English Shell Code Could Make Security Harder

Ah, the resemblance of script to prose! Remember the Unix command line for sex?

gawk; grep; unzip; touch; strip; init, uncompress, gasp; finger; find, route, whereis, which, mount; fsck; nice, more; yes; gasp; umount; head, halt, renice, restore, touch, whereis, which, route, mount, more, yes, gasp, umount, expand, ping, make clean; sleep

An anonymous reader writes to tell us that finding malicious code might have just become a little harder. Last week at the ACM Conference on Computer and Communications Security, security researchers Joshua Mason, Sam Small, Fabian Monrose, and Greg MacManus presented a method they developed to generate English shell code. Using content from Wikipedia and other public works to train their engine, they convert arbitrary x86 shell code into sentences that read like spam, but are natively executable. "In this paper we revisit the assumption that shell code need be fundamentally different in structure than non-executable data. Specifically, we elucidate how one can use natural language generation techniques to produce shell code that is superficially similar to English prose. We argue that this new development poses significant challenges for in-line payload-based inspection (and emulation) as a defensive measure, and also highlights the need for designing more efficient techniques for preventing shell code injection attacks altogether."

(link) [Slashdot]

22:40 /Humor | 0 comments | permanent link

Program to help truckers attracts drug smugglers

A global economy, indeed.

AP - A U.S. program that offers trusted trucking companies speedy passage across American borders has begun attracting just the sort of customer who places a premium on avoiding inspections: Mexican drug smugglers.

(link) [Yahoo! News: Top Stories]

21:37 /Politics | 0 comments | permanent link

Exposure to lead, tobacco smoke raises risk of ADHD

If the conclusions of this study are accurate, then why has the rate of ADHD climbed steadily while the use of lead paint has been banned, and the smoking rate has been cut in half?

Perhaps it's because there is no such thing as ADHD. Perhaps it's a symptom of Totalitarian Medicine:

This is the most peculiar epidemic in history--a so-called disease that isn't traceable to any medical malfunction, can't be cured, and can only be controlled by administering costly, medically invasive drug treatment for which school systems receive lucrative subsidies.

It will be interesting so see what new "miracle treatment" emerges for treatment of ADHD when Ritalin goes off patent in 2015... qui bono?

Children exposed prenatally to tobacco smoke and during childhood to lead face a particularly high risk for ADHD, according to research done at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center. The new study appearing online in Pediatrics estimates that up to 35 percent of ADHD cases in children between the ages of 8 and 15 could be reduced by eliminating both of these environmental exposures.

(link) [EurekAlert! - Breaking News]

07:53 /Politics | 0 comments | permanent link