Hackers Infected DC Police Cameras Before Trump's Inauguration

A few days before the inauguration of Donald Trump, hackers infected 70% of storage devices that record police surveillance footage in Washington, DC.

The Washington Post reported, "City officials said ransomware left police cameras unable to record between Jan. 12 and Jan. 15. The cyberattack affected 123 of 187 network video recorders in a closed-circuit TV system for public spaces across the city, the officials said late Friday."

However, city officials didn't pay a ransom. They took the devices offline, formatted the software, and restarted the systems on site.

The initial discovery of the infection was made on January 12, 2017, when the police found a couple of sites not functioning properly. They informed the Office of the Chief Technology Officer (OCTO), which found two different kinds of ransomware on four recording devices. That's when they started investigating other sites and discovered more sites with ransomware.

The good news is that each site had four cameras connected to each recording unit; however, the recording unit was isolated from the department's environment, so the infection was contained to the recording devices.

Although it's comforting that they found the ransomware, it's unnerving that it was discovered because of malfunctioning devices and not because a system is in place that can detect malicious activities and mitigate them.

Let's hope after this incident and going forward, the OCTO will take steps to secure these devices.

Google Open Sources Chrome for iOS

Google has released the Chrome browser for iOS's source code. Google is usually very good at keeping its "open" projects open source, so why the delay in open-sourcing Chrome for iOS?

Chrome comes with many binary blobs, so it is itself a proprietary technology. Chrome's source code (minus binary blobs) is released under the Chromium project upstream of Chrome.

However, Google was not able to keep the source of Chrome for iOS in the Chromium project because of the additional complexity of the way Apple's iOS works.

Rohit Rao, Upstream Angler at Google explained: "Due to constraints of the iOS platform, all browsers must be built on top of the WebKit rendering engine. For Chromium, this means supporting both WebKit as well as Blink, Chrome's rendering engine for other platforms. That created some extra complexities, which we wanted to avoid placing in the Chromium code base."

The source code is available on GitHub, and anyone can compile the iOS version of Chromium, just as they can for other versions of Chromium.

Raspberry Pi Compute Module 3 Released

The Raspberry Pi foundation has launched two versions of the Raspberry Pi Compute Module 3 (CM3).

The standard version is based on Raspberry Pi 3 hardware. It runs on a CM2837 processor (up to 1.2GHz) and comes with 1GB of RAM, plus 4GB of on-board eMMC flash storage.

A Lite version of CM3 (CM3L) comes with the same processor and the same amount of RAM, but instead of on-board storage, it comes with an SD card interface to the Module pins so a user can wire this up to an eMMC or SD card of their choice.

The foundation has also launched an updated version of the Compute Module IO Board V3 (CMIO3), which offers an easy-to-use "base" into which you can plug your compute modules, program them using the HDMI and USB connectors, and then use them in various applications.

The Compute Module has already gone beyond the DIY and maker communities and has made its foray into the commercial space. NEC is using the compute module in their commercial displays for corporate customers.

CM3 and CM3L are priced at $30 and $25, respectively. The Foundation has also dropped the price of the original Compute Module to $25. One of the core goals of the foundation is longer shelf lives of their devices. As a result, CM3 is kind of backward compatible with the CM1 design, which means you can simply remove the older CM and replace it with CM3. The only caveat is that CM3 can run a bit hotter than the previous board, and it's 1mm taller, so you do need a heatsink and take into consideration the 1mm of extra space.

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