* Posts by Frank Bitterlich

181 posts • joined 9 Nov 2007

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Download alert: Nearly ALL top 100 Android, iOS paid apps hacked

Frank Bitterlich
Childcatcher

Metrics?

I suspect that what they do is to scan the black app markets for anything malicious that uses the name or look of any of the top apps, and if they find one, voilá, "WhatsApp has been HACKED!!!111!!!"

Try to offset the actual number of malicious or really "hacked" instances of downloads to the total number of (legit) downloads of those top 100 apps, and come back when you have real numbers. Thank you.

I'll take that report for what it is: advertising disguised as a "press release."

15
2

Heatmiser digital thermostat users: For pity's sake, DON'T SWITCH ON the WI-FI

Frank Bitterlich
Alert

Re: Where are the crims?

Read the article again - it reveals the WiFi credentials.

1
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Malware gets your Android blabbering to HACKERS

Frank Bitterlich

Zero permissions?

I admit that I'm clueless when it comes to Android, but can a "zero permissions" app really initiate a phone call? If that is the case, then this Speak'n'Steal attack appears to be not the only security problem...?

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Voteware source code requester labelled 'vexatious'

Frank Bitterlich

"Freedom" of Information...

... funny what a name can do. Most "FOI" laws are actually the opposite - a means to prevent disclosure of information. It gives the public bodies a "tick all that apply" list of excuses on why it won't disclose anything. I wonder what judicial oversight is on this process; a potentially wrong election result vs. "commercial sensitivity" –– guess which one wins...

"This government was brought to you by ACME Inc."...

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PEAK APPLE: Mystery upstart to hurl iLord from its throne 'by 2020'

Frank Bitterlich
Facepalm

Really? Again?

That would be the Apple Death Knell™ #65, right?

"In other news, Fred Wilson announces new startup that has something to do with the cloud and does think about data."

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China funds devs to write smog-clearing vidcam code

Frank Bitterlich
WTF?

Visibility - WTF?

"...that if visibility is reduced to three metres, [...] even top end cameras couldn’t see beyond 10 metres."

No, dude. If the visibility is reduced to three metres, then top-end cameras can't see beyond 3 metres. That's what "visibility" means. OTOH cameras tend to be mounted a bit higher than eye level which sometimes improves visibility in smog a tiny bit.

But to me the idea of improving visibility by software sounds a bit like "24": "Can you zoom in a bit on that pre-recorded QVGA CCTV picture?" - "Sure, here it is, I've converted it to 4k resolution for you. Would you like me to switch on 3D?"

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1

Azerbaijani election app announced winner before polls even opened

Frank Bitterlich
Thumb Up

Works as designed

A good voting app should show the results as soon as they have been determined. If the results have been <del>fixed</del> determined that early, why not let the public know... The OECD will be impressed with this level of transparency.

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Airbus imagines suitcases that find themselves

Frank Bitterlich
Terminator

So just to make sure I get it right...

... the traveller is supposed to (a) pay a premium and (b) *list* the contents of their luggage (guys, looks like you need to add a few fields to the Passenger Name Record), and as a reward the airline won't lose your luggage. Or at least, they'll notice when they do.

"What a nice suitcase you have... would be a shame if anything happened to it, no? How about joining our new RFID-tagging program for a small fee, and we'll make sure nothing... "bad"... happens to your luggage...?"

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Higgs data shows alternate reality will SWALLOW UNIVERSE

Frank Bitterlich
Alien

Some people think it has happened already...

... or are there other explanations for the fact that I actually had to browse to the _second_ page of comments to find the first Hitchhiker reference?

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Tennessee bloke quits job over satanic wage slip

Frank Bitterlich
Trollface

Want to make this guy go mad?

Anybody want to mail him this URL?

http://www.google.com/search?q=Slonopas+666

He'll probably sue Google afterwards.

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Data cop slap for Brit text pests

Frank Bitterlich
Facepalm

Some Math...

OK, if they really sent out up to 840k messages per day (which seems a bit high to me), let's assume they did on average 100k messages per day and operated this for, say, one year, roughly 200 days (without the weekends and such). That makes some 20 million illegal text messages. A fine of 440k makes the steep price of £0,000022 per message. This is probably less than 1% of what they paid their operator.

So that's what "new powers to levy heavy fines" means. That will teach them. They will probably never do this again.

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Conmen swipe 100,000 Brits' sensitive info in UK.gov fraud bid

Frank Bitterlich
WTF?

No purpose?

So, "relevant authorities" said that "no purpose was served by notifying members". Oh, OK then. After all, they are authorities, and relevant. So they must know best. After all, who wants to know that crooks have lifted your debit card details and all kinds of personal info...

Unbelievable.

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Windows Phone 8 has a secret feature which may activate at any time

Frank Bitterlich
Thumb Up

Great idea...

"... or record how someone connects manually for the benefit of other users."

I don't see what could go wrong with that technique... until one day a not-so-public, not-so-free Wifi AP somehowm manages to get onto their list of "Wifi Hotspots" and <del>snitches</del> records the login of some poor soul.

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Iran X.25 terrorists actually BANKERS

Frank Bitterlich
Facepalm

Not the best "naming convention"?

Well, duh, it's called a "language", not "naming convention." Get yourself a Farsi dictionary, Mr. Kemp.

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Feds charge US firm with smuggling illegal military tech to Russia

Frank Bitterlich
Big Brother

So, they were "stealing"...

.. the kit, not buying it, for export?

"The defendants tried to take advantage of America’s free markets to steal American technologies for the Russian government."

Well, the music industry has already tought us that "stealing" does not mean "take something away from someony without paying", but rather "buy something, pay for it, and then do something with it that the seller [or a third party] doesn't like." Looks like the DoJ likes this particular piece of newspeak.

Next up: Classify the purchase and smoking of Cuban cigars as "arson". Or, better yet, as "terrorism".

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Defective PCB cleaner cans could inflict eye injury

Frank Bitterlich
Boffin

Messy affair

I once had a can (same stuff of a different brand) exploding due to corrosion on the bottom edge of the can (apparently caused by the leaked stuff slowly eating away on the can's paint.) Anyway, the artful pattern on the wallpaper in my living room was a thing to behold.

It happened at night, though, so my eyes are still fine. Anyway, since then I keep that can in a plastc bage when not in use, just to be sure.

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Dropbox blames staffer's password reuse for spam flood breach

Frank Bitterlich
Thumb Up

Re: How about this for an idea

Sounds like a good idea. Make sure you tell the folks over at Dropbox...

1
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Advertisers slam Microsoft over 'Do not track' decision

Frank Bitterlich
Big Brother

Wait a minute...

... did I read that right? "the advertising world would regulate itself and honor "Do not track", so long as browser manufacturers didn't make it a default setting"...?

In other words, when browser makers are starting to enable privacy by default, the ad industry sees that as a license to ignore user privacy preferences completely?

If you need any more reasons than that to enable DnT and privacy modes globally, you must be working at the Facebook HQ.

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SETI experiment succeeds: fails to find aliens

Frank Bitterlich
Coat

Poor choice...

... to include the Parkes radiotelescope in that system. It's known to pick up terrestrial, umm, "interference"... for example, from handheld radios - as shown in the movie "The Dish".

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Billion-dollar high-tech ghost town to run itself without humans

Frank Bitterlich
Go

Re: How long before they start offering vacations?

Westworld? No, rather Eureka! A town full of boffins testing the newest gadgets... Where can I apply?

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Facebook defends support for CISPA monitoring bill

Frank Bitterlich
WTF?

Dear governments, ...

... can you please stop trying to get an "all access" pass to our data?

ACTA, SOPA, PIPA, RIPA, CISPA... can you *please* stop it, now?

Thanks,

Your People

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Google finally secures gmail.de domain

Frank Bitterlich
Holmes

Some facts...

Giersch tried to register a trademark for "GMAIL" in Germany in July 2005; in October 2005 Google filed a protest citing "Identity of marks and G&S Likelihood of confusion Earlier sign & right to prohibit use of later TM under national law Earlier non registered TM & right to prohibit use of later TM under national law". He later withdrew the TM application.

I suspect that was the basis on which he lost the domain, as it would show that he knew about the existence of Google's trademark.

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Frank Bitterlich
Alien

Re: gmail.de - why do they need it?

<yourname>@gmail.com (and, hopefully soon, @gmail.de) is a valid Google mail address (resolves to the same account as the corresponding @googlemail.com address).

Proven wrong :)

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Matt Groening reveals location of Simpsons' Springfield

Frank Bitterlich
Meh

So, Shelbyville would be...

... Eugene, OR, then?

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Iran preps Internet cutoff

Frank Bitterlich
Thumb Up

I love those propaganda phrases...

"Western colonialist media wannabes" - you can't make that stuff up.

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Parents shocked by priestly PowerPoint pr0n

Frank Bitterlich
Gimp

Makes sense...

"... wrapped up by saying that the children get lots of money for their Holy Communion and should consider giving some of it to the church."

Sure, p0rn site subscriptions are expensive these days...

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Commodore outs Linux-running Amiga Mini desktop

Frank Bitterlich
Coffee/keyboard

Priced like a high-end machine...

... and looking like some cheap Chinese knock-off Mac mini clone.

And the website looks like a flashback to the 1980s. Was half expecting the "Best viewed with Netscape Navigator and at least 256 colors" badge.

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Queensland Police go war driving

Frank Bitterlich
WTF?

Good practice?

I hope that post was meant to be sarcastic.

On 2.4G use channel 13 if you can as it takes the WIFI off the Radar for older hardware.

Sure, as the bad guys are known to go wardriving using ten-year old laptops.

Add spaces to the key (I believe this extends time to dictionary brute force but is easy to remember).

If you have a key so simple that a space adds to the entrophy, better leave your network open. OTOH, if you see a van parking in front of your house and hear hysterical laughter coming from it, you know your network has just been pwned.

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New iPad can't get its Wi-Fi up

Frank Bitterlich
Facepalm

Re: Apples just work...

... maybe slapping your hardware a little less would help...

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The Facebook job test: Now interviewers want your logins

Frank Bitterlich
Thumb Up

Good idea, actually...

I like that idea. I'll ask the next candidate I have to interview for their Facebook creds. If they hand it over, the interview is over.

Because next time they're asked by someone else, they'll probably hand over the creds to their account on _my_ server.

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'Fileless' malware installs into RAM

Frank Bitterlich
Thumb Up

Re: Java? - Please, please, please

I strongly second that. Their Java GUI is a mess, unreliable, and, well, it uses Java. In short: I hate it.

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Tourists follow GPS, drive into sea

Frank Bitterlich
Paris Hilton

That's the one thing a SatNav does *not* do...:

... tell you which drive is "possible" and which is not. As in "the GPS insisted the drive was possible".

That's what the extra warning message says that you have to confirm each and every time you start up that thing. Which was invented due to such idiots.

As a SatNav maker I would sue them for such idiotic statements.

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Mobile banking security bypassed in fiendish malware blag

Frank Bitterlich
WTF?

In what country...

... can you report a mobile phone stolen without identifying yourself to the police properly? I mean, "name, telephone number, and other pesonal information" probably wouldn't cut it here in Germany. If you're not showing your ID card, passport or other solid identification, that wouldn't work.

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UK kids' art project is 'biggest copyright blag ever' – photographer

Frank Bitterlich
Trollface

Home Painting is killing Arts!

And it's illegal, too (well, maybe not yet, but probably soon.)

OTOH, what better way is there to teach kids about IP than to rip them off like this? "What, your parents have a copy of this pinned on the fridge? I'm calling the police right away..."

1
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New Yorker sues Apple: 'Misleading and deceptive' Siri ads

Frank Bitterlich
Pint

That's the true Woz...:

"I'll be saying, over and over again in my car, 'Call the Lark Creek Steak House,' and I can't get it done." Wonder how many times a week he's trying to call that Steak House :)

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West Yorkshire Gay Police Association in email list leak FAIL

Frank Bitterlich
Holmes

No surprise...

Those who sent out that email are as clueless as those who wrote the response. Might be the same person(s).

What made me really laugh: "... before deciding what action, if any, needs to be taken ..."

"if any"? Really? How about, umm, teaching your staff on how email works, what data protection means, how they DID disclose confidential and sensitive data, that they HAVE to inform the ICO, and why the data they handle is especially sensitive...? Just for starters?

3
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Ford: kick your car to open the boot

Frank Bitterlich
Pint

What's new with this feature?

I had a car (a Ford Taunus, incidentally) in the '80s that needed a kick to open its hatch too. Although I wouldn't call it a "guesture" as a certain amount of force was required for this to work...

0
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Facebook denies poaching your text messages on Android

Frank Bitterlich

Oh, well, that's OK then...

... so you want permission to snoop around in my stuff, you're just not actually doing it.

███████ TRUST ███ ██████ US ██████, ALL ███ ███ IS ██████ WELL. ██████ WE'RE ███ ██████ NOT █████████ EVIL. YOUR █████████ FACEBOOK

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Avoid flying next to blubberbeasts with seatmate-finding site

Frank Bitterlich
Big Brother

What a nice extension...

... to the Passenger Name Records scheme. Put in a few interesting keywords (WikiLeaks, EFF, TOR) and enjoy an extra screening upon your next entry to the U.S. at no extra cost! Plus, you will get another 1 Gig free storage space on the DHS' servers!

1
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Newzbin barrister struck off for owning site he represented

Frank Bitterlich
Go

Yay! A society without lawyers...!

So if "[engaging] in conduct whether in pursuit of his profession or otherwise which is ... likely to diminish public confidence in the legal profession" is prohibited, I expect about 99.9 % of the members of that profession to step down and find themselves other jobs.

Thanks for clearing that up.

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Dim-but-rich buyers targeted with million pound laptop

Frank Bitterlich
Holmes

Decimal point cock-up seems likely...

... as the price would then be £9379.15. Sounds about right for a midrange laptop.

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Man recreates ZX81... in Lego

Frank Bitterlich
Childcatcher

Chances are...

... that the Lego version has more RAM that the original one.

Wake me again when he makes the thing *work* (shouldn't be too difficult with half of the Lego parts available being electronic components these days.)

Can I get a Playmobil reenactment of the building process, please?

2
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iPad users 'risk shoulder pain', say US gov, Microsoft boffins

Frank Bitterlich
Coat

Shirley it must be a subsidiary...

... of the Department for the Bleeding Obvious, that "US Department of Environmental Health and Microsoft", right?

1
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The Pirate Bay torrents printable 3D objects

Frank Bitterlich
Coat

I'd like to download...

... a model for the latest Katy Perry CD. Do they have Blurays, too?

0
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Foreign sabotage suspected in Phobos-Grunt meltdown

Frank Bitterlich
Alien

So...

.. we cobbled the whole thing together from old pinball machine parts, and we knew it would fall apart all by itself very soon. So we decided to hurl it into space as quickly as possible. For some reason it failed, though, and we have no clue why. And the fact that we don't know why is especially suspicious. Do you need any more proof that it was shot down by a giant secret yankee laser cannon? Na zdravje, comrades!
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The next Steve Jobs is: Kanye West

Frank Bitterlich
Trollface

Aesthetically improve?

"We want to help [...] aesthetically improve everything we see hear, touch, taste and feel."

So he's ending his carreer in music, then?

2
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Microsoft de-cloaks Windows 8 push-button lifesaver

Frank Bitterlich
Paris Hilton

Look, ma, no backup...

"One benefit of refresh is, according to Lee, that you don't have to back up your machine first."

Yeah right. How stupid do you have to be to try such a stunt without a proper, up-to-date backup...?

1
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Facebook, FTC settle over privacy ‘deception’

Frank Bitterlich
FAIL

So they are required to...

... "get “express consent” before altering users’ privacy preferences; must prevent access to deleted account material after 30 days; will agree to establish and maintain a privacy program; and will submit to a bi-annual privacy review for the next 20 years."

In other words, they must now do what the law requires anyway.

I'm glad that the FTC is watching over consumers' interests.

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Mystery malware poisons NZ ambulance system

Frank Bitterlich
Mushroom

Protected?

"Anti-virus software protected the systems but..."

No. It didn't. Otherwise there would be no "but".

Replace with: "We tried to protect our systems, but we have no clue about all this security stuff."

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Punters lose backups in cloud storage biz spat

Frank Bitterlich
Terminator

Trust us!

"we will refund all of them over the next few business days. You do not need to file any disputes or chargebacks with PayPal or your bank".

No need to chargeback. Trust us. We will pay back all your money, in a few days. Four weeks max. Wait a second, I've got a call on the other line - it's my travel agent...

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