In This Issue


SpaceX divulges more info on Mars plan, shows off Starship Mk1

Elon Musk proudly showed off the spacecraft he thinks will take humanity to Mars last night. Starship Mk1 is a 50-meter tall shiny upper-stage of the Super Heavy launch system, that'll be packed with 37 engines and do its first test in just 2 months time. Starship looks very weird, almost like a kid's aluminum foil craft project, but apparently using old school stainless steel instead of "traditional" carbon composite or aluminum-based materials is way cheaper and more forgiving at the low and high temperatures Starship will encounter on a trip to Mars. Musk also dropped that a cargo trip to Mars could happen by 2022, albeit with the condition that "these are just total guesses".

New checkm8 unpatchable exploit allows iOS devices to be jailbroken

Checkm8 is a new exploit that allows every Apple device with an A5 to A11 SoC (iPhone 4S to iPhone X) to be jailbroken and/or hacked. What's interesting about checkm8 is that it is permanent and unpatchable, because the vulnarbility lives in the bootrom, so it can't be overwritten or patched by Apple with a software update. The vuln was just made public, so there's no easy to use jailbreak, but you assume that's coming soon. It would be nice to use still relatively powerful devices like the iPhone 4S/5 with alternative operating systems. Checkm8 could also lead to new ways for law enforcement (aka Cellebrite) or others to get their grubby little fingers inside an older iOS device.

Former NATO bunker turned into datacenter has been raided by German cops

German police have raided a former NATO military bunker in Traben-Trarbach on a 13-acre site dubbed "Cyberbunker 2.0", that was used to offer web server hosting facilities for dodgy purposes. The bunker hosted dark web sites like Wall Street Market (one of my favourites, damn), Cannabis Road and Orange Chemicals. Inside the multi level underground bunker was more than 200 servers dishing out not only dark web markets, but also child porn and a massive botnet that hit Deutsche Telekom in late 2016. What surprised me the most was that the main perp was able to buy a former NATO bunker for US$700,000 - probably needed a bit of work, but what a bargain! Der Spigel and Die Rheinpfalz has some pics and vids from inside the underground lair. Pretty wild stuff.

Not News

Get around Elkei’s cute electronics kits for kids on Kickstarter

Astro is a small kit by Elkei Education that's aimed at getting kiddies some hands-on time with basic electronics. It's an adorable DIY doll making set with some simple electronics like LEDs that are sown together with conductive thread to demonstrate what a circuit is in a way kids will enjoy. The kit also includes some cool collectible PCBs featuring women technologists. I don't really promote stuff on Kickstarter as they tend to either take years to ship or end up in a total shitshow, but a Sizzle subscriber showed me this project and I thought it was cute, so why the hell not.


🎶 I Wish I Was Stephen Malkmus - beabadoobee

😁 The Sizzle is curated by Anthony "@decryption" Agius and emailed every weekday afternoon. Join us on Slack and chat with other Sizzle subscribers.

The Sizzle is created on Wathaurong land and acknowledges the traditional owners of country throughout Australia, recognising their continuing connection to land, water and community. I pay my respect to them and their cultures and to elders both past and present.​