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Comic for February 20, 2019

Dilbert - February 21, 2019 - 12:59am
Categories: Geek

Russia bans smartphones for soldiers over social media fears

BBC Technology News - 54 min 37 sec ago
The decision comes after social media use by soldiers raised national security issues.

Nasty code-execution bug in WinRAR threatened millions of users for 14 years

Ars Technica - 1 hour 10 min ago

Enlarge / Evert (credit: iStock / Getty Images)

WinRAR, a Windows file compression program with 500 million users worldwide, recently fixed a 14-year-old vulnerability that made it possible for attackers to execute malicious code when targets opened a booby-trapped file.

The vulnerability was the result of an absolute path traversal flaw that resided in UNACEV2.DLL, a third-party code library that hasn’t been updated since 2005. The traversal made it possible for archive files to extract to a folder of the archive creator’s choosing, rather than the folder chosen by the person using the program. Because the third-party library doesn’t make use of exploit mitigations such as address space layout randomization, there was little preventing exploits.

Researchers from Check Point Software, the security firm that discovered the vulnerability, initially had trouble figuring out how to exploit the vulnerability in a way that executed code of their choosing. The most obvious path—to have an executable file extracted to the Windows startup folder where it would run on the next reboot—required WinRAR to run with higher privileges or integrity levels than it gets by default.

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With the best air pressure sensor ever on Mars, scientists find a mystery

Ars Technica - 1 hour 56 min ago

Enlarge / An artist's image of InSight on the surface of Mars, showing the location of its weather sensors. (credit: NASA)

There's a new meteorologist on Mars. Although NASA's InSight spacecraft landed on the red planet late in 2018 to measure the planet's geology—primarily by listening for Mars quakes—it also brought some sophisticated meteorology equipment with it.

The space agency has set up a website to share that information, which includes not only daily high and low temperatures, but unprecedented hourly data on wind speed, direction, and air pressure for InSight's location near the equator in Elysium Planitia. "We thought it was something that people might have some fun with," Cornell University's Don Banfield, who leads InSight's weather science, told Ars.

Other spacecraft have brought comparable temperature and wind sensors to Mars before, but none have carried such a precise air pressure sensor. The new sensor is 10 times more sensitive than any previous instrument because InSight needs to detect slight movements in the Martian ground, and from such movements infer details about the red planet's interior. For this, weather matters.

Read 6 remaining paragraphs | Comments

UK 4G 'slower than most of EU when busy'

BBC Technology News - 2 hours 5 min ago
In a table of 77 countries, the UK ranked 35th for download speeds, a report finds.

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