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Top Stories for the Week of March 24, 2015

  • Episode 392
  • March 24, 2015
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Here are the stories we're following for the week of Tuesday March 24, 2015


Facebook is getting into the hosting game...

Would You Let Facebook Host Your Content?

Early this year, as Facebook was touting its incredible growth as a video hosting provider, speculation began to mount that Facebook would look to host content beyond video. Would Facebook get publishers to let it host their articles?

It appears that such a plan is now in motion. The New York Times is reporting that itself, as well as BuzzFeed, National Geographic, and others are joining Facebook in testing a new format that will see content hosted inside of Facebook so users won't have to go to an external site. The tests will occur in the next several months.

The idea behind this is that it takes too long to go to an outside website and wait for the page to load. This content could load faster, particularly on mobile, if Facebook just hosted it itself.

Source: www.webpronews.com


The worst-case scenario for Linux users could be on the horizon as Microsoft tries to push hardware manufactures to makes Secure Boot mandatory in time for Windows 10, locking out other operating systems.

The worst-case scenario for Linux users could be on the horizon as Microsoft tries to push hardware manufactures to makes Secure Boot mandatory in time for Windows 10, locking out other operating systems.

Microsoft unveiled new information about Windows 10 at its WinHEC conference in China on Friday, and the news is deeply concerning to anyone who values the ability to run non-Microsoft operating systems. Like Windows 8, Windows 10 will ship with support for the UEFI Secure Boot standard — but this time, the off switch, which was previously mandatory, is now optional.

Secure Boot is meant to protect PCs from certain types of malware that are typically loaded before the OS boot process has begun. With Secure Boot active, the UEFI checks the signature of any program that it’s told to load, including the OS bootloader.

While multiple Linux distros support the capability, the problem is, Microsoft mandates that Secure Boot ships enabled. This caused panic in the open source community back in 2011 because if an alternative OS bootloader isn’t signed with an appropriate key on a Secure Boot-enabled system, the UEFI will refuse to boot the drive.

Microsoft defused the situation back then by mandating that all x86 systems ship with the ability to disable Secure Boot. With Windows 10, the situation is changing.

Those who build their own desktops will retain the ability to disable Secure Boot, since the manufacturer doesn’t know what kind of operating system you’re going to load on the board. But laptops are a different story. Some laptop vendors will undoubtedly continue to ship a “Disable” option on Secure Boot, but vendors may simply decide that closing the attack vector is more important than user freedom, particularly when the margin on PCs is so low to begin with. Support calls cost money, so eliminating the need for such interaction is extremely attractive.

Source: www.extremetech.com

Sent to us by: Bret Austen


Twitch users are being told to change passwords amid hack fears.

Twitch users are being told to change passwords amid hack fears.

Users of the Amazon-owned video game streaming service Twitch have been instructed to change their passwords amid fears the site has been hacked.

Twitch told users that their names and phone numbers were among the details feared to have been leaked.

It said it had deleted passwords, which were encrypted, and disconnected users' accounts from Twitter and YouTube.

But the site came in for criticism after it appeared to condone users setting weak replacement passwords.

After complaints from some users that the minimum requirement for replacement passwords was too restrictive, Twitch lowered its threshold, requiring only eight-digit passwords.

That prompted criticism from security experts.

Twitch did not directly admit that it had been hacked.

Instead, they simply said, "There may have been unauthorised access to some Twitch user account information."

Source: www.bbc.com

Sent to us by: Roy W.Nash


Imagine a tracking device tiny enough to affix to a bee. It's a real thing, and is being tested in England.

A tiny new tracker designed to monitor bee behaviour is being tested by ecologists at Kew Gardens in London.

A tiny new tracker designed to monitor bee behaviour is being tested by ecologists at Kew Gardens in London.

It is made from off-the-shelf technology and is based on equipment used to track pallets in warehouses.

Readers used to pick up a signal are connected to Raspberry Pi computers, which log the readings.

The device has a reach of just 2.5m, which is a huge improvement over the previous generation, which ranged only 1cm. The tracker consists of a standard RFID chip and a specially designed antenna, which is thinner and lighter than other models used to track small insects, which allows them to boost the range.

The idea is to have readers dotted around a hive and flower patch in order to track the signals as the bees move around freely in the wild.

The engineer, who is technical director at the Newcastle-based tech firm Tumbling Dice, is currently trying to patent the invention.

Source: www.bbc.com

Sent to us by: Roy W. Nash


Hackers can use heat to steal your data.

Researchers have discovered a new method to breach air-gapped computer systems, granting two-way communications between adjacent, unconnected computers using heat.

Researchers have discovered a new method to breach air-gapped computer systems called "BitWhisper," which enables two-way communications between adjacent, unconnected PC computers using heat.

BitWhisper bridges the air-gap between the two computers, approximately 15 inches apart that are infected with malware by using their heat emissions and built-in thermal sensors to communicate.

It establishes a covert, bi-directional channel by emitting heat from one PC to the other in a controlled manner.

According to the researchers, “The scenario is prevalent in many organizations where there are two computers on a single desk, one connected to the internal network and the other one connected to the Internet. BitWhisper can be used to steal small chunks of data (passwords, for example) and for command and control."

Source: www.net-security.org

Sent to us by: ABQTKY


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