Hackers Can Take Over Building Locks, Elevators, Electricity and More!

A major vulnerability was found in an industrial control system that is widely in use by the military, hospitals and other entities. The flaw would allow an attacker to control an electronic door lock, elevators, boiler systems, lighting systems, video cameras, alarms, electricity and other crucial building functions.

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The issue is that a config file can be remotely accessed within the Tridium Niagara AX Framework that contains all of the systems configuration data such as usernames, passwords. This results in the ability to control all the systems managed by it. The platform is written in Java and in the last two years Cylance security researchers Billy Rios and Terry McCorkle  have reportedly found numerous vulnerabilities in the Tridium system along with other industrial control systems.

The flaw basically allows root access to the virtual machine that all of the Tridium software is running on. A backdoor module was developed that would allow for the system to continue to be accessed one it was initially attacked but naturally won’t be publicly released.

“We will be issuing a security patch that resolves the problem by Feb. 13 and are alerting our user community about this today,” spokesman Mark Hamel said in a statement. “The vast majority of Niagara AX systems are behind firewalls and VPNs — as we recommend — but clearly, as Rios and McCorkle have shown, there are many systems potentially at risk.”

The company has been aware of the issue since last December and has since then been working on a patch to fix the vulnerability expected to be released this month.

Computer Hacker

Last year Tridium claimed attacks on its systems were unlikely because hackers don’t traditionally target obscure systems such as theirs. Quite an assumption for a platform that millions of control systems employ across the globe. With a critical environment such as this, a system would normally be locked down to only local access and restricted from the internet or other systems connected to the internet. Tridium’s documentation instead boasts that it’s ideal for remote management over the internet.

It’s a little scary because of the clients that use this system including: the FBI, Drug Enforement Agency, U.S. Marshals Services, the IRS, Passport Office along with many government offices and medical facilities. Imagine a hacker shutdown critical life systems in a hospital?

Massive and major companies/organizations are using these systems and there is no room for error in some cases. I guess it’s good that researchers found the exploit before a real attacker did and caused some real damage!

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Is The PlayStation 4 Going To Be Announced Next Month? New PS4 Rumor

Last night Sony announced that it would be holding a PlayStation event in New York City on February 20, 2013.

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As you can imagine fans and geeks alike are excited at this news hoping to see the next generation console officially announced.

There is no verified word from Sony that this event will actually be the announcement the world is waiting for but the Wall Street Journal claims that it’s sources confirm they will introduce the PS4 to the globe in a few weeks from now.

Chances are that it will actually be available for purchase around the winter holiday 2013. It’s speculated that the PS4 will have a bigger focus on social gaming as well as an overhaul on how a user interacts with the console.

Now something that is potentially very interesting is the rumor that the new console would feature GPU switching technology. Sony in fact filed for a patent in 2009 for “dynamic context switching between architecturally distinct graphics processors” and published it near the end of 2010. This is beneficial not only for more horsepower in the graphics department but more importantly according to Sony is the ability to switch in real-time when needed and to reduce power consumption.

new sony player

I wonder what it will look like? Will it be rounded on the top like the original PS3 did? The curves definitely made it hard to stack other devices on top but definitely had a unique look even if less practical.

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Surprise, Facebook Settlement Email Is NOT fake

In this digital age we are bombarded with spam emails claiming you’ve won a trip or money. In fact I’d bet that anyone who has had an email account for more than a year and hasn’t received one of these is either lying or doesn’t realize their email provider has a spam filter.

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The Facebook email in focus is titled “Re: LEGAL NOTICE OF SETTLEMENT OF CLASS ACTION”.

According to Forbes around 125 million Facebook users received the notice as suggested by court filings.

Of course unknowingly, the majority of people will/have tossed the email directly in the trash and disregarded is as nothing but a fraud that got past the filters.

It’s the real deal and not a malicious ploy to get access to your bank account or other information reports Forbes. It actually originates from a lawsuit from 2011 known as “Fraley vs. Facebook”. The issue was that the social networking giant decided to put some of it’s users in “Sponsored Story” ads. These ads pertained to what users “liked” but didn’t necessarily reflect to opinion or context in which someone “liked” something.

3 months after Facebook launched the “Sponsored Story” ads a group of plaintiffs led by seamstress Angel Fraley sued Facebook claiming that it was against the law to use their names and likenesses in ads without permission, and without payment. Facebook responded by having their lawyers dig up embarrassing material from Fraley’s account and thus she walked away.

The incident resulted in a settlement of $20 million that was agreed upon in December between the plaintiffs and the social networking website.

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Fast forward to now where most people don’t have a clue about the legitimacy of this email. A decent amount of money announced in the settlement will cover the class action lawyers and the remains will be divided up to the Facebook members who appeared in the “Sponsored Story” ads. Now I know you’ve already or are just about to scramble to your inbox and dig through the trash/spam but sadly enough, you won’t be hitting it rich even if you did receive an email. You will only get maximum $10. If there are too many people claiming the settlement or if the amount that each person will receive is less than $5, then it will instead go to a bunch of non-profit organizations that deal with privacy issues.

After the lawyers are paid there will be about $12 million left and even though it’s not a lot of money for each user, it’s likely that the payments will end up going to the non-profits.

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Google Plus More Popular Than Twitter – Google+ vs. Facebook

Believe it or not Google+ has surpassed celebrities status update platform of choice Twitter to take the silver medal in social networking!

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FACTS:

  • G+ has 343 million active users compared to Twitter which has just under 300 million.
  • 21% of worldwide internet users have Twitter in their tool belt, 25% choose Google+ and Facebook has a whopping 51% market share. As a side note YouTube (owned by Google) is also tied with Twitter with 21% share.
  • GlobalWebIndex (GWI) reported that Mark Zuckerberg’s website hasn’t been affected by “Facebook fatigue” and actually had a 33 percent growth margin in contrast with Google+’s 27 percent growth.
  • In October 2012 Facebook announced that it’s membership surpassed 1 billion monthly active subscribers. Google+ claimed to have reached 500 million users and 135 million active members.

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In all honesty I’m somewhat surprised. When I first got a hold of G+ I thought it was too bland and wouldn’t ever have a chance against Facebook. Now the latter may still be true for now, Google Plus has definitely carved itself a place at the table and is not interested in sharing dessert.

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Slick Wraps – The Best Affordable And Stylish Protection For Your Devices

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This is simply genius! A good buddy of mine told me about this company and he’s actually owned 3 different wraps from these guys for his iPhone. This company basically makes wraps that go around your electronic devices to protect them and also give them some major aesthetic appeal. They are easy to install and extremely easy to fix/replace if you didn’t put it on straight.

Slickwraps are so attractive because they come in so many different finishes. Ever wanted you iPhone to have a case made of wood? What about Carbon fiber or leather? What if your phone could glow in the dark?! They have so many styles and finishes it’s actually exciting. The best part is that it’s not just a cheap plastic with a printed image of wood or leather. It ACTUALLY is the material. There’s a skateboard series finish and it actually is grip tape which might not be the most functional wrap but definitely has it’s audience.

Here’s a few of the finish series:

  • Metal Series
  • Wood Series
  • Carbon Series
  • Color Collection
  • Glow Series
  • Leather Series
  • Board Series
  • Camo Series

This is a completely American owned and operated company making extremely unique products without a heavy price tag. If you’ve ever wanted to customize your phone, laptop, ipod or just need a screen protector, this is a company you MUST check out. Don’t just take my word for it though, check it out for yourself HERE.


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