* Posts by Anders Halling

29 publicly visible posts • joined 6 Nov 2008

Fifteen countries KO'd in malware one-two punch

Anders Halling

UTC +4

Let's see... RUSSIA, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Armenia.

Those sneaky sneaky Armenians.

Let police track you through your mobe - it's for your OWN GOOD

Anders Halling

Triangulation is good enough

Mobile masts have one round-beam or several directional antennas pointing in different directions. Here in Norway a call to 110(fire)/112(police)/113(medical) will give the operator the mast, the sector and an estimated range based on signal strength. If it's a single antenna round beam mast you get an estimated range circle around the mast instead of a sector.

Triangulation is trivial, but forbidden. It takes a court order to get the telco to triangulate. This is used in SAR operations where the missing persons mobile is presumed to be on them (but they are not answering or unable to explain where they are) and gives a relatively well-defined area to search. It takes a few hours to get the court order and it's therefore useless for "ordinary" emergencies, but the technology is there for fair accuracy. It's just a legal hurdle. Personally I also have an app from the Norwegian Air Ambulance Foundation that automatically starts if I dial 113 and gives me the GPS position in lat-long and MRGS.

Colossal dead black neo-sphere approaching Earth

Anders Halling


I could do without a visit from GCU (eccentric) Gray Area as well tyvm.

An AI known among its peers as "meatfucker" is not pleasant company.

Insulin pump hack delivers fatal dosage over the air

Anders Halling
Thumb Down


Not old news, the last article about this was pooh-poohed by the manufaturer because you had to know the serial number of the targeted device and the device would alert the user that something was going on. There are soo many easier ways to kill someone so that possibillity just wasn't very feasible. But this new vuln that makes the device respond to some sort of broadcast with it's own serial number, and makes it possible to override the warning and control mechanisms make the vulnerability several orders of magintude more serious and is definately worthy of a follow-up article.

Android and iOS get a little Minecraft love

Anders Halling

80hd forgot the best part

Redstone circuitry! You can make processors in there!

I only bought the game last week and I'm hopelessly hooked. So far my only redstone creation is a blinking clock circuit "lighthouse" on top of the glass tower on my base but the possibillities are endless. And water! You can make elaborate water systems with the flowing water mechanics, I have the output items from my monster trap automatically delivered though a waterfall into my workroom right next to my crafting bench. Next step is to wire up a pressure plate to a torch to alert me when there's an item waiting for pickup. Or maybe a note-block for an audible alert.

My underwater glass house eagerly awaits more underwater content.


Gadget makes bombs, mines go off 'on average' 20m away

Anders Halling


Most detonators I've seen are cased in a thin shell of aluminium.

I do not want aluminium shrapnel to emit from my pockets tyvm.

You need some bad luck to be killed by a detonator alone, but the injuries can be unpleasant nonetheless.

There was an incident in the Nowergian corps of engineers 10 years ago or so where a demolitions instructor had been careless and rigged a small lump of HMX with an electric detonator and carried it in his pocket "for the next demonstration". And then the 200 watt HF radio in the car behind him started transmitting. He lost his leg.

Grenade obviously.

Malware endemic even on protected PCs

Anders Halling


This is based on self-reporting. How many knows the difference between different sorts of malware and reported a "pox" for a false positive hit, or a simple tracking cookie or something like that? How many reported thay had been infected because their AV threw a warning at them, even though it detected and prevented the attempted infection? How would you know you have a trojan if your AV don't catch it and it doesn't result in (noticable) "finacial loss or privacy violation"?

Digging into the eurostat site results in the catch-all "Caught a virus or other computer infection (eg. trojan) in the last 12 months" And "Used any kind of IT security software or tool".

Respondents were aged 16-74.

I don't trust the respondents to understand wtf they answered here. I am not very surprised at the numbers, but still...

Gamers raid medical server to host Call of Duty

Anders Halling


As for why what looks like the server of a specialty radiology outfit was open to the internet I'd guess they need to exchange HL7 messages with the doctors who ordered the pictures.

You go to your GP with a set of symptoms, the GP orders some kind of radiological pictures from a dedicated lab and would like to get them back electronically. Medical systems increasingly needs internet access to talk to each other. No excuse for the lax security of course, and the data should be encrypted on disk anyway...

In the world of the lowest bidder local ecryption won't be happening untill it's reqired explicitly by law.

Dutch police arrest 16-year-old WikiLeaks avenger

Anders Halling
Thumb Up


He'll learn.. to use a proxy or 7.

US raygun jumbo fluffs another test missile-blast attempt

Anders Halling


Newsflash: Both ICBMs and 747s can and do fly above the clouds. ;)

Iran nuclear plant shutdown due to 'leak'

Anders Halling


What, you mean positive void coefficient isn't a good idea after all?

Combined with a worm custom made to mess with coolant pumps...


HABITABLE ALIEN WORLD discovered 20 light-years away!

Anders Halling


"People of Mars, surrender or be destroyed!"

"Sir, this is Earth"

"Earth? Earth-with-nuclear-weapons-Earth?"



Software re-sale restricted by US Court of Appeals

Anders Halling
Thumb Up


I have a building for sale, but you'll have to rip out all the elevators, AC, automatic window blinds etc. because the licence to use the operating software is non-transferable.. Yeah, I can see that stand up in court...

Shareholders sue HP over Hurd's sex scandal probe

Anders Halling
Thumb Up


It's sue, buy more stocks at the stupidly low price, and then profit..

9 billion $ gone because of a 100k $ expenses fraud?

Yeah, that stock price will _never_ pick up again....

Dutch send submarine to fight Somali pirates

Anders Halling


Yes, the amount of "Pah, that's easy, nuke 'em all"-posters here is quite staggering.

Torpedo that 15-foot zodiac with a 533mm topedo! Shell that 70-foot mothership with 3in guns (or 9x16in broadsides from USS Iowa....)! Convert 10% of the traffic in the worlds busiest sea lanes to Q-ships or embark troops on the same number of ships (thousands)!

But don't spend a dime helping the locals to have an alternative to piracy...

Royal Navy starts work on new, pointless frigates

Anders Halling

Look to Denmark


Multi-role flex-ship, 2 helos, can fit mission specific weapon loadouts, self-defence AA capability (ESSM).

Fit for troops, ASUW, what have you. This can do anything a bog-standard frigate can for one third of the cost with less survivabilty should it be hit. But I would much rather have 3 of these than one "standard" frigate.

To the AC with the EVE refencence:

All gank, no tank. ;)

Viking frogmen chase Street View spymobile

Anders Halling

Big fish

According to the newspapers here they knew the driver, and knew approximately when the car would pass, but the driver did not know what they had planned.

Also they waited for 2 hours or something. In drysuits. In the summer. Glad I didn't have to be near when they took those suits off.

Outrageous new means of megastar demise spotted

Anders Halling


So it's not total conversion of mass to energy via matter/antimatter, but a fusion burn of a stellar core of several solar masses in, and I quote, "a few seconds".

Most reasuring.

General Atomics unwraps new, Stealth(y) robot war-jet

Anders Halling

@ Parax

Cydonia without Psionics? Brave man.

Sectoid Leader with high Psi skill.

Google Earth faces terrorist target airbrush bill

Anders Halling

@David Clarke

"Any person" with access to a mortar and the knowhow to fire one accurately can do the same with a pair of binoculars and a map. And of course if anyone want to do this they will have ample opportunity to observe and adjust and fire again (and again, and again, and... ) before any response can even begin to arrive. Given that most attacks these days are suicide attacks anyway they will be unlikely to be worried about getting away.

What's the ROF of a modern mortar? Wiki says 12 rounds pr. minute sustained fire for a standard 81mm mortar. Time to target? less than a minute at practical range (~30 sec at 2 km)

How fast can you get an armed response team to an arbitrary location within a 2km radius of a peacetime/threat level white military base? I'd say less than 20min. is extremely unlikely and that presumes a ready team of armed guards at the gate, and that they will respond to a mortar attack instead of taking shelter.

So when the attackers start lobbing shells, say they need 30 sec. time-to-target, and 30 sec. for adjusting the sights between each spotting round. 5 rounds should do for spotting against a stationary target giving a 15 minute barrage at max. sustained ROF. This means thay will have ample time to lob all the shells it's practical to bring along anyway.

In other words: If someone has the motvation, the knowhow and the means to launch a mortar attack at a low readiness military target they really don't need detailed pictures to pull it off.

Nudie subterranean rat protein could arrest human ageing

Anders Halling
Jobs Horns


Ah, but who says we are?

Geeks.com settles charges claiming its security was crap

Anders Halling

@Richard and Fraser

Read the article.

>Names, addresses, credit card numbers, and other data were routinely sent unencrypted to >authorization services, making them ripe for identity thieves, the complaint alleged.

frymaster then quite sensibly asked why these "authorization services" accepted unencrypted data in the first place.

Passport RFIDs cloned wholesale by $250 eBay auction spree

Anders Halling


All this hysteria over a primary key?

Thats what this number is innit?

The unique identifier allowing the nice immigration official to query a database and get back a result set of passport holders name, date of birth, place of birth, picture and fingerprint.

If these results don't match with the person presenting the fake passport with the stolen RFID identifier, well the guy carrying it will be arrested. There will be a mismatch between the passport database and the person presenting the passport, warranting further checks.

I agree that being able to skim these identifiers while the passport is in the owners pocket is making things unnessecarily easy for the bad guys, but this is just one step on the way to being able to fake a passport, not the whole solution. They also need a way to insert false data into the database, or a way to take the database down. I presume that when the online system is down there will only be a checksum verification of the identifier in the passport.

Send old Shuttles to Mars, says Scotty ashes prang man

Anders Halling

@Adam Foxton

>And lets just hope there's not some afroed student sat there in a modified diving suit with a >wormhole back to california when we get there...

What? you don't want wormholes? The Commonwealth sounds neat to me.

Terry Pratchett knighted for services to literature

Anders Halling

There is some justice left in the world


Cellular repeaters: Can you hear me now?

Anders Halling

Illegal for a reason.


The ability to route other peoples data through your own equipment and perchance keep a copy for yourself.

Wonder why this is illegal...

Supersonic fighters could snuff out hurricanes

Anders Halling
Black Helicopters


Such a tight circle? 400-600 km diameter?

But RE DARPA-money.. couldn't this be used in reverse to _create_ or strengthen a hurricane if you fly the other way? I'm assuming the jets will fly retrograde to the hurricanes rotation to snuff it out.

Supersonic black helicopter...

Retro piracy - Should the Royal Navy kick arse?

Anders Halling
Black Helicopters

Patrol craft

What about smaller ships with high speed and decent endurance?

Something like the Swedish Visby-class Corvettes (~40 crew, 40+ knots) or Norwegian Skjold-class patrol boats (~20 crew, 60 knots (Surface Effect)).



The Skjold has been described by a US Coast Guard Captain as "The best smuggler hunter I've ever seen". 60 knots and stealth will surprise the bad guys. (Yes, yes, the small speedboats of the pirates don't carry radar so it's irrelevant, but I assume some of the motherships carry commercial radar...)

The Visby-class even has helicopter capabilties and must surely be one of the smallest warships to have this.

US admiral wants pain-rayguns for Gulf fleet

Anders Halling


>Surely the rationale for the microwave weapons is that people run away if they get hit by it. But if you're on a speedboat, you can't get away unless you're the driver. And even then, it'd be pretty trivial to put a metal mesh in front of your windscreen and so shield yourself! Just like in a microwave oven, it's pretty easy to see through.

>Altogether, that sounds to me like a recipe for cooking any folk on the deck of the speedboat, as well as any innocent sailors encroaching on the ship who simply don't understand what's happening to them.

But if the speedboat just keeps coming despite the ray then you could make a good case for it to have displayed hostile intent and _then_ you could switch those CIWS (Close-In Weapon Stations) from standby to auto...

Useful to filter out the false positive idiot sightseers. And belive me, there are those stupid enough to make a high-speed approach on a warship in a narrow strait 'just for lulz'. Seen it myself. Although the escorting patrolboat with a very visible .50 cal. on the bow tried to intercept, the small speedboat evaded with ease and kept playing.. Good candidate for this 'piss off-ray'.

As the article states it's nice to have some more steps on the ladder of escalation than a loud-hailer and a .50 cal, so I'm all for it on naval vessels.