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One careful driver: Make room in the garage... Bloodhound jet-powered car is up for sale

Price negotiable, but if you've got £8m to spare then the land speed record is up for grabs


The Bloodhound Land Speed Record project is looking for a new owner after its chief exec, Ian Warhurst, confirmed the vehicle is up for sale.

A lengthy journey marked by stops and starts seemed to have come to an end back in 2018 when Warhurst snapped up the assets of Bloodhound. A fresh injection of cash meant the team were able to take the Eurofighter EJ200-propelled car out to the test track at Hakskeenpan in South Africa in 2019. Driver Andy Green subsequently took Bloodhound LSR up to 628mph (1,010kph) by the end of that year.

The next step was to fit the Nammo monopropellant rocket in order to get the vehicle up to the ultimate target of 1,000mph.

By March 2020, the team had the begging bowl out once again in order to get cracking on the upgrades ahead of an attempt this year. The goal was to have raised the funds by the end of the month.

The Eurofighter EJ200-propelled Bloodhound. Pic via: Bloodhound project

Alas, it was not to be. "The project has inevitably been held back by the effects of the Covid-19 global pandemic," admitted the team. The opportunity to run again in 2021 was lost, and mere months remain to raise the £8m needed to complete the rocket installation ahead of another trip to South Africa in 2022, this time with the goal of exceeding 800mph.

Once the aerodynamic performance has been assessed, and the modelling validated, the team will have a better handle of what tweaks are needed to hit the ultimate target of 1,000mph.

The EJ200 does not have the power to go to 800mph, hence the hydrogen peroxide-powered rocket motor.

Additional funds are needed: "Along with many other things," Warhurst explained, "the global pandemic wrecked this opportunity in 2020 which has left the project unfunded and delayed by a further 12 months.

"At this stage, in absence of further, immediate, funding, the only options remaining are to close down the programme or put the project up for sale to allow me to pass on the baton and allow the team to continue the project.

"This gives someone with the right passion and available funding to effectively swoop in at the last minute and take the prize," he added.

A representative for the project told The Register that while £8m was needed to complete the project, the price for the vehicle itself was "negotiable." The Bloodhound LSR car is currently stored in the team's Gloucestershire workshop, and although the team itself has moved on to other projects, they would return if and when finances were put in place.

Back in 2018, the estimate for completion was £25m. £8m to reach 800mph and take Thrust SSC's crown seems a snip in comparison.

With the fortunes of many in the tech world continuing to surge, perhaps one or more might fancy throwing a little cash toward Bloodhound LSR. The engineering involved is certainly more inspiring than some of the projects on which UK lawmakers have been splashing cash of late.

Otherwise this dog might really have had its day. ®

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The future: Windows streaming through notched Apple screens

Choice is the word for Jamf's Dean Hager

Interview As Apple's devices continue to find favour with enterprise users, the fortress that is Windows appears to be under attack in the corporate world.

Speaking to The Register as the Jamf Nation User Conference wound down, the software firm's CEO, Dean Hager, is - unsurprisingly - ebullient when it comes to the prospects for Apple gear in the world of suits.

Jamf specialises in device management and authentication, and has long been associated with managing Apple hardware in business and education environments. In recent years it has begun connecting its products with services such as Microsoft's Azure Active Directory as administrators face up to a hybrid working future.

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There’s a wave of ransomware coming down the pipeline. What can you do about it?

AI can help. Here’s how…

Sponsored The Colonial Pipeline attack earlier this year showed just how devastating a ransomware attack is when it is targeted at critical infrastructure.

It also illustrated how traditional security techniques are increasingly struggling to keep pace with determined cyber attackers, whether their aim is exfiltrating data, extorting organisations, or simply causing chaos. Or, indeed an unpleasant combination of all three.

So, what are your options? More people looking for more flaws isn’t going to be enough – there simply aren’t enough skilled people, there are too many bugs, and there are way too many attackers. So, it’s clear that smart cyber defenders need to be supplemented by even smarter technology incorporating AI. You can learn what this looks like by checking out this upcoming Regcast, “Securing Critical Infrastructure from Cyber-attack” on October 28 at 5pm.

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Ransomware criminals have feelings too: BlackMatter abuse caused crims to shut down negotiation portal

Or so says infsec outfit Emsisoft

Hurling online abuse at ransomware gangs may have contributed to a hardline policy of dumping victims' data online, according to counter-ransomware company Emsisoft.

Earlier this month, the Conti ransomware gang declared it would publish victims' data and break off ransom negotiations if anyone other than "respected journalist and researcher personalities" [sic] dared publish snippets of ransomware negotiations, amid a general hardening of attitudes among ransomware gangs.

Typically these conversation snippets make it into the public domain because curious people log into ransomware negotiation portals hosted by the criminals. The BlackMatter (aka DarkSide) gang's portal credentials (detailed in a ransom note) became exposed to the wider world, however, and the resulting wave of furious abuse hurled at the crims prompted them to pull up the virtual drawbridge.

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Windows XP@20: From the killer of ME to banging out patches for yet another vulnerability

When NT and 9x became one

Feature It was on this very day, 20 years ago, that Microsoft released Windows XP to General Availability.

Regarded by some as the cockroach of the computing world, in part due to its refusal to die despite the best efforts of Microsoft, XP found its way into the hands of customers on 25 October 2001 and sought to undo the mess wrought upon the public by 2000's Windows Millennium Edition (ME). While ME used the Windows 9x kernel, XP was built on the Windows NT kernel, formerly aimed at the business market and a good deal more stable.

It also upped the hardware requirements on its preceding consumer OS. Where ME recommended 64MB of memory, XP wanted at least 128MB. And although masochists could run ME on a VGA screen, XP insisted on a minimum of SVGA. It all seems rather quaint now, but could be a painful jump back in the day.

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UK watchdog launches full probe of Motorola Solutions' cop-comms deals on Emergency Services Network

Firm working on both old programme and its replacement - CMA checks potential 'incentive' to delay

Britain's competition watchdog is launching a full blown probe into whether Motorola Solutions is abusing its position as the sole provider of an emergency service network by holding up the replacement project.

In early July, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said it was consulting on whether to take a deeper dive into the TETRA mobile radio network, run by Airwave (itself owned by Motorola), which currently delivers comms to support police, ambulance and fire rescue services.

The service, launched in 2000, was due to be replaced by the 4G-based Emergency Services Network in 2019 but that programme is running years late – and at last count in mid-2019, was £3bn over budget and three years late.

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Intel hopes to burn newly open-sourced AI debug tech into chips

Chipzilla dreams of planting ControlFlag in hardware

Intel Labs has big plans for a software tool called ControlFlag that uses artificial intelligence to scan through code and pick out errors.

One of those goals, perhaps way out in the future, is to bake it into chip packages as a last line of defense against faulty code. This could make the information flow on communications channels safer and efficient.

But that's a big "if," and contingent to many things falling in place. Last week Intel open-sourced the tool – dubbed ControlFlag – to software developers. The software pores over lines of code and points out errors that developers can then fix.

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SolarWinds attacker on the move: Russia's Nobelium crew has trebled attacks targeting MSPs, cloud resellers, says Microsoft

Phishing and password spraying on the up

Russia's Nobelium group – fingered as being a Russian state actor by both the United States and Britain – has massively ramped up phishing and password spraying attempts against managed service providers (MSPs) and cloud resellers, Microsoft's security arm has warned.

The Windows maker said the group's targeted attacks against "resellers and other technology service providers that customize, deploy and manage cloud services and other technologies on behalf of their customers" had trebled over the past three months.

Nobelium has been linked by Microsoft and others as the organisation behind the infamous SolarWinds supply chain compromise, and linked to Russia's foreign intelligence (SVR). In infosec circles the SVR-backed group is also known as APT29.

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Tesla slams into reverse, pulls latest beta of Full Self-Driving software from participating car owners

FSD rolled back to 10.2 after 'issues' found

Tesla has yanked the latest beta, 10.3, of its Full Self-Driving (FSD) software from participating car owners after boss Elon Musk noted the company was "seeing some issues" with the code.

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HIV Scotland fined £10,000 for BCC email blunder identifying names of virus-carriers' patient-advocates

'Serious deficiencies in tech and organisational measures'

The United Kingdom's data watchdog is calling on organisations to review their "bulk email practices" after a BCC blunder by HIV Scotland incurred a £10,000 fine for breaking data protection regulations.

The case pertains to an email that was sent to 105 individuals on the Community Advisory Network (CAN) list, which is made up of patient-advocates "from across Scotland to represent the full diversity of people living with HIV". In the offending chain, all of the email addresses were visible to all recipients and some 65 were people identified by name.

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Twitter's machine learning algorithms amplify tweets from right-wing politicians over those on the left

Engineers and researchers don't know why

Twitter's algorithms are more likely to boost right-wing content than left-wing posts from politicians and news publications, according to a recent study.

A team of engineers working on Twitter's own ML Ethics, Transparency and Accountability (META) unit scraped millions of tweets of thousands of elected officials from seven different countries: US, Japan, UK, Canada, Germany, Spain, and France. They tracked how likely these posts made between 1 April 2020 and 15 August 2020 were to be placed in a higher rank in users' personal Twitter feeds using Twitter's algorithms.

Tweets posted by politicians from right-wing parties were amplified more than those from left-wing parties in all countries except Germany. The effect was strongest for Canadian and British politics. For example, content from UK Labour MPs was amplified 112 per cent as opposed to the 176 per cent amplification of Conservative MPs' content; and Canada's Liberal party politicos were amplified 43 per cent versus 167 per cent for the Canadian Conservative party.

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Poor data sharing is holding back the UK court system's pandemic recovery, says National Audit Office

Lack of data for planning also a problem, spending watchdog finds

The UK court system's failure to implement its own recommendations for improving data sharing is holding back its recovery from the pandemic, according to a report from the National Audit Office (NAO).

The government spending watchdog has reported on progress in reducing the backlog in criminal courts, which stood at 60,692 in the Crown Court in June, a 48 per cent increase on March 2020, when the first UK's pandemic lockdown was introduced.

"The COVID-19 pandemic significantly affected the work of the criminal justice system and necessitated extensive changes in criminal courts to keep judges, court staff, and users safe," the report said.

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