http://analysisintelligence.com/intelli ... al-muscle/
As Occupy Wall Street swelled last year, many commentators asked: what’s the point? While this question was occasionally cynical, it did highlight that the crackling energy of protest lacked direction. Now, more than a year after OWS became a truly global movement, there may be less overwhelming force but more incisiveness.
Two recent campaigns exemplify Occupy’s growing power as a local organizer and media force: the rebuilding efforts after Hurricane Sandy and protest efforts against the Keystone XL Pipeline. We’ll look at both operations through the lens of Recorded Future to see how events developed and the role that Occupy has played.
The fact that a protest movement known for ragtag assemblies in public parks has been steadily organizing and contributing to a humanitarian relief campaign for nearly a month now speaks to its stamina and operational capability.
Occupy has evolved from a philosophical, loosely knit protest movement into something much more powerful. In just the last two months, we’ve seen effective mobilization at the community level (Operation Sandy) and amplification of causes of choice (Tar Sands Blockade, Black Friday) through the massive global audience Occupy has engaged.
One can still ask, what is the point of Occupy? Do Occupy groups merely adopt prior causes of community and environmental groups, or do they lead the way? It doesn’t matter; the Occupy Movement “voice” has become a global megaphone that transcends the divergent local ability to conduct operations. As reported by Fortune: Samantha Corbin, an Occupy Sandy site coordinator said, ‘The relationships we built through Occupy Wall Street are a huge reason why we’ve been able to scale so fast.’ The Occupy Movement has found its legs and cannot be ignored.
This next entry is particularly important when combined with extended social network mapping. Individual tweets are absolutely worthless, only taken in aggregate do they become useful.
http://analysisintelligence.com/cyber-d ... e-in-gaza/
Following up our recent post highlighting the escalation of conflict between Israel and Gaza we want to look at the earliest signs that the attack – both physical and cyber – was growing. We’ll tell the story in a series of images showing social media and news content analyzed in Recorded Future.
The first serious signals suggesting Gaza expected a more significant physical conflict showed up on November 11 when Hamas’ interior ministry called for an evacuation of all offices.
The first indications of the evacuation were revealed on Twitter and Facebook.
The earliest reports came from Dima-Gaza on Twitter (the earliest of which was removed) along with other mentions from Richard Dufek, who has been keeping a running report of the latest on Twitter, and his related Facebook group International communities against Israel:
The first news channel to break the story came after reports on Twitter via YNet although there was only light uptake on the news elsewhere in the mainstream media.
Speculation: Data overload does not exist. The problem is most people rely too much on their working memory when processing data, which limits to 5-9 pieces at a time as I discussed earlier. Visual aids are known to be very useful in working with this process. 3d displays and interfaces will likely drastically reduce interface friction. (see http://www.palantir.com/2010/03/frictio ... -on-chess/ )
http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/alexs ... athematics
The high point of the abacus calendar is the All Japan Soroban Championship, which took place earlier this year in Kyoto.
And the high point of the championship is the category called “Flash Anzan” – which does not require an abacus at all.
Or rather, it requires contestants to use the mental image of an abacus. Since when you get very good at the abacus it is possible to calculate simply by imagining one.
In Flash Anzan, 15 numbers are flashed consecutively on a giant screen. Each number is between 100 and 999. The challenge is to add them up.
Simple, right? Except the numbers are flashed so fast you can barely read them.
I was at this year’s championship to see Takeo Sasano, a school clerk in his 30s, break his own world record: he got the correct answer when the numbers were flashed in 1.70 seconds. In the clip below, taken shortly before, the 15 numbers flash in 1.85 seconds. The speed is so fast I doubt you can even read one of the numbers.
In the present study, we examined cortical activation as a function of two different calculation strategies for mentally solving multidigit multiplication problems. The school strategy, equivalent to long multiplication, involves working from right to left. The expert strategy, used by “lightning” mental calculators (Staszewski, 1988), proceeds from left to right. The two strategies require essentially the same calculations, but have different working memory demands (the school strategy incurs greater demands). The school strategy produced significantly greater early activity in areas involved in attentional aspects of number processing (posterior superior parietal lobule, PSPL) and mental representation (posterior parietal cortex, PPC), but not in a numerical magnitude area (horizontal intraparietal sulcus, HIPS) or a semantic memory retrieval area (lateral inferior prefrontal cortex, LIPFC). An ACT-R model of the task successfully predicted BOLD responses in PPC and LIPFC, as well as in PSPL and HIPS.
Calculating prodigies are individuals who are exceptional at quickly and accurately solving complex mental calculations. With positron emission tomography (PET), we investigated the neural bases of the cognitive abilities of an expert calculator and a group of non-experts, contrasting complex mental calculation to memory retrieval of arithmetic facts. We demonstrated that calculation expertise was not due to increased activity of processes that exist in non-experts; rather, the expert and the non-experts used different brain areas for calculation. We found that the expert could switch between short-term effort-requiring storage strategies and highly efficient episodic memory encoding and retrieval, a process that was sustained by right prefrontal and medial temporal areas.
https://threatpost.com/en_us/blogs/shod ... ces-010913
Never underestimate what you can do with a healthy list of advanced operator search terms and a beer budget. That's mostly what comprises the arsenal of two critical infrastructure protection specialists who have spent close to nine months trying to paint a picture of the number of Internet-facing devices linked to critical infrastructure in the United States. It's not a pretty picture. The duo ... have with some help from the Department of Homeland Security (PDF) pared down an initial list of 500,000 devices to 7,200, many of which contain online login interfaces with little more than a default password standing between an attacker and potential havoc. DHS has done outreach to the affected asset owners, yet these tides turn slowly and progress has been slow in remedying many of those weaknesses. ...The pair found not only devices used for critical infrastructure such as energy, water and other utilities, but also SCADA devices for HVAC systems, building automation control systems, large mining trucks, traffic control systems, red-light cameras and even crematoriums."
Those results came largely from a series of automated scripts run against the Shodan search engine. Shodan was created for the purpose of finding servers, routers, network devices and more that sit online. Users can filter searches to find specific equipment by manufacturer, function and even where they’re located geographically. A 2010 advisory on Shodan pointed out that the availability of the search engine greatly reduces the resources attackers require to find these privately owned assets.
http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg2 ... cking.html
Undertaken by the Dutch research lab TNO Defence, based in The Hague, the water industry study examined the security measures taken by the 10 companies that control the Netherlands’ drinking water. At issue are the Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition Systems (SCADAs) which, at a water plant, control processes like water intake, purification, quality control and pumping to homes.
A SCADA sends instructions to shopfloor machines like pumps, valves, robot arms and motors. But such systems have moved from communicating over closed networks to a far cheaper conduit: the public internet. This can give hackers a way in. Eric Luiijf of TNO Defence and his colleagues found a litany of insecure “architectural errors” in the waterworks’ SCADA networks (International Journal of Critical Infrastructure Protection, DOI: 10.1016/j.ijcip.2011.08.002).
Some firms did not separate their office and SCADA networks, allowing office hardware failures, virus infections and even high data traffic to potentially “bring down all SCADA operations”. While remote internet access to SCADAs is supposed to be possible only with strict security controls, the researchers found this was often not the case. And some water firms allowed third party contract engineers to connect laptops to their SCADA network with no proof they were running up-to-date antivirus software. Indeed, it has emerged that a US contractor logging on to check the Illinois water plant from Russia, while he was away on holiday, was behind the Illinois ‘Russian hacker’ scare.
This was compounded by news of the hack at the Texas water plant, where on 20 November a hacker named “prof” gained access to the plant’s systemsusing a three-character default password on an internet-accessed SCADA made by Siemens of Germany. “No damage was done to any machinery; I don’t really like mindless vandalism. It’s stupid and silly. On the other hand, so is connecting your SCADA machinery to the internet,” he wrote on the Pastebin website.
One of PRECYSE’s main approaches to securing systems will be “whitelisting”, a way of ensuring only authorised users obtain access. This is the opposite of the approach used by antivirus software. “Instead of hunting for malicious code, as in an antivirus blacklist, this only lets the known good guys connect,” says security engineer Sakir Sezer at Queens University Belfast in the UK. Unusual behaviour – such as attempting to extract the control codes used to drive equipment – would also mean access is blocked. Deep-packet inspection, normally used to spot copyrighted material on the net, could be harnessed to ensure no attack code is injected.
http://spaces.icgpartners.com/index2.as ... 956FB8AF91
In the past two years, hackers have in fact successfully penetrated and extorted multiple utility companies that use SCADA systems, says Alan Paller, director of the SANS Institute, an organization that hosts a crisis center for hacked companies. “Hundreds of millions of dollars have been extorted, and possibly more. It’s difficult to know, because they pay to keep it a secret,” Paller says. “This kind of extortion is the biggest untold story of the cybercrime industry.”