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Seizure of Cellphone content during US immigration checks

US Customs and Border Patrol have forced a NASA engineer to give up the passcode to his cellphone, and presumably copied and inspected the device, The Atlantic reports.

If you are traveling into the US, you are well advised to take blank dummy devices with you, which do not contain any work or personal data on them. Resetting a personal device prior to travel may not be enough in all cases, residual data may exist in the flash (Chromebook and Nexus “Powerwash” reset might be).

Not traveling into the US might be even smarter.

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Post like it is 2015

Following a great idea from their friends at GitLab, Soup.io loses all postings since 2015 because of malfunctioning backups. They write:

We had a big database crash, and the backups we had were corrupted.
The only working backup was from 2015.

Also, TIL soup.io still exists. Meanwhile, Gitlab posted a blameless postmortem. You can read it online, and they write:

Improving Recovery Procedures

[…]
9. Automated testing of recovering PostgreSQL database backups (#1102)
[…]

Does your database backup successfully restore? Are you sure? Are you testing this?

Remember these words of wisdom:

Nobody wants backup.
Everybody wants restore.
— Martin Seeger

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Pandamonium and other attacks

From the HHOS-Dept: The Verizon Data Breach Digest is a thing that exists. This issue (PDF) reports a Botnet built from drink dispensers and other Internet of Trash things at a University that have been badly protected, but were indispensable enough that they could not be simply disconnected and wiped.

Apparently the embedded trash united to run a DNS DDoS attack against some domains, but the Botnet was luckily written so badly that it could be taken over and disabled, regaining some semblance of control over the devices – mostly because the Botnets C&C did not use SSL and also did not encrypt passwords. So that was salvageable mostly due to incompetence on the side of the botnet operators.

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Theft of solar modules on the rise

Die Klimaretter are reporting: Theft of solar modules on the rise (article in German).

The article makes and supports the claim that solar modules are being stolen by organized crime in Germany, and explains ways to make that harder to perform and the goods easier to track. Solutions include marking and registration of all modules, GPS/GSM combos in components and special screws that require specific tools to remove panels without damaging them.

Wind turbines are also subject to theft and damage, but here mostly for the copper cables in them.

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