Two hackers are selling DDoS attacks from 400,000 IoT devices infected with the Mirai worm

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The Mirai worm -- first seen attacking security journalist Brian Krebs with 620gbps floods, then taking down Level 3, Dyn and other hardened, well-provisioned internet giants, then spreading to every developed nation on Earth (and being used to take down some of those less-developed nations) despite being revealed as clumsy and amateurish (a situation remedied shortly after by hybridizing it with another IoT worm) -- is now bigger than ever, and you can rent time on it to punish journalists, knock countries offline, or take down chunks of the core internet. Read the rest

Man regrets stamping on cricket

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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

Proof-of-concept firmware worm targets Apple computers

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. Read the rest

Flatworms inject sperm into their heads to self-fertilize

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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

Thousands of worms found in neat piles on road

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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

Discovery of worm neuron that senses Earth's magnetic field

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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

"Monster worm" found in Vietnam

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

Worms a delicacy in Zimbabwe

Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi writes: "In Zimbabwe as well as most parts of southern Africa, mopane worms are a staple part of the diet in rural areas and are considered a delicacy in the cities." [AP] Read the rest

Are these the remains of ancient worm holes?

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