* Posts by Remy Redert

352 posts • joined 2 Mar 2007

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Radar missile decoys will draw enemy missiles away from RAF jets

Remy Redert

Re: Security by melting?

The answer is that flares are getting pretty ineffective. Lots of flares can still generate a big enough signature to just straight up blind an IR guided missile, increasing the chances of it missing by enough to not kill your airplane.

Chaff remains somewhat effective by the same principle. Your radar signature becomes so big and indistinct, it's hard for the missile to actually get close enough to kill your plane.

Any active decoy will very quickly run into the same problem flares ran into. Weapons will get smart enough to disregard a return that suddenly goes ballistic and chase the one that didn't go ballistic instead.

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You call it 'hacking.' I call it 'investigation'

Remy Redert

Re: Counter productive

Is there any way for them to verify the Nth character of the password without having the password stored in the clear somewhere? If so, is there any point changing the password regularly when it's being stored in the clear on the bank's side and thus available for hackers anyways?

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Facebook image-tagging to be tested in Californian court

Remy Redert

Re: vote with your feet

Don't worry, Facebook will still tag you in any photos someone else puts on Facebook, even if you don't have an account. Just like they'll use their tracking cookies on everyone.

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The case for ethical ad-blocking

Remy Redert

Re: When is ad-blocking ethical?

Blocking ads from the same server is usually simple as well. Strip all flash. That just leaves you with (mostly) static ads which are usually unobtrusive. If the host makes those an annoyance as well, time to find another place for your content.

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Oculus Rift review-gasm round-up: The QT on VR

Remy Redert

Re: Having tried the Rift

The problem quoted was of course the cable between the head and the computer. But if the cable was between your head and something else you're wearing, you wouldn't have any of the tangling issues.

Given that capability, we can stick all the heavy crap (batteries, wireless gear, etc.) into a nice pack we belt around your waist. Cable up from there up your back to your head. We don't have to worry about it getting tangled because your arms don't normally reach there and you can't spin your head 360 degrees anyways. Now we've got much less of a problem with battery mass.

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BOFH: This laptop has ceased to be. And it's pub o'clock soon

Remy Redert

Re: Quibblage

As soon as you smash either laptop into rubble, it stops being a laptop. Since it is no longer a laptop, its state is irrelevant.

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Lithium ion batteries banned from passenger aircraft holds

Remy Redert

Re: Lithium ion batteries banned from passenger aircraft holds

If those boxes will withstand the worst case failure of those batteries and the plane can fly on without them, then the risk of a battery fire goes from "May down aircraft" to "Occasionally have to replace burnt out battery".

You can of course take the same approach wrt to shipping lithium batteries. Put them in a container that will safely withstand a worst case failure and the worst thing that can happen is after removing the container from the aircraft, its contents burst into flame when the container is opened.

Of course the reason Boeing didn't do that in the first place is because such containers are heavy and the same applies to the reason this isn't being done when shipping batteries

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Shopping for PCs? This is what you'll be offered in 2016

Remy Redert

Based on converting a few dozen machines of various ages from Windows to Linux over the last few months, I'd say 50/50 odds of any random machine working immediately, 90/10 of it downloading the necessary drivers when given a (wired) internet connection.

The few exceptions were generally easily fixed, but that does require some knowledge and/or Google.

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Ground control to Major Tim! Brit's spacewalk halted after NASA 'naut takes unexpected leak

Remy Redert

Re: Tasting water?

Oooh, that one's simple. There's nothing liquid in the suit besides water and possibly small amounts of urine (if you forgot to relieve yourself before suiting up). Similarly, there's nothing in there that is toxic in small amounts. Hence, tasting any liquid released inside the suit is safe enough. In the worst case scenario, it's a mild base and tastes really bad.

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Evil OpenSSH servers can steal your private login keys to other systems – patch now

Remy Redert

Re: Private key on the server??? @John Robson

Because nothing needs to be implemented on the server. It's just the client keeping your key in memory so that if the connection is dropped for any reason, the client can automatically reestablish the connection without bothering the user about it. If the drop is short enough, the user might not even know his connection was dropped.

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Man goes to collect stolen-car court docs found in stolen car in stolen car

Remy Redert

Too dumb to live, would be very appropriate here wouldn't it?

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Microsoft Edges bets on browser-only Skype

Remy Redert

It might just be me bring cynical, but it occurs to me that abolishing plugins also handily gets rid of such plugins as no script, adblock and all its other varieties that help put control over the browser in the hands of the user.

If I don't get to control what does and doesn't run in my browser, I'm not going to use your browser.

As an excellent example,vcertain advertisers have gotten wise to the fact that unmodified Chrome auto-runs embedded html5 video, while flash and its ilk are click to run. However I couldn't see any option to do the same to all videos. As a result I'm now finally running adblock again having earlier gotten rid of it and filtering by blocking flash content instead.

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US to stage F-35-versus-Warthog bake-off in 2018

Remy Redert

Re: Ultimate CAS

Stealth is a disadvantage in Wild Weasel as the enemy has to see you to shoot at you and they have to think they have a shot at you in order for them activate their SAMs and give you a target to shoot at. Most of the modern electronics of the F-35 are designed for air to air work. A decent radar warning system is all a drone would need and those aren't that expensive, especially when you want to build hundreds if not thousands of them.

Shoot first missions are done more and more by cruise missiles and drones because we don't want to risk pilot's lives by flying them into heavy air defense. The F-35 is insufficiently stealthy to pull this off reliably anyways so you'd have to turn to B-2s.

The reason we worry about survival chances in SEAD missions is because they're flown by pilots and pilots are worth a lot more than their aircraft to us. Drones are unmanned, nobody cares if a few million dollars worth of drones gets shot down to kill tens of millions worth of SAM sites. Using drones in SEAD is a simple numbers game, can I afford to throw drones at your defenses, even when I'm losing multiple drones per site I kill? Do I have enough drones to saturate your defenses and force you to shut down or lose them all?

If it comes to that kind of numbers game, Western powers vs the kind of threat we've been fighting, insurgents and Middle eastern dictators, the bad guys don't stand a chance. And that tactic isn't limited just to them, it works just as well against the Russians and the Chinese, the only difference is that if you want to use this against the Russians and the Chinese, you'll need to either go all out and bring drones equipped for air to air missions and shoot everything that's not yours or you'll need to bring your own air superiority planes to keep the enemy from using their planes to hunt your drones.

And if you're using drones as decoys, then you'll want something that can carry lots of ordnance to back them up. F-18s or F-16s, perhaps after another modernization program, are perfectly capable of the job, can carry more ordnance further and longer than the F-35 and can outfight it up close where it matters.

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Remy Redert

Re: Ultimate CAS

Except that if your enemy has long anti-air capability, the F-35 in its CAS role is just as vulnerable. What you need then is good ol' Wild weasel and general SEAD missions. The F-35's stealth if it works is a disadvantage in these missions and besides, drones can do it better.

Send up some drones to circle a battlefield at moderate altitude. Equip them with a mix of laser or optically guided and anti-radiation missiles. Shoot anything with a radar and anything that launches missiles in their direction.

Keep that up for a few days and now you can fly your A-10s again as the enemy either no longer has SAMs or is too scared to use them effectively.

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'Fix these Windows 10 Horrors': Readers turn their guns on Redmond

Remy Redert

Re: No Control of Updating

Yes. You can disable driver updates. After Microsoft pushed a dud Nvidia driver that broke every computer with an Nvidia videocard for a few days until Microsoft fixed it, except for those people who happen to know that's there's a tool hidden away on Microsoft's website that allows you to roll back an update that broke your computer. Temporarily of course.

Sometimes I don't want to defer an update, I want to NEVER get it. The 95% of the Windows users who need forced updates probably don't know how to turn the automatic updates off in the first place.

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Jeep drivers can be HACKED to DEATH: All you need is the car's IP address

Remy Redert

Re: I beg to differ

Step 1) Locate the antenna used for wireless connectivity

Step 2) Snip the wires leading to it.

Your vehicle's connectivity is now permanently disabled. Enjoy.

If you have GPS, it probably has another antenna for that, which being receive only you may not want to mess with unless you're extremely paranoid.

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Microsoft to Windows 10 consumers: You'll get updates LIKE IT or NOT

Remy Redert

Re: Seems reasonable

If this applied only to security updates it might conceivably, with the right settings, be acceptable. Since it applies to all updates, with me currently having to block several of those on my machine because they break things, I would have to resort to blacklisting IP addresses to stop any updates from happening.

Unless they backpedal on this and allow me to both roll back and prevent reinstallation of patches that break things, I will not touching Windows10.

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Malfunctioning Russian supply podule EXPLODES above Pacific

Remy Redert

It actually wouldn't. The bottom couple of kilometers would come down, the rest would burn up on reentry or go shooting out into deep space, depending on where it gets cut. Everything above the cut goes zipping off into deep space, everything below falls back into the atmosphere. Everything above ~50km is going to end up going fast enough to burn up on in the atmosphere.

You'd need to put the tether at the equator, so you'd probably attach it to a large floating platform. Attach some thrusters and you've got some rudimentary maneuverability to avoid collisions in the first place.

A severed orbital elevator would be very expensive, but it's not going to cause any serious damage back on Earth.

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App makers, you're STILL doing security wrong

Remy Redert

Re: Security!=privacy

It's nice to think PayPal is collecting this information for security reasons, until you realise that your browser on both PC and phone don't leak this info and can be made to appear however you like. I expect that a lot of use of PayPal still goes through said browser.

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Sony tells hacked gamer to pay for crooks' abuse of PlayStation account

Remy Redert

This is pretty much what I did when I had a dispute with Steam. Purchased a game, found it was utterly and completely broken and unplayable, contacted their support to get my money back. They of course refused, so I contacted my bank to get my money back.

Steam blocked the account, I threatened to sue for the value of everything on the account, plus costs and damages. A few days later the account was unblocked and the offending game and related charges were gone.

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Microsoft RE-BORKS Windows 7 patch after reboot loop horror

Remy Redert

Re: Oops!

I have my system similarly configured, but for some reason some updates get auto-installed anyways. I've now added the relevant update servers to my hosts file and the router's blacklist. There will be no more updating or getting update information without my actions.

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FCC says cities should be free to run decent ISPs. And Republicans can't stand it

Remy Redert

Infrastructure

Some might say that in the world we now live in, the internet is infrastructure. And who is responsible for a lot of that? Governments. It seems that allowing a local government to roll out infrastructure and then wholesale it to commercial ISPs sounds like a good plan. The local government runs the local infrastructure, various ISPs rent capacity to service their customers.

Big ISPs, little ISPs, they've all got the same chance to compete with that setup. Of course the big ISPs won't like that because the little ISPs can and will compete them out of the local markets with lower prices (through lower overheads) and quite probably better customer service.

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Facebook sad-nav: How to put depressed chums on internet suicide watch

Remy Redert

Re: Erm...

It seems to be the exact opposite. Instead of a machine reading all your friend's posts and giving you a warning if they're feeling depressed/suicidal, which is very much abusable, this is a button YOU can press if YOU think your friend is feeling depressed/suicidal, which prompts Facebook to have a look at that person's recent history and offer help to the depressed/suicidal person.

This means that there's no machine reading of your posts because your friend signed up to something (Okay, Facebook, there's machine reading of your posts anyways) and your 'friends' aren't be alerted by Facebook. Abusing this feature would be a lot harder because presumably if a malicious party started reporting random/harmless things, they'd just get banned and if you make a fake account under someone's name to make them look suicidal, well, you could already do that just fine, this function doesn't change anything about that.

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SSL-busting adware: US cyber-plod open fire on Comodo's PrivDog

Remy Redert

Let's be fair here. Implemented properly a local mitm does not need to constitute a security risk. But the software doing it needs check the validity of certificates and either block untrusted ones and inform the user or pass untrusted certificates straight to the browser for it to handle.

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iBank: RBS, NatWest first UK banks to allow Apple Touch ID logins

Remy Redert

Re: Not smart.

Step 1) Talcum powder or similar over the screen, backside of the phone and any other items that are liable to have fingerprints.

Step 2) Sticky tape over now visible fingerprints.

Step 3) Sticky tape on scanner. You now have a digital copy of the fingerprint. Depending on the quality, some touch up may be required.

Step 4) Depending on technology, you can now print the fingerprint to paper (This still fools many fingerprint readers!) Or use 3d printing to make a mold.

Step 5) If you used 3d printing, fill the mold with a suitable gel. It will take a few hours to set. Skip this step if your targeted fingerprint reader can be fooled with printouts.

Step 6) Use fingerprint.

Total cost in equipment for printout fingerprints? A few bucks for the talcum and sticky tape. You probably already have the computer and scanner.

Total cost for the equipment for proper fingerprints is a few thousand bucks for the 3d printer, which is reusable and a few dollars per mold.

Depending on the quality of your mold and gel, you can get fingerprints thin enough to apply to your finger directly, making it difficult for others to notice that you're not using your own prints to log in. This is a moot point for the phone app as you do not need to use it near anybody, you can log in at home and transfer money at will.

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Boffins now one step closer to male birth control pill

Remy Redert

Re: And the IT angle

Both sides can take contraceptives. No more need to authenticate that Alice has been taking the pill, if you know you've been taking yours and the other way around.

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Enough is ENOUGH: It's time to flush Flash back to where it came from – Hell

Remy Redert

I have good news for you! While Chrome bundles Flash and enables it by default, it IS possible to turn it off completely.

To do this, go to settings > Privacy > content settings. There you can either block ALL plug-ins by default, or you can click the link below to disable individual plugins. Click that link, scroll down to Flash, click disable.

Your machine is now Flash free as far as the internet is concerned, since Chrome will no longer load the Flash libraries.

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Fill 'er up: 'Leccy car firm Tesla brings back PUMP SERVICE

Remy Redert

Re: They still do this in Europe

Too many cases of a pump attendant filling a diesel up with gasoline, or the increasing use of diesel for trucks?

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Judge kills Facebook's bid to dismiss private message sniffing case

Remy Redert

Re: Similarities

Quite similar, except that Google led with the fact that they would do so and Facebook buried it deep in their T&Cs. If they had been up front about it, the judge would have probably dismissed the suit.

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Renewable energy 'simply WON'T WORK': Top Google engineers

Remy Redert

Re: I seem to remember

Do you drive a car? Would you like to have food today? Where do you think the energy came from to build your pump, your solar panel and dig the hole for the ground source heat pump to work?

With a lot of efficiency improvements, many homes could have their power supplied by renewables. But the power to build those homes, make those efficient improvements, install the renewables, transport people and goods and produce those goods and food? That's a vastly larger amount that renewables have no chance to support whatsoever.

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Happy 2nd birthday, Windows 8 and Surface: Anatomy of a disaster

Remy Redert

Re: Snatching defeat from the jaws of victory...

That does sound hard. Of course the last time I tried to install Firefox on a Linux machine (Gentoo) about 5 years ago, I opened the program manager, selected browsers and clicked Firefox at which point it duly informed me that it would also install a few prerequisites for me and please enter your password here to complete the install.

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Trips to Mars may be OFF: The SUN has changed in a way we've NEVER SEEN

Remy Redert

Re: Nuclear

Actually, some decades ago some smart people got together and thought of the problems involved in running a nuclear reactor. They designed something called the NERVA (Nuclear Engine for Rocket Vehicle Applications). It got around the cooling problem by realising that most of the cooling was needed when the nuclear reactor was providing power for propulsion. Which it did in that design by heating an exhaust gas.

Then they realised that is something called Open Cycle cooling and while they still needed some fairly decent radiators to get rid of the waste heat generated when the reactor wasn't running, they could get away with far less than you'd need to cool the reactor under power.

Running the reactor in this manner doesn't get you as much D/V as using the reactor only for electrical power would, but it does simplify things. And no, the exhaust is not radioactive.

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Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know

Remy Redert

Re: Some interesting possibilities here...

1) Hardly, lift to weight ratios on the drones you'd use for this are pretty good.

2) On the ground, typically. Balconies, gardens, etc. You will probably be able to indicate where you want to meet the drone yourself.

3) Why would it knock when it can call your cell?

4) If you're ordering something by drone, the whole point was delivery in 30 minutes or less. You won't be out, because you're ordering this and you know it'll be with you in 30 minutes.

5) I'm not sure about this one, but probably millions of people, if the location of the Amazon distribution center nearest to me in Netherlands is any indication.

6) Blocks of flats tend have to have balconies, which many drones would be able to land packages on. They also tend to have open spaces nearby you could use instead.

7) Trees and birds are a total non-issue, they are highly visible on LIDAR, which is the most likely choice for collision avoidance. Powerlines and phone lines may be an issue if you live an area where these are common and for some reason not mapped in advance. It's not like powerlines move around a lot. Clotheslines would be a bigger threat, those aren't as easy to map and if there's nothing on them, their LIDAR return tends to be pretty small as well.

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MAC BOTNET uses REDDIT comments for directions

Remy Redert

Re: Good old reddit.

Merely searching for and blocking access to the server list wouldn't help disinfect the computers though. Better to mod edit the existing list to point at a machine controlled by white hats. Then take the CnC servers down. Now all the bots go looking for a new CnC server and connect to the white hat one, rendering them harmless and identifiable.

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NASA tests crazytech flying saucer thruster, could reach Mars in days

Remy Redert

Re: At last

Except they didn't get the same result on the control, the control produced significantly less thrust. Now that thrust on the control might be a measurement error, but the difference between control and experiment indicates something is going on. And it's not like this is the first time the experiment was tried.

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Major problems beset UK ISP filth filters: But it's OK, nobody uses them

Remy Redert

Re: Too broad

If only this technology was A) Opt-in and B) Easily circumvented with a VPN.

Oh wait, for most providers it IS opt-in. And until ISPs start blocking all VPNs (Never, too many (big) companies rely on their home users being able to use VPNs) it's easily circumvented if you enable the filter for your connection because you have, for example, young kids around the house.

And then you realise that if YOU can get around the filter with a VPN, so can they. So what was the point of blocking content at the ISP level again?

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China puts Windows 8 on TV, screams: 'SECURITY, GET IT OUT OF HERE!'

Remy Redert

Not forcing so much, but you'll find that Windows 8 does its best to get you to use Skydrive for all your documents, pictures, etc. And of course to do so you'll need an account. And yes, that data is going to the US and as we already know, the safe harbour agreements are meaningless.

As for 'attacks' on my network. Over the last few weeks it seems to be a pretty even split between Russia, the US, China and the rest of the world combined.

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'Maybe I'll go to Hell, but I think it's a good thing' says plastic Liberator gunsmith Cody Wilson

Remy Redert

Re: wouldn't it be easier...

As easy as it is to make guns, it's even easier to make the ammo. I could make propellant with just household chemicals and some glassware. Probably even without the glassware, though it might be quite as reliable. I could make primers with just household chemicals too, but I figure the types of explosives I can make with household chemicals alone probably wouldn't be very suitable. That said, the chemicals I would need to make good primers are quite common.

Casting bullets isn't hard either, especially if you're willing to settle for plain lead rounds. Jacketed rounds require a little extra work but even those aren't particularly hard. Milling the brass for the cartridges is about the only step that requires some serious equipment to do quickly and reliably, but again you can do it with just power tools and a little ingenuity.

Assembling the components into the final cartridge can be done without any special tools as well, though again having the right tools for the job makes things a fair bit easier and faster.

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Chinese patent app tries to own Wine on ARM

Remy Redert

Re: A waste of money

And in the real world meanwhile, the big company with patents takes the other companies to court and either wins by default when the other company can no longer afford to defend itself or settles with the other company for an undisclosed amount.

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China demands answers from US after 'I spy on one little Huawei' report

Remy Redert

Re: Seems strange...

So instead of Huawei building and designing your communications equipment that your defense and infrastructure rely on, you get a US company to design and build it. And then they outsource the designing to half a dozen different companies all working on different parts with little to no oversight and outsource the building to factories in, you guessed it, China.

So yeah, letting Cisco, Alcatel-Lucent or Juniper networks build your military or infrastructure critical gear in China sounds like the height of stupidity. It's also pretty much inevitable at this point and most first world countries cannot afford to build anywhere near the amount of infrastructure gear they need at home. Don't you just love low wage countries and capitalism?

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Boffins hose down fiery Li-ion batteries with industrial lubricant

Remy Redert

Re: Great up to 200 degrees C then what?

But does it matter for PFPE's use as an electrolyte? There's obviously sodium nitrate in Krytox, but will it be in PFPE mixes used for battery electrolytes? If it doesn't, then what it does is irrelevant because batteries won't contain any.

As for the gases it decomposes into, yes, nasty stuff. But if your battery is 300 degrees celcius your car is probably on fire and if your car is on fire, there are plenty of other materials in the car that emit nasty noxious fumes when they burn. At least with this electrolyte, your battery won't burst into flames at significantly lower temperatures.

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Obama reveals tiny NSA reforms ... aka reforming your view of the NSA

Remy Redert

Re: If you're not a terrorist, you have nothing to worry about

Oh. That one is easy. Terrorist and terrorism come from the word terror, about which the dictionary says the following:

1. intense, sharp, overmastering fear: to be frantic with terror.

2. an instance or cause of intense fear or anxiety; quality of causing terror: to be a terror to evildoers.

3. any period of frightful violence or bloodshed likened to the Reign of Terror in France.

4. violence or threats of violence used for intimidation or coercion; terrorism.

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Curiosity rover: While you humans were busy being hungover, this bot hit its 500th Martian day

Remy Redert

Re: Predictable

I don't know off hand what isotope its RTG is using, but I'm going to guess their design lifetime is based on wear and tear and mechanical failure, not the power supply. So they've got a pretty good idea of when it will fail based on power but they probably don't expect it to last as long as its RTG.

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You can't touch this: It's HAMR time for WD

Remy Redert

Re: 3Tb drives. Nice.

I have about 4tb of assorted files. Games, anime, movies, PDFs. The vast majority of which is entirely replaceable. My backups are a couple of gigabytes worth of hard to replace PDFs and personal files. RPG info, character sheets, etc.

If my HDD dies, it'll take an hour to reinstall Windows, another hour to get the software I use a lot and then I start reinstalling games and downloading anime I'd like to watch (again) over a period of weeks. Most of it just things I've watched and deemed good enough to watch again some time, so I leave it on the drive until I ran out of space and start deleting some of it.

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PlayStation 4 BLUE LIGHT OF DEATH blamed on power cords, TV sets, butterflies in China

Remy Redert

They mean "We didn't sanitize the return we get on the some of the HDMI version and capability requests, so a TV with a bad implementation can cause our console to crash"

Or perhaps they mean "Your TV isn't a Sony. Screw you!" It's probably the former though, where the problem actually is a 'TV compatibility issue'.

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SECRET draft copyright treaty LEAKED: Meet the Trans-Pacific Partnership

Remy Redert

The big companies will just hire expensive lawyers and tie you up in court for 10+ years, then settle for a few pennies if you've somehow managed to not go bankrupt first.

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Cubesats to go interplanetary with tiny plasma drives

Remy Redert

Re: Leaving orbit?

Not a rocket scientist, but at the altitude cubesats are normally released, drag should be minimal enough to boost out of orbit even with something as weak as a mini plasma drive.

Starting a little higher would add a good deal of effective delta V though, so a good idea if possible.

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Is it a BIRD? Is it a plane? Right first time – and she's in SPANDEX

Remy Redert

Re: "anything that doesn’t remote detonate, so a grenade launcher’s fine too"

I think you'll find that as a safety feature, grenades out of a grenade launcher will not doing any detonating between your feet (Or for that matter, anywhere within 10 to 20 meters from the point of launch).

For some reason they thought that was a really useful safety feature for a weapon they were going to hand to army grunts.

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NASA to flip ion engine's 'OFF' switch after brilliant 5.5 year burn

Remy Redert

Nuclear propulsion

If you want to go to Mars in a month, an ion drive isn't going to help all that much as it just doesn't have enough thrust. You're going to have to bring a nuclear thermal or a nuclear electric (VASIMR, for example) rocket to get the required combination of thrust and impulse.

You could theoretically build an electric rocket using a VASIMR or similar technology powered by solar panels but that would require some pretty damned large solar panels with all the requisite expenses and mass

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Look out, fanbois! EVIL charger will inject FILTH into your iPHONE

Remy Redert

Charge-only

I don't know how it works software/hardware wise, but Android allows you to set a default action on connecting. From what I've seen my computer is not aware of any device being connected when I switch to charge-only. Does it just ignore the data pins and dump anything from them straight to /dev/null?

If not, could a similar exploit be used against Android phones with the only mitigation being power-only USB cables? I guess at least Android (and Windows?) phones can mitigate it that way.

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