reader comments 77 Share this story The third quarter of 2017 has been an unusually slow one for the solar industry, according to a report from GTM Research released on Thursday. US solar installations fell to their lowest overall level since 2015, and residential and utility-scale solar projects fell quarter over quarter. Further ReadingTesla shows off solar roof and energy ambitions at Los Angeles eventThe only silver lining has been non-residential (largely commercial and community) solar installations, driven by developers in California, New York, and Massachusetts rushing to take advantage of state-level incentives, as well as installations in Minnesota boosted by Xcel Energy's "community solar" program. Overall, solar panel installations in Q3 decreased 51 percent from Q3 in 2016, says GTM Research. Residential photovoltaic installations slowed 10 percent, quarter over quarter. According to Reuters, some of this slowdown may in fact be due to Tesla's purchase of Sola..
EnlargeMicrosoft reader comments 117 Share this story For about eight days, some versions of Windows 10 quietly bundled a password manager that contained a critical vulnerability in its browser plug in, a researcher said Friday. The flaw was almost identical to one the same researcher disclosed in the same manager plugin 16 months ago that allowed websites to steal passwords. Google Project Zero researcher Tavis Ormandy said in a blog post that the Keeper Password Manager came pre-installed on a newly built Windows 10 system derived directly from the Microsoft Developer Network. When he tested the unrequested app, he soon found the browser plugin the app prompted him to enable contained a bug that represents "a complete compromise of Keeper security, allowing any website to steal any password." He said he uncovered a flaw 16 months ago in the non-bundled version of the Keeper browser plugin that posed the same threat. With only basic changes to "selectors," Ormandy's old proof-o..
Yuri Samoilov/Flickr reader comments 58 Share this story A Dutch security firm recently fell victim to a well-executed attack that allowed hackers to take control of its servers and intercept clients' login credentials and confidential data. The security firm, Fox-IT, said in a blog post published last week that the so-called "man-in-the-middle attack" lasted for 10 hours and 24 minutes, although the attack was largely contained for much of that time. The attackers carried it out by gaining unauthorized access to Fox-IT's account with a third-party domain registrar. Next, they changed a domain name system record that designated the IP address that corresponded to the the security company's client portal. With that, the attackers effectively hijacked control of fox-it.com and all traffic sent to it. The attackers were able to bypass protections provided by HTTPS-based encryption by first using their control of the Fox-IT domain to obtain a new transport layer security c..
EnlargeBKL ART reader comments 64 Share this story The algorithms that play increasingly central roles in our lives often emanate from Silicon Valley, but the effort to hold them accountable may have another epicenter: New York City. Last week, the New York City Council unanimously passed a bill to tackle algorithmic discrimination—the first measure of its kind in the country. The algorithmic accountability bill, waiting to be signed into law by Mayor Bill de Blasio, establishes a task force that will study how city agencies use algorithms to make decisions that affect New Yorkers’ lives, and whether any of the systems appear to discriminate against people based on age, race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or citizenship status. The task force’s report will also explore how to make these decision-making processes understandable to the public. The bill’s sponsor, Council Member James Vacca, said he was inspired by ProPublica’s investigation into racially biased algorithms used ..
Enlarge / Then-President Barack Obama and Tom Wheeler, his nominee for chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, in May 2013.Getty Images | Bloomberg reader comments 98 Share this story Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai has been saying for years that the FCC imposed net neutrality rules in 2015 largely because then-President Barack Obama ordered the commission to do so. Obama publicly called on the FCC to reclassify broadband providers as "Title II" common carriers and impose the rules in November 2014, three months before the FCC vote did just that. But an investigation last year by the FCC's independent Inspector General's (IG) office found "no evidence" of improper use of power by the White House when then-Chairman Tom Wheeler led the net neutrality vote, a newly released document shows. "We found no evidence of secret deals, promises or threats from anyone outside the Commission, nor any evidence of any other improper use of power to influence..
Enlarge / WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 19: Tom Bossert, White House homeland security advisor, and Jeanette Manfra, chief of cybersecurity for the Department of Homeland Security, brief reporters on the WannaCry cyberattack earlier this year, at the White House on December 19, 2017 in Washington, DC. The widespread attack, which plagued multiple industries in at least 150 countries and cost billions of dollars, was blamed squarely on North Korea by Bossert. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)Mark Wilson/Getty Images reader comments 97 Share this story The Trump administration has now officially blamed North Korea for the creation and spread of WannaCry, the cryptographic worm built on exploits stolen from the National Security Agency, that struck computers around the globe in May. White House National Security Advisor Tom Bossert made the assertion public in an op-ed published late Monday in The Wall Street Journal and in a press conference this morning. But there's little the US can..
Enlarge / U-35 under construction at Kiel in 2013. The sub—like all the others in Germany's fleet—is currently in for repairs.Bjoertvedt reader comments 177 Share this story Germany has a submarine problem. During a test dive in October, the Deutsche Marine's U-35 struck something (probably a rock) with one of its four "X-rudders," the steering planes on its rear fins. The damage required the submarine to be towed back to a shipyard in Kiel for repairs—where it joined three other German navy submarines currently drydocked. The U-35 was the Deutsche Marine's only working submarine prior to the collision. The remainder of the German submarine fleet is in port at the German naval base in Eckernförde—waiting for dry docks in Kiel to open up. Germany has a total of six submarines, all of the Type 212 class. These "hybrid" subs—also operated by the Italian navy—are powered by a combination of a diesel engine and nine proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells. They are among t..
EnlargeKaspersky Lab reader comments 85 Share this story A newly discovered piece of Android malware carries out a litany of malicious activities, including showing an almost unending series of ads, participating in distributed denial-of-service attacks, sending text messages to any number, and silently subscribing to paid services. Its biggest offense: a surreptitious cryptocurrency miner that's so aggressive it can physically damage an infected phone. Trojan.AndroidOS.Loapi is hidden inside apps distributed through third-party markets, browser ads, and SMS-based spam. Researchers from antivirus provider Kaspersky Lab have dubbed it a "jack of all trades" to emphasize the breadth of nefarious things it can do. Most notably, Loapi apps contain a module that mines Monero, a newer type of digital currency that's less resource intensive than Bitcoin and most other cryptocurrencies. The module allows the malware creators to generate new coins by leaching the electricity and hard..
EnlargeSean Gallagher reader comments 103 Share this story When you're developing intercontinental ballistic missiles and nuclear weapons while under some of the harshest economic sanctions the world has seen, every bit—and every bitcoin—apparently helps. North Korea has been implicated in both the WannaCry cryptographic worm and its bitcoin ransom demands as well as stealing about $81 million in traditional money through fraudulent funds transfers from a Bangladeshi bank. And now it appears that North Korean hackers are responsible for bringing down the Youbit cryptocurrency exchange in South Korea. Further ReadingTrump administration formally blames North Korea for WannaCry. Now what? The Wall Street Journal reports that South Korean officials suspect North Korean hackers in the digital theft from Youbit on December 19, making it the latest victim in a string of bitcoin repository hacks and frauds over the last six years. Attackers made off with 17 percent of the exchange'..
EnlargeSteve Johnson reader comments 157 Share this story Comcast yesterday claimed that it will invest more than $50 billion in infrastructure over the next five years because of the repeal of net neutrality rules and the new tax overhaul. But the numbers show that Comcast's investments soared while the net neutrality rules were in place and would hit the "new" milestone if its investments continued increasing by a modest amount. Comcast's announcement yesterday said the following: Based on the passage of tax reform and the FCC's action on broadband, Brian L. Roberts, Chairman and CEO of Comcast NBCUniversal, announced that the Company would award special $1,000 bonuses to more than one hundred thousand eligible frontline and non-executive employees. Roberts also announced that the Company expects to spend well in excess of $50 billion over the next five years investing in infrastructure to radically improve and extend our broadband plant and capacity, and our televi..