News & Updates


On Friday, Southern California utility San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) held a small press conference in Escondido to show off its brand new energy storage facility, a 30MW battery system capable of storing 120MWh of energy, which can serve 20,000 customers for four hours. SDG&E also introduced a 7.5MW battery system built in El Cajon, CA.

The two projects were built after state energy officials ordered power companies to add lithium-ion battery storage to their grids this past summer following a massive methane leak at Aliso Canyon in California that put the region in jeopardy for natural gas shortages. AES Energy Storage, a Virginia-based company that has been building utility-grade batteries since 2008, built the system for SDG&E.

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By Carolina

The social media giant Facebook had a service interruption earlier today locking some users out from their accounts with a warning message that their account has been compromised since “someone may have logged into your account.” Further, the message explained that “in order to keep your information secure we’ve locked your account. Before we can […]

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Enlarge (credit: Getty Images | KrulUA)

The Federal Communications Commission plans to halt implementation of a privacy rule that requires ISPs to protect the security of its customers’ personal information.

The data security rule is part of a broader privacy rulemaking implemented under former Chairman Tom Wheeler but opposed by the FCC’s new Republican majority. The privacy order’s data security obligations are scheduled to take effect on March 2, but Chairman Ajit Pai wants to prevent that from happening.

The data security rule requires ISPs and phone companies to take “reasonable” steps to protect customers’ information—such as Social Security numbers, financial and health information, and Web browsing data—from theft and data breaches.

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Enlarge (credit: youngthousands)

Thursday’s watershed attack on the widely used SHA1 hashing function has claimed its first casualty: the version control system used by the WebKit browser engine, which became completely corrupted after someone uploaded two proof-of-concept PDF files that have identical message digests.

The bug resides in Apache SVN, an open source version control system that WebKit and other large software development organizations use to keep track of code submitted by individual members. Often abbreviated as SVN, Subversion uses SHA1 to track and merge duplicate files. Somehow, SVN systems can experience a severe glitch when they encounter the two PDF files published Thursday, proving that real-world collisions on SHA1 are now practical.

On Friday morning, the researchers updated their informational website to add the frequently asked question “Is SVN affected?” The answer:

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Enlarge / The Matrice 100, DJI’s development platform for industrial drone apps, appears to be the Islamic State’s newest bomber. (credit: DJI)

On the morning of February 23, Iraqi forces moved through Al-Buseif, Iraq as they began their assault against the Islamic State (IS) held Mosul Airport. All the while, a quadcopter drone buzzed overhead. Sara Hussein, a reporter with Agence France-Presse covering the assault on Mosul, reported via Twitter that the Iraqi Army had brought down the weaponized drone, and her driver managed to take pictures of it after it was grounded.

The drone was armed with a pair of small bombs constructed from what appears to be a 40-millimeter grenade—the type fired by infantry grenade launchers. The bodies of the bombs are made of PVC pipe, and they have tails made from badminton shuttlecocks.

Anyone who’s looked at buying a consumer drone would likely recognize the logo on the antenna atop the downed drone: it belongs to DJI, the Chinese company that manufactures the Phantom drone Ars’ Lee Hutchinson flew (and crashed) in 2014. The model used by IS in this case, however, is the Matrice 100, an industrial drone built by DJI as a pre-built platform for drone developers and sold as part of a “Smarter Farming Kit.” Priced at $3,300 for sale in the US on its own and for $8,300 as a kit, the Matrice 100 is not exactly in the price range of most military drones. But it is capable of 35 minutes of flight time per battery and has enough power to carry up to 1.2 kilograms of additional payload—as well as UART interfaces to plug in accessories like bomb release servos.

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A huge number of Gmail accounts lockout their users and forced them to log in again. What has happened? Is it the result of a massive cyber attack?

A huge number of Gmail accounts lockout the users, the strange behavior leads the experts into believing that something has happened. Is it a computer glitch or a hack?

Gmail accounts

Rumors of a cyber attack are circulating online, on Reddit many users shared a description of their strange experience. Gmail users are receiving messages informing them that their account has been changed, and asking them to re-sign into Gmail accounts on their mobile.

Google replied to one of the thread on one of its official forums by confirming that an investigation is ongoing, but at the same time, the company is downplaying concerns.

In response to a thread on one of its official forums, Google said it was investigating the issue while downplaying concerns confirming that there is no indication the accounts have been hacked.

“We’ve gotten reports about some users being signed out of their accounts, unexpectedly. We’re investigating, but not to worry: there is no indication that this is connected to any phishing or account security threats. Please try to sign-in again at and if you cannot remember your password, please use this link ( to recover your password.” reads the Google’s response. cited Crystal Cee from Google’s Product Forum, confirming that Google users need to sign in again to access their accounts using this address “”

Cee explained that if users have forgotten the password then they have to use this link “” to recover it. Cee also added that users with 2-step verification can experience a delay in SMS code reception.

We can only wait for further information shared by the IT giant.

Stay Tuned.

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Pierluigi Paganini

(Security Affairs – GMail accounts, hacking)

The post Gmail accounts lockout the users. Glitch or hack, it’s a mystery appeared first on Security Affairs.

Source: Security affairs

Enlarge / An artist’s conception of an SLS launch. (credit: NASA)

Earlier this month, NASA disclosed that the White House asked the agency to consider flying astronauts on the maiden launch of the massive Space Launch System rocket, known as Exploration Mission-1 (EM-1), instead of using it as a test flight. On Friday, senior managers at the agency told reporters during a teleconference that they were “encouraged” by the opportunity to study this possibility, but they were also carefully weighing the risks against the rewards.

“We recognize this will be an increased risk,” said William Gerstenmaier, associate administrator of NASA’s Human Explorations and Operations Mission Directorate. “We take that increased risk, and we take it against the benefits we gain by doing this, and we say, ‘Is that something that is worthwhile for us to go and do?’ Then we have an agency-wide discussion on whether this is an appropriate risk for us to take.”

The study should be complete in about a month, Gerstenmaier said. During the call, he and NASA’s lead manager for the SLS rocket and Orion spacecraft, Bill Hill, provided some additional information about the mission. It will fly just two astronauts, instead of four or six, on an eight- or nine-day mission into lunar orbit and back. The flight plan will also include multiple opportunities to return to Earth earlier if some unexpected problem occurs.

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Enlarge (credit: Getty | Media for Medical )

Looking to find the most effective probiotics? You may need to look no further than your own body.

Scientists could rid eczema patients’ arms of disease-spurring Staphylococcus aureus simply by picking out rare but helpful bacteria also on their skin, growing it up to large quantities, and mixing it with off-the-shelf lotion that the patients slathered on. The finding, reported this week in Science Translational Medicine, is another example of harnessing the protective and disease-fighting potential of the human microbiome. Researchers are optimistic that in future clinical trials, the personal bacteria boosts will prove useful in longterm treatment for eczema, without the risks that come with antibiotics.

“This approach is inherently superior to current pharmaceutically derived antibiotics,” the authors conclude. Unlike bottled antibiotics that may kill microbes indiscriminately—friends or foes—the patient’s skin bacteria selectively killed off harmful S. aureus and left the protective community intact.

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(credit: alizasherman)

Social media calls to #DeleteUber are getting the company’s attention in ways that previous efforts have not.

This week, Uber drew increased scrutiny in the wake of public allegations by a former engineer named Susan Fowler, who described Uber as having a culture of sexual harassment during her tenure there. The San Francisco company has since publicly rebuked this behavior and announced that it has retained former US Attorney General Eric Holder to investigate Fowler’s allegations.

However, in response, some customers renewed calls to “#DeleteUber,” which led the company to respond with an automated message about the investigations. The hashtag dates back to 2011 but didn’t really get going until 2014, and it has flared up at various moments since.

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By Waqas

According to Google’s research team, they have successfully broken Secure Hash Algorithm 1 encryption, commonly referred to as SHA-1, which is a vital internet security tool. They believe that with this new breakthrough they can limit the widespread use of encryption technology. It is indeed a breakthrough since SHA-1 has been touted as vulnerable so […]

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