Hackers Sweep Up FTP Credentials For the New York Times, UNICEF and 7,000 Others

Slashdot - Fri, 14/02/2014 - 1:47pm
SpacemanukBEJY.53u writes "Alex Holden of Hold Security has come forward with a significant find: a 7,000-strong list of FTP sites run by a variety of companies, complete with login credentials. The affected companies include The New York Times and UNICEF. The hackers have uploaded malicious PHP scripts in some cases, perhaps as a launch pad for further attacks. The passwords for the FTP applications are complex and not default ones, indicating the hackers may have other malware installed on people's systems in those organizations."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Categories: Science

Hackers Sweep Up FTP Credentials For the New York Times, UNICEF and 7,000 Others

Slashdot - Fri, 14/02/2014 - 1:47pm
SpacemanukBEJY.53u writes "Alex Holden of Hold Security has come forward with a significant find: a 7,000-strong list of FTP sites run by a variety of companies, complete with login credentials. The affected companies include The New York Times and UNICEF. The hackers have uploaded malicious PHP scripts in some cases, perhaps as a launch pad for further attacks. The passwords for the FTP applications are complex and not default ones, indicating the hackers may have other malware installed on people's systems in those organizations."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Categories: Science

Hackers Sweep Up FTP Credentials For the New York Times, UNICEF and 7,000 Others

Slashdot - Fri, 14/02/2014 - 1:47pm
SpacemanukBEJY.53u writes "Alex Holden of Hold Security has come forward with a significant find: a 7,000-strong list of FTP sites run by a variety of companies, complete with login credentials. The affected companies include The New York Times and UNICEF. The hackers have uploaded malicious PHP scripts in some cases, perhaps as a launch pad for further attacks. The passwords for the FTP applications are complex and not default ones, indicating the hackers may have other malware installed on people's systems in those organizations."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Categories: Science

Hackers Sweep Up FTP Credentials For the New York Times, UNICEF and 7,000 Others

Slashdot - Fri, 14/02/2014 - 1:47pm
SpacemanukBEJY.53u writes "Alex Holden of Hold Security has come forward with a significant find: a 7,000-strong list of FTP sites run by a variety of companies, complete with login credentials. The affected companies include The New York Times and UNICEF. The hackers have uploaded malicious PHP scripts in some cases, perhaps as a launch pad for further attacks. The passwords for the FTP applications are complex and not default ones, indicating the hackers may have other malware installed on people's systems in those organizations."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Categories: Science

Hackers Sweep Up FTP Credentials For the New York Times, UNICEF and 7,000 Others

Slashdot - Fri, 14/02/2014 - 1:47pm
SpacemanukBEJY.53u writes "Alex Holden of Hold Security has come forward with a significant find: a 7,000-strong list of FTP sites run by a variety of companies, complete with login credentials. The affected companies include The New York Times and UNICEF. The hackers have uploaded malicious PHP scripts in some cases, perhaps as a launch pad for further attacks. The passwords for the FTP applications are complex and not default ones, indicating the hackers may have other malware installed on people's systems in those organizations."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Categories: Science

Hackers Sweep Up FTP Credentials For the New York Times, UNICEF and 7,000 Others

Slashdot - Fri, 14/02/2014 - 1:47pm
SpacemanukBEJY.53u writes "Alex Holden of Hold Security has come forward with a significant find: a 7,000-strong list of FTP sites run by a variety of companies, complete with login credentials. The affected companies include The New York Times and UNICEF. The hackers have uploaded malicious PHP scripts in some cases, perhaps as a launch pad for further attacks. The passwords for the FTP applications are complex and not default ones, indicating the hackers may have other malware installed on people's systems in those organizations."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Categories: Science

Hackers Sweep Up FTP Credentials For the New York Times, UNICEF and 7,000 Others

Slashdot - Fri, 14/02/2014 - 1:47pm
SpacemanukBEJY.53u writes "Alex Holden of Hold Security has come forward with a significant find: a 7,000-strong list of FTP sites run by a variety of companies, complete with login credentials. The affected companies include The New York Times and UNICEF. The hackers have uploaded malicious PHP scripts in some cases, perhaps as a launch pad for further attacks. The passwords for the FTP applications are complex and not default ones, indicating the hackers may have other malware installed on people's systems in those organizations."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Categories: Science

Hackers Sweep Up FTP Credentials For the New York Times, UNICEF and 7,000 Others

Slashdot - Fri, 14/02/2014 - 1:47pm
SpacemanukBEJY.53u writes "Alex Holden of Hold Security has come forward with a significant find: a 7,000-strong list of FTP sites run by a variety of companies, complete with login credentials. The affected companies include The New York Times and UNICEF. The hackers have uploaded malicious PHP scripts in some cases, perhaps as a launch pad for further attacks. The passwords for the FTP applications are complex and not default ones, indicating the hackers may have other malware installed on people's systems in those organizations."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Categories: Science

Looking for Cosmic Valentine's Day Card? ESA Has What You Need

Space.com - Fri, 14/02/2014 - 1:33pm
Looking a truly out-of-this-world way to let your loved ones know you care this Valentine's Day? Look no farther than these cosmic e-cards with space photo hearts.
Categories: Science

A termite-inspired robot construction team

Kurzweil AI - Fri, 14/02/2014 - 1:26pm

Independent autonomous robots with onboard sensing collectively work on pre-specified structures — a castle-like structure in this case

On the plains of Namibia, millions of tiny termites are building a mound of soil — an 8-foot-tall “lung” for their underground nest. During a year of construction, many termites will live and die, wind and rain will erode the structure, and yet the colony’s life-sustaining project will continue.

Inspired by termites’ resilience and collective intelligence, Harvard  computer scientists and engineers have created an autonomous robotic construction crew comprising any number of simple robots that cooperate by modifying their environment.

Developed  at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) and the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University, Harvard’s TERMES system demonstrates that collective systems of robots can build complex, three-dimensional structures without the need for any central command or prescribed roles.

The results of the four-year project were presented this week at the AAAS 2014 Annual Meeting and published in the February 14 issue of Science.

The TERMES robots can build towers, castles, and pyramids out of foam bricks, autonomously building themselves staircases to reach the higher levels and adding bricks wherever they are needed. In the future, similar robots could lay sandbags in advance of a flood, or perform simple construction tasks on Mars.

“The key inspiration we took from termites is the idea that you can do something really complicated as a group, without a supervisor, and secondly that you can do it without everybody discussing explicitly what’s going on, but just by modifying the environment,” says principal investigator Radhika Nagpal, Fred Kavli Professor of Computer Science at Harvard SEAS. She is also a core faculty member at the Wyss Institute, where she co-leads the Bioinspired Robotics platform.

Most human construction projects today are performed by trained workers in a hierarchical organization, explains lead author Justin Werfel, a staff scientist in bioinspired robotics at the Wyss Institute and a former SEAS postdoctoral fellow. “Normally, at the beginning, you have a blueprint and a detailed plan of how to execute it, and the foreman goes out and directs his crew, supervising them as they do it,” he says. “In insect colonies, it’s not as if the queen is giving them all individual instructions. Each termite doesn’t know what the others are doing or what the current overall state of the mound is.”

Scalable, distributed artificial intelligence

Instead, termites rely on a concept known as stigmergy, a kind of implicit communication: they observe each others’ changes to the environment and act accordingly. That is what Nagpal’s team has designed the robots to do, with impressive results. Supplementary videos published with the Science paper show the robots cooperating to build several kinds of structures and even recovering from unexpected changes to the structures during construction.

Each robot executes its building process in parallel with others, but without knowing who else is working at the same time. If one robot breaks, or has to leave, it does not affect the others. This also means that the same instructions can be executed by five robots or five hundred. The TERMES system is an important proof of concept for scalable, distributed artificial intelligence.

Nagpal’s Self-Organizing Systems Research Group specializes in distributed algorithms that allow very large groups of robots to act as a colony. Close connections between Harvard’s computer scientists, electrical engineers, and biologists are key to her team’s success. They created a swarm of friendly Kilobots a few years ago and are contributing artificial intelligence expertise to the ongoing RoboBees project, in collaboration with Harvard faculty members Robert J. Wood and Gu-Yeon Wei.

Emergent higher-level behavior

“When many agents get together — whether they’re termites, bees, or robots — often some interesting, higher-level behavior emerges that you wouldn’t predict from looking at the components by themselves,” says Werfel. “Broadly speaking, we’re interested in connecting what happens at the low level, with individual agent rules, to these emergent outcomes.”

Coauthor Kirstin Petersen, a graduate student at Harvard SEAS with a fellowship from the Wyss Institute, spearheaded the design and construction of the TERMES robots and bricks. These robots can perform all the necessary tasks — carrying blocks, climbing the structure, attaching the blocks, and so on — with only four simple types of sensors and three actuators.

“We co-designed robots and bricks in an effort to make the system as minimalist and reliable as possible,” Petersen says. “Not only does this help to make the system more robust; it also greatly simplifies the amount of computing required of the onboard processor. The idea is not just to reduce the number of small-scale errors, but more so to detect and correct them before they propagate into errors that can be fatal to the entire system.”

In contrast to the TERMES system, it is currently more common for robotic systems to depend on a central controller. These systems typically rely on an “eye in the sky” that can see the whole process or on all of the robots being able to talk to each other frequently. These approaches can improve group efficiency and help the system recover from problems quickly, but as the numbers of robots and the size of their territory increase, these systems become harder to operate. In dangerous or remote environments, a central controller presents a single failure point that could bring down the whole system.

“It may be that in the end you want something in between the centralized and the decentralized system — but we’ve proven the extreme end of the scale: that it could be just like the termites,” says Nagpal. “And from the termites’ point of view, it’s working out great.”

This research was supported by the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University.

Abstract of Science paper

Complex systems are characterized by many independent components whose low-level actions produce collective high-level results. Predicting high-level results given low-level rules is a key open challenge; the inverse problem, finding low-level rules that give specific outcomes. We present a multi-agent construction system inspired by mound-building termites, solving such an inverse problem. A user specifies a desired structure, and the system automatically generates low-level rules for independent climbing robots that guarantee production of that structure. Robots use only local sensing and coordinate their activity via the shared environment. We demonstrate the approach via a physical realization with three autonomous climbing robots limited to onboard sensing. This work advances the aim of engineering complex systems that achieve specific human-designed goals.

Categories: Science

Financing College With a Tax On All Graduates

Slashdot - Fri, 14/02/2014 - 1:05pm
Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes "As the number of students attending colleges and universities has steadily increased and the cost for most students has climbed even faster, student debt figures (both total and per person) have continued to get bigger. Now Josh Freedman at Forbes Magazine proposes a graduate tax-funded system of higher education, under which students would pay nothing to attend college upfront. Instead, once they graduate and move out of their parents' basements, they would begin to pay an additional income tax (say, for example, three percent) on their earnings that would fund higher education. 'In other words, the current crop of college graduates funds the current crop of college students, and so on down the line. There is no debt taken on by students, which minimizes risk (good); repayment is tied to income, because only people who make income pay the tax (also good); and it is simpler and more easily administrable than plans to make loans easier to pay off (still good).' The main argument for a graduate tax comes from its progressivity. Supporters of a graduate tax point out that most college graduates, particularly those from elite universities that use a greater share of resources, are richer than people who have not graduated from college. The state of Oregon made headlines last year for an innovative proposal called 'Pay It Forward' to fund higher education without having students take on any debt. Pay It Forward amounts to a graduate tax: All of the graduates of public colleges in Oregon would pay nothing up front in tuition but would pay back a percentage of their income for a set number of years. These payments would build a fund that would cover the cost for future students to receive the same opportunity to attend college with no upfront costs. 'As pressure mounts for more students from all backgrounds to attend college, it will become increasingly difficult to try to stem the rapid tuition inflation under a loan system,' concludes Freedman. 'Our current student loan system has made college more expensive, turned higher education into an individual, rather than a communal, good, and generated serious negative economic and social risks.'"

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Categories: Science

Spaceport Sweden Launches Aerial Northern Lights Tours, Aims for Space (Video)

Space.com - Fri, 14/02/2014 - 12:55pm
When thinking of space travel, Florida and Texas probably come to mind, but what a company in Sweden wants to help you fly to space.
Categories: Science

Environmental impact of Ontario corn production assessed

Science Daily - Fri, 14/02/2014 - 12:55pm
Researchers examined the energy use and greenhouse gas emissions associated with corn production in Ontario.
Categories: Science

Arctic biodiversity under serious threat from climate change

Science Daily - Fri, 14/02/2014 - 12:55pm
Climate change caused by human activities is by far the worst threat to biodiversity in the Arctic. Some of these changes are already visible. Unique and irreplaceable Arctic wildlife and landscapes are crucially at risk due to global warming caused by human activities according to a new report prepared by 253 scientists from 15 countries.
Categories: Science

Passive smoking impairs children's responses to asthma treatment

Science Daily - Fri, 14/02/2014 - 12:54pm
Children exposed to cigarette smoke at home have lower levels of an enzyme that helps them respond to asthma treatment, a study has found.
Categories: Science

Potentially revolutionary material: Scientists produce a novel form of artificial graphene

Science Daily - Fri, 14/02/2014 - 12:54pm
A new breed of ultra thin super-material has the potential to cause a technological revolution. “Artificial graphene” should lead to faster, smaller and lighter electronic and optical devices of all kinds, including higher performance photovoltaic cells, lasers or LED lighting.
Categories: Science

New research reinforces danger of drinking alcohol while pregnant

Science Daily - Fri, 14/02/2014 - 12:54pm
Women who drink alcohol at moderate or heavy levels in the early stages of their pregnancy might damage the growth and function of their placenta – the organ responsible for supplying everything that a developing infant needs until birth - research shows. Placentas studied in a laboratory environment showed that drinking alcohol at moderate (2/3 standard drinks) to high (4-6 standard drinks) rates reduced the cell growth in a woman’s placenta.
Categories: Science

Revolutionary portable lab for rapid and low-cost diagnosis

Science Daily - Fri, 14/02/2014 - 12:54pm
Do you remember James Bond film Casino Royale? After being poisoned, the agent uses a portable diagnostic kit to identify the toxic substance and alert his HQ in London. Such type of technology is not fiction anymore. Researchers have developed a ground-breaking diagnostic system based on smart cards and skin patches combined with a portable reader. Test results can directly be sent to a remote computer, a tablet or a smartphone through a wireless connection. This small lab can already detect cocaine consumption, monitor colon cancer, identify bacteria in food and analyze environmental contamination. Many other useful applications can be foreseen.
Categories: Science

Fathers drinking: Also responsible for fetal disorders?

Science Daily - Fri, 14/02/2014 - 12:54pm
Maternal exposure to alcohol in-utero is a known risk and cause of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS). FAS children suffer significant problems such as retarded intellect, stunted growth and nervous system abnormalities, social problems and isolation. Until now, fathers have not had a causal link to such disabilities. Ground breaking new research has been revealed which shows dads may have more accountability.
Categories: Science

Impaired recovery from inflammation linked to Alzheimer's

Science Daily - Fri, 14/02/2014 - 12:54pm
New research shows that the final stage of the normal inflammatory process may be disrupted in patients with Alzheimer's disease. A study shows that levels in the brain and cerebrospinal fluid of the molecules necessary for tissue recovery through the clearance of harmful inflammatory substances are lower than normal in patients with Alzheimer's disease. The study also showed association between the lower levels of these molecules with impaired memory function.
Categories: Science