Internet service stabilizes after waves of DDoS attacks

in internet on (#1YWYR)
story imageAt least two successive waves of online attacks blocked multiple major websites Friday, at times making it impossible for many users on the East Coast to access Twitter, Spotify, Netflix, Amazon, Tumblr, Reddit and other sites. The first attacks appear to have begun around 7:10 a.m. (ET) Friday, then resolved towards 9:30 a.m., but then a fresh wave began.

The cause was a large-scale distributed denial of service attack (DDoS) against Internet performance company Dyn that blocked user access to many popular sites. Amazon, whose web service AWS hosts many of the web's popular destinations including Netflix, also reported East Coast issues around the same time. Such DDoS attacks have a long history online but may be increasing in numbers and severity with the recent release of easy-to-use computer code to create them.

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said the Department of Homeland Security was "monitoring the situation" but that "at this point I don't have any information about who may be responsible for this malicious activity." Others worried the attack could be from a nation-state rather than simply a single individual seeking to wreak havoc.

Russian ship suspected of tapping and disrupting Syria’s sub-sea internet cables

in internet on (#1Y71Z)
An internet outage expert at US internet monitor Dyn, along with several bloggers, believe that a Russian Navy spy ship may be tapping and disrupting underwater cables in the Mediterranean Sea that feed internet to Syria. While telecommunications experts argue that this isn't likely, several factors have aligned that seem to support this theory.

In 2015 Russian Navy oceanographic vessel Yantar was suspected by US intelligence of collecting data from underwater cables in the Caribbean whilst also spying on the US nuclear submarine fleet off the coast of Cuba. Fast forward to October 2016, and that same ship is moored off the coast of Syria, amidst ongoing internet outages in the country. With a previous history of internet outages in Syria linked to combat offensives by al-Assad forces, it suggest something of a conspiratorial nature may be at hand.

Tapping an underwater cable would be no easy task. "It is technically possible to tap an optical fiber, but getting access to it on the bottom of the ocean, through the steel armoring and high voltage would be a challenge best avoided." Still, "it does seem kind of suspicious." Other experts suggested that instead of the Russians, it could be seismic activity to blame for the disruption, as the Eastern Mediterranean is an active seismic area.

Subgraph OS - Secure Linux Operating System for Non-Technical Users

Anonymous Coward
in security on (#1XX2X)
story imageFriday, March 04, 2016 Swati Khandelwal

Article in Full w/ Screenshots:

"Subgraph OS[1] is a feather weighted Linux flavor that aims to combat hacking attacks easier, even on fairly low-powered computers and laptops.

Subgraph OS comes with all the privacy and security options auto-configured, eliminating the user's manual configuration."

"Subgraph OS offers more than just kernel security. The Linux-based operating system comes with a slew of security and privacy features that its developers believe will be more accessible to non-technical users.

The OS also includes several applications and components that reduce the user's attack surface. Let's have a close look on important features Subgraph OS provides."

1. Automated Enhanced Protection with Application Sandboxing using Containers
2. Mandatory Full Disk Encryption (FDE)
3. Online Anonymity - Everything through Tor
4. Advanced Proxy Setting
5. System and Kernel Security
6. Secure Mail Services
7. Package Integrity

"Subgraph OS also provides an alternative way to trust the downloaded packages. The packages are to be matched against the binaries present in the operating system's distributed package list, thus becoming a finalizer.

Recently Backdoored Linux Mint hacking incident is an example to this.

Thus, Subgraph OS eliminates the usage of any tampered or malicious downloaded packages."

"How to Download Subgraph Os?

Subgraph Os will be available for download via its offical website. Let's wait for the operating system to get unveiled in Logan CIJ Symposium conference in Berlin on March 11-12 to experience the Cyber Isolation!!!"


First US Android flip phone launched

in mobile on (#1XDTQ)
story imageThe first Android flip phone to be sold in the US is here. TracFone's ZTE Cymbal T is now available to order, today, from Best Buy at the early adopter price of $100. Other than having a flip phone form factor, the Cymbal is a typical entry-level Android phone with a nameless quad-core processor, 3.5 inch 320i-480px screen, 8GB (3GB usable) of internal memory, 1GB of RAM and Android 5.1.1 Lollipop. There's a memory card slot, a 5MP camera and a removable battery. The Cymbal runs on the Verizon network and includes 4G LTE support.

The ZTE Cymbal is quite large for a flip phone at 4.72i-2.40i-0.72 inches. Compared with the Classic Motorola RAZR V3, the Cymbal is almost an inch taller, and obviously wider and thicker. On the other hand, at 3.5 inches, the screen is small when compared with most current phones. While there is a roomy physical keyboard, it's only used for dialing phone numbers, the smallish on screen QWERTY keyboard is used for texting and other text entry.

The fight over a new Wi-Fi channel is coming to a head

in legal on (#1XDQ9)
story imageGlobalstar Inc., operator of a low Earth orbit (LEO) satellite constellation for phones, plans to open up another Wi-Fi channel, but only for those who can pay. Globalstar's petition seeks to expand its use of the 2483.5-2495 MHz (Channel 14) band. Unlike all other Wi-Fi channels, which are open to any FCC-approved device and don't require permission, this one would be under Globalstar's control. A carrier that makes a deal with Globalstar might be able to set that channel aside for its own subscribers.

While users in some other countries have been using channel 14 for years, part of it has been set aside in the U.S. as a guard band to protect Globalstar's satellite frequencies. Most Wi-Fi devices could be easily modified via firmware upgrades to take advantage of the extra channel. The plan has come under sharp criticism during the lengthy approval process at the FCC. Microsoft, Google, the cable industry and backers of Wi-Fi and Bluetooth all have filed comments urging the agency not to approve the scheme. Tests at the FCC have shown it would interfere with Bluetooth, which already uses part of the channel. But the non-profit Public Knowledge is supporting the plan, as encouraging more competition and more public internet access options. The Globalstar proceeding has been in the works going on three years.

IBM's Phase Change Memory stores three bits per cell

in hardware on (#1WH1A)
IBM has developed a prototype PCM - Phase Change Memomory - chip capable of storing three different values per cell instead of the normal 2. They also developed a new control mechanism capable of dealing with drift (which they say the new type of PCM chip does not experience).

I, for one, welcome our new ternary overlords.

Paramount streams 175 movies online

Anonymous Coward
in movies on (#1VKQQ)
Paramount has added 175 movies to their library for free online streaming. This collection can only be viewed in America. Due to current draconian copyright restrictions movies can be locked out of public consumption for over a century.

California bill will cut greenhouse emissions from cows

in environment on (#1VERA)
California's Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation Monday to reduce a variety of pollutants, from hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) used in aerosol and air conditioning refrigerants, black carbon from diesel trucks, to methane from cows. Livestock contribute about 14.5 percent of global greenhouse-gas emissions, methane accounts for about 44 percent of that, of which cows contribute the lion's share. Cows release most of their methane directly by belching and flatulence, but approximately one third comes from their manure.

In California, dairy farmers will be required to reduce methane emissions from manure to 40 percent below their 2013 levels by 2030. They will receive $50 million from the fees the state collects from polluters through its cap-and-trade program. The funding will go toward buying methane digesters, which generate energy from the methane in manure. The energy will be sold to electrical utilities. The law also allows the Air Resources Board to regulate cow flatulence in the future, if and when a practical technology exists to reduce it. If successful, it could inspire other nations to follow suit. The United States is behind India as the largest dairy producer in the world.

LinkNYC discovers the social problems of free Wi-Fi on city streets

in internet on (#1VEPR)
New York City's cutting edge public Wi-Fi project, LinkNYC has hit some stumbling blocks. After continued complaints about people viewing pornography and other inappropriate content, on September 14 LinkNYC completely turned off browsing capabilities for the tablets installed in each kiosk. Their main functionality-free public Wi-Fi, phone calls, map functions, and USB charging ports has not changed. LinkNYC notes that "The kiosks were never intended for anyone's extended, personal use."

Many people continued to browse the web using their own device, tethered to the kiosks' free Wi-Fi and charging ports, seemingly allowing continued misuse that LinkNYC is trying to prevent. While the city's desire to provide the city's under-served with access to an important utility is admirable, they do not want the social problems to be visibly manifesting on street corners. The "home offices" being improvised on street corners with homeless and loiterers camped out on overturned newspaper stands around the city, does not seem to be exactly what the city had it mind when it pledged to help break down the digital divide.

ITT Tech shuts down all its schools

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The company that operates the for-profit vocational school chain ITT Technical Institute, with more than 130 campuses in 38 states (one of the country's largest) announced that it was permanently closing all its campuses nationwide. It blamed the shutdown on the recent move by the U.S. Education Department to ban ITT from enrolling new students who use federal financial aid. Like many other for-profit college operators, ITT has faced federal and state investigations of its predatory recruiting and shady accounting practices, with up to 60% of students defaulting on loans.

The shutdown will affect about 35,000 students who were preparing for the start of classes this month. It will also cost more than 8,000 employees their jobs. Those students and others who left the school within the last 120 days would be eligible to have federal loans for their ITT education forgiven if they want to give-up any earned credits and start over at another school, Education Department officials said.

In addition to the ban on ITT's enrollment of new students who used federal aid, the U.S. Education Department also prohibited ITT from awarding its executives any pay raises or bonuses. Now, sources claim ITT Tech is preparing to file for bankruptcy.