It's been more than a year since RSA's Rotem Kerner published his research on the insecurities in a PVR that was "white labeled" by TVT, a Chinese company and sold under over 70 brand-names around the world. In the intervening year, tens of thousands of these devices have been hijacked into botnets used by criminals in denial of service attacks, and TVT is still MIA, having done nothing to repair them.
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The Mirai worm made its way into information security lore in September, when it was identified as the source of the punishing flood of junk traffic launched against Brian Krebs in retaliation for his investigative reporting about a couple of petty Israeli criminals; subsequent analysis showed Mirai to be amateurish and clumsy, and despite this, it went on to infect devices all over the world, gaining virulence as it hybridized with other Internet of Things worms, endangering entire countries, growing by leaps and bounds, helped along by negligent engineering practices at major companies like Sony.
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The unprecedented denial-of-service attacks powered by the Mirai Internet of Things worm have harnessed crappy, no-name CCTVs, PVRs, and routers to launch unstoppable floods of internet noise, but it's not just faceless Chinese businesses that crank out containerloads of vulnerable, defective-by-design gear -- it's also name brands like Sony.
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I think we can pass on GIFfing this one. You'll thank me, just as you will curse your curiosity. Read the rest
It's like Bad USB, with extra Thunderbolt badness: Web-based attacks can insert undetectable malicious software into a Mac's UEFI/BIOS, which spreads to other machines by infecting Thunderbolt and USB devices.
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When alone, a hermaphroditic flatworm is known to stab itself with its needle-tipped penis and inject sperm to self-impregnate. It's called "hypodermic insemination." Read the rest
Piled neatly by road markings in Eisenhower State Park, Texas, a vast number of gently writhing worms grace the asphalt. At first mistaken for spaghetti by rangers baffled at their regularity, it soon became clear something stranger was afoot.
Seen in photos posted to Facebook by staff from Texas Parks & Wildlife Department, the mystery has baffled biologists, ABC News reports. But two theories are emerging:
Park officials have two theories about the worms’ bizarre behaviour.
The first is that the ground become so wet that the worms were forced to move to the dryer parts. The second is that rain may sound like predators, so the worms moved and clumped together to avoid them.
My hypothesis: escaped gnomes put there there. Read the rest
Worms have a specific antenna-shaped neuron that senses the Earth's magnetic field, enabling the transparent nematode to know up from down when it's in the ground. Read the rest
Paul held himself apart from the humor, his attention focused on the projection and the question that filled his mind: "Thufir, are there sandworms big enough to swallow that whole?"
Silence settled on the table. The Duke cursed under his breath, then thought: No—they have to face the realities here.
"There’re worms in the deep desert could take this entire factory in one gulp," Thufir said.
What the hell is this monster found in Vietnam? [Rocket News - Video Link] Read the rest
Here's a weird, great geological feature I spotted yesterday while out hiking in rural Oklahoma. We were out in a flat, flat plan that was dotted with a few tall, angular sandstone mounds and narrow sandstone canyons carved out by erosion. This rock was sticking out of the side of one of the mounds. It was the only place we saw anything like these vertical, tube-like structures, which stretched from the ground up to probably about my shoulder.
When I posted this image on Twitter yesterday, several people suggested that the tubes might be skolithos — tube-shaped fossils that were probably made by some kind of ancient worm creature and turn up sometimes in sandstones. While the pictures on Wikipedia don't look very similar to what I saw, there are apparently lots of different forms these things (and similar tube fossils) can take. Read the rest