A random USB port in my hotel room.

When I was in DC a couple of weeks ago, I noticed that the lamps in my hotel room had USB ports in them, presumably for plugging in smart devices to recharge in the event that the traveler did not bring a power strip. Most hotels aren't known for offering a surplus of power outlets.

Seeing as how I was back in Washington, DC, called by some The City of Spies, I couldn't help but wonder how such a thing could be used offensively. Let's say I wanted to gig somebody's smartphone with some canned exploits and a malware package …

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Indian film industry brings out the big guns.

For a bit over ten years now, the movie industry has been complaining that piracy has been running rampant (it has) and cutting into their profit margins (even though they've been reporting record earnings consistently). There are more means of getting hold of illegal copies of anything than you have fingers: public and private websites, BitTorrent, other peer-to-peer file sharing services, FTP sites, your friends handing you copies... the list goes on and on. To date, aside from grabbing the IP addresses of the downloaders, running them to ground, and launching lawsuits not a whole lot has been done to …

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B0rked into a brick.

As if it wouldn't be interesting enough at EuSecWest this week, another hardware attack has been discovered. This one is arguably nastier because it could conceivably cost the user quite a bit of money if someone hoses equipment by forcing a bad firmware flash. Rich Smith, who is the head of research into offensive technologies and threats at the HP Systems Security Lab (you know, they really could have come up with a more ominous name for their outfit) has developed a method in which an attacker can cause a permanent denial of service attack on a unit by finding …

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