Researchers Discover Security Problems Under the Hood of Automobile Apps

Slashdot - Sat, 18/02/2017 - 1:25am
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: Malware researchers Victor Chebyshev and Mikhail Kuzin examined seven Android apps for connected vehicles and found that the apps were ripe for malicious exploitation. Six of the applications had unencrypted user credentials, and all of them had little in the way of protection against reverse-engineering or the insertion of malware into apps. The vulnerabilities looked at by the Kaspersky researchers focused not on vehicle communication, but on the Android apps associated with the services and the potential for their credentials to be hijacked by malware if a car owner's smartphone is compromised. All seven of the applications allowed the user to remotely unlock their vehicle; six made remote engine start possible (though whether it's possible for someone to drive off with the vehicle without having a key or RFID-equipped key fob present is unclear). Two of the seven apps used unencrypted user logins and passwords, making theft of credentials much easier. And none of the applications performed any sort of integrity check or detection of root permissions to the app's data and events -- making it much easier for someone to create an "evil" version of the app to provide an avenue for attack. While malware versions of these apps would require getting a car owner to install them on their device in order to succeed, Chebyshev and Kuzin suggested that would be possible through a spear-phishing attack warning the owner of a need to do an emergency app update. Other malware might also be able to perform the installation.

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Categories: Science

News Briefs 17-02-2017

Underground Stream - Sat, 18/02/2017 - 12:55am

“One of us is obviously mistaken.”

Quote of the Day:

“Genius is play, and man's capacity for achieving genius is infinite, and many may achieve genius only through play.”

W. Saroyan

Mozilla Thunderbird Finally Makes Its Way Back Into Debian's Repos

Slashdot - Sat, 18/02/2017 - 12:45am
prisoninmate quotes a report from Softpedia: A year ago, we told you that, after ten long years, the Debian Project finally found a way to switch their rebranded Iceweasel web browser back to Mozilla Firefox, both the ESR (Extended Support Release) and normal versions, but one question remained: what about the Mozilla Thunderbird email, news, and calendar client? Well, that question has an official answer today, as the Mozilla Thunderbird packages appear to have landed in the Debian repositories as a replacement for Icedove, the rebranded version that Debian Project was forced to use for more than ten years due to trademark issues. "Thunderbird is back in Debian! We also renamed other related packages to use official names, e.g. iceowl-extension -> lightning. For now, we need testers to catch existing issues and things we haven't seen until now," said Christoph Goehre in the mailing list announcement. You can find out how to migrate your Icedove profiles to Thunderbird via Softpedia's report.

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Categories: Science

GM Plans To Build, Test Thousands of Self-Driving Bolts In 2018

Slashdot - Sat, 18/02/2017 - 12:05am
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Reuters: General Motors Co plans to deploy thousands of self-driving electric cars in test fleets in partnership with ride-sharing affiliate Lyft Inc, beginning in 2018, two sources familiar with the automaker's plans said this week. It is expected to be the largest such test of fully autonomous vehicles by any major automaker before 2020, when several companies have said they plan to begin building and deploying such vehicles in higher volumes. Most of the specially equipped versions of the Chevrolet Bolt electric vehicle will be used by San Francisco-based Lyft, which will test them in its ride-sharing fleet in several states, one of the sources said. GM has no immediate plans to sell the Bolt AV to individual customers, according to the source. In a statement on Friday, GM said: "We do not provide specific details on potential future products or technology rollout plans. We have said that our AV technology will appear in an on-demand ride sharing network application sooner than you might think."

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Categories: Science

Finding the Right National Security Adviser Won’t Be Easy

Wired News - Fri, 17/02/2017 - 11:46pm
After Flynn's resignation, the Trump administration's next pick declined the position. What happens now? The post Finding the Right National Security Adviser Won't Be Easy appeared first on WIRED.
Categories: Science

SoftBank Is Willing To Cede Control of Sprint To Get T-Mobile Merger Done, Says Report

Slashdot - Fri, 17/02/2017 - 11:20pm
According to Reuters, SoftBank is willing to cede control of Sprint to make a T-Mobile-Sprint merger happen. The company controls 83 percent of Sprint, but it'd reportedly be willing to surrender control of Sprint and retain a minority stake in a merger with T-Mobile. PhoneDog reports: It's said that SoftBank is growing frustrated with Sprint's lack of major growth in the U.S. market, and so it wants to merge with T-Mobile in order to better compete with Verizon and ATT. No talks between SoftBank and Deutsche Telekom are currently happening because of the FCC's 600MHz spectrum auction that prevents collusion between competing companies. Once the auction ends in April, though, it's expected that SoftBank will approached Deutsche Telekom about a deal.

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Categories: Science

Japan Unveils Next-Generation, Pascal-Based AI Supercomputer

Slashdot - Fri, 17/02/2017 - 10:40pm
The Tokyo Institute of Technology has announced plans to launch Japan's "fastest AI supercomputer" this summer. The supercomputer is called Tsubame 3.0 and will use Nvidia's latest Pascal-based Tesla P100 GPU accelerators to double its performance over its predecessor, the Tsubame 2.5. Slashdot reader kipperstem77 shares an excerpt from a report via The Next Platform: With all of those CPUs and GPUs, Tsubame 3.0 will have 12.15 petaflops of peak double precision performance, and is rated at 24.3 petaflops single precision and, importantly, is rated at 47.2 petaflops at the half precision that is important for neural networks employed in deep learning applications. When added to the existing Tsubame 2.5 machine and the experimental immersion-cooled Tsubame-KFC system, TiTech will have a total of 6,720 GPUs to bring to bear on workloads, adding up to a total of 64.3 aggregate petaflops at half precision. (This is interesting to us because that means Nvidia has worked with TiTech to get half precision working on Kepler GPUs, which did not formally support half precision.)

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Categories: Science

EU Moves To Bring In AI Laws, But Rejects Robot Tax Proposal

Slashdot - Fri, 17/02/2017 - 10:00pm
An anonymous reader quotes a report from New Atlas: The European Parliament has voted on a resolution to regulate the development of artificial intelligence and robotics across the European Union. Based on a raft of recommendations drafted in a report submitted in January to the legal affairs committee, the proposed rules include establishing ethical standards for the development of artificial intelligence, and introducing an insurance scheme to cover liability for accidents involving driverless cars. Not every element in the broad-ranging report was accepted by the Parliament though, with a recommendation to institute a "robot tax" roundly rejected. The robot tax proposal was designed to create a fund that manages the repercussions and retraining of workers made redundant through the increased deployment of industrial and service robots. But those in the robotics industry were supportive of the Parliamentary rejection, with the International Federation of Robotics suggesting to Reuters a robot tax would have been harmful to the burgeoning industry, stifling innovation and competitiveness. The European Parliament passed the resolution comfortably with 396 votes to 123, with 85 abstentions.

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Categories: Science

Yeast found in babies' guts increases risk of asthma

Science Daily - Fri, 17/02/2017 - 9:25pm
Microbiologists have found a yeast in the gut of new babies in Ecuador that appears to be a strong predictor that they will develop asthma in childhood. The new research furthers our understanding of the role microscopic organisms play in our overall health.
Categories: Science

There and back again: Catalyst mediates energy-efficient proton transport for reversibility

Science Daily - Fri, 17/02/2017 - 9:24pm
A complex with a proton pathway and stabilized by outer coordination sphere interactions is reversible for hydrogen production/oxidation at room temperature and pressure, researchers have found.
Categories: Science

Micro-RNA may amplify effectiveness of sorafenib in difficult liver cancer cases

Science Daily - Fri, 17/02/2017 - 9:23pm
Only 25% of patients respond to sorafenib treatment, so researchers have endeavored to understand its mechanism of action and discover a way to boost its effectiveness.
Categories: Science

Speciation is not all about good looks: For stick insects, the right partner should smell good too

Science Daily - Fri, 17/02/2017 - 9:22pm
An attractive scent is just as important as good looks when it comes to choosing a mate -- at least among stick insect populations.
Categories: Science

70 Percent of Young Swedish Men Are Video Pirates, Study Says

Slashdot - Fri, 17/02/2017 - 9:20pm
A new study from Sweden has found that just over half of all young people admit to obtaining movies and TV shows from the Internet without paying, a figure that rockets to 70 percent among young men, reports TorrentFreak, citing a study. From the report: According to figures just released by media industry consultants Mediavision, in January 2017 almost a quarter of all Swedes aged between 15 and 74 admitted either streaming or downloading movies from 'pirate' sites during the past month. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the tendency to do so is greater among the young. More than half of 15 to 24-year-olds said they'd used a torrent or streaming site during December. When concentrating that down to only young men in the same age group, the figure leaps to 70 percent.

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Categories: Science

Trump Made a Media Survey That’s More Rant Than Science

Wired News - Fri, 17/02/2017 - 9:12pm
First rule of surveys: Don't ask yes or no questions. The post Trump Made a Media Survey That’s More Rant Than Science appeared first on WIRED.
Categories: Science

Visit a Ghost Village at the Foot of an Angry Indonesian Volcano

Wired News - Fri, 17/02/2017 - 9:11pm
It looks like the apocalypse near the 8,000-foot stratovolcano Mount Sinabung. And it kind of is. The post Visit a Ghost Village at the Foot of an Angry Indonesian Volcano appeared first on WIRED.
Categories: Science

Low level vitamin D during remission contributes to relapse in ulcerative colitis patients

Science Daily - Fri, 17/02/2017 - 9:10pm
Lower levels of vitamin D in the blood increase the risk of clinical relapse in patients with Ulcerative Colitis (UC), an inflammatory bowel disease that causes long-lasting inflammation and ulcers in the colon, a new study has found.
Categories: Science

Scientists uncover how Zika virus causes microcephaly

Science Daily - Fri, 17/02/2017 - 9:10pm
A multidisciplinary team has uncovered the mechanisms that the Zika virus uses to alter brain development, outlines a new report.
Categories: Science

Climate-driven permafrost thaw

Science Daily - Fri, 17/02/2017 - 9:10pm
In bitter cold regions like northwestern Canada, permafrost has preserved relict ground-ice and vast glacial sedimentary stores in a quasi-stable state. These landscapes therefore retain a high potential for climate-driven transformation, say researchers.
Categories: Science

Egg-free surrogate chickens produced in bid to save rare breeds

Science Daily - Fri, 17/02/2017 - 9:10pm
Hens that do not produce their own chicks have been developed for use as surrogates to lay eggs from rare breeds. The advance -- using gene-editing techniques -- could help to boost breeding of endangered birds, as well as improving production of commercial hens, researchers say.
Categories: Science

From mice, clues to microbiome's influence on metabolic disease

Science Daily - Fri, 17/02/2017 - 9:10pm
The community of microorganisms that resides in the gut, known as the microbiome, has been shown to work in tandem with the genes of a host organism to regulate insulin secretion, a key variable in the onset of the metabolic disease diabetes, new research has found.
Categories: Science