jfruh writes "Over the past couple of years, you may have noticed a rash of often high-quality infographics by third parties appearing on your favorite websites. These images are offered to Web publishers free of charge, with the only request being a link back to the creator's own site. But when one blogger got an odd email from a the creator of infographic he put on his site two years ago, he did some digging and discovered that he had inadvertently helped some shady characters do SEO spamming."
Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive
tsamsoniw writes "PNC, Bank of America, SunTrust, and other major financial institutions have experienced a wave of DDoS attacks and site outages over the past couple of days, and Islamic extremist hacker group Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Cyber Fighters is claiming responsibility. The group, which launched similar attacks earlier this year, reiterated its demands: that a controversial YouTube video mocking the prophet Mohammed "be eliminated from the Internet.""
First time accepted submitter Idontpostmuch writes "The idea that technology cannot cause unemployment has long been taken as a simple fact of economics. Lately, some economists have been changing their tune. MIT research scientist Andrew Mcaffee writes, 'As computers and robots get more and more powerful while simultaneously getting cheaper and more widespread this phenomenon spreads, to the point where economically rational employers prefer buying more technology over hiring more workers. In other words, they prefer capital over labor. This preference affects both wages and job volumes. And the situation will only accelerate as robots and computers learn to do more and more, and to take over jobs that we currently think of not as "routine," but as requiring a lot of skill and/or education.'" Note: Certainly not all economists agree "that technology cannot cause unemployment," especially in the short term. From a certain perspective, displacing labor is a, if not the, central advantage of technology in general.
Today's interview victim, Jerry Irvine, is CIO of Chicago-area IT consultancy Prescient Solutions and is also a member of the National Cybersecurity Task Force. He concentrates on security but is a broad-spectrum IT expert who is entitled to put all these initials after his name: CISM, CISSP, MCSE, CCNA, CCNP, CCDA, CCDP, CNE, CBCP, CASP, CIPP/IT. He's also a really nice guy. In this video he talks about common ways IT departments blow their budgets and how not to have these problems where you work. (Hint: If you're an IT manager or CIO who has trouble getting your bosses to come across with an adequate IT budget, you might want to share this video with them.)
Last week, you asked questions of Eugene Kaspersky; below, find his answers on a range of topics, from the relationship of malware makers to malware hunters, to Kasperky Labs' relationship to the Putin government, as well as whitelisting vs. signature-based detection, Internet ID schemes, and the SCADA-specific operating system Kaspersky is working on. Spoiler: There are a lot of interesting facts here, as well as some teases.
Frequent contributor Bennett Haselton writes: "Hotmail and Yahoo Mail are apparently sharing a secret blacklist of domain names such that any mention of these domains will cause a message to be bounced back to the sender as spam. I found out about this because — surprise! — some of my new proxy site domains ended up on the blacklist. Hotmail and Yahoo are stonewalling, but here's what I've dug up so far — and why you should care." Read on for much more on how Bennett figured out what's going on, and why it's a hard problem to solve.
hcs_$reboot writes "After the disastrous Apple Maps replacement over Google Maps in September, Google has a Maps app on iOS approved and released by Apple today. The app includes turn-by-turn directions, vector-based graphics and live traffic data. It's available from the Apple Store for iPhone and iPod touch (and iPad — iPhone format)." Adds reader snowtigger: "It's a sharper looking, vector-based map that loads quickly and provides smooth tilting and rotating of 2D and 3D views. Google also released the Google Maps SDK for iOS, and a simple URL scheme to help developers use Google Maps when building their beautiful and innovative apps. The new Google Maps app is available for the iPhone and iPod Touch (4th gen) iOS 5.1 and higher, in more than 40 countries and 29 languages." SlashCloud points out that Apple's own maps will be forced to improve as a consequence: "Directions will become more accurate, major towns and landmarks will appear in their proper places. But now that a free, standalone Google Maps app is available for download from Apple’s App Store, will iOS users even give those improving Apple Maps a chance?"
Orome1 writes "The voting period for the proposed changes to Facebook's Statement of Rights and Responsibilities and Data Use Policy has ended on Monday, and despite the email sent out to the users asking them to review the changes and cast their vote, less than one percent of all users have done so. 'An external auditor has reviewed and confirmed the final results. Of the 668,872 people who voted, 589,141 recommended we keep our existing SRR and Data Use Policy,' stated Elliot Schrage, Facebook's vice president of communications, public policy, and marketing. Still, that is not nearly enough to prevent the proposed changes — as required by Facebook, at least 30 percent of the users should have voted against them in order to keep the previous versions of the policies. Schrage pointed out that that the whole experience illustrated the clear value of Facebook's notice and comment process."
An anonymous reader writes "A new Internet Explorer vulnerability has been discovered that allows an attacker to track your mouse cursor anywhere on the screen, even if the browser isn't being actively used. 'Whilst the Microsoft Security Research Center has acknowledged the vulnerability in Internet Explorer, they have also stated that there are no immediate plans to patch this vulnerability in existing versions of the browser. It is important for users of Internet Explorer to be made aware of this vulnerability and its implications. The vulnerability is already being exploited by at least two display ad analytics companies across billions of page impressions per month.' All supported versions of Microsoft's browser are reportedly affected: IE6, IE7, IE8, IE9, and IE10."
chicksdaddy writes with news of a remote exploit in Samsung Smart TVs, and a warning for those who got one with a built-in camera. From the article: "The company that made headlines in October for publicizing zero day holes in SCADA products now says it has uncovered a remotely exploitable security hole in Samsung Smart TVs. If left unpatched, the vulnerability could allow hackers to make off with owners' social media credentials and even to spy on those watching the TV using built-in video cameras and microphones. In an e-mail exchange with Security Ledger, the Malta-based firm said that the previously unknown ('zero day') hole affects Samsung Smart TVs running the latest version of the company's Linux-based firmware. It could give an attacker the ability to access any file available on the remote device, as well as external devices (such as USB drives) connected to the TV. And, in a Orwellian twist, the hole could be used to access cameras and microphones attached to the Smart TVs, giving remote attacker the ability to spy on those viewing a compromised set."
sfcrazy writes with news that Linus pulled a patch by Ingo Molnar to remove support for the 386 from the kernel. From Ingo's commit log: "Unfortunately there's a nostalgic cost: your old original 386 DX33 system from early 1991 won't be able to boot modern Linux kernels anymore. Sniff." Linus adds: "I'm not sentimental. Good riddance."
dstates writes "Retraction Watch reports that fake reviewer information was placed in Elsevier's peer review database allowing unethical authors to review their own or colleagues manuscripts. As a result, 11 scientific publications have been retracted. The hack is particularly embarrassing for Elsevier because the commercial publisher has been arguing that the quality of its review process justifies its restrictive access policies and high costs of the journals it publishes."
TCPALaw writes "ccAdvertising, a company purported to have 'a long, long, long history of pumping spam out of every telecommunications orifice, and even boasting of voter suppression' has asked the FCC to declare spam filters illegal. Citing Free Speech rights, the company claims wireless carriers should be prohibited from employing spam filters that might block ccAdvertising's political spam. Without stating it explicitly, the filing implies that network neutrality must apply to spam, so the FCC must therefore prohibit spam filters (unless political spam is whitelisted). In an earlier filing, the company suggests it is proper that recipients 'bear some cost' of unsolicited political speech sent to their cell phones. The public can file comments with the FCC on ccAdvertising's filing online."
Orome1 writes "QR codes are very handy for directing users to specific sites by simply scanning them with their smartphones. But the ease with which this technology works has also made it a favorite of malware peddlers and online crooks, who have taken to including QR codes that lead to malicious sites in spam emails. They have also begun using the same tactic in the physical world, by printing out the malicious QR codes on stickers and affixing them on prominent places in locations where there is a lot of foot traffic. According to Symantec Hosted Services director Warren Sealey, these locations include airports and city centers, where the crooks stick them over genuine QR codes included in advertisements and notices, and most likely anywhere a person might look and be tempted to scan them."
If you use Chrome along with Google's Sync, you may have noticed something strange Monday: normally stable Chrome crashing. An article at Wired (excerpt below) explains why: "Late Monday, Google engineer Tim Steele confirmed what developers had been suspecting. The crashes were affecting Chrome users who were using another Google web service known as Sync, and that Sync and other Google services — presumably Gmail too — were clobbered Monday when Google misconfigured its load-balancing servers. ... Steele wrote in a developer discussion forum, a problem with Google's Sync servers kicked off an error on the browser, which made Chrome abruptly shut down on the desktop. 'It's due to a backend service that sync servers depend on becoming overwhelmed, and sync servers responding to that by telling all clients to throttle all data types,' Steele said. That 'throttling' messed up things in the browser, causing it to crash."