Michigan Tech Research Award Winner Pursues Discovery of Galactic Mysteries

source: mfu.edu. |  image: pixabay.com


An internationally recognized expert in high-energy gamma-ray astronomy and galactic cosmic rays, Petra Huentemeyer serves as a vice-spokesperson for a globally collaborative observatory and mentors her students to seek their own bright futures. The experimental astrophysicist and distinguished professor of physics is the 2023 recipient of the Michigan Technological University Research Award.

Huentemeyer views the career path she has followed as a natural if not always easy progression. Fueled by a persistent curiosity to probe the unknown origins of the universe, her work has led her to study and conduct research at the world’s leading institutions in her field.

The researcher, who enjoys watching movies in her leisure time, said summer 2023’s blockbuster biopic  “Oppenheimer” sparked reflections on how she chose her discipline. “In the context of ‘Oppenheimer,’ I thought about how I actually started in the field of physics coming out of high school,” she said. “I grew up in the Cold War era. In 1991 I was watching a German miniseries, called the “End of Innocence,” about the competition with the Manhattan Project and the work of Otto Hahn.”

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Taliban weighs using US mass surveillance plan, met with China’s Huawei


source: reuters.com  |  image: pixabay.com


KABUL, Sept 25 (Reuters) – The Taliban are creating a large-scale camera surveillance network for Afghan cities that could involve repurposing a plan crafted by the Americans before their 2021 pullout, an interior ministry spokesman told Reuters, as authorities seek to supplement thousands of cameras already across the capital, Kabul.

The Taliban administration — which has publicly said it is focused on restoring security and clamping down on Islamic State, which has claimed many major attacks in Afghan cities — has also consulted with Chinese telecoms equipment maker Huawei about potential cooperation, the spokesman said.

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DOD Represented at Five Eyes Technology Principals Meeting


source: defense.gov  |  image: department of defense


Last week, Dr. Steven G. Wax, performing the duties of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Science and Technology, presented the National Defense Science and Technology Strategy at the Technology Cooperation Program (TTCP) Principals Meeting.

TTCP is a science and technology alliance among the Five Eyes (FVEY) nations – Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Representatives met Sept. 11-15, 2023, in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada.

That strategy highlights the important role our allies and partners play in our research and development ecosystem.

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China Accuses U.S. of Decade-Long Cyber Espionage Campaign Against Huawei Servers


source: thehackernews.com  |  image: pixabay.com


China’s Ministry of State Security (MSS) has accused the U.S. of breaking into Huawei’s servers, stealing critical data, and implanting backdoors since 2009, amid mounting geopolitical tensions between the two countries.

In a message posted on WeChat, the government authority said U.S. intelligence agencies have “done everything possible” to conduct surveillance, secret theft, and intrusions on many countries around the world, including China, using a “powerful cyber attack arsenal.” Specifics about the alleged hacks were not shared.

It explicitly singled out the U.S. National Security Agency’s (NSA) Computer Network Operations (formerly the Office of Tailored Access Operations or TAO) as having “repeatedly carried out systematic and platform-based attacks” against the country to plunder its “important data resources.”

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Meta spots largest influence network to date

source: axios.com  |  image: pixabay.com


Meta said it’s taken down what it believes is the biggest online influence operation of all time.

Why it matters: The wide-reaching, pro-Chinese operation targeted social media users in Taiwan, alongside users in a handful of the island’s allies like the U.S., the U.K. and Japan, as anxieties over a possible Chinese invasion of Taiwan grow.

Details: Meta estimated in its second-quarter threat report, released today, that the China-linked campaign involved 7,704 accounts, 954 pages, 15 groups on Facebook and 15 accounts on Instagram.

  • Researchers uncovered evidence of the campaign on more than 50 online platforms, including YouTube, TikTok, Reddit, Pinterest and X, formerly known as Twitter.
  • The campaign mostly spread pro-China messages, amplified criticisms of U.S. and other Western policies, and targeted journalists, human rights activists and other critics of the Chinese government.

What they’re saying: “This is one of the single-biggest takedowns of coordinated inauthentic behavior that we’ve ever run into,” Ben Nimmo, global threat intelligence lead at Meta, told reporters.

Yes, but: Campaign operators struggled to garner significant, authentic engagement or reach, much like most recent pro-Chinese influence campaigns.

Catch up quick: Meta believes the latest campaign is an extension of an ongoing effort known as “Spamouflage” that emerged in 2019.

The intrigue: Campaign operators started their scheme by posting content directly to Facebook and Instagram, but automated systems were quick to detect the posts, according to the report.

  • This prompted campaign operators to start posting on smaller platforms and later amplify those posts on Meta’s social media sites.

What’s next: Meta researchers expect the threat actors behind the campaign to rebuild and keep trying, despite consistently struggling to reach real people, Nimmo said.

Microsoft filed a patent for an AI backpack straight out of a sci-fi movie

source: ZDNET.com (contributed by Artemus Founder, Bob Wallace)  |  image: pixabay.com


Students and office workers who carry heavy laptops and a plethora of personal items with them every day rely on backpacks to hold their belongings. For those people, there’s good news: Microsoft may soon be infusing backpacks with artifical intelligence (AI) to take a backpack’s function to a new level.

patent filed by Microsoft that showcases the concept of the AI backpack was filed on May 2, 2023, and published on August 24, 2023, as spotted by MSPowerUser

AlsoOne in four workers fears being considered ‘lazy’ if they use AI tools

The wearable would be able to do much more than your average smartwatch, with advanced capabilities such as scanning an environment, understanding voice commands, and performing contextual tasks. 

What We’ve Been Reading About AI

source: CNN.com (contributed by FAN, Bill Amshey)  |  image: pixabay.com

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A New Attack Reveals Everything You Type With 95 Percent Accuracy


source: wired.com (contributed by Artemus Founder, Bob Wallace)  |  image: pixabay.com

A team of researchers from British universities has trained a deep learning model that can steal data from keyboard keystrokes recorded using a microphone with an accuracy of 95%.

When Zoom was used for training the sound classification algorithm, the prediction accuracy dropped to 93%, which is still dangerously high, and a record for that medium.

Such an attack severely affects the target’s data security, as it could leak people’s passwords, discussions, messages, or other sensitive information to malicious third parties.

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