Drone images accumulate much faster than they can be analyzed. Researchers have developed a new approach that combines crowdsourcing and machine learning to speed up the process. Who would win in a real-life game of "Where's Waldo," humans or computers? A recent study suggests that when speed and accuracy are critical, an approach combing both human and machine intelligence would take the prize. With drones being used to monitor everything natural disaster sites, pollution, or wildlife populations, analyzing drone images in real-time has become a critically important big data challenge.
The hacker sought buyers for maintenance documents about the MQ-9 Reaper drone, a remotely controlled aerial vehicle used by the Pentagon and other parts of the government to conduct offensive strikes or reconnaissance and surveillance operations. Discovery of the attempted sale of the stolen documents comes amid heightened concern about how U.S. military secrets may be insufficiently protected from hackers. Military officials said last month that the Defense Department's inspector general was investigating a major security breach after Chinese hackers allegedly stole data pertaining to submarine warfare, including plans to build a supersonic antiship missile. There was no evidence that the hacker who acquired the Reaper drone documents was affiliated with a foreign country, or that he was intentionally seeking to obtain military documents, said Andrei Barysevich, a senior threat researcher at Recorded Future, the U.S.-based cybersecurity firm that spotted the attempted sale. Instead, the hacker scanned large parts of the internet for misconfigured Netgear routers and exploited a two-year-old known vulnerability, involving default login credentials, to steal files from compromised machines.
Things are looking up for GoPro. After a tumultuous couple of years -- which saw the action-camera company enter and then leave the drone business, get squeezed harder by increasingly competitive smartphone cameras, and ride a steady wave of criticism of its product line -- GoPro appears to have found its footing with the well-received Hero 7 Black camera and a return to profitability. At the center of the company's renewal is founder Nick Woodman. Woodman joined MashTalk to discuss what it's been like to be CEO during such a roller coaster of a time. After promising expeditions into media, drones, and 360 video didn't work out as planned, he's discarded unrealistic visions for tighter focus. The new GoPro may be less ambitious, but it's much more confident about what it can offer: high-quality action cameras with a compelling mix of features, value, and usability. This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
SAN FRANCISCO – Researchers have discovered a disturbing pattern: dozens of ships whose GPS signals tell them they're on land -- at an airport no less -- even when they're far out to sea. An investigation released this week by the Washington D.C.-based Resilient Navigation and Timing Foundation and Windward Ltd., a maritime data and analytics company, has found multiple instances of so-called GPS spoofing in Russian waters. As recently as Monday, two vessels' GPS told them they were at Sochi Airport near the site of the 2014 Sochi Olympics, 12 miles away from the harbor where the vessels actually were. Familiar to anyone using a smartphone or built-in auto navigation system to map out a route, the satellite-based system is also the main way ships and trucking fleets find their way. While the actual intent isn't known, speculation among GPS experts has in recent weeks converged on the theory that the GPS disruption of ships is actually a side effect of efforts to protect sensitive Russian sites such as the Kremlin and Russian President Vladimir Putin's summer home from surveillance and attacks by drones.
The seemingly harmless blinking lights on servers and desktop PCs may give away secrets if a hacker can hijack them with malware. Researchers in Israel have come up with an innovative hack that turns a computer's LED light into a signaling system that shows passwords and other sensitive data. The researchers at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev demonstrated the hack in a YouTube video posted Wednesday. It shows a hacked computer broadcasting the data through a computer's LED light, with a drone flying nearby reading the pattern. The researchers designed the scheme to underscore vulnerabilities of air-gapped systems, or computers that have been intentionally disconnected from the internet.