Support Us on Patreon

Become a Patron for as little as $1 to gain access to exclusive video features, behind the scenes and Patron-only contests.

Top Stories for the Week of May 9, 2018

  • Episode 555
  • May 9, 2018

Here are the stories we're following for the week of Wednesday May 9, 2018


Twitter's 330 million users are being urged to change their passwords after some were exposed on its internal network in plain text.

Twitter's 330 million users are being urged to change their passwords after some were exposed on its internal network—in plain text.

An error in the way the passwords were handled meant some were stored in an easily readable form, said Twitter.

The passwords should have been put through a procedure called "hashing," making them very difficult to read. But the bug caused the passwords to be stored on an internal computer log before the hashing process was completed.

In a blog, the social network said once the mistake was uncovered it carried out an internal investigation which found no indication passwords were stolen or misused by insiders. However, it still urged all users to consider changing their passwords "out of an abundance of caution."

Twitter did not say how many passwords were affected but it is understood that the number was "substantial," and that they were exposed for "several months."

Troy Hunt, who runs the Have I Been Pwned website, which keeps a log of breaches, said the error was not something that would worry him because there was no indication that the login passwords were seen outside the company.

Still, he urges users to act on Twitter's advice and change their password.

Independent security expert Graham Cluley reminds users that enabling two-factor authentication adds another ID check to login attempts which would help "harden" accounts.

Source: www.bbc.com

Sent to us by: Roy W. Nash


Ford is developing a new smart car window to enable blind passengers to experience the passing landscape.

Ford is developing a new smart car window that will enable blind passengers to experience the passing landscape.

A prototype, called Feel the View, uses high-contrast photos to reproduce scenery using LED lights.

Passengers can touch the display to feel different shades of grey vibrate at different intensities.

The Royal National Institute of Blind People said the charity "wholeheartedly supports" the company's effort.

Robin Spinks, innovation manager at RNIB says the technology "could contribute to breaking down barriers and making travel more enjoyable and inclusive for people living with sight loss."

Ford's team in Italy and GTB Roma designed the prototype with Aedo, a local start-up that creates devices for people with visual impairments.

In addition to the window displays, the smart car also features a voice assistant that uses artificial intelligence to describe the scenery outside the window.

Source: www.bbc.com

Sent to us by: Roy W. Nash


Imagine the frustration of playing a game where the difficulty level constantly changes. That's what an experiment in AI technology is doing to some retro classics.

Imagine the frustration of playing a game where the difficulty level can constantly change. That's what an experiment in AI technology is doing to some retro classics.

AI researchers do love their games and two papers have shown that they can use general adversarial networks (GANs) to make old favorites a lot more interesting.

In two separate papers, AI researchers built general adversarial networks to construct new video game levels for retro classics, Super Mario Bros and DOOM.

GANs were first introduced in 2014. The system is made up of two networks: a generator and a discriminator. The generator creates fake samples of training data, and a discriminator tries to determine if the samples are real or fake. Both networks spar with one another, and over time the generator learns to forge more realistic samples to trick the discriminator.

By applying them to entertainment, the researchers hope that they will be used to help humans design better video games in the future.

The DOOM paper details, "Level design usually heavily relies on domain expertise, good practices, and an extensive playtesting. To deal with these issues, several game researchers are spending considerable effort on studying and designing procedural content generation systems that, exploiting machine learning and search algorithms, can model the level design process and assist human designer."

Adam Smith, co-author of the paper and an assistant professor at the University of California said, "MarioGAN generates new levels very quickly but occasionally makes structural mistakes such as incompletely assembling pipe tiles."

It’s a similar process for Doom. A thousand Doom levels are processed into a set of training images that include the game’s most important features: “the walkable area, walls, floor height, objects, and room segmentation.”

But if you’re itching to have a go on these AI-generated games, you’ll have to wait a while. Both projects are still prototypes and can’t be played quite yet. Although the code for the Super Mario GAN can be found on GitHub.

Sebastian Risi who co-authored the paper said it’s a problem that the team are working on. He says, “In the next version we want to create a level that continually adapts its difficulty to the player.”

Source: www.theregister.co.uk

Sent to us by: Roy W. Nash


Equifax has published yet more details on the personal records and sensitive information stolen by miscreants after they hacked its databases last year.

Equifax has published yet more details on the personal records and sensitive information stolen by miscreants after they hacked its databases last year.

The cyber-break-in occurred because Equifax ran an unpatched and therefore insecure version of Apache Struts, something it blamed on a single employee.

That said, just 3 months ago at the RSA conference in San Francisco, Derek Weeks of Sonatype, claimed “thousands” of companies still continue to download vulnerable versions of Struts.

The good news: the number of individuals affected by the Equifax network intrusion hasn't increased from the 146.6 million that Equifax previously announced. But extra types of records accessed by the hackers, however, have turned up in Mandiant's ongoing audit of the security breach.

On Monday, Equifax submitted a letter to the SEC—corporate America's financial watchdog.

Brace yourself . . . here is a summary: As well as the 146.6 million names, 146.6 million dates of birth, 145.5 million social security numbers, 99 million street addresses and 209,000 payment cards (including the number and expiry date), the company has now said there were also 38,000 American drivers' licenses, and 3,200 passports stolen as well.

The extra data elements, the company said, didn't involve any individuals not already known to be part of the super-hack; so no additional consumer notifications are required.

Source: www.theregister.co.uk

Sent to us by: Roy W. Nash


Discussion

Advertisement

Technology TV
Episode 565 Live:

Advertisement

Being Watched

Twitter Posts

Login to Category5

Error message here!

Hide Error message here!

Forgot your password?

Register on Category5

Error message here!

Error message here!

Hide Error message here!

Lost your password? Please enter your email address. You will receive a link to create a new password.

Error message here!

Back to log-in

Close