Saturday, September 13, 2014

U.S. Teen Wins $50,000 Grant For Fingerprint-Access Handgun Sensor

from biometricupdate.com: A young inventor in Boulder, Colorado will receive a $50,000 grant from the Smart Tech Challenges Foundation to continue working on a biometric sensor that prevents unauthorized individuals from firing a weapon.

Kai Kloepfer, a high school student from Boulder, Colorado, is the first benefactor of the $1 million Smart Tech for Firearms Challenge, which will award grants to a total of 15 innovators “who are working to improve firearm safety by developing personalization features in firearms, locking devices, and ammunition systems,” the foundation said in a release.

Kloepfer, 17, first developed the sensor on a plastic model of a Beretta Px4 for less than $3,000.

Using stored fingerprints, the sensor enables authorized users who are holding a gun to activate the trigger, while those users who are unauthorized will not be able to fire the weapon. In Kloepfer’s tests, the sensor prototype successfully worked 99.99 percent of the time.

U.S. Tech Giant Fined $58 Million for Bribery

from thechosunilbo.com: A subsidiary of U.S. technology giant Hewlett-Packard was hit with a multi-million-dollar fine Thursday for bribing Russian government officials.
 
The company's Russian division will have to pay $58.7 million after pleading guilty in a California court to violating U.S. anti-bribery and accounting laws.

HP Russia admitted to paying off government officials to secure a $45 million contract with the Office of the Prosecutor General of the Russian Federation.

Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Marshall Miller of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division called the illicit deal in Russia "troubling."

"Tech companies, like all companies, must compete on a level playing field, not resort to secret books and sham transactions to hide millions of dollars in bribes," Miller said in a written statement. "The Criminal Division has been at the forefront of this fight because when corruption takes hold overseas, American companies and the rule of law are harmed."

Other HP subsidiaries in Poland and Mexico were convicted under the same law earlier this year, bringing total fines to the company and its affiliates to $108 million.

Friday, September 5, 2014

The Police Tool That Pervs Use to Steal Nude Pics From Apple’s iCloud

from wired.com: As nude celebrity photos spilled onto the web over the weekend, blame for the scandal has rotated from the scumbag hackers who stole the images to a researcher who released a tool used to crack victims’ iCloud passwords to Apple, whose security flaws may have made that cracking exploit possible in the first place. But one step in the hackers’ sext-stealing playbook has been ignored—a piece of software designed to let cops and spies siphon data from iPhones, but is instead being used by pervy criminals themselves.


On the web forum Anon-IB, one of the most popular anonymous image boards for posting stolen nude selfies, hackers openly discuss using a piece of software called EPPB or Elcomsoft Phone Password Breaker to download their victims’ data from iCloud backups. That software is sold by Moscow-based forensics firm Elcomsoft and intended for government agency customers. In combination with iCloud credentials obtained with iBrute, the password-cracking software for iCloud released on Github over the weekend, EPPB lets anyone impersonate a victim’s iPhone and download its full backup rather than the more limited data accessible on iCloud.com. And as of Tuesday, it was still being used to steal revealing photos and post them on Anon-IB’s forum.

“Use the script to hack her passwd…use eppb to download the backup,” wrote one anonymous user on Anon-IB explaining the process to a less-experienced hacker. “Post your wins here ;-)”
Apple’s security nightmare began over the weekend, when hackers began leaking nude photos that included shots of Jennifer Lawrence, Kate Upton, and Kirsten Dunst. The security community quickly pointed fingers at the iBrute software, a tool released by security researcher Alexey Troshichev designed to take advantage of a flaw in Apple’s “Find My iPhone” feature to “brute-force” users’ iCloud passwords, cycling through thousands of guesses to crack the account.


Thursday, September 4, 2014

Cyberthefts hit record ¥1.85 billion in Japan

from japantimes.com: Corporate bank accounts were increasingly targeted by swindlers in the first half of the year, and online thefts have already surpassed last year’s record total, according to National Police Agency data released Thursday.

Roughly ¥1.852 billion was taken from the accounts of unsuspecting clients between January and June, surpassing the full-year record of around ¥1.406 billion logged in 2013, the NPA said.

The attacks have hit 73 banks so far, but corporate accounts at regionals are being heavily targeted as the online robberies proceed unchecked. An agency spokesman said it appears many of the victims were small and midsize companies.

“Compared with big businesses, many of these companies may have lax security measures,” the NPA official said.

Around ¥572 million was fraudulently withdrawn from corporate accounts in the first half, representing an almost sixfold increase from last year. By institution, regional banks logged a more than fourfold increase in stolen money, bringing the total to around ¥519 million.

Corporate accounts at regional lenders saw around ¥410 million in funds stolen, up nearly ninefold.
 
CONTINUE @ SOURCE

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Inside Google’s Secret Drone-Delivery Program

from theatlantic.com: A zipping comes across the sky. A man named Neil Parfitt is standing in a field on a cattle ranch outside Warwick, Australia. A white vehicle appears above the trees, a tiny plane a bit bigger than a seagull. It glides towards Parfitt, pitches upwards to a vertical position, and hovers near him, a couple hundred feet in the air. From its belly, a package comes tumbling downward, connected by a thin line to the vehicle itself. Right before the delivery hits the ground, it slows, hitting the earth with a tap. The delivery slows, almost imperceptibly, just before it hits the ground, hardly kicking up any dust. A small rectangular module on the end of the line detaches the payload, and ascends back up the vehicle, locking into place beneath the nose. As the wing returns to flying posture and zips back to its launch point half a mile away, Parfitt walks over to the package, opens it up, and extracts some treats for his dogs. 

The Australian test flight and 30 others like it conducted in mid-August are the culmination of the first phase of Project Wing, a secret drone program that’s been running for two years at Google X, the company’s whoa-inducing, long-range research lab.

Though a couple of rumors have escaped the Googleplex—because of course Google must have a drone-delivery program—Project Wing’s official existence and substance were revealed today. I’ve spent the past week talking to Googlers who worked on the project, reviewing video of the flights, and interviewing other people convinced delivery by drone will work. 

Taken with the company’s other robotics investments, Google’s corporate posture has become even more ambitious. Google doesn’t just want to organize all the world’s information. Google wants to organize all the world.

CONTINUE @ SOURCE

Sunday, August 24, 2014

SpaceX Falcon 9-R Rocket Suffers Malfunction, Self-Destructs During Test Flight

from dailytech.com: The SpaceX team suffered a setback yesterday when its experimental Falcon 9-R (F9R) reusable rocket experienced a malfunction during a test flight in Texas. According to SpaceX, an “anomaly was detected” during the test flight, and as a result, the flight was auto-aborted and the rocket F9R was instructed to self-destruct.

In a statement released via Twitter, the company explained:
 
With research and development projects, detecting vehicle anomalies during testing is the purpose of the program. Today’s test was particularly complex, pushing the limits of the vehicle further than any previous test. As is our practice, the company will be reviewing the flight record details to learn more about the performance of the vehicle prior to our next test.

Luckily for SpaceX, they already have a second F9R already in production, so not all is lost when it comes to its reusable rocket platform.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Auraya Granted U.S. Patent Rights For Voice Biometric Technology

from biometricupdate.com: Auraya Systems announced that it has been granted patent protection in the USA from the U.S. Patent Office for its core Speaker Adaptive Voice Biometric technology, quickly following its patent from the Australian Patent Office.

The announcement comes a month after Auraya’s win of the “best and most innovative solution” in the iAwards new product category for its flagship voice biometrics product ArmorVox10.

Assigned US Patent No. 8,775,187, Auraya’s voice biometric technology provides the foundation of its ArmorVox language independent voice biometric product.

The technology enables Auraya to automatically boost performance to the language, accent and telecommunications environment into which it is deployed.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Probe Makes Space History With Rendezvous With Comet

from spacedaily.com: The space probe Rosetta made a historic rendezvous with a comet on Wednesday, climaxing a 10-year, six-billion-kilometre (3.7-billion-mile) chase through the Solar System, the European Space Agency (ESA) said.

"We're at the comet," Rosetta's flight operations manager, Sylvain Lodiot, declared in a webcast from mission control in Darmstadt, Germany.

It marks the first time a spacecraft has been sent into orbit around a comet, a wanderer of the Solar System whose primeval dust and ice may hold insights into how the planets formed.