Items tagged with Research

Though industrial cyberattacks, such as those on JBS Global or Colonial Pipeline, are on the rise, the problem is not exclusive to businesses. According to new research, consumer cyber threats jumped nearly 83% in 2020. With new types of malware skyrocketing, users now need to be more careful than ever. Today, Atlas VPN extracted some interesting data from Malwarebytes' State of Malware 2021 report that gives insight into the company's malware detections via software globally. The most commonly detected threat was HackTool, a piece of riskware that allows users to use Microsoft software illegally. In 2019, there were only 511,848 detections, whereas, in 2020, there were 11.35 million warnings,... Read more...
It was just earlier this month that IBM announced an incredible manufacturing breakthrough with its 2-nm manufacturing process that crammed 50 billion transistors into the size of a fingernail. While that's still a future-looking technology that hasn't made it into mass production (and thereby not a solution for our current chip shortage just yet), it's already being surpassed. The combined research brainpower at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) have announced some big breakthroughs using non-silicon materials to make very tiny transistors (as small as 1nm).  MIT and TMSC have published a joint paper describing a new set... Read more...
Cloud-based additions to mobile apps have become commonplace, but they are not always the best thing for consumers or developers. According to new research, by either misconfiguration or simple lack of security best practices, some mobile app developers have left the personal data of over 100 million people at risk. Cyber threat intelligence company Check Point Research (hereafter CPR) recently discovered that many application developers put user data at risk by not following best practices when “configuring and integrating 3rd party cloud services into applications.” This vulnerable data could include both the developers’ as well as the consumers’ information, which is... Read more...
After a cybercriminal manages to breach a network, it is not all about immediately attacking the target. New research shows that these black hat hackers may lie dormant or lurk on a network for around 250 hours on average before an attack kicks off or they are detected. This means that organizations should know that the clock is always ticking to quarantine a problem before it turns into a nightmare, like the recent Colonial Pipeline attack. Defending an organization from cyberattacks is no small feat when the threat constantly adapts to new evasion techniques and evolves the attack toolset. Generally, these adversaries like to try and stay one step ahead of the security team and often are; however,... Read more...
During yesterday’s Google I/O event, we heard about several updates to Google software products, including Android 12 and Wear OS. Google also managed to bring in actor Michael Peña to tour the new Google quantum computing and AI campus. Today, we get to take a closer look at it so let us dive right in… Google’s Quantum AI campus in Santa Barbara, California, is a brand-new, state-of-the-art facility. It features the company’s first quantum data center, quantum hardware research laboratories, and quantum processor chip fabrication facilities that will all be used to facilitating the building of the first “error-corrected quantum computer for the... Read more...
In April, we first reported on Linux Kernel dev and maintainer Greg Kroah-Hartman banned submissions from the University of Minnesota due to new concerning patches. It has also come to light that UMN has done questionable research on the Linux kernel team, and people were already wary. Now, the Linux Technical Advisory Board (TAB) has published its findings of the events and recommendations for the future. Over the rather lengthy audit of the situation, the TAB lays out a timeline of events from 2018 up through today detailing what has led to what we now face. Since that original date, UMN had submitted nearly 400 bug-fix patches centering around research papers. Two years later in August, UMN... Read more...
If you watch too much TV or play on your phone for too long, and your brain will go to mush. Or at least that is what we have been told over the years. While those claims may be outlandish, there have been legitimate concerns about increased mental health problems relating to increased technology use. Researchers at Oxford University have found that not to be the case, though, after completing a study over data from the previous 30 years with a combined total of 430,000 participants from the U.S. and the U.K. The researchers at Oxford set out to investigate links between social media and technology use to depression, emotional problems, and conduct problems. However, technology and social media... Read more...
Apple's AirDrop can be an incredibly useful utility or just something to send memes to friends sitting nearby. Either way, it is possible that you could be sending more than you bargained for, as researchers have found that an attacker could glean the phone number and email of AirDrop users. Evidently, the researchers reported this privacy issue in 2019, but a reported 1.5 billion users are still vulnerable as Apple has seemingly done nothing. Earlier this week, researchers at the Technical University of Darmstadt published a blog outlining their findings about AirDrop. To preface, AirDrop allows users to share files with address book contacts. To verify that someone is in an address book, AirDrop... Read more...
Yesterday we reported on a Linux kernel developer "banning" the University of Minnesota from providing patches to the kernel. However, this did not come out of the blue as some faculty and students had performed questionable research that wasted Linux kernel maintainers’ time and effort. It appears staff at UMN are now looking into the issue and have taken it quite seriously. In the last few months, researchers out of the University of Minnesota have been conducting computer science research, leading to multiple papers being published. One of these papers was about the feasibility of introducing vulnerabilities into open-source software, such as the Linux kernel, by sneaking them by reviewers.... Read more...
When independent or academic research is carried out, ethics is a primary concern if you have anything to do with people outside the research group. With that in mind, the University of Minnesota has seemingly been performing ethically questionable research on the Linux kernel by submitting useless or vulnerable code. Now, one of the biggest developers of the Linux kernel has banned UMN from submitting patches after becoming fed up with the “research.” Earlier this year, two researchers from the University of Minnesota published a research paper around the premise of sneaking malicious code into open source software (OSS). The paper specifically targeted the Linux kernel, one of the... Read more...
Researchers working on a joint United States-China team are gaining a lot of attention for their most recent breakthrough. The team, which published its findings in the science journal Cell, managed to create hybrid human-monkey embryos, otherwise known as chimeras. If this sounds like something out of science-fiction, it's actually now a reality we may soon have to address.  In this study, the research team started off with macaque monkey embryos and then injected them with human stem cells. Over 130 embryos were used, each injected with 25 human cells. Ten days after the injection of human extended pluripotent stem cells, 103 embryos remained viable. However, after just 19 days, the number... Read more...
Security breaches and data loss have been rampant problems for companies in recent years, with it seeming like there was a new victim every week. These security issues have also had some dire consequences, such as the first possible ransomware-related death at a hospital. As such, organizations are facing a harsh reality, with decisions that could make or break them. Technology research company Canalys released its analysis of cybersecurity incidents today, and it dropped a bombshell in that “more records were compromised in just 12 months than in the previous 15 years combined.” Companies, on average, had an approximated 61 million records lost, with a loss from public sources totaling... Read more...
Deepfakes are beginning to grow in popularity and quality, such as the recent Tom Cruise deepfakes posted to TikTok. Deepfakes raise concerns over what is and isn't real when it comes to various media formats. Subsequently, researchers at the University of Buffalo have developed an AI system that can detect whether an image is real or not with some clever tricks. One of the most popular ways of generating human faces is using a generative adversary network (GAN) model. As the researcher's paper explains, these models can "synthesize highly realistic human faces that are difficult to discern from real ones visually." In fact, the images you see above are what the researchers used, and they came... Read more...
Over the last nearly two weeks, we have seen Microsoft deploying emergency patches and telling companies to secure Exchange servers due to Chinese hackers exploiting a 0-day vulnerability. When vulnerabilities such as this are published, security researchers and hackers alike jump on the opportunity to develop proof-of-concept code and working exploits. Microsoft is not a fan of this, though, as it has removed a proof-of-concept from its code-repository site, GitHub. As the situation has developed, security researchers have delved into the Microsoft Exchange problem to replicate other hackers' work and complete research on what happened. One of these researchers, Nguyen Jang, posted their proof-of-concept... Read more...
Somewhere between Babe and Elon Musk’s Neuralink experiments are pigs playing video games for science. Though it may sound bizarre, researchers Candace Croney and Sarah Boysen wanted to better understand the cognitive ability of pigs, through training and manipulating a joystick-operated video game task. This training and subsequent research has since led to some interesting results. Over the years, it has been found that pigs are relatively smart animals, and it has become something of common knowledge. While the humane treatment of farm animals in an effort to gauge intelligence may raise ethical concerns, this new research is simply interesting to dig into. For the experiment, the subjects... Read more...
Over the years, several studies have linked violent video games to violent behaviors in real life. However, those studies have been a pain in the side of ordinary people who understand the studies are a bunch of hogwash. A new ten-year-long study has come out, explaining that violent video games do not cause kids to become violent adults. Boom, headshot! Since 2011 and perhaps even earlier, Sarah M. Coyne and Laura Stockdale studied the effects of violent video games on adolescents. Their research has now been published in the Journal of Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking. The journal article explains that the researchers used a “person-centered approach” to the research,... Read more...
A few weeks ago, Azure received an NVIDIA A100 upgrade to its virtual machines. Announced at GTC, NVIDIA is now building its supercomputer with the A100 platform across the pond. This behemoth, dubbed Cambridge-1, will be the most powerful supercomputer operating within the United Kingdom. It will become available to U.K healthcare researchers using AI to solve complex issues, such as COVID-19, by the end of the year. The Cambridge-1 supercomputer will be an NVIDIA DGX SuperPOD supercomputer with over 400 petaflops of AI performance and eight petaflops of Linpack performance. This sort of horsepower would allow it to rank 29th on the TOP500 list of most powerful supercomputers in the world. Inside,... Read more...
The concept of Time travel often comes up in a multitude of pop culture references, and it gets rather confusing with all the interpretations. If you begin to think about it, paradoxes and loopholes plague our understanding of how it all should work too. After all, it's science fiction is it not?  Based on the math of a University of Queensland Australia undergrad, though, “Paradox-free time travel is theoretically possible,” so suck it pop culture. Could sci-fi again someday become reality? A fourth-year Bachelor of Advanced Science student, Gemain Tobar, decided to investigate the possibilities of time travel under the guidance of University of Queensland physicist... Read more...
Star Wars fans are likely familiar with the scene where Luke Skywalker receives a new hand. Luke twitches his hand as he responds to being poked by a robot. This kind of technology is no longer only attainable in fantasy or science fiction. Researchers at RMIT University have created new electronic skin that replicates the way human skin feels pain. According to lead researcher Dr. Madhu Bhaskaran, “We’re sensing things all the time through the skin but our pain response only kicks in at a certain point, like when we touch something too hot or too sharp.” Previous technologies were unable to mimic what human skin typically does when it feels pain from temperature or pressure... Read more...
As the coronavirus pandemic continues around the world, everyone's lives have changed. The way we work and learn is significantly different now than it was only a few months ago as people shelter in place, and offices and schools around the globe have been forced to move to a distance model. Teaching from home has forced educational institutions everywhere to quickly move to online learning and to implement new systems to support the shift. Security researchers at Check Point Research decided to audit the security of several of the most popular Learning Management Systems (LMS) that are being used to deliver remote education for people of all ages. The researchers say that most independent websites... Read more...
A group of scientists has been working to create a machine able to take the activity in the human brain, feed it into a computer system, and output sentences that are recognizable. The team says that they have trained algorithms to be able to transfer brain patterns into sentences in real-time with a word error rate as low as three percent. According to the team working on the project, earlier efforts in the area were only able to decode fragments of spoken words or a small percentages of words contained in particular phrases. The project was conducted by researchers from the University of California, San Francisco, using a quartet of volunteers who read sentences aloud while electrodes recorded... Read more...
Scientists at the University of Bristol and the Technical University of Denmark have made an incredible breakthrough discovery. Researchers for the institutions have achieved quantum teleportation between two computer chips for the first time. They were able to send information from one chip to another, instantly, without the chips being physically or electronically connected. The scientists say that the breakthrough opens the door for quantum computers and the quantum internet. The teleportation is possible thanks to a phenomenon called quantum entanglement, where two particles are so entwined that they can communicate over long distances. With quantum entanglement, changing the properties of... Read more...
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