Kaspersky Lab nails Find and Call trojan bearing phonebook service

first_img(Phys.org) — How to lose friends and de-influence people: An app called “Find and Call” has been passing itself off as a mobile phone-book helper but has been discovered to be a Trojan which, once downloaded, has all the user’s address book contacts uploaded to a remote server where it proceeds to fire off SMS messages posing as the user. Find and Call was found both on the iOS App Store and Google Play store. Kaspersky Lab sounded the alarm on Thursday in a report from Kaspersky Lab expert Denis Maslennikov. Yahoo! helps find smartphone ‘apps’ © 2012 Phys.org Citation: Kaspersky Lab nails ‘Find and Call’ trojan bearing phone-book service (2012, July 6) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2012-07-kaspersky-lab-trojan-phone-book.html He said Kaspersky Lab had first been alerted to the malicious app by MegaFon, a mobile carrier in Russia, which said that there was a suspicious app sitting in both Apple’s app store and the Google Play store. In sending out the text messages to contacts advertising the application, the “From” field was being spoofed with the original user’s mobile phone number so that the receiver of the message would assume it was from a trusted source and not spam. Find and Call asks the user to sign in with an e-mail address and cell phone number. Kaspersky points out that neither field is checked for validity before moving forward. The user is asked if he or she wants to “find friends in a phone book.” If the user proceeds, the app uploads the device’s address book data without telling the user. Trojan horses are malicious files that use social engineering, true to the word origins, presenting themselves as benign and useful gifts, so that victims will want to install them on their computers.At first, said Maslennikov, “This seemed to be an SMS worm spread via sending short messages to all contacts stored in the phone book with the URL to itself. However, our analysis of the iOS and Android versions of the same application showed that it’s not an SMS worm but a Trojan that uploads a user’s phonebook to remote server.”Find and Call software was also found on the Google Play storefront for Android handsets. In the Google Play store, the app had more than 100 downloads and three 1-star ratings. In Apple’s App Store, the app received 1.5 stars, according to reports. The app may have primarily targeted Russian users as it used Russian language text in the app description, yet Find and Call was available in app stores across the globe. Find and Call was removed from both Apple App Store and Google Play soon after the companies became aware of the problem.One interesting point about this malware incident is that it was found both on Apple’s iOS platform, which Apple tells the world has security at its core, and on Google’s store. While Android is often highlighted as vulnerable to miscreants because of its open platform, the Thursday report from Kaspersky Lab indicates that all major platforms are vulnerable. Android has no monopoly on malware. As both iOS and Android grow in popularity, they will be the targets of data-stealing attempts.Apple prides itself on its strict review process, which analyses each application that is made available for download on the App Store. Somehow this app made its way through anyway. According to reports, the app actually was there for some time. It made its first appearance in the App Store on June 13, according to MacRumors.com.After hearing about the Trojan, however, an Apple representative issued a statement: “The Find & Call app has been removed from the App Store due to its unauthorized use of users’ Address Book data, a violation of App Store guidelines.” Google also removed Find and Play.Russian blog AppleInsider.ru was able to make contact with the developer of the app. In an e-mail, he said the spontaneous sending out of SMS messages was the result of a bug discovered in beta testing and was being repaired. 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.last_img read more

Researchers devise method of sending quantum encryption keys over shared fiber cable

first_img © 2012 Phys.org Up till now, the problem with trying to send quantum encryption keys over a shared fiber cable was finding the photons that make up the quantum key among the millions of others that serve as data as they arrived at the other end. Recent efforts have sidestepped the problem by using a secondary dedicated cable for just the encrypted keys, but that obviously drives up network costs. The use of quantum keys is desirable because they have the built in advantage of producing errors if someone else observes or measures them as they move from one end of the cable to the other.In this new research, the team reasoned that if a system could be devised that would allow for keeping precise track of the time single photons that make up the key left the source and calculate their arrival time at the destination, it would be possible to focus only on them, and thus, see the key and use it for its designed purpose. The problem with this approach was that there didn’t exist a photon detector that could open and close quickly enough to suit the needs of detecting photons in a stream of others in a fiber cable. Their only choice was to make one themselves, and that’s exactly what they did. Their new photon detector snaps open and closed like the shutter on a camera, capturing only what is arriving at a precise moment in time. In this case, the “shutter” activates for just 100 picoseconds, every nanosecond. Fast enough to capture just the photons from the encrypted key, and nothing else. At a test facility the team demonstrated that such a system could work by sending encrypted quantum keys over a shared fiber cable for a distance of 90 kilometers (56 miles). The next step will be to test the system on a real world cable.The researchers believe their new technique will allow for metropolitan wide distribution of encrypted keys which will be useful for military and financial communications. In the long term, they suggest the new technology may be modified to one day include the entire Internet infrastructure. NIST System Sets Speed Record For Generation of Quantum Keys for ‘Unbreakable’ Encryption Explore further Journal information: Physical Review X 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. (Phys.org)—Researchers from Toshiba and Cambridge University working together in Britain have developed a technique for sending quantum encryption keys over a shared fiber cable. As they describe in their paper published in Physics Review X, their technique involves employing a super sensitive photon detector capable of detecting the photons that make up a quantum key at the precise moment they arrive. Citation: Researchers devise method of sending quantum encryption keys over shared fiber cable (2012, November 21) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2012-11-method-quantum-encryption-keys-fiber.html More information: Coexistence of High-Bit-Rate Quantum Key Distribution and Data on Optical Fiber, Phys. Rev. X 2, 041010 (2012) DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevX.2.041010AbstractQuantum key distribution (QKD) uniquely allows the distribution of cryptographic keys with security verified by quantum mechanical limits. Both protocol execution and subsequent applications require the assistance of classical data communication channels. While using separate fibers is one option, it is economically more viable if data and quantum signals are simultaneously transmitted through a single fiber. However, noise-photon contamination arising from the intense data signal has severely restricted both the QKD distances and secure key rates. Here, we exploit a novel temporal-filtering effect for noise-photon rejection. This allows high-bit-rate QKD over fibers up to 90 km in length and populated with error-free bidirectional Gb/s data communications. With a high-bit rate and range sufficient for important information infrastructures, such as smart cities and 10-Gbit Ethernet, QKD is a significant step closer toward wide-scale deployment in fiber networks.Physics Synopsislast_img read more

Study shows wind and solar plant benefits vary by location

first_img Citation: Study shows wind and solar plant benefits vary by location (2013, June 25) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2013-06-solar-benefits-vary.html A photograph of w:Nevada Solar One and Copper Mountain Solar 1. Credit: Michael Adams © 2013 Phys.org More information: Siler-Evans, K., Lima Azevedo, I., Morgan M. G. & Apt, PNAS doi: 10.1073/pnas.1221978110 (2013).AbstractWhen wind or solar energy displace conventional generation, the reduction in emissions varies dramatically across the United States. Although the Southwest has the greatest solar resource, a solar panel in New Jersey displaces significantly more sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, and particulate matter than a panel in Arizona, resulting in 15 times more health and environmental benefits. A wind turbine in West Virginia displaces twice as much carbon dioxide as the same turbine in California. Depending on location, we estimate that the combined health, environmental, and climate benefits from wind or solar range from $10/MWh to $100/MWh, and the sites with the highest energy output do not yield the greatest social benefits in many cases. We estimate that the social benefits from existing wind farms are roughly 60% higher than the cost of the Production Tax Credit, an important federal subsidy for wind energy. However, that same investment could achieve greater health, environmental, and climate benefits if it were differentiated by region. 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. (Phys.org) —A team of researchers from Carnegie Mellon University has published a paper in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences suggesting that governments and utility companies rethink where renewable resource plants are built. They claim that building solar or wind farms in regions that currently rely heavily on burning coal to produce electricity provides far more societal benefits than building similar plants in parts of the country that currently use much cleaner gas-fired plants.center_img Explore further Journal information: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences To come up with a way to measure the societal value of building solar or wind farms, the researchers attached a monetary value to the pollution currently created by power plants—$20 per ton for carbon dioxide emitted. They did the same with costs associated with people dying from air pollution emitted from power plants—arriving at $6 million per person. Using these numbers, they were able to calculate how much money a region would save if they replaced current electricity plants with wind or solar farms. In so doing, they found a wide range, from $10 per megawatt hour in Arizona to $100 in several northeastern states.The overall point the researchers are trying to make is that it doesn’t always make the most sense to put a renewable resource farm in a region based solely on how efficiently it will perform there. Solar farms in the southeast part of the country, for example, produce far more electricity than do the same types of farms in northern areas—they get more sunshine. Similarly, wind farms vary in efficiency depending on where they are placed—but if a solar or wind farm displaces far more pollutants in the north than in the south, than more should be built there, despite their being far less efficient in those regions.The researchers also note that their calculations show that the entire country is currently saving about $2.6 billion annually due to wind and solar farm output, which they note is 60 percent more than the government spent subsidizing just wind plants. A good return on investment, the team says, but one that could be much better if the government switched its focus from rewarding those plants that produce the most electricity, to those that displace the most pollutants. Energy from new Australian wind farms cheaper than from new coal or gas plants, report showslast_img read more

Best of Last Week – Testing for extra dimensions solving the riddle

first_img It was also a really big week for Earth science as well, as a team of chemists claimed to have solved the riddle of how life began on Earth—they found a way to generate over 50 precursor nucleic acids necessary for life to get started from just three ingredients: sunlight, hydrogen sulfide and hydrogen cyanide, all of which should have been present during the time when it is believed life was getting started on our planet.In space news, scientists analyzing data from the Dawn spacecraft reported on intriguing findings that might lead to signs of habitability—a bright region on Ceres that varied in intensity during different time periods, and a plume emanating from the surface. Also, researchers studying data from the ESA’s Rosetta spacecraft reported detecting the “most wanted molecule,” molecular nitrogen—on the comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. And another team has calculated that there are planets in the habitable zone around most stars in the Milky Way galaxy.In completely unrelated news, a team of researchers deemed a popular weed killer, glyphosate, as a probable carcinogen and other researchers conducting a psychology study at the University of Texas found that men’s preference for certain female body types has evolutionary roots—apparently, certain curves suggested better breeding possibilities—which has persisted to this day.And in good news for men, a team of researchers showed how fatty acids can fight prostate cancer—they found that omega-3 fatty acids actually slow the spread of cancer cells in the prostate, rather than cause an increase, as had been found in other studies. That should be a relief, since almost everything people eat has at least some of the acid in it. Confirming Einstein, scientists find ‘spacetime foam’ not slowing down photons from faraway gamma-ray burst (Update) 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. It was another good week for physics as a trio of physicists suggested that if scientists are someday able to detect mini black holes at the LHC, at certain energy levels, it could indicate the existence of parallel universes in extra dimensions—and that, they claim, would support string theory. Meanwhile, in another collaborative effort, researchers studying data from NASA’s Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope found that “spacetime foam” was not slowing down photons from a faraway gamma-ray burst, which, they say, is another confirmation of Einstein’s theory of general relativity. Also, another team invented a new way to control light that could prove critical for the next generation of super-fast computers. They built a very tiny honeycombed structure that can bend light around tighter curves than has been possible before. © 2015 Phys.org Explore further Citation: Best of Last Week – Testing for extra dimensions, solving the riddle of life on Earth and fatty acids that slow cancer (2015, March 23) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2015-03-week-extra-dimensions-riddle-life.htmllast_img read more

Possible evidence of an extrasolar object striking the Earth in 2014

first_img More information: Amir Siraj and Abraham Loeb. Discovery of a Meteor of Interstellar Origin, arXiv:1904.07224 [astro-ph.EP]. arxiv.org/abs/1904.07224 Explore further Trajectory of the January 8, 2014 meteor (red), shown intersecting with that of Earth (blue) at the time of impact, ti = 2014-01-08 17:05:34. Credit: arXiv:1904.07224 [astro-ph.EP] © 2019 Science X Network Interstellar objects like ‘Oumuamua probably crash into the sun every 30 years A pair of researchers has found possible evidence of an extrasolar object striking the Earth back in 2014. In their paper uploaded to the arXiv preprint server, Amir Siraj and Abraham Loeb describe their study of data in the Center for Near-Earth Object studies database and what they found. Journal information: arXiv , Astrophysical Journal Letters 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. Citation: Possible evidence of an extrasolar object striking the Earth in 2014 (2019, April 17) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-04-evidence-extrasolar-earth.html Abraham Loeb is the Harvard University astronomer who made headlines recently when he suggested that the space object known as ‘Oumuamua might have been part of an alien spacecraft. ‘Oumuamua was believed to have come from outside of the solar system because its trajectory showed it was not gravitationally bound to the sun—also, it traveled faster than traditional space objects. In this new effort, Loeb and his undergraduate assistant Siraj claim to have found evidence of another object from outside of the solar system.Loeb and Siraj had reasoned that space objects traveling faster than normal might be evidence enough of an extrasolar visitor. That led to them to perform searches in the Center for Near-Earth Object studies database for objects that traveled faster than normal. They report that they found three hits, two of which they dismissed because of incomplete data. The third described a meteor that was believed to be slightly less than a meter wide that had been observed disintegrating in the atmosphere on January 8th, 2014, at a height of 18.7 kilometers near Papua New Guinea. Its speed had been measured by a government sensor at 216,000 km/h. By looking at its trajectory and tracing backward, the researchers report that it likely came from somewhere outside of our solar system. If the evidence pans out, the sighting would be the first known instance of an extrasolar object striking the Earth.The researchers suggest that the object’s high speed indicates that it was likely flung out of another star system. And if that were the case, it would have been reasonably close to its star at some point, deep in the interior of a planetary system—perhaps in its “Goldilocks zone,” which means there was some chance it carried life. The researchers have written a paper describing their findings, which they have submitted to The Astrophysical Journal Letters.last_img read more

The Iwanttobefamous syndrome

first_imgOur desire for prominence begins to emerge even when we are in school. It starts from wanting to come first in class or winning the inter-school debate competition, just so that we become important to our school. Our teachers get to know us better and so do our peers. We continue to strive for perfection so that we become famous in college or university. The core idea is to get noticed.The same rule applies to us as mature adults. In society as well in the professional arena, we strive hard to be noticed. Some try to get a young achievers award or make a break in politics just to be a recognised face in the socio political or corporate circles. To be better than others is the motto of life even if it’s stressful. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Most people however give up this quest by the time they are 40 plus. If not an acknowledged achiever by then, most will think it is easier to exit the rat race than make it to the top.For many people, ambitions are directed towards getting wealthy. They want to get rich so that they can be famous. But I believe people often choose fame over money. It is an inherent tendency. Just ask any aspiring actress and you shall have your answer. For most members of the acting fraternity, fame ranks above money. Fame and recognition is their primary driving force in life. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixIn today’s context, however, the desire for fame is not restricted to artists. Designers, corporate honchos and even housewives want a piece of the action. They desire to be in the same frame as a leading actor or actress while posing for pictures for the party page. Today, movers and shakers are impatient. They cannot wait to be prominent even if their achievements are very limited. Today, it is about the person rather than his work.This system is called ‘self branding’. With the help of an established PR agency, it is now possible for even a housewife to become a household name. The rule thus implies that if you have money to burn, it really does not matter what you do. Your PR agency will make a profile for you that may make you sound like a mega achiever. Your PR agency can make you a model even if you have never attended a fashion show in your life. You can always be assigned a New Age profession like a ‘Reiki instructor’ or a ‘Yoga coach’ even if you know little about these ancient practices. You may even be given a lifetime achievement award even if you have never worked in your life!Even actors and actresses these days succumb to PR pressure. Flop stars can revive their careers by working with the right spin doctor. Via the medium of paid publication, they can make themselves more prominent than many leading character actors.It may be fair to say that your real achievement in life is selecting the right PR agency even if it hurts your pocket. But enjoying the fruits of fame sure makes it worthwhile…Salloli Kumar is a regular on Page 3 circuit for nearly a decade.last_img read more

Colours of fire

first_imgKathak exponent Vidha Lal brings to the Capital a duet by herself and Abhimanyu Lal titled Colours of Fire. Fire or agni, is the most illuminating and the alluring element out of the five building blocks of nature. Like every sustaining particle on earth, it has its own boon and bane. As boon, its presence instills a feeling of auspiciousness, warmth, creativity and energy. On the same front, it also carries some strings of bane. It is always said that, ‘too much of anything is always harmful’, you ignite the fire a bit too much and it is all set to consume you. If it provides light for the vision, it can also take away the vision itself. Inspired by these natural nuances of fire, the choreography brings forth the different colours of fire, depicting its different moods and meanings. The choreography is bloomed up by invoking the vibrations of fire with the agni gayatri mantra and agni suktam from the Rig Veda. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’It is hard to name the colour of fire in one single attempt, as it is not a single colour. But, it is the outcome of many colours. The choreographer has attempted to distinctly introduce the different colours of fire – yellow, orange, red, black and then fuse them together to create a burst of fiery energy.Orange – fire is instantly connected with the colour of orange. It is definitely a maneuvering shade of fire, but not the most captivating one. It does draw a lot of attention than the other colours, but there is still one colour of fire which is above all.. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixBlack – one automatically links black with mystery as well as a symbol of minimalism or termination. Black naturally brings in the effect of residual, its whirling outcome, the ashes. This colour shows a way towards end but introduces a lot of prefixes and suffixes to the revolving term – Agni, taken from the 140 names of ‘agni’ two chhandas of seven beat and eight beat time cycles have been taken, weaving various rhythmic patterns to show the mysterious mood of blue-black shades of fire. Red – this colour itself lets our imagination flow towards compassion and sootheness. For this the choreographer takes the support of the quotes by Sant Kabir- Biraha jalati main phiroon, moh birahan ko dukh, chhaanh na baithun, darpati, mati jal uthe bhookh, (I am burning in the fire of separation. I wander here and there, but my heart can’t find rest, I can’t even sit under the shadow of any tree, as the tree itself will catch fire from me. I can’t have even that much rest). This colour is certainly extravagant but the least consuming and yet capturing like a tinge of melody woven along with it.Yellow – this colour of fire is the most captivating shade. It wraps around the rest of the colours. But at the same time it is the strongest because it has the rest of the colours penetrated within itself to become the strongest one. To show the dominating nature of this shade, the dancers perform in tremendous speed showcasing various parans, bedam tihaayees and breath taking spins.These four colours mingle amongst themselves and in outcome, they produce a beautiful aura formulating into fire.WHERE: Kamani Auditorium WHEN: 21 September, 6:30 pm onwardslast_img read more