US military fuels eVTOL research with $75M contract

The Register - Thu, 08/11/2022 - 23:58
The renewed agreement more than doubles the DoD's deal with Joby Aviation

A flying taxi company with plans to take to the skies by 2024 has just received a $45 million cash infusion from the United States Department of Defense to explore military applications.…

Categories: Tech News

After eleven-year wait, Atlassian customers promised custom domains in 2023

The Register - Thu, 08/11/2022 - 23:05
Some got so cranky waiting they made a t-shirt celebrating the 'CLOUD-6999' Jira ticket

On July 8, 2011, Atlassian Cloud posted a Jira ticket titled "Allow custom domains for Cloud apps".…

Categories: Tech News

VMware offers cloudy upgrade lifeline to legacy vCenter users

The Register - Thu, 08/11/2022 - 21:59
But warns 'upcoming major release of vSphere' will break some plugins

It's not often that a double dot release of a product adds significant functionality, but VMware did just that on Thursday with version 4.4.1 of its Cloud Director Availability product, which adds the ability to migrate aged and unsupported versions of vCenter to the cloud.…

Categories: Tech News

Court voids 34,000 unfair Fuji Xerox contracts

The Register - Thu, 08/11/2022 - 19:58
Required customers to pay for software they did not receive, among other sins

Australia’s Federal Court has voided 34,000 contracts that Fuji Xerox’s local outposts offered to local small business customers, after they were found to be unfair in many ways.…

Categories: Tech News

FAANGs failing on keeping user data safe from bug hunters

The Register - Thu, 08/11/2022 - 17:58
Time to call in the legal team

Black Hat  Dylan Ayrey, a bug hunter and CEO of Truffle Security, discovered a big data company credential dump containing personal information belonging to about 50,000 of its users, and still hasn't fixed it. …

Categories: Tech News

FTC ponders proper punishment for commercial data 'surveillance' and shoddy security

The Register - Thu, 08/11/2022 - 16:53
Got thoughts on the online panopticon? The FTC wants to hear

The US Federal Trade Commission on Thursday announced an effort to formulate privacy rules to deter unwelcome online monitoring and shoddy data security.…

Categories: Tech News

CDC no longer gently recommends COVID precautions most weren’t following anyway

ARS Technica - Thu, 08/11/2022 - 16:29
Huge facade for CDC headquarters against a beautiful sky.

Enlarge (credit: Bloomberg | Getty Images)

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated its pandemic guidance today, offering slightly looser recommendations that likely won't change much about how Americans handle the pandemic these days.

According to the updated guidance, people who are not up-to-date on their vaccinations—i.e., unvaccinated people or people who have not received the recommended number of boosters—no longer need to quarantine if they know they've been exposed to someone with COVID-19. Instead, if a not up-to-date person is exposed, the CDC now recommends they wear a mask for 10 days after the exposure and get tested for COVID-19 on day 5. Currently, roughly 68 percent of the US population is not up to date on their COVID-19 vaccination.

This guidance update essentially ends all COVID-19-related quarantine recommendations since the CDC had previously said that those who are up to date on their vaccines do not need to quarantine but only wear a mask for 10 days and test.

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Categories: Tech News

FBI Standoff Suspect Posted ‘Call to Arms’ on Trump's Truth Social

Motherboard (Vice) - Thu, 08/11/2022 - 16:26

The gunman who fired at police and engaged in an hours-long standoff in a corn field after trying to enter the FBI’s office in Cincinnati on Thursday has been identified in multiple media reports as someone who was present at the U.S. Capitol during the Jan. 6, 2021 insurrection.

The man also apparently left a trail of posts on Truth Social, the social media platform created by former president Donald Trump, announcing his plans to attack the FBI office and indicating that his actions were a direct response to the FBI’s search Monday of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago club.

The suspect is Ricky Walter Shiffer, according to NBC News and the New York Times, which reported that Shiffer was under investigation for having “ties to extremist groups,” including the Proud Boys, which he apparently mentioned on social media.

The standoff suspect was shot and killed by police on Thursday afternoon, the Ohio State Police said, but his identity has not been confirmed.

The 42-year-old Shiffer reportedly posted on Facebook on Jan. 5, 2021, showing him attending a pro-Trump rally at Black Lives Matter Plaza in Washington the night before the Capitol was stormed, according to the Times. 

Image from iOS (23).jpgA screenshot of the now-deleted Truth Social account.

A Twitter user named Ricky Shiffer also posted about the Proud Boys, the Times found, quoting a message that said: “Save ammunition, get in touch with the Proud Boys and learn how they did it in the Revolutionary War, because submitting to tyranny while lawfully protesting was never the American way.” 

On Truth Social, according to posts reviewed by VICE News before they were deleted from the platform Thursday evening, Shiffer described himself in an account created Aug. 1 as a construction electrician who’d been blocked from other social media platforms.

“If you don’t hear from me, it is true I tried attacking the F.B.I. and it’ll mean either I was taken off the internet, the F.B.I. got me, or they sent the regular cops,” Shiffer wrote Thursday morning.

Two days ago, after the Mar-a-Lago search, Shiffer posted, “People this is it. I hope a call to arms comes from someone better qualified, but if not, this is your call to arms from me. Leave work tomorrow as soon as the gun shop/ Army-Navy store/ pawn shop opens, get whatever you need to be ready for combat. We must not tolerate this one. They have been conditioning us to accept tyranny and we must respond with force.”

Shiffer then added: “If you know of any protests or attacks, please post here.”

In another post on Truth Social from two days ago, Shiffer wrote about Trump, saying he expected the former president to “call for peace.” 

“Donald Trump was my hero just a year ago but we must not continue to lay down and take this,” Shiffer wrote. “If he does not call for peace, it is probably because he fears for the lives of his grandchildren and young children. It is a dark situation for that family, but millions of other kids are in danger until we show the enemy how Americans do it.”

In a conversation with another Truth Social user, Shiffer wrote, “Don’t forget how Americans handle tyrants.”

Shiffer’s presence on Truth Social was first spotted by extremism researcher Travis View.

Image from iOS (10).pngScreenshots of the now-deleted Truth Social account.

Shiffer also reportedly posted on Twitter in response to a photo of rioters at the Capitol: “I was there. We watched as your goons did that,” with the “goons” apparently referencing police.

While it does not appear that Shiffer faced any criminal charges connected to the attempted insurrection, his presence at the Capitol may help explain his confrontation with law enforcement on Thursday.

The FBI said a suspect “attempted to breach the Visitor Screening Facility” at its office in Cincinnati, reportedly firing a nail gun before fleeing the scene in a white Ford Crown Victoria. The Ohio State Highway Patrol said they tried to pull the suspect over on a nearby freeway, but he fired shots at them and then fled his vehicle to hide in a corn field. The man was reportedly wearing body armor and armed with an AR-15-style rifle.

The stand-off ended late in the afternoon, according to the Clinton County Emergency Management Agency, which posted a message on Facebook at 4:25 p.m. saying, “law enforcement operations and response has ended.”

A spokesperson for the Ohio State Highway Patrol said earlier Thursday no law enforcement officers were injured.

“Throughout the afternoon troopers and our law enforcement partners attempted to negotiate with the suspect to bring the standoff to a peaceful end,” the Highway Patrol said. “Once negotiations failed, officers attempted to take the suspect into custody by utilizing less lethal tactics. At approximately 3:42 p.m., the suspect raised a firearm and shots were fired by law enforcement officers. The suspect succumbed to fatal injuries on scene.”

The FBI raid at Mar-a-Lago has triggered an angry backlash from Trump’s supporters on the far right, with some threatening the judge who authorized the warrant, and conservative leaders and pundits calling for “civil war.”

Hours after the incident in Cincinnati, Attorney General Merrick Garland said the Justice Department would seek to unseal the Mar-a-Lago search warrant, a move that would shed more light on why the FBI searched Trump’s club.

(Disclosure: Gavin McInnes, who founded the Proud Boys in 2016, was a co-founder of VICE in 1994. He left the company in 2008 and has had no involvement since then.)

Categories: Tech News

Higher risks and premiums are creating critical gap in cyber insurance

The Register - Thu, 08/11/2022 - 16:03
Most organizations don’t have the financial resources necessary to address ransomware and other cyberattacks, BlackBerry says

Black Hat  Many organizations are increasingly unprepared to deal with the skyrocketing costs of a ransomware attacks, at a time when the number of incidents and the payments demanded by cybercriminals are rising rapidly.…

Categories: Tech News

I’m a security reporter and got fooled by a blatant phish

ARS Technica - Thu, 08/11/2022 - 15:57
This is definitely not a Razer mouse—but you get the idea.

Enlarge / This is definitely not a Razer mouse—but you get the idea. (credit: calvio via Getty Images)

There has been a recent flurry of phishing attacks so surgically precise and well-executed that they've managed to fool some of the most aware people working in the cybersecurity industry. On Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, two-factor authentication provider Twilio, content delivery network Cloudflare, and network equipment maker Cisco said phishers in possession of phone numbers belonging to employees and employee family members had tricked their employees into revealing their credentials. The phishers gained access to internal systems of Twilio and Cisco. Cloudflare's hardware-based 2FA keys prevented the phishers from accessing its systems.

The phishers were persistent, methodical and had clearly done their homework. In one minute, at least 76 Cloudflare employees received text messages that used various ruses to trick them into logging into what they believed was their work account. The phishing website used a domain ( that had been registered 40 minutes before the message flurry, thwarting a system Cloudflare uses to be alerted when the domains using its name are created (presumably because it takes time for new entries to populate). The phishers also had the means to defeat forms of 2FA that rely on one-time passwords generated by authenticator apps or sent through text messages.

Creating a sense of urgency

Like Cloudflare, both Twilio and Cisco received text messages or phone calls that were also sent under the premise that there were urgent circumstances—a sudden change in a schedule, a password expiring, or a call under the guise of a trusted organization—necessitating that the target takes action quickly.

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Categories: Tech News

Security needs to learn from the aviation biz to avoid crashing

The Register - Thu, 08/11/2022 - 15:30
'Until someone has to go to jail for doing it wrong the teeth are not going to be the same'

Black Hat video  The security industry needs to take a leaf from the manual of an industry where smart incident response is literally life and death, if it is to fix systemic problems.…

Categories: Tech News

Amazon studio plans lighthearted show of Ring surveillance footage

ARS Technica - Thu, 08/11/2022 - 15:13
Amazon's combining its endless reach with its constant surveillance—but for laughs.

Enlarge / Amazon's combining its endless reach with its constant surveillance—but for laughs. (credit: Getty Images)

For some people, the term "Ring Nation" might evoke a warrantless surveillance dystopia overseen by an omnipotent megacorp. To Amazon-owned MGM, Ring Nation is a clip show hosted by comedian Wanda Sykes, featuring dancing delivery people and adorable pets.

Deadline reports that the show, due to debut on September 26, is "the latest example of corporate synergy at Amazon." Amazon owns household video security brand Ring, Hollywood studio MGM, and Big Fish, the producer of Ring Nation

Viral videos captured by doorbell cameras have been hot for a while now. You can catch them on late-night talk shows, the r/CaughtOnRing subreddit, and on millions of TikTok users' For You page. Amazon's media properties, perhaps sensing an opportunity to capitalize and soften Ring's image, are sallying forth with an officially branded offering.

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Categories: Tech News

Scientists unveil a physics-defying curved space robot

The Register - Thu, 08/11/2022 - 15:00
It can move without anything to push off from, but only via curved spacetime

A team of scientists from Georgia Tech say they've built a robot that can move without anything to push against - a discovery that seems to violate the law of conservation momentum. …

Categories: Tech News

All the Not-So-Obvious Stuff That Could Save Your Ass on Vacation

Motherboard (Vice) - Thu, 08/11/2022 - 15:00

“Damn, I wish I brought my clothesline,” you’ll say when you need to Mission Impossible out of your Slovakian hostel; or, “Wow, thank goodness I had that detox kit for the drug test Tom Hanks made me take.” There are a million things you could need while traveling—including things that might not feel as ubiquitous as a face mask or passport holder, but are oh-so-helpful when you find yourself crying on a bus stop in Reno wearing a pair of wet jeans. Shoulda brought those REI rain pants, man!

Full disclosure: We absolutely trawled the depths of Reddit for this one. Where else are you gonna find a dude talking about his two-meter extension cord that he brings wherever he goes? We’re terrified! We’re excited! We’re getting closer to the truth of what we may need while traveling, and that’s what matters. We already know the basics of packing for a plane ride—and getting some sleep on that flight—but what about the packing essentials that nobody tells you about in packing school? After all, the great debate about whether packing school is worth it (or if the degree is just a silly piece of paper) has been going on since we started this sentence, which seems like forever.

Fictitious degrees aside, there really are a lot of things you should probably be bringing with you when you’re traveling—especially if you’re going to be gone for a while. That’s why we decided to make up a little how-to jawn to help you get your must-have effects in order. We’re talking sexual butt wipes and bulk cases of Topo Chico. We’re talking rain pants for unexpected, well, rain, and trench coats for when you need to stand on top of your buddy to get into the rated-R movie.

An insanely quiet vibrator

If an orgasm is reached in the middle of the afternoon, and no one else in the hostel can hear it, did it even happen? You bet it did. Womanizer vibrators have famously silent motors, and it’s worth investing a few hundred in the Womanizer Duo for sooo many reasons. It is both a dildo and a suction vibrator; its material is firm, but soft; its vibration is pressure activated, which means it won’t go harder on your vagina unless you do. Sweet symbiosis. (And if you’re wondering: TSA will not give two hoots about this in your carry-on, we promise. They know what a Womanizer Pro is at this point.)

Dry your clothes anywhere

Your favorite shirt isn’t really going to dry well, and will probably start smelling like mildew if you keep drying it over furniture and other places it’s not supposed to be. Not that this is a threat (but it also kind of is). Travel clotheslines take up next to no space in your luggage, and will pay for themselves in no time.

In case you need to pass a drug test

Caroline Thompson went on a whole voyage for VICE on how to pass a drug test with detox drinks and cleanses. Not making any medical claims here, but Testclear has a one-day detox kit that purportedly works for all toxins, not just THC, in addition to loads of other detox packages.

A camera hack that will make you look better on Zoom

“Clip this thing on to your webcam,” explained Hilary Pollack in a VICE article on her hack for looking instantly better on Zoom calls, “and you'll suddenly realize that you were being fed the fugliest version of yourself—and it didn't have to be that way.” The trick is using a clip-on photo lens that gives you a fish-eye effect. Seriously.

Not a droid, just dry shampoo

Don’t subject your hair to the mystery brand shampoo-and-conditioner combo at the airport-adjacent motel in which you will, at least once in your life, find yourself stuck. Billie makes a dry shampoo that’s part volumizer and part shampoo (it’s a blend of rice starch, biotin, and baking soda).

The wisest wizard of all

How any self-respecting traveler could leave the house without a sling-bag insulated cooler that stealthily holds a sixer of cans is beyond us. The last thing people will guess you’re carrying when they see you with this Wizard Stick is canned liquid. It could be a tripod! A telescope! A piece of stolen art! Do yourself a favor and don’t show up to the beach, pool, or work convention empty-handed.

Did you know rain pants exist?

These “2.5-layer shell pants” (shell? Yes please) are lightweight, breathable, and have “fully sealed seams for complete waterproof protection.” Which has us excited, and also pissed off, because why on Earth aren’t all pants like this? Enjoy the freedom that this moisture-fighting, wearable slip ‘n slides will give you in your travels.

… And why aren’t all umbrellas this size?

Can’t unsee. Can’t settle for anything else, either, unless it’s somehow smaller than this seven-incher.

Those watches aren’t going to sell themselves

We don’t just want any old trench coat. We want one that makes us feel like Inspector Gadget on the streets, and Columbo in the sheets. Everlane hath delivered with this unique but Fully Adult color palette, and an exaggerated collar that says, “Just one more thing—what time is my flight?”

Look at me! (Don’t look at me)

You’re going to need the kind of tinted sunglasses that emit all the energy of a very pissed off celebrity limo driver. This pair says, “Clock me, but don’t talk to me.” Big red pill energy.

Keep your butt clean, wherever it ends up

You might be somewhere where you can’t shower, or perhaps you haven’t showered in a few days. That doesn’t mean your nethers have to start looking like Yoda’s swamp, especially if you’re planning on getting some on-the-road booty hole action. Keep your starfish clean, pristine, and gentle with these pH-balanced, biodegradable wipes.

Wool, wool, what do we have here…

(Sorry.) Remember that time you visited your friend’s new place for the first time, and discovered they’re a beautiful monster who sleeps with the thermometer below 60 degrees? Yeahhhhhh. Us too.

Wear your raincoat

Not your average condoms. Lelo is a maker of luxury sex toys and vibrators that gets real serious about engineering. The fruits of their fruit, for your fruit, are in the pudding of this thin but comfy condom. The hexagonal design is unique to the brand, and makes it feel like it was hand-tailored for your penis.

Stop paying so much for water, damnit

Here’s an idea: If you don’t have a Nalgene/want to take one on a trip, drink a massive, glass bottle of water on the way to the airport, then fill it up inside to save $7 at the Hudson News store. We suggest Topo Chico, because it tastes like serotonin, and tap dances on your tongue without eviscerating its taste buds like Badoit rouge. Those Frenchies, man.

Safe travels, and may your pants stay dry wherever you end up.

The Rec Room staff independently selected all of the stuff featured in this story. VICE may receive a small commission if you buy through the links on our site.

Categories: Tech News

'Ring Nation' Is Amazon's Reality Show for Our Surveillance Dystopia

Motherboard (Vice) - Thu, 08/11/2022 - 14:32

Amazon's propaganda campaign to normalize surveillance is about to hit a higher gear: Wanda Sykes is going to host a new show featuring videos taken from Ring surveillance cameras, Deadline reported on Thursday. It will be called Ring Nation

The show is being produced by MGM Television, which is owned by Amazon, and Big Fish Entertainment, which ran another dystopian reality show: a piece of copaganda called Live PD which centered on commentary of police footage. 

According to Deadline, the show will feature lighthearted viral content captured on Ring cameras, such as "neighbors saving neighbors, marriage proposals, military reunions and silly animals." These types of videos frequently go viral online, but hardly represent the reality of what Ring is used for. Besides home surveillance, Ring is a source of surveillance video for police departments in the U.S. and abroad. 

Amazon has done a lot of work to turn the U.S. into a Ring nation off-camera. Ring’s surveillance cameras and surveillance network have been aggressively rolled out by Amazon mainly by cultivating fear in suburbs about crime, and by entering partnerships with police departments to give them unfettered access to surveillance footage. Last year, advocacy groups pushed for Amazon’s Ring to be banned entirely by the Federal Trade Commission over concerns its facial surveillance technology could fuel criminalization of Black and brown people in public spaces. 

It's unsurprising, then, that Ring Nation would come from the production company that produced Live PD. As Adrian Horton writes for The Guardian, "Think NFL Red Zone, but for arrests of people not given the chance to sign release forms because the show bills itself as live news." In the wake of the George Floyd uprisings, Live PD was briefly canceled along with Cops though both were revived just this year. And while Cops may be more familiar to some, Live PD was the more popular, more audacious, and more vile of the two by far.

As Horton goes on to explain, the show was facing controversy for deleting footage of a man who died in police custody, and for deceptively editing (with police input) videos to keep clear police misconduct off-air. Similar to Ring Nation, Live PD (now called On Patrol: Live) relied on a trustworthy face to keep the veneer of objectivity, found in executive producer, journalist, and ABC’s chief legal analyst, Dan Abrams.

Over the years, Amazon has tried harder and harder to roll out various forms of surveillance technology, enmesh us within this network, and normalize this encroachment of public spaces and individual privacy. In 2020, Amazon announced it was pausing (for one year) its rollout of a facial surveillance algorithm called Rekognition that it was offering to police departments after the tool was repeatedly found to be ineffective on its own terms and racially biased. In 2021, documents leaked to Motherboard detailed how Amazon’s new robot, Astro, would integrate with Ring to deploy surveillance technology to try and detect intruders. 

Amazon isn’t alone in this fight to cultivate an ever-growing surveillance apparatus—most of Silicon Valley is intimately involved in surveillance and the potential profits to be had by offering surveillance tools, analytics, computational infrastructure, and a host of other goods and services rooted in watching people. Still, Amazon’s Ring and attempts to normalize it harken an odious development. One peek into this came back in February, when a bizarre TikTok trend went viral where Ring surveillance camera owners made Amazon delivery workers dance for them.

At this point, it is hard to defend ownership of a Ring camera. Using fear-mongering about package theft and suburban crime, a surveillance company has convinced countless homes to affix a surveillance network node that police departments and one of the world’s largest monopolies will use to their benefit. And now they want us to laugh about it all in our (ideally) Ring-surveilled homes.

Categories: Tech News

Russian invasion has dangerously destabilized cyber security norms

The Register - Thu, 08/11/2022 - 14:30
The inside scoop on the Ukrainian IT army, and what could happen next

Black Hat  The hacktivist attacks that have occurred during the ongoing war in Ukraine are setting a dangerous precedent for cyber norms — and infrastructure security, according to journalist and author Kim Zetter.…

Categories: Tech News

Daily Horoscope: August 12, 2022

Motherboard (Vice) - Thu, 08/11/2022 - 14:00

Boundaries and expectations can be discussed as the moon meets Saturn in Aquarius at 1:58 AM. The mood might be aloof or detached, and our focus is on handling responsibilities. The moon squares off with Mars in Taurus at 7:07 AM, which may spur us to make a change or a decision, or take an action. The moon enters sensitive, artistic water sign Pisces at 2:44 PM, inspiring our imaginations and encouraging us to explore our emotions.

All times ET.

Stay in the cosmic loop with the VICE horoscopes newsletter. Get horoscopes straight to your inbox when you sign up here!

Aries glyph Aries: March 20, 2022 - April 19, 2022

The moon in Aquarius can find you reflecting on your social life and the responsibilities you and your community have to each other. The moon enters Pisces later on, which may put you in an introspective mood. Make time to rest!

Taurus glyphs Taurus: April 19, 2022 - May 20, 2022

The moon in Aquarius can find you focused on your career, and you could be making important decisions about where you want to invest your energy at this time. Your focus turns to your social life as the moon enters Pisces later on.

Gemini glyph Gemini: May 20, 2022 - June 21, 2022

The moon in fellow air sign Aquarius can find you focused on travel or education plans, and as the moon enters Pisces later on, your attention may turn to your career. You could be exploring new opportunities at this time, dear Gemini.

Cancer glyph Cancer: June 21, 2022 - July 22, 2022

The moon in Aquarius can find you eager to wipe the slate clean, pay off a debt, or release the past in some way. New adventures may be in store as the moon enters fellow water sign Pisces later on!

Leo glyph Leo: July 22, 2022 - August 22, 2022

The day opens with the moon in your opposite sign Aquarius, illuminating the relationship sector of your chart. Bonds can grow even deeper as the moon enters sensitive water sign Pisces: It’s a powerful time to merge. Themes like money, debts, and shared resources may come to the fore.

Virgo glyph Virgo: August 22, 2022 - September 22, 2022

The moon in Aquarius can find you inspired to tackle your to-do list and make some upgrades to your everyday environment. The moon enters Pisces later on, illuminating the relationship sector of your chart and encouraging connection.

Libra glyph Libra: September 22, 2022 - October 23, 2022

The moon in fellow air sign Aquarius lights up the romance and creativity sector of your chart today, dear Libra! You may be weighing decisions regarding these themes quite heavily at this time. The moon enters Pisces later on, inspiring you to get reorganized.

Scorpio glyph Scorpio: October 23, 2022 - November 22, 2022

The moon in Aquarius can find you focused on home and family, and you may be setting boundaries in your personal life. The moon enters fellow water sign Pisces later on, inspiring romance, fun, and creativity!

Sagittarius glyph Sagittarius: November 22, 2022 - December 21, 2022

The moon in Aquarius can find you in a serious and focused mood. The moon enters Pisces later on, lighting up the home and family sector of your chart, and you may be connecting with the past.

Capricorn glyph Capricorn: December 21, 2021 - January 19, 2022

Themes like wealth and security may be at the top of your mind as the moon moves through Aquarius. The moon enters Pisces later on, lighting up the communication sector of your chart and perhaps bringing news your way.

Aquarius glyphs Aquarius: January 19, 2022 - February 18, 2022

The day opens with the moon in your sign, Aquarius, encouraging you to connect with your feelings and to get clear on your needs. The moon enters Pisces later on, which can find you focused on themes like finances and security.

Pisces glyph Pisces: February 18, 2022 - March 20, 2022

The moon in Aquarius encourages you to set firm limits around your time and availability. Make space to rest, little fish! The moon enters your sign, Pisces, later on, encouraging you to focus on wellness and to connect with your emotions.

Categories: Tech News

Spyware Maker NSO Won Cellphone Hack of the Year But No One Picked Up the Award

Motherboard (Vice) - Thu, 08/11/2022 - 13:57

The controversial spyware maker NSO Group won an award at one of the biggest cybersecurity conferences in the world for an iPhone exploit that allegedly allowed their customers to hack dozens of dissidents and journalists all over the world. 

Every year, security researchers give out the Pwnie Awards—a play on the word “pwn,” a variation of the world “own,” which is used to indicate somebody getting hacked. The ceremony is a jovial, tongue-in-cheek celebration of the best and worst hacks, and the worst company responses of the year. 

This year, NSO Group was nominated for the Best Mobile Bug, for the exploit known as Forced Entry, an iPhone exploit that didn’t require any interaction from the victim, meaning targets could get hacked without realizing anything happened. Security researchers praised the technical sophistication of the exploit, calling it “mind-bending,” a bug that “goes into ‘holy smokes, what?!’ area,” with “several truly beautiful aspects,” and “absolutely stunning.”

“I didn’t even know that we were nominated,” Shalev Hulio, one of the founders of NSO Group, told Motherboard in an online chat. 

When Motherboard told him that the reward was a cute little pony, he said: “Ah nice :)”

When one of the Pwnie Awards organizers Sophia D’Antoine announced the prize, she asked if anyone from NSO was present to pick it up, or if anyone else would pick it up on behalf of NSO. No one from the attendees came to pick up the prize. 

Do you work for NSO Group or another lawful intercept company? Or do you have information cases of government spyware abuse? We’d love to hear from you. From a non-work phone or computer, you can contact Lorenzo Franceschi-Bicchierai securely on Signal at +1 917 257 1382, Wickr/Telegram/Wire @lorenzofb, or email

John Scott-Railton, a senior researcher at Citizen Lab, a digital rights watchdog housed at the University of Toronto's Munk School that has investigated companies NSO Group for years said that the award should actually go to “Loujain al-Hathloul, the Saudi women's rights activist who bravely came forward to be checked.”

NSO Group is the second government spyware vendor to win a Pwnie Award, after the now-defunct Hacking Team won the “Epic 0wnage” award in 2015 for the devastating hack that the company suffered at the hands of the vigilante hacker Phineas Fisher.

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Categories: Tech News

Sauropods had soft foot pads to help support their massive weight

ARS Technica - Thu, 08/11/2022 - 13:48
A 3D paleoreconstruction of a sauropod dinosaur has revealed that the hind feet had a soft tissue pad beneath the "heel," cushioning the foot to absorb the animals immense weight.

Enlarge / A 3D paleoreconstruction of a sauropod dinosaur has revealed that the hind feet had a soft tissue pad beneath the "heel," cushioning the foot to absorb the animals immense weight. (credit: Andreas Jannel)

Ask people to think of a dinosaur, and they'll likely name Tyrannosaurus Rex, the carnivorous antagonist prominently featured in the Jurassic Park and Jurassic World film franchises. But an equally well-known dinosaur clade are the herbivorous sauropods, which include Brachiosaurus, Diplodocus, Apatosaurus, Argentinosaurus, and Brontosaurus. Australian paleontologists have digitally reconstructed these plant-munching giants to glean insight into how their feet managed to support their enormous weight, according to a new paper published in the journal Science Advances.

"We've finally confirmed a long-suspected idea and we provide, for the first time, biomechanical evidence that a soft tissue pad—particularly in their back feet—would have played a crucial role in reducing locomotor pressures and bone stresses," said co-author Andreas Jannel, who worked on the project while completing doctoral studies at the University of Queensland. "It is mind-blowing to imagine that these giant creatures could have been able to support their own weight on land."

Sauropods (clade name: Sauropoda, or "lizard feet") had long-necked, long-tailed bodies that made them the lengthiest animals to have roamed the Earth. They had thick and powerful hind legs, club-like feet with five toes, and more slender forearms. It's rare to find complete Sauropod fossils, and even those that are mostly complete still lack the heads, tail tips, and limbs. Scientists have nonetheless managed to learn a great deal about them, and digital reconstruction is proving to be a valuable new tool in advancing our knowledge even further.

Read 11 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Categories: Tech News

AWS and Splunk partner for faster cyberattack response

The Register - Thu, 08/11/2022 - 13:45
OCSF initiative will give enterprise security teams an open standard for moving and analyzing threat data

Black Hat  AWS and Splunk are leading an initiative aimed at creating an open standard for ingesting and analyzing data, enabling enterprise security teams to more quickly respond to cyberthreats.…

Categories: Tech News