David Ritz, the veteran American spam-fighter, has been hit by $60,000 in fines plus lawyers fees after losing a civil suit that accused him of illegal hacking.
Sierra Corporate Design, a North Dakota business run by alleged former spammer Jerry Reynolds, sued Ritz for hacking and trespass offences. Ritz was accused of conducting unauthorized whois and DNS lookups. Edward Falk, another anti-spam campaigner and operator of the “Spam Tracking Page”, was named as co-defendant.
The complaint alleged that Ritz “hacked” servers owned by Sierra (which describes itself as a specialist web hosting and internet services firm), obtaining confidential internal network configuration data (using a zone transfer, host -l command) and domain name information (using whois) before publishing that data on the net. It was alleged that Falk assisted Ritz by republishing his findings. The case was originally filed in May 2005. An injunction, which allowed Sierra’s lawyers to ask Google to purge its Usenet archives of “offending material” was issued in August 2005.
In October 2006, the North Dakota court ruled that it did not have jurisdiction over Falk, a Californian resident, dismissing the suit against him. The case against Ritz proceeded.
Neighboring countries battle it out with secret cyber armies of hackers, report says
JANUARY 17, 2008 | Taiwan officials say that 99 percent of cyber attacks on their government computers came from IP addresses in China, according to a published report in The Asahi Shimbun.
For over four years, personal computers of Taiwan’s top government officials and lawmakers associated with military and foreign affairs have been systematically hacked — mostly via Trojan malware infections. A senior official from the National Security Council in Taiwan says the cyber threat is “one of the most important ‘hidden’ issues for the security of Taiwan,” according to the report.
Taiwanese officials said three to five people were behind the China-based attacks, which originated from several different provinces, including Beijing and Fujian. Some members of the media and scientists have also been hacked.
Taiwan and China reportedly have established so-called cyber attacker “troops,” although neither country will admit the existence of these hacker soldiers, the report says. One Taiwanese security editor found a common thread in the attacks out of China: They typically began around 7 a.m. and lasted until noon, with a two-hour break before continuing until sometime in the evening.
“They (Chinese hackers) faithfully fulfill their mission as government staff, unlike private-sector hackers who rejoice by rewriting the front pages of Websites. They gave me an impression that they attack Websites in the same manner as a machine,” he said.
â€” Kelly Jackson Higgins, Senior Editor, Dark Reading
Salt Lake City, Utah
Median Household Income Rank: 33
Unemployment Rank: 2
Income Growth Rank: 8
Cost Of Living Rank: 41
Job Growth Rank: 8
Median Household Income Rank: 65
Unemployment Rank: 23
Income Growth Rank: 5
Cost Of Living Rank: 7
Job Growth Rank: 7
A significant cottage industry has sprung up among experts debating whether Appleâ€™s iPhone should be sanctioned by IT departments for use in the enterprise. Last week, various sites and publications â€” including internetnews.com â€” reported that the first hack has arrived.
The US Computer Emergency Response Team (US-CERT) issued a warning that a bogus upgrade is wending its way around the Internet. â€œiPhone firmware 1.1.3 prepâ€ claims to be a necessary precursor for 1.1.3 firmware. The bottom line is that the Trojan can overwrite some utilities but that it isnâ€™t too dangerous.
The fact that this Trojan is more nuisance than threat is only marginally good news. Itâ€™s possible this is a proof-of-concept exploit. Crackers often engage in what in essence are dry runs to prove that an attack is viable. The fear is hackers may be experimenting and gathering research that will increase the dangers of a more malicious attack in the near future.
As rival calls for recount in New Hampshire, TV documentary claims voting machines were easily hackable<
JANUARY 14, 2008 | The voting may be over in New Hampshire, but the debating isn’t, as pollsters and rivals question the validity of Hillary Clinton’s stunning upset victory last week.
According to reports, some of those who were surprised by the primary’s results are now suggesting that the voting systems may have been hacked.
Pre-primary polls showed Senator Barack Obama firmly in the lead to win the vote, which Clinton won by a figure of 39 percent to Obama’s 36 percent. Pollsters said their results had never been so far off before. A watchdog group called Black Box Voting noted that the 19 percent of manually cast ballots showed a marked difference in results from the 81 percent of votes that were tabulated electronically.
Ok, I admit. I thrashed the Digg.com servers for a little while using an open source website mirroring tool named HTTrack.
About 30,000 user icons later, I present to you a product created by a couple very short and sweet command line tools.
Where ‘medium sized’ means you have four or five concurrent users on ten tables with around half a million rows each and ‘top’ means that you’ve already done all the basic stuff – picking table types, adding indexes, designing the database properly in the first place etc.
Some are common sense. Some are not appropriate for all situations. Use at your own risk.
This is extremely off topic, but hilarious. “Women always say they want someone who listens and is kind and won’t punch them on the shoulder and call them gay. New York City comedy troop Don’t Touch Me There shows you what women are really looking for.”
Ubuntuâ€™s goal is to be the most popular desktop OS for humans. But Ubuntu, like most Linux distros, is still marketed towards Linux geeks. Theyâ€™re concerned with technology, trumpeting version numbers and drowning out the actual things you can do with their software. Let’s look at the 7.10 announcement, and see how we can fix it next time.
“Iâ€™ve been reading this latest thread of posts around the net concerning Ruby and shared hosts, or equivalently, ease of installation. Hereâ€™s one. Hereâ€™s another. And Iâ€™m glad, for Ruby, that they are talking about this problem – I hope for their sake they take it seriously.
The history is this: first there were the dinosaurs, then there was the web. Then there was cgi scripting. Then there was perl and mod_perl which solved the performance issues that came along with cgi scripting. For awhile, that was the best game in town (according to me :). PHP, though, came along with a breakthrough idea – mod_php was an everything in one install. Unlike mod_perl, mod_php gave you a programming language, templating language and extension all in one. Once you installed it, you started making your .php pages and everything just worked.
mod_perl on the other hand, gave you nonesuch. In addition to installing mod_perl, you needed to select your templating language out of a myriad of options, install that as well, pick a file extension, then configure your apache to do the right things to the right files. mod_perl, of course, gives you much more power than mod_php – since mod_perl provides full access to all levels of the Apache API. The thing is, though, that most people, most of the time just want to make web pages.
Another decent Real ID article I found.
If states do not comply to the Real ID act, or file paperwork for extension for compliance, then passengers will not be able to use there state issued ID for purposes of flying. Any state that continues to fight the Real ID act will find its citizens unable to fly with their state issues ID after May 1 of this year.
Think you have nothing to be concerned about? These states have actively passed legislation rejecting the Real ID act. These states include Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Maine, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee and Washington.
I’m sure the airlines, which is a PRIVATE industry, btw, will be thrilled to hear that the government is going to cut into their customer base in the name of national security.
But remember guys, this is for your safety.
But starting this May, states resisting the law will be penalized: Their driver’s licenses won’t be valid for air travel.
WASHINGTON — The Bush administration hit the brakes Friday on a controversial law requiring Americans to carry tamper-proof driver’s licenses, delaying its final implementation by five years, until 2017.
A number of states have balked at the law, objecting to it largely over cost and privacy concerns. But under the administration’s new edict, states that continue to fight compliance with the law face a penalty: Their residents will be forbidden from using driver’s licenses to board airplanes or enter federal buildings as of May 11 of this year.
Congress passed the Real ID law in 2005 to address security flaws spotlighted by the 2001 terrorist attacks. But 17 states, including Arizona, Colorado and Nevada, have passed legislation calling for its repeal or opposing its implementation.
“Come May 2008, [their] citizens . . . will feel the consequences” of the states’ resistance, Homeland Security Department spokesman Russ Knocke said Friday. To board a plane or enter a federal building, those residents will have to use a passport or other form of accepted identification, he said.
California is well on its way to compliance, Knocke said.
THE DARWIN AWARDS – January 2008
Announcing the new, the beloved, the 2007 DARWIN AWARD WINNERS!
” Named in honor of Charles Darwin, the father of evolution, the Darwin Awards commemorate those who improve our gene pool by accidentally removing themselves from it. ”
This was the year of the Squashed Darwin Award Winner. THREE
independent groups of people attempted to remove the supports
from beneath a barn, a water tower, and a heavy factory roof.
In all cases, the structures collapsed without their aptly-named
supports. Duh! This year brought us 16 jaw-droppping nominees,
not counting new nominees for previous years and Near Misses
(AKA Honorable Mentions) which I will cover in the next ish.
Enjoy the stories of the winners… and be glad you’re not one!
Long story shorts now banned from attending CES. They walked around and turned off people’s tvs during presentations. Sucks to be a gadget blog banned from CES.
Click the link below to view the video Gizmodo made of their mischief.
CES has no shortage of displays. And when MAKE offered us some TV-B-Gone clickers to bring to the show, we pretty much couldn’t help ourselves. We shut off a TV. And then another. And then a wall of TVs. And we just couldn’t stop. (And Panasonic, you’re so lucky that 150-incher didn’t have an active IR port.) It was too much fun, but watching this video, we realize it probably made some people’s jobs harder, and I don’t agree with that (Especially Motorola). We’re sorry.
New updates from Fsckin’. I know exactly where this guy is coming from. My girlfriend uses Fedora.
About 2 months ago, I convinced my girlfriend to try out Linux for a month after a really nasty bit of spyware infected her computer. This isnâ€™t a bash on Microsoft, but it happened twice in about a month.
Unfortunately, a roommate who pays a portion of the internet bill (and thus welcome to use the computer, which is located in the living room) likes to browse nefarious websites, Iâ€™ll let you speculate what type of websites he visits. Browsing those kind of sites by itself is completely fine by me, as long as it doesnâ€™t fsck up the computer. The spyware/adware/etcware attracting behaviors of the roommate got some nasty sh!t on the computer – TWICE in a month. I tried to get everyone in the house to use Firefox, and that went over well.
Even if the shady websites are surfed upon using Firefox, if you install software from said websites, itâ€™s all over anyways. I canâ€™t help stupid user syndrome. Quite simply, I had enough at that point, Iâ€™m sure as hell not going to backup, fdisk, format and reinstall Windows every two weeks. Plus, I really donâ€™t want to have that uncomfortable conversation with the roommate about his online behaviors, to be honest.
Push came to shove, and my girlfriend let me install the operating system of my choosing, since I would be the one supporting it.
Continuing in the day of Linux software releases, is version 0.9.53 of Wine, a free implementation of Windows on Unix.
What’s new in this release:
- RunOnce and Run entries now executed on startup.
- Beginnings of support for emulated disk devices.
- Many Richedit improvements.
- Nicer looking color dialog.
- Lots of bug fixes.
With the fourth major version, the KDE Community marks the beginning of the KDE 4 era.
The KDE Community is thrilled to announce the immediate availability of KDE 4.0. This significant release marks both the end of the long and intensive development cycle leading up to KDE 4.0 and the beginning of the KDE 4 era.
The KDE 4 Libraries have seen major improvements in almost all areas. The Phonon multimedia framework provides platform independent multimedia support to all KDE applications, the Solid hardware integration framework makes interacting with (removable) devices easier and provides tools for better power management.
The KDE 4 Desktop has gained some major new capabilities. The Plasma desktop shell offers a new desktop interface, including panel, menu and widgets on the desktop as well as a dashboard function. KWin, the KDE Window manager, now supports advanced graphical effects to ease interaction with your windows.
Lots of KDE Applications have seen improvements as well. Visual updates through vector-based artwork, changes in the underlying libraries, user interface enhancements, new features, even new applications — you name it, KDE 4.0 has it. Okular, the new document viewer and Dolphin, the new file manager are only two applications that leverage KDE 4.0′s new technologies.
The Oxygen Artwork team provides a breath of fresh air on the desktop. Nearly all the user-visible parts of the KDE desktop and applications have been given a facelift. Beauty and consistency are two of the basic concepts behind Oxygen.
Essential vocabulary additions for the workplace (and elsewhere)!!!
1. BLAMESTORMING: Sitting around in a group, discussing why a deadline was missed or a project failed, and who was responsible.
2. SEAGULL MANAGER: A manag er, wh o flies in, makes a lot of noise, craps on everything, and then leaves.
3. ASSMOSIS: The process by which some people seem to absorb success and advancement by kissing up to the boss rather than working hard
4. SALMON DAY: The experience of spending an entire day swimming upstream only to get screwed and die in the end.
5. CUBE FARM : An office filled with cubicles.