Nov 13

- Microsoft finally fixes 19-year-old ‘rare, unicorn like’ bug (RT, Nov 12, 2014):

The Microsoft Corporation has finally sorted out a bug that has plagued its Windows operating system undetected for the last 19 years.

The bug was present in every version of Microsoft Windows from Windows 95 onwards, and allows a remote user to take over and control a computer. Continue reading »

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Sep 27

- New ‘Bash’ software bug may pose bigger threat than ‘Heartbleed’ (Reuters, Sep 24, 2014):

A newly discovered security bug in a widely used piece of Linux software, known as “Bash,” could pose a bigger threat to computer users than the “Heartbleed” bug that surfaced in April, cyber experts warned on Wednesday.

Bash is the software used to control the command prompt on many Unix computers. Hackers can exploit a bug in Bash to take complete control of a targeted system, security experts said. Continue reading »

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Sep 07

- “Hello, Computer” – Intel’s New Mobile Chips Are Always Listening (MIT Technology Review, Sep 5, 2014):

Tablets and laptops coming later this year will be able to constantly listen for voice commands thanks to new chips from Intel.

A new line of mobile chips unveiled by Intel today makes it possible to wake up a laptop or tablet simply by saying “Hello, computer.” Once it has been awoken, the computer can operate as a voice-controlled virtual assistant. You might call out “Hello, computer, what is the weather forecast today?” while getting out of bed.

Tablets and lightweight laptops based on the new Core M line of chips will go on sale at the end of this year. They can constantly listen for voice instructions thanks to a component known as a digital signal processor core that’s dedicated to processing audio with high efficiency and minimal power use. Continue reading »

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Aug 26

- China may unveil homegrown OS rivals to Windows, Google and Apple (RT, Aug 25, 2014):

Following revelations of America’s National Security Agency’s global internet surveillance system, combined with a desire to enhance domestic production, China is beating a path towards unveiling its own operating systems in October.

The Chinese-made substitutes would first be introduced on desktop devices, later expanding to include smartphones and other hand-held devices, Ni Guangnan heads an official operating system development alliance established in March, Xinhau reported at the weekend.

“We hope to launch a Chinese-made desktop operating system by October supporting app stores,” Ni told the trade paper. Continue reading »

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Aug 19

- NSA BIOS Backdoor a.k.a. God Mode Malware Part (Infosec Institute):

This article is the first part of a series on NSA BIOS backdoor internals. Before we begin, I’d like to point out why these malwares are classified as “god mode.” First, most of the malware uses an internal (NSA) codename in the realms of “gods,” such as DEITYBOUNCE, GODSURGE, etc. Second, these malwares have capabilities similar to “god mode” cheats in video games, which make the player using it close to being invincible. This is the case with this type of malware because it is very hard to detect and remove, even with the most sophisticated anti-malware tools, during its possible deployment timeframe.

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Jun 22

NSA111
Image: The NSA is not an independent agency nor does it merely answer to those in Washington. It is a manifestation of an overreaching corporatocracy that will stop at nothing to expand its various monopolies.
The key to defeating the NSA is not attacking it directly but by undermining and replacing the corporate interests that created it and direct it in the first place.

- Russia to Swap Intel-AMD Processors For Local Technology  (Activist Post, June 22, 2014):

Russia’s ITAR-TASS News Agency reported in an article titled, “Russia wants to replace US computer chips with local processors,” that:

Russia’s Industry and Trade Ministry plans to replace US microchips Intel and AMD, used in government’s computers, with domestically-produced micro processor Baikal in a project worth dozens of millions of dollars, business daily Kommersant reported Thursday.

It also stated:

The Baikal chips will be installed on computers of government bodies and in state-run firms, which purchase some 700,000 personal computers annually worth $500 million and 300,000 servers worth $800 million. The total volume of the market amounts to about 5 million devices worth $3.5 billion.

In addition to the obvious financial benefits for Russia of locally manufacturing processors, there are several other dimensions within which the move will be beneficial, including in terms of national security. Continue reading »

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May 27

IBM logo_0

- First Cisco And Microsoft, Now IBM: China Orders Banks To Remove High-End IBM Servers (ZeroHedge, May 27, 2014):

A week ago, in retaliation to the inane charges lobbed by the US accusing 5 Chinese army officials of spying on US companies (when the NSA spying scandal on, well, everyone refuses to leave the front pages), China announced it would ban the use of Windows 8 on government computers (considering the quality of Windows 8, this is likely a decision government computers would have taken on their own regardless). Today, China has expanded its list of sanctioned companies from Microsoft to include IBM as well, following a Bloomberg report that the Chinese government is pushing domestic banks to “remove high-end servers made by International Business Machines Corp. and replace them with a local brand.

Why is MSFT and now IBM sowing the seeds of the US government’s stupidity and failed attempts to distract from its own spying scandals? We don’t know. Here is what we do know: Continue reading »

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May 20

- China Publishes Data Claiming US Is World’s Largest Cyber Attacker (ZeroHedge, May 20, 2014):

Well that didn’t take long. Having already responded angrily to the US charging 5 military officers with cyber espionage, China has published details of the US cyber attacks:

  • *CHINA CALLS U.S. THE BIGGEST ATTACKER OF CYBER SPACE: XINHUA

From 3/19 to 5/18, they claim to have found 135 host computers in the US carrying 563 phishing pages targeting Chinese sites that directly controlled 1.18 million computers. But Jay Carney said earlier that “the US does not engage in economic espionage.”

As Xinhua reports, Continue reading »

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May 20

- China “Sanctions” US, Bans Use Of Windows 8 On Government Computers (ZeroHedge, May 20, 2014):

Considering the epic production and sales flop that Windows 8 has been, one probably does not need an actual sales ban from preventing anyone sane from using it let alone buying it, however in yet another symbolic step, banning its government employees from using the latest Windows operating system is precisely what China did in retaliation to yesterday’s DOJ announcement it was charging five PLA members with hacking offenses against the US. According to Reuters, this latest blow to Microsoft came when the Central Government Procurement Center issued the ban as part of a notice on the use of energy-saving products. So Windows 8 lead to global warming? Who knew…

Continue reading »

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May 12

NSA-The-Only-Part-Of-Government-That-Actually-Listens

- NSA embedded surveillance tools within exported US computer hardware (RT, May 12, 2014):

While the United States has warned against buying Chinese routers due to surveillance concerns, a new book about the Edward Snowden revelations states America has been intercepting and tinkering with routers intended for foreign customers.

According to Glenn Greenwald – one of the journalists entrusted with Snowden’s leaked documents – the National Security Agency has been implanting devices into routers headed overseas since at least 2010.

In an extract from Greenwald’s new book, titled “No Place to Hide,” the journalist states the NSA “routinely receives – or intercepts – routers, servers, and other computer network devices being exported from the US before they are delivered to the international customers.”
Continue reading »

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May 03

- Microsoft includes XP users in Internet Explorer fix (BBC News, May 2, 2014):

Microsoft has said users of its Windows XP operating system will also get the security update it has issued to fix a flaw in the Internet Explorer browser.

It issued the update on Thursday to fix a bug that let hackers gain access and user rights to computers.

Continue reading »

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Apr 28

- Hackers find first post-retirement Windows XP-related vulnerability (Computerworld, April 27, 2014):

Internet Explorer 6, 7 and 8 arent being exploited yet, but harbor a critical flaw

Computerworld – Microsoft on Saturday told customers that cyber-criminals are exploiting an unpatched and critical vulnerability in Internet Explorer (IE) using “drive-by” attacks.

“Microsoft is aware of limited, targeted attacks that attempt to exploit a vulnerability in Internet Explorer 6, Internet Explorer 7, Internet Explorer 8, Internet Explorer 9, Internet Explorer 10, and Internet Explorer 11,” the company said in a security advisory.

Continue reading »

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Apr 12

Related info:

- Dutch Government To Pay Microsoft ‘Millions’ To Extend Windows XP Support


- IRS Misses XP Deadline, Pays Microsoft Millions For Patches (Computerworld, April 11, 2014):

Tax collector has 58,000 PCs still running the aged XP; will spend $30M to upgrade to Windows 7

Computerworld – The U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) acknowledged this week that it missed the April 8 cut-off for Windows XP support, and will be paying Microsoft millions for an extra year of security patches.

Microsoft terminated Windows XP support on Tuesday when it shipped the final public patches for the nearly-13-year-old operating system. Without patches for vulnerabilities discovered in the future, XP systems will be at risk from cyber criminals who hijack the machines and plant malware on them.

Continue reading »

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Apr 05

- Dutch government to pay Microsoft ‘millions’ to extend XP support  (Dutch News, April 4, 2014):

The Dutch government has signed a ‘multi-million euro’ deal with Microsoft for continued support for its Windows XP systems, according to website Webwereld.

Between 34,000 and 40,000 Dutch national government civil servants are still using computers equipped with Windows XP, even though Microsoft is ending its support for the programme this month.

Continue reading »

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Mar 15

- How the NSA Plans to Infect ‘Millions’ of Computers with Malware (The Intercept, March 12, 2014):

By Ryan Gallagher and Glenn Greenwald

Top-secret documents reveal that the National Security Agency is dramatically expanding its ability to covertly hack into computers on a mass scale by using automated systems that reduce the level of human oversight in the process.

The classified files – provided previously by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden – contain new details about groundbreaking surveillance technology the agency has developed to infect potentially millions of computers worldwide with malware “implants.” The clandestine initiative enables the NSA to break into targeted computers and to siphon out data from foreign Internet and phone networks.

Continue reading »

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Jan 03

nsa-321

- NSA seeks to build quantum computer that could crack most types of encryption (Washington Post, Jan 2, 2014):

In room-size metal boxes ­secure against electromagnetic leaks, the National Security Agency is racing to build a computer that could break nearly every kind of encryption used to protect banking, medical, business and government records around the world.

According to documents provided by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, the effort to build “a cryptologically useful quantum computer” — a machine exponentially faster than classical computers — is part of a $79.7 million research program titled “Penetrating Hard Targets.” Much of the work is hosted under classified contracts at a laboratory in College Park, Md.

“If you think you understand quantum mechanics, you don’t understand quantum mechanics,” said the late Nobel laureate Richard Feynman, widely regarded as the pioneer in quantum computing. The science video blog Vertiasium tries to help make sense of it.

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Nov 27

- If this doesn’t terrify you… Google’s computers OUTWIT their humans (The Register, Nov 15, 2013):

‘Deep learning’ clusters crack coding problems their top engineers can’t

Analysis Google no longer understands how its “deep learning” decision-making computer systems have made themselves so good at recognizing things in photos.

This means the internet giant may need fewer experts in future as it can instead rely on its semi-autonomous, semi-smart machines to solve problems all on their own.

Continue reading »

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Nov 24

- NSA infected 50,000 computer networks with malicious software (NRC, Nov 23, 2013):

The American intelligence service – NSA – infected more than 50,000 computer networks worldwide with malicious software designed to steal sensitive information. Documents provided by former NSA-employee Edward Snowden and seen by this newspaper, prove this.

A management presentation dating from 2012 explains how the NSA collects information worldwide. In addition, the presentation shows that the intelligence service uses ‘Computer Network Exploitation’ (CNE) in more than 50,000 locations. CNE is the secret infiltration of computer systems achieved by installing malware, malicious software.

Continue reading »

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Oct 28


YouTube

Description:

This is Game 1 of the 1997 rematch Kasparov vs Deep Blue. IBM’s Man vs. Machine event was held in May of 1997 in New York City, New York. This rematch between World Chess Champion Garry Kasparov and IBM supercomputer Deep Blue has been called “the most spectacular chess event in history”.

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Sep 25

See also:

- Linus Torvalds Talks Linux Development at LinuxCon (eWeek, Sep 18, 2013):

NSA Backdoor

Torvalds was also asked if he had ever been approached by the U.S. government to insert a backdoor into Linux. Torvalds responded “no” while nodding his head “yes,” as the audience broke into spontaneous laughter.


- Who rooted kernel.org servers two years ago, how did it happen, and why? (Ars Technica, Sep 24, 2013):

Maintainers of Linux still haven’t delivered promised autopsy of serious breach.

More than two years after unknown hackers gained unfettered access over multiple computers used to maintain and distribute the Linux operating system kernel, officials still haven’t released a promised autopsy about what happened.

The compromise, which began no later than August 12, 2011, wasn’t detected for at least 16 days, a public e-mail and interviews immediately following the intrusion revealed. During that time, attackers were able to monitor the activities of anyone using the kernel.org servers known as Hera and Odin1, as well as personal computers belonging to senior Linux developer H. Peter Anvin. The self-injecting rootkit known as Phalanx had access to a wealth of sensitive data, possibly including private keys used to sign and decrypt e-mails and remotely log in to servers. A follow-up advisory a few weeks later opened the possibility that still other developers may have fallen prey to the attackers.

Continue reading »

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