The Latest Software News | TechWell

The Latest Software News

In this roundup of software-related news that matters to you, read about hackers who are attempting to disrupt GitHub and how a software glitch may have been responsible for delaying emergency help during the summer crash of an Asiana Airlines Boeing 777.

GitHub under Siege from Automated Login Attempts
Popular online source code repository GitHub is under attack from hackers, Ars Technica is reporting. Up to 40,000 unique Internet addresses are responsible for the automated login attempts, and Github already has “reset passwords for compromised accounts and banned frequently used weak passcodes.”

From Ars Technica:

To the strong credit of GitHub, the site said it uses the bcrypt algorithm to cryptographically hash passwords. Use of bcrypt and other slow hashes dramatically increases the time and resources required to crack passwords in the event they are ever obtained by hackers. Such "offline" cracks differ from the online attacks described in the advisory, however.

Although the folks at GitHub stated in a blog post that only users with “weak passwords” were affected by the attempted break in, they decided to reset some strong passwords from accounts that may have been compromised from the suspected IP addresses.  

If you have an account, GitHub recommends you review it to “ensure that you have a strong password and enable two-factor authentication.”

Software Glitch May Have Hindered Airline Emergency Personnel during Summer Crash of Boeing 777
New details surrounding the tragic crash of an Asiana Airlines Boeing 777 in the summer shows how a software glitch led to a delayed response of emergency personnel to the site of the wreckage. The San Francisco Chronicle posted a story on a report by the aviation consulting firm ICF SH&E that details how airport managers were not notified properly as a result of a glitch in the automated emergency alert system.

From The San Francisco Chronicle:

Rather than work as designed and send computer-generated voice mails to managers needed to coordinate the response to the Boeing 777 crash July 6, the system worked so slowly because of a software glitch that those on duty had to call more than 100 key officials one by one, said Charles Schuler, head of external communications at the airport. The airport had paid $11,750 a year for the system.

And the problems didn’t stop there. After the accident occurred, an onslaught of users attempting to access the airport’s website caused it to go offline. The Chronicle writes that the website “began failing within two minutes of the 11:28 a.m. crash and went dark completely in 30 minutes, hit by a wave of as many as 75,000 users, Schuler said.”

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