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An edited collection of advanced computing news from Communications of the ACM, ACM TechNews, other ACM resources, and news sites around the Web.


Ever Wondered What a Live Botnet Looks Like?
From ACM News

Ever Wondered What a Live Botnet Looks Like?

The idea of a network of malware-infected zombie computers rigged to do the bidding of criminals conjures up a frightening image on its own. A new visualization...

To Keep Passwords Safe From Hackers, Just Break Them Into Bits
From ACM TechNews

To Keep Passwords Safe From Hackers, Just Break Them Into Bits

RSA researchers have developed a system that splits passwords in two and stores each half in different locations.  

Stuxnet Tricks Copied By Computer Criminals
From ACM TechNews

Stuxnet Tricks Copied By Computer Criminals

Security researchers warn that the techniques used in sophisticated, state-supported malware are being used by less-skilled programmers to target Web users.  

Stuxnet Tricks Copied By Computer Criminals
From ACM News

Stuxnet Tricks Copied By Computer Criminals

Malicious code apparently used by governments to spy on, harass, and sabotage one another has grabbed headlines in recent years, yet the highly targeted nature...

This Touch Screen Knows Your Touch
From ACM TechNews

This Touch Screen Knows Your Touch

Rutgers University researchers have developed a device that could identify an individual user and rapidly switch a system's settings to adjust to the user, providing...

From ACM News

Hey, Hackers: Defense Is Sexy, Too

Pleasing the crowd at the Black Hat and Def Con computer security conferences that took place in Las Vegas last week is relatively easy: simply hop on stage and...

A Computer Infection That Can Never Be Cured
From ACM TechNews

A Computer Infection That Can Never Be Cured

French hacker Jonathan Brossard recently developed Rakshasa, software that can be hidden inside the hardware of a PC, creating a backdoor that would allow secret...

Nsa Boss Wants More Control Over the 'net
From ACM News

Nsa Boss Wants More Control Over the 'net

The U.S. Internet's infrastructure needs to be redesigned to allow the NSA to know instantly when overseas hackers might be attacking public or private infrastructure...

From ACM News

Gps Weakness Could Enable Mass Smartphone Hacking

Weaknesses in the technology that allows smartphone users to pinpoint themselves on a map, or check into restaurants and bars using apps such as Foursquare, could...

The Latest Threat: A Virus Made Just For You
From ACM TechNews

The Latest Threat: A Virus Made Just For You

Georgia Tech's Paul Royal has shown that a newly refined technique could make automated analysis of malware nearly impossible, and he plans to reveal his work at...

What Facebook Knows
From ACM News

What Facebook Knows

If Facebook were a country, a conceit that founder Mark Zuckerberg has entertained in public, its 900 million members would make it the third largest in the world...

The Antivirus Era Is Over
From ACM News

The Antivirus Era Is Over

Two weeks ago today, computer security labs in Iran, Russia, and Hungary announced the discovery of Flame, "the most complex malware ever found," according to Hungary's...

How China Blocks the Tor Anonymity Network
From ACM News

How China Blocks the Tor Anonymity Network

The Tor Project is a free network run by volunteers that hides users locations and usage from surveillance and traffic analysis.

From ACM News

How a Web Link Can Take Control of Your Phone

A chilling demonstration to a small, packed room at the recent RSA security conference showed how clicking a single bad Web link while using a phone running Google's...

Eavesdropping Antennas Can Steal Your Smart Phone's Secrets
From ACM TechNews

Eavesdropping Antennas Can Steal Your Smart Phone's Secrets

Cryptography Research scientists have developed a method for a standard TV antenna, an amplifier, and specialized software to find the secret key being used by...

From ACM News

How a Web Link Can Take Control of Your Phone

A chilling demonstration to a small, packed room at the RSA security conference showed how clicking a single bad Web link while using a phone running Google's Android...

Defense Department Wants More Control Over the Internet
From ACM News

Defense Department Wants More Control Over the Internet

The U.S. Department of Defense may have funded the research that led to the Internet, but freewheeling innovation created the patchwork of privately owned technology...

Ultrafast Trades Trigger Black Swan Events Every Day, Say Econophysicists
From ACM News

Ultrafast Trades Trigger Black Swan Events Every Day, Say Econophysicists

On 6 May 2010, shares on U.S. financial markets suddenly dropped on average by around 10% but in over 300 stocks by more than 60%. Moments later the prices recovered...

From ACM News

Hacking Cars to Keep Them Safe

Tiffany Rad got interested in hacking cars because she wanted to drive her Land Rover off-road on rugged terrain without worrying about setting off the air bags...

From ACM News

Serious Flaw Emerges In Quantum Cryptography

The perfect secrecy offered by quantum mechanics appears to have been scuppered by a previously unknown practical problem, say physicists.
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