war on general purpose computing Archive

Game developers say no to DRM: "hurts our customers"

The developers behind the hotly anticipated Shadow Warrior 2 have gone on record explaining why they didn’t add DRM to their new title: they themselves hate DRM, and understand that DRM disproportionately inconveniences legit customers, not pirates who play cracked versions without DRM. A frequent battle-cry of the copyright maximalist is that “you can’t compete with free.” It’s true that enticing people to …

Podcast: How we'll kill all the DRM in the world, forever

I’m keynoting the O’Reilly Security Conference in New York in Oct/Nov, so I stopped by the O’Reilly Security Podcast (MP3) to explain EFF’s Apollo 1201 project, which aims to kill all the DRM in the world within a decade. A couple things changed in the last decade. The first is that the kinds of technologies that have access controls for copyrighted works …

48 hours later, Adblock Plus beats Facebook's adblocker-blocker

On August 9, Facebook announced that it had defeated adblockers; on August 11, Adblock Plus announced that it had defeated Facebook. ABP’s Ben Williams explained that the countermeasure originated with the Adblock Plus community, one of whom wrote a filter extension that would disable Facebook ads without a hitch (“facebook.com##DIV ._5jmm”). The question is, will Facebook really dedicate engineers to inserting features …

1 billion computer monitors vulnerable to undetectable firmware attacks

A team led by Ang Cui (previously) — the guy who showed how he could take over your LAN by sending a print-job to your printer — have presented research at Defcon, showing that malware on your computer can poison your monitor’s firmware, creating nearly undetectable malware implants that can trick users by displaying fake information, and spy on the information being sent to …

DRM: You have the right to know what you're buying!

Today, the EFF and a coalition of organizations and individuals asked the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to explore fair labeling rules that would require retailers to warn you when the products you buy come locked down by DRM (“Digital Rights Management” or “Digital Restrictions Management”). These digital locks train your computerized devices to disobey you when you ask them to do …

Big rigs can be hijacked and driven with software-based attacks

In a two-month-long class assignment, researchers from the University of Michigan found vulnerabilities in J1939, the standard for networking in big rigs and other large industrial vehicles, that allowed them to control the acceleration, braking, and instrument panels of their target vehicles. The attack, which will be presented next week at Austin’s Usenix Workshop on Offensive Technologies, currently requires physical access …