Ransomware: Pay us $35us or be forever locked out of your box!

Ransomware, malware that forces the user of an infected machine to pay a sum of money to Someone Out There in exchange for regaining access to their data isn't exactly the most common thing going around but it seems to be catching on, and I can't think of a reason why it would slow down. Earlier strains found in the wild did things like finding and encrypting all Excel spreadsheets on a machine and demanding that the user wire money someplace in exchange for the utility that would decrypt them, but now the stakes are a bit higher on both …

Read more...

Bastille Linux domain hijacked by domain squatter; project renamed, relocated.

Some time on Monday, the Bastille Linux project was notified that someone had hijacked their domain, namely, a domain squatter named Mykhaylo Perebiynis who is willing to return use of the domain name for the paltry sum of $10kus. The official announcement can be read here. However, because the Bastille security system has been running on more than just Linux for a few years now (vis a vis HP-UX and Mac OSX), Jay Beale has decided to rename the project to Bastille Unix and acquire a new domain name while his lawyers fight it out with Perebiynis.

Beale is also …

Read more...

The RIAA demands a cut from cover bands and coffee shops.

With stuff like this going on, you have to wonder if the mainstream music industry has pretentions to replacing the Mafia in its business practices. It seems that the major music licensing bodies (ASCAP, BMI, and SESAC, among others) have been shaking down restaurants, coffee shops, and other places where people can gather to listen to music, either over the radio or played live. Some of the songs played at these places were covers of other songs, which it used to be legal to do so long as you didn't turn a profit off of it, but no longer. Specifically …

Read more...

"We'll make sure they get paid, even though they don't work for us..."

A couple of weeks ago, the RIAA managed to get a law passed that requires royalties to be paid to them for all music streamed across the Net, regardless of the reason or origin of the music. If you listen to the audio stream coming from a local commercial radio station's website, they're paying the RIAA royalties for the privilege (then again, chances are they're getting paid by the RIAA to only play certain songs - this has been known for years but no one's been in a position to do anything about it). If you read the fine print, though …

Read more...

There's something very _Snow Crash_ about this.

Some call it spam, others call it laughable, but some people are very spooked about what you can find on someone with a simple Google search: E-mailed extortion threats demanding thousands of dollars to buy off a purported hitman with a contract. The scam goes down like this: J. Random Net.Scammer e-mails a likely target and claims to be an assassin that was paid to take them down. They're being kind enough to demand a couple of grand from them to not pull the trigger. Often the threats include some personal information, like the name of a spouse or …

Read more...