ReHacked #137: Activists are targeting Russians with open-source "protestware", Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins dies at 50, Scientists find microplastics in blood for first time and more

“Corporations continue to control access to materials that are in the library, which is controlling preservation, and it’s killing us.” --Brewster Kahle

ReHacked #137: Activists are targeting Russians with open-source "protestware", Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins dies at 50, Scientists find microplastics in blood for first time and more
Fajã dos Cubres seen from a nearby scenic viewpoint, São Jorge, Azores, Portugal. The unique terrain of Sao Jorge could additional challenges in the ongoing seismic crisis on the Azore Island. Image: Jules Verne Times Two / / CC-BY-SA-4.0

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Activists are targeting Russians with open-source "protestware" | MIT Technology Review #software #war

Russia's biggest bank has warned its users to stop updating software due to the threat of “protestware”: open-source software projects whose authors have altered their code in opposition to Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.

Most of the protestware simply displays anti-war, pro-Ukrainian messages when it is run, but at least one project had malicious code added which aimed to wipe computers located in Russia and Belarus, prompting outrage and charges of unintentional collateral damage.

In response to the threat, Sberbank, a Russian state-owned bank and the biggest in the country, advised Russians to temporarily not update any software due to the increased risk and to manually check the source code of software that is necessary—a level of vigilance that is unrealistic for most users.

Open source ‘protestware’ harms Open Source | Open Source Initiative | Guaranteeing the 'our' in source... #software

The new development is that angry maintainers have started adding code to a small number of open source repositories to protest against the war. When deployed, this ‘protestware’ expresses the maintainer’s opposition to the Russian government’s invasion of Ukraine. Most protestware simply displays anti-war or pro-Ukrainian messages when run. This is a non-violent, creative form of protest that can be effective.

But, in at least one case—the peacenotwar module in the node-ipc package—an update sabotages npm developers with code intended to wipe data stored in Russia and Belarus. In a March 16 blog post on the malicious code, Liran Tal at Snyk said, “This security incident involves destructive acts of corrupting files on disk by one maintainer and their attempts to hide and restate that deliberate sabotage in different forms.”

Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins dies at 50 - Los Angeles Times #promemoria

Taylor Hawkins, the hard-pounding drummer for multi-platinum rock band Foo Fighters, died Friday. He was 50.

Hawkins was in Bogota, Colombia, to perform with the Foo Fighters, two nights before the band’s headlining set at Lollapalooza Brazil on Sunday. Emergency services had responded to a call about a patient with chest pains in a hotel who was unresponsive when they tried to give aid, Bogota health officials said Saturday. Hawkins was declared dead at the scene, they said.

Scientists find microplastics in blood for first time #health

Scientists have discovered microplastics in human blood for the first time, warning that the ubiquitous particles could also be making their way into organs.

The tiny pieces of mostly invisible plastic have already been found almost everywhere else on Earth, from the deepest oceans to the highest mountains as well as in the air, soil and food chain.

A Dutch study published in the Environment International journal on Thursday examined blood samples from 22 anonymous, healthy volunteers and found microplastics in nearly 80 percent of them.

After 25 years, Brewster Kahle and the Internet Archive are still working to democratize knowledge | Nieman Journalism Lab #internet #copyrights #longread

These were still early days online — only four months after Tim Berners-Lee mentioned his “WorldWideWeb” project for the first time in the newsgroup alt.hypertext. The first version of Netscape was still three years away. And there was Kahle, just 31, but already with a stuffed resume: researcher at MIT’s AI Lab, lead engineer at supercomputer maker Thinking Machines, lead developer of WAIS (Wide Area Information Server), something like an alpha version of what the web would become.

“After delving into the arcana of message-passing protocols for massively parallel processors,” Malamud wrote, “Brewster turned his attention to the much more difficult problem of finding and using information on networks.”

Pianos for Travelers | Public Pianos #culture

Search 8,342 public pianos in118 countriesaround the world and find the piano closest you to you! Or,checkout a random pianothat has been played!

John Roach, Pioneer of the Personal Computer, Is Dead at 83 | Global Online Money #promemoria

You’ve heard about Killed by Google. Now Microsoft Graveyard - Killed by Microsoft #software #internet

Countering threats from North Korea #security #software

On February 10, Threat Analysis Group discovered two distinct North Korean government-backed attacker groups exploiting a remote code execution vulnerability in Chrome, CVE-2022-0609. These groups' activity has been publicly tracked as Operation Dream Job and Operation AppleJeus.

We observed the campaigns targeting U.S. based organizations spanning news media, IT, cryptocurrency and fintech industries. However, other organizations and countries may have been targeted. One of the campaigns has direct infrastructure overlap with a campaign targeting security researchers which we reported on last year. The exploit was patched on February 14, 2022. The earliest evidence we have of this exploit kit being actively deployed is January 4, 2022.

Evacuations Begin as Seismic Crisis Unfolds in Atlantic; Threats of Volcanic Eruption, Toxic Gases, Landslides, and Tsunami Discussed #nature

Evacuations have begun on the Azore Island of Sāo Jorge (Sao Jorge) in the Atlantic where more than 12,000 earthquakes have rocked the region in the last week. With ground deformation indicated and measured by Earth observing satellites, it is clear the seismic crisis is being caused by volcanic activity; what isn’t clear is what will happen next. Volcanic eruption, toxic plumes of gas, ash fall, lava flows, and even tsunami are all possible in this region along with flash floods, lahar flows, and landslides due to stormy weather that has impacted the Azores in recent days.

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