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US Senators Seek Military Ban on Kaspersky Lab Products Amid FBI Probe

Slashdot - Thu, 06/29/2017 - 09:00
An anonymous reader shares a report: U.S. senators sought on Wednesday to ban Moscow-based cyber security firm Kaspersky Lab's products from use by the military because of fears the company is vulnerable to "Russian government influence," a day after the FBI interviewed several of its U.S. employees as part of a probe into its operations. Federal Bureau of Investigation agents visited the homes of Kaspersky employees late on Tuesday in multiple U.S. cities, although no search warrants were served, according to two sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the FBI probe. Kaspersky Lab confirmed in a statement on Wednesday that FBI agents have had "brief interactions" with some of its U.S. employees, discussions that the company described as "due diligence" chats. The interviews were followed on Wednesday by the release of a defense spending policy bill passed by the Senate Armed Services Committee, which would prohibit the U.S. Defense Department from using Kaspersky software platforms because the company "might be vulnerable to Russian government influence," according to a summary of the legislation.

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Mozilla Employee Denied Entry To the United States

Slashdot - Thu, 06/29/2017 - 08:20
Reader Artem Tashkinov writes: Daniel Stenberg, an employee at Mozilla and the author of the command-line tool curl, was not allowed to board his flight to the meeting from Sweden—despite the fact that he'd previously obtained a visa waiver allowing him to travel to the US. Stenberg was unable to check in for his flight, and was notified at the airport ticket counter that his entry to the US had been denied. Although Mozilla doesn't believe that the incident is related to Trump's travel ban, the incident stirred fears among international tech workers, who fear they'll miss out on work and research opportunities if they're not allowed to travel to the US. The situation even caught the eye of Microsoft's chief legal officer Brad Smith, who tweeted at Stenberg to offer legal assistance.

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Major Setback for Murdoch in $15 Billion Sky Takeover - New York Times

Business News - Thu, 06/29/2017 - 08:12

New York Times

Major Setback for Murdoch in $15 Billion Sky Takeover
New York Times
James Murdoch, center, the chief executive of 21st Century Fox, in April. Credit Kevin Hagen for The New York Times. Rupert Murdoch may have to wait another six months to find out whether his long quest to buy Sky will become a reality after British ...
Fox-Sky Deal: UK Culture Secretary Inclined To Refer Bid To Competition AuthorityDeadline
Britain says Fox bid for Sky risks giving Murdoch too much powerReuters
What's Next for Murdoch's Delayed Sky TV Bid: QuickTake Q&ABloomberg
Hollywood Reporter -Washington Post -CNNMoney -USA TODAY
all 136 news articles »

Let's Encrypt Hits New Milestone: Over 100,000,000 Certificates Issued

Slashdot - Thu, 06/29/2017 - 07:40
Josh Aas, the executive director of Internet Security Research Group (ISRG) writing for Let's Encrypt: Let's Encrypt, a free, automated, and open certificate authority has reached a milestone: we've now issued more than 100,000,000 certificates. This number reflects at least a few things: First, it illustrates the strong demand for our services. We'd like to thank all of the sysadmins, web developers, and everyone else managing servers for prioritizing protecting your visitors with HTTPS. Second, it illustrates our ability to scale. I'm incredibly proud of the work our engineering teams have done to make this volume of issuance possible. I'm also very grateful to our operational partners, including IdenTrust, Akamai, and Sumo Logic. Third, it illustrates the power of automated certificate management. If getting and managing certificates from Let's Encrypt always required manual steps there is simply no way we'd be able to serve as many sites as we do. The total number of certificates we've issued is an interesting number, but it doesn't reflect much about tangible progress towards our primary goal: a 100% HTTPS Web.

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Hacks Raise Fear Over NSA's Hold on Cyberweapons

Slashdot - Thu, 06/29/2017 - 06:50
Nicole Perlroth, and David Sanger, writing for The New York Times: Twice in the past month, National Security Agency cyberweapons stolen from its arsenal have been turned against two very different partners of the United States -- Britain and Ukraine. The N.S.A. has kept quiet, not acknowledging its role in developing the weapons (alternative source). White House officials have deflected many questions, and responded to others by arguing that the focus should be on the attackers themselves, not the manufacturer of their weapons. But the silence is wearing thin for victims of the assaults, as a series of escalating attacks using N.S.A. cyberweapons have hit hospitals, a nuclear site and American businesses. Now there is growing concern that United States intelligence agencies have rushed to create digital weapons that they cannot keep safe from adversaries or disable once they fall into the wrong hands. On Wednesday, the calls for the agency to address its role in the latest attacks grew louder, as victims and technology companies cried foul. Representative Ted Lieu, a California Democrat and a former Air Force officer who serves on the House Judiciary and Foreign Affairs Committees, urged the N.S.A. to help stop the attacks and to stop hoarding knowledge of the computer vulnerabilities upon which these weapons rely.

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Insurance Giant Aetna Is Leaving Hartford for New York City - New York Times

Business News - Thu, 06/29/2017 - 06:00

New York Times

Insurance Giant Aetna Is Leaving Hartford for New York City
New York Times
The edge of Aetna's campus in Hartford. The company, which is moving its headquarters to New York City, had disclosed plans for a move earlier in the year. Credit Jessica Hill for The New York Times. Aetna, the insurance giant founded in Hartford ...
Aetna Will Move Headquarters to New York City, Commitment to State Depends on Improved EconomyHartford Courant
Aetna to leave Connecticut headquarters for New York CityWashington Post
Aetna Is Moving Corporate Headquarters to NYCNBC New York
MarketWatch -Business Insider -wwlp.com -Gothamist
all 28 news articles »

The iPhone Turns 10

Slashdot - Thu, 06/29/2017 - 06:00
"Every once in awhile a revolutionary product comes along that changes everything," said co-founder and former Apple CEO Steve Jobs, as he kickstarted the iPhone keynote. Ten years ago, thousands of people around the world listened to him in a mock turtleneck talk about a phone. They liked it so much that they decided to wait outside Apple stores for hours on end to buy one. Little did anyone know the phone -- called the iPhone -- would go on to revolutionize, in the truest sense of the word, the smartphone industry as we know it. From an Economist article: No product in recent history has changed people's lives more. Without the iPhone, ride-hailing, photo-sharing, instant messaging and other essentials of modern life would be less widespread. Shorn of cumulative sales of 1.2bn devices and revenues of $1trn, Apple would not hold the crown of the world's largest listed company. Thousands of software developers would be poorer, too: the apps they have written for the smartphone make them more than $20bn annually. Here's how some journalists saw the original iPhone. David Pogue, writing for the New York Times: But even in version 1.0, the iPhone is still the most sophisticated, outlook-changing piece of electronics to come along in years. It does so many things so well, and so pleasurably, that you tend to forgive its foibles. Walt Mossberg, writing for the Wall Street Journal: Expectations for the iPhone have been so high that it can't possibly meet them all. It isn't for the average person who just wants a cheap, small phone for calling and texting. But, despite its network limitations, the iPhone is a whole new experience and a pleasure to use. John Gruber's first impressions of the iPhone: The iPhone is 95 percent amazing, 5 percent maddening. I'm just blown away by how nice it is -- very thoughtful UI design and outstanding engineering. It is very fun. Jason Snell, writing for Macworld: To put it more simply: The iPhone is the real deal. It's a product that has already changed the way people look at the devices they carry in their pockets and purses. After only a few days with mine, the prospect of carrying a cellphone with me wherever I go no longer fills me with begrudging acceptance, but actual excitement. Recode has some charts that show how the iPhone has grown over the years. Here's the primer: 1. The iPhone put the internet in everyone's pocket. 2. The iPhone transformed photography from a hobby to a part of everyday life. 3. The iPhone App Store changed the way software was created and distributed. 4. iPhone apps changed everything, even how people work. 5. The iPhone made Apple the world's most valuable company. Apple commentator Horace Dediu writing for Asymco: The iPhone is the best selling product ever, making Apple perhaps the best business ever. Because of the iPhone, Apple has managed to survive to a relatively old age. Not only did it build a device base well over 1 billion it engendered loyalty and satisfaction described only by superlatives. To summarize I can offer two numbers: 1. 1,162,796,000 iPhones sold (to end of March 2017). 2. $742,912,000,000 in revenues. $1 trillion will be reached in less than 18 months. In closing, security researcher Mikko Hypponen tweeted, "iPhone is 10 years old today. After 10 years, not a single serious malware case. It's not just luck; we need to congratulate Apple on this."

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WikiLeaks Dump Reveals CIA Malware For Tracking Windows Devices Via WiFi Networks

Slashdot - Thu, 06/29/2017 - 05:00
WikiLeaks has published the documentation manual for an alleged CIA tool that can track users of Wi-Fi-capable Windows devices based on the Extended Service Set (ESS) data of nearby Wi-Fi networks. According to the tool's 42-page manual, the tool's name is ELSA. Bleeping Computer has an image embedded in its report that explains how the tool works. There are six steps that summarize the ELSA operation. Bleeping Computer reports: Step 1: CIA operative configures ELSA implant (malware) based on a target's environment. This is done using a tool called the "PATCHER wizard," which generates the ELSA payload, a simple DLL file. Step 2: CIA operative deploys ELSA implant on target's Wi-Fi-enabled Windows machine. Because ELSA is an implant (malware), the CIA operator will likely have to use other CIA hacking tools and exploits to place the malware on a victim's PC. Step 3: The implant begins collecting Wi-Fi access point information based on the schedule set by the operator. Data collection can happen even if the user is disconnected from a Wi-Fi network. Step 4: When the target user connects to the Internet, ELSA will take the collected Wi-Fi data and query a third-party database for geolocation information. Step 5: The CIA operative connects to the target's computer and fetches the ELSA log. This is done via the tools that allowed the operator to place ELSA on his system, or through other tools. Step 6: The operator decrypts the log and performs further analysis on their target. Optionally, he can use the collected WiFi data to query alternate EES geo-location databases, if he feels they provide a better accuracy.

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How Silicon Valley Pushed Coding Into American Classrooms

Slashdot - Thu, 06/29/2017 - 02:00
theodp writes: Noting that Apple CEO Tim Cook's advice for President Trump at last week's White House gathering of the Tech Titans was that "coding should be a requirement in every public school," the New York Times examines How Silicon Valley Pushed Coding Into American Classrooms (Warning: source may be paywalled). "The Apple chief's education mandate was just the latest tech company push for coding courses in schools," writes Natasha Singer. "But even without Mr. Trump's support, Silicon Valley is already advancing that agenda -- thanks largely to the marketing prowess of Code.org, an industry-backed nonprofit group." Singer continues: "In a few short years, Code.org has raised more than $60 million from Microsoft, Facebook, Google and Salesforce, along with individual tech executives and foundations. It has helped to persuade two dozen states to change their education policies and laws, Mr. Hadi Partovi, co-founder of Code.org, said, while creating free introductory coding lessons, called Hour of Code, which more than 100 million students worldwide have tried. Along the way, Code.org has emerged as a new prototype for Silicon Valley education reform: a social-media-savvy entity that pushes for education policy changes, develops curriculums, offers online coding lessons and trains teachers -- touching nearly every facet of the education supply chain. The rise of Code.org coincides with a larger tech-industry push to remake American primary and secondary schools with computers and learning apps, a market estimated to reach $21 billion by 2020." Singer also mentions Apple's work to spread computer science in schools. The company launched a free app last year called Swift Playgrounds to teach basic coding in Swift, as well as a yearlong curriculum for high schools and community colleges to teach app design in Swift.

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