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In other novel hacker news:

Two days ago, Bank of America was granted a patent on assessing security by checking a list of servers for open ports, pinging those ports, determining whether the servers contain sensitive information, and then closing the ports on those servers in the event that they do contain sensitive information. 

Phew. I'm glad that BOA finally invented nmap. I can't imagine how we'd gotten by so long without it.

P.S. For those of you arriving via Slashdot because you're interested in nonsense IP, you might be interested in Battelle v. Southfork. Unlike this travesty, which is likely settled until someone tries to use the patent, the other case could probably use your attention. Links below, once I'm out of the car and not updating by tin can and string.
Embodiments of the present invention provide apparatuses and methods for identifying computer systems that pose a threat for potential dissemination of confidential information, and thereafter, scanning the computer systems for unauthorized activity related to potential dissemination of confidential information. Embodiments of the invention comprise compiling a list of user computer systems that are at risk of accessing, using, or disseminating c...
Christina Talbott-Clark's profile photoDylan Lawrence's profile photoAndreas Schou's profile photoCorey Thuen's profile photo
Fyodor is basically a terrorist for stealing this technology. We need to make sure the FBI is busting down doors and that US patents on security solutions are actively enforced. You wouldn't let terrorists copy our knowledge of how to make nukes, would you?
It's not just al-Qaida, +Corey Thuen. As we both well know, open source security products are basically theft from the immense corporations we've deputized to protect us.
Oh goodness, that reminds me that I haven't donated yet! What's that website again, +Corey Thuen? And sorry not to have gotten to it sooner. 
BofA is the same people (actually, another bank did this as well), that sent me this e-mail... yes, it's true... yes,it's legit. But..... yeah 

You have received a secure message from Bank of America
If you have concerns about the validity of this message, please contact the sender directly. Messages will expire after 90 days.

Opening the Secure Message
Click the securedoc.html attachment to open (view) the secure message. For best results, save the file first and open it from the saved location using a Web browser.
First-time recipients may need to register after opening the securedoc.html attachment.
Existing recipients, enter current password. CashPro Online recipients, enter CashPro credentials.
Click the Open button. If you are unable to open the message, select the Open Online link.
Mobile Device Recipients
Forward this message with the securedoc.html attachment to You will receive a new email containing a link to access the secure message.
If you have not previously registered, click the Open button to initiate registration.
"CashPro credentials"?  I was hoping for "This message is very secure because it's so money."
+Christina Talbott-Clark Thanks but you'll have to procrastinate longer. We're in between fund raising campaigns at the moment as we try find a settlement option. If that turns out not be possible (they don't seem interested so far) then the trial will be going all the way forward and we'll have to do another round. Follow on g+/twitter for updates.  :)
wasn't the new patent law supposed to fix these types of patent trolling? 
Incidentally, could someone add the links to my Southfork posts to a comment here? I'm driving back to Idaho from Google and bound to a small screen for the relevant period of interest. And I imagine that Lauren would like to get paid.
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