Mitsubishi's dieselgate: cheating since 1991

Mitsubishi_eK_Wagon_rear

Mitsubishi has admitted that it cheated on emissions standards tests for a quarter of a century, and it admits that this affected 600,000 cars, but the company says that the cheating cars were only sold to Japanese people. Read the rest

Hungarian ruling party wants to ban all working crypto

Dia03 (1)

The parliamentary vice-president from Fidesz -- the largest faction in the Hungarian government -- has asked parliament to "ban communication devices that [law enforcement agencies] are not able to surveil despite having the legal authority to do so." Read the rest

UK minister compares adblocking to piracy, promises action

maxresdefault

UK culture secretary John Whittingdale gave a speech at the Oxford Media Convention where he compared adblocking to piracy and vowed "to set up a round table involving major publishers, social media groups and adblocking companies in the coming weeks to do something about the problem." Read the rest

The Eleventh HOPE: NYC, Jul 22-24 (I'm keynoting!)

cropped-hope_black

After literally decades of trying to make it to one of 2600 Magazine's legendary HOPE (Hackers on Planet Earth) events, held every two years in NYC, I will be coming to town this year for it -- and giving one of the keynotes. Read the rest

3D Systems abandons its Cube printers, but DRM means you can't buy filament from anyone else

tumblr_inline_o0rdvevaAT1rl4bdh_500

3D printing giant 3D Systems has experienced a terrible year and a change in leadership, and seems to be backing away from consumer products, meaning that it's orphaned its Cube home 3D printers. Read the rest

Juniper blinks: firewall will nuke the NSA's favorite random number generator

image02

In the month since network security giant Juniper Networks was forced to admit that its products had NSA-linked backdoors, the company's tried a lot of different strategies: minimizing assurances, apologies, firmware updates -- everything, that is, except for removing th Dual_EC random number generator that is widely understood to have been compromised by the NSA. Read the rest

Resilience over rigidity: how to solve tomorrow's computer problems today

160091

My new Locus Magazine column, Wicked Problems: Resilience Through Sensing, proposes a solution the urgent problem we have today of people doing bad stuff with computers. Where once "bad stuff with computers" meant "hacking your server," now it could potentially mean "blocking air-traffic control transmissions" or "programming your self-driving car to kill you." Read the rest

Breaking the DRM on the 1982 Apple ][+ port of Burger Time

056c026d-1c66-4d42-9fae-a8e96df290c5-1020x914

4AM is a prolific computer historian whose practice involves cracking the copy protection on neglected Apple ][+ floppy disks, producing not just games, but voluminous logs that reveal the secret history of the cat-and-mouse between crackers and publishers. Read the rest

If you think self-driving cars have a Trolley Problem, you're asking the wrong questions

train

In my latest Guardian column, The problem with self-driving cars: who controls the code?, I take issue with the "Trolley Problem" as applied to autonomous vehicles, which asks, if your car has to choose between a maneuver that kills you and one that kills other people, which one should it be programmed to do? Read the rest

Philips pushes lightbulb firmware update that locks out third-party bulbs

philips-hue-BR30

Philips makes a line of "smart" LED lightbulbs and controllers called Hue, that run the Zigbee networking protocol, allowing third-party devices to control their brightness and color. Read the rest

I Can't Let You Do That, Dave: why computer scientists should care about DRM

HAL-9000

I have an editorial in the current issue of Communications of the Association of Computing Machinery, a scholarly journal for computer scientists, in which I describe the way that laws that protect digital locks (like America's DMCA) compromise the fundamentals of computer security. Read the rest

DRM in TIG welders

056c026d-1c66-4d42-9fae-a8e96df290c5-1020x860

Some of Miller's TIG welding power supplies come intentionally crippled, locking out many useful functions until you buy a $400 SD card. Read the rest

Hospitals are patient zero for the Internet of Things infosec epidemic

mri

As I have often noted, medical devices have terrifyingly poor security models, even when compared to the rest of the nascent Internet of Things, where security is, at best, an afterthought (at worst, it's the enemy!). Read the rest

It's not enough that Apple and Google are bringing usable crypto to the world

vM4PXl

An excellent essay by Penn law prof Jeffrey Vagle describes how the deployment of really easy-to-use, good crypto by Google and Apple is a game-changing shift in the ability of ordinary people to be secure from snooping by crooks, spies (and yes, cops), but how that isn't enough, by a long stretch. Read the rest

Landmark patent case will determine whether you can ever truly own a device again

C780A1KG

Former IBM division Lexmark (which, a decade ago, lost a key copyright case that tried to ban ink-toner refilling) is headed to court in a patent case called Lexmark v. Impression, where it argues that patent law gives it the right to restrict your use of your property after you buy it. Read the rest

Not just emissions: manufacturers' dirty tricks fake everything about cars

Mad-Max-Fury-Road-The-Immortan-Joe-Hugh-Keays-Byrne

VW's diesel firmware detected when it was undergoing emissions testing and changed the engine tuning to produce 1/40 of its normal toxic output, fooling regulators. But though they're the only ones who've been caught using firmware to game emissions testing, they're not the only ones with something to hide. Read the rest

Open "Chromecast killer" committed suicide-by-DRM

The Matchstick, a Firefox-OS-based Chromecast-style device, kickstarted on the promise of bringing open, user-rights-respecting video to our homes -- then they decided to add DRM. Read the rest

More posts