Archive for the ‘government’ category: Page 8

Jul 21, 2022

U.S. government recovers nearly $500,000 from North Korean hack on Kansas medical facility

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, blockchains, cryptocurrencies, cybercrime/malcode, government

The U.S. Department of Justice seized roughly $500,000 in ransom payments that a medical center in Kansas paid to North Korean hackers last year, along with cryptocurrency used to launder the payments, Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco said Tuesday.

The hospital quickly paid the attackers, but also notified the FBI, “which was the right thing to do for both themselves and for future victims,” Monaco said in a speech at the International Conference on Cyber Security at Fordham University in New York City.

The notification enabled the FBI to trace the payment through the blockchain, an immutable public record of cryptocurrency transactions.

Jul 20, 2022

Japan logs record 150,000 new COVID-19 cases as Tokyo and Osaka both top 20,000

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, government

Tokyo confirmed 20,401 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday, topping 20,000 for the first time since Feb. 5, while Osaka Prefecture reported a record high 21,976 infections, contributing to an unprecedented nationwide daily total of over 150,000 new cases.

Asked earlier in the day about prefectures reporting high case counts, Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno had reiterated that the central government would not be imposing any restrictions on people’s movements.

Jul 20, 2022

The FBI Forced A Suspect To Unlock Amazon’s Encrypted App Wickr With Their Face

Posted by in categories: encryption, government, law enforcement, mobile phones, privacy

In November last year, an undercover agent with the FBI was inside a group on Amazon-owned messaging app Wickr, with a name referencing young girls. The group was devoted to sharing child sexual abuse material (CSAM) within the protection of the encrypted app, which is also used by the U.S. government, journalists and activists for private communications. Encryption makes it almost impossible for law enforcement to intercept messages sent over Wickr, but this agent had found a way to infiltrate the chat, where they could start piecing together who was sharing the material.

As part of the investigation into the members of this Wickr group, the FBI used a previously unreported search warrant method to force one member to unlock the encrypted messaging app using his face. The FBI has previously forced users to unlock an iPhone with Face ID, but this search warrant, obtained by Forbes, represents the first known public record of a U.S. law enforcement agency getting a judge’s permission to unlock an encrypted messaging app with someone’s biometrics.

According to the warrant, the FBI first tracked down the suspect by sending a request for information, via an unnamed foreign law enforcement partner, to the cloud storage provider hosting the illegal images. That gave them the Gmail address the FBI said belonged to Christopher Terry, a 53-year-old Knoxville, Tennessee resident, who had prior convictions for possession of child exploitation material. It also provided IP addresses used to create the links to the CSAM. From there, investigators asked Google and Comcast via administrative subpoenas (data requests that don’t have the same level of legal requirements as search warrants) for more identifying information that helped them track down Terry and raid his home.

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Jul 17, 2022

AI Would Run the World Better Than Humans, Google Research Claims

Posted by in categories: economics, education, government, humor, information science, mathematics, robotics/AI

The bottomless bucket is Karl Marx’s utopian creed: “From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs.” In this idyllic world, everyone works for the good of society, with the fruits of their labor distributed freely — everyone taking what they need, and only what they need. We know how that worked out. When rewards are unrelated to effort, being a slacker is more appealing than being a worker. With more slackers than workers, not nearly enough is produced to satisfy everyone’s needs. A common joke in the Soviet Union was, “They pretend to pay us, and we pretend to work.”

In addition to helping those who in the great lottery of life have drawn blanks, governments should adopt myriad policies that expand the economic pie, including education, infrastructure, and the enforcement of laws and contracts. Public safety, national defense, dealing with externalities are also important. There are many legitimate government activities and there are inevitably tradeoffs. Governing a country is completely different from playing a simple, rigged distribution game.

I love computers. I use them every day — not just for word processing but for mathematical calculations, statistical analyses, and Monte Carlo simulations that would literally take me several lifetimes to do by hand. Computers have benefited and entertained all of us. However, AI is nowhere near ready to rule the world because computer algorithms do not have the intelligence, wisdom, or commonsense required to make rational decisions.

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Jul 16, 2022

An open-access, multilingual AI

Posted by in categories: government, law, robotics/AI, supercomputing

A new language model similar in scale to GPT-3 is being made freely available and could help to democratise access to AI.

BLOOM (which stands for BigScience Large Open-science Open-access Multilingual Language Model) has been developed by 1,000 volunteer researchers from over 70 countries and 250 institutions, supported by ethicists, philosophers, and legal experts, in a collaboration called BigScience. The project, coordinated by New York-based startup Hugging Face, used funding from the French government.

The new AI took more than a year of planning and training, which included a final run of 117 days (11th March – 6th July) using the Jean Zay, one of Europe’s most powerful supercomputers, located in the south of Paris, France.

Jul 16, 2022

Want to Get Your Next Car

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, government, mobile phones, sustainability

By Subscription? – In California, You Can and it’s a Tesla Model 3 EV.

A Santa Monica, California-based company can put you into a Tesla Model 3 using its cellphone app which is now available for both Android and iPhones. The company offering the Car-as-a-service (CaaS) model is Autonomy. Although currently available only in California, the future plans include rolling it out to other U.S. states.

Until the outset of the global pandemic, owning a car was on a dramatic decline. Ride-sharing was exploding, and because cars were becoming pricier, young people entering the workforce were less inclined to join their parents’ generation of car owners.

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Jul 15, 2022

U.S. Government’s Office of Science and Technology Issues Call for Cislunar Strategies

Posted by in categories: government, policy, science, space travel, sustainability

White House asks the public for ideas on what to do when we return to the Moon and cislunar space.

The U.S. has plans to return to the moon by the middle of this decade through NASA’s Artemis Program. But going back to the lunar surface and cislunar space isn’t just about putting boots on the ground. That’s why the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy on behalf of the Cislunar Science and Technology Subcommittee of the National Science and Technology Council has issued a request for ideas (RFI) with a deadline of Wednesday, July 20, 2022, for interested parties to make submissions.

The U.S. government has defined cislunar space as the entire region beyond Earth’s geostationary orbit subject to the gravity of both our planet and the Moon. The RFI covers both orbiting and lunar surface activities.

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Jul 15, 2022

Dr Rosamund Lewis MD — Head, WHO Smallpox Secretariat — Surveillance, Preparedness & Health Security

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, government, health, security

Surveillance, Preparedness & Health Security In Critical Disease Emergencies — Dr. Rosamund Lewis, MD, Head, WHO Smallpox Secretariat, Technical Lead for Monkeypox.

Dr. Rosamund Lewis, MD, is Head, WHO Smallpox Secretariat, Emerging Diseases and Zoonoses Unit, World Health Emergencies Programme, at the World Health Organization in Geneva, Switzerland, leading on emergency preparedness and advising on health security for the agency in this very critical domain, including as technical lead for Monkeypox. She also holds an appointment as Adjunct Professor in the School of Epidemiology and Public Health, University of Ottawa.

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Jul 14, 2022

A New Attack Can Unmask Anonymous Users on Any Major Browser

Posted by in categories: cybercrime/malcode, government, internet

When you visit a website, the page can capture your IP address, but this doesn’t necessarily give the site owner enough information to individually identify you. Instead, the hack analyzes subtle features of a potential target’s browser activity to determine whether they are logged into an account for an array of services, from YouTube and Dropbox to Twitter, Facebook, TikTok, and more. Plus the attacks work against every major browser, including the anonymity-focused Tor Browser.

“If you’re an average internet user, you may not think too much about your privacy when you visit a random website,” says Reza Curtmola, one of the study authors and a computer science professor at NJIT. “But there are certain categories of internet users who may be more significantly impacted by this, like people who organize and participate in political protest, journalists, and people who network with fellow members of their minority group. And what makes these types of attacks dangerous is they’re very stealthy. You just visit the website and you have no idea that you’ve been exposed.”

The risk that government-backed hackers and cyber-arms dealers will attempt to de-anonymize web users isn’t just theoretical. Researchers have documented a number of techniques used in the wild and have witnessed situations in which attackers identified individual users, though it wasn’t clear how.

Jul 14, 2022

US witnesses 40-year-high spike in customer prices

Posted by in categories: energy, government

Since April 1980, the overall yearly growth in energy prices is at its highest level. Gasoline prices increased by 11.2 per cent last month and a startling 59.9 per cent over the previous year, accounting for half of the monthly rise.

As per Government data released on Wednesday (July 13), in June, the United States saw a new peak of 9.1 per cent inflation. This faster-than-expected increase in the consumer price index (CPI) was driven by significant increases in gasoline prices, reports AFP. The US Labor Department has reported that this 9.1 per cent CPI spike over the past 12 months to June was the fastest increase in 40 years, the last such increase was witnessed in November 1981.

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