said it would need 120 days just to look over the case to see they can help, a serious problem when the extradition hearing is scheduled for February and has taken 18 months to prepare. Today the Crown said it was prepared to give Dotcom an extra month by postponing the hearing until March, but that was overruled by the Judge who said that it would now take place in early June.
John Lemke

New Theory Suggests Parallel Universes Interact With And Affect Our Own Universe | IFLS... - 0 views

  • This new theory suggests that all of these infinite multiple worlds overlap and occupy the same region of time and space simultaneously, just like a quantum state. 
  • Under this new interpretation, some worlds in parallel universes would be nearly identical. In others, the “Butterfly Effect” is responsible for completely different outcomes. Each universe is equally real; it isn’t that one universe is the truth while others are bizarre copies or lesser in any way. Wiseman also believes that the quantum forces responsible for driving this shared existence are also responsible for causing quantum interactions between the worlds.
John Lemke

Snowden Leak: NSA Flagged Israel as Leading Espionage Threat - 0 views

  • The National Security Agency listed Israel among a handful of nations considered to pose the “greatest threat” to American government, military and industrial secrets, classified documents leaked by whistleblower Edward Snowden reveal.
John Lemke

Elusive particle that is its own antiparticle observed -- ScienceDaily - 0 views

  • Using a two-story-tall microscope floating in an ultralow-vibration lab at Princeton's Jadwin Hall, the scientists captured a glowing image of a particle known as a "Majorana fermion" perched at the end of an atomically thin wire -- just where it had been predicted to be after decades of study and calculation dating back to the 1930s.
  • The hunt for the Majorana fermion began in the earliest days of quantum theory when physicists first realized that their equations implied the existence of "antimatter" counterparts to commonly known particles such as electrons. In 1937, Italian physicist Ettore Majorana predicted that a single, stable particle could be both matter and antimatter. Although many forms of antimatter have since been observed, the Majorana combination remained elusive.
  • Despite combining qualities usually thought to annihilate each other -- matter and antimatter -- the Majorana fermion is surprisingly stable; rather than being destructive, the conflicting properties render the particle neutral so that it interacts very weakly with its environment. This aloofness has spurred scientists to search for ways to engineer the Majorana into materials, which could provide a much more stable way of encoding quantum information, and thus a new basis for quantum computing.
John Lemke

Hackers charged with stealing Xbox, 'Call of Duty,' and US Army secrets worth over $100... - 0 views

  • Four hackers have been jointly charged with conspiracies to commit computer fraud, copyright infringement, wire fraud, mail fraud, identity theft, and theft of trade secrets. Individually, they have been charged with counts of aggravated identity theft, unauthorized computer access, copyright infringement, and wire fraud.
  • The defendants, aged between 18 and 28, are believed to have stolen more than $100 million in intellectual property and other proprietary data from the likes of Microsoft Corporation, Epic Games, Valve, and even the US Army. This includes pre-release versions of Gears of War 3 and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, Apache helicopter simulation software developed for the US army, and information about the Xbox One console. Two of the suspects have pleaded guilty, one of which is 22-year old David Pokora. His plea represents what may be the first conviction of a foreign-based individual for hacking into US businesses to steal trade secret information.
  • 18-count superseding indictment
John Lemke

FBI Arrested CEO of 'StealthGenie' for Selling Mobile Spyware Apps - 0 views

  • The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has arrested the CEO of a UK-based company for allegedly advertising and selling a spyware app to individuals who suspect their romantic partners of cheating on them.
  • The dodgy cell phone spyware application, dubbed as StealthGenie, monitors victims’ phone calls, text messages, videos, emails and other communications "without detection" when it is installed on a target's phone, according to the Department of Justice.
  • Once installed on the phone, it allows conversations to be monitored as they take place, enables the purchaser to call the phone and activate it at any time to monitor all surrounding conversations within a 15-foot radius, and collects the user’s incoming and outgoing email and SMS messages, incoming voicemail, address book, calendar, photographs, and videos. All of these functions are enabled without the knowledge of the user of the phone.
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  • Akbar was charged with conspiracy, sale of a surreptitious interception device, advertisement of a known interception device and advertising a device as a surreptitious interception device in US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia.
John Lemke

FireChat: The internet-free messaging app that's sweeping the world - News - Gadgets an... - 0 views

  • t's a messaging app for iOS.
  • based on peer-to-peer “mesh networking” and connects to nearby phones using Bluetooth and WiFi, with connectivity increasing as more people use it in an area.
  • In Hong Kong mostly, where pro-democracy protesters are using it to communicate amid fears of network shutdowns. It's also been used by Iraqis and Taiwanese students during their anti-Beijing Sunflower Movement. Aside from not being reliant on the internet (which some governments restrict), it is more clandestine and less traceable.
John Lemke

Microsoft Announces Windows 10 | TechCrunch - 0 views

  • Starting tomorrow, Microsoft will launch a Windows Insider Program that will give users who are comfortable with running very early beta software access to Windows 10. This first preview will be available for laptops and desktops. A build for servers will follow later.
  • The company went on to detail that its new operating system will have a tailored user experience between different screen sizes — that’s to say that if you are on a smaller device, you will see a different sort of user interface. The code will run across all device categories: “One product family. One platform. One store.”
  • Put more bluntly, the company is going for the enterprise crown.
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  • bringing back a few features of Windows 7
  • ncluding a redesigned start menu that combines the basic Windows 7 menu with the (resizable) tiles of the Windows 8 start screen. Windows 8 Metro apps can now also open in a windowed mode on the desktop, so you aren’t taking into the full-screen mode by default and you can use a “modern” Windows 8 side by side with a standard Windows desktop app.
  • multiple desktops
  • command line, too, which has also been improved quite a bit.
    "the last 943 people to cover the operating system got the name wrong."
John Lemke

Cops Seize Car When Told To Get A Warrant, Tell Owner That's What He Gets For 'Exercisi... - 0 views

  • Officer Hatch spent most of his time trying to talk Zullo into allowing him to search the vehicle without a warrant. Hatch seemed to be convinced that Zullo was involved with the heroin traffickers he was searching for. Hatch tried everything, including lying.
  • As the officers and Zullo waited for the tow truck, they continued to try to get his permission for a search. Zullo held firm, so the cops ditched him miles from home in 20-degree weather. Mr. Zullo asked Hatch if he could retrieve his money and cell phone from his car, because he did not know how he would get home without either item. Hatch refused, saying that getting home was “not my problem,” and warned Mr. Zullo that if he attempted to retrieve those items from the car he would be arrested. When Mr. Zullo walked towards his car, Hatch placed his hands on Mr. Zullo to restrain him from reaching the car. After the tow truck arrived and took Mr. Zullo’s car, Hatch and the second state trooper left the scene, leaving Mr. Zullo stranded on the side of Route 7.
    • John Lemke
      They stranded him.
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  • After being seized, Zullo's car was searched by Officer Hatch using an actual drug dog and an actual warrant [pdf link]. Nothing illegal was uncovered.
    • John Lemke
      They found nothing other than a possible civil charge.
  • Both the drug angle and the registration sticker angle dead end into a search and seizure based on non-criminal actions. The state does have an out (one that will likely be deployed in its defense against Zully's lawsuit) that still allows law enforcement to search for marijuana, even if what's discovered isn't a criminal amount.
John Lemke

Colliding Atmospheres: Mars vs Comet Siding Spring - NASA Science - 0 views

  • "We hope to witness two atmospheres colliding," explains David Brain of the University of Colorado's Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (LASP).  "This is a once in a lifetime event!"
  • Everyone knows that planets have atmospheres.  Lesser known is that comets do, too.  The atmosphere of a comet, called its "coma," is made of gas and dust that spew out of the sun-warmed nucleus.  The atmosphere of a typical comet is wider than Jupiter.
  • The timing could scarcely be better.  Just last year, NASA launched a spacecraft named MAVEN to study the upper atmosphere of Mars, and it will be arriving in Sept. 2014 barely a month before the comet. MAVEN is on a mission to solve a longstanding mystery: What happened to the atmosphere of Mars?  Billions of years ago, Mars had a substantial atmosphere that blanketed the planet, keeping Mars warm and sustaining liquid water on its surface. Today, only a wispy shroud of CO2 remains, and the planet below is colder and dryer than any desert on Earth. Theories for this planetary catastrophe center on erosion of the atmosphere by solar wind.
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  • the comet could spark Martian auroras.
John Lemke

Mars Orbiter Mission looks to sniff methane on comet - The Times of India - 0 views

  • BANGALORE: India's Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) will look to have a date with the Siding Spring comet, which will pass very close to the Red Planet on October 19, Isro chairman K Radhakrishnan said on Thursday.
  • Asked how Nasa could do reprogramming on its MAVEN spacecraft to study the comet, Radhakrishnan said: "MAVEN reached there before us and has completed the orbit around the Red Planet. I have received mails about what they are going to do, and we know what we should. But MOM has to ascertain its position. It will be known in 2-3 days."
John Lemke

Character Breakdowns for The Walking Dead Companion Series Revealed? - SuperHeroHype - 0 views

  • As the series is said to be wholly original and not based on any of the comics or games in particular, it’s safe to assume these aren’t characters fans are familiar with. In addition, the names of these characters could simply be placeholders as auditions for the series continue to take place. Though also unconfirmed, the series is rumored to be a prequel of sorts, focusing on the early days of the zombie infection, which Rick Grimes of “The Walking Dead” luckily missed out on.
    "As the series is said to be wholly original and not based on any of the comics or games in particular, it's safe to assume these aren't characters fans are familiar with. In addition, the names of these characters could simply be placeholders as auditions for the series continue to take place. Though also unconfirmed, the series is rumored to be a prequel of sorts, focusing on the early days of the zombie infection, which Rick Grimes of "The Walking Dead" luckily missed out on."
John Lemke

Ask Ethan #55: Could a Manned Mission to Mars Abort? - Starts With A Bang! - Medium - 0 views

  • No humans have ever traveled farther away from Earth than the crew of Apollo 13 did, as they circled around the far side of the Moon close to lunar apogee, achieving a maximum distance of 400,171 km above the Earth’s surface on April 15, 1970. But when the first manned spaceflight to another planet occurs, that record will be shattered, and in a mere matter of days.
  • The way we currently reach other worlds with our present technology — or any remote location in the Universe — involves three distinct stages:The initial launch, which overcomes the Earth’s gravitational binding energy and starts our spacecraft off with a reasonably large (on the order of a few km/s) velocity relative to the Earth’s motion around the Sun.On-board course corrections, where very small amounts of thrust accelerate the spacecraft to its optimal trajectory.And gravity assists, where we use the gravitational properties of other planets in orbit around the Sun to change our spacecraft’s velocity, either increasing or decreasing its speed with every encounter.It’s through the combination of these three actions that we can reach any location — if we’re patient and we plan properly — with only our current rocket technology.
    • John Lemke
      How we can do it now, if we plan right.
  • The initial launch is a very hard part right now. It takes a tremendous amount of resources to overcome the Earth’s gravitational pull, to accelerate a significant amount of mass to the Earth’s escape velocity, and to raise it all the way up through the Earth’s atmosphere.
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  • The most optimal one for a one-way trip to Mars, for those of you wondering, that minimizes both flight time and the amount of energy needed, involves simply timing your launch right.
    • John Lemke
      The cheapest and the fastest. The one way ticket option.
  • When a planet orbits the Sun, there’s a lot of energy in that system, both gravitational energy and kinetic energy. When a third body interacts gravitationally as well, it can either gain some energy by stealing it from the Sun-planet system, or it can lose energy by giving it up to the Sun-planet system. The amount of energy performed by the spacecraft’s thrusters is often only 20% (or less) of the energy either gained-or-lost from the interaction!
    • John Lemke
      The transfer of energy involved to change speeds.
John Lemke

Hackers Using 'Shellshock' Bash Vulnerability to Launch Botnet Attacks - 0 views

  • Researchers on Thursday discovered a critical remotely exploitable vulnerability in the widely used command-line shell GNU Bourne Again Shell (Bash), dubbed "Shellshock" which affects most of the Linux distributions and servers worldwide, and may already have been exploited in the wild to take over Web servers as part of a botnet that is currently trying to infect other servers as well.
  • the vulnerability is already being used maliciously by the hackers.
  • There is as of yet no official patch that completely addresses both vulnerabilities, including the second, which allows an attacker to overwrite files on the targeted system.
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  • It's things like CGI scripts that are vulnerable, deep within a website (like CPanel's /cgi-sys/defaultwebpage.cgi)," Graham wrote in a blog post. "Getting just the root page is the thing least likely to be vulnerable. Spidering the site and testing well-known CGI scripts (like the CPanel one) would give a lot more results—at least 10x." In addition, Graham said, "this thing is clearly wormable and can easily worm past firewalls and infect lots of systems. One key question is whether Mac OS X and iPhone DHCP service is vulnerable—once the worm gets behind a firewall and runs a hostile DHCP server, that would be 'game over' for large networks."
    "Researchers on Thursday discovered a critical remotely exploitable vulnerability in the widely used command-line shell GNU Bourne Again Shell (Bash), dubbed "Shellshock" which affects most of the Linux distributions and servers worldwide, and may already have been exploited in the wild to take over Web servers as part of a botnet that is currently trying to infect other servers as well."
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