The Switchboard : ‘Bitcoin bank’ closes citing $600,000 heist


The Yahoo logo is shown at the company's headquarters in Sunnyvale, California in this April 16, 2013 file photo. (REUTERS/Robert Galbraith/Files )

Published every weekday, the Switchboard highlights five tech policy stories you need to read.

Critical crypto bug leaves Linux, hundreds of apps open to eavesdropping. "Hundreds of open source packages, including the Red Hat, Ubuntu, and Debian distributions of Linux, are susceptible to attacks that circumvent the most widely used technology to prevent eavesdropping on the Internet, thanks to an extremely critical vulnerability in a widely used cryptographic code library," reports Dan Goodin at Ars Technica."The bug in the GnuTLS library makes it trivial for attackers to bypass secure sockets layer (SSL) and Transport Layer Security (TLS) protections available on websites that depend on the open source package."

Yahoo to stop user access of services with Facebook, Google IDs. "Yahoo Inc will stop letting consumers access its various online services, including Fantasy Sports and photo-sharing site Flickr, by signing-in with their Facebook Inc or Google Inc credentials," reports Alexei Oreskovic at Reuters. The change will require users to register for an Yahoo ID to use any of the company's services and will be rolled out gradually.

Y Combinator’s lady problems, in three charts. Only around a quarter of start-ups funded that make it into the Y Combinator accelerator have at least one female founder. The company just hosted its first "Female Founders" conference, but the chart it used to illustrate gender diversity in its program didn't show the full story, the Switch reports.

Comcast turning Chicago homes into public Wi-Fi hot spots. Robert Channick at the Chicago Tribune reports on a Comcast program using customer routers to build out public Wi-Fi hot spots. "The neighborhood hot spots initiative, rolling out during the next several months, will send a separate Wi-Fi signal from Comcast-issued home equipment, enabling anyone within range to get online. Soon, entire residential blocks will begin to show as hot spots on Xfinity's Wi-Fi mobile app, the company said Tuesday." The program was previously deployed in other test markets.

Bitcoin bank Flexcoin shuts down after massive theft. Zack Miners at PC World reports on the closure of "bitcoin bank" Flexcoin. "Flexcoin was attacked and robbed March 2 of all coins in its 'hot wallet'—a term that refers to bitcoin online storage—the site said in an announcement posted to its homepage. The attacker made off with 896 bitcoins, which at current prices across several exchanges would amount to roughly $600,000."

Andrea Peterson covers technology policy for The Washington Post, with an emphasis on cybersecurity, consumer privacy, transparency, surveillance and open government.
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