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Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive

Software

Ask Slashdot: It's World Backup Day; How Do You Back Up? 304

Posted by timothy
from the hope-and-luck dept.
MrSeb writes "Today is World Backup Day! The premise is that you back up your computers on March 31, so that you're not an April Fool if your hard drive crashes tomorrow. How do Slashdot users back up? RAID? Multiple RAIDs? If you're in LA, on a fault line, do you keep a redundant copy of your data in another geographic region?"
Crime

Hackers Can Easily Lift Credit Card Info From a Used Xbox 106

Posted by timothy
from the extra-sensitive-data dept.
zacharye writes "Using nothing more than a few common tools, hackers can reportedly recover credit card numbers and other personal information from used Xbox 360 consoles even after they have been restored to factory settings. Researchers at Drexel University say they have successfully recovered sensitive personal data from a used Xbox console, and they claim Microsoft is doing a disservice to users by not taking precautions to secure their data. 'Microsoft does a great job of protecting their proprietary information,' researcher Ashley Podhradsky said."
Privacy

Aviation Security Debate: Bruce Schneier V. Kip Hawley (Former TSA Boss) 291

Posted by Soulskill
from the rumble-in-the-terminal dept.
Fluffeh writes "A nice summary at TechDirt brings word that Bruce Schneier has been debating Kip Hawley, former boss of the TSA, over at the Economist. Bruce has been providing facts, analysis and some amazing statistics throughout the debate, and it makes for very educational reading. Because of the format, the former TSA administrator is compelled to respond. Quoting: 'He wants us to trust that a 400-ml bottle of liquid is dangerous, but transferring it to four 100-ml bottles magically makes it safe. He wants us to trust that the butter knives given to first-class passengers are nevertheless too dangerous to be taken through a security checkpoint. He wants us to trust that there's a reason to confiscate a cupcake (Las Vegas), a 3-inch plastic toy gun (London Gatwick), a purse with an embroidered gun on it (Norfolk, VA), a T-shirt with a picture of a gun on it (London Heathrow) and a plastic lightsaber that's really a flashlight with a long cone on top (Dallas/Fort Worth).""
Security

Ask Slashdot: A Cheap, DIY Home Security and Surveillance System? 508

Posted by Soulskill
from the i-hear-those-DoD-pain-rays-are-nice dept.
scubamage writes "Six weeks ago, my home was broken into while my fiance and I were at work. Two laptops were stolen, an iPad, a power brick, a safe (complete with several years worth of taxes, my birth certificate, and old copies of my driver's license), a digital SLR, and several other costly items. We are now dealing with an attorney because the homeowner's insurance is fighting us on a number of items and we're not backing down. It has been a nightmare. However, we've now noticed that someone has been visiting our house during the day. There has been garbage left sitting on our back porch table, so its unlikely to have blown there. We've also seen footprints in our garden that are not there in the morning. Our neighborhood is essentially empty during the day, and we want to know who is on our property while we're not. If we're really lucky, reporting it to the police could recover some of our property. My fiance has asked me to assemble a home security system that is motion activated, and both notifies us of an entry, as well as records video or rapid HD stillframes when sensing motion. The goal is to do this cheaply and more effectively than going with a private security company like ADT (who, consequently, our police department told us to ignore due to the incredibly high rate of false alarms). We've already gotten the dog and the gun, so we have those bases covered. What suggestions do you have on setting up home security systems, and what have you done to build one in the past?"
Crime

VISA, MasterCard Warn of 'Massive' Breach At Credit Card Processor 164

Posted by Soulskill
from the your-security:-priceless dept.
concealment writes with news that VISA and MasterCard have been warning banks of an incident at a U.S. card processor that may have compromised as many as 10 million credit card numbers. From the article: "Neither VISA nor MasterCard have said which U.S.-based processor was the source of the breach. But affected banks are now starting to analyze transaction data on the compromised cards, in hopes of finding a common point of purchase. Sources at two different major financial institutions said the transactions that most of the cards they analyzed seem to have in common are that they were used in parking garages in and around the New York City area." According to the Wall Street Journal, the breached company is Global Payments Inc.
Data Storage

Obama Administration Places $200 Million Bet On Big Data 72

Posted by samzenpus
from the always-bet-on-greenbacks dept.
wiredmikey writes "As the Federal Government aims to make use of the massive volume of digital data being generated on a daily basis, the Obama Administration today announced a 'Big Data Research and Development Initiative' backed by more than $200 million in commitments to start. Through the new Big Data initiative and associated monetary investments, the Obama Administration promises to greatly improve the tools and techniques needed to access, organize, and glean discoveries from huge volumes of digital data. Interestingly, as part of a number of government announcements on big data today, The National Institutes of Health announced that the world's largest set of data on human genetic variation – produced by the international 1000 Genomes Project (At 200 terabytes so far) is now freely available on the Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud. Additionally, the Department of Defense (DoD) said it would invest approximately $250 million annually across the Military Departments in a series of programs. 'We also want to challenge industry, research universities, and non-profits to join with the Administration to make the most of the opportunities created by Big Data,' Tom Kalil, Deputy Director for Policy at OSTP noted in a blog post. 'Clearly, the government can't do this on its own. We need what the President calls an 'all hands on deck' effort.'"
Data Storage

After 60 Years, Tape Reinserts Itself 312

Posted by timothy
from the sentience-from-unexpected-source dept.
Lucas123 writes "While magnetic tape is about as boring as technology gets, it's still the cheapest storage medium and among the fastest in sequential reads and writes. And, with the release of LTO-6 with 8TB cartridges around the corner and the relatively new open linear tape file system (LTFS) being embraced by movie and television markets, tape is taking on a new life. It may even climb out of the dusty archives that cheap disk has relegated it to. 'Over the last two years, disk drives have gotten bigger, they've gone from 1TB to 3TB, but they haven't gotten faster. They're more like tape. Meanwhile, tape is going the other direction, it's getting faster,' said Mark Lemmons, CTO of Thought Equity Motion, a cloud storage service for the motion picture industry."
Firefox

Firefox: In With the New, Out With the Compatibility 366

Posted by timothy
from the beloved-friend-please-take-this-advice dept.
snydeq writes "Mozilla's 'endless parade' of Firefox updates adds no visible benefit to users but breaks common functions, as numerous add-ons, including the popular open source TinyMCE editor, continually suffer compatibility issues, thanks to Firefox's newly adopted auto-update cycle, writes InfoWorld's Galen Gruman. 'Firefox is a Web browser, and by its very nature the Web is a heterogeneous, uncontrolled collection of resources. Expecting every website that uses TinyMCE to update it whenever an incremental rev comes out is silly and unrealistic, and certainly not just because Mozilla decided compatibility in its parade of new Firefox releases was everyone else's problem. The Web must handle such variablility — especially the browsers used to access it.'"
Linux Business

Munich Has Saved €4M So Far After Switch To Linux 370

Posted by Soulskill
from the gonna-be-a-good-oktoberfest-this-year dept.
New submitter Mojo66 writes "Mayor Ude reported today that the city of Munich has saved €4 million so far (Google translation of German original) by switching its IT infrastructure from Windows NT and Office to Linux and OpenOffice. At the same time, the number of trouble tickets decreased from 70 to 46 per month. Savings were €2.8M from software licensing and €1.2M from hardware because demands are lower for Linux compared to Windows 7."
Security

MacControl Trojan Being Used In Targeted Attacks Against OS X Users 187

Posted by Soulskill
from the thanks-for-waiting-so-patiently dept.
Trailrunner7 writes "Welcome to the age of targeted attacks, Mac users. Perhaps having grown tired of owning Windows machines around the world for the last few years, attackers have now taken up the challenge of going after Macs with the same kind of targeted attack tactics that have served them so well in the Windows world. Researchers have found a new attack that employs two separate pieces of malware, a malicious Word document and some techniques for maintaining persistence on compromised machines, and the campaign is specifically targeted at Mac users. The command-and-control domain involved in the attack is located in China and the attack exploits a three-year-old vulnerability in the way that Office for Mac handles certain Word files, according to researchers at AlienVault, who discovered and analyzed the attacks."
Security

FBI's Top Cyber-cop Says We're Losing the War Against Hackers 134

Posted by Soulskill
from the have-you-tried-bullets dept.
New submitter sienrak writes "Shawn Henry, who is preparing to leave the FBI after more than two decades with the bureau, said in an interview that the current public and private approach to fending off hackers is 'unsustainable.' 'I don't see how we ever come out of this without changes in technology or changes in behavior, because with the status quo, it's an unsustainable model. Unsustainable in that you never get ahead, never become secure, never have a reasonable expectation of privacy or security,' Mr. Henry said."
Government

Counterterrorism Agents Were Told They Could Suspend the Law 369

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the it's-not-like-terrorists-are-people dept.
politkal writes "According to the FBI's internal inquiry on counterterrorism training, the FBI taught agents that the Bureau 'has the ability to bend or suspend the law to impinge on the freedoms of others;' that agents should 'never attempt to shake hands with an Asian;' that Arabs were 'prone to outbursts' of a 'Jekyll & Hyde' nature." Even better: "That review, now complete, did not result in a single disciplinary action for any instructor. Nor did it mandate the retraining of any FBI agent exposed to what the Bureau concedes was inappropriate material. Nor did it look at any intelligence reports that might have been influenced by the training."
GNOME

GNOME 3.4 Released 147

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the desktop-develops-sock-thievery-problem dept.
supersloshy writes "The popular GNOME desktop environment has just announced the release of version 3.4. User-facing updates include, among others, a new look for many GNOME applications, smooth scrolling support in GTK, integrated document search in GNOME Shell, a new dynamic background, improved accessibility configuration options, new high-contrast icons, and more documentation. Developer-facing improvements include the release of GTK+ 3.4 and updates to standard GNOME libraries as part of the latest GNOME Developer Platform."
Botnet

Taking Down DNSChanger: A First Person Account 46

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the vixie-with-a-vengeance dept.
penciling_in writes "Paul Vixie shares his personal account of the DNSChanger takedown operation, working with the FBI and a worldwide team. He also explains the delay issues in identifying and notifying victims, which resulted in the FBI asking the judge for an extension. They were given four more months. 'On July 9 2012 the replacement DNS servers operated by ISC will be shut down and any victims who still depend on these servers will face new risks,' he warns. A half-dozen national Internet security teams around the world have created special websites that will display a warning message to potential victims of the DNS Changer infection. The full list of these 'DNS Checking' websites is published by the DNS Changer Working Group."

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