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Submission + - Hamas 'Honey Trap' Dupes Israeli Soldiers (securityweek.com)

wiredmikey writes: The smartphones of dozens of Israeli soldiers were hacked by Hamas militants pretending to be attractive young women online, an Israeli military official said Wednesday. Using fake profiles on Facebook with alluring photos, Hamas members contacted the soldiers via groups on the social network, luring them into long chats, the official told journalists on condition of anonymity.

Dozens of the predominantly lower-ranked soldiers were convinced enough by the honey trap to download fake applications which enabled Hamas to take control of their phones, according to the official.

Submission + - Number of Hijacked MongoDB Servers Doubles After Kraken Gang Gets Involved (bleepingcomputer.com)

An anonymous reader writes: The number of hijacked MongoDB servers held for ransom has skyrocketed in the past two days from 10,500 to over 28,200, thanks in large part to the involvement of a professional ransomware group known as Kraken, previously known for developing a poorly-coded Windows ransomware.

Ever since this group got involved, the number of hacked and ransomed MongoDB servers went from 10,000 to 28,000, with the Kraken group accounting for 56% of all hijacked servers. The group's efforts seem to be worth it, as they made over $6,000 worth of Bitcoin in just 2 days.

Submission + - Academics Develop App To Help Smokers Quit Cigarettes

Mickeycaskill writes: Health and computer science academics have developed Cigibreak, a game designed to help smokers kick the habit by giving them something to do when they get cravings and see how abstaining can improve their health and bank balance.

Cigbreak Free is similar to a lot of mobile games whereby players progress through level and gain rewards and gold stars, but the academics claims it has some 37 behavioural change techniques, which offer theory-based methods for changing behaviour, selected by health psychologists.

During these craving times when smokers would normally take a cigarette break, they are encouraged to swap a number of virtual cigarettes in the app against a time limit in order to pass through level. The app also tracks how much money they save through not smoking, as well as offer mini games to clear rooms of smoke to reveal a health message.

“We’re essentially trying to ‘gamify’ these messages and techniques as a way of embedding them in a person’s mind, in the hope that they will then be able to quit smoking," said the researchers

The game is already being looked at by health organisations in a number of London boroughs.

Submission + - Glyphosate: Unsafe On Any Plate (peakprosperity.com) 1

peakprosperity writes: In November, a very concerning report — Glyphosate: Unsafe On Any Plate — was released by The Detox Project and Food Democracy Now!, raising the alarm of the high levels of glyphosate in the US food supply and the (deliberate?) low levels of awareness of its associated health risks.

Dave Murphy, executive director of Food Democracy Now!, joins us this week to explain the finding of this new report on the worlds most-used herbicide (more commonly known by its retail brand: Roundup). As happened in past decades with the alcohol and tobacco industries, theres compelling evidence that profits have taken a priority over consumer safety — and as public health concerns are being raised, Big Ag is circling its wagons and attacking the questioners rather than embracing open scrutiny.

Are we being poisoned in the pursuit of profit?

To listen to this podcast, click here

Submission + - Scientists have developed a breathalyzer to diagnose 17 diseases

randomErr writes: Over 10 years researchers have developed specific sniff tests for diagnosing tuberculosis, hypertension, cystic fibrosis, and even certain types of cancer. A group of led by Hossam Haick at the Israel Institute of Technology have taken the idea a step further. They’ve built a device that is compact and can diagnose up to 17 diseases from a single breath. The breathalyzer has an array of specially created gold nanoparticles mixed with similar-sized tubes of carbon. Together they create a network that interact each of the nearly 100 volatile compounds that each person breaths out.

Submission + - 6 mysterious radio signals have been detected coming from outside our galaxy (sciencealert.com)

schwit1 writes: Back in March, scientists detected 10 powerful bursts of radio signals coming from the same location in space. And now researchers have just picked up six more of the signals seemingly emanating from the same region, far beyond our Milky Way.

"We report on radio and X-ray observations of the only known repeating fast radio burst source, FRB 121102," the team wrote in The Astrophysical Journal.

"We have detected six additional radio bursts from this source: five with the Green Bank Telescope at 2 GHz, and one at 1.4 GHz with the Arecibo Observatory, for a total of 17 bursts from this source."

The team can't pinpoint the exact location of FRB 121102, but based on the specific way their lower frequencies are slowed, they can tell they came from a long way away, far beyond the Milky Way. And that gives us some pretty important clues about what could be causing the events.

Interestingly, it also contradicts the evidence we have on FRB coming from within our own galaxy.

Currently, the leading hypothesis for the source of the Milky Way's FRB is the cataclysmic collision of two neutron stars, which forms a black hole. The idea is that as this collision happens, huge amounts of short-lived radio energy are blasted out into space.

But the repeating nature of these distant signals, all coming from the same place, suggest that can't be the case — at least for these particular FRB.

Submission + - Japan Successfully Launches Solid Fuel Rocket

randomErr writes: Japan successfully launched a solid fuel rocket named Epsilon-2. The 26-meter-long rocket launched from the Uchinoura Space Center at about 8 p.m. local time. Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) said this is the latest in Tokyo’s effort to stay competitive in an industry that has robust growth potential and strong security implications. Als this is to curb costs for rocket launches. The Epsilon-2 three-stage rocket aimed to put communication and weather satellites in space.

Submission + - Prenda Copyright Lawyers Arrested and Charged (nbcnews.com) 1

the simurgh writes: Prenda Law extracted millions of dollars from alleged BitTorrent pirates, through threats of embarrassment and leaving misery and poor defendants made poorer in its wake, and authorities asking how to stop their flagrant abuse of the system. FINALLY, The duo of Paul Hansmeier and John Steele finally have been charged with the crimes of conspiracy to commit fraud, money laundering, and perjury. Today, this and other evidence was presented in a criminal indictment filed in the Minnesota District Court.

Submission + - Chinese Scientist Found Breakthrough Vaccine/Cures for All Viral Infections (scmp.com)

hackingbear writes: Chinese scientists may have found the key to creating effective vaccines for the world’s deadly viruses including bird flu, SARS, Ebola, and HIV. An experiment by a research team at Beijing University was hailed as “revolutionary” in the field in a paper published in the latest issue of Science magazine on Friday. The live virus used in the vaccine used by the researchers had its genetic code tweaked to disable the viral strains’ self-replication mechanism. But it was kept fully infectious to allow the host animal cells to generate immunity. Using live viruses in their fully infectious form was considered taboo, as viruses spread rapidly. Vaccines sold and used widely today generally contain either dead or weakened forms of viruses. The animals infected with virus were cured after receiving the injection, according to the paper. This breakthrough promises to simplify the process of producing vaccines, which may help scientists develop effective vaccines or even cures for various viruses – such bird flu, SARS, Ebola and HIV – within weeks of an outbreak.

Submission + - Russian Supply Rocket Malfunctions, Breaks Up Over Siberia En Route To ISS (npr.org)

An anonymous reader writes: An unmanned cargo rocket bound for the International Space Station was destroyed after takeoff on Thursday. The Russian rocket took off as planned from Baikonur, Kazahkstan, on Thursday morning but stopped transmitting data about six minutes into its flight, as NPR's Rae Ellen Bichell reported: "'Russian officials say the spacecraft failed ... when it was about 100 miles above a remote part of Siberia. The ship was carrying more than 2 1/2 tons of supplies — including food, fuel and clothes. Most of that very likely burned up as the unmanned spacecraft fell back toward Earth. NASA says the six crew members on board the International Space station, including two Americans, are well stocked for now.'" This is the fourth botched launch of an unmanned Russian rocket in the past two years.

Submission + - Not one, not two, but three undersea cables cut in Jersey (cloudflare.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Sometime before midnight Monday (UK local time) a ship dropped its anchor and broke, not one, not two, but three undersea cables serving the island of Jersey in the English Channel. Jersey is part of the Channel Islands along with Guernsey and some smaller islands. These things happen and that’s not a good thing. The cut was reported on the venerable BBC news website. For the telecom operators in Jersey (JT Global) this wasn’t good news. However looking at the traffic from Cloudflare’s point of view; we can see that while the cable cut removed the direct path from London to Jersey, it was replaced by the backup path from Paris to Jersey. The move was 100% under the control of the BGP routing protocol. It's a relief that there's a fallback for when these unpredictable events happen.

Submission + - San Francisco's 58-Story Millennium Tower Seen Sinking From Space (sfgate.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Engineers in San Francisco have tunneled underground to try and understand the sinking of the 58-story Millennium Tower. Now comes an analysis from space. The European Space Agency has released detailed data from satellite imagery that shows the skyscraper in San Francisco's financial district is continuing to sink at a steady rate — and perhaps faster than previously known. The luxury high-rise that opened its doors in 2009 has been dubbed the Leaning Tower of San Francisco. It has sunk about 16 inches into landfill and is tilting several inches to the northwest. Engineers have estimated the building is sinking at a rate of about 1-inch per year. The Sentinel-1 twin satellites show almost double that rate based on data collected from April 2015 to September 2016. The satellite data shows the Millennium Tower sunk 40 to 45 millimeters — or 1.6 to 1.8 inches — over a recent one-year period and almost double that amount — 70 to 75 mm (2.6 to 2.9 inches) — over its 17-month observation period, said Petar Marinkovic, founder and chief scientist of PPO Labs which analyzed the satellite's radar imagery for the ESA along with Norway-based research institute Norut. The Sentinel-1 study is not focused on the Millennium Tower but is part of a larger mission by the European Space Agency tracking urban ground movement around the world, and particularly subsidence "hotspots" in Europe, said Pierre Potin, Sentinel-1 mission manager for the ESA. The ESA decided to conduct regular observations of the San Francisco Bay Area, including the Hayward Fault, since it is prone to tectonic movement and earthquakes, said Potin, who is based in Italy. Data from the satellite, which is orbiting about 400 miles (700 kilometers) from the earth's surface, was recorded every 24 days. The building's developer, Millennium Partners, insists the building is safe for occupancy and could withstand an earthquake.

Submission + - Directed Evolution Teaches Nature the Unnatural, Brings Silicon to Life (hacked.com)

giulioprisco writes: Caltech researchers have achieved a spectacular demonstration that living organisms can be persuaded to make silicon-carbon bonds. The study is the first to show that nature can adapt to incorporate silicon into carbon-based molecules, the building blocks of life. This breakthrough could have en important impact on how medicines and other chemicals are made in the future, and open new horizons to synthetic biology.

Submission + - One of the biggest Fake News producers uncovered (npr.org)

Gunstick writes: Npr inteviewed the owner of a fake news company called Disinfomedia. They produce fake news to highlight the extremism of the white nationalist alt-right: "The whole idea from the start was to build a site that could kind of infiltrate the echo chambers of the alt-right, publish blatantly or fictional stories and then be able to publicly denounce those stories and point out the fact that they were fiction," also interesting: "writers have tried to write fake news for liberals — but they just never take the bait." there's somewhere around 25 domains that are currently managed by Disinfomedia.

Submission + - How Banks Hurt Porn And Sex Toy Startups (fastcompany.com) 1

tedlistens writes: Sex toy and porn startups are legal but plagued by restrictions that range from municipal zoning laws to financial discrimination by banks of all sizes. Even the new wave of financial tech startups like Paypal and Square prohibit adult businesses from using their products, both explicitly and in tacit ways.

While financial institutions cannot systematically deny loans and other services based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex, disability, or familial status, no federal laws explicitly prohibit discrimination against adult businesses. In practice, say critics, this allows for occupational discrimination against adult-industry workers. In a time of constrained investment across the board, financial discrimination might be most hurtful to small, pioneering ventures--the kind seeking to upend the taboo around sex and porn and promote sexual health and awareness. "The people that these policies hurt most are the small guy or probably more accurately the small woman," says PJ Rey, a sociology doctoral candidate at the University of Maryland studying digitally mediated sex work. "It is the startup companies that are doing the more progressive stuff, and they are going to be affected more than the really big porn giants."

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