Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Bluetooth Problem Could Let Hackers Take Control of Your Devices

Bluetooth Problem
Blueborne, the incredible Bluetooth Issue allows hacking Android phones

More than 5 billion vulnerable Bluetooth devices, including mobile phones, laptops or IoT devices

Perhaps at the worst of times to announce a security problem like this (with the iPhone X presentation monopolizing the day), security researchers have uncovered eight major Bluetooth Issues as vulnerabilities. Three of them are especially dangerous. They would allow attacking devices like Android phones without needing to connect to them.

The Bluetooth Issue, which has been given the name BlueBorne, affect virtually every device in the world with Bluetooth, about 5.3 billion devices with vulnerabilities. Among them are laptops, connected products at home, mobile phones of all kinds with Android, iOS or Windows.

According to Armis Security, this Bluetooth Issue is considered a scenario where an attacker can intercept Android mobile information without having to connect to the computer or pair. That is, as long as the mobile has Bluetooth active, it would be in danger.

The intermediary attack, also known as Man in the Middle, does not require you to access a website or download an application or attachment from your email. The Bluetooth issue called as BlueBorne is in the libraries that integrate for the Bluetooth chip to work.

In the worst case, a hacker could access the computer, take control and execute code with bad intentions. That if, it is necessary that the attacker is really close to the victim, since Bluetooth has about 10 meters of range of action.

At home this Bluetooth Issue, the BlueBorne will not generate many problems, details of these vulnerabilities have not been made public and proximity is required. At the corporate level or even for institutions, it is not known whether anyone has used BlueBorne. In an example rather taken from a series, but plausible, a person with confidential information on his mobile could be in a cafeteria and a hacker could access his files with being close to this person.

For Android phones, Armis has published a free application that tells you if you are affected. This does not mean that they can hack your phone, but your smartphone needs an update as soon as possible.

Google will send a patch on its monthly security updates for Android 6.0 Marshmallow and Android 7.0 Nougat. Microsoft few days ago sent a security update for Windows, specifically Windows 7, 8, 8.1 and 10. Meanwhile, Apple fixed this vulnerability in one of its latest iOS 10 updates, but all computers with iOS 9.3.5 or lower, Apple TV 7.2.2 or lower are affected.

Another perfect example of an even bigger problem with an unknown dimension. All connected products that begin to expand through our homes and that have Bluetooth Issue, are mostly unprotected. Also mobile phones that never receive updates. As long as manufacturers do not send security updates regularly and install them, even the smallest of these products is at the mercy of a large-scale attack, although this in particular requires being very close.

Monday, 18 September 2017

Engineers Developing Methods to Construct Blood Vessels Using 3D Printing Technology

3D Printing Technology
From time to time new and interesting news about 3D printing technology in the field of health arise. In the near future, this technology will allow fabrics to be created on demand to repair any organ affected by an illness. There are a lot of medical advances commencing day to day and 3D printing technology is one among them which is really an astonishing factor in the field of medical science.

However, in spite of the promising of these and other advances, to date, it has only been possible to create fine tissues of living cells in the laboratory using 3D printing technology. When we tried to create tissues with a thickness greater than several layers of cells, those in the intermediate layers died from lack of oxygen and the impossibility of eliminating their residues.

They did not have a network of blood vessels to transmit oxygen and nutrients to each cell. Therefore the challenge was served because if a network of blood vessels were artificially created for this purpose using 3D printing technology, larger and more complex cell tissues could be developed.

To solve this problem, the team led by Professor Changxue Xu of Industrial, Manufacturing and system engineering and with his colleague Edward. E. Whitacre Junior college of Engineering has used a 3D printing technology specially adapted for this purpose with three different types of bio-inks. The first head extrudes a biotin of the extracellular compound, the biological material that binds the cells in the tissue. The second extrude a type of biotin which contains extracellular tissue and living cells.

An alternative to more complex installations

The creation of model blood vessels to aid in the study of diseases, such as strokes, can be complicated and costly in addition to consuming a lot of time. And the results can not always be truly representative of a human vessel. Changxue Xu's research has designed a new method to create models of veins and arteries using 3D printing technology that is more efficient, less expensive and more accurate. Changxue Xu and his team have created vascular channels using 3D printing technology.

An important advance is the ability to establish multiple layers of cells in the channels. Normally, when these microfluidic vascular chips are made, they only have one layer of cells. But the blood vessels within the body are composed of three to four different types of cells. The innermost cells, the endothelial cells, are those that come into contact with the blood, but the other layers of the cells help the internal cells. If there is an injury or a blood clot, there is an entire reaction that takes place between these cells.

3D printing technology has now made a difference in manufacturing. "We can use 3D printing technology to create the mold and use that mold to inject any gel and cells in whatever shape we want," says Changxue Xu. The difficulty so far was that much of the work has usually been done in "clean rooms," rooms that are environmentally controlled to prevent contamination and ultra-disinfected. Changxue Xu has a room like that, so the work has to be done at other universities.

Thursday, 14 September 2017

The Great Tech Panic: What You Should Worry About?

Tech Panic – Cause for Worry 

Technology has been making great progress in transforming our lives which has given rise to panic. Experts have been weighing on how much one should be stressed with regards to self-driving cars, malevolent AI etc.

 In cities like San Francisco; Boston, Tempe, Arizona where self-driving cars have been verified on public roads, there have been trained engineers on board to ensure that the emerging tech does not take on the pedestrians. Nidhi Kalra, co-director of the RAND Centre for Decision Making Under Uncertainty, had commented that it is that persons’ task of paying attention to what the vehicle seems to be doing.

As per the most optimistic estimates of experts, fully autonomous cars on the public roads seems to be at least three years away and that technology will never be infallible, people would still die in car crashes.

However, eventually, self-driving vehicles would probably save lives according to Mark Rosekind, chief safety innovation office at Robotaxi start-up Zoox as well as the former head of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and 94% of the crashes are credited to human mistake.

Would hackers leak my emails? 

To gain access of one’s email is not at all tough. We find phishers who seems to get more refined from the increased power of ransomware attack encountered.

Seth Schoen, senior staff technologist at the Electronic Frontier foundation commented that `a cleverly composed email which states `I’m your tech support person and need to know your password’, still tends to function as a shocking percentage of the time.

When it comes to leaking those emails, the threat to the average person is quite insignificant and attacks like the DNC leaks, the Panama Papers together with the Macron campaign hack could encourage your sense of paranoia, unless you are a Kardashian or a Trump, your personal correspondence is likely to be of little interest to cyber thieves’.

Are We Prepared for Cyberwar?

Former US counterterrorism Czar Richard Clarke in his 2010 book had ranked on how well some countries tend to fare in a digital conflict As per his formula, the US had been placed dead last and on top – North Korea.

Clarke had figured that the US and Russia could have the best offensive hacking capabilities in the world. However, North Korea seemed to have a bigger advantage - absence of digital dependence. The solitary kingdom’s hackers tend to indulge in a scorched-earth cyberwar without risking much since its citizen tends to stay disconnected.

The US on the other hand is in need of the internet than its opponents. Hence Clarke found America more susceptible to what he termed `the next threat to national security’. Seven years thereafter we need to quit worrying that the period of cyberwar is approaching and we need to admit the fact that the digital attacks on infrastructure are unavoidable.

On the contrary we need to focus on how we should recover from them. This would mean bringing down our reliance on digital systems and enhance on maintaining our consistent, out-dated, analog systems, in order that we can fall back on them when digital disaster occurs.

Essential to Hold On to Era of Physical Override 

When a team of hackers had blacked dozens of electrical substations in Ukraine, in 2015, the utility companies had the technician equipped to switch the power back manually, within a period of six hours.

They had been alert since the Soviet-era grid of Ukraine seems to be stiff on a normal day. The modern, highly automated grids of America do not tend to break often. US institutions should develop the readiness of Ukrainian-style, in an event of a grid attack. In case of interference, it is essential for voting machines to have auditable paper ballots as a backup.

 Organisations of all types should be kept updated, offline data backups for speedy recovery when cyber-attacks like the global WannaCry ransomware outburst. There is no need to relinquish on hyper-connected infrastructure though it is essential to hold on to the era of physical override – since when hackers tend to hijack the elevator of your high-rise apartment, one can be glad that the stairs was another option to resolve the issue.

Would Hackers Launch Nuclear Weapons?

Senior researcher at RAND, Bruce Bennett who seems to specialize in counter proliferation and risk management had stated that `in spite of the act flicks imagining that very scenario, it seems highly improbable. Nuclear weapon does not seem to be connected to the internet, making it complex for anyone to hack them.

On the contrary such weapons seems to be organized by standalone computers together with code keys that are distributed by human couriers, which is a method developed and maintained precisely with security in mind according to an aerospace engineer and analyst John Schilling, for 38 North a Korea-focused analysis group.

He informed that there could be a possibility of sabotaging a nuclear bomb by hacking its secondary as well as tertiary guidance system, which is a tactic the US could have utilised on the missiles of North Korea, though there seems little chance that the troublemaker agents could launch bombs.

Would AI Turn Against Humans? 

Paul Christiano, a researcher at the non-profit Open Ai had mentioned that AI ultimately would be capable of directing science experiments executing construction projects as well as develop more AI without human involvement. He together with his colleagues does not seem to worry that the evil robots would destroy us someday.

 Engineers at Google’s DeepMind unit and Oxford’s Future of Humanity Institute however are collaborating in understanding which kind of AI systems could take actions in reducing the chance of being turned off. Their concern lies in the fact that as AI tends to progress beyond human understanding, the behaviour of the technology may deviate from our intended goals. Hence it is up to the researchers to construct a foundation which tends to have human values at heart.

Am I Being Spied on Through my Microphone – Equipped Device? 

Third-party developers, cyber-criminals and at times also the companies which tend to develop smart devices could have the means of accessing your audio stream. Mordechai Guri, head of R&D for Cyber Security Research Centre at Ben-Gurion University in Israel had stated that they are always accompanied by high-quality microphones and your smartphone or smart TV can be turned into a spying device for advertising purposes.

It is also the same in the case of smart home devices such as Amazon Echo and Google Home with far-field always-on microphones. Furthermore apps are probing to access smartphone microphone in order to feed on hyper-targeted ads.

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Google ARCore Brings Augmented Reality to Android

Google’s Innovative Software Development Kit

Google has released an innovative software development kit – SDK known as ARCore in order to bring about an experience of augmented reality – AR nearer to Android users. The ARCore system being a software development kit will enable anyone to bring the AR features to the prevailing Android phones with any hardware updates. Google had mentioned in a statement recently that the platform has now been made available for the developers for the purpose of experimenting which would reduce the competences of augmented reality to the prevailing and the forth-coming Android phones.

 The company constructed on important technologies utilised in Tango, another AR platform by Google, though ARCore is said to be scalable all over the ecosystem of Android since it does not need any extra hardware. Google has mentioned that ARCore branches from its work on Tango. When it had been introduced in 2015, Tango enabled users with compatible devices to create detailed 3D maps of the world by directing a camera towards an object. The Lenovo PHAB2 Pro had been the first Tango phone which had been released.

Work with Java/Open GL….

The innovative AR platform is said to be rolled out to Google Pixel together with Samsung S8 that tends to run on Android 7.0 Nougat and more. Google has been functioning with manufacturers like ASUS, Huawei, LG, and Samsung as well as with the other main smartphone makers for scrutiny on quality and performance. ARCore that tend to work with Java/OpenGL, Unity and Unreal technologies is said to focus on three features namely motion tracking, environmental, understanding and light estimation.

These would permit the camera of a phone to identify feature points in a room, detect horizontal surfaces where AR object could be located and interpret lighting conditions in order that virtual objects could be lit properly. The company has also manufactured `Blocks and Tilt Brush application to create 3D content to be utilised in AR apps. Apple had make public its ARKit platform directed on augmented reality applications during its annual Worldwide Developers Conference enabling developers to design apps which would take virtual content at the top of the scenes of real-life.

New Visual Position Service

Google had mentioned in a blog post that they have been targeting 100 million devices towards the end of the preview. Moreover the company has also added experiments with AR page portraying what the ARCore technology can perform. This move of Google into augmented reality is not surprising wherein the firm had mentioned at its developer’s conference this year that it had been working on a new visual position service which is said to support phone in understanding where people are indoors.

 And this can be done be being proficient in detecting what objects are place before the camera of a device. The iOS 11 of Apple that would be made available to the consumer later in the year will comprise of the ARKit which, as per the announcement at the conference would enable iPhone and iPad developers to experience the combination of digital overlays on the real world.

Five Ways Fitness Centers are Using Digital Signage

 Digital Signage
A large fitness center may have hundreds, even thousands of members who visit every year. These members need to be aware of the rules of the center as well as receive the latest news about changes going on within the facility. The process of delivering information can be done efficiently with the help of digital signage. Colorful, easy to read digital signage captures the attention of most people giving them the information they need to fully enjoy the fitness facility. Checkout five ways fitness centers use digital signage to communicate with members.  

To Make Announcements

A growing fitness center may be undertaking new construction. Perhaps a modernized exercise room is being built or a new swimming pool is being installed. Members need to know about these construction projects and how this activity will affect the exercise classes. Digital signage can inform members of time changes for various classes and where they will be held if the location changes due to construction. Digital signage is helpful to members and is easy for the owners of a fitness center to change as necessary.  

To Introduce Products

 Some fitness centers advise members to take certain products in order to improve their health. For instance, maybe the owners of a fitness center want their members to try a particular vitamin proven to increase a person’s energy level. The owners could use digital signage to advertise the vitamin and explain its benefits. Or, perhaps there is a new piece of equipment coming soon to the fitness center. Owners may want to use digital signage to stir curiosity about this new piece of equipment by displaying an image of it as well as a description. By the time the piece of equipment arrives at the center, there are sure to be many members anxious to give it a try.

 To Introduce New Staff Members

 A fitness center with aerobics, yoga, spinning, weight-lifting and other types of classes probably has a large group of employees. When a new staff member arrives at the center, owners can introduce the person via digital signage. This gives members a chance to get to know the person’s background, level of experience and what sorts of classes the person will be teaching. It may even persuade some members to try a class they’ve never tried before! One example of a resource for fitness centers and other businesses interested in digital signage is www.navori.com.  

To Instruct Members Regarding the Exercise Equipment

Some pieces of exercise equipment in a fitness center are easy to figure out. Others require a little instruction before a member can use them. Digital signage is useful for taking members through the steps of using unfamiliar pieces of fitness equipment. Once a member understands the instructions, he or she will become more confident with every use.  

To Advertise Rules Related to Safety

Most fitness centers have certain rules and guidelines to promote the safety of the people who belong to the facility. For instance, one common rule is to avoid wearing loose clothing when walking on a treadmill. Loose clothing could get caught in the conveyer belt and cause injury. These types of safety rules could be displayed by digital signage around the facility.

Also, digital signage could be used to make members aware of guidelines regarding conduct in the locker rooms. Picking up clothing items, wearing sandals in the showers and making sure valuables are stored in lockers are just a few examples of guidelines to put on digital signage. Lastly, digital signage is useful to the members of a fitness center because it allows them to get accurate, up-to-date information right away.

So, if there is a last-minute time change or instructor change for a class, members can read about it as they come in. Digital signage can help the owners of a fitness center provide their members with first-rate customer service.