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  1. Yesterday
  2. Omniverse, a now-defunct supplier of IPTV streams, has agreed to pay $50 million in piracy damages to several Hollywood studios. Omniverse initially described the piracy allegations as "scandalous" but has since stepped back from its claim. Anti-piracy group ACE, which was a driving force behind the lawsuit, is pleased with yet another legal victory. In February, several major Hollywood studios filed a lawsuit against Omniverse One World Television. Under the flag of anti-piracy group ACE, the companies accused Omniverse and its owner Jason DeMeo of supplying of pirate streaming channels to various IPTV services. Omniverse sold live-streaming services to third-party distributors, such as Dragon Box and HDHomerun, which in turn offered live TV streaming packages to customers. According to ACE, the company was a pirate streaming TV supplier, offering these channels without permission from its members. Omniverse disagreed with this characterization and countered that it did everything by the book. It relied on a deal from the licensed cable company Hovsat, which has a long-standing agreement with DirecTV to distribute a broad range of TV-channels with few restrictions. As time went on, however, it transpired that the streaming provider was clearly worried about the legal threat. After several of its distributors distanced themselves from the service, Omniverse decided to wind down its business. The streaming provider also filed a third-party complaint against Hovsat for indemnification and breach of contract, among other things. Omniverse believed that it was properly licensed and wants Hovsat to pay the damages for any alleged infringements if that was not the case. That there are damages became crystal clear yesterday, when ACE announced that it had obtained a consent judgment against Omniverse. Both parties have agreed to settle the matter with the streaming provider committing to pay a $50 million settlement. “Damages are awarded in favor of Plaintiffs and against Defendants, jointly and severally, in the total amount of fifty million dollars,” the proposed judgment reads. The agreement also includes a permanent injunction that prevents Omniverse and its owner Jason DeMeo from operating the service and being involved in supplying or offering pirate streaming channels in any other way. The damages amount of $50 million is a substantial figure. In the past, however, we have seen that the public figure can be substantially higher than what’s agreed in private. In any case, Omniverse may hold Hovsat accountable, as previously suggested. Karen Thorland, Senior Vice President at the Motion Picture Association, which has a leading role in the ACE coalition, is pleased with the outcome. “This judgment and injunction are a major win for creators, audiences, and the legitimate streaming market, which has been undermined by Omniverse and its ‘back office’ piracy infrastructure for years,” Thorland, says Over the past years, ACE has built a steady track record of successful cases against IPTV providers and services. In addition to Omniverse, it also helped to shut down SetTV, Dragon Box, TickBox, Vader Streams, and many third-party Kodi addons. The consent judgment and permanent injunction have yet to be signed off by the court but since both parties are in agreement, that’s mostly a formality.
  3. Two groups involved in the distribution of third-party Kodi addons and 'builds' have shut down citing legal pressure. KodiUKTV and OneNation both ran so-called repositories where software could be downloaded but that activity will not continue into the future. It is currently unknown who threatened the groups but there are a couple of prime candidates. Being involved in the development of third-party Kodi addons and ‘builds’ (Kodi installations pre-customized with addons and tweaks) is a somewhat risky activity. Providing simple access to otherwise restricted movies and TV shows attracts copyright holders, and that always has the potential to end badly. And it does, pretty regularly. On November 1, 2019, UK-focused Kodi platform made an announcement on Twitter, stating briefly that “Something has happened this morning. Sorry!” While that could mean anything, an ominous follow-up message indicated that a statement would be released in due course “detailing the future”. Several hours later, confirmed what fans already knew, that it had taken down its site. Why that happened remained open to question but a few hours ago the group confirmed that legal action was to blame. “We took our website offline 10 days ago closed our repo and the builds due to legal demands against us,” announced on Twitter. “We will say more when we can bring the site back up safely. But the builds & repo will not be back nor will we host any add-ons anymore for anyone.” The closure is particularly bad news for anyone who used the popular DadLife Kodi build that was previously installable via the group’s repository. Whether it will find a new official home somewhere else is open to question. But there is more bad news too. In an announcement posted a few hours ago to its Facebook page, Kodi builds and addon repository OneNation revealed that it too had shut down, again as a result of legal pressure. “Unfortunately due to outside Legal pressures this group will close with immediate effect along with our Repository etc. We would just like to thank each and every one of you for all your support over the years,” OneNation wrote. Noting they’d had an “absolute blast”, OneNation added they were going out with their “heads held high” having done things their way, without “robbing links from others” or accepting payment in any “shape or form”. OneNation: another one bites the dust OneNation went down with strict instructions for no-one to contact the team for any further information and to treat any additional information published online as “hearsay.” That means that confirming who applied the legal pressure will be reliant on word from the anti-piracy groups most likely to be have been involved.
  4. Last year, Defense Distributed won a legal battle, which allowed it to continue uploading and sharing blueprints for 3D-printed guns. The decision was immediately criticized by states and gun-reform advocates. Now, a US District Judge has overturned the ruling. Once again, it is illegal to publish blueprints for 3D-printed guns online. The battle started in 2012, when Defense Distributed posted blueprints for a 3D-printed pistol. More than 100,000 copies were downloaded, and it wasn't long before the US State Department told Defense Distributed that it was violating International Traffic in Arms Regulations. The State Department said sharing the files "could cause serious harm to U.S. national security and foreign policy interests." Defense Distributed argued that preventing it from sharing its blueprints online violated the First Amendment, and in what many felt was a surprising response, the State Department surrendered to that argument. It reached a settlement with Defense Distributed that allowed the company to continue sharing its 3D-printed gun files. Yesterday, U.S. District Judge Robert Lasnik in Seattle ruled that the State Department did not give a proper explanation when it reached that settlement. That's a violation of the federal Administrative Procedure Act, and as a result, Lasnik has overturned the ruling. "Given the agency's prior position regarding the need to regulate 3D-printed firearms and the CAD files used to manufacture them, it must do more than simply announce a contrary position," Lasnik wrote in his decision. The State Department is reviewing Lasnik's ruling, and Defense Distributed will likely appeal., Even President Trump said 3D-printed guns don't "make much sense." Whether or not Lasnik's ruling is allowed to stand, the battle over 3D-printed guns will likely continue.
  5. It's not just Apple and Facebook diving headlong into the financial world. Google has revealed plans to offer checking accounts in 2020 through a project nicknamed Cache. The search giant won't handle the actual underpinnings -- Citigroup and a credit union at Stanford University will both handle the accounts and feature the most prominent branding. There will still be integration between Google and the accounts, though, and some of it might raise concerns among regulators. Google is promising that it won't sell account holders' financial data. Instead, this is meant to add value for customers, shops and the banks themselves with services like loyalty programs. In a chat with the Wall Street Journal, the company's Caesar Sengupta also touted it as a way to further digitize the banking world. "If we can help more people do more stuff in a digital way... it's good for the internet and good for us," he said. Whether or not officials see it the same way is another story. Banking accounts include extremely sensitive information by their very nature, and governments will want assurances that Google isn't snooping on that data, exposing it to security risks or abusing it to maintain its internet dominance. Rivals like Facebook are already facing scrutiny for their financial plans -- Google might encounter more of the same. Combine that with ongoing antitrust investigations and Google may have to go out of its way to prove that its checking accounts will help more than they hurt.
  6. Donald Trump's biggest crimes against food Donald Trump Getty Images By Chris Heasman Donald Trump is arguably the most divisive figure on the planet. In America, half the people you find (okay, it's actually about 37 percent as of January 2019, but you know what we mean) seem to love him, while the other half loathe him with the same kind of passionate vitriol that's usually reserved for bankers, reality TV stars and people who click "reply to all" on email chains. He's controversial, is what we're getting at. To his fans, it's almost as if he can do no wrong. To his critics, he can do nothing right. But there's one aspect of Trump's life which must surely unite all but his most zealous followers in their sheer, unbridled disgust: the things he eats and the way he eats them. This is a man who, for whatever reason, chooses to indulge in some of the strangest eating habits ever enjoyed by a member of the presidency. From burnt steaks to soggy taco bowls, these are Donald Trump's worst crimes against food. Read More: Eating steak burnt to a crisp Burnt steak Shutterstock This is a famous one. In 2017, a reporter from the Independent Journal Review reserved a table at the steakhouse in Washington D.C.'s Trump International Hotel, hoping to catch a glimpse of what the President ordered. Turns out, he opted for a $54 dry-aged New York strip — which he insisted was to be cooked well-done. And this wasn't the first time, either: according to his ex-butler Anthony Senecal, Trump would regularly order steak that was cooked so well that it would rock on the plate. Usually, it would be slathered in ketchup. Now, it doesn't exactly help that ordering your steak well-done can cause you physical and mental harm — including (according to some studies) cancer and dementia. An article published in 2017 for Eater also suggested that ordering well-done steak could suggest an aversion to risk, timidity, defensiveness, and even insecurity in the person eating it. Worst of all, however, is the absolute misery of deciding to waste a good cut of steak in a way that routinely breaks the hearts of chefs. Read More:
  7. Bills playoff picture: Post-Week 10 recap of AFC teams 'in the hunt' Nick Wojton November 12, 2019 9:23 am ET The Bills’ loss to the Cleveland Browns hurt. All loses tend to do that in the NFL, but this one hurt a little more. The feeling that Buffalo let this one get away, combined with other teams around the AFC playoff picture scoring some wins of their own, things didn’t go well for Western New York in Week 10. Here’s a recap of the latest happenings in the AFC playoff picture: AFC seeding: New England Patriots (8-1) Baltimore Ravens (7-2) Houston Texans (6-3) Kansas City Chiefs (6-4) Buffalo Bills (6-3) Pittsburgh Steelers (5-4) Oakland Raiders (5-4) Indianapolis Colts (5-4) Tennessee Titans (5-5) Jacksonville Jaguars (4-5) In the hunt teams recap: 10. Jacksonville Jaguars (4-5) Week 10: Bye Next game: at Indianapolis Colts (5-4) 9. Tennessee Titans (5-5) Week 10: Titans block late FG attempt, stun Chiefs 35-32. Next game: Week 11 bye 8. Indianapolis Colts (5-4) Week 10: Backup QB Brian Hoyer can’t overcome Dolphins in 16-12 loss. Next game: vs. Tennessee Titans (5-5) 7. Oakland Raiders (5-4) Week 10: Raiders win back-and-forth Thursday game vs. Chargers, 26-24, with Josh Jacobs’ 18-yard rushing TD with one minute remaining. Next game: vs. Cincinnati Bengals (0-8) Playoff teams recap: 6. Pittsburgh Steelers (5-4) Week 10: Steelers hold Rams (5-4) offense without TD in 17-12 win, their fourth-straight victory. Next game: at Cleveland Browns (3-6) 5. Buffalo Bills (6-3) Week 10: Bills miss game-tying kick late, fall 19-16 to Browns (3-6). Next game: at Miami Dolphins (2-7) 4. Kansas City Chiefs (6-4) Week 10: In Patrick Mahomes’ return from injury, Titans use late FG block for upset, 35-32. Next game: at Los Angeles Chargers (4-6) 3. Houston Texans (6-3) Week 10: Bye week. Next game: at Baltimore Ravens (7-2) 2. Baltimore Ravens (7-2) Week 10: Ravens routed winless Bengals (0-9), 49-13. Next game: vs. Houston Texans (6-3) 1. New England Patriots (8-1) Week 10: Bye week. Next game: at Philadelphia Eagles (5-4) Related Stock up, stock down following Bills' loss to Browns PODCAST: Takeaways from Bills' Week 10 loss to Browns Oddsmakers: Bills road favorite vs. winning Dolphins What we learned from Bills' Week 10 loss to Browns
  8. NFL makes December schedule change, kickoff times decided for rare tripleheader in Week 16 We get a full weekend of football in Week 16 this year Jordan Dajani mugshot by Jordan Dajani @JordanDajani Nov 12, 2019 at 6:59 pm ET • 2 min read On Tuesday, the NFL made a few changes to its 2019 schedule. It first flexed the Week 12 Green Bay Packers at San Francisco 49ers game to "Sunday Night Football," and then finalized a tripleheader which will take place on Dec. 21 -- the Saturday of Week 16. According to ESPN's Field Yates, the NFL is slating the Houston Texans at Tampa Bay Buccaneers for 1 p.m. ET, the Buffalo Bills at New England Patriots for 4:30 p.m. ET and the Los Angeles Rams at 49ers for 8:15 p.m. ET. All three games will be broadcast on NFL Network. This season will mark the first time since 2005 that the NFL has held a Saturday tripleheader. Whether it's a one, two or three games, Saturday NFL games in late December have become an annual tradition. This season will mark the 48th time in the past 49 years that there's been at least one Saturday game on the regular-season schedule. The Texans will be looking to repeat as AFC South champions this season, and they have done a good job so far, as they lead the division at 6-3. The Indianapolis Colts and Tennessee Titans are not far behind, however, which means every game will be important for them moving forward. While their 3-6 record is nothing to boast about, Jameis Winston's Buccaneers have surprised a couple of teams this season. Their schedule also gets easier down the stretch, so they could be a team to watch over the next month or so. The Bills kept things close with the Patriots at home in September and lost by just six points even with Matt Barkley under center. The Patriots are no longer undefeated, but the Bills have faltered over the past few weeks. They were blown out by the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 8 and then lost to Baker Mayfield and the Browns on Sunday. The Bills are still considered one of the biggest surprises this season, but they will need to regroup and get back into the win column to prepare for the chance to shock the world by taking down the Patriots in Foxborough next month. The NFC West is one of the more competitive divisions in football, and the Saturday night showdown between the Rams and 49ers could end up having some important ramifications. The 5-4 Rams have been a disappointment, but they still have time to fight for a playoff bid. If they go on a run over the next month, their matchup with the 8-1 49ers could be a must-watch.
  9. Last week
  10. A laser defense system burned several flying drones out of the sky at army base in Oklahoma, demonstrating it can handle multiple threats per engagement. The U.S. military is pushing to develop laser weapons as a counter to the threat of drone swarms against military bases, especially air bases, where a single drone can do a lot of damage against multi-million dollar aircraft. Advanced Test High Energy Asset, or ATHENA, is a 30 kilowatt laser weapon system that uses the 30 kilowatt Accelerated Laser Demonstration Initiative (ALADIN) laser. ALADIN combines the power of three 10 kilowatt fiber lasers into a single 30 kilowatt beam. The use of multiple lasers means it can also operate at lower levels, say 10 or 20 kilowatts, if necessary. Thirty kilowatts is sufficient to inflict structural damage against drones, causing them to fall out of the sky. Lasers are concentrated beams of light that transmit large amounts of electromagnetic radiation, expressed in kilowatts, against their target. Pointed at a target, the laser causes rapid heating on the surface. This can cause objects to melt and fuel tanks to ignite. A drone can fail structurally, falling out of the sky, or burst into flames. Lockheed Martin’s press release says ATHENA torched several flying drones, including fixed wing (glider-type) and rotor (quadcopter) drones. The company says a “government command and control (C2) system and radar sensor” detected the drones, then passed on the radar track to airmen controlling the laser weapon. The U.S. Air Force is concerned about the threat of drone swarms against air bases and the multi-million dollar radars and aircraft stationed there. Even a small drone carrying a grenade-sized explosive warhead could easily disable a $80 million F-35 Joint Strike Fighter parked on the tarmac of an air base. Drones swarms could also do things like attack Patriot missile batteries and their fragile radars, destroying them and clearing the way for more powerful air attacks. In January 2018 Russian forces beat back a drone swarm launched against their main air base, Khmeimim Air Base, in Syria. The attacking drones, coordinated by Syrian rebels, were all shot down. Despite its failure, the attack put the world’s armed forces on notice: the age of the drone swarm was here. The release describing this latest ATHENA test lacks key details: how many drones were there? How quickly were the drones engaged? Did the laser miss? Did the data link between the sensor and the airmen aiming the laser work smoothly? How many kilowatts did ATHENA require to shoot down the drones? How far away were the drones from the laser when they were shot down? According to Lockheed Martin ATHENA is also capable of shooting down incoming artillery shells and rockets. This also has a U.S. Air Force application. In 1967, a Viet Cong rocket attack on Bien Hoa air base in South Vietnam killed eight Americans, wounded 173, and destroyed 11 aircraft on the ground. In anti-artillery mode, ATHENA operates autonomously, with no “man in the loop” to authorize the laser to fire. Artillery rounds simply move too fast for the system to seek permission from a human operator.
  11. The Center for Disease Control is edging closer to an explanation for vaping-related lung illnesses. The agency has determined that vitamin E acetate, a compound present in all 29 lung tissue samples obtained from patients, is a "potential toxin of concern." The chemical is used to dilute liquid in e-cigarettes and vaping products that include THC, and is found in some food as well as cosmetic products like skin cream. It doesn't normally cause harm when swallowed or rubbed on your skin, but past research suggests that inhaling might impede lung functions. There were other ingredients in the samples, although they didn't appear as consistently. THC surfaced in 23 out of the samples, while nicotine appeared in 16. The CDC was quick to warn that vitamin E acetate wasn't confirmed as the cause, and that there may be multiple factors involved in the occasionally deadly illnesses. It nonetheless repeated a recommendation to avoid using e-cigs and vapes that included THC, especially from "informal sources" like friends or street dealers. The CDC also stressed that companies shouldn't add the compound to their products until and unless there's a clearer understanding of its effect on lungs. Answers may well be coming -- it's just that officials don't want to take any chances.
  12. Global anti-piracy coalition Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment is continuing its drive to purge pirate sites from the Internet. In addition to the dramatic taking down of Openload last week and a related domain seizure run, another two streaming services have succumbed to the Alliance's wishes by closing down their operations and handing their domains to the MPA. After a standing start just over two years ago, the Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment quickly became the most feared anti-piracy group on the planet. Compromised of around three dozen entertainment companies, including the major Hollywood studios, Netflix and Amazon, the group now targets piracy on a global scale, sharing resources and costs to tackle infringement wherever it might be. Last week the group took down Openload and Streamango, a dramatic and significant action by any standard. However, as documented here on several occasions (1,2,3), the anti-piracy group also shuts down smaller players with little to no fanfare. Today we can report that another two sites have joined the club. The first,, appears to have been a seller/reseller of IPTV services targeted at the Brazilian market. Its packages started off pretty cheaply, less than US$4.50 for around 1000 standard definition channels. The ‘master’ package, however, offered an impressive 13,000 mixed SD, HD and ‘FullHD’ channels for around US$9.70 per month, almost double the price but still cheap by most standards.…..gone Thanks to the intervention of ACE, however, the site’s domain is now in the hands of the MPA. A notice on the site informs visitors that the platform bit the dust for infringing copyright. The familiar timer then runs down to zero and diverts disappointed users to the ACE homepage for a lesson in copyright. Finally, a dedicated streaming portal has also handed over its domain to ACE. first appeared online in 2015, streaming popular TV shows such as Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, and Prison Break to a fairly sizeable audience. But now, without any official announcement from ACE, the show is clearly over for the TV show streaming platform. Like so many other similar sites and services, its domain now redirects to the ACE anti-piracy portal. What happened between the parties may never be known but it seems fairly obvious that the group’s influence convinced the site’s operator that continuing just wasn’t worth the trouble. Finally, over the past week ACE has been taking control of more Openload, Streamango, and StreamCherry domains. We previously reported that,,,, and had been seized, but more can be added to the list. They are:,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, and openload.status.
  13. Last year, several major music companies sued Internet provider Cox Communications for failing to take proper action against pirating subscribers. The case will soon head to trial where Cox plans to present evidence showing that its anti-piracy measures were effective. However, the music labels want to exclude the evidence, describing it as a confusing mess of misleading calculations. Regular Internet providers are being put under increasing pressure for not doing enough to curb copyright infringement. Music rights company BMG got the ball rolling a few years ago when it won its piracy liability lawsuit against Cox Communications. The ISP was ordered to pay $25 million in damages and another $8 million in legal fees. Hoping to escape this judgment, the company filed an appeal, but the case was eventually settled with Cox agreeing to pay an undisclosed but substantial settlement amount. The landmark case signaled the start of many similar lawsuits against a variety of ISPs, several of which are still ongoing. In fact, just days after the settlement was announced, Cox was sued again, this time by a group of RIAA-affiliated music companies. In simple terms, the crux of the case is whether Cox did enough stop pirating subscribers. While the ISP did have the policy to disconnect repeat infringers, the music companies argue that this wasn’t sufficient. Over the past several months, both parties have conducted discovery and they are currently gearing up for a jury trial which is scheduled for December. Most recently, both parties have presented their motions in limine, requesting the court to exclude certain testimony from being presented to the jury. This is typically material they see as irrelevant, misleading, or confusing. One of the music companies’ motions focuses on a document (DX 74) Cox wants to present which indicates that the ISP’s own graduated response system worked pretty well. Apparently, internal Cox research showed that 96% of subscribers stop receiving notices after the 5th warning. This was concluded in 2010 and resulted in the ISP’s belief that its “graduated response” system was effective. The number was also brought up to the plaintiffs, as it was mentioned during the Copyright Alert System negotiations. Cox says that it chose not to join this voluntary piracy notice agreement because it already had a functional anti-piracy system in place. The music companies don’t want this evidence to be shown to the jury. In a reply to Cox’s objections, they argue that the facts and figures in the document are a confusing mess of misleading calculations that lack data to support them. The reply, which also rebuts other issues, is aggressively worded and redacts the 96% figure at the center of the dispute. “The mere utterance of the so-called ‘study’ and its misleading and unsupported conclusion will lend it an air of credibility in the jury’s mind. The proverbial bell cannot be un-rung. The only adequate solution is exclusion,” the music companies write. Cox has also submitted a variety of motions in limine. Among other things, the ISP doesn’t want the plaintiffs to present the millions of infringement notices tracking company MarkMonitor sent to Cox on behalf of other rightsholders. The music companies disagree, however, arguing that the jury is allowed to know that potential copyright infringements are not limited to their own complaints. The other notices are also relevant to determine crucial issues such as liability, willfulness, and statutory damages, they add. According to Cox, however, these third-party infringements notices are irrelevant to the present case and don’t prove anything. “Plaintiffs’ attempt to litigate this case with evidence from an unrelated case concerning acts of infringement that are not at issue is inappropriate, improper, and prejudicial. Plaintiffs’ evidence of third-party infringement allegations should be excluded from trial.” The docket is littered with back and forths on issues one party wants to exclude while being considered vital evidence by the other. This process is generally the last major clash before the trial starts. The court has yet to rule on the various motions. When that is done the case will move forward. If all goes according to the current schedule, the verdict will be announced in a few weeks.
  14. Messican Mike's__Armadillo 'n Rice layumyum! Armadillo 'n Rice Ingredients 1 armadillo, dressed and cleaned 4 large onions 1 stalk celery 2 cans chopped mushrooms 2 cups rice, uncooked Salt and pepper to taste 10 cups armadillo broth Boil armadillo until tender; reserve broth. Remove meat from bones. Cut onions and celery and cook in butter until tender. Add mushrooms and meat and simmer for 5 minutes. Put in a large baking pan or dutch oven and add 10 cups of hot broth; add rice, salt and pepper; stir. Place in 375 degrees F. oven and cook until tender. Serves 12. If you want a committed man, look in a mental hospital. LIVE Every Moment, LOVE Everyday ! Eh!....your moma dont live here!, PLEASE clean up after yourself!!
  15. 15 most jaw-dropping performances from CFB Week 11 Matt Johnson, Sportsnaut 6 hrs ago Analysis: GOP attempts to move probe away from… All eyes on Texas governor as calls grow to halt… One of the most highly anticipated weekends of college football delivered everything fans could hope for. Week 11 of the college football season provided us with thrilling action, a few upsets and some truly jaw-dropping performances. © John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports We’ll remember this weekend for some outstanding performances on both sides of the ball. While the spotlight is on this weekend’s impact on the College Football Playoff rankings, it also played a vital role in the race for the Heisman Trophy. Several of the country’s top players delivered on the big stage with feats we won’t soon forget. Meanwhile, Week 11 also provided us a chance to witness greatness from a few unheralded players as well. Here are the 15 most jaw-dropping performances from Week 11 of the college football season. Quincy Roche, defensive end, Temple Owls © Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports The Owls took the field for a primetime game looking to rebound after two consecutive blowout losses. Temple’s defense came through against South Florida and Roche led the efforts with a phenomenal game. He tore through USF’s offensive line. He racked up 3.5 sacks, the third-most sacks in a game in team history, and climbed up three spots in the program’s record book. Antoine Winfield Jr., safety, Minnesota Golden Gophers © Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports He’s much more than his father’s namesake. Winfield Jr. is quickly proving to be one of the best defensive backs in college football and his big-play ability helped deliver an upset over Penn State. The redshirt sophomore soared for his first interception on Penn State’s opening drive and it led to points for Minnesota’s offense. When the Nittany Lions started driving, Winfield Jr. showed off his playmaking ability with his second pick of the half. He’s sitting at seven interceptions this year and is making a name for himself. Salvon Ahmed, running back, Washington Huskies © Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports The Huskies came into this season with hopes of competing for a conference championship. Things haven’t gone according to plan and if not for Ahmed, Washington would have suffered a humiliating loss to Oregon State. Washington’s junior running back single-handedly carried the offense. Ahmed accounted for the team’s only two touchdowns, including a game-sealing 60-yard score, and racked up 174 rushing yards. While a conference title is out of the picture, Ahmed kept the team’s hopes of an eight-win season alive. Tyler Snead, wide receiver, East Carolina Pirates © James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports A small receiver at an even smaller program, Snead came into the weekend flying under the national radar. The 5-foot-7 Pirate showed why size doesn’t always matter on the gridiron with a gigantic performance in Week 11. No. 25 SMU’s defense never discovered a way to deal with Snead’s speed, explosiveness and crisp route running. So, quarterback Holton Ahlers bombarded him with passes, including a 57-yard touchdown. Snead hauled in 19 receptions for 240 receiving yards and three touchdowns. Sizable numbers indeed. Rakeem Boyd, running back, Arkansas Razorbacks © Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports Boyd is in one of the worst situations in football. Arkansas is a mess under head coach Chad Morris and is routinely destroyed by mid-tier programs. Boyd is doing everything possible to keep Arkansas’ fans invested in the program. The junior turned eight carries into 185 rushing yards with two scores on Saturday. It’s remarkable that he’s now over 1,000 yards despite all of this team’s issues. Joe Burrow, quarterback, LSU Tigers © Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports The 2019 Heisman Trophy is awarded to Joe Burrow. Get familiar with that phrase because we’ll hear it on Dec. 14 when Burrow walks on to the stage and accepts the coveted trophy. It felt like a safe bet before Saturday’s clash with Alabama and the senior’s stellar performance made it a practical guarantee. Burrow completed his first 13 passes against and quickly hit three touchdowns before halftime. Alabama’s defense then adjusted and held LSU scoreless in the third quarter. Burrow responded in the fourth quarter and capped it off with a seven-play, 75-yard drive that ate up four minutes and put the game away. At this point, the margin of victory is the only question left for the Heisman Trophy. Shane Buechele, quarterback, SMU Mustangs © Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports A week after SMU’s defense ended the team’s undefeated season, Buechele made sure his team didn’t falter again. He took the field once again without his No. 1 receiver Reggie Roberson and still led his team to a 59-51 victory. Buechele completed 33-of-46 attempts with 414 passing yards and five touchdowns, including two clutch scores in the fourth quarter. He’s now thrown 27 touchdowns this season and surpassed the 3,000-yard mark for the first time in his career. While the perfect season is long gone, SMU is elated with its 9-1 record and Buechele’s play. Rashod Bateman, wide receiver, Minnesota Golden Gophers © Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports Penn State came into Minnesota with one of the best defenses in the country and realistic hopes of a spot in the College Football Playoff. Bateman managed to set both aflame with this absurd receiving clinic. The sophomore kicked things off by nuking the Nittany Lions for a 66-yard score. He routinely turned Penn State’s secondary into glass and finished with 203 receiving yards on seven grabs. After a breakout freshman campaign with 704 receiving yards, Bateman is now 148 yards shy of a 1,000-yard season in his second year. Tua Tagovailoa, quarterback, Alabama Crimson Tide © John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports It became evident from the beginning that Tagovailoa wasn’t playing at 100 percent. Only three weeks removed from ankle surgery, Alabama’s star quarterback nearly pulled off an incredible second-half comeback against the best team in CFB. Things started poorly with an ugly fumble inside the red zone. The game even seemed out of reach when Alabama trailed 33-13 at halftime. Tagovailoa found his way in the second half and hit his stride in the fourth quarter with two touchdowns in the final six minutes. He finished with 418 passing yards and four touchdowns, nearly overcoming his slow start, in an inspiring performance playing through pain. Holton Ahlers, quarterback, East Carolina Pirates © Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports There are insane two-game runs and then there’s what Ahlers is doing for East Carolina. While the Pirates dropped both games, the sophomore showcased his talents once again. Ahlers picked SMU’s secondary apart with 498 passing yards and an unfathomable six touchdown passes. He’s completed 64-of-94 pass attempts for 1,033 yards with 10 touchdowns and one interception in his past two games. East Carolina’s future is very bright with its Ahlers-Sneed duo. Clyde Edwards-Helaire, running back, LSU Tigers © John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports The game everyone hoped would be the best of the 2019 season surpassed the hype. Both offenses came to dominate at Bryant-Denny Stadium, and in a showcase of starting-caliber NFL talent, Edwards-Helaire put himself on everyone’s radar. LSU made the junior a fixture in its offense, especially in the second half. Edwards-Helair displayed his power and balance by rolling through Alabama’s defense for 103 rushing yards and three scores. He also put his receiving skills on display with nine receptions for 77 yards and a fourth end-zone trip. When LSU needed to drive the dagger into Alabama, he powered it in for the win. DeVonta Smith, wide receiver, Alabama Crimson Tide © Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports The nation’s best receiving corps almost always make an appearance on the jaw-dropping performance list. Smith got his turn this week after a sensational 213-yard outing with two eye-popping plays. — Videos by: FTB (@FTBVids1) November 10, 2019 Smith snapped Alabama’s cold spell on offense with a scorching 64-yard touchdown midway through the second quarter. He found holes in LSU’s secondary then really took the top off the defense on an 85-yard touchdown with under 90 seconds left in the game. It’s practically unfair that he’s Alabama’s No. 3 receiver. Jonathan Taylor, running back, Wisconsin Badgers © Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports After a rough three-game stretch for Taylor, he took his frustrations out on one of the best run defenses in college football. Of course, that was until Taylor ran all over them in Week 11. Iowa’s defense came in holding opponents to 87.8 rushing yards per game. Wisconsin took the challenge head-on and fed Taylor a season-high 31 carries. All Taylor did is rumble his way to 250 rushing yards, nearly three times Iowa’s average yardage allowed. While his Heisman dreams are over, Taylor can finish his Wisconsin career by climbing his way up Wisconsin’s record books. Najee Harris, running back, Alabama Crimson Tide © Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports Fans are blessed to be watching college football in a year with so many great running backs. Alabama’s passing attack gets plenty of deserved attention, but Harris showed everyone why he must be recognized as one of the nation’s best running backs. Just watch his unbelievable work on Alabama’s 95-yard scoring drive. He accounted for 88 yards and a touchdown on the desperately needed drive and it only highlighted this dazzling performance. Harris rushed for 146 yards on 19 carries with an additional 44 receiving yards on three receptions and two total touchdowns. Alabama’s backfield is a pipeline to the NFL and Harris is its next great running back. CeeDee Lamb, wide receiver, Oklahoma Sooners © Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports We regularly see Lamb deliver performances that leave us speechless. So, the junior decided he’d add something special in the victory over Iowa State. Lamb gave a noteworthy performance as a receiver but it’s his blocking that stood out on Saturday.
  16. Bills at Browns (-3) Bills: None Browns: DE Olivier Vernon (knee), DB Eric Murray (knee) OUT; S Damarious Randall (hamstring), TE Ricky Seals-Jones (knee), TE Pharaoh Brown (concussion) QUESTIONABLE The Bills only had two players on their injury report this week, and both practiced in full on Friday and avoided a final injury tag, leaving the team healthy heading into this matchup. Josh Allen should have at least somewhat of an easier day Sunday without Vernon rushing him off the edge. Browns defensive coordinator Steve Wilks said Thursday, however, that he's optimistic he'll have Randall back at safety after two games without him.
  17. Burrow, LSU hold on for 46-41 win over Alabama TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) -- Joe Burrow passed for 393 yards and three touchdowns and No. 1 LSU snapped an eight-game losing streak to No. 2 Alabama with a 46-41 victory Saturday. The Tigers (9-0, 5-0 Southeastern Conference, No. 2 CFP) are no longer second fiddle in the SEC West, or maybe in the playoff rankings. And Burrow stamped himself as the Heisman Trophy front-runner with a gutty performance when he answered every challenge from `Bama. .msn_infeed_sports_US_caption, #msn_infeed_sports_US_cta, .msn_infeed_sports_US_heading, .msn_infeed_sports_US_heading_link, .msn_infeed_sports_US_sponsor { border-bottom: none; color: #000; display: block; font-family: 'Segoe UI', 'Segoe WP', Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 1.8rem; -webkit-font-smoothing: antialiased; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: 1.1; margin: 0 auto; padding: 0; text-align: center; text-rendering: optimizeLegibility; width: 90%; } .msn_infeed_sports_US { clear: left !important; float: left !important; margin: 1rem 3rem 2rem 0 !important; padding: 0 0 1.25rem !important; max-width: 300px !important; } .msn_infeed_sports_US_image { margin: 1rem auto; } .msn_infeed_sports_US_sponsor { font-size: 1.3rem; margin: .8rem auto 0; } .msn_infeed_sports_US_heading, .msn_infeed_sports_US_heading_link { font-size: 2rem; word-spacing: .msn_infeed_sports_US_heading_link:hover {text-decoration: underline !important;} The Early Signs Of Psoriatic Arthritis #msn_infeed_sports_US_cta:hover {background-color: transparent !important;border-color: #000 !important; color: #000 !important;text-decoration: none !important;} See More .msn_infeed_sports_US_sponsor:hover {text-decoration: none !important;} .msn_infeed_sports_US_sponsor:hover span {text-decoration: underline !important;} Ad by Yahoo Search[/img] BOX SCORE: LSU 46, ALABAMA 41 RELATED: LSU scores 2 touchdowns in 20 seconds And the challenges were plentiful. The Crimson Tide (8-1, 5-1, No. 3 CFP) rallied from a 33-13 halftime deficit to three times to pull within a touchdown in the fourth quarter. It seemingly kept going from game seemingly over to game on. The showdown lived up to its billing as a duel between two high-powered offenses and star quarterbacks with President Donald Trump attending. Tua Tagovailoa launched an 85-yard touchdown pass to DeVonta Smith with 1:21 left after the Tigers' own scoring march. Justin Jefferson recovered the onside kick and LSU ran out the clock. Burrow completed 31 of 39 passes and ran for 64 yards and was carried most of the way off the field by two teammates. "He's one of the best we've had here," LSU coach Ed Orgeron said. "But we've still got four games left and we're going down the road, we're going to try to win every game and we're going to bring a championship back to Louisiana." That's what Burrow sought when he transferred to LSU from Ohio State. "We're not done yet," the two-year starter said. "It's Game 9. We've got three more regular-season ones and the SEC championship. This was never our goal. We've got bigger goals than this." Clyde Edwards-Helaire ran for three touchdowns and caught a scoring pass, getting emotional on the sideline after a late touchdown that appeared once again to put the game away. Tagovailoa, 20 days removed from ankle surgery, was 21 of 40 for 418 yards and four touchdowns with an interception and a fumble. He was called a "game-time decision" all week, looked shaky early and appeared to be limping after the game, but he kept Alabama in it. Coach Nick Saban said Tagovailoa practiced all week without any issues. "He said he could play in the game, he wanted to play in the game and he thought he could go out and do a good job," Saban said. "I think he was a warrior in terms of what he did." Smith had 213 yards and a pair of touchdowns on seven catches for Alabama. LSU outgained Alabama by a slender 559-541. The Tigers had scored just 39 combined points in the last five meetings. THE TAKEAWAY LSU: The Tigers have eight wins over Top 10 teams in the past two seasons, none bigger than this. Burrow & Co. faced down a 101,000-plus mostly hostile fans and a strong pass rush. Scored two touchdowns in the final 26 seconds of the first half in a pivotal flurry that threatened to be overshadowed by the second half drama. Alabama: Didn't wilt under the adversity of a season previously characterized lopsided wins over teams currently unranked. Could be shut out of the playoffs barring some upsets elsewhere, mostly because of that schedule. Tagovailoa had a fumble and an interception in the first half. "We don't really control our own destiny but if we finish the season the right way, we can see where it takes us," Saban said. TOUGH TAILBACKS The running backs delivered. Edwards-Helaire ran for 103 yards on 20 carries and had nine catches for 77 yards. Alabama's Najee Harris, who didn't have a carry in the second quarter, finished with 146 rushing yards and a touchdown and added a receiving score. UP NEXT LSU: At Mississippi on Saturday night. Alabama: At Mississippi State on Saturday.
  18. Nick Saban gives a Tua Tagovailoa update on College Gameday [/url] On Saturday morning, Nick Saban made an appearance on College Gameday and shared a positive update on Alabama’s Heisman hopeful quarterback, Tua Tagovailoa: © Provided by USA Today Sports Media Group LLC “He has practiced really well all week long and in the short area, he’s been really, really good. He’s confident. If he feels good in pre-game and doesn’t have a setback, he’ll be able to play.” We will see what happens. Last year, Tagovailoa played in the LSU game with a hurt knee, and led the Crimson Tide to a 29-0 victory over the Tigers. MORE: Tim Tebow shares his thoughts on Tua's health WATCH: Alabama drops new hype video for LSU game Tua Tagovailoa's playing status doesn't need a second opinion
  19. Earlier
  20. Bills at Browns: 5 key matchups McKenna Middlebrook email 5 hours ago The Buffalo Bills moved to 6-2 after their win over the Washington Redskins on Sunday, while their opponent the Cleveland Browns fell to 2-6 after their loss to the Denver Broncos. It’s been a tumultuous season for the Cleveland Browns who were deemed Super Bowl contenders after their seemingly sensational off season. Yet, they haven’t lived up to the hype. That being said, here are the matchups to watch when the Buffalo Bills play the Cleveland Browns: Nick Chubb #24 of the Cleveland Browns. (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images) Star Lotulelei, Jordan Phillips vs. Nick Chubb, Kareem Hunt The Bills run defense has seemingly been exposed in the past three weeks, allowing 454 yards in the past three games on the ground. That is not good enough for the seemingly elite defense. Buffalo’s defense is now allowing 111.6 yards per game, which is 19th in the league. Overall, Buffalo has the third-best defense. You can see the discrepancy. In the first half against Washington, running back Adrian Peterson rushed for 101 yards and simply couldn’t be stopped. The defense made adjustments in the second half and held him to just seven yards but the Redskins were also behind and had to throw. The Browns have been struggling this season, but their one consistent weapon on offense has been Nick Chubb. Chubb has 803 rushing yards on 154 attempts, an average of 5.2 yards per carry, and six rushing touchdowns. Chubb is a dominant runner and shown that he can carry the Browns offense, but he hasn’t had consistent touches throughout the season. Fans and media have pointed to his lack of touches as one of the reasons Cleveland haven’t reached their full potential. Did I mention that Kareem Hunt is returning? It could be a long day for the interior of Buffalo’s defense. The No. 1 and No. 2 guys in the middle there last week were Star Lotulelei and Jordan Phillips. It remains to be seen how much of a role Ed Oliver and Corey Liuget play.
  21. SEC picks, games, odds for Week 11: LSU and Alabama meet in the biggest game of 2019; Georgia keeps rolling The SEC will be the center of the college football world on Saturday afternoon by Barrett Sallee @BarrettSallee 12 hrs ago • 3 min read The rubber is meeting the road in the race for division titles, and the SEC West will take center stage on Saturday in the biggest game of the college football season. Alabama, No. 3 in the College Football Playoff rankings, will host No. 2 LSU in the biggest game of the season with the winner taking control of the division heading into the stretch run. It's not the only big game of the weekend, though. No. 6 Georgia will host Missouri in a critical SEC East battle and Tennessee will look to stay hot at Kentucky. Let's break down the Week 11 slate and make picks straight up and against the spread. 2019 record straight up: 60-20 (75.0%) 2019 record against the spread: 42-37-1 (53.1%) No. 2 LSU at No. 3 Alabama (-6.5): It would be a total shock if Crimson Tide quarterback Tua Tagovailoa (ankle) doesn't play against the Tigers, which is bad news for a Tigers defense that has given up 78 passing plays of 10 or more yards (T-7th SEC). Tagovailoa will work that RPO game to perfection and put pressure on LSU's offense to keep up. Auburn created a blueprint on how to slow down that offense two weeks ago. Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban will take advantage of the extra time and do enough defensively to get a close win ... but not a cover. Pick: LSU (+6.5) Missouri at No. 6 Georgia (-17): The return of wide receiver Lawrence Cagerand a more creative offensive philosophy helped the Bulldogs control Floridalast week. Georgia will build off of it against a Tigers' defense that gave up 6.4 yards per play last time out to a Kentucky team that used wide receiver Lynn Bowden at quarterback. That, coupled with the injury to Tigers quarterback Kelly Bryant, will make this an easy win between the hedges for the Bulldogs. Pick: Georgia (-17) Vanderbilt at No. 10 Florida (-26): The Gators defense got held in check by Georgia last week, but the Commodores are the perfect elixir for Florida's hangover. The Commodores have allowed 6.25 tackles for loss per game this season (12th in the SEC) and 2.13 sacks per game (11th in the SEC). Florida's running game hasn't been great, but it'll get cranked up against a 'Dores defense that ranks 13th in the conference in rush defense (202.5 YPG). Pick: Florida (-26) Tennessee at Kentucky (+1): The Vols have played great since sputtering out of the gate, and their defense was lights out against a good UAB team last week on Rocky Top. They'll shut down a Kentucky offense with converted wide receiver Lynn Bowden at quarterback that has essentially transformed into a spread option scheme. Tennessee will run its way to an easy win on the legs of running back Ty Chandler. Pick: Tennessee (-1) Appalachian State at South Carolina (-5): The Mountaineers' undefeated season came to an end last week, but a win over the Gamecocks would be a huge boost as they fight to make a New Year's Six bowl. Unfortunately for them, it isn't going to happen. Coach Will Muschamp's front seven has been fierce this year (6.22 TFL per game), and the Mountaineers are sixth in the Sun Belt in TFL allowed (5.5). The Gamecocks make this one and old school slugfest, and throw a haymaker in the fourth quarter to pull away. Pick: South Carolina (-5)
  22. Russia is planning to use swarms with more than 100 drones in them. Each drone would pack an explosive charge, and the swarms would be unleashed on convoys and other targets. A surefire defense against a large swarm may be impossible, but it's worth remembering that Russia says a lot of things, and not all of them come to pass. Russian academics and aerospace engineers recently came together to present a fairly terrifying vision of the future of warfare. Flock-93 envisions more than a hundred drones, each armed with an explosive charge, swarming targets including vehicle convoys. Although difficult to pull off (especially for Russia at this point), such huge drone swarms would be extremely hard to defend against, with even the best active defenses letting some of the drones through. An article at C4ISRNet describes the Flock-93 concept. Originally proposed by the Zhukovsky Air Force Academy and private industry, the concept involves simultaneously launching more than a hundred drones, each armed with a 5.5 pound warhead. The drones will be flying wings capable of taking off and landing vertically. Here’s one example of such a drone: A VTOL drone doesn’t need a runway for takeoff. In fact, you could crowd dozens of drones—or in Flock-93’s case more than a hundred—inside a fairly compact area, like a field surrounded by trees or the roof of a building. Currently there is no Flock-93 flying wing drone, and the drone pictured above is a Kalashnikov ZALA-KYB attack drone. There also isn't a proven method of controlling more than a hundred drones at once. Flock-93 is purely a concept at this point, but a very intriguing one. How does a military force defend against a swarm of more than a hundred drones? It’s not going to be easy. A kinetic defense involving missiles, anti-drone drones, cannons, shotguns, and machine guns will never be perfect. A defense that shoots down ninety percent of the drones, a very good number, still lets ten drones through. Directed energy weapons might fare marginally better, particularly microwave weapons that broadcast a broad swathe of microwave radiation, frying anything in its path. That would be something like a flamethrower against a horde locusts. Still, no flamethrower would ever get all the locusts—and no microwave weapon would get all the drones. The best defense against drone swarms might simply be jamming them, preventing them from receiving commands from human controllers. This would affect all the drones within range of the jammer with a 100 percent success rate. One countermeasure to this: make the drone autonomous, so they don’t need to receive radio signals at all. These kamikaze-like drone swarms are pretty far out for now, particularly for the Russia who lags behind the West in drone technology. But it will eventually catch up, and this is a clear road map to a weapon system that looks effective even on paper. Another country like China might take the concept and run with it first. It seems that sooner or later, swarms like Flock-93 will be everyone’s problem. Source: C4ISRNet
  23. A team of cybersecurity researchers has discovered a clever technique to remotely inject inaudible and invisible commands into voice-controlled devices — all just by shining a laser at the targeted device instead of using spoken words. Dubbed 'Light Commands,' the hack relies on a vulnerability in MEMS microphones embedded in widely-used popular voice-controllable systems that unintentionally respond to light as if it were sound. According to experiments done by a team of researchers from Japanese and Michigan Universities, a remote attacker standing at a distance of several meters away from a device can covertly trigger the attack by simply modulating the amplitude of laser light to produce an acoustic pressure wave. "By modulating an electrical signal in the intensity of a light beam, attackers can trick microphones into producing electrical signals as if they are receiving genuine audio," the researchers said in their paper. Doesn't this sound creepy? Now read this part carefully… Smart voice assistants in your phones, tablets, and other smart devices, such as Google Home and Nest Cam IQ, Amazon Alexa and Echo, Facebook Portal, Apple Siri devices, are all vulnerable to this new light-based signal injection attack. "As such, any system that uses MEMS microphones and acts on this data without additional user confirmation might be vulnerable," the researchers said. Since the technique ultimately allows attackers to inject commands as a legitimate user, the impact of such an attack can be evaluated based on the level of access your voice assistants have over other connected devices or services. Therefore, with the light commands attack, the attackers can also hijack any digital smart systems attached to the targeted voice-controlled assistants, for example: Control smart home switches, Open smart garage doors, Make online purchases, Remotely unlock and start certain vehicles, Open smart locks by stealthily brute-forcing the user's PIN number. As shown in the video demonstration listed below: In one of their experiments, researchers simply injected "OK Google, open the garage door" command to a Google Home by shooting a laser beam at Google Home that was connected to it and successfully opened a garage door. In a second experiment, the researchers successfully issued the same command, but this time from a separate building, about 230 feet away from the targeted Google Home device through a glass window. Besides longer-range devices, researchers were also able to test their attacks against a variety of smartphone devices that use voice assistants, including iPhone XR, Samsung Galaxy S9, and Google Pixel 2, but they work only at short distances. The maximum range for this attack depends upon the power of the laser, the intensity of the light, and of course, your aiming capabilities. Besides this, physical barriers (e.g., windows) and the absorption of ultrasonic waves in the air can further reduce the range of the attack. Web Application Firewall Moreover, in cases where speech recognition is enabled, attackers can defeat the speaker authentication feature by constructing the recording of desired voice commands from relevant words spoken by the device's legitimate owner. According to the researchers, these attacks can be mounted "easily and cheaply," using a simple laser pointer,a laser driver, and a sound amplifier. For their set up, they also used a telephoto lens to focus the laser for long-range attacks. How can you protect yourself against the light vulnerability in real-life? Software makers should offer users to add an additional layer of authentication before processing commands to mitigate malicious attacks. For now, the best and common solution is to keep the line of sight of your voice assistant devices physically blocked from the outside and avoid giving it access to things that you don't want someone else to access. voice activated smart assistant hacking The team of researchers—Takeshi Sugawara from the Japan's University of Electro-Communications and Mr. Fu, Daniel Genkin, Sara Rampazzi, and Benjamin Cyr from the University of Michigan—also released their findings in a paper on Monday. Genkin was also one of the researchers who discovered two major microprocessor vulnerabilities, known as Meltdown and Spectre, last year.
  24. Citing reports of unlawful phone tracking confirmed by Homeland Security officials last year, Senator Ron Wyden on Wednesday called on the Federal Communications Commission to establish new regulations to force wireless companies to secure 5G networks from unlawful interception and tracking. While older cellular network technology has long been easy to compromise, the wireless industry is still in the early days of rolling out 5G and is still in a position to address known vulnerabilities exploited by hackers and foreign governments, Wyden writes in a letter sent to FCC Chairman Ajit Pai on Wednesday. “Unencrypted cellular phone calls and other wireless communications have long been vulnerable to interception by criminals and spies. Surveillance technology companies openly sell products that exploit these flaws to intercept calls, track phones and infect phones will malware,” the letter says. “This decades-long cybersecurity vulnerability has undoubtedly caused massive harm to our national security, and damage continues with each sensitive call or text that is tapped.” Last year, the Department of Homeland Security revealed it had obtained evidence of phone tracking equipment being used near the White House and other sensitive locations around the nation’s capitol. The devices, called IMSI catchers, or “Stringrays” after a popular law enforcement model, mimic cell phone towers and, with the addition of hand-held or vehicle-mounted equipment, can be used to accurately pinpoint a cellphone’s location to a single home or apartment. In certain modes, the devices are known to be highly disruptive, causing nearby phones to drop their connectivity. Researchers have shown that illegal home-brew versions of IMSI catchers, which cost less than $1,000 to make, are also capable of launching more sophisticated attacks; booting phones off phone networks and leaving them inoperable, for example. In a September 2018 report, an FCC advisory group known as the Communications Security, Reliability and Interoperability Council (CSRIC)—or “scissor-ick”—noted that many common attacks on cellular networks could be mitigated by improvements in 5G. These include location tracking, traffic interception, network spoofing, denial of service, impersonation of devices, and the malicious use of base stations. Even with these improvements, however, phones may still be vulnerable if they can be tricked into downgrading to a lower generation of network technology. This is accomplished through what’s known as a “bidding down attack.” Security researchers are already looking for ways to exploit 5G networks using this technique. CSRIC recommended that carriers adopt various encryption and authentication technologies to ward off attacks, noting that, for example, hackers targeting networks whose brain is based on a Software-Defined Network (SDN) architecture “can take advantage of any unencrypted communication interface to intercept or interfere with traffic to and from a central controller or network element.” However, the group does not recommend any regulatory action whatsoever. At every turn, it states the best route is to allow the telecommunications industry to do its own thing; the government should merely provide the companies with threat assessments generated by the Department of Homeland Security to help inform its decision. But it’s worth noting that CSRIC is overwhelmingly compromised of industry representatives. This, even though originally CSRIC was intended to include a balance of government and non-profit consumer advocates as well. According to recent research by the Project on Government Oversight (POGO), the last iteration of CSRIC—responsible for the aforementioned security recommendations—included 13 privacy-sector members and only a single civil society representative. “For decades, wireless carriers have ignored known cybersecurity vulnerabilities that foreign governments were and are still actively exploiting to target Americans. The market has failed to incentivize cybersecurity in part because consumers have no way of comparing the cybersecurity practices of phone companies,” Wyden states. “The FCC has the authority to regulate wireless carriers and their use of the public airwaves, particularly in areas that involve public safety and nation security,” he says. “The FCC must stop leaving the cybersecurity of American consumers, businesses and government agencies to wireless carriers and finally secure America’s next-generation 5G networks against interception and hacking by criminals and foreign spies.”
  25. Researchers have breached a crowdsourced DNA database by reverse engineering a user profile. DNA testing and database sites are vulnerable to many kinds of attacks and data sales. Users must ask themselves if the potential benefits of DNA testing outweigh privacy concerns. Genealogy and security are clashing yet again, this time over the massively crowdsourced DNA database GEDmatch. MIT Technology Review reports that computer science researchers designed targeted attacks that breached the GEDmatch database by making complex search strings that let them guess much of users’ DNA. The founder of GEDmatch, Curtis Rogers, said he’s not that surprised, because genealogy has always involved sharing information and comparing it directly to others to find commonality. This has been exploited in the past by social engineering, the low-tech but effective form of hacking that involves searching for written-down passwords, asking personal questions to glean security clues, and more. We’re all asked for our mother’s maiden name, which is an anachronism in a hundred ways in 2019, least of all that it’s very easily findable on any genealogy site. Even sites that attempt to use other information still ask for family names and relationships, probably because users who don’t understand the importance of a secure password also won’t spend time or energy to make secure passwords, let alone remember them without an accessible hint. Now, services like Ancestry or 23andMe bank users’ genome data, and amassing more and more sample data lets their results grow more specific and accurate by reducing the margin of error. But these services are also likely selling your genome to drug companies or even insurers. It seems like there’s a paradox in information security where users are so sure their identity will be stolen or their data will be sold that they choose not to worry about it or attempt to prevent it. Enter GEDmatch, a user-sourced database designed to help match people with unknown relatives. Because of the openness and accessibility of the project, it’s available to law enforcement as well. (Last year, California police revealed they used GEDmatch to finally ID the notorious Golden State Killer.) Without your express permission, law enforcement can only obtain your DNA if you’re arrested for a related crime. But departments are beginning to collect samples from entire communities as a way to, purportedly, exclude the innocent. With that in mind, it’s easy to see why the vulnerability that researchers found in GEDmatch is so troubling. They put together a DNA profile and uploaded it to the site, which in turn unlocked the ability to search for close matches. GEDmatch is run by volunteers who have, apparently, done too good a job building their user interface and search capability; this specific kind of attack only works on their system, not those of commercial sites like Ancestry or 23andMe. Experts say that one of the big ways an open database could be exploited is that strangers could claim to be relatives in order to gain an advantage. Think of the classic “Nigerian prince” scam, but with an even more tempting sheen of science-y credulity based on shared DNA. The reason commercial testing sites aren’t vulnerable is that they don’t let users share their own data. If someone sought to defraud 23andMe in the same way, they’d have to do something like take a sample from another person and submit it as their own. If GEDmatch is like a bank of data, right now the bank doesn’t even have a security guard snoozing by the front door. Years ago, internet users at corporations or universities would share corporate credit card information or FedEx account numbers on public websites they just assumed strangers would have no reason to look at, and this mismatch of audience and intention is nothing new. Hopefully other services can learn from this hack and better secure their information.
  26. An interim report compiled by a national security panel warns the U.S. government of falling too far behind China and Russia in the AI arms race, while calling for new investments to foster innovation. Released yesterday, the November interim report from the National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence (NSCAI) advises the U.S. government to get its act together on the development of security- and defense-related AI, lest it fall behind its adversaries, namely China and Russia. Failure to do so would relinquish America’s role as a primary player in AI, while exposing the nation to serious new threats, including a diminishing of U.S. military advantage, unchecked disinformation campaigns, increased cyberattacks, and the erosion of democracy and civil liberties, according to the new report. “There’s no question the game is set... and we have to win.” “We are concerned that America’s role as the world’s leading innovator is threatened,” wrote commission chairman (and former Google CEO) Eric Schmidt and vice chairman Robert Work in the report’s introduction. “We are concerned that strategic competitors and non-state actors will employ AI to threaten Americans, our allies, and our values.” The final full report, which will include detailed budget recommendations, won’t be released until next year, but this preliminary version, which will be submitted to the U.S. Secretary of Defense, offered some advice on how the government should move forward. In summary, the government should invest heavily in AI research and development, increase its use of AI for national security purposes, train, recruit, and maintain AI talent, build upon pre-existing U.S. technologies, and work to foster global cooperation on AI-related matters, according to the report. To assist with the new report, the NSCAI held a conference yesterday (November 5) at the Liaison Washington Hotel in Washington D.C., titled “Strength Through Innovation: The Future of A.I. and U.S. National Security.” The purpose of the conference, which I viewed via livestream, was to discuss the interim report and to kickstart a series of discussions that will lead to the commission’s final report, which will eventually fall into the hands of Congress. “We are in a competition,” said Schmidt during his opening remarks. “There’s no question the game is set... and we have to win.” He said the U.S. government “is currently unprepared for the potential of AI,” and that a culture change needs to happen in both the public and private sectors. In addition to new investments in education, Schmidt said the U.S. needs to expand public and private sponsorship of R&D, work to keep talented researchers inside the U.S., be the first to reach global markets, and develop ancillary technologies like quantum computers and 5G networks. Schmidt said collaborative discussions will also be needed to ensure AI safety, such that AI will do “what we want it to do.” The U.S. would be smart to work with its competitors on this matter, he added. Christine Fox, an assistant director at Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab, said cultural shifts will be required across many departments, both in the public and private sectors, and that leadership will be key to breaking stubborn bureaucracies resistant to change. “This is a multigenerational problem requiring a multigenerational solution.” The risks of falling behind in the AI arms race emerged as recurring theme throughout the day. Lieutenant General John N.T. “Jack” Shanahan, the director of the Joint Artificial Intelligence Center, talked about the coming shift to “algorithmic warfare” and how “we are going to be shocked by the speed, chaos, and bloodiness” of future combat involving AI. He said humans pitted against machines will have a distinct disadvantage and that it would be incumbent upon the U.S. to avoid this lopsided dynamic on the battlefield. Shanahan commended the authors of the interim report but cautioned that the findings will take some time to implement. “This is a multigenerational problem requiring a multigenerational solution,” he said. Shanahan heads the Pentagon’s Project Maven—an initiative that seeks to improve drone technology with AI. News that Google will no longer be participating in the program represented a serious setback for the project, but Shanahan said the incident served to expose deeper issues. He said “employees of these companies see no value in working with the DoD [Department of Defense],” and “we don’t make it easy for them.” Shanahan said the U.S. will not be able to attain the guidelines outlined in the new report without public-private partnerships, which he described as “the very essence of our success as a nation.” And unlike China or Russia, the U.S. government actually takes the time to consider the ethics of militarized AI, he said, in reference to a recently concluded DoD investigation. Steve Chien, a commissioner of the NSCAI, co-author of the interim report, and research scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab, said we’re in the midst of a software revolution and that big advances in hardware are becoming less of an issue. The task at hand, he said, is to create “algorithms of punch and counterpunch.” Andrew Hallman, the principal executive at the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, said AI will exert a tremendous influence on American security concerns, including the general speed of operations, identity intelligence (i.e. identifying patterns in the relationships of people and organizations), detecting and defending against “influence operations” (i.e. adversaries who spread false or misleading information or try to influence elections), among other realms. The U.S. will need to “respond to cyber intrusions at machine speed and faster than our adversaries,” said Hallman. Also speaking at the conference was commission co-chair Robert Work, who said AI can keep Americans secure but only “if we let it.” He said defense and security agencies have to “urgently” accelerate their efforts but warned that the underlying infrastructure at the Department of Defense is “severely” underdeveloped. Work said collaborations should be welcomed, both domestically and internationally, to help solve common problems, including efforts to improve the explainability of AI. Former secretary of state Henry Kissinger, who spoke at the conference in a kind of fireside chat format, addressed this exact issue—that is, the potential for machine intelligence to operate beyond human comprehension. Kissinger said AI is “bound to change the nature of strategy and warfare” and could also upend the way diplomacy is done. He noted that future engagements involving AI will create a tremendous amount of ambiguity in terms of a country’s ability to understand the nature of a threat and who’s responsible, as an “enemy may not know where the threat came from.” Kissinger’s fear conjures many different possible scenarios, including nations falsely blaming each other for AI-related attacks, a kind of digital fog-of-war in which no one is even sure what’s happening. This tracks with a recent report finding that AI will increase the risk of nuclear war. Senator Chuck Schumer (D-New York) spoke briefly at the conference, saying the U.S. has “not matched the level of commitment” of its adversaries and that “we will rue the day” should the U.S. fall behind China and Russia. Schumer said a discussion draft is currently in development to consider a new branch of the National Science Foundation. The new agency would fund fundamental research related to AI and other high-tech areas, such as quantum computing and robotics, he said, adding that these grants, amounting to $100 billion, would go to universities, companies, and special government agencies. When the full report is released next year, we’ll see how much money the commission wants the U.S. to spend on artificial intelligence R&D. If this report is any indication, however, it likely won’t be a small amount.
  27. Scam artists are using phone numbers from more than a dozen federal government departments to defraud Canadians — making it look as if the calls are coming from legitimate government agencies and police departments. Some of the calls tell potential victims that their social insurance numbers have been compromised. Others are told that they owe the government money and are in legal trouble. To deceive potential victims who examine the numbers on incoming calls, the scammers spoof their calls so that they display the phone numbers of the relevant federal government departments. In many cases, a scammer tells a victim they will be getting a call from a police officer — then spoofs the call that comes in a few minutes later so that it appears to be coming from local police. "It's hitting lots of Canadians," said Jeff Thomson of the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre. His own organization has been hit by the scam, with fraudsters pretending to be calling from his office. "It's inundating police departments and it's inundating us with a number of calls. So it's a huge impact. We've seen a huge spike in the reporting on this fraud." Thomson said he received four scam calls on his own personal phone inside of one week. Scam undermining work of federal departments The scam is having an impact on the ability of government departments to serve the public because they are being bogged down with phone calls from Canadians checking to see whether the calls they're getting are legitimate. Federal government officials were unable to say just how many departments and agencies have been affected to date by the scam. But atleast a dozen have been identified — including bodies like the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre, local RCMP divisions, the Competition Bureau and the Cybersecurity Centre which are supposed to help protect Canadians. The calls spoofing the phone numbers of several different government departments appear to be part of a newer, more sophisticated version of a scam that has been running since at least 2014. That older scam involves fraud artists claiming to be agents of the Canada Revenue Agency, while the newer scam impersonates more government departments. In 2018, an investigation into the CRA phone scam tracked the calls to a call centre in Mumbai, India. Since 2014, the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre has received 78,472 reports from across Canada of scammers pretending to represent the CRA or Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada. The centre said 4,695 people across Canada have lost more than $16.7 million to the scam. That doesn't include people like Andrea van Noord of Vancouver, who lost $6,000 last week to the scam. The series of events that cleaned out her bank account started when she picked up her cellphone to hear a recorded message claiming to come from the CRA. 'I was panicked' "I do owe them a small sum of money ... so when I heard that not pressing one would be tantamount to not showing up in court to deal with that issue, I was panicked," she said. "So I pressed one." A woman asked her to confirm her identity, then told her that her social insurance number had been used in a $3 million fraud involving 25 credit cards. When the woman asked if her personal information could have been stolen, van Noord thought immediately of the laptop filled with personal information that had been stolen from her car a year ago. The unknown woman then volunteered to help by contacting Vancouver police and starting a process to clear her name. Minutes later, when van Noord's phone rang, it displayed the Vancouver police department's phone number, spoofed by the scammers. A separate woman, claiming to be a Vancouver police officer, told her that a 1998 Toyota Camry registered in her name had been abandoned in North Vancouver with bloodstains on the back seat and the trunk. A house, also registered in her name, was found with 22 pounds of cocaine inside, the phoney officer told her. "It all just seemed very plausible to me and very scary," van Noord said. "They said at this time there was a warrant for my arrest and I was currently being charged with drug trafficking, money laundering and fraud against the Canada Revenue Agency." The fake police officer claimed there was a series of bank accounts in her name and asked van Noord about her actual bank accounts and how much money they contained. The fraudster told her she had to withdraw her money within the hour to protect it before the account was frozen. Keeping her on the phone the entire time, the scammer instructed her to take a cab to her bank and coached her as she withdrew the money., then told her to take it to a café with a bitcoin machine (described as a "government wallet safe machine") that would "protect" her money. It was only later in the day, after she talked with her partner, that she realized she had been robbed. "I felt like an idiot," she said. "I felt completely invaded. I felt kind of dirty. I felt that this was very much my fault and that I should have recognized the signs." Van Noord said both of the people she spoke with had accents that suggested they were based in India. Police told her there wasn't much they could do.Thomson said van Noord's experience is not unique. "These calls are very alarming," he said. "The callers will present themselves as a government official. They will sound very official. They will use a badge number. They will say they are an officer or special agent or an official-sounding title to give themselves some credibility. "They will sound very formal and they will come across as very threatening and ask you to act right away." Thomson said the centre is still getting reports of scammers claiming to be from the CRA but, increasingly, they have been posing as representatives of other government departments. He said those behind the scam are based overseas. "If you have fraudsters operating in one country, targeting consumers in another country and money going to yet a third country, they're clearly organized," he said. "It's organized crime and it's international in scope." Isabelle Maheu is a spokeswoman for Employment and Social Development Canada, which includes Service Canada. She said the fraudulent calls are affecting the government's ability to provide services to Canadians. "Wary Canadians who receive a suspicious incoming phone call frequently disconnect the call and call the government to verify the legitimacy of the call," she explained. "This can result in an increase in call volume and caller wait times. Additionally, legitimate phone calls from government departments can be dismissed as fraudulent, leading to the recipient of the call not receiving important information." Many of the departments whose numbers are being spoofed have put notices on their websites warning Canadians. Meanwhile, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has given telecommunications providers until Dec. 19, 2019 to implement a system to block calls in their networks to crack down on nuisance and illegitimate calls. Here's a list of some of the federal departments, agencies and courts whose phone numbers are being spoofed: •Service Canada •Justice Canada •Federal Court •Federal Court of Appeal •Department of National Defence •Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre •Canada Revenue Agency •RCMP detachments in Kingston and Cornwall •Correctional Service of Canada •Canadian Centre for Cyber Security •Privacy Commissioner's Office •Competition Bureau of Canada •Financial Consumer Agency of Canada •Canada Border Services Agency •Parole Board of Canada
  28. At the end of October, the Bloodhound supersonic car team clocked up a new record for the decade-plus project of 334 mph. On Friday, the car pushed past the 450 mph mark and came tantalizingly close to Bloodhound LSR's current target of 500 mph. Run Profile 5 was not all about speed, the Land Speed Racing team also wanted to test the left parachute. Driver Andy Green picked up speed to 50 mph (80 km/h) before pushing down the throttle to engage maximum reheat to dial in 90 kN of thrust and rocket the vehicle down the Hakskeenpan desert runway. When he reached 440 mph (708 km/h), Green eased back on the throttle but acceleration increased to 461 mph (741.9 km/h) before the parachute was pulled. The front brakes were only applied when the supersonic car had dropped to 150 mph. At the 9-km (5.6-mi) mark on the runway, the car was u-turned and prepared for Run Profile 6. Sadly, it wasn't to be and the planned 500 mph run was aborted due to minor damage. The damage is being repaired and the next run planned. The team is aiming to break the current 763.035 mph (1,227.9 km/h) late next year, and will then focus on blasting past the 1,000-mph mark. Source: Bloodhound LSR
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