Lucas123 writes "Western Digital subsidiary HGST today announced that after 10 years of development it is preparing to release 3.5-in data center-class HDDs that are hermetically sealed with helium inside. The helium reduces drag and wind turbulence created by the spinning platters, all but eliminating track misregistration that has become a major issue to increasing drive density in recent years. Because of that, HGST will be able to add two more platters along with increasing the tracks per inch, which results in a 40% capacity increase. The drives will also use 23% less power because of the reduction of friction on the spindle. HGST said the new seven-platter helium drives will weigh 29% less per terabyte of capacity that today's five-platter drives. In other words, a seven-platter helium disk will weigh 690 grams, the same as today's five-platter drives."
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hypnosec writes "Having procured permission from the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, Microsoft's Digital Crimes Unit managed to disrupt more than 500 different strains of malware in a bid to slow down the threats posed by the Nitol botnet. Microsoft, through an operation codenamed b70 (PDF), discovered Chinese retailers were involved in selling computers with a pirated version of Windows loaded with malware. Microsoft believes the malware could have entered the supply chain at any point, for the simple reason that a computer travels among companies that transport and resell the computer. The Windows 8 maker carried out a study focused on the Nitol botnet, through which it found nearly 20 percent of all the PCs that were purchased through insecure Chinese supply chains were infected with malware."
Techmeology writes "Thieves have discovered how to steal BMW cars produced since 2006 by using the onboard computer that is able to program blank keys. The device used — originally intended for use by garages — is able to reprogram the key to start the engine in around three minutes. The blank keys, and reprogramming devices, have made their way onto the black market and are available for purchase over the Internet."
New submitter planetzuda writes "Invisible nano QR codes have been proposed as a way to stop forgery of U.S. currency by students of the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology. Unfortunately QR codes are easy to forge and can send you to a site that infects your system. Banks would most likely need to scan currency that have QR codes to ensure the authenticity of the bill. If the QR code was forged it could infect the bank with a virus."
another random user writes "A vulnerability in the widely used chip and pin payment system has been exposed by Cambridge University researchers. Cards were found to be open to a form of cloning, despite past assurances from banks that chip and pin could not be compromised. In a statement given to the BBC, a spokeswoman for the UK's Financial Fraud Action group said: 'We've never claimed that chip and pin is 100% secure and the industry has successfully adopted a multi-layered approach to detecting any newly-identified types of fraud.'"
MojoKid writes "During the Day Two keynote address at Intel Developer's Forum, Renee James, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Intel's Software & Services Group, talked about software development, security and services in an 'age of transparent computing.' During the security-centric portion of the keynote, James brought out a rep from Intel's McAfee division to show off a beta release of their McAfee Social Protection app. If you're unfamiliar, McAfee Social Protection is a soon to be released app and browser plug-in for Facebook that gives users the ability to securely share their photos. As it stands today, if you upload a photo to Facebook, anyone viewing that photo can simply download it or take a screen capture and alter or share it wherever they want, however they want. With McAfee Social Protection installed though, users viewing your images will not be able to copy or capture them. In quick testing, various attempts with utilities like Hypersnap, Snagit or a simple print screen operation to circumvent the technology only resulted in a black screen appearing in the grab. Poking around at browser image caches resulted in finding stored images that were watermarked with the McAfee Security logo."
An anonymous reader writes "A Wired article discusses the relative decline of Dell, HP, and IBM in the server market over the past few years. Whereas those three companies once provided 75% of Intel's server chip revenue, those revenues are now split between the big three and five other companies as well. Google is fifth on the list. 'It's the big web players that are moving away from the HPs and the Dells, and most of these same companies offer large "cloud" services that let other businesses run their operations without purchasing servers in the first place. To be sure, as the market shifts, HP, Dell, and IBM are working to reinvent themselves. Dell, for instance, launched a new business unit dedicated to building custom gear for the big web players — Dell Data Center Services — and all these outfits are now offering their own cloud services. But the tide is against them.'"
Today Phil Schiller took to the stage at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, where he announced the long-expected iPhone 5. The casing is made entirely of glass and aluminum, and it's 7.6mm thick, which is 18% thinner than the iPhone 4S. It weighs in at 112 grams, which is 20% lighter than the 4S. Schiller confirmed that the iPhone 5 has a 4" display, with a resolution of 1136x640. It's a 16:9 aspect ratio. The screen is the same width as a 4S, but it's taller. To accommodate older apps, they either center the app or add black bars to make it look right. The new device also has LTE support. Tim Cook spoke earlier about the iPad, making some interesting claims: "Yes, we are in a post-PC world." He also claimed 68% tablet market share for the iPad, and says iPads account for 91% of tablet-based web traffic. The event is continuing, and we'll update this post as further announcements appear. A real-time liveblog is being quickly updated at Ars Technica. Update: 09/12 18:16 GMT by S : Further details below.
wiredmikey writes with this excerpt from Security Week: "The Disttrack/Shamoon malware, while destructive, appears to be the work of amateurs and not elite and sophisticated developers, according to the latest analysis. The malware proved that it was possible for developers to subvert legitimate kernel-mode applications for malicious purposes, but it appears that the malware could have been even more destructive and dangerous, if it had not been for a series of programming mistakes in the code, according to recent analysis from Kaspersky Lab. Other suggestions that the developers behind the Shamoon malware are not high-profile programmers include that the command-and-control server is hard-coded as two addresses, which limits the tool since if the address ever changes, the infected machine can no longer receive instructions. The developers were most likely motivated by political reasons, as the malware overwrote existing files with a fragment of an image of a burning American flag. The Malware has also been reported to be linked to the recent Saudi Aramco attack, which some reports have suggested that insiders may have been partly involved. Saudi Aramco hasn't officially said what type of malware hit its systems."
Mansing writes "Citizens need to evaluate if they are indeed safer for all the 'security precautions' put into place. 'The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has rushed to acquire a new, multibillion-dollar version of the BioWatch system for detecting biological attacks without establishing whether it was needed or would work, according to a new report by a nonpartisan investigative arm of Congress. ... The existing system's repeated false alarms have triggered tense, high-stakes deliberations over whether to order mass evacuations, distribute emergency medicines or shut down major venues.' Is this just more money funneled to U.S. companies, or is this really keeping the U.S. safer? Are the same types of 'security precautions' being instituted in Spain and the UK? Or is this preying on fear a uniquely U.S. phenomenon?"
snydeq writes "Self-taught technologists are almost always better hires than those with a bachelor's degree in computer science and a huge student loan, writes Andrew Oliver. 'A recruiter recently asked me why employers are so picky. I explained that of the people who earned a computer science degree, most don't know any theory and can't code. Instead, they succeed at putting things on their resume that match keywords. Plus, companies don't consider it their responsibility to provide training or mentoring. In fairness, that's because the scarcity of talent has created a mercenary culture: "Now that my employer paid me to learn a new skill, let me check to see if there's an ad for it on Dice or Craigslist with a higher rate of pay." When searching for talent, I've stopped relying on computer science degrees as an indicator of anything except a general interest in the field. Most schools suck at teaching theory and aren't great at Java instruction, either. Granted, they're not much better with any other language, but most of them teach Java.'"
miller60 writes "GoDaddy says yesterday's downtime was caused by internal network problems that corrupted data in router tables. 'The service outage was not caused by external influences,' said Scott Wagner, Go Daddy's Interim CEO. 'It was not a 'hack' and it was not a denial of service attack (DDoS). ... At no time was any customer data at risk or were any of our systems compromised.' The outage lasted for at least six hours, and affected web sites and email for customers of the huge domain registrar."
jfruh writes "Apple's spent more than a decade on version 10 — or, rather, X — of its flagship operating system, with .x versions named after big cats (and many of them, it turns out, after the same big cats). Ubuntu Linux is scrambling to find ever more obscure animals to alliteratively name its versions after. And let's not even talk about Windows, whose current shipping OS is sold as Windows 7 but is really Windows NT 6.1. Why is this area of software marketing so ridiculous?"
chicksdaddy writes "The cloud-based hosting firm MediaFire has reversed a decision to suspend the account of virus researcher Mila Parkour after Naked Security raised questions about copyright violation complaints made against her by the mysterious firm LeakID. In an email to Parkour on Friday, MediaFire's director of customer support, Daniel Goebel, said that the company was restoring Parkour's access to her MediaFire account and apologized for the interruption in service. MediaFire also said it was asking LeakID, the Paris-based firm that accused Parkour of sharing copyrighted material, to 'confirm the status of the counterclaim [Parkour] submitted.' However, the firm is still blocking access to files that LeakID alleged were violating the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), a strict copyright enforcement law in the U.S."
Trailrunner7 writes "Saudi Aramco says that the virus attack that compromised tens of thousands of the company's workstations last month never endangered the company's oil production capabilities and that all of the affected systems have been brought back online and restored. The attack on Aramco has been linked by researchers to the Shamoon malware, but company officials did not comment on the nature or provenance of the malware. The attack hit Aramco, one of the larger oil producers in the world, on August 15 and the company soon took its main Web sites offline as it investigated the extent and nature of the compromise. A group of attackers calling itself the Cutting Sword of Justice took credit for the attack through a post on Pastebin, saying that the operation had destroyed data on 30,000 machines, including both workstations and servers. The company originally did not comment on the extent of the damage to its network, simply saying that it had suffered an attack and was in the process of cleaning it up. On Monday, company officials said that security staffers had restored all of the infected machines and that its operations were back to normal."