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The weekend’s best deals: Apple MacBooks, Samsung Galaxy Watch 5, 4K TVs, and more

Sat, 10/01/2022 - 11:16
The weekend’s best deals: Apple MacBooks, Samsung Galaxy Watch 5, 4K TVs, and more

Enlarge (credit: Ars Technica)

It's the weekend, which means it's time for another Dealmaster. Our latest roundup of the best tech deals from around the web includes Samsung's Galaxy Watch 5, the company's speedy T7 portable SSD, solid options for TVs in a range of sizes from TCL, LG, and Samsung, and $150 off the latest-generation MacBook Airs in different configurations.

The MacBook Air deal brings the new M2-powered laptop down to its lowest price only a few months after its June release. Both the 256GB and 512GB are available for $150 off at $1049 and $1349, respectively. While storage is the main difference to consider here, you can also grab a 2021 MacBook Pro with 512GB storage for $1,049 and gain a bit better performance for sustained workloads and a nicer display.

We break down all the differences to consider in our MacBook buying guide, but the 2021 13-inch MacBook Pro falls right in between the 2022 MacBook Air (our pick for most users' basic needs) and the 2022 14-inch MacBook Pro (our pick for developers, engineers, and researchers) in terms of performance. While we feel the Air and 14-inch Pro are best for their target demos, the value of this deal may just tip the scales a bit further for the 13-inch Pro which we feel strikes balance between the two.

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Our ancestors ate a Paleo diet. It had carbs

Sat, 10/01/2022 - 05:05
A young Hadza bushman making an arrow for a hunting bow.

Enlarge / A young Hadza bushman making an arrow for a hunting bow. (credit: chuvipro via Getty Images)

What did people eat for dinner tens of thousands of years ago? Many advocates of the so-called Paleo diet will tell you that our ancestors’ plates were heavy on meat and low on carbohydrates—and that, as a result, we have evolved to thrive on this type of nutritional regimen.

The diet is named after the Paleolithic era, a period dating from about 2.5 million to 10,000 years ago when early humans were hunting and gathering, rather than farming. Herman Pontzer, an evolutionary anthropologist at Duke University and author of Burn, a book about the science of metabolism, says it’s a myth that everyone of this time subsisted on meat-heavy diets. Studies show that rather than a single diet, prehistoric people’s eating habits were remarkably variable and were influenced by a number of factors, such as climate, location and season.

In the 2021 Annual Review of Nutrition, Pontzer and his colleague Brian Wood, of the University of California, Los Angeles, describe what we can learn about the eating habits of our ancestors by studying modern hunter-gatherer populations like the Hadza in northern Tanzania and the Aché in Paraguay. In an interview with Knowable Magazine, Pontzer explains what makes the Hadza’s surprisingly seasonal, diverse diets so different from popular notions of ancient meals.

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The era of fast, cheap genome sequencing is here

Sat, 10/01/2022 - 04:17
Illumina says its NovaSeq X machine will get the price of sequencing down to $200 per human genome.

Enlarge / Illumina says its NovaSeq X machine will get the price of sequencing down to $200 per human genome. (credit: Illumina)

The human genome is made of more than 6 billion letters, and each person has a unique configuration of As, Cs, Gs, and Ts—the molecular building blocks that make up DNA. Determining the sequence of all those letters used to take vast amounts of money, time, and effort. The Human Genome Project took 13 years and thousands of researchers. The final cost: $2.7 billion.

That 1990 project kicked off the age of genomics, helping scientists unravel genetic drivers of cancer and many inherited diseases while spurring the development of at-home DNA tests, among other advances. Next, researchers started sequencing more genomes: from animals, plants, bacteria, and viruses. Ten years ago, it cost about $10,000 for researchers to sequence a human genome. A few years ago, that fell to $1,000. Today, it’s about $600.

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Tesla shows off underwhelming human robot prototype at AI Day 2022

Fri, 09/30/2022 - 19:53
The walking Optimus prototype demonstrated at the AI Day 2022 event.

Enlarge / The walking Optimus prototype demonstrated at the AI Day 2022 event. (credit: Tesla)

Today at Tesla's "AI Day" press event, Tesla CEO Elon Musk unveiled an early prototype of its Optimus humanoid robot, which emerged from behind a curtain, walked around, waved, and "raised the roof" with its hands to the beat of techno music.

It was a risky reveal for the prototype, which seemed somewhat unsteady on its feet. "Literally the first time the robot has operated without a tether was on stage tonight," said Musk. Shortly afterward, Tesla employees rolled a sleeker-looking Optimus model supported by a stand onto the stage that could not yet stand on its own. It waved and lifted its legs. Later, it slumped over while Musk spoke.

Video of Tesla AI Day 2022

The entire live robot demonstration lasted roughly seven minutes, and the firm also played a demonstration video of the walking Optimus prototype slowly picking up a box and putting it down, slowly watering a plant, and slowly moving metal parts in a factory-like setting—all while tethered to an overhead cable. The video also showed a 3D-rendered view of the world that represents what the Optimus robot can see.

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COVID may have pushed a leading seasonal flu strain to extinction

Fri, 09/30/2022 - 16:08
A bottle of influenza vaccine at a CVS pharmacy and MinuteClinic on September 10, 2021, in Miami.

Enlarge / A bottle of influenza vaccine at a CVS pharmacy and MinuteClinic on September 10, 2021, in Miami. (credit: Getty | Joe Raedle)

The pandemic coronavirus' debut wrought universal havoc—not even seasonal flu viruses were spared. Amid travel restrictions, quarantines, closures, physical distancing, masking, enhanced hand washing, and disinfection, the 2020-2021 flu season was all but canceled. That meant not just an unprecedented global decrease in the number of people sick with the flu but also a dramatic collapse in the genetic diversity of circulating flu strains. Many subtypes of the virus all but vanished. But most notably, one entire lineage—one of only four flu groups targeted by seasonal influenza vaccines—went completely dark, seemingly extinct.

Researchers noted the absence last year as the flu was still struggling to recover from its pandemic knockout. But now, the flu has come roaring back and threatens to cause a particularly nasty season in the Northern Hemisphere. Still, the influenza B/Yamagata lineage remains missing, according to a study published this week in the journal Eurosurveillance. It has not been definitively detected since April 2020. And the question of whether it's truly gone extinct lingers.

What B/Yamagata's absence might mean for future flu seasons and flu shots also remains an open question. For a quick refresher: Four main types of seasonal flu have been circulating globally among humans in recent years. Two are influenza type A viruses: subtypes of H1N1 viruses and H3N2 viruses. The other two are influenza type B viruses: offshoots of the Victoria and Yamagata lineages. (For a more detailed explanation of influenza, check out our explainer here.) Current quadrivalent vaccines target season-specific versions of each of these four types of flu viruses.

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Florida’s Space Coast on track after Ian, set for 3 launches in 3 days

Fri, 09/30/2022 - 15:06
United Launch Alliance moves its Atlas V booster into the Vertical Integration Facility  adjacent to Space Launch Complex-41 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station on Monday, August 26.

Enlarge / United Launch Alliance moves its Atlas V booster into the Vertical Integration Facility adjacent to Space Launch Complex-41 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station on Monday, August 26. (credit: United Launch Alliance)

Hurricane Ian cut a devastating swath across Florida this week, and its core passed directly over Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral on Thursday.

However, by then, Ian had weakened to become a moderately strong tropical storm, with the bulk of its heaviest rainfall to the north of the launchpads along the Atlantic coast. As a result, damage to NASA's launch facilities at Kennedy Space Center, and the Space Force launchpads at Cape Canaveral, was minimal.

Accordingly, by Friday, work was already underway at facilities along Florida's "Space Coast" for a rapid-fire succession of three launches in three days.

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Nintendoes what Valve don’t: Game barred from Steam will launch on Switch

Fri, 09/30/2022 - 14:50
Nothing weird going on here. No siree.

Enlarge / Nothing weird going on here. No siree. (credit: https://www.nintendo.com/store/products/chaos-head-noah-switch/)

Japanese publisher Spike Chunsoft announced that the first official English translation of visual novel Chaos;Head Noah won't be coming to Steam as planned "due to Steam's guideline-required changes to the game's content." But while the game is apparently too risqué for Steam, the family-friendly folks at Nintendo apparently have no problem with a Switch version that Spike Chunsoft says will still launch in the US on October 7 as scheduled.

"Spike Chunsoft, Inc. believes these [Steam guideline-required] changes would not allow the game to be released to its standards," the publisher said in its announcement. "The company is looking into delivering the title through alternative storefronts, and when details are decided will make another formal announcement. Until then your patience and understanding is appreciated."

Nintendo says this scene is appropriate for its store page, so we figure you readers can handle it.

Nintendo says this scene is appropriate for its store page, so we figure you readers can handle it. (credit: Nintendo)

Chaos;Head Noah was initially listed for Steam pre-sale in April, but that page was taken down in August, according to tracking site SteamDB. At the time, that led to some concerns about the eventual fate of the Steam version, which Spike Chunsoft finally confirmed today.

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YouTube age-restriction quagmire exposed by 78-minute Mega Man documentary

Fri, 09/30/2022 - 14:08
YouTube age-restriction quagmire exposed by 78-minute Mega Man documentary

Enlarge (credit: Aurich Lawson / Capcom)

A YouTube creator has gone on the offensive after facing an increasingly common problem on the platform: moderation and enforcement that leaves creators confused by the logic and short on their videos' revenue potential.

The trouble centers on a longtime YouTube video host whose content is popular among the retro-gaming devotees at Ars Technica's staff. The creator, who goes by the online handle "Summoning Salt," chronicles the history of various classic games' speedrunning world records. His hour-plus analyses demonstrate how different players approach older games and exploit various bugs. The games in question are typically cartoony 2D fare instead of violent or M-rated titles.

Summoning Salt asks why his YouTube video was age-restricted.

On Friday, Summoning Salt took to social media to claim that his latest 78-minute documentary about 1989's Mega Man 2, which went live in mid-September, has been "age-restricted" by YouTube's moderation system. Bizarrely, the video had been age-restricted roughly one week ago, only for YouTube to relent to the creator's appeal and claim that the restriction had been placed in error.

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Stadia controllers could become e-waste unless Google issues Bluetooth update

Fri, 09/30/2022 - 13:22
Ars originally liked the Stadia controller, describing it as "solidly built, with springy, responsive inputs." It could still be that way without a giant USB cord if Google unlocked its full Bluetooth capabilities.

Enlarge / Ars originally liked the Stadia controller, describing it as "solidly built, with springy, responsive inputs." It could still be that way without a giant USB cord if Google unlocked its full Bluetooth capabilities. (credit: Kyle Orland)

Google's Stadia game-streaming service will die a nearly inevitable death early next year. Google is refunding players the cost of all their hardware and game purchases. But, so far, Google is also leaving Stadia players with controllers that, while once costing $70, will soon do less than a $20 Bluetooth gamepad.

Stadia's controllers were custom-made to connect directly to the Internet, reducing lag and allowing for instant firmware updates and (sometimes painful) connections to smart TVs. There's Bluetooth inside the Stadia controller, but it's only used when you're setting up Stadia, either with a TV, a computer with the Chrome browser, or a Chromecast Ultra.

The Google Store's page for the Stadia controller states in a footnote: "Product contains Bluetooth Classic radio. No Bluetooth Classic functionality is enabled at this time. Bluetooth Classic may be implemented at a later date." (Bluetooth Classic is a more traditional version of Bluetooth than modern low-energy or mesh versions.)

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High-severity Microsoft Exchange 0-day under attack threatens 220,000 servers

Fri, 09/30/2022 - 13:01
The word ZERO-DAY is hidden amidst a screen filled with ones and zeroes.

Enlarge (credit: Getty Images)

Microsoft late Thursday confirmed the existence of two critical vulnerabilities in its Exchange application that have already compromised multiple servers and pose a serious risk to an estimated 220,000 more around the world.

The currently unpatched security flaws have been under active exploit since early August, when Vietnam-based security firm GTSC discovered customer networks had been infected with malicious webshells and that the initial entry point was some sort of Exchange vulnerability. The mystery exploit looked almost identical to an Exchange zero-day from 2021 called ProxyShell, but the customers’ servers had all been patched against the vulnerability, which is tracked as CVE-2021-34473. Eventually, the researchers discovered the unknown hackers were exploiting a new Exchange vulnerability.

Webshells, backdoors, and fake sites

“After successfully mastering the exploit, we recorded attacks to collect information and create a foothold in the victim's system,” the researchers wrote in a post published on Wednesday. “The attack team also used various techniques to create backdoors on the affected system and perform lateral movements to other servers in the system.”

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USB-IF says goodbye to confusing SuperSpeed USB branding

Fri, 09/30/2022 - 11:12
Usb-c cable type connect to laptop computer

Enlarge / The USB-IF no longer recommends SuperSpeed logos or branding for speedy USB ports. (credit: Getty)

When SuperSpeed USB was announced in 2007, the branding was a logical differentiator. The term launched with USB 3.0, which brought max data transfer rates from USB 2.0's measly 0.48Gbps all the way to 5Gbps. But by 2022, there were three versions of SuperSpeed USB in various connector types facing consumers, plus the potentially faster USB4. Looking ahead, USB products will continue to offer different performance capabilities while looking the same, but there's at least one thing we can all agree on: The word "SuperSpeed" isn't a helpful differentiator anymore.

SuperSpeed branding already felt pretty unremarkable by 2019, when the USB-IF, which makes USB standards, renamed USB 3.0 to USB 3.1 Gen 1; USB 3.1 to USB 3.1 Gen 2, and then USB 3.2 Gen 2; and USB 3.2 to USB 3.2 Gen 2x2. The group sought to make things easier for consumers by recommending to vendors that they label products not by specification name but by "SuperSpeed USB" followed by max speed (USB 3.2 Gen 2x2, for example, would be SuperSpeed USB 20Gbps).

Per updated guidelines and logos that started coming out this quarter and that you may see before 2022 ends, as reported by The Verge today, the USB-IF now recommends vendors label products as, simply, USB 20Gbps (for USB 3.2 Gen 2x2), USB 10Gbps (for USB 3.2 Gen 2), etc. No SuperSpeed necessary.

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Coroner lists Instagram algorithm as contributing cause of UK teen’s death [Updated]

Fri, 09/30/2022 - 11:04
Coroner lists Instagram algorithm as contributing cause of UK teen’s death [Updated]

Enlarge (credit: ljubaphoto | E+)

In a London court this week, coroner Andrew Walker had the difficult task of assessing a question that child safety advocates have been asking for years: How responsible is social media for the content algorithms feed to minors? The case before Walker involved a 14-year-old named Molly Russell, who took her life in 2017 after she viewed thousands of posts on platforms like Instagram and Pinterest promoting self-harm. At one point during the inquest, Walker described the content that Russell liked or saved in the days ahead of her death as so disturbing, the coroner said in court, that he found it "almost impossible to watch."

Today, Walker concluded that Russell's death couldn't be ruled a suicide, Bloomberg reports. Instead, he described her cause of death as "an act of self-harm whilst suffering from depression and the negative effects of online content."

Bloomberg reported that Walker came to this decision based on Russell's "prolific" use of Instagram—liking, sharing, or saving 16,300 posts in six months before her death—and Pinterest—5,793 pins over the same amount of time—combined with how the platforms catered content to contribute to Russell's depressive state.

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Rewritten OpenGL drivers make AMD’s GPUs “up to 72%” faster in some pro apps

Fri, 09/30/2022 - 10:56
Rewritten OpenGL drivers make AMD’s GPUs “up to 72%” faster in some pro apps

Enlarge (credit: AMD)

Most development effort in graphics drivers these days, whether you're talking about Nvidia, Intel, or AMD, is focused on new APIs like DirectX 12 or Vulkan, increasingly advanced upscaling technologies, and specific improvements for new game releases. But this year, AMD has also been focusing on an old problem area for its graphics drivers: OpenGL performance.

Over the summer, AMD released a rewritten OpenGL driver that it said would boost the performance of Minecraft by up to 79 percent (independent testing also found gains in other OpenGL games and benchmarks, though not always to the same degree). Now those same optimizations are coming to AMD's officially validated GPU drivers for its Radeon Pro-series workstation cards, providing big boosts to professional apps like Solidworks and Autodesk Maya.

"The AMD Software: PRO Edition 22.Q3 driver has been tested and approved by Dell, HP, and Lenovo for stability and is available through their driver downloads," the company wrote in its blog post. "AMD continues to work with software developers to certify the latest drivers."

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Ex-eBay security execs imprisoned for stalking journalists who cover eBay

Fri, 09/30/2022 - 10:46
Former eBay executive James Baugh, wearing a suit, walks to court for his sentencing.

Enlarge / Former eBay executive James Baugh arrives at court for his sentencing in Boston on September 29, 2022. (credit: Getty Images | Boston Globe )

Two former eBay executives were sentenced to prison yesterday for cyberstalking and harassing journalists whose news coverage had rankled the eBay CEO. One other former eBay employee was sentenced last year, and four others await sentencing.

James Baugh, 47, eBay's former senior director of safety and security, was sentenced to 57 months in prison and two years of supervised release, a Justice Department press release said yesterday. David Harville, 50, eBay's former director of global resiliency, was sentenced to two years in prison and two years of supervised release. Baugh and Harville were also ordered to pay fines of $40,000 and $20,000, respectively.

Charges against those two and several other ex-eBay employees were announced in June 2020. The victims were Ina and David Steiner, who operate the website EcommerceBytes and live in Natick, Massachusetts.

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Chrome’s new ad-blocker-limiting extension platform will launch in 2023

Fri, 09/30/2022 - 09:55
Chrome’s new ad-blocker-limiting extension platform will launch in 2023

Enlarge (credit: Isaac Bowen / Flickr)

Google's journey toward Chrome's "Manifest V3" has been happening for four years now, and if the company's new timeline holds up, we'll all be forced to switch to it in year 5. "Manifest V3" is the rather unintuitive name for the next version of Chrome's extension platform. The update is controversial because it makes ad blockers less effective under the guise of protecting privacy and security, and Google just so happens to be the world's largest advertising company.

Google's latest blog post details the new timeline for the transition to Manifest V3, which involves ending support for older extensions running on Manifest V2 and forcing everyone onto the new platform. Starting in January 2023 with Chrome version 112, Google "may run experiments to turn off support for Manifest V2 extensions in Canary, Dev, and Beta channels." Starting in June 2023 and Chrome 115, Google "may run experiments to turn off support for Manifest V2 extensions in all channels, including stable channel." Also starting in June, the Chrome Web Store will stop accepting Manifest V2 extensions, and they'll be hidden from view. In January 2024, Manifest V2 extensions will be removed from the store entirely.

Google says Manifest V3 is "one of the most significant shifts in the extensions platform since it launched a decade ago." The company claims that the more limited platform is meant to bring "enhancements in security, privacy, and performance." Privacy groups like the EFF dispute this description and say that if Google really cared about the security of the extension store, it could just police the store more actively using actual humans instead of limiting the capabilities of all extensions.

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Deepfake Bruce Willis may be the next Hollywood star, and he’s OK with that

Fri, 09/30/2022 - 09:35
Deepfake Bruce Willis as he appeared in a 2021 commercial for Russian mobile company MegaFon.

Enlarge / Deepfake Bruce Willis as he appeared in a 2021 commercial for Russian mobile company MegaFon. (credit: MegaFon)

Bruce Willis has sold the "digital twin" rights to his likeness for commercial video production use, according to a report by The Telegraph. This move allows the Hollywood actor to digitally appear in future commercials and possibly even films, and he has already appeared in a Russian commercial using the technology.

Willis, who has been diagnosed with a language disorder called aphasia, announced that he would be "stepping away" from acting earlier this year. Instead, he will license his digital rights through a company called Deepcake. The company is based in Tbilisi, Georgia, and is doing business in America while being registered as a corporation in Delaware.

In 2021, a deepfake Bruce Willis appeared in a Russian cell phone commercial for MegaFon.

Deepcake obtained Willis' likeness by training a deep learning neural network model on his appearances in blockbuster action films from the 1990s. With his facial appearance known, the model can then apply Willis' head to another actor with a similar build in a process commonly called a deepfake. Deepfakes have become popular in recent years on TikTok, with unauthorized deepfakes of Tom Cruise and Keanu Reeves gathering large followings.

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Savor the sinister delights of del Toro’s Cabinet of Curiosities trailer

Fri, 09/30/2022 - 09:07

Guillermo del Toro's Cabinet of Curiosities is a new anthology series coming this month to Netflix.

So-called cabinets of curiosities—aka wunderkammers ("wonder-rooms")—were hugely popular in the 17th century. They were largely random collections of strange-yet-fascinating stuff, including natural history specimens, archaeological artifacts, religious or historical relics, the odd work of art, and any other quirky item that caught the cabinet creator’s fancy.  The concept also inspired auteur director Guillermo del Toro when putting together a new anthology horror series for Netflix: Guillermo del Toro's Cabinet of Curiosities. The streaming platform just dropped the official trailer for the series, and it looks like just the right kind of fright fare to bring some stylishly spooky frissons to the Halloween season.

As we've reported previously, the series was first announced in 2018 and features eight episodes written and directed by filmmakers handpicked by del Toro. The list of directors includes Jennifer Kent, who directed 2014's phenomenal The Babadook; her episode, "The Murmuring," is based on an original story by del Toro and features Babadook star Essie Davis (aka Miss Fisher). "Dreams in the Witch House," based on an H.P. Lovecraft short story, is directed by Catherine Hardwicke (Lords of Dogtown, Twilight).

"Graveyard Rats" is directed by Vincenzo Natali (In the Tall Grass, Splice), while Guillermo Navarro (Narcos) directed "Lot 36," also based on an original story by del Toro. Keith Thomas (Firestarter) directed "Pickman's Model," another episode based on a Lovecraft short story; David Prior (The Empty Man) directed "The Autopsy"; Panos Cosmatos (Mandy) directed "The Viewing"; and Ana Lily Amirpour—who directed the exquisite A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night—directed "The Outside."

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The best Mac desktop clients for Gmail aficionados

Fri, 09/30/2022 - 08:32
The best Mac desktop clients for Gmail aficionados

Enlarge (credit: Aurich Lawson / Getty Images / Apple)

Here's the situation: I have a Mac, I need a desktop mail client, and I want it to work as seamlessly as possible with Gmail.

Just a small slice of Gmail's Vim-inspired keyboard shortcuts.

Just a small slice of Gmail's Vim-inspired keyboard shortcuts. (credit: Kevin Purdy)

Gmail has been my primary personal email provider since 2003. I've also had more than a dozen Google Workspace accounts over the years. I understand the issues inherent in an advertising company managing my email and keeping me locked into its ecosystem. But I dig Gmail's Vim-inspired shortcuts, its powerful search capabilities, its advanced filtering, its storage—and, of course, its availability in nearly any browser.

But browsers are often where focus goes to flounder. I want to give email a defined space, a visual context as a place I go to communicate. And, incidentally, I want to avoid Gmail's annoying nudges to use Meet, Spaces, or whatever the messaging focus is this week. So let's see what kind of Mac desktop client works best for someone with Gmail on the brain.

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Mystery hackers are “hyperjacking” targets for insidious spying

Fri, 09/30/2022 - 08:22
Mystery hackers are “hyperjacking” targets for insidious spying

Enlarge (credit: Marco Rosario Venturini Autieri/Getty Images)

For decades, virtualization software has offered a way to vastly multiply computers’ efficiency, hosting entire collections of computers as “virtual machines” on just one physical machine. And for almost as long, security researchers have warned about the potential dark side of that technology: theoretical “hyperjacking” and “Blue Pill” attacks, where hackers hijack virtualization to spy on and manipulate virtual machines, with potentially no way for a targeted computer to detect the intrusion. That insidious spying has finally jumped from research papers to reality with warnings that one mysterious team of hackers has carried out a spree of “hyperjacking” attacks in the wild.

Today, Google-owned security firm Mandiant and virtualization firm VMware jointly published warnings that a sophisticated hacker group has been installing backdoors in VMware’s virtualization software on multiple targets’ networks as part of an apparent espionage campaign. By planting their own code in victims’ so-called hypervisors—VMware software that runs on a physical computer to manage all the virtual machines it hosts—the hackers were able to invisibly watch and run commands on the computers those hypervisors oversee. And because the malicious code targets the hypervisor on the physical machine rather than the victim’s virtual machines, the hackers’ trick multiplies their access and evades nearly all traditional security measures designed to monitor those target machines for signs of foul play.

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Texts show roll call of tech figures tried to help Elon Musk in Twitter deal

Fri, 09/30/2022 - 07:23
Illustration of Elon Musk juggling three birds in the shape of Twitter's logo.

Enlarge (credit: Aurich Lawson | Photo by Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images)

A trove of text messages released as part of the legal fight over Elon Musk’s effort to terminate his acquisition of Twitter has revealed frantic efforts to put the $44 billion deal together with help from a cast of high-profile Silicon Valley backers.

Hundreds of messages from early 2022 between Musk and his associates showed the billionaire entrepreneur had engaged with Twitter’s management and board, his advisers at Morgan Stanley, potential investors such as FTX chief executive Sam Bankman-Fried, and random supporters of his bid, including podcast host Joe Rogan.

Jack Dorsey, Twitter’s former chief executive, told Musk that he had previously tried to get him on to the company’s board in 2020 but was refused, the texts revealed.

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