Ancient Papyrus Mystery Solved

Ancient Papyrus Mystery Solved

Scientists have finally unlocked the secrets of a mysterious 2,000-year-old papyrus document.

The strange artifact, which has mirror writing on both sides, has baffled experts for centuries. Written in ancient Greek, the papyrus has been in the possession of the University of Basel in Switzerland since the 16th century.

Scientists have harnessed ultraviolet and infrared technology to decipher the papyrus, discovering that it is not a single papyrus, but several layers of papyrus glued together, according to the University of Basel.  A specialist papyrus restorer was also brought in to separate the sheets.

“This is a sensational discovery,” said Sabine Huebner, professor of ancient history at the University of Basel, in a statement. “The majority of papyri are documents such as letters, contracts and receipts. This is a literary text, however, and they are vastly more valuable.”

Ancient Papyrus Mystery Solved
Scientists at the University of Basel have deciphered the 2,000-year-old papyrus (University of Basel)

Specifically, the papyrus contains an ancient medical text that describes “hysterical apnea,” according to Huebner, who says that the text is either by the Roman physician Galen or an unknown commentary on his work.

Researchers were able to compare the papyrus to the Ravenna papyri, historic documents from the Archdiocese of Ravenna in Italy. These include ancient manuscripts from Galen that were written over and re-used in the medieval era. “The Basel papyrus could be a similar case of medieval recycling, as it consists of multiple sheets glued together and was probably used as a book binding,” explained the University of Basel, in its statement.

Other historic texts have also been in the news recently. Scientists in Denmark, for example, recently found high levels of arsenic in three books from the 16th and 17thcenturies. Experts from the University of Southern Denmark made the startling discovery when they were studying fragments of medieval manuscripts that were used to bind the books.

Ancient Papyrus Mystery Solved
An expert works on the ancient papyrus (University of Basel)

Earlier this year, secret 500-year-old letters sent by King Ferdinand II of Aragon to one of his military commanders were finally deciphered by experts in Spain. The country’s Army Museum called in experts from Spain’s intelligence agency, the Centro Nacional de Inteligencia (CNI), to help decipher the mysterious documents. The letters, which use a combination of 237 letter codes and 88 symbols, had baffled historians.

Ferdinand sent the letters to Gonzalo Fernández de Córdoba, known as the Great Captain, during a military campaign in Italy in the early 16th century.

Researchers in Canada also said they had harnessed artificial intelligence to decode a mysterious 15th-century manuscript. Discovered in the 19th century, the Voynich manuscript uses “alien” characters that have long puzzled cryptographers and historians.

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Tesla’s Cloud Hit By Crypto Mining Malware Attack

Tesla's Cloud Hit By Crypto Mining Malware Attack

Electric vehicle maker Tesla has reportedly fallen victim to a cryptocurrency mining malware attack.

On Tuesday, cybersecurity software firm RedLock reported that hackers had exploited an insecure Kubernetes console, which they used to access and siphon computer processing power from Tesla’s cloud environment in order to mine cryptocurrencies. The team says it discovered and reported the vulnerability to Tesla several months ago.

A Tesla spokesperson told Gizmodo that customer information was not accessed during the incident.

“We maintain a bug bounty program to encourage this type of research, and we addressed this vulnerability within hours of learning about it,” the spokesperson reportedly said, explaining:


“The impact seems to be limited to internally-used engineering test cars only, and our initial investigation found no indication that customer privacy or vehicle safety or security was compromised in any way.”

Unlike previous crypto mining attacks, the hackers that targeted Tesla did not utilize a public mining pool. Instead, they installed mining pool software and obscured it behind CloudFlare, which allowed them to hide the IP address of their mining pool server, making detection of the mining more difficult. To further hide their actions, the hackers ensured that CPU usage remained low during the hack.

RedLock CTO Gaurav Kumar said that public cloud environments are particularly vulnerable to mining hacks, which have been on the rise in tandem with the increase in cryptocurrencies’ value.

“Organizations’ public cloud environments are ideal targets due to the lack of effective cloud threat defense programs,” he explained to Gizmodo. “In the past few months alone, we have uncovered a number of cryptojacking incidents including the one affecting Tesla.”

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California Firefighter Killed While Battling Blaze Near Yosemite National Park

California firefighter killed while battling blaze near Yosemite National Park

A California firefighter who was using a bulldozer to prevent a wildfire from spreading was killed Saturday near Yosemite National Park, state fire officials said.

Braden Varney, 36, a CalFire heavy fire equipment operator, died in the morning hours, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said.

“This certainly is going to be devastating to his family and those of us who call him family here with CalFire,” fire Chief Nancy Koerperich said. “But we all know in the world of firefighting it is a difficult job, it is a dangerous job, and Braden will be greatly missed.”

Varney had worked through the night and was driving the bulldozer to cut a firebreak to keep the fire from extending into a nearby community, Koerperich said.

“This certainly is going to be devastating to his family and those of us who call him family here with CalFire. But we all know in the world of firefighting it is a difficult job, it is a dangerous job, and Braden will be greatly missed.”

– Chief Nancy Koerperich, CalFire

The bulldozer rolled over during the incident and first responders weren’t immediately able to retrieve Varney’s body, she said.

California firefighter killed while battling blaze near Yosemite National Park
The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection says a firefighter has been killed while battling a wildfire near Yosemite National Park. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

The blaze broke out Friday night in Mariposa County, near the west end of Yosemite National Park and Sierra National Forest.

Fire officials said it had burned about 150 acres.

Investigators were working to determine further circumstances surrounding Varney’s death, but they believe he was working his way out of the fire area when he was killed, Koerperich said.

“Braden is known by everyone in Mariposa County and is a star in our community and is a friend of everyone,” Mariposa County Sheriff Doug Binnewies said.

“Braden is known by everyone in Mariposa County and is a star in our community and is a friend of everyone.”

– Mariposa County Sheriff Doug Binnewies

Gov. Jerry Brown ordered flags at the state’s Capitol to be flown at half-staff to honor “a man who dedicated his life to protecting his fellow Californians.”

Varney had worked for CalFire for 10 years. His father also worked as a CalFire heavy equipment operator.

“He was a community member. That’s where he lived, protecting the area where he grew up,” CalFire spokesman Scott McLean said, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Varney is survived by his wife, Jessica, daughter Malhea, 5, and son Nolan, 3.

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Israel Deals ‘Hardest Blow’ to Hamas Since 2014 Gaza War

Israel deals 'hardest blow' to Hamas since 2014 Gaza war
Israel deals 'hardest blow' to Hamas since 2014 Gaza war
Palestinian witnesses say a building was struck in Gaza City – Israel says it hit militant training sites

Israel has carried out its biggest attack against Hamas militant targets in Gaza since the war in 2014, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says.

The raids were a response to dozens of rockets fired into Israel, he said. Hamas said a truce had been agreed, but further exchanges have been reported.

Palestinian health officials said two people were killed and 12 injured in an air strike in Gaza City on Saturday.

Three Israelis were hurt by one of more than 90 rockets fired on Israel.

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said it had struck facilities used by Hamas, which dominates Gaza, including a battalion headquarters in Beit Lahia, a training camp located in a high-rise building in the al-Shati refugee camp in northern Gaza, weapons storage facilities and rocket launchers.

“In consultation with the minister of defence, the chief of staff and the top security command of the state of Israel, we have decided on strong action against Hamas terrorism,” Mr Netanyahu said in a video statement.

“The IDF have struck Hamas with the hardest blow since Operation Protective Edge and we will increase the strength of our attacks as necessary,” he added, referring to the 2014 conflict.

However, Palestinian officials said a ceasefire had now been agreed thanks to “Egyptian and international efforts”. Israel has not commented on the report, although Reuters quoted an unnamed Israeli defence official a saying “only the facts on the ground will dictate our further response”.

Witnesses told Reuters news agency an Israeli strike had hit an empty building in Gaza City and that the casualties were passers-by.

Hamas said another Palestinian had died after being shot by Israeli troops during border protests on Friday.

The IDF said dozens of rockets had been fired on Israel from within Gaza.

Israel deals 'hardest blow' to Hamas since 2014 Gaza war
More than 90 rockets are reported to have fallen in Israel

One rocket hit a home in the town of Sderot. Three people suffered shrapnel wounds.

The attacks come amid an escalation of violence in the region in recent months.

They coincided with mass demonstrations along the border which saw thousands of Palestinians express their support for the declared right of Palestinian refugees to return to their ancestral homes in what is now Israel – as well as demanding an end to the blockade of Gaza imposed by Israel and Egypt.

Israel and Egypt say the blockade is a necessary security measure against militants.

Gaza health officials say more than 130 Palestinians were killed and 15,000 others injured by Israeli forces during the protests.

Hamas does not recognize Israel’s right to exist but last year said it was ready to accept an interim Palestinian state limited to Gaza and the West Bank.

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Selena Gomez ‘Shocked’ By Justin Bieber Engagement News & Wonders If He Ever Really Loved Her

Justin Bieber and Hailey Baldwin Engagement

Selena Gomez is ‘stunned’ by Justin Bieber’s engagement to Hailey Baldwin! A source close to Selena told HL EXCLUSIVELY how she took the bombshell news!

Justin Bieber is reportedly engaged to Hailey Baldwin and there is one person’s reaction to this news we all want to know right now: his on again, off again ex Selena Gomez. A source close to Selena told EXCLUSIVELY how she handled hearing about her ex’s surprise proposal. “Selena was totally shocked and stunned to hear it’s being reported that Justin proposed to Hailey,” our source said. “She honestly can’t believe it. Selena didn’t think they were even that serious, so the thought of them getting married is just mind-boggling to her.”

Deep down, Selena believes that Justin’s engagement is potentially sending her a message. “Selena can’t help feeling that Justin has some ulterior motive going on, like, he’s trying to make her jealous, or he’s proving a point to her that he really is grown up and ready for commitment,” our source added. “She just can’t get her mind around it otherwise.”

On top of that, the news of Justin’s engagement comes only months after their relationship came to an end — a relationship where Justin told her he loved her. “If it is a serious proposal, and Justin is being totally genuine in wanting to marry Hailey, then Selena can’t help questioning what he really felt about her, and if her really did love her, because it was only a few months ago that he was declaring his undying love for her, and swearing he couldn’t live without her,” our source added.

Meanwhile, another source close to Justin said, “We could easily be talking about Justin and Selena being engaged right now, but the strain that her Mom brought to that rekindled relationship basically was the last straw for them to be a forever couple. They tried and their was push-back from her family to him and he didn’t want to deal with that the rest of his life. So that is why he found love elsewhere.” We’ll keep you posted as we learn more about this huge news.

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Cold War Videos Declassified for the Very First Time

Never-before-seen Cold War videos declassified

At the height of the Cold War, the U.S. was testing nuclear weapons in case it needed to use them. Now, remarkable footage has been released, with more than 250 videos detailing just how extensive the testing was.

The Lawrence Livermore National Library (LLNL) in California has posted the videos to its YouTube channel, all of which are now declassified, and they show countless explosions that took place on testing grounds in the U.S., from 1945 to 1962.

LLNL’s weapon physicist Greg Spriggs said it was imperative the team restored the footage, a process which took five years.

“We know that these films are on the brink of decomposing to the point where they become useless,” Spriggs said, according to the Daily Mail.

Spriggs added that it took several years to track down the footage. Only after the footage was found, did the LLNL researchers realize that most of the data about the tests was wrong. With less sophisticated technology at their disposal than their modern counterparts, scientists reportedly struggled to estimate the explosions’ size and power.

In total, there were 210 nuclear weapons tests in cold war that took place during the 17-year period, the laboratory noted. The lab added that nearly 10,000 of the films “sat idle, scattered across the country in high-security vaults.”

“The goals are to preserve the films’ content before it’s lost forever, and provide better data to the post-testing-era scientists who use computer codes to help certify that the aging U.S. nuclear deterrent remains safe, secure and effective,” LLNL said on its YouTube page.

“By looking at these films of cold war we found a lot of different pieces of information had not been analyzed back in the 1950s, and we’re discovering new things about these detonations that have never been seen before,” Spriggs said. “We decided to try and reanalyze the films and come up with better data to better understand nuclear weapon effects.”

There is still footage of cold war from blasts that occurred during the period that is classified, but only because the yield size has never been released to the public. Included in the footage is Operation Plumbbob, a series of tests that occurred between May 28 and Oct. 7, 1957 at the Nevada test site. Operation Plumbbob is widely considered to be the most controversial test series among experts.

Other tests included in the footage are Operation Hardtack I and Operation Hardtack II, as well as Operation Dominic and countless others.

The majority of the tests took place in the Pacific Ocean or in Nevada, the lab noted, but there is still significantly more footage to be analyzed, with Spriggs stating that only 6,500 films have been found and only 4,200 scanned.

“Of that number we’ve probably analyzed about 400 or 500 of these films,” Spriggs said, according to the Mail.

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DomainFactory Hacked—Hosting Provider Asks All Users to Change Passwords

DomainFactory Hacked—Hosting Provider Asks All Users to Change Passwords

Besides Timehop, another data breach was discovered last week that affects users of one of the largest  web hosting companies in Germany, DomainFactory, owned by GoDaddy.

The breach initially happened back in last January this year and just emerged last Tuesday when an unknown attacker himself posted a breach note on the DomainFactory support forum.

It turns out that the attacker breached company servers to obtain the data of one of its customers who apparently owes him a seven-figure amount, according to Heise.

Later the attacker tried to report DomainFactory about the potential vulnerability using which he broke into its servers, but the hosting provider did not respond, and neither disclosed the breach to its customers.

In that situation, the attacker head on to the company’s support forum and broke the news with sample data of a few customers as proof, which forced DomainFactory to immediately shut down the forum website and initiate an investigation.

Attacker Gains Access to a Large Number of Data

DomainFactory finally confirmed the breach last weekend, revealing that following personal data belonging to an unspecified number of its customers has been compromised.

  • Customer name
  • Company name
  • Customer account ID
  • Physical address
  • E-mail addresses
  • Telephone number
  • DomainFactory Phone password
  • Date of birth
  • Bank name and account number (e.g. IBAN or BIC)
  • Schufa score (German credit score)

Well, that’s a whole lot of information, which can be used by cyber criminals for targeted social engineering attacks against the customers.

The forum has since been temporarily down, and DomainFactory said that a data feed of certain customer information, accessed by the attacker, was left open to external third parties after a system transition on January 29, 2018.

“We have notified the data protection authority and commissioned external experts with the investigation. The protection of the data of our customers is paramount, and we regret the inconvenience this incident causes, very much,” the company said.

Change All of Your Passwords

DomainFactory is now advising its users to change passwords for all of the following services and applications “as a precautionary measure,” and also change passwords for other online services where you use the same password.

  • Customer password
  • Phone password
  • Email passwords
  • FTP / Live disk passwords
  • SSH passwords
  • MySQL database passwords

Since the compromised data can be used for identity theft and to create direct debits for customers’ bank account, users are also recommended to monitor their bank statements for any unauthorized transaction.

So far it is unclear how the attacker got into the Domainfactory servers, but the German publication said the attacker did not give an impression of selling the captured data or leaking it online.

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