Linux fréttir

UK celebrates 25 years of wasteful, 'underperforming' government IT projects

TheRegister - Fri, 2021-07-23 09:15
National Audit Office's scathing report blames fails on lack of experience

Government IT projects are poorly thought out, often fail to achieve what they're designed to do, and are a waste of taxpayers' money.…

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Is it broken yet? Is it? Is it? Ooh that means I can buy a sparkly, new but otherwise hard-to-justify replacement!

TheRegister - Fri, 2021-07-23 08:30
I may consider offering you cash to break it for me

Something for the Weekend, Sir? Something is wrong with my eyes. Hang on, no, it's my display that's gone smeary. This is great news.…

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Tech support scams subside somewhat, but Millennials and Gen Z think they're bulletproof and suffer

TheRegister - Fri, 2021-07-23 07:54
Microsoft study says India is most susceptible, other studies suggest the USA cops it most

Tech support scam attempts dropped in frequency over the past two years, but remain a threat. And Millennials and Gen Z – not Boomers – fall prey most frequently, according to Microsoft in its 2021 Global Tech Support Scam Research report, released Thursday.…

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Exsparko-destructus! What happens when wand waving meets extremely poor wiring

TheRegister - Fri, 2021-07-23 07:30
You killed my data centre, prepare to die

On Call Welcome to another edition of On Call in which a contractor's shonky job and a guard's Jedi-like abilities result in an impromptu pager party.…

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Even Facebook struggles: Zuck's titanic database upgrade hits numerous legacy software bergs

TheRegister - Fri, 2021-07-23 07:01
The Social Network™ has spent years trying to hop from MySQL 5.6 to 8.0 and still isn’t done

Facebook has had all sorts of no fun trying to migrate from MySQL 5.6 to version 8.0.…

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Researchers Hid Malware Inside An AI's 'Neurons' And It Worked Scarily Well

Slashdot - Fri, 2021-07-23 07:00
According to a new study, malware can be embedded directly into the artificial neurons that make up machine learning models in a way that keeps them from being detected. The neural network would even be able to continue performing its set tasks normally. Motherboard reports: "As neural networks become more widely used, this method will be universal in delivering malware in the future," the authors, from the University of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, write. Using real malware samples, their experiments found that replacing up to around 50 percent of the neurons in the AlexNet model -- a benchmark-setting classic in the AI field -- with malware still kept the model's accuracy rate above 93.1 percent. The authors concluded that a 178MB AlexNet model can have up to 36.9MB of malware embedded into its structure without being detected using a technique called steganography. Some of the models were tested against 58 common antivirus systems and the malware was not detected. Other methods of hacking into businesses or organizations, such as attaching malware to documents or files, often cannot deliver malicious software en masse without being detected. The new research, on the other hand, envisions a future where an organization may bring in an off-the-shelf machine learning model for any given task (say, a chat bot, or image detection) that could be loaded with malware while performing its task well enough not to arouse suspicion. According to the study, this is because AlexNet (like many machine learning models) is made up of millions of parameters and many complex layers of neurons including what are known as fully-connected "hidden" layers. By keeping the huge hidden layers in AlexNet completely intact, the researchers found that changing some other neurons had little effect on performance. According to the paper, in this approach the malware is "disassembled" when embedded into the network's neurons, and assembled into functioning malware by a malicious receiver program that can also be used to download the poisoned model via an update. The malware can still be stopped if the target device verifies the model before launching it, according to the paper. It can also be detected using "traditional methods" like static and dynamic analysis. "Today it would not be simple to detect it by antivirus software, but this is only because nobody is looking in there," cybersecurity researcher and consultant Dr. Lukasz Olejnik told Motherboard. Olejnik also warned that the malware extraction step in the process could also risk detection. Once the malware hidden in the model was compiled into, well, malware, then it could be picked up. It also might just be overkill.

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Struggling to define the best metric system for your engineering team?

TheRegister - Fri, 2021-07-23 06:30
Boost your morale, business and velocity with this exclusive broadcast

Webcast What’s the most important metric for your engineering team? Is it the number of application deployments they make, or the overall failure rate?…

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BT tries to crack cyber crime, grabs stake in Safe Security

TheRegister - Fri, 2021-07-23 05:56
Spends £££ on Silicon Valley cyber risk management firm

BT is looking to cash in on ever-growing global concerns over digital crime, and has confirmed making a multi million pound investment in US-based cyber risk management firm Safe Security.…

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Alan Turing Institute to spend £60m from UK.gov on AI for air traffic control and banking

TheRegister - Fri, 2021-07-23 05:27
Turns out the skies can be the limit for machine learning

The UK government will, to the tune of £60m, bankroll two major research projects led by the country’s national institute for AI, the Alan Turing Institute: one to automate air traffic control, and the other for banking services.…

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India changes tack and tenders for public-private partnerships to complete national broadband rollout

TheRegister - Fri, 2021-07-23 04:30
Tender issued to wire 361,000 thousand more villages, with $2.5bn subsidies dangled

India has issued tenders for a public-private partnership intended to connect another 361,000 villages to the nation's BharatNet fibre optic network.…

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Google Turns AlphaFold Loose On the Entire Human Genome

Slashdot - Fri, 2021-07-23 03:30
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: Just one week after Google's DeepMind AI group finally described its biology efforts in detail, the company is releasing a paper that explains how it analyzed nearly every protein encoded in the human genome and predicted its likely three-dimensional structure -- a structure that can be critical for understanding disease and designing treatments. In the very near future, all of these structures will be released under a Creative Commons license via the European Bioinformatics Institute, which already hosts a major database of protein structures. In a press conference associated with the paper's release, DeepMind's Demis Hassabis made clear that the company isn't stopping there. In addition to the work described in the paper, the company will release structural predictions for the genomes of 20 major research organisms, from yeast to fruit flies to mice. In total, the database launch will include roughly 350,000 protein structures. [...] At some point in the near future (possibly by the time you read this), all this data will be available on a dedicated website hosted by the European Bioinformatics Institute, a European Union-funded organization that describes itself in part as follows: "We make the world's public biological data freely available to the scientific community via a range of services and tools." The AlphaFold data will be no exception; once the above link is live, anyone can use it to download information on the human protein of their choice. Or, as mentioned above, the mouse, yeast, or fruit fly version. The 20 organisms that will see their data released are also just a start. DeepMind's Demis Hassabis said that over the next few months, the team will target every gene sequence available in DNA databases. By the time this work is done, over 100 million proteins should have predicted structures. Hassabis wrapped up his part of the announcement by saying, "We think this is the most significant contribution AI has made to science to date." It would be difficult to argue otherwise. Further reading: Google details its protein-folding software, academics offer an alternative (Ars Technica)

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Kaseya obtains REvil decryptor, starts sharing it with afflicted customers

TheRegister - Fri, 2021-07-23 02:15
Users sent two further updates – one fixing an issue that prevented installation of antivirus software

Software-for-services providers business Kaseya has obtained a "universal decryptor key" for the REvil ransomware and is delivering it to clients.…

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China Plans To Build the World's First Waterless Nuclear Reactor

Slashdot - Fri, 2021-07-23 02:02
AltMachine shares a report from Interesting Engineering: Government researchers in China unveiled their design for a commercial molten salt nuclear reactor that is expected to be the first in the world to not utilize water for cooling. As the reactor won't need water it can be deployed in desert regions, allowing operators to utilize otherwise desolate spaces in order to provide energy for large populations. The molten salt reactor is powered by liquid thorium instead of uranium. Molten salt reactors are expected to be safer than traditional uranium nuclear reactors, as thorium cools and solidifies quickly in the open air, meaning that a leak would theoretically result in less radiation contamination for the surrounding environment. China expects to build its first commercial molten salt reactor by 2030, and the country's government has long-term plans to build several of the reactors in the deserts of central and western China. China's new system works by allowing thorium to flow through the reactor, enabling a nuclear chain reaction before transferring the heat to a steam generator outside. The thorium is then returned to the reactor, and the cycle repeats. The concept of a nuclear reactor powered by liquid salt instead of uranium was first devised in the 1940s. However, early experiments struggled to find a solution for problems including the corrosion and cracking of pipes used to transport the molten salts. The reactor "could generate up to 100MW" of energy and power about 100,000 homes, according to the report. "The reactor itself will only be 10 feet (3 meters) tall and 8 feet (2.5 meters) wide, though the power plant itself will be larger as it incorporates other equipment including steam turbines."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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Never mind the trolls, Discord hosts 'significant volumes of malware' in its CDN

TheRegister - Fri, 2021-07-23 01:32
Biz insists it's trying as hard as possible to scrub clean its IRC-for-the-2020s

Sophos on Thursday warned that internet instant-chat service Discord is becoming an increasingly popular malware distribution channel.…

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CIA Director Says He Is Escalating Efforts To Solve 'Havana Syndrome' Mystery

Slashdot - Fri, 2021-07-23 01:25
CIA Director William Burns says he has redoubled the agency's efforts to uncover the cause of Havana syndrome -- the mysterious set of ailments that has afflicted more than 200 U.S. officials and family members around the world. NPR reports: That includes the assignment of a senior officer who once led the hunt for Osama bin Laden to lead the investigation and tripling the size of a medical team involved in the probe, Burns told NPR on Thursday in his first sit-down interview since being confirmed as the agency's chief in March. "I am absolutely determined -- and I've spent a great deal of time and energy on this in the four months that I've been CIA director -- to get to the bottom of the question of what and who caused this," Burns said. "We're no longer the only big kid on the geopolitical block, especially with the rise of China. And as you know very well, there's a revolution in technology which is transforming the way we live, work, compete and fight. And so, CIA, like everyone else in the U.S. government, has to take that into account," he said. Under Burns' direction, the CIA has tripled the number of full-time medical personnel at the agency who are focused on Havana syndrome and has shortened the waiting period for afflicted personnel to be admitted to the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. "I'm certainly persuaded that what our officers and some family members, as well as other U.S. government employees, have experienced is real, and it's serious," Burns said. The director says he is seriously considering the "very strong possibility" that the syndrome is the result of intentional actions, adding that there are a limited number of "potential suspects" with the capability to carry out an action so widely across the globe. A report from last December by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine found that microwave radiation is the "most plausible" explanation for the symptoms. To head the task force investigating the syndrome, Burns has appointed a veteran officer who helped lead the hunt for Osama bin Laden. The identity of that officer is still undercover, according to The Wall Street Journal. "We're throwing the very best we have at this issue, because it is not only a very serious issue for our colleagues, as it is for others across the U.S. government, but it's a profound obligation, I think, of any leader to take care of your people," Burns said. The syndrome first appeared in 2016 at the U.S. Embassy in Havana, where more than 40 diplomats complained of symptoms such as migraines, dizziness, and memory loss. Dozens more cases have been reported in the years since. Last week, about two dozen U.S. intelligence officers, diplomats, and other government officials in Vienna have reported experiencing mysterious afflictions similar to the Havana Syndrome." The Biden administration is "vigorously investigating" the reports, but the causes of the syndrome still remain unclear.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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Mercedes-Benz To Go All-Electric By 2030

Slashdot - Fri, 2021-07-23 00:45
Mercedes-Benz maker Daimler plans to invest more than 40 billion euros, or $47 billion, between 2022 and 2030 to develop battery-electric vehicles, and be ready for an all-electric car market by 2030. NBC News reports: Outlining its strategy for an electric future, the German luxury carmaker said on Thursday it would, with partners, build eight battery plants as it ramps up EV production, and that from 2025 all new vehicle platforms would only make electric cars. "We really want to go for it ... and be dominantly, if not all electric, by the end of the decade," Chief Executive Ola Kallenius told Reuters, adding that spending on traditional combustion-engine technology would be "close to zero" by 2025. However, Daimler stopped short of giving a hard deadline for ending sales of fossil-fuel cars. Daimler said that as of 2025, it expects electric and hybrid electric cars to make up 50 percent of sales, earlier than its previous forecast that this would happen by 2030. The carmaker will unveil three electric platforms -- one to cover its range of passenger cars and SUVs, one for vans and one for high-performance vehicles -- that will be launched in 2025. Four of its new battery plants will be in Europe and one in the United States. Daimler said it would announce new European partners for its battery production plans soon.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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Activision Blizzard accused by California watchdog of fostering 'frat boy' culture, fatally toxic atmosphere

TheRegister - Fri, 2021-07-23 00:29
Games giant pushes back on claims of poor pay, harassment, and more in discrimination lawsuit

California's Department of Fair Employment and Housing on Thursday sued Activision Blizzard and its subsidiaries, alleging the company fostered a "frat boy" culture that led to lower pay for female employees, sex and race discrimination, and sexual harassment.…

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MITRE Updates List of Top 25 Most Dangerous Software Bugs

Slashdot - Fri, 2021-07-23 00:02
An anonymous reader quotes a report from BleepingComputer: MITRE has shared this year's top 25 list of most common and dangerous weaknesses plaguing software throughout the previous two years. MITRE developed the top 25 list using Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE) data from 2019 and 2020 obtained from the National Vulnerability Database (NVD) (roughly 27,000 CVEs). "A scoring formula is used to calculate a ranked order of weaknesses that combines the frequency that a CWE is the root cause of a vulnerability with the projected severity of its exploitation," MITRE explained. "This approach provides an objective look at what vulnerabilities are currently seen in the real world, creates a foundation of analytical rigor built on publicly reported vulnerabilities instead of subjective surveys and opinions, and makes the process easily repeatable." MITRE's 2021 top 25 bugs are dangerous because they are usually easy to discover, have a high impact, and are prevalent in software released during the last two years. They can also be abused by attackers to potentially take complete control of vulnerable systems, steal targets' sensitive data, or trigger a denial-of-service (DoS) following successful exploitation. The list [here] provides insight to the community at large into the most critical and current software security weaknesses.

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Be careful what you inline: Defunct video-hosting domain used to inject smut flicks into news articles, more

TheRegister - Thu, 2021-07-22 23:30
From vid.me to f&*% me?!

The domain name of a now-defunct website used by news publishers and others to inline videos in articles has been configured to inject porn into those pages.…

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Autonomy Founder Mike Lynch Can Be Extradited To US

Slashdot - Thu, 2021-07-22 23:20
The founder of UK software firm Autonomy can be extradited to the US to face charges of conspiracy and fraud, a London court has said. The BBC reports: Mike Lynch sold Autonomy to US computer giant Hewlett Packard (HP) for $11 billion in 2011. He denies allegations that he fraudulently inflated the value of Autonomy before the sale. Dr Lynch has been facing civil charges at the High Court in London, where HP is suing him for damages over the deal. But separately, the US Department of Justice (DoJ) is pursuing criminal charges against him. Judge Michael Snow said he would deliver his ruling in that action without awaiting the civil verdict, saying it was "of limited significance in the case." Dr Lynch was released on bail by the judge in London. Dr Lynch told BBC Radio 4's Today program that the decision was not unexpected, because of the terms of the extradition treaty the UK has with the US. "We have this imbalance and this default extradition treaty which can be used [in] any dispute that's going on with American companies and their interests." "The insanity of this extradition treaty [is that] it doesn't rely on any facts," he suggested. Dr Lynch added that he felt the extradition treaty was "imbalanced" and that the British public did not realize that the US justice system works entirely differently to the UK's. He said it was "particularly egregious" that the DoJ was not waiting to see the full judgement from the UK High Court, which will be due in nine weeks' time. He claimed his former chief financial officer Sushovan Hussain, who was jailed for five years in 2019, did not receive a fair trial. Dr Lynch said no defense witnesses turned up to Mr Hussain's trial because they were told they would be arrested if they entered the US. His lawyer Mr Morvillo said:"At the request of the US Department of Justice, the court has ruled that a British citizen who ran a British company listed on the London Stock Exchange should be extradited to America over allegations about his conduct in the UK. "We say this case belongs in the UK. If the home secretary nonetheless decides to order extradition, Dr Lynch intends to appeal."

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