Kaspersky team reveals Stuxnet family of weapons

first_img © 2011 PhysOrg.com More information: (PhysOrg.com) — The Stuxnet cyber weapon that was designed to cripple control systems in Iran’s nuclear plant was just one of five weapons engineered in the same lab, and three have not been released yet. That is the word from Moscow based Kaspersky Lab. What’s more, according to Kaspersky’s director of global research, Costin Raiu, these Lego-like weapons work as modules, in that they are designed to fit together with each having different functions. They were developed on a single platform whose roots trace back at least to 2007; the creators have used the same software development environment ever since. via Reuters Citation: Kaspersky team reveals Stuxnet family of weapons (2011, December 29) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2011-12-kaspersky-team-reveals-stuxnet-family.html Explore further Raiu told Reuters about the findings on Wednesday based on the evidence that his team has gathered. He cited Stuxnet–the Iran-targeted weapon– and a related Duqu–the data-scoffing Trojan targeting design documents that showed up this year in Europe– as two of what might be a lethal assembly—three of the weapons have yet to be released.Besides Kaspersky, other anti-virus leaders such as Symantec and Trend Micro incorporated technology into their products to protect systems against Stuxnet and Duqu; Raiu says that these viruses may be more sophisticated than previously known.Kaspersky named the platform “Tilded” because many of the files in Duqu and Stuxnet have names beginning with the tilde symbol “~” and the letter “d.” What Kaspersky recently discovered is that shared components search for at least three other unique registry keys, It is possible that at least three other pieces of malware have been built that use the same platform. It would be relatively easy for the developers of those highly sophisticated viruses to create other weapons.Developers can build new cyber weapons by simply adding and removing modules, he told Reuters, “It’s like a Lego set. You can assemble the components into anything: a robot or a house or a tank.”The Kaspersky team cited 2007 because installed code by Duqu was compiled from a device running Windows on August 31, 2007. Kaspersky sources did not name a country responsible for the cyber weapons. When contacted by the press about Kaspersky’s findings, the Pentagon declined comment. Kaspersky Lab is a vendor of security software. In 1999, Kaspersky Labs, says the company, was the first to introduce integrated antivirus software for workstations, file servers and application servers running on Linux/FreeBSD operating systems. Iran says Duqu malware under ‘control’ This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

Paleopathologist finds gigantism in third century Roman skeleton

first_img More information: Pituitary Disease from the Past: A Rare Case of Gigantism in Skeletal Remains from the Roman Imperial Age, Published online before print October 2, 2012, doi: 10.1210/jc.2012-2726 (Phys.org)—Paleopathologist Simona Minozzi and her team working at the University of Pisa, have published a paper in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism describing the skeletal remains of a Roman man from the third century that was first partially unearthed in 1991 in Italy. It is believed the man had gigantism, a metabolic condition that causes people to grow exceptionally tall. The skeleton was believed to have been from a man between the ages of 16 and 20 when he died, who would have stood 6 feet, 8 inches tall. Citation: Paleopathologist finds gigantism in third century Roman skeleton (2012, November 19) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2012-11-paleopathologist-gigantism-century-roman-skeleton.html © 2012 Phys.org To no longer grow is a ‘blessing’ for world’s tallest man Explore furthercenter_img Journal information: Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism Credit: (c)2012 [i]Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism[/i], doi: 10.1210/jc.2012-2726 Gigantism generally occurs due to a tumor in the pituitary gland that causes growth hormones to be released in an abnormal manner while a person is still young. It’s extremely rare, occurring in just three people in a million, causing them to grow to heights ranging from seven to nine feet tall. In early Roman times, such a tall person would have stood out from the crowed, as the average height for a man in the third century Roman world, was just 5 feet, 6 inches.In studying the skeleton, Minozzi and her team found evidence of skull damage that appears to have occurred as the result of a tumor causing distention, a frequent occurrence with those that have the condition today. They also found evidence that the man had not yet ceased growing, another common symptom found with people that have the disorder. Dying young is also common for those that have gigantism as such growth tends to lead to other problems such as with the circulatory system. Thus far, the research team has been unable to identify the cause of death in this case, however.The team also looked for clues that might provide some insight into how the man was treated by people around him as surely his great height would have made him a curiosity. Unfortunately, his tomb, which was originally discovered back in 1991 held no artifacts, though the manner in which he was laid to rest indicated that his burial was no different from others of his time. During the original dig, it was noted that the tomb was unusually long, but it wasn’t opened until recently. Noting the unique skeleton, the remains were sent to Minozzi’s facility for further study. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

Researchers discover a way to tease oxygen molecules from carbon dioxide

first_img New work from UC Davis shows that carbon dioxide can be split by vacuum ultraviolet laser to create oxygen in one step. The discovery may change how we think about the evolution of atmospheres. Credit: Zhou Lu, UC Davis NASA research gives guideline for future alien life search More information: Evidence for direct molecular oxygen production in CO2 photodissociation, Science 3 October 2014: Vol. 346 no. 6205 pp. 61-64 . DOI: 10.1126/science.1257156 ABSTRACTPhotodissociation of carbon dioxide (CO2) has long been assumed to proceed exclusively to carbon monoxide (CO) and oxygen atom (O) primary products. However, recent theoretical calculations suggested that an exit channel to produce C + O2 should also be energetically accessible. Here we report the direct experimental evidence for the C + O2 channel in CO2 photodissociation near the energetic threshold of the C(3P) + O2(X3Σg–) channel with a yield of 5 ± 2% using vacuum ultraviolet laser pump-probe spectroscopy and velocity-map imaging detection of the C(3PJ) product between 101.5 and 107.2 nanometers. Our results may have implications for nonbiological oxygen production in CO2-heavy atmospheres.Press release (Phys.org) —A small team of researchers with the University of California has found a way break apart carbon dioxide molecules and get carbon atoms and oxygen molecules instead of carbon monoxide and an oxygen atom. In their paper published in the journal Science, the team describes how they did it, and the implications of their findings. Arthur Suits and David Parker offer a perspective piece in the same journal issue that describes in more depth, minimum energy path (MEP) where reactants don’t always follow the easiest path during chemical reactions and how it pertains to the work done by this group. Ball-and-stick model of carbon dioxide. Credit: Wikipedia Explore further Over the years, scientists have developed a theory about the development of life on planet Earth that’s known as the “Great Oxidation Event,” where plants developed and began taking in carbon dioxide and pumping out oxygen. In this new effort, the researchers believe they have found a way to achieve the same feat using a non-biological approach. They’ve used the shortest wavelength of ultraviolet light, aka, vacuum ultraviolet light (VUV) to break apart carbon dioxide molecules.The VUV was provided in the form of a laser shooting a beam at carbon dioxide molecules to break them apart. Another laser was used to ionize the pieces from the broken molecule so that they could be measured by a mass spectrometer. The process resulted in just 5 percent of the carbon dioxide molecules splitting into oxygen molecules and carbon atoms (the rest went to carbon monoxide and oxygen atoms) but that was more than enough to show that the process can be used to get molecular oxygen from carbon dioxide—and that might have a far reaching impact.center_img Citation: Researchers discover a way to tease oxygen molecules from carbon dioxide (2014, October 3) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2014-10-oxygen-molecules-carbon-dioxide.html Journal information: Science © 2014 Phys.org This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. The process works, the team explains because of MEP reactions and because of that, it seems reasonable to conclude that some oxygen in early Earth’s atmosphere came about the same way—with all the oxygen in the atmosphere today, VUV doesn’t penetrate very far but when the atmosphere had far more carbon dioxide in it, it follows that some of those molecules could have split into carbon atoms and oxygen molecules. That also means that the same process could occur on other planets, which means scientists looking for life on other planets would have to look for a lot more than just oxygen in their atmospheres.Another possible impact of the findings by the team involves space exploration—if an apparatus could be built that could continually knock oxygen molecules out of the carbon dioxide breathed out by astronauts, they wouldn’t have to carry oxygen tanks or use plants to do the conversion, making the whole process much more efficient.last_img read more

White dwarf with almost pure oxygen atmosphere discovered

first_img © 2016 Phys.org More information: S. O. Kepler et al, A white dwarf with an oxygen atmosphere, Science (2016). DOI: 10.1126/science.aad6705 Abstract Researchers have discovered a white dwarf star with an atmosphere dominated by oxygen, a type of white dwarf that has been theorized to exist but not identified to date. The finding could challenge the textbook wisdom of single stellar evolution, and provide a critical link to some types of supernovae discovered over the past decade. As relatively small stars (those less than ten times the mass of our sun) near the end of their lives, they throw off their outer layers and become white dwarf stars, which are very dense. The high gravity that occurs under such density causes the lighter elements, such as hydrogen or helium, to float to the surface of the star, masking the heavier elements below. While combing through data from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS), Souza Oliveira Kepler et al. identified SDSS J124043.01+671034.68, a white dwarf with its outer layer of light elements stripped away, revealing a nearly pure layer of oxygen. Several different theories have predicted that the outer layer of a white dwarf can be stripped, but identification of SDSS J124043.01+671034.68 provides the first evidence of this phenomenon. One possibility is that interactions with a nearby companion in a binary star caused SDSS J124043.01+671034.68 to bare its oxygen envelope. Another possibility is that a massive pulse of burning carbon from the center of the star, emulating outwards, eliminated the lighter elements. A Perspective by Boris Gänsicke provides further context. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Explore further What are the different kinds of supernovae? A trio of researchers, two with the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul and the other with Universität Kiel has discovered something very unique—a white dwarf with an atmosphere that is made almost completely of oxygen. In their paper published in the journal Science, Kepler de Souza Oliveira, Detlev Koester and Gustavo Ourique describe how they came to discover the oddity and offer some ideas on how it might have come to exist. Boris Gänsicke with the University of Warwick offers an essay on the work by the team in the same journal issue.White dwarfs come about, scientists believe, when a relatively ‘small’ star runs out of fuel, losing its outer layer as the star shrinks down due to gravity—the stronger gravitational force then usually causes the heaviest elements to be drawn towards the core pushing the lighter ones, such as helium and hydrogen to the surface. But this new white dwarf is different, the researchers report, instead of the usual mix of light elements at the surface, there is almost nothing but pure oxygen. Nicknamed Dox, the star is the first ever of any kind to be observed to have a nearly pure oxygen outer layer.center_img Journal information: Science Citation: White dwarf with almost pure oxygen atmosphere discovered (2016, April 1) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2016-04-white-dwarf-pure-oxygen-atmosphere.html Image of Sirius A and Sirius B taken by the Hubble Space Telescope. Sirius B, which is a white dwarf, can be seen as a faint pinprick of light to the lower left of the much brighter Sirius A. Image: NASA, ESA Such a phenomenon has been predicted before, but most in the field never believed that such a star would ever be observed, thus it came as quite a surprise to team member Gustavo Ourique as he poured over thousands of simple graphs made from data generated by the New Mexico observatory. It was not until further tests were run that it was confirmed that the unique graph he had found turned out to represent data from the strange white dwarf. Though it is impossible at this point to say with any certainty what caused the unique star formation, the researchers believe it is likely tied to an earlier event—they believe that Dox may once have been one of a pair of stars forming a binary system, and as the other star ran out of fuel it would have become a red giant, which would perhaps have been able to interact with its partner directly. The outcome, the researchers suggest could have laid the groundwork for a later explosion that caused Dox to lose its other lighter elements, leaving mostly pure oxygen in its outer layer.last_img read more

Japanese astronomers discover gas giant planets orbiting evolved stars

first_img Explore further Thanks to the radial velocity (RV) technique, over 600 exoplanets have been detected so far, but the number of known RV planets orbiting evolved stars is still small. Filling this gap is needed in order to provide more comprehensive image of the variety of extrasolar planetary systems.One astronomical survey, which has the potential of improving our knowledge about planets orbiting evolved hosts, is the Okayama Planet Search Program. Recently, a team of Japanese astronomers, led by Takuya Takarada of the Tokyo Institute of Technology, has reported the finding of three such exoplanets of this category, by conducting RV measurements at the Okayama Astrophysical Observatory (OAO) in Japan.”We here report two new planetary systems around evolved stars: 24 Boo and γ Lib. This result is based on RV measurements performed at OAO with the 1.88-m reflector and HIDES,” the researchers wrote in the paper.24 Booties (24 Boo for short) is a star of spectral type G3IV, similar in mass to our sun, but almost 11 times larger. Takarada’s team found that this star is orbited by a gas giant planet, which received designation 24 Boo b, every 30.35 days at a distance of about 0.19 AU from the host. The researchers estimate that the minimum mass of the newly found planet is 0.91 Jupiter masses.Gamma Librae, or γ Lib, is around 11 times larger than the sun, has a mass of approximately 1.47 solar masses, and is of spectral type K0III. The astronomers discovered that this star hosts two gas giant planets—γ Lib b and γ Lib c, with minimum masses of 1.02 and 4.58 Jupiter masses respectively. Located about 1.24 AU from the parent star, γ Lib b needs about 415 days to fully orbit its host, while γ Lib c has an orbital period of nearly 965 days as it is separated from the star by approximately 2.17 AU.Notably, both 24 Boo and γ Lib have low metallicities (-0.77 and -0.30 respectively) among the giant stars hosting planetary companions.In concluding remarks, the astronomers emphasize what makes their discovery unique. They note that the planet 24 Boo b has the shortest orbital period ever found around evolved stars with a stellar radius larger than 10 solar radii. Furthermore, γ Lib turns out to have the second lowest metallicity among the giant stars with multiple planetary systems. The researchers also add that the orbital period of γ Lib c is about 2.33 longer than γ Lib b, noting that such ratio is rare among planetary systems around giant and dwarf stars. Using radial velocity method a group of Japanese astronomers has found that two evolved stars, namely 24 Booties and Gamma Librae, are orbited by gas giant planets. They discovered that 24 Booties hosts one planet, while Gamma Librae is circled by two alien worlds. The finding is detailed in a paper published April 11 on arXiv.org. Top: The observed RVs and the best-fit single Keplerian curve for 24 Boo. The horizontal axis is the orbital phase. The derived stellar jitter is also included in the error bar. Red circles and green triangles are data taken with slit- and fiber-mode, respectively. Bottom: The RV residuals to the orbital fitting. Credit: Takarada et al. 2018. Citation: Japanese astronomers discover gas giant planets orbiting evolved stars (2018, April 16) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-04-japanese-astronomers-gas-giant-planets.html Four new ‘hot Jupiter’ exoplanets discovered More information: Planets around the evolved stars 24 Booties and γ Libra: A 30d-period planet and a double giant-planet system in possible 7:3 MMR, arxiv.org/abs/1804.04008AbstractWe report the detection of planets around two evolved giant stars from radial velocity measurements at Okayama Astrophysical observatory. 24 Boo (G3IV) has a mass of 0.99M⊙, a radius of 10.64R⊙, and a metallicity of [Fe/H]=−0.77. The star hosts one planet with a minimum mass of 0.91MJup and an orbital period of 30.35d. The planet has one of the shortest orbital periods among those ever found around evolved stars by radial-veloocity methods. The stellar radial velocities show additional periodicity with 150d, which are probably attributed to stellar activity. The star is one of the lowest-metallicity stars orbited by planets currently known. γ Lib (K0III) is also a metal-poor giant with a mass of 1.47M⊙, a radius of 11.1R⊙, and [Fe/H]=−0.30. The star hosts two planets with minimum masses of 1.02MJup and 4.58MJup, and periods of 415d and 964d, respectively. The star has the second lowest metallicity among the giant stars hosting more than two planets. Dynamical stability analysis for the γ Lib system sets a minimum orbital inclination angle to be about 70∘ and suggests that the planets are in 7:3 mean-motion resonance, though the current best-fitted orbits to the radial-velocity data are not totally regular. © 2018 Phys.org This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

Borrowed from natures garden

first_imgThe works of art done by Sun Deep reflect her philosophy, her life’s experiences and her love and passions, overwhelmingly inspired by everyday miracles and beauties in Nature. Nature inspires her life’s philosophy.She integrates elements from nature’s garden into her artwork, reflecting on our oneness and connectedness with Nature. The artwork showcases just a small sample of God’s living canvas, as she hopes to inspire others to stop and contemplate on the beauty and peace in his complex patterns and designs. Momentarily escaping the human construct. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Gingko Biloba Tree: The yellow leaves are all natural leaves, from the Gingko Biloba tree in her Chicago neighbourhood. These leaves were handpicked in November 2013, dried and pressed using natural elements, without the use of any chemicals or preservatives. Angel: The bright yellow Bracteantha flowers on the angel’s blue shawl are all natural. So are the orange cosmos and the yellow limonium petals in her shawl, the camouflaged gypsophila in her wings and the green grass earrings. These leaves were handpicked between 1997-2014 from India and USA. The angel is painted with acrylics on canvas. Frame is from Picturesque in Santushti Market. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixBlue Ice on Fire: The unicorn’s horn, tail and mane are embellished with all natural ferns and flowers, from my Chicago neighborhood. The foliage was handpicked in the summer of 2014. The fire has petals of the yellow straw flower camouflaged in its flames. The two daisies are to depict cosmic bodies The horse and the fire is painted with acrylics on canvas. Unframed.Peacock Lady: In search – This artwork was the focus of a solo exhibition in a local Chicago gallery. The dress of the peacock lady is embellished with natural foliage. The foliage was handpicked between 1997-2014, The dress has camouflaged flowers and wild grass.last_img read more

Fortis owners in the dock for dodging Rs 100cr import duty on

first_imgDirectorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) has impounded 6 luxury aircraft from a company owned by the Fortis Group for alleged duty evasion to the tune of  Rs100 crore.  Six aircraft, including beachcraft and others, were being used for private purposes though they were imported for charter services and no duty was paid. All these aircraft are owned by Ligare Aviation, belonging to owners of the Fortis group, Malvinder Mohan Singh and Shivinder Mohan Singh. Also Read – Need to understand why law graduate’s natural choice is not legal profession: CJIDRI issued notices to them for alleged duty evasion but Ligare  secured a stay order from the court which clearly instructed that they could not sell these aircraft in between. Allegedly, Ligare covertly changed the ownership of all these aircraft to a foreign company and got it ratified with the help of officials in the directorate general of civil aviation. DRI saw this as a clear violation of court orders and after that they swooped into action and impounded 6 aircraft. According to top Revenue Ministry officials, DRI will soon call Malvinder and Shivinder Mohan Singh for interrogation. Also Read – Health remains key challenge in India’s development: Kovind This company has a fleet of 8 aircraft and helicopters, of which three are of king air beachcraft B 200, each coming at price tag of Rs 30 crore, 2 Falcon 2000 each costing Rs150 crore and one Falcon SX priced at Rs 200 crore and can fly non-stop from Delhi to London. Other than that they also have one Bell 430 helicopter and one Augusta 109 helicopter. As per Indian law, if any non scheduled airline brings aircraft to India for charter services, then it is exempt from import duty. But if someone uses it for private purpose, then they have to fork out 19 per cent customs duty.It may be recalled in July 2008, in similar case The air intelligence unit (AIU) of the customs department at Mumbai airport seized and sealed two aircraft – a Falcon 900 Ex and an Airbus 319 – belonging to Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) for non-payment of duty.Mukesh Ambani had gifted the A-319 luxury jet to wife Nita on her 44th birthday.last_img read more

State looks to curb indiscriminate extraction with Groundwater Act

first_imgKolkata: The state Water Resource Investigation & Development (WRID) department will soon come out with Groundwater Act for putting a leash on indiscriminate extraction of groundwater, which is depleting by leaps and bounds.”We cannot deny the fact that groundwater level is reducing and we feel that it is high time to take measures to prevent indiscriminate extraction of groundwater. We are in the process of preparing a scientific database, classifying all the 341 blocks in the state into three categories- critical, semi critical and safe and accordingly prepare a roadmap for scientific use of groundwater in near future. Groundwater extraction for drinking will be given top priority,” a senior official of the department said. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeIt may be mentioned that groundwater is used for drinking, agriculture and by the industry and there are a number of agencies that are responsible for its extraction. Apart from designating blocks based upon the three parameters, the department will also come out with a direction for the agencies about how much water extraction will be allowed for agriculture or industry purposes. “If we feel that drawing groundwater for agriculture or for industry at a particular block needs to be stopped, we will do the needful,” the official maintained. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedAccording to the official, the exercise of assessment of extraction of groundwater and recharging of water at a particular block, has been undertaken by State Water Investigation Directorate (SWID)- an independent directorate under the state WRID department, jointly with the Central Groundwater Board. The work will be based on water table data available from the hydrographic stations across the state, as on March 2017. The methodology that will be followed for the assessment, will be based on the guidelines framed by Groundwater Estimation Committee (GEC) in 2015, which is a standard pattern that should be followed across the country for assessing groundwater level. The assessment work has started a month ago and the target set for completion is October this year. The department is also laying emphasis on setting up more hydrographic stations in the state as they ensure accuracy of data. At present, there are 2,500 hydrographic stations in the state and the department is planning to have one such station at every Gram Panchayat in the state. The earlier study that was done around five years ago, had identified only one area -Goghat I in Hooghly as critical, 70 as semi-critical and the rest as safe. The department is hopeful that a notification in this regard will be brought out within the calendar year and will be circulated among all stakeholders to regulate the use of groundwater.last_img read more