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Serious flaw in WPA2 protocol lets attackers intercept passwords and much more

Ars Technica - October 16, 2017 - 5:37am

(credit: Aurich Lawson / Thinkstock)

Researchers have disclosed a serious weakness in the WPA2 protocol that allows attackers within range of vulnerable device or access point to intercept passwords, e-mails, and other data presumed to be encrypted, and in some cases, to inject ransomware or other malicious content into a website a client is visiting.

The proof-of-concept exploit is called KRACK, short for Key Reinstallation Attacks. The research has been a closely guarded secret for weeks ahead of a coordinated disclosure that was scheduled for 8am Monday, East Coast time. A website disclosing the vulnerability said it affects the core WPA2 protocol itself and is effective against devices running Android, Linux, and OpenBSD, and to a lesser extent macOS and Windows, as well as MediaTek Linksys, and other types of devices. The site warned that attackers can exploit the flaw to decrypt a wealth of sensitive data that's normally encrypted by the nearly ubiquitous Wi-Fi encryption protocol.

"This can be abused to steal sensitive information such as credit card numbers, passwords, chat messages, emails, photos, and so on," researcher Mathy Vanhoef, of the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven in Belgium wrote. "The attack works against all modern protected Wi-Fi networks. Depending on the network configuration, it is also possible to inject and manipulate data. For example, an attacker might be able to inject ransomware or other malware into websites."

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​IBM debuts blockchain network for cross-border payments

ZDnet News - October 16, 2017 - 5:16am
The promise of digital currency is finally coming to maturity, IBM says, with its unique international payments network.

'Open sesame'... Subaru key fobs vulnerable, says engineer

The Register - October 16, 2017 - 4:55am
ONE, TWO, THREE, what are we incrementing FOUR? (Don't ask, we don't give a damn)

A Dutch electronics engineer reckons Japanese auto-maker Subaru isn't acting on a key-fob cloning vulnerability he discovered.…

'Cyber kangaroo' ratings for IoT security? Jump to it, says Australia's cyber security minister

The Register - October 16, 2017 - 4:02am
Proposed labelling scheme will try to match similar efforts in UK, USA

Australia's government hopes that somewhere in the world, a vendor of consumer-grade connected electronics is willing to admit it's rubbish at security by giving itself a low score in a proposed safety rating system.…

Visit the Upside Down with 'Stranger Things' board games - CNET - News - October 16, 2017 - 3:44am
Monopoly, Ouija and even Eggo Waffles are becoming spooky games based on the Netflix show.

WPA2 security in trouble as KRACK Belgian boffins tease key reinstallation bug

The Register - October 16, 2017 - 2:58am
Strap yourselves in readers, Wi-Fi may be cooked

Updated A promo for the upcoming Association for Computing Machinery security conference has set infosec types all a-Twitter over the apparent cryptographic death of the WPA2 authentication scheme widely used to secure Wi-Fi connections.…

Drone smacks commercial passenger plane in Canada

The Register - October 16, 2017 - 2:03am
Everyone safe, except drone pilot who ignored local rules

Canada's transport minster has told drone operators to stay away from airports after a remotely piloted craft bonked a passenger plane during its final approach to Jean Lesage International Airport in Québec City.…

Drone hits commercial aircraft over Canada - CNET - News - October 16, 2017 - 1:45am
Commentary: The Canadian Minister of Transport says the drone was flying out of legal limits.

Twitter to be 'aggressive' enforcer of new, stronger rules

The Register - October 16, 2017 - 1:10am
Grab some popcorn as we wait to see if @realdonaldtrump passes test of no hate symbols and glorifying violence

Twitter has reacted to last week's criticism arising from its suspension of actor actress Rose McGowan's account, after she strongly criticised alleged sex fiend Harvey Weinstein – by announcing it will soon implement and aggressively police new community standards.…

China congress: How authorities censor your thoughts

BBC Technology News - October 16, 2017 - 12:47am
The BBC's Stephen McDonell examines China's clampdown on free speech ahead of the party congress.

The dome which could help machines understand behaviour

BBC Technology News - October 16, 2017 - 12:46am
Made up of over 500 cameras, the Panoptic Studio captures motion without the use of markers.

How a girl who cannot speak got a unique voice

BBC Technology News - October 16, 2017 - 12:45am
New digital technology allows people without a voice to sound like themselves for the first time.

Sounds painful: Audio code bug lets users, apps get root on Linux

The Register - October 16, 2017 - 12:39am
Cisco discusses Advanced Linux Sound Architecture mess before formal CVE release

An advisory from Cisco issued last Friday, October 13th gave us the heads-up on a local privilege escalation vulnerability in the Advanced Linux Sound Architecture (ALSA).…

​Windows Subsystem for Linux graduates in Windows 10 Fall Creators Update

ZDnet News - October 15, 2017 - 11:33pm
Sysadmins and developers rejoice! WSL is now a fully fledged part of Windows 10, starting with the latest Fall Creators Update.

How Google turns your kids into little Google borgs - CNET - News - October 15, 2017 - 8:00pm
Commentary: Unlike all the other companies' assistants, Google's doesn't have a name. The result? Constant chanting of the company name.

Kellyanne Conway is terrifying as Kellywise the Clown on 'SNL' - CNET - News - October 15, 2017 - 4:35pm
Kate McKinnon plays the presidential advisor as the creepy sewer-dwelling creature from Stephen King's "It."

Apple gets a Harvey Weinstein joke on SNL - CNET - News - October 15, 2017 - 4:00pm
Commentary: As "Silicon Valley"'s Kumail Nanjiani hosts with a caustic monologue on Islamophobia, Apple's new emojis find bad company.

Google Home Mini review—A gateway drug for the Google Assistant

Ars Technica - October 15, 2017 - 3:00pm

Update: Earlier this week on October 11, we reviewed the new Google Home Mini—the company's entry point into its voice-controlled home assistant ecosystem. After some early users noted the device recording more than it should, Google has officially disabled its center touch point forever (in what seems like a minor disaster). As such, we've added this note to our original review, which otherwise appears unchanged below.

Ron Amadeo

How much can you slice away from a Google Home and have it still be good? That was the question asked of Google's hardware team when it created the Google Home Mini, a device that slashes the $129 Google Home down to a mere $50. The result is a smaller, cheaper, simpler device that still has all the Google Assistant smarts of its bigger brother without a speaker system capable of pumping out decent-sounding music. If you've ever wondered if this voice command stuff would work in your house and need a test device, Google is hoping you'll take a gamble on this cheap little device.

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Wonder Woman aside, fall’s origin stories include EVs, Dahmer, and Gilbert Gottfried

Ars Technica - October 15, 2017 - 2:00pm

AUSTIN, Texas—Standard film genres—horror, documentary, sci-fi, et al.—run rampant at Fantastic Fest, but subgenre niches also seem to emerge every outing. In 2016, the festival boasted multiple films about promotional film art, for instance, in addition to a treasure trove of animation styles.

In 2017, origin stories jumped off the schedule. The high-profile Professor Marston and the Wonder Women was the most prominent (our review to come, but it's worth it for those interested in explorations of societal forces in specific historic periods... or if you want the Finding Neverland of the Wonder Woman-universe). But that film was far from the only title taking audiences back to the beginning of a beloved (or at least notorious) cultural institution.

Fons PR / Fantastic Fest

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New Blade Runner VR game foretells a Sega CD-styled story revolution

Ars Technica - October 15, 2017 - 1:00pm

SAN JOSE, Calif.—In bad news, Blade Runner 2049: Memory Lab is not the kind of "VR film" that should have you rushing to purchase a high-end VR rig and exploring the edges of the Blade Runner universe. The dialogue and story are first-draft fluff. The acting is stilted. Its connections to the new film are tenuous at best. And the series-lore payoff is equivalent to a cartoon character opening a wallet to let a single fly buzz out.

So why talk about it at all? Because this 25-minute experience is the most polished execution of VR-for-film I've ever seen, and it may herald the true beginning of VR films with actual human actors.


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