Last year, two data scientists from security firm ZeroFOX conducted an experiment to see who was better at getting Twitter users to click on malicious links, humans or an artificial intelligence. The researchers taught an AI to study the behavior of social network users, and then design and implement its own phishing bait. In tests, the artificial hacker was substantially better than its human competitors, composing and distributing more phishing tweets than humans, and with a substantially better conversion rate.

The AI, named SNAP_R, sent simulated spear-phishing tweets to over 800 users at a rate of 6.75 tweets per minute, luring 275 victims. By contrast, Forbes staff writer Thomas Fox-Brewster, who participated in the experiment, was only able to pump out 1.075 tweets a minute, making just 129 attempts and luring in just 49 users.

Cyber crime; the new world threat

According Wikipedia, Cyber crime are crimes that use computer networks or devices to advance other ends include: Fraud and identity theft (although this increasingly uses malware, hacking and/or phishing, making it an example of both “computer as target” and “computer as tool” crime)

cyber crime
Photocredit: https://www.fbi.gov/investigate/cyber

Continue reading “Cyber Crime”

 

Data from the first four years of Kepler Space Telescope mission leads to the finding of Hundreds of New Exoplanets

NASA has unveiled the complete set of data from the first four years of the agency’s Kepler Space Telescope mission, which stared at a single patch of the sky in the search for alien planets. The result: Kepler has discovered 219 new candidates since NASA’s last data unveiling, including 10 near-Earth-size planet candidates in the so-called habitable zone around their stars where the conditions are just right for liquid water to exist on a planet’s surface — a key feature in the search for habitable worlds.

Continue reading “NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope Finds Hundreds of New Exoplanets, Boosts Total to 4,034”

Another way to get DNA from extinct humans discovered – Researchers have developed a new method to retrieve hominin DNA from cave sediments — even in the absence of skeletal remains

While there are numerous prehistoric sites in Europe and Asia that contain tools and other human-made artefacts, skeletal remains of ancient humans are scarce. Researchers of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, have therefore looked into new ways to get hold of ancient human DNA. From sediment samples collected at seven archaeological sites, the researchers “fished out” tiny DNA fragments that had once belonged to a variety of mammals, including our extinct human relatives. They retrieved DNA from Neandertals in cave sediments of four archaeological sites, also in layers where no hominin skeletal remains have been discovered. In addition, they found Denisovan DNA in sediments from Denisova Cave in Russia. These new developments now enable researchers to uncover the genetic affiliations of the former inhabitants of many archaeological sites which do not yield human remains.

vindija cave
This is an entrance to the archaeological site of Vindija Cave, Croatia. Credit: MPI f. Evolutionary Anthropology/ J. Krause

 

Continue reading “DNA from extinct humans discovered in cave sediments”

INVENTION OF AUTOMOBILE

 

1923 Roll Royce
Photocredit: smithsonianmag 1923 Rolls-Royce featured in the May 1923 issue of Science and Invention

 

Although the blueprint for the modern automobile was perfected in Germany and France in the late 1800s, Americans dominated the industry in the first half of the twentieth century. Henry Ford innovated mass-production techniques that became standard, with Ford, General Motors and Chrysler emerging as the “Big Three” auto companies by the 1920s. Manufacturers funneled their resources to the military during World War II, and afterward automobile production in Europe and Japan soared to meet demand. Once vital to the expansion of American urban centers, the industry had become a shared global enterprise with the rise of Japan as the leading automaker by 1980.

Continue reading “Invention of Automobile”