* Posts by Matt Piechota

292 posts • joined 2 Aug 2006

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'Millions' of routers open to absurdly outdated NetUSB hijack

Matt Piechota

"Are there any routers available to buy that run code written by anyone who has even the smallest clue?"

I'm not really sure how clued the RouterOS folks are, but on the surface they seem to have their #### together.

www.mikrotik.com

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Reader suggestion: Using HDFS as generic iSCSI storage

Matt Piechota

Since iSCSI is block based, we're talking about storing a ton of (say) 4k blocks in Hadoop and the iSCSI service asks for or updates block #12309854? It doesn't sound terrible. I could see some concurrency issues with multiple iSCSI services, but I'm not sure they're worse than iSCSI to traditional block storage as they'd still need a cluster-aware file system on the clients.

The big question is: how/why is this better than something like DRBD?

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Mozilla's Flash-killer 'Shumway' appears in Firefox nightlies

Matt Piechota

vSphere Console

The console works in Chrome without adding any extra plugins. Under Linux, it's essentially the only option as the Adobe Linux Flash Plugin is too old for vSphere 5.5's web client.

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Ha! Win 10 preview for Raspberry Pi 2 pops out of the Microsoft oven

Matt Piechota

Tipping Point

I really think we're at the tipping point where MS has truly seen that x86 PCs are not a given for the future and, frankly, the future of their company depends on them being interesting in the post-PC world. I know the term "post-PC" has been used for years and years, but this really does feel like it might be true.

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Netlist gets derisory $2 award following Diablo IP theft trial kerfuffle

Matt Piechota

I want my two dollars

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mRqmnxw7WbI

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Microsoft set to penetrate Cyanogen, promises app-y ending

Matt Piechota

Beware Microsoft bearing gifts.

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Android lands on Microsoft's money-machine island fortress

Matt Piechota

Re: So ...

"Why didn't NCR use CentOS/Redhat or Debian, Why Android, it only of benefit for portable devices running Google's clone of Java for Apps. This is only going to have NCR's application."

As for CentOS/RHEL 6, they're going to be supported for another 5 years (I think). You can bet that a lot (all?) of these ATMs are not 64-bit, and RHEL7 doesn't do 32-bit. Additionally, I'm not sure how well Linux+X+touch drivers+browser fits onto the old Intel-based hardware that's (probably) inside these machines. My guess is these are low-end spec PCs from the 2004-ish era. Debian probably has a 32-bit, I'm not as familar with their road-map. Android would seem to make a lot of sense, it's designed around touch interfaces and lower-power hardware, and has a hardware-upgrade path into low-power ARM if so desired. The security issues are almost always due to apps, which doesn't really apply to an ATM.

As for Windows upgrade to 8.1: there's no way in hell they'd do an upgrade in PC terms as one poster suggested. The ATMs would be re-imaged with embedded 8.1 and whatever small amount of configuration done. (I don't have any experience with these machines, but I can't imagine there's much more to the individual location config than location, phone number to dial, etc.)

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Oh, hi there, SKYNET: US military wants self-enhancing software that will outlive its creators

Matt Piechota

So: Java (shudder)

I'm not going to hold Java up as a paragon of reliability, but realistically something like it with a stable set of classes that will "never" be phased out and you're getting close. You could selectively add stuff to the base as time goes on to support new features as long is it doesn't interfere with the older classes.

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Astronomers battle plague of BLADE-WIELDING ROBOTS

Matt Piechota

Re: Methanol

"EXACTLY! Never was there a clearer case of "give an inch and take a mile" - these unworldly boffins, emboldened as they are by draining the public funding teat of its vital essence, now want to deny us all the fundamental right to an immaculate lawn at the least possible effort! I put it to you, not even in Soviet Russia was this specific blatant denial of human rights attempted!"

In Soviet Russia, the lawn mows you.

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Crack security team finishes TrueCrypt audit – and the results are in

Matt Piechota

Luck be a lady, tonight

"With luck, the code will be carried on by others."

s/luck/LUKS/

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Google cracks down on browser ad injectors after shocking study

Matt Piechota

Re: It all has to get paid for somehow

"Does PBS (in the US) need to routinely run ads? (I don't know/can't remember)."

Not as such. From time to time they'll have fund drives where people interrupt the shows to beg for money from the viewers. I'm not sure which is worse. I suppose on a small scale, shows on PBS (and NPR) are often sponsored by one or more backers. "$SHOWNAME is sponsored by JimmyWidget, makers of fine widgets for discerning tastes and The Croydon Arts Council, presenting Oliver Twist from March 3rd until April 1st at the Dabs Theatre".

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Hawk like an Egyptian: Google is HOPPING MAD over fake SSL certs

Matt Piechota

Re: Odd?

"This is all a bit fishy, if the companies own the machines in question then they can self-sign and include their own self-signed certificate in their own machine's certificate stores."

True, but I'm guessing this is aimed at small companies without the resources to do their own CA. To you and me it's not that hard to do, but I can think of several small business owners I know that wouldn't have the slightest idea.

That being said, I'd be shocked, SHOCKED! if given the locations of the CAs we're talking about (China and Egypt, right?) there wasn't something else going on.

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Windows 10 build 10041: 99 bugs on the wall, fix a bug, add a feature, 114 bugs on the wall

Matt Piechota

Re: Desktops????

Windows 95 certainly had tools to do it. On Linux/etc, FVWM had them, CDE, had them, and many others.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virtual_desktop

Oh, and I looked: KDE1 had much nicer icons than that screenshot above. But, I'd be shocked if there wasn't some form of icon/theme customization option in 10 if you don't like them.

https://www.kde.org/screenshots/kde1shots.php

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IBM's OpenPower gang touts first proper non-Big Blue-badged server

Matt Piechota

Linux on POWER

I had some Linux on POWER stuff a bunch of years ago (p595 and p570). They were cool boxes (the 595 especially), but Linux on POWER was always just odd enough that it was tough to put to good use. Mostly, our internal customers would come along and want to use one and later mention that they had some commercial software (like MATLAB) that only comes in x86 binaries. Sorry, not going to work.

Maybe there's a market since ARM has somewhat pried open the defacto x86-ness of Linux, but realistically I don't see too many commercial vendors supporting POWER (if they even know it exists). After that, you're looking only at the FOSS stuff which it's tough to make a case for going in this direction when x86 is so common and well-supported. The only market I can really see this working would be something that lends itself to POWER's advantages, and only (as someone above mentions) if the compilers actually optimize well.

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Battle for control of Earth's unconnected souls moves to SPAAAACE

Matt Piechota

Re: If it is in LEO

"Then it makes a great way to cover all the empty spots where cell coverage doesn't. Not just Africa, but all those places in the US that are uncovered and probably never will be covered. Even if it just did voice that would mean never being out of service. Well, less out of service, since buildings, tunnels and depending on the frequencies used and SNR a tree canopy might still block the signal."

Congrats, you've just summed the concept and failings of the Iridium constellation! :)

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Google chips at Amazon's Glacier with Cloud Storage Nearline

Matt Piechota

Re: oooh oooh!

"They only charge me $1 per gb to scan all my companies data and sell the information to the highest bidder!! Where do I sign??"

I guess someone doesn't understand encryption. :)

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Matt Piechota

Re: Where's my

"400Megabyte per second internet connection.. yeah that's right I don't have one. Local storage it is then."

I guess someone doesn't understand tiered-storage.

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Ouch! Google crocks capacitors and deviates DRAM to root Linux

Matt Piechota

Re: I want to learn Linux but ...

However, if you are trying to install to a USB key rather than a hard drive, while I'm pretty sure that is possible, I wouldn't recommend it. The USB key will be very slow and I don't think it will have a long life if you are continually writing to it.

Just FYI

- It's entirely possible. I've done it several times with USB disk and sticks using the normal install process, and as others point out distros often have a USB-writer tool.

- If you do try the normal install process, be warned that some distros (LinuxMint, I'm looking at you) will overwrite the MBR on /dev/sda (which will likely be your internal disk) with GRUB which might hose up your installed system (especially if you have some sort of software encryption FDE). Pull the disk for the install or install on another system if you can't remove the internal disk.

- Sticks aren't as fast as disk over USB, but USB2 and 3 are fine for basic use even with software encryption. I surrently use a small Sandisk USB3 "stick" (athough it's not much bigger than the USB connector) to boot my corporate laptop into Linux for "home use". I haven't used it extensively, but it's working fine so far. Maybe it'll wear out some day, but I'll just buy another 32GB USB3 stick for $20US and restore from backups.

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Google's 'encrypted-by-default' Android is NOT encrypting by default

Matt Piechota

Re: Missed opportunity

"I recently acquired a Galaxy Note 4 and was thrilled to discover the new Private Mode, which hides certain content until a pattern, password or fingerprint is used to decrypt it. I loved the idea of protecting important data without constantly needing to unlock the phone for day-to-day stuff like calls and texts."

Upon upgrading my Nexus 7 (first gen) to Lollipop it prompted me to set up auto unlock, where the device would skip the passcode if a paired Bluetooth device was in range (in my case, the Bluetooth audio adapter on my speakers. Maybe you should be looking for a Bluetooth fob if this bothers you enough.

http://www.amazon.com/Kensington-Proximo-Bluetooth-Tracker-Samsung/dp/B00FQQ4PNQ

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Windows is TAKING the TABLET market... what's left of it, anyway

Matt Piechota

Re: I'd consider Surface more of a super ultrabook than a tablet

"At least every one I've ever seen was being used as a laptop. People buy them over iPad and Android not because Win8 is a better tablet OS, but because it can run Windows apps and act as a real laptop which the others cannot."

I concur, people have played with tablets now and see the use of the form factor, but (in my case at least) get frustrated with the limits of "apps". Either the limits of "this doesn't work on a tablet OS" or the limits where the app isn't written with flexibility or reconfigurability in mind. A tablet form-factor with a fully usable OS (Windows I guess falls into that category) doesn't sound so bad.

I'll give a real-world, consumer example: My wife likes to take pictures of our kid/travels/life and put them into photobooks which she orders (snapfish, etc.) hard copies of. Are you really going to faff about with hundreds of photos, and arrange them on a tiny screen with your finger, and do all the fine adjustments to the layout on tablet? She certainly doesn't, it's back to her clunky old laptop.

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SCREW you, GLASSHOLES! Microsoft unveils HoloLens

Matt Piechota

Stylish

Stylish, and see-thru lenses to boot!

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Eurovision tellybods: Yes, you heard right – net neutrality

Matt Piechota

"That isn't a bad thing but I always wondered why a show apparently specifically designed to appeal to gay men so often features so many fine looking women."

So they can kvetch about shoes and dresses.

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Spavined RadioShack to file for bankruptcy next month – report

Matt Piechota

I'm trying to think of the last think I bought there. I think it was a DPDT momentary switch to make a headset into PTT. Other than that the odd audio adapter plug when I was in a rush.

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Hollywood vs hackers: Vulture cracks Tinseltown keyboard cornballs

Matt Piechota

Re: "it's a Unix system, I know this"

"nd I find it odd that you haven't included Jurassic Park.

"it's a Unix system, I know this""

As a post a couple up from yours pointed out, that line is completely accurate. It's IRIX (which is a UNIX), and that tool (fsn) was actually on IRIX installs.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zaRHU1XxMJQ

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Samsung's first Tizen smartphone is HERE ... by which we mean India

Matt Piechota

Re: Tizen's dead...

"Yeah, cause who wouldn't want a TV and a washer-dryer running BB10?? Can you imagine all the thumb-swipe options Blackberry can pack into a freezer or a toaster-oven?"

BB10, being QNX-based would do a fantastic job of running small-memory devices like that. I loved working with QNX, it was so small and fast for little systems.

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Google unleashes build-it-yourself 'Ara' SLABLET phones (in Puerto Rico)

Matt Piechota

resell

I wouldn't be surprised to see many of these resold to the states. I'd assume PR (being an American protectorate) would be on the same wireless standards as the mainland...

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Notebook news: Dell does density, but Lenovo's a lot lighter

Matt Piechota

Re: Ummmm .... RAM?

Why would you buy a laptop to only plug it into a monitor?

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Not a loyal follower of @BritishMonarchy? You missed The QUEEN*'s first Tweet

Matt Piechota

Re: The

"The Queen

The Royal Navy

The City

You all know which one."

Elton John, ok you got me there, and New York City (as I'm in the eastern US). (Hint: "the City" generally refers to the largest city in the area, I can see how that would get confusing for England since there's really only one large city.) :)

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Buy Your Own Device: No more shiny-shiny work mobe for you

Matt Piechota

Gvoice

Setting aside privacy implications, this sounds a lot like Google Voice as well.

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We have a winner! Fresh Linux Mint 17.1 – hands down the best

Matt Piechota

Re: Upgrades

I'm not sure which distributions you've been using, but most have an upgrade path that doesn't involve wiping the machine. That being said, I don't think the Mint installer DVD supports upgrades, but there certainly is a way to upgrade with apt; I've done it a couple times. Come to think of it, I don't think I've ever tried up update Linux from a DVD (at least in modern times), it's always been an over-the-network affair.

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Feds dig up law from 1789 to demand Apple, Google decrypt smartphones, slabs

Matt Piechota

"I think it came in with v4.0.4 ice cream sandwich..."

That sounds right, my phone has been encrypted for 2 years now, currently 4.2.4. I don't remember which update it was when I first did it.

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Apple patents NEVERSMASH iPHONE for fumbling fondlers

Matt Piechota

"I've been doing this with motors for years - in my RC cars (Which weigh in at over 6KG with batteries).. Hit the throttle and it backflips whilst in the air, hit the brakes and it forward flips.. Steer and do either of the above and it is possible to control sideways angle to a degree as well."

It's also a well-known tactic for motocross racing to orient the motorcycle for landing.

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Bada-Bing! Mozilla flips Firefox to YAHOO! for search

Matt Piechota

Re: Surprised...

"Why didn't Mozilla partner up with DuckDuckGo or Startpage or some other anonymous search engine proxy since they claim to care so much.... Yahoo is just a cesspool of ads, Google is 90% dominant, Bing is M$ etc... So it should have been easy an easy choice i.e. none of the big three..."

I doubt DDG has anywhere near enough money to pay Mozilla at the rate that Google/Binghoo does.

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All ABOARD! Furious Facebook bus drivers join Teamsters union

Matt Piechota

Re: Taxes

"California income tax on a $100K annual salary is 9.3% - and federal tax is 26%

So I don't know where that 50% tax figure quoted above is coming from..."

Add in ~9% sales tax and then gas/school/property tax and you're getting pretty close.

To be fair, I doubt anyone making 100k in the Bay Area can afford a house. I had a BOFH friend that rented in Hayward making average BOFH bucks (six figures, at least). He and his wife could barely afford food. They moved to Phoenix so they could afford to go out to a movie once in awhile.

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Apple bitchslaps iPhone rival Xiaomi: World No 1? That's BIG TALK

Matt Piechota

Talk

That's some pretty big talk from a company that's 2nd to one of the array of vendors that sell their primary competition.

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ISPs are stripping encryption from netizens' email – EFF

Matt Piechota

I'm rather confused by this article, mainly from the lack of details. Are they saying that ISPs are truly stripping the connection as it goes through (as in modifying the packets to force STARTTLS to fail), or the much more "normal" situation where you can ensure the connection between you and your ISP's SMTP gateway all you like, but that gateway is free to turn around and send that data to the destination mail server in the clear? It's very odd to think of STARTTLS as "encrypting email" since all it's doing is encryption the channel.

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iBail: American Psycho actor Christian Bale rejects Steve Jobs role

Matt Piechota

Re: Now I for one...

"Would prefer a biopic of the start of crApple - the Apple I and II etc when I actually had some respect for them..."

Pirates of Silicon Valley (1999).

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Ubuntu 14.10 tries pulling a Steve Ballmer on cloudy offerings

Matt Piechota

Re: Just Sayin'

"Which puts me ahead of kibuntu.org and unbuntu.com that are both trying to 'sell' you 14.04. I guess someone slept through the alarm. Or was it set to silent?"

Ubuntu is trying to sell you the version that'll still get patches next year. That's a little different than what you're looking for.

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RUMPY PUMPY: Bone says humans BONED Neanderthals 50,000 years B.C.

Matt Piechota

Re: It's intriguing to speculate

"A worthy question, one which is addressed by Harry Turtledove in A Different Flesh, although Homo erectus, not Homo neanderthalis, were used in the story."

Also in "Anonymous Rex" by Eric Garcia, but in that case dinosaurs have evolved into roughly human shapes.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anonymous_Rex_%28novel%29

And: ugh, I've read more Turtledove books than I'd like to admit. The author has some intriguing ideas but his writing leaves something to be desired.

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Is your home or office internet gateway one of '1.2 MILLION' wide open to hijacking?

Matt Piechota

Holding!

I'll be holding my breath for the vendor update to fix this.

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UNIX greybeards threaten Debian fork over systemd plan

Matt Piechota

Surprise

I hadn't been paying enough attention to Linux development in the past few years (it's defiantly become my job and not my hobby), but I was surprised when I started hearing about systemd recently that essentially all the tools that I hate and are pushing Linux in the "wrong" direction are coming from one small group.

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Matt Piechota

Re: the "fun" part about systemd

"No, really, booting is for sissies. But even then, with an SSD, boot-time is less than 10 seconds, KDE takes more time to load than the boot process. And in the boot process, rEffit and GRUB take up most of the time. So what is the gain of 2-3 seconds boot ?"

I tend to reboot even after non-kernel updates if the system isn't critical. The last thing you want is to have an unplanned reboot in the middle of the day to find out that the patch you installed a couple weeks ago broke something.

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China is ALREADY spying on Apple iCloud users, claims watchdog

Matt Piechota

That's amateur hour. They should be creating signed certs using a CA and mandating any system sold in China has to trust their pet authority.

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Bad news, fandroids: He who controls the IPC tool, controls the DROID

Matt Piechota

Where is Binder?

So is Binder part of the base OS (it sounds like it) or part of the various Googly packages? The latter is the only hope that it'll get fixed on any of my devices. It'd be nice if Android went more package-based instead of the monolithic "entire OS in an image", but that doesn't seem to fly with the culture around phones. I guess I'll have to step-up my efforts (aka get around to) to put cyanogen or whatever on my 2+ year old phone; I know Verizon isn't going to help me out there.

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The iPAD launch BEFORE it happened: SPECULATIVE GUFF ahead of actual event

Matt Piechota

Re: "Tim Cook is not Steve Jobs"

"will that stop steve from suing tim? prior art possibly? the fact that one of them is no longer on this plane probably wouldnt matter either"

THERE ARE MO**** F****** SNAKES ON THIS MO**** F****** PLANE!

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City council thinks what we're all thinking: 'Comcast is terrible – and NOT welcome here'

Matt Piechota

Just goes to show that the Brits that came over were wholly unimaginative when it comes to naming stuff. :) At least the French tended to name stuff after what is there.

(More examples: Severn River in MD, several places named Reading, Lancaster, and London, New Castle Delaware, etc.)

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Dot-gay told it's NOT gay enough – but web'll be officially .eco-friendly

Matt Piechota

"I don't approve of the pointless extension of gTLDs; never have done and never will. But if new TLDs exist, I absolutely need to see them as a seamless part of the *the* Internet. Otherwise, it isn't the Internet at all."

My first reaction is to agree with you, but as I thought about it for a bit I'm not so sure. While com, net, edu, org, etc. are ok, I'm not sure they have much relevance (well, maybe .gov and .mil do). For the most part, .com, .net, and sometimes .org are meaningless as the name holders don't pay attention to the "rules" (usps.com, microsoft.org, etc.). Just scrap them all and make the address http://foo/ and be done with it.

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'Bill Gates swallowing bike on a beach' is ideal password say boffins

Matt Piechota

password hashing

I can't believe we're on the second page and no one has discussed password hashing. Is it terribly insecure or something? Example:

https://www.pwdhash.com/

Remember one (or a small set of passwords), and use the site/machine name to generate a repeatable hash for each place. Every system as a unique password, you only need to remember a few things. I guess the argument is once someone figures out what you're doing, they have a head start on breaking in, but realistically they're going to go after the "Password201410" jokers first.

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You dirty RAT! Hong Kong protesters infected by iOS, Android spyware

Matt Piechota

"that's fascinating: how are they faking the certificates? my understanding is that a mitm could replace an ssl cert with their own, but the forged replacement cert won't be considered safe by browsers unless it's signed by one of the certificate authorities."

Perhaps mandate that all phones by default trust a certain CA that they control. Have you vetted the CA list on your phone? I know I haven't. And since I just did, "Japanese Government" is one of the CAs on my Galaxy Nexus. And there's dozens more that I'd be hard-pressed to vet based on contact info. Hell, there may well be "internal" CAs that aren't on that list too.

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Xbox hackers snared US ARMY APACHE GUNSHIP ware - Feds

Matt Piechota

Re: @Truth Heroic

Good thing you're not "Reading Comprehension Heroic". The article mentions there's a long list of stuff they did, and nowhere does it link any of the particular software products to particular hardware. The author is just naming off the most recognizable stuff and companies involved.

#HeroicFail

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