tsu doh nimh writes "A series of hacks perpetrated against so-called 'smart meter' installations over the past several years may have cost a single U.S. electric utility hundreds of millions of dollars annually, the FBI said in cyber intelligence bulletin first revealed today. The law enforcement agency said this is the first known report of criminals compromising the hi-tech meters, and that it expects this type of fraud to spread across the country as more utilities deploy smart grid technology."
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snydeq writes "InfoWorld's JR Raphael offers up six memorable tales of trouble and triumph from the tech support desk. 'Working in tech support is a bit like teaching preschool: You're an educator who provides reassurance in troubling times. You share knowledge and help others overcome their obstacles. And some days, it feels like all you hear is screaming, crying, and incoherent babble.' Pronoun problems, IT ghosts, the runaway mouse — when it comes to computers, the customer isn't always right."
wiredmikey writes "Security researchers have discovered new Android malware controlled via SMS that can do a number of things on the compromised device including recording calls and surrounding noise. Called TigerBot, the recently discovered malware was found circulating in the wild via non-official Android channels. Based on the code examination, the researchers from NQ Mobile, alongside researchers at North Carolina State University said that TigerBot can record sounds in the immediate area of the device, as well as calls themselves. It also has the ability to alter network settings, report its current GPS coordinates, capture and upload images, kill other processes, and reboot the phone. TigerBot will hide itself on a compromised device by forgoing an icon on the home screen, and by masking itself with a legit application name such as Flash or System. Once installed and active, it will register a receiver with a high priority to listen to the intent with action 'android.provider.Telephony.SMS_RECEIVED.'"
Taco Cowboy writes "Here comes a chip that can pinpoint you in-door and out, it can even tell others on which floor of a building you are located. It's the Broadcom 4752 chip. It takes signals from global navigation satellites, cell phone towers, and Wi-Fi hot spots, coupled with input from gyroscopes, accelerometers, step counters, and altimeters The company calls abilities like this 'ubiquitous navigation,' and the idea is that it will enable a new kind of e-commerce predicated on the fact that shopkeepers will know the moment you walk by their front door, or when you are looking at a particular product, and can offer you coupons at that instant."
MatthewVD writes "Our cars run millions of lines of code that need constant and, often, critical updates. Jim Motavalli writes that Mercedes-Benz's new mbrace2 'cloud infotainment system' has a secret capability: it can update software automatically and wirelessly. In a process called 'reflashing,' the Mercedes system turns on the car operating system (CU), downloads the new application, then cuts itself off. With companies like Fisker paying dearly for constant recalls for software problems, automakers will likely rush to embrace this technology. No more USBs in the dashboard!"
An anonymous reader writes "The Utah Department of Health has been hacked. 181,604 Medicaid and CHIP recipients have had their personal information stolen. 25,096 had their Social Security numbers (SSNs) compromised. The agency is cooperating with law enforcement in a criminal investigation. The hackers, who are believed to be located in Eastern Europe, breached the server in question on March 30, 2012."
yuhong writes "On April 10, the second Tuesday of April, Windows Vista will exit Mainstream Support and enter Extended Support. This means that no-charge (free) support will end, no further service packs will be created, nor will future IE versions (such as IE10) be available for Vista. Also, no new non-security hotfixes will be created or be available without an Extended Hotfix Support Agreement (EHSA). This will last for 5 years before support for Vista completely ends in 2017."
An anonymous reader writes "The U.S. Navy is paying a company six figures to hack into used video game consoles and extract sensitive information. The tasks to be completed are for both offline and online data. The organization says it will only use the technology on consoles belonging to nations overseas, because the law doesn't allow it to be used on any 'U.S. persons.'" Should be a doddle.
Trailrunner7 writes "Project Basecamp, a volunteer effort to expose security holes in industrial control system software, unveiled new modules on Thursday to exploit holes in common programmable logic controllers (PLCs). The new exploits, which are being submitted to the Metasploit open platform, include one that carries out a Stuxnet-type attack on PLCs made by the firm Schneider Electric, according to information provided to Threatpost by Digital Bond, a private consulting firm that has sponsored the effort. It was the third major release from researchers working for Project Basecamp and included three new modules for the Metasploit platform that can exploit vulnerable PLCs used in critical infrastructure deployments. The exploits rely on a mix of software vulnerabilities and insecure 'features' of common PLCs, which serve a variety of purposes in industries as varied as power generation, water treatment, manufacturing and others."
Krystalo writes "The hacktivist group Anonymous today hacked multiple UK government websites over the country's 'draconian surveillance proposals' and 'derogation of civil rights.' At the time of writing, the following websites were taken down: homeoffice.gov.uk, number10.gov.uk, and justice.gov.uk. The group is not pleased with the UK government's plans to monitor Internet users."
An anonymous reader writes "Last year Slashdot ran a story on scientists from the Max-Planck-Institute for Physics of Complex Systems in Dresden, Germany developing a novel method to improve password security. A strong long password is split in two parts; the first part is memorized by a human, and the second part is stored as a CAPTCHA-like image of a chaotic lattice system. Today, after a year of work, the same group at Max Planck Institute released a working prototype online, where everybody can try this technology to encrypt files (Java plugin required)."
Lucas123 writes "Paper products maker Kimberly-Clark drove the morale of its IT infrastructure group into the ground after massive firings and outsourcing. When they hired a new VP of Infrastructure four years later to turn things around, he implemented a program to spur innovation. The VP took a venture capitalist approach where any employee could submit an idea and if accepted, make a pitch in 30 minutes or less. If the idea had merit, it received first, then second rounds of funding. If not, the employee's idea still got lauded on the company's internal Sharepoint site. As he puts it, 'Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently. It's about what we learn from the failure. Not the failure itself. We celebrate that learning.'"
CowboyRobot writes "The National Weather Service has begun testing the way it labels natural disasters. It's hoping that the new warnings, which include words like 'catastrophic,' 'complete devastation likely,' and 'unsurvivable,' will make people more likely to take action to save their lives. But what about their digital lives? Recommendations include: Keep all electronics out of basements and off the floor; Unplug your hardware; Buy a surge protector; Enclose anything valuable in plastic. If the National Weather Service issued a 'complete devastation' warning today, would your data be ready?"
New submitter SolKeshNaranek writes "After Anonymous hacked hundreds of Chinese government, company, and other general websites, China has acknowledged the attacks. Meanwhile, Anonymous China has not stopped its onslaught. 'A few targets have had their administrator accounts, phone numbers, and e-mail addresses posted publicly. Last but not least, on many of the hacked sites, the group even posted tips for how to circumvent the Great Firewall of China. While Anonymous was not specifically mentioned, it's obvious what China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs was referring to during a briefing on Thursday, given the events during the last week.'"
An anonymous reader writes, quoting Network World: "As with any platform that sees a meteoric rise in popularity, it's only a matter of time before spammers throw their hats in the ring and try and exploit the masses for financial gain and other sinister purposes. As the relatively new kid on the block, Twitter is still busying itself trying to tackle and ultimately prevent spammers from destroying the user experience. While Twitter's previous efforts centered exclusively on engineering-based solutions, the company today announced that they are also pursuing legal avenues to fend off spammers." From the Twitter blog: "With this suit, we’re going straight to the source. By shutting down tool providers, we will prevent other spammers from having these services at their disposal. Further, we hope the suit acts as a deterrent to other spammers, demonstrating the strength of our commitment to keep them off Twitter."