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Industry & Technology

Malvertisers target Mac uses with steganographic code stashed in images

Ars Technica - 28 min 21 sec ago

Enlarge / One of the malicious ads displayed in a campaign from VeryMal (credit: Confiant)

Researchers have uncovered a recent malicious advertisement campaign that’s notable for its size, scope, and resourcefulness: a two day blitz triggered as many as 5 million times per day that used highly camouflaged JavaScript stashed in images to install a trojan on visitors' Macs.

The ads were served by a group security firm Confiant has dubbed VeryMal, a name that comes from, one of the ad serving domains the group uses. A run that was active from January 11 to January 13 on about 25 of the top 100 publisher sites triggered the image as many as 5 million times a day. In an attempt to bypass increasingly effective measures available to detect malicious ads, the images used steganography—the ancient practice of hiding code, messages or other data inside images or text—to deliver its malicious payload to Mac-using visitors.

In a blog post published Wednesday, Confiant researcher Eliya Stein wrote:

Read 5 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Apple lays off 200 people from its autonomous vehicle team

Ars Technica - 37 min 49 sec ago

Enlarge / Apple CEO Tim Cook looks on as the iPhone X goes on sale at an Apple Store on November 3, 2017 in Palo Alto, California. (credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Apple has trimmed the size of its autonomous vehicles team, laying off 200 people, CNBC reports. Code-named "Project Titan," the secret team has been operating for several years, but Apple has yet to reveal what specifically the group is working on.

According to CNBC, the layoffs are part of a reorganization led by Doug Field, an Apple executive who went to Tesla few years ago—then returned to Apple last summer to help lead Project Titan.

"As the team focuses their work on several key areas for 2019, some groups are being moved to projects in other parts of the company, where they will support machine learning and other initiatives, across all of Apple," an Apple spokesman told CNBC.

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Office 365 enjoys good old-fashioned Thursday wobble as email drops over in Europe

The Register - 53 min 51 sec ago
2018's greatest hits on repeat in 2019 for some lucky Microsoft punters

Office 365 is enjoying a Thursday wobble this morning, at least as far as users in the UK and much of Europe are concerned.…

Oxford scientists successfully recreated a famous rogue wave in the lab

Ars Technica - 1 hour 27 min ago

Courtesy of the University of Oxford.

In 1995, a powerful rogue wave slammed into an offshore gas pipeline platform operated by Statoil in the southern tip of Norway. Dubbed the "Draupner wave," it generated intense interest among scientists, since the platform's various sensors and instruments provided precise details about the wave's dynamics. Rogue waves had long been considered a myth, so those readings—combined with damage to the platform consistent with a wave some 84 feet high—provided crucial evidence for the phenomenon

It wasn't long before scientists were attempting to recreate rogue waves in the laboratory, the better to understand the mechanisms behind how they form in the first place. Now a team at the University of Oxford in England has successfully recreated the "Draupner wave" in a circular water tank, according to a new paper in the Journal of Fluid Mechanics, shedding further light on the mechanisms that produced it. Bonus: the wave profile bears a striking resemblance to The Great Wave off Kanagawa, a famous 19th-century woodblock print by Japanese artist Katsushika Hokusai.

"The measurement of the Draupner wave in 1995 was a seminal observation initiating many years of research into the physics of freak waves and shifting their standing from mere folklore to a credible real-world phenomenon," said co-author Mark McAllister of the University of Oxford. "By recreating the Draupner wave in the lab, we have moved one step closer to understanding the potential mechanisms of this phenomenon."

Read 11 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Tech sector meekly waves arms in another bid to get Oz to amend its crypto-busting laws

The Register - 1 hour 44 min ago
Rather than binning them and starting again

Comment An alliance of Australia's tech and industry advocacy groups hopes, yet again, to have the country's encryption-busting legislation tweaked before the government goes to an election no later than May.…

Galaxy X: Price, specs, rumored March release date for Samsung's foldable phone - CNET - News - 1 hour 58 min ago
Samsung's foldable phone is coming, with the competition hot in its heels.

Apple reportedly dismissed over 200 employees from Project Titan - Roadshow - News - 1 hour 58 min ago
The autonomous vehicle program is apparently being restructured.

2019 Mercedes-Benz G550 review: An anachronistic SUV with modern luxury and tech - Roadshow - Reviews - 2 hours 1 min ago
Fully updated yet true to its classic roots, there's nothing else out there that's quite like the Mercedes-Benz G-Class.

Straight outta Blighty: Readers, if you were a tech billionaire, what would you do?

The Register - 2 hours 18 min ago
Offshore, don't care?

Reader poll Nothing splits The Reg readers, and the country, quite like a discussion on where to put the jam in its scone, so we decided to ask you what, indeed, you would do if you were a tech billionaire on the eve of a potentially, er, disorderly Brexit.…

Microsoft's Bing search engine blocked in China - CNET - News - 2 hours 33 min ago
Search engine is inaccessible by government order, the Financial Times reports.

Serverless Computing London Call for Papers is open NOW

The Register - 2 hours 48 min ago
Functions as a conference...

Serverless Computing London returns in November, and we want you to be there, on stage.…

By gum(stick): Samsung speeds up 970 EVO Plus drive

The Register - 3 hours 45 min ago
Cut-price unit takes WD's heatsink-toting SSD to the cleaners too

Samsung has updated its 970 EVO SSD gumstick SSD to boast numbers that beat Western Digital's fancy heatsink-sporting SN750.…

Hadoop coop thrown for loop by malware snoop n' scoop troop? Oh poop

The Register - 4 hours 54 min ago
Attacks on distributed frameworks on the rise, it is claimed by infosec biz

Hadoop databases haven't been getting much interest from hackers so far, compared to other data silos, but that's changing, according to a new study.…

So this is how that terrifying killer AI will end us... by pushing us down hospital wait lists?

The Register - 6 hours 1 min ago
Smartish system has a good stab at prioritizing patients, has problems deciding what's critical, tho

Artificially intelligent software can help slash the wait times for patients anxious to see the results of their X-ray scans, it is claimed.…

The BMC in OpenBMC stands for 'Burglarize My Computer' – thanks to irritating security flaw

The Register - 6 hours 55 min ago
Pantsdown vulnerability affects various BMC stacks as well as OpenBMC on systems using two particular Aspeed chips

An oversight in the firmware for various baseband management controllers (BMCs) can be exploited by miscreants to bury spyware deep inside a server, potentially poisoning it for the next owner.…

Olympus OM-D E-M1X goes gonzo on image stabilization - CNET - News - 6 hours 58 min ago
With up to seven stops of compensation, Olympus hopes to entice pro action and wildlife photographers who'd like to shed the burden of a tripod or monopod.

Sundance 2019: Previewing the hard-hitting documentaries, horror chillers - CNET - News - 7 hours 32 min ago
Documentaries on Harvey Weinstein and Michael Jackson are among the highlights of this year's film festival.

In China, you can now stalk blacklisted debtors on WeChat - CNET - News - 7 hours 37 min ago
The country has been testing a mini program in the province of Hebei since last week.

Xiaomi's double-bending foldable phone just stole Samsung's thunder - CNET - News - 7 hours 56 min ago
Commentary: We've never seen a foldable phone prototype like this.

WWE Royal Rumble 2019: How to watch, start time, entrants and full match card - CNET - News - 8 hours 1 min ago
The Royal Rumble is this weekend. Here's every confirmed match and Rumble entrants.

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