Researchers create Frankenstein malware made up of common gadgets

first_imgHigh-level architecture of Frankenstein. Image: Kevin W. Hamlen More information: Kevin W. Hamlen’s page: release (—In the ever ongoing struggle between good and evil, or in this case, the battle between those that create malware and those that seek to detect and destroy it, the good guys appear to have mimicked the bad by creating a computer virus that can evade detection by building itself from pieces of code that normally reside harmlessly on people’s computers. The result, the team of Vishwath Mohan and Kevin Hamlen of the University of Texas, say, is a cyber version of Frankenstein’s monster. © 2012 Citation: Researchers create ‘Frankenstein’ malware made up of common gadgets (2012, August 21) retrieved 18 August 2019 from Bitdefender researchers find evidence of viruses infecting worms creating new form of malware Explore further The research, which was partly funded by the US Air Force, was described to attendees at this year’s USENIX Workshop on Offensive Technologies. There the team said their aim in creating the malware was to see if it might be possible to create a virus that is made up of nothing but gadgets, snippets of code used by such commonly installed programs as Internet Explorer or Notepad. Theoretical research over the past several years suggested it could be done. The overall purpose of such a project would be to see if using the technique could result in the creation of a virus that could not be detected by conventional anti-virus programs. And it seems the answer is yes, though the malware the team created isn’t a virus in the technical sense because it doesn’t cause any harm, it’s merely a proof of concept. Their code resulted in the creation of new code made from gadgets that ran two harmless algorithms. But, of course, those algorithms could just as easily been very, very harmful. One of the more clever aspects of the code the team created was the part where the original kernel, the part that infects the computer, was itself modified and caused to look like part of a normal gadget, thus, leaving no trace of itself to be found. The point, of course, in creating new kinds of malware is to help people on the right side of the law stay one step ahead of those that hide in the dark toiling in earnest to conceive and construct ever more malevolent software that once unleashed might prey on others and do their bidding. Getting there first allows researchers time to build ways to circumvent such malware before the bad guys figure out how to do it themselves. In this case, some have suggested the best way to detect the new so-called undetectable malware is by creating security software that is able to detect objectionable behavior by code, rather than scanning it for identifying markers, which is how virtually all anti-virus software currently find infections on computer systems. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

Society of Automotive Engineers adopts J1772 combo plug as standard for electric

first_img Citation: Society of Automotive Engineers adopts J1772 combo plug as standard for electric vehicles (2012, October 19) retrieved 18 August 2019 from Single-inlet electric vehicle charging to showcase in LA SAE J1772 plug. Credit: Michael Hicks/Wikipedia Explore further © 2012 Phys.orgcenter_img (—The Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) has voted to adopt the J1772 Revision B combo plug as the standard plug for use in electric and hybrid vehicles sold worldwide. The design allows for both AC and DC charging and its adoption means all car manufacturers except Tesla and several Japanese companies including Nissan and Mitsubishi, will begin using the new standard on all new vehicles. The acceptance of the new standard will be a first for North America and could provide the push needed for commercial and public groups to begin building charging stations. The standard allows for charging at home using either a 120 or 224 AC line – the first is what is normally found in home wall outlets; the second for dryers or ovens. But it will also allow for DC charging which is where the industry is headed as it allows for far faster charging times – minutes versus hours for AC. It’s the DC option that provides the basis for creating quick charging stations and perhaps the long anticipated widespread adoption of electric vehicles.The Japanese holdouts will continue to use the CHAdeMO standard, which is already widely supported in Japan and is based on quick charging using DC current. Tesla has created two of its own standards for each of its two models of vehicles and hasn’t yet responded to the news of the adoption of the new standard. Nissan on the other hand has released a statement expressing disappoint with the decision made by the group and with it an implied critique regarding the timing of the adoption, coming after so many vehicles on the road are already configured for using the CHAdeMO standard.For consumers the adoption will mean they will continue to be able to charge their vehicle at home, though they may have to purchase a charging station as well depending on which vehicle they buy. It will likely also mean future charging stations they visit will offer several plug options, meaning drivers will have to know which standard their car has so they will know which to use. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

Model shows how surge in wealth inequality may be reversed

first_img Journal information: PLoS ONE (—For many Americans, the single biggest problem facing the country is the growing wealth inequality. Based on income tax data, wealth inequality in the US has steadily increased since the mid-1980s, with the top 10% of the population currently owning about 73% of the country’s wealth. In a new paper published in PLOS ONE, researchers have quantitatively analyzed several of the major factors that affect wealth inequality dynamics, and found that the most crucial factor associated with the recent surge in wealth inequality since the ’80s has been the dramatic decrease in personal savings, followed closely by a large increase in the dominance of capital income over labor income. Explore further This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. More information: Yonatan Berman, et al. “Modeling the Origin and Possible Control of the Wealth Inequality Surge.” PLOS ONE. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0130181 Wealth inequality doubles among US householdscenter_img © 2015 Taking these findings a step further, the researchers showed in their model that reversing these two trends can prevent and even reverse a further increase in wealth inequality in the future. The researchers hope that the findings will lead to policies that reproduce these results in the real world. But progress in this area may not even have to rely solely on policy changes, as the researchers note that the 2008 financial crisis has caused Americans to save more money, potentially bringing an opportunity to restrain some of the growth in wealth inequality.The research was led by Eshel Ben-Jacob, who was Professor at the School of Physics & Astronomy at Tel-Aviv University, but passed away unexpectedly before the paper was published. Ben-Jacob was perhaps best known for his work on bacterial self-organization and its applications in complex systems. The other coauthors of the paper are Yonatan Berman, a PhD student, and Yoash Shapira, an adjunct researcher, both at Tel-Aviv University.Overall, the researchers’ model closely reproduces the wealth inequality dynamics in the US from 1930 to 2010, as measured by the share of wealth owned by the top 10% of the population. As the researchers explain in their paper, the usefulness of the new model arises from its ability to quantify the contributions of various factors affecting wealth inequality dynamics, and consequently to serve as a test-bed for predicting the outcomes of future policies.”The greatest significance of the work is that we succeeded in quantifying the relative effects of different factors contributing to wealth inequality,” Berman told “The inequality surge is not due to a single factor. Therefore, in order to understand it better, such a quantification is important. I also think that a very interesting finding is how important personal savings are. Though other elements may be equally important in general, the dramatic decrease in personal savings is probably the single most important ingredient contributing to the increase in wealth inequality in the past 30 years.”Shapira added that, while the dominance of capital income is a very complicated matter that involves the technological change of the past few decades, dealing with the savings issue is relatively easier.Among the other main results, the researchers’ model reveals the complex implications of economic mobility—that is, how easily individuals can change their economic status. On one hand, mobility plays an essential role in restraining wealth inequality, and becomes even more important when the economy becomes dominated by capital income, as is the current trend; when the researchers did not include economic mobility in their model, the model-market correlation dropped dramatically. On the other hand, the researchers also found that further increasing mobility above its current value is likely to have little effect on wealth inequality, suggesting that policies that target improving economic mobility may not be as effective as those that promote increasing personal savings and reducing the dominance of capital income over labor income. In the future, the researchers plan to investigate how such policies may affect other aspects of the economy besides wealth inequality. For example, an increased savings rate may have the unintended consequence of reducing GDP growth, which tends to increase wealth inequality. Future work will require optimization between these two outcomes.Other areas of future work will involve investigating the effects of various tax strategies and other additional factors that contribute to wealth inequality dynamics, as well as applying the model to the economies of different countries. Citation: Model shows how surge in wealth inequality may be reversed (2015, July 30) retrieved 18 August 2019 from For economic data up to 2010, the model (red line) closely matches the actual wealth inequality (blue line), which is measured by the share of wealth owned by the top 10% of the population. After 2010, possible scenarios are those described in the graph above (where α represents an increase in the dominance of capital income over labor income), as well as a simple linear extrapolation of the wealth inequality during 2000-2010 (dashed blue line) and predictions based on the model (dashed red line). The results suggest that, by increasing private savings to 10% in 2030 (squares), wealth inequality can be reversed. Credit: Berman, et al.last_img read more

Experiments show Neolithic Thames beater could be used to kill a person

first_img The Thames Beater (top) and the replica club used for experimentation (bottom) with the blade, barrel and pommel labelled . Credit: Meaghan Dyer Some time ago, archaeologists pulled a wooden club from a waterlogged part of the north bank of the River Thames—after dating it back to approximately 3530-3340 B.C., they subsequently dubbed it the “Thames Beater” because it had clearly been used by one person to beat another person during the Neolithic period. In this new effort, the researchers sought to learn more about the damage the weapon could cause.Because they did not have access to an original club (only one real one has been found), and because they could not bash actual humans, the team fashioned their own clubs modeled after the original Thames Beater. To replicate the human head, they used a model that had been designed for military ballistic testing. Skulls were made of polyurethane which were filled with gelatin and wrapped with a rubber skin. The researchers then enlisted the assistance of a 30-year-old male volunteer to serve as a combatant wielding a Thames beater. He bashed the head of the model as hard as if he were fighting for his life. Upon examining the results, the researchers found that the Thames beater was, indeed, a weapon that could be used to crack the skull of a human being and kill them.The researchers than compared the fractured fake skulls with real ones that had been dug up from Neolithic graveyards and found at least one that looked very similar, suggesting that the person who had done the damage was likely using a Thames beater. Taken together, the evidence suggests the club was more lethal than has been thought. It also creates a better picture of what Neolithic violence was like, the researchers add, noting that the club would likely have been used only in scenarios in which one person was very clearly bent on killing another. Journal information: Antiquity Explore further (—A team of researchers with the University of Edinburgh has found evidence that the “Thames Beater” was a weapon that could be used to kill another person—perhaps at times, with a single blow to the head. In their paper published in the journal Antiquity, the group describes experiments they conducted to learn more about the lethality of the weapon. Rare seahorses spotted in Thames Citation: Experiments show Neolithic Thames beater could be used to kill a person (2017, December 12) retrieved 18 August 2019 from The hand positions used to administer the two types of blow: left) the pommel strike; right) the double-handed strike. Arrows indicate direction of swing . Credit: Meaghan Dyer © 2017 More information: Meaghan Dyer et al. Understanding blunt force trauma and violence in Neolithic Europe: the first experiments using a skin-skull-brain model and the Thames Beater, Antiquity (2017). DOI: 10.15184/aqy.2017.189AbstractThe difficulty in identifying acts of intentional injury in the past has limited the extent to which archaeologists have been able to discuss the nature of interpersonal violence in prehistory. Experimental replication of cranial trauma has proved particularly problematic due to the lack of test analogues that are sufficiently comparable to the human skull. A new material now overcomes this issue, and for the first time allows accurate insight into the effects of different weapons and different blows in inflicting cranial injury; in this case, blunt force trauma caused using a replica of the ‘Thames Beater’ Neolithic wooden club. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

Maha Cong membership drive gets lukewarm response Party leaders

first_imgMaharashtra Congress’ ongoing membership drive has so far failed to evoke an enthusiastic response from the state cadre of the party, which is still reeling under the defeats faced in Lok Sabha as well as assembly polls this year.The membership drive ends on December 31 following which the organisational elections will be held.A senior Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) functionary told a news agency that the lukewarm response from the cadre was due to the past experience where despite getting sizeable number of members, the genuine grassroot workers were overlooked for appointments as  Also Read – Need to understand why law graduate’s natural choice is not legal profession: CJIdistrict unit chief or office- bearers.“They complain no matter how hard they work, they will not be rewarded. Last time, people close to the local MP and leaders were made district unit chiefs or block presidents, who had no role in the membership drive,” another Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee functionary complained.So far, 90,000 membership books have been taken by workers from the party office. One book is for 25 members. The target is minimum 25 members in each booth, party office-bearers said. Also Read – Health remains key challenge in India’s development: Kovind“If all the books are utilised, it would be 22.50 lakh members. In Mumbai, 31,000 membership books have been distributed. If all the books are utilised, it would mean enrolment of 7.5 lakh members,” they said.In one block or ward, 50 per cent of the booths need to be completed for conduct of organisational elections, party officials said. Mumbai Congress general secretary Dharmesh Vyas said the submission of the membership books will start after December 31.“Collection has been normal. Let’s see the exact numbers after submissions, after which we will come to know if the response was lukewarm,” Vyas said.last_img read more

Of talent big and little hands

first_imgCarrying forward its philosophy to promote upcoming talent, Art Life Gallery in has now decided to literally catch them young. One of the largest galleries in Delhi and NCR area, is now holding The Colour of Mistletoe – an exhibition of artworks by ?26 ??children.Pratibha Agarwal, copromoter of Art Life Gallery, says, “We continue to be a strong patron of arts and it is in continuation of this philosophy that we’ve conducted the group show by children.” She says the intent is to explore the vivid imagination of little children. “Besides livening up the gallery walls with their beautiful and colourful works, we are giving them an opportunity to express their creativity through paintings, drawings and collages.” Agarwal says the emphasis is on displaying completed artworks, which distinguishes Art Life Gallery from most other children’s art programmes.“Here, young people participate fully in selecting, mounting, organizing and hanging art,” says Agarwal.  There’s a variety of works ranging from canvas to murals to paper collages under the guidance of their mentors Shivani Sharma and Amrit Kapoor, which is definitely a treat to the eyes. Says Shivani Sharma, “All the children have toggled with various mediums like oil pastels, acrylics, poster paints, dry pastels, charcoal etc.” There are 23 kids participating in the exhibition, Dhritika, Tiya, Anoushka, Ashnee, Kashvi, Yash, Veer, Natalia, Garv, Tiana, Sarah, Kavya, Aanya, Rimjhim, Joy, Riya, Mehak, Nadia, Somuya, Sanjana, Gauri and Elina.last_img read more

Korean Air heiress treated crew like feudal slave may be jailed

first_imgThey stem from the incident in December when she allegedly forced the chief purser to leave a New York-Seoul flight before it took off, compelling the taxiing plane to return to the gate so he could disembark.The 40-year-old, who was a KAL vice president at the time, took exception to being served macadamia nuts for which she had not asked — and in a bag, not a bowl. The incident sparked public outrage in South Korea. Cho could also face another five years in jail on charges of coercing staff to give false testimony and interfering in the execution of their duty. Also Read – I-T issues 17-point checklist to trace unaccounted DeMO cashChief purser Park Chang-Jin accused Cho of treating flight attendants like “feudal slaves” and urged her to reflect sincerely on her “irrational and senseless” conduct. “I think Cho did not show an ounce of conscience, treating powerless people like myself as feudal slaves and forcing us to sacrifice unilaterally,” he said in a tearful voice.“Like a beast that found its prey gritting its teeth, she yelled and became violent, never listening to what I said,” he said. Also Read – Lanka launches ambitious tourism programme to woo Indian touristsPark has said Cho made him kneel and beg for forgiveness while jabbing him with a service manual.Cho, the eldest daughter of Korean Air chief Cho Yang-Ho, has been in custody since December 30. KAL chief Cho Yang-Ho has said no crew members would lose their jobs over the incident or subsequent investigations. But Park, who returned to work on Sunday, expressed concern about possible damage to his career — saying he had been treated like an “expendable”. The incident was seen as emblematic of a generation of spoilt and arrogant offspring of owners of the giant family-run conglomerates, or “chaebols,” that dominate the economy.The story hit international headlines and was seen as something of a national embarrassment, with South Korean media commentators suggesting Cho had shamed the country. A company executive has also been indicted for evidence-tampering and a transport ministry official is accused of leaking details of a government probe into the case. The transport ministry plans to sanction KAL with a limited flight route ban that could last for up to a month, or fines of up to $2 million.last_img read more

Centre accepts Finance Commission report ups states tax share to 42

first_imgIn a bonanza, the 14th Finance Commission has recommended a record 10 percentage point increase in the states’ share of Union taxes to 42 per cent, which has been accepted by the Centre and will give the states an additional Rs 1.78 lakh crore in 2015-16.The report of the Commission, headed by former RBI Governor Y V Reddy, also recommended a grants-in-aid of Rs 48,906 crore for 11 revenue deficit states, including Andhra Pradesh post division, West Bengal and Jammu and Kashmir, for 2015-16. For the period up to 2020, it will be over Rs 1.94 Also Read – I-T issues 17-point checklist to trace unaccounted DeMO cashlakh crore.The total devolution to the states in 2015-16 will be Rs 5.26 lakh crore, as against Rs 3.48 lakh crore in 2014-15, representing an increase of Rs 1.78 lakh crore. The total devolution to states during the five year period up to 2019-20 will be Rs 39.48 lakh crore. Addressing a press conference, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said the Centre has accepted the recommendations of the Finance Commission and it shows NDA government’s commitment to cooperative federalism. Also Read – Lanka launches ambitious tourism programme to woo Indian touristsIn a letter to all Chief Ministers, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the increased money with states will give them the required freedom to tailor make development schemes to suit their needs. Besides raising the share of states in the divisible pool of central taxes from 32 per cent previously to 42 per cent, the Finance Commission also provided for Rs 2.87 lakh crore for five year period for Panchayats and Municipalities.“The higher tax devolution will allow states greater autonomy in financing and designing of schemes as per their needs and requirements,” the report said. Jaitley said 42 per cent increase in states’ share is “the largest ever change in percentage of devolution. In the past, when Finance Commissions have recommended an increase, it has been in the range of 1-2 per cent.” He further said that as compared to the devolutions in 2014-15, the total outgo towards the states in 2015-16 will see an increase of over 45 per cent. The Commission suggested a fiscal deficit target of 3.6 per cent for 2015-16 and 3 per cent in subsequent years. Abhijit Sen, one of the four members of the Finance Commission, has submitted a dissent note suggesting that devolution to the states should be pegged at 38 per cent in the first year and should be maintained at that level unless there is an agreement to deal with the fiscal problems.With regards to Goods and Services Tax (GST), the report said: “We expect that the final GST design would have all the characteristics of a good tax system such as broad base, low rate, minimum rate differentiation, low compliance cost and reduced distortions to the economy”.It suggested that 100 per cent compensation be paid to the states in the first, second and third years, 75 per cent compensation in the fourth year and 50 per cent compensation in the fifth and final year after GST roll out. “We recommend the creation of an autonomous and independent GST Compensation Fund through legislative actions in a manner that it gives reasonable comfort to States, while limiting the period of operation appropriately,” it added.last_img read more

More rain in next 3 days weather likely to improve before Puja

first_imgKolkata: Various South Bengal districts and 3 North Bengal districts will receive heavy rainfall in the next three days, the Regional Meteorological Centre at Alipore said on Wednesday. The only silver lining for the Puja revellers in the state, however, is that the condition will improve from October 14, as predicted by the weather office.A senior official at the Alipore Met office said the cyclonic storm ‘Titli’, which is currently situated 240 km South-South East of Gopalpur, will hit Gopalpur in Odisha and Kalingapattam in Andhra Pradesh on Thursday morning at a speed of around 140 km per hour. The storm will then move towards the Gangetic plain of Bengal and it will be weaker after entering Bengal. Odisha government has also taken necessary arrangements to combat the situation. Alerts have been issued to the coastal districts of Odisha. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeThe district administrations of East Midnapore and South 24-Parganas have already taken adequate measures to combat the situation. Visitors were not allowed to go to the sea in Digha on Wednesday as the sea had been swelling and the waves were continuously rising above the normal level.The police administration in Digha put up barricades at various places along the beach which normally see huge footfall. Police conducted awareness campaigns by using microphones at Digha, Mandarmani and other beach towns, alerting the visitors not to bathe in the rough sea. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedAccording to the East Midnapore district administration, out of around 2,000 fishing trawlers which had set sail a few days ago, as many as 1,800 have already returned, while the rest are currently 150-200 nautical miles away from the sea shore. It is presumed that the fishing trawlers which are out in the sea will return within Thursday. It may be mentioned here that the state government had already issued an alert to the coastal districts, asking the fishermen not to voyage into the sea between October 10-14 as the sea will remain turbulent during this period. The depression that has formed over Bay-of-Bengal will intensify further, resulting in heavy rain in some districts in the next three days. According to the prediction of the weather office, East Midnapore, West Midnapore, North 24-Parganas and South 24-Parganas will receive heavy to very heavy rainfall in the next three days.Other South Bengal districts like Murshidabad, Nadia, Hooghly, Howrah and Kolkata will witness moderate to heavyrain during the period. Some of the North Bengal districts like Malda, North Dinajpur and South Dinajpur may also see heavy rainfall.”As per the available information, it is expected that there will be no rain in the city from October 15-19. There might be sunny weather during the Puja days. The condition will improve from 14 October,” a senior weather official said.It started raining in various districts of South Bengal, including the city, from Wednesday afternoon. The traffic movement in various parts remained slow on Wednesday, following the rain. A strong wind measuring around 60-80 km per hour may sweep through the South Bengal districts on late Wednesday night.last_img read more

11th Delhi International Arts Festival opens with a bang

first_imgDelhi International Arts Festival, India’s Signature Festival, has placed the country on an International cultural map. The 11th edition of the festival, opened at the magnificent Purana Qila on November 11 and will continue till November 25. It is recognized as the ‘India Festival’ and a platform for cultural diplomacy and cultural tourism.The program was started with lamp lighting and many dignitaries like Sujata Prasad, Additional Secretary, Chung–Kwang tien from Taiwan and Deputy chief of mission cultural from Russia were present at the ocassion. Around 26 Countries and 1500 artists from around the world are participating in this festival this year. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfCelebrations started with spellbound performance of Vande Mataram; a multi-style dance performance that combines the concept of meditation, yoga, music and dance in one seamless production that pays homage to our motherland – Bharat. The act was choreographed by Prathibha Prahlad. It was followed by ‘Who Dinks There?’ – a contemporary dance By TAI Body Theatre from Taiwan, ‘Dance to Fly’ – a fusion dance from USA and Taiwan, Bolshoi, ‘Laugh to Cry’ – a contemporary fusion dance directed by Felix Mikhailov from Russia and lastly, ‘AL Menya’ – a folk and Dervish performance from Egypt also enthralled the audience. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveOne of the major highlights of Delhi International Arts Festival 2017 will be the celebration of silver jubilee of ASEAN-INDIA Partnership at Qutub Minar at the closing ceremony which will feature artistic border guards group from Vietnam, a traditional dance and music performance from Bangladesh, Sumatera Dance Troupe from Indonesia and Baihana Trio from Philippines.In addition to all of these exciting performances are “Balinese Wayang” – puppet dance by Indonesia and “Wayang Kulit Dalang”– a shadow play by Malaysia and many other performances by UK, Norway, Thailand, Portugal, France, Egypt, Argentina, Hungary and Ireland. Artists will be visiting almost 18 schools during the day to address and harness young minds about the beauty of arts. National Museum and National Archives will see the visit of hundreds of children so as to familiarise them with the world of heritage, legacy and culture. Film festivals, children’s events, high energy performances with rich diversity will mark the 11th edition of DIAF. The festival is organised in collaboration with the Ministries of Culture, Indian Council for Cultural relations and the Govt. of NCT of Delhi.Delhi International Arts Festival is unique in itself as it includes all genres of music, dance, theatre, puppetry, poetry, literature, visual arts, films and exhibitions from the most traditional to the most contemporary expressions. Several embassies, foreign governments, cultural centers, international cultural managers, and artists from all around the world constitute the Delhi International Arts Festival every year. This 15-day celebration of art and culture, is hosted by Forum for Art beyond Borders and Prasiddha Foundation. The coming week will see persian and vietnamese film screenings, giving an ode to women through traditional dance performances, Pt. Krishna Ram Choudhary on Shehnai and much more.last_img read more