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Shutdown threatens even more government websites

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first_img 12 Comments Hacking Privacy Security Share your voice Tags Patra Kongsirimongkolchai/Getty Images The government shutdown, now in its 25th day, continues to affect the security of federal websites, and the number of impacted sites has jumped. Netcraft, a UK-based web security company, noted last week that it had found more than 80 US government websites operating with expired security certificates, a situation that could put visitors at risk. On Thursday, the company said the number had grown to more than 130 federal sites with expired certificates. Sites such as those of the Department of Justice and NASA were among those initially affected. The latest round of certificate expirations includes sites for the White House, the Federal Aviation Administration, the National Archives and the Department of Agriculture. Some of the affected sites are payment portals, potentially jeopardizing the personal information of visitors, Netcraft said, though CNET couldn’t independently verify this.As the shutdown drags on, more certificates are likely to expire, because they can require employees to renew them. The certificates have different expiration dates scattered throughout the year, and the workers who would normally renew some of them are likely to be out on furlough. As a result, “[T]here could be some realistic opportunities to undermine the security of all US citizens,” Paul Mutton, a security researcher at Netcraft, wrote in a company blog post January 10.Netcraft’s findings underscore the toll taken on US government cybersecurity by the protracted shutdown, which has left hundreds of thousands of federal employees and contractors furloughed. Security certificates, which use a cryptographic key to verify that a website is legitimate, are crucial tools for the safe operation of the web. The certificates let websites tap tools that encrypt the information the sites send to, and receive from, visitors. If a website’s certificates aren’t valid, the security tools won’t work. That leaves the information — think passwords and credit card numbers — vulnerable to hackers. What’s more, hackers could stealthily direct visitors to download malicious software masquerading as an everyday file, such as a PDF of an important document. That’s what’s called a “man in the middle” attack,” said Marc Rogers, who runs cybersecurity at Okta, a company that manages workplace logins. Rogers said the tactic has been used by both criminals and spy agencies to fool internet users and compromise computers. Such attacks can be very sophisticated, with hackers hijacking what visitors see even when they type in the correct website address. Hackers can then show visitors a fraudulent version of the website they were trying to reach. Netcraft found more than 80 expired security certificates for US government websites, but the company isn’t saying hackers have actually taken advantage of vulnerable sites. Some of the expired certificates have knocked subdomains, or offshoots of major websites, off the web. A NASA subdomain, rockettest.nasa.com, currently isn’t accessible, which Netcraft said is because of a lapsed certificate. According to the Internet Archive, the page is for the space exploration agency’s Rocket Propulsion Test Program. The site’s security certificate expired Jan. 5, according to Netcraft. NASA didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. More than ever, websites are using security certificates and thus enabling an encrypted connection. A push by internet security experts and major Silicon Valley companies, including Google and Mozilla, has made it simpler for website owners to get certificates. It’s so common, in fact, that fraudsters have started encrypting their websites too, in order to look legitimate. Rogers said the threat posed by expired certificates should prompt lawmakers and department heads to plan better for the next government shutdown. “We need to ask, what are the things that we need to protect?” Rogers said. “So that when these lapses happen, criminals don’t take advantage.” CNET’s Marguerite Reardon contributed to this story.First published Jan. 12, 9:43 a.m. PT.Update, Jan. 17 at 1:50 p.m.: Adds new information from Netcraft about the number of federal websites affected. Security:  Stay up-to-date on the latest in breaches, hacks, fixes and all those cybersecurity issues that keep you up at night.Election security: Everything you need to know about election security in the 2018 US midterm elections. last_img read more

Give Rohingyas shelter Shujan tells govt

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first_imgCivic platform Citizens for Good Governance better known as Shujan, on Thursday urged Bangladesh authorities to provide persecuted Rohingyas shelter in Bangladesh.At a press conference styled ‘Rohingya Problem: A Humanitarian Issue’ at the Dhaka Reporters Unity in the capital, the civic body also called on Bangladesh to withdraw its proposal for conducting joint operations with Myanmar along the Bangladesh-Myanmar border against insurgents.Professor CR Abrar of the International Relations Department of Dhaka University presented the keynote speech at the press conference during which he accused the Myanmar government of committing genocide in Rakhine and unleashing state-backed terrorism.“The Myanmar government is engaged in an ethnic cleansing in the Northern Rakhine State of the country where they are shooting people indiscriminately. They are bayonetting and using helicopter gunships,” said Abrar in giving a picture of Rohingya persecution in Myanmar.He referred to Human Rights Watch’s report and said satellite images showed that houses in a 100 kilometre stretch of land were burnt.“The Myanmar army and its collaborators have either already killed, or raped or tortured several thousand Rohingyas.”In his keynote speech, Abrar put forth an eight-point demand, including forging an international campaign to impose economic sanctions on Myanmar.The demands also include forging a strong international campaign to bring an immediate end to the Rakhine genocide, mounting pressure on the international community so that the issue is discussed in the upcoming meeting of theUnited Nations Human Rights Council on 11 September, giving Rohingyas shelter, and ensuring their basic needs until they are rehabilitated and repatriated to their own land.He also said Bangladesh alone will not be able to bear the burden of such a huge number of Rohingyas and that’s why he urged the Bangladesh authorities to seek the international community’s help.He also urged the international community to find a third country for rehabilitation of the Rohingyas.Shujan secretary Badiul Alam Majumder said, “It’s not a political or partisan issue; rather it is a human disaster. We can’t remain silent. We want a permanent solution to the crisis.”Alleging that Bangladesh has adopted a subservient foreign policy over the Rohingya issue, columnist SyedAbul Maksud demanded that the policy be recast to end the crisis.”Our foreign policy is not suitable for building a strong nation. The government will have to prove through its words and actions that Bangladesh is not weaker than Nepal, Sri Lanka, and the Maldives,” he said.Mentioning that there should be an end to the atrocities unleashed by Myanmar security forces on the Rohingya people in Rakhine state, the columnist said Bangladesh and Myanmar, with the help of other countries, can resolve the crisis.Speaking on the occasion, academician Tofail Ahmed said about six hundred thousand Rohingyas have entered Bangladesh through the Cox’s Bazar border and it is not possible for Bangladesh to provide shelter for all of them.“The situation has turned worse. It may affect our tourism sector. It can even become a national disaster for us,” said Tofail Ahmed.last_img read more

Electric Imp serves up plantsthirsty lightson control

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first_img Electric Imp designed the card to be inserted into a product, connecting to the cloud service and in turn allowing the device to talk to other devices and to communicate with the user and services via the Internet. The cards can be programmed to control or measure anything. They can be installed to devices using circuit boards sold by Electric Imp. The company is talking to manufacturers as well, for the purpose of getting slots pre-installed on various products.Costs for an imp card would be about $25 and circuit boards, would be between $10 and $25. Imp-enabled products will be available later this year from a number of vendors, say reports. The company notes that its patent-pending technology is available to license. Interactive media improved patients’ understanding of cancer surgery by more than a third Imp in Action A developer preview bundle will ship in late June. Electric Imp says the software uses drag-and-drop graphics to set up commands, and is easily programmed. Preview units will be available along with developer kits. In notes for developers, the company says software running on the Imp is written in Squirrel, a C-like language, with extensions to communicate with the hardware interfaces and the service.The release signifies a turning point in the Internet of Things, says the company, as Internet-connecting devices so far have been expensive and of limited user benefit. The idea for the Imp stems from one of the team members who wanted to remodel his bathroom and hook up a display under his bathroom cabinet to WiFi to display bits of ambient information, such as the weather forecast and share prices. Disappointed with the lack of tools available, he was convinced there must be a better way of doing something like this.Electric Imp plans to be at the Maker Faire in San Mateo, California, which runs from May 19 to May 20. Explore further More information: electricimp.com © 2012 Phys.Org (Phys.org) — Electric Imp wants to revive the dream of All Things Internet with its new device launched this week. Its Imp is able to connect devices to the Internet, where you can monitor and control information from your phone, mobile computer, or any other Imp-enabled devices. The Los Altos, California, company has essentially managed to come up with a cloud-based home automation unit. The Imp looks like any standard user-installable SD card and is equipped with embedded processor and Wi-Fi capability. The card’s WiFi radio supports 802.11b/g/n, and has an integrated antenna. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Citation: Electric Imp serves up plants-thirsty, lights-on control (2012, May 17) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2012-05-electric-imp-plants-thirsty-lights-on.htmllast_img read more

Sky is the limit

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first_imgAll the adventure freaks have a chance to rejoice and cheer as Global Himalayan Expedition announces its second edition. The journey  from Delhi to Leh starts from 10 August.The 11 days expedition will be covered entirely on an electric powered vehicle (EV). The travel will include all kinds of action like setting-up a micro-grid in a Himalayan village, trekking, cycling and rafting in the mountains, to camping in some of the most picturesque locations in the world.  Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’The journey will be led by Robert Swan, UN Goodwill Ambassador and the first man to have walked to both the poles on earth. The electric vehicle will cover about 1300 kilometers between Delhi and Ladakh passing through Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir. Throughout the journey, the expedition team members, will reach out to people and raise awareness about clean energy, electric vehicle and its benefits. This awareness walk to the team will be a precursor to the Expedition, which would kick-off on the day when the electric vehicle reaches Leh. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixSwan said, ‘This year the team wishes to further promote the idea of use of clean energy. We decided to undertake this journey as a display of how clean energy is an effective alternative to traditional fossil fuel based transportation systems. The team aims to show that if an electric vehicle can take on this challenge, then it can very well work anywhere. Once in Leh, the vehicle will be used to transport to help the students and people from the other parts of the city to reach the E-Base, built by the team during last year’s expedition, and work at the facility.’ In addition to the clean Himalayan journey, it will also focus on providing energy access to remote Himalayan regions. The team will also join forces with Ladakh Renewable Energy Development Agency for identification of villages across remote parts of Ladakh, where it will set up DC Solar Microgrids to provide basic lighting and charging facilities to the community. The region is suitable for yearlong solar energy generation, and can be used to refuel these EVs.last_img read more

Indians more comfortable socialising online

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first_imgOwing by the surge in social media usage among Indians, one-third of the country’s below-35 people feel more comfortable socialising online than in real life, a new survey has revealed. The survey conducted by Kissanpur reveals that 65 per cent respondents in Bengaluru said they are more comfortable with virtual socialising, followed by 33 per cent respondents from Mumbai reiterating the same. As many as 70 per cent of the respondents in Bengaluru and 43 per cent in Mumbai say they get to know about the lives of their friends and relatives mainly online. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’When it comes to children, 53 per cent Indians believe that their wards need coaxing or take very long to make new friends. This trend is largely seen in Bengaluru, Mumbai and Lucknow. Furthermore, 38 per cent Indians are either just acquaintances with their neighbour or they do not even know their neighbours at all. This number is significantly higher in Bengaluru with 68 per cent agreeing with this observation, followed by Delhi and Lucknow. They are mere strangers who share a courtesy smile or meet casually in the elevator. Some don’t even know their neighbour’s names.last_img read more