"via John Timmer, writing at Ars Technica, comes news of the use of Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats (also known as CRISPR) gene editing efforts targeting the human genome, with (reportedly) live, human births as the result."
"The most complete report we currently have comes from the Associated Press. Its reporters talked to the researcher behind the announcement, He Jiankui of Shenzhen, China, in advance of his public announcement." - John Timmer, reporting at Ars Technica, comes word of CRISPR gene editing
Where - exactly - was the United States Postal Inspection Service - the sworn law-enforcement (with arrest powers) investigatory component of the United States Postal Service in this? It took the quasi-governmental USPS over a year to catch this flaw? Astounding Incompetence.
"A report published in October found that the IV systems suffered from some misconfiguration problems, but none of them referred to adding access controls for reading user data, which is a baseline in information security." via Ionut Ilascu, writing in his outstanding news post at Bleeping Computer.
via Ben Coxworth, writing at NewAtlas, comes a fascinating discussion of an AI duel, of sorts. Squarely ensconced in the facial recognition arena, this is a story you won't want to miss. Today's Must Read!
'As concerns over privacy and data security on social networks grow, U of T Engineering researchers led by Professor Parham Aarabi (ECE) and graduate student Avishek Bose (ECE MASc candidate) have created an algorithm to dynamically disrupt facial recognition systems.' posted by Marit Mitchell, University of Toronto, U of T Engineering News
via Samuel H. Moore, writing at the IEEE's Spectrum Magazine, comes word of the 'Unhackable Envelope'. The Fraunhofer team (developers of the Unhackable Envelope) comprised of Vincent Immler - Fraunhofer Institute for Applied and Integrated Security (AISEC), Martin König - Fraunhofer Research Institution for Microsystems and Solid State Technologies (EMFT), Johannes Obermaier - Fraunhofer Institute for Applied and Integrated Security (AISEC), Matthias Hiller - Fraunhofer Institute for Applied and Integrated Security (AISEC) and Georg Sigl - Fraunhofer Institute for Applied and Integrated Security (AISEC) & Technical University of Munich (TUM) appeared at the IEEE International Symposium on Hardware Oriented Security and Trust in Washington, D.C. last week. Additionally, the group's paper 'B-TREPID: Batteryless Tamper-Resistant Envelope with a PUF and Integrity Detection' won the 2018 Best Paper Award at the confrenece (Kudo's are certainly in order!).
via Chang Xiao, Cheng Zhang, Changxi Zheng, all from Columbia University, and presented at the ACM Transaction on Graphics (SIGGRAPH 2018), comes this phenomenal steganographic research; in which, a new methodology to hide information within documents utilizing manipulation of the fonts therein is laid bare, i.e., a new form of steganographic manipulation! Today's Must Read & watch the video below the Abstract.
"Abstract: We introduce FontCode, an information embedding technique for text documents. Provided a text document with specific fonts, our method embeds user-specified information in the text by perturbing the glyphs of text characters while preserving the text content. We devise an algorithm to choose unobtrusive yet machine-recognizable glyph perturbations, leveraging a recently developed generative model that alters the glyphs of each character continuously on a font manifold. We then introduce an algorithm that embeds a user-provided message in the text document and produces an encoded document whose appearance is minimally perturbed from the original document. We also present a glyph recognition method that recovers the embedded information from an encoded document stored as a vector graphic or pixel image, or even on a printed paper. In addition, we introduce a new error-correction coding scheme that rectifies a certain number of recognition errors. Lastly, we demonstrate that our technique enables a wide array of applications, using it as a text document metadata holder, an unobtrusive optical barcode, a cryptographic message embedding scheme, and a text document signature." - via Chang Xiao, Cheng Zhang, Changxi Zheng, all from Columbia University.
'The discovery of Higgs-boson decays in a background of standard-model processes was assisted by machine learning methods 1, 2. The classifiers used to separate signals such as these from background are trained using highly unerring but not completely perfect simulations of the physical processes involved, often resulting in incorrect labelling of background processes or signals (label noise) and systematic errors.' - via Nature 550, 375–379 (19 October 2017) doi:10.1038/nature24047
via the eponymous Richard Chirgwin, whilst writing at El Reg, comes this unfortunate tale of security flaws within Splunk Enterprise (now, happily patched). First discovered by John Page (aka hyp3rlinx), and published via an advisory at Full Discosure. Here's hyp3rlinxs' source.
For the Record: We have always been pleased with Splunk products, and, most importantly, they are fast and focused when fixing issues.
The takeway? Make an effort to be extraordinarily cognizant of the threats posed by log and machine generated data aggregation in the enterprise. That is all.
via Motherboard writer Michael Byrne, comes this well-wrought piece on the apparent proliferation of 'bots on Twitter, ie., the implications of algorithm-driven entities on the Twitterverse. The fascinating component to this study by Onur Varol, Emilio Ferrara, Clayton A. Davis, Filippo Menczer and Alessandro Flammini, was the utilization of a machine-learning apparatus (and the feature-sets therein) to tease out the truth. Additional documentation (in the form of the paper) is available on arXIv. Today's MustRead.
"Part of what makes the new research interesting is the sheer number of features used in the classification model..." - Motherboard's Michael Byrne
Well documented paper on the capability to identify entities via credit card metadata [i.e., the identification is based on what was once thought to be anonymous big data...]. Time to move back to currency transactions. Tout Simplement Incroyable.
News, of planned public meetings - slated for February 16 and 17, 2015, in balmy Orlando, Florida - called by the Organization of Scientific Area Committees (OSAC). The Forensic OSAC acts as the coordinator of development of required standards and guidelines for the Forensic Science community. All, carefully crafted under the oversight of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST),
News via The Independents' Whitehall editor Oliver Wright, of an innovative plan to engage recent graduates in the United Kingdom, by the United Kingdoms' Government Communications Headquarters. Something of a mashup is being mulled over, between serving in the ranks of GCHQ with an eye for opportunities further on down the line, when it's time to muster out. A similar model is in place for many Israeli military and intelligence personnel, post-service.
via Dr. Holger Sierks, a Max-Planck-Gesellschaft Scientist and Principal Investigator, leading the team working on the OSIRIS (Optical, Spectroscopic, and Infrared Remote Imaging System) on-board the Philae, describing the effort taken by human researchers when analyzing images of the comet...
The ramifications to many endeavors, ranging from automated driving, to automated information and physical security functionality (identity management, authentication, access control, biometrics, image recognition, et cetera) are startling, when confronted with new visages, we have yet to develop algorithmic capabilities to manipulate the data, and bend it to our will. EOM