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In the early morning hours of May 24, an armed burglar wearing a ski mask broke into the offices of Nicira Networks, a Silicon Valley startup housed in one of the countless nondescript buildings along Highway 101. He walked past desks littered with laptops and headed straight toward the cubicle of one of the company’s top engineers. The assailant appeared to know exactly what he wanted, which was a bulky computer that stored Nicira’s source code.
Paul Marks, senior technology correspondent When a novel computer threat hits the Windows ecosystem, Microsoft usually broadcasts an update online pretty quickly. That way, 900 million PC users can "patch" the vulnerability that let the threat thrive in the first place.
A pair of security researchers in the U.K. have released a paper [PDF] documenting what they describe as the “first real world detection of a backdoor” in a microchip—an opening that could allow a malicious actor to monitor or change the information on the chip. The researchers, Sergei Skorobogatov of the University of Cambridge and Christopher Woods of Quo Vadis Labs, concluded that the vulnerability made it possible to reprogram the contents of supposedly secure memory and obtain information regarding the internal logic of the chip. I discussed the possibility of this type of hardware vulnerability in the August 2010 Scientific American article “ The Hacker in Your Hardware .” The security breach is a particular concern because of the type of chip involved. The affected chip, a ProASIC3 A3P250 , is a field programmable gate array (FPGA).
Paul Marks, senior technology correspondent Natanz nuclear enrichment facility in Iran was the target of a cyber attack in 2010 (Image: Majid Saeedi/Getty Images ) The mystery behind the Duqu trojan , a supposed follow-up to Stuxnet, has deepened after analysts lifted the lid on a module in its computer code - and found that part of it is written in a strange programming language that they do not recognise . The finding has sparked a fascinating hunt amongst coders and security engineers, who are chipping in ideas as to what the language might be in the comments under this blog post by security analysts Kaspersky. Duqu, a trojan of unknown purpose spread by tainted Microsoft Word files, is supposedly the follow up to the Stuxnet worm , the self-replicating USB-stick-distributed malware that wrecked 400 uranium centrifuges with overspeed commands at Iran's Natanz nuclear fuel enrichment facility in 2010.
Exit from comment view mode. Click to hide this space Comments View/Create comment on this paragraph CAMBRIDGE – When the financial crisis of 2008 hit, many shocked critics asked why markets, regulators, and financial experts failed to see it coming. Today, one might ask the same question about the global economy’s vulnerability to cyber-attack. Indeed, the parallels between financial crises and the threat of cyber meltdowns are striking.
<img src="http://s.radar.oreilly.com/2011/06/30/0611-googplus.png" border="0" alt="Google Plus" style="float: right;margin: 3px 0 10px 10px" width="141" /> The launch of Google+ is the beginning of a fundamental change on the web. A change that will tear down silos, empower users and create opportunities to take software and collaboration to new levels. Social features will become pervasive, and fundamental to our interaction with networked services.
My last Facebook update said: Too busy playing on Google+ to check FB And that was five days ago.
You may have heard about augmented reality before. If you haven’t, you’ll be hearing a lot about it from now on, with the smartphone and tablet revolution now in full-swing. Augmented reality (AR) is a term used to describe a live view of a physical, real-world environment that is augmented by computer-generated sensory input, such as sound or graphics. A typical AR environment has digital information transposed onto a real-world view.
In the spring of 2010, while the remains of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig were spewing crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico, I asked two friends to google "BP." They're pretty similar—educated, white, left-leaning women who live in the Northeast. But the results they saw were quite different. One of my friends saw investment information about BP. The other saw news. For one, the first page of results contained links about the oil spill; for the other, there was nothing about it except for a promotional ad from BP.
Asia is at the centre of an inevitable development of our digital world: the coming mineral wars. The computer you are using to read this article is already involved in a global war. Oil wars? Water wars?
(Corrects to magazine version.) Jeff Bezos is channeling Steve Jobs. It’s mid-September and the wiry billionaire founder of Amazon.com ( AMZN ) is at his brand-new corporate headquarters in Seattle, in a building named Day One South after his conviction that 17-year-old Amazon is still in its infancy. Almost giddy with excitement, Bezos retrieves one by one the new crop of dirt-cheap Kindle e-readers—they start at $79—from a hidden perch on a chair tucked into a conference room table. When he’s done showing them off, he stands up, and, for an audience of a single journalist, announces, “Now, I’ve got one more thing to show you.” He waits a half-beat to make sure the reference to Jobs’s famous line from Apple ( AAPL ) presentations hasn’t been missed, then gives his notorious barking laugh.
Paul Marks, senior technology correspondent Full-disc encryption is good at keeping your computer secure. So good, in fact, that it's got digital CSI teams tearing their hair out. Computer security engineers, including a member of the US Computer Emergency Response Team, are complaining in a research paper this week that crooked bankers, terrorists and child abusers may be getting away with crimes because it is proving impossible for digital investigators to unlock their encrypted hard drives.
A couple of years ago, we looked at the possibility of using neutrinos to communicate with submarines . The problem with underwater comms is that only the lowest frequency electromagnetic waves penetrate water to any depth and these are only capable of data rates of around 50 bits per second. Neutrinos on the other hand pass more or less unhindered through anything. That makes them ideal for submarine communication, except for one thing. Neutrinos are somewhat reluctant to interact with matter and this makes them hard to measure. So any neutrino communications beam would have to be hugely powerful and any neutrino detector extremely big.
David Graeber [from The Baffler No. 19] A secret question hovers over us, a sense of disappointment, a broken promise we were given as children about what our adult world was supposed to be like.
The Government came into power suggesting that it was opposed to what, in a conference speech of 2009, David Cameron called the whole rotten edifice of Labour's surveillance state. There is no prospect at all, however, of their seeking to reduce the number of CCTV cameras, and they have, indeed, described them as a valuable tool in combating crime. Certainly their use is continuing to spread, and the detail with which they carry out surveillance of our private existences is on the increase.