News & Updates

(credit: US DHHS)

A woman in Brownsville, Texas, has a confirmed case of Zika even though she didn’t travel to any Zika-stricken areas or have any other risk factors, Texas health authorities announced Monday. Her case is likely the first known instance of Zika transmission by local mosquitoes in the state.

But, if true, that transmission is entirely unsurprising, officials there said. Brownsville sits at the southern most tip of Texas, directly on the border of Mexico, which is experiencing ongoing transmission of the Zika virus by local mosquitoes.

In a press statement, John Hellerstedt, commissioner of the Texas Department of State Health Services, said:

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Source: http://feeds.arstechnica.com/arstechnica/index/

Enlarge / Expedition 46 Commander Scott Kelly of NASA. (credit: Getty | Bill Ingalls/NASA )

When Scott Kelly returned from his one-year space mission last March, he admitted that he, like many of his colleagues, came back with vision troubles. In fact, nearly two-thirds of astronauts who have gone on long-duration space missions inexplicably returned with blurry vision, flattened eyeballs, and inflamed optic nerves—and now researchers have a new hypothesis as to why.

Despite years of research, the cause of the problems has remained fuzzy. However, scientists have dubbed the astronauts’ condition “visual impairment intracranial pressure syndrome” or VIIP. The name is based on the current leading hypothesis that, in space, bodily fluids normally dragged down by gravity can freely flow into the head and increase the pressure on the brain and eyeballs. A researcher at Georgia Tech is even looking into a mechanical way to draw fluid back down to the legs to spare space-goers’ eyesight.

But a new study involving 16 astronauts suggests that the leading theory is a tad off-kilter; it’s not vascular fluids bubbling up to the head causing problems, but instead sloshing cerebrospinal fluid tipping toward the eyes, the new study suggests. Researchers from the University of Miami presented those findings Monday at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America in Chicago.

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Enlarge / Channel lineups for AT&T’s DirecTV Now online streaming service. (credit: AT&T)

When AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson last month announced a new DirecTV online video streaming service, he was clear about a few things: it would provide more than 100 channels, including “all the premium” channels customers want, and cost just $35 a month. As a result, AT&T has gotten a lot of headlines about its $35, 100-channel streaming service over the past few weeks.

But today we found out the full pricing details, and they’re a bit less appealing than Stephenson’s sales pitch. The offer of 100 channels for $35 is only good for customers who sign up when the service becomes available or shortly after that. Once the standard pricing sets in, new customers will pay $35 for 60 channels. The other standard packages are 80 channels for $50 a month, 100 channels for $60, and 120 channels for $70.

Premium channels HBO and Cinemax will cost an extra $5 a month in addition to the base price. The service will be available in the US only.

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Source: http://feeds.arstechnica.com/arstechnica/index/

By Waqas

A group of hackers going by the handle of “Group_Dmar” hacked and defaced the official website of Kuwaiti Parliament on Saturday when the country was gearing up for its parliamentary election. Hackers left a deface page along with a brief message in Arabic accusing Mr. Abdul Hamid Dashti, a member of parliament of being an Iranian agent […]

This is a post from HackRead.com Read the original post: Hackers Deface Kuwaiti Parliament website on Election Day

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Enlarge

Online criminals—at least some of them wielding the notorious Mirai malware that transforms Internet-of-things devices into powerful denial-of-service cannons—have begun exploiting a critical flaw that may be present in millions of home routers.

Routers provided to German and Irish ISP customers for Deutsche Telekom and Eircom, respectively, have already been identified as being vulnerable, according to recently published reports from researchers tracking the attacks. The attacks exploit weaknesses found in routers made by Zyxel, Speedport, and possibly other manufacturers. The devices leave Internet port 7547 open to outside connections. The exploits use the opening to send commands based on the TR-069 and related TR-064 protocols, which ISPs use to remotely manage large fleets of hardware. According to this advisory published Monday morning by the SANS Internet Storm Center, honeypot servers posing as vulnerable routers are receiving exploits every five to 10 minutes.

SANS Dean of Research Johannes Ullrich said in Monday’s post that exploits are almost certainly the cause behind an outage that hit Deutsche Telekom customers over the weekend. In a Facebook update, officials with the German ISP said 900,000 customers are vulnerable to the attacks until they are rebooted and receive an emergency patch. Earlier this month, researchers at security firm BadCyber reported that the same one-two port 7547/TR-064 exploit hit the home router of a reader in Poland. They went on to identify D1000 routers supplied by Eircom as also being susceptible and cited this post as support. The Shodan search engine shows that 41 million devices leave port 7547 open, while about five million expose TR-064 services to the outside world.

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Enlarge (credit: Stanford University)

Yesterday, the Nikkei news service reported that the Japanese government is expecting the aftermath of the Fukushima nuclear meltdowns to cost nearly double its earlier estimates. Citing government sources, the report says the total expenses will run at least $176 billion and are likely to rise even further in the future.

While the utility that ran the plant, TEPCO, is ostensibly on the hook for damages, the Japanese government is supporting it in part through interest-free loans. The Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry is coordinating these loans with the Ministry of Finance, and Nikkei News apparently got ahold of a copy of a report that updates Finance on the expected costs that are going to be incurred. The government’s previous official estimates were generated in 2013 and continued to be used in official statements, even though the scale of the challenges became more widely appreciated since.

The new estimates include more than $70 billion for compensation payments to citizens affected by the meltdowns, an increase of nearly 50 percent. Decontamination of the region around the Fukushima site is now pegged at over $40 billion, roughly double the previous estimate.

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Deutsche Telekom confirmed that more than 900,000 routers began to have serious problems connectivity problems due to a cyber attack.

More than 900,000 routers belonging to Deutsche Telekom users in Germany were not able to connect to the Internet due to an alleged cyber-attack.

The affected routers were used by the Deutsche Telekom customers also for fixed telephony and TV services.

The problems lasted at least two days, the outage began on Sunday, November 27, at around 17:00, local time.

Deutsche Telekom users all over the country were not able to connect online using the users provided by the company.

Below a graphic representation of the outage provided by the Allestoerungen.de.

deutsche telekom router-issue

The outage lasted a couple of hours on Sunday, then the problems continued on Monday morning from 08:00.

The company notified via Facebook its 20 million customers to have solved the problems at around 12:00, local time, but users continued to face connectivity issues.

What has happened?

According to the company, hackers targeted the routers exploiting a security issue. Deutsche Telekom and router vendors are working together to develop a firmware fix and roll out the software patch.

Deutsche Telekom is currently rolling out firmware updates.

“The massive interference from connections of Deutsche Telekom, according to findings from the Federal Office for Security in Information Technology (BSI), follow a worldwide attack.” reads the abendblatt.de.

“According to BSI, the attacks were also noticeable in the government-protected government network, but could be repelled with effective protection measures. “

Deutsche Telekom customer case recommended that users unplug their devices, wait for 30 seconds and restart their router. In case this procedure is not able to restore the connectivity it is suggested to permanently disconnect the router from the Deutsche Telekom network.

“German Telekom is now offering a firmware update for the affected routers. Details (in German) are here: https://www.telekom.de/hilfe/geraetezubehoer/router/speedport-w-921v/firmware-zum-speedport-w-921v. Affected user are advised to power off their router and power it on again after 30 seconds. During bootup the router should retrieve the new firmware from the Telekom servers.” reported the SANS Institute.

Deutsche Telekom is offering free mobile Internet until the technical problem is resolved.

Deutsche Telekom didn’t provide further technical details about the alleged cyber attack either the affected router models.

It is not clear which is the threat that compromised the Deutsche Telekom routers, experts speculated the involvement of a malware that could have prevented equipment from connecting to the company’s network.

Security experts from ISC Sans published an interesting report that revealed a significant increase in scans and exploitation attempts for a SOAP Remote Code Execution (RCE) vulnerability via port 7547 against Speedport routers.

This specific model of routers is widely used by Deutsche Telekom for German users.

“For the last couple days, attack against port 7547 have increased substantially. These scans appear to exploit a vulnerability in popular DSL routers. This issue may already have caused severe issues for German ISP Deutsche Telekom and may affect others as well (given that the US is just “waking up” from a long weekend). For Deutsche Telekom, Speedport routers appeared to be the main issue.” added the ICS SANS. 

“According to Shodan,  about 41 Million devices have port 7547 open. The code appears to be derived from Mirai with the additional scan for the SOAP vulnerability. Currently, honeypots see about one request every 5-10 minutes for each target IP.”

According to the ICS SANS report, it seems that attackers tried to exploit a common vulnerability in the TR-069 configuration protocol. Experts highlighted the availability of a Metasploit module implementing the exploit for this vulnerability.

An unconfirmed List of vulnerable routers includes the Eir D1000 Wireless Router (rebranded Zyxel Modem used by Irish ISP Eir) and the Speedport Router (Deutsche Telekom).

Of course. when dealing with IoT devices and cyber threats, the most dreaded malware is the Mirai bot that was recently involved in several massive DDoS attacks.

According to BadCyber, the responsible is the Mirai botnet that was designed to exploit Eir D100 (Zyxel Modems) via port 7547.

“TR-064 protocol is based on HTTP and SOAP and its default port is TCP 7547. Commands are sent as POST requests to this port.” states the BadCyber. 

!The malware itself is really friendly as it closes the vulnerability once the router is infected. It performs the following command:

busybox iptables -A INPUT -p tcp –destination-port 7547 -j DROP

busybox killall -9 telnetd

which should make the device “secure”, unless until next reboot. The first one closes port 7547 and the second one kills the telnet service, making it really hard for the ISP to update the device remotely.”

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Pierluigi Paganini

(Security Affairs – Deutsche Telekom, IoT)

The post More than 900k routers of Deutsche Telekom German users went offline appeared first on Security Affairs.

Source: Security affairs

Enlarge / Walmart is practically throwing free stuff at you to get you to buy an Xbox One S. (credit: Wal-mart)

Don’t blame us if you missed all the good deals on video games when Black Friday came around last week. We tried to tell you there were steep discounts to be had, But noooooo, you just wanted to stay in your warm house with your slippers and your leftovers and your Gilmore Girls binge-watching marathon.

Don’t worry, you can now get similar (or even better) deals on video game hardware and software from the comfort of your home computing device as part of today’s Cyber Monday deals. Even better, some of these discounts are set to last all “Cyber Week” thanks to the never-ending expansion of the holiday price wars. Still, there’s reason to act fast—some of these deals may be pulled as they sell out of limited stock, so if you see a price you like, don’t wait.

Gaming hardware

Target has the deal to beat for all major purchases today, including video game consoles. You’ll get a 15-percent off coupon applied automatically at checkout for anything on the site Monday only. That reduces a $250 video game console bundle to $212.50, a $300 console to $240, a $400 console becomes $340, etc. It’s quite the bargain.

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The tip of a screwworm fly larvae. (credit: CSIRO)

A deadly, flesh-eating parasite has once again invaded southern Florida and is ravaging animals, sparking a local agricultural emergency. State and federal authorities there are now fighting to zap the invasive infestation before it can cause catastrophic damage to the region.

The New World screwworm fly, which infests open wounds and feasts on living tissue, was last seen in the US during the 1970s, following half-a-century of hard-fought eradication efforts in the Southeast US and Central America.

But this year, state officials in the Florida Keys started seeing grotesque lesions on Key deer—an endangered species that is the smallest of North America’s white-tailed deer. Since July, about 15 percent of the Key deer population (132 animals) have died of the infection, and authorities have found other animals in the area, mostly pets, infected. Authorities confirmed the fly’s return through lab testing in late September.

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(credit: Jurgen Appelo)

Reddit has some site rules. A key one is that the site’s users must follow the rules or be barred from participating in discussions. Then there’s another rule, which we’ll call the Prime Directive, because who doesn’t like Star Trek. This directive prohibits the site’s executives from editing comments to alter the site’s community voice. Breaching that directive is perhaps Reddit’s ultimate taboo.

But over the Thanksgiving holiday, Reddit CEO Steve Huffman conceded that he violated the directive. Some negative comments directed at his username—”spez”—were substituted with the names of moderators of a pro-Donald Trump subreddit called “r/the_donald.”

Hey Everyone,
Yep. I messed with the “fuck u/spez” comments, replacing “spez” with r/the_donald mods for about an hour. It’s been a long week here trying to unwind the r/pizzagate stuff. As much as we try to maintain a good relationship with you all, it does get old getting called a pedophile constantly. As the CEO, I shouldn’t play such games, and it’s all fixed now. Our community team is pretty pissed at me, so I most assuredly won’t do this again.
Fuck u/spez.

Huffman did not immediately respond to a request for comment. His concession generated thousands of comments over the weekend.

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