Recommended Reading: Stuxnet's more dangerous precursor, fake memories and more

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Terrence O'Brien
November 30, 2013 11:45 AM
Recommended Reading: Stuxnet's more dangerous precursor, fake memories and more

Recommended Reading highlights the best long-form writing on technology in print and on the web. Some weeks, you'll also find short reviews of books dealing with the subject of technology that we think are worth your time. We hope you enjoy the read.

Recommended Reading

Stuxnet's Secret Twin (4,176 words)
by Ralph Langner, Foreign Policy

Stuxnet is a pretty nasty nasty customer, especially if you happen to be a centrifuge used in the enrichment of uranium. Amazingly, the story of the first publicly acknowledged cyber weapon keeps getting more and more interesting. Ralph Langner has spent the last several years poring over code and other details of Stuxnet's history and discovered there was an earlier version of the virus, that was even more destructive than the one unleashed on Iran's nuclear facilities. Instead of putting the centrifuge's motors in overdrive, it over pressurized them by closing valves designed to allow gas out. It sounds like a perfectly logical avenue of attack, until you realize that the potential for truly catastrophic failure would have quickly blown Stuxnet's cover.

How Many of Your Memories Are Fake? (3,066 words)
by Erika Hayasaki, The Atlantic

Your memory isn't perfect, but you already knew that. Researchers are just learning how unreliable our brains can be, however. Even those with so-called "Highly Superior Autobiographical Memory" are rather susceptible to false memories.


The Internet Mystery that has the World Baffled (2,476 words)
by Chris Bell, The Telegraph

The world of Cicada 3301 is as dense and puzzling it gets. What began with a coded message hidden in a photo on a forum has morphed into a global scavenger hunt (both the physical and virtual). Clues have involved everything from Mayan numerology to cyberpunk literature. Yet, both the ultimate goal and the creator(s) remain unknown.


The End Of Long Airport Security Lines? (809 words)
by Eric Jaffe, Fast Company

Getting through airport security is one of the banes of modern existence. Take off your shoes, no liquids over 3oz, submit to either an intrusive scan or a lengthy pat down. But researchers at Duke believe they've found the secret to accurately scanning both people and luggage quickly.


Once You Use Bitcoin You Can't Go 'Back' - And That's Its Fatal Flaw
(1,486 words)
by Nicholas Weaver, Wired

Now that you've begrudgingly accepted Bitcoin as a semi-legitimate currency, let Nicholas Weaver explain why you should still never use it. Even though the security researcher admires its cryptographic engineering accomplishments. The irreversible nature of Bitcoin transactions may prove to be its fatal flaw.


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Recommended Reading: Stuxnet's more dangerous precursor, fake memories and more