News & Updates

The new trailer for Hidden Figures, in theaters January 13, 2017.

This movie has everything that a nerd could possibly desire: spaceships, astronauts, and a group of brilliant mathematicians who made NASA’s Apollo mission possible.

Hidden Figures focuses on the achievements of Katherine Johnson (played by Taraji Henson from Person of Interest and Empire), winner of the 2015 National Medal of Freedom. Johnson, now retired, was a mathematician at NASA whose work helped plot the trajectories of orbiting spacecraft. The movie is your classic “nerd genius makes good” tale, as teachers discover the young Johnson’s incredible math skills that eventually led to her meteoric rise, including college at the age of 15. She was so brilliant that NASA hired her out of graduate school in the 1950s—even though she lived at a time when black women were rarely welcomed into the science and engineering professions.

What I love about this story is how it celebrates the minds behind the space program. Based on a book that comes out next month, Hidden Figures is also a personal story about Johnson’s struggles and her friendships with two other black women working at NASA, engineer Mary Jackson (the incredible Janelle Monáe) and mathematician Dorothy Vaughan (Octavia Spencer). But most of all, this is just one of those feel-good geek stories about how math can actually change the world. Hidden Figures should make for a fascinating companion piece to movies like Apollo 13 and Gravity, which celebrate astronauts while putting scientists mostly into the background. Possibly only The Martian has thus far successfully shown the drama of science unfolding alongside the drama of being an astronaut (and that was science fiction, of course, rather than a retelling of actual events).

Read 1 remaining paragraphs | Comments


It seems like the NSA has been HACKED!

An unknown hacker or a group of hackers just claimed to have hacked into “Equation Group” — a cyber-attack group allegedly associated with the United States intelligence organization NSA — and dumped a bunch of its hacking tools (malware, private exploits, and hacking tools) online.
<!– adsense –>
I know, it is really hard to believe, but some


Two researchers have devised a cryptocurrency scheme dubbed DDoSCoin that pays everytime a user participates in a DDoS attack against certain servers.

The assistant professor at the University of Colorado Eric Wustrow and the phD student at the University of Michigan Benjamin VanderSloot have conducted a curious proof-of-concept project aimed at the creation of a cryptocurrency that pays when users participate in DDoS attacks.

Yes, it is not a joke, DDoSCoin is the name of the cryptocurrency that pays users that take part to DDoS attacks against TLS web servers.

Every time a TLS connection is confirmed, it is created a signature used to recognize the attacker’s activity.

The duo published a paper titled DDoSCoin: Cryptocurrency with a Malicious Proof-of-Work that details their efforts.

The DDoSCoin is equivalent to other cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, with substantial difference that the mining process requests the participation in DDoS attacks.

DDoSCoin mining

“In this paper, we present DDoSCoin, which is a cryptocurrency with a malicious proof-of-work. DDoSCoin allows miners to prove that they have contributed to a distributed denial of service attack against specific target servers.” explained the researchers in the paper. “This proof involves making a large number of TLS connections to a target server, and using cryptographic responses to prove that a large number of connections has been made. Like proof-of-work puzzles, these proofs are inexpensive to verify, and can be made arbitrarily difficult to solve.”

DDoSCoin represents a novelty in the hacking landscape, it leverages on the ability of proving the use of bandwidth to a (potentially unwilling) target domain.

“Proof-of-DDoS can be used to replace proof-of-work in a cryptocurrency setting, provided that there is consensus around what victims are valid targets.”

In order to specify a target for mining activity, the virtual currency scheme introduces the payment opcode PAY_TO_DDOS.

The PAY_TO_DDOS opcode takes two parameters in an output script: a string representing the server to attack, and a target difficulty corresponding to the amount of connections the payer wishes to be made.

“In order to allow victims to be (temporarily) selected for DoS, DDoSCoin allows “bounties” for targeting specific servers. To accomplish this, DDoSCoin introduces a new payment opcode, PAY_TO_DDOS, that can be used in transactions subject to certain constraints” states the paper.
We all known that DDoS booters are considered precious commodities in the criminal underground, currencies like DDoSCoin can be abused for bad purposes.

I suggest you to read the paper … it is very interesting.

medianet_width=’300′; medianet_height= ‘250’; medianet_crid=’762221962′;

Pierluigi Paganini

(Security Affairs – DDoSCoin, virtual currency)

The post DDoSCoin, the cryptocurrency that pays the participation in DDoS attacks appeared first on Security Affairs.

Source: Security affairs