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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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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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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Indiana man warns locals to ‘beware’ of giant spiders after spotting 6-inch crawler at work

Employees at Godfrey Marine in Elkhart, Indiana, spotted this large spider while building a boat this week. (Jacob Collins)
Employees at Godfrey Marine in Elkhart, Indiana, spotted this large spider while building a boat this week. (Jacob Collins)
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Arachnophobes, beware: A giant spider spotted in the Hoosier State is giving some locals nightmares after an Indiana man shared pictures of the large insect online Tuesday.

A female employee at manufacturer Godfrey Marine in Elkhart, Indiana, was apparently the first to encounter the hairy critter while building a boat. Coworkers helped capture the spider, placing it in a plastic bag so they could relocate it away from their work space.

But first, employee Jacob Collins snapped some unbelievable photos.

“They found this giant beast on a boat at work today. Beware all Elkhart country residents. They are out there and they are real,” Collins warned in a Facebook post, which has since been shared more than 4,460 times. Hundreds commented on the “creepy” critter.

“That would scare me to death!” one Facebook user exclaimed.

“Yikes. I can’t even imagine,” another commented.

“Put a saddle on that bad boy and ride it home,” one man joked.

“I would be moving out of Elkhart really fast, lol. Not a BIG spider fan at all,” a woman added.

Collins told Fox News the 6-inch spider, which many identified as a fishing spider, was not harmed and released back into the wild. Fishing spiders, commonly mistaken for wolf spiders, are known to live near water.

“Fishing spiders are named so because they are partially aquatic and generally live underneath docks, in corners of boats and in other dark, damp places. Because of their large, 3-inch leg span they are able to walk on water,” science website Sciencing explains in a post online.

According to the Indiana Department of Natural Resources (DNR), there are roughly 400 species of spiders in the state, though only two are known to have powerful bites — the poisonous brown recluse and black widow.

However, neither is known to be particularly aggressive and bites from them are “quite rare,” the Indiana DNR said.

“Reactions to bites vary by the amount of venom injected and the patient’s age, health, and individual sensitivity,” the Indiana DNR continued. “Subjects who have been bitten who experience severe pain, trouble breathing, dizziness or nausea should seek medical attention.”

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Alien wasp lays eggs inside caterpillars

This is the parasitic wasp Dolichogenidea xenomorph. Credit: Photo by Erinn Fagan-Jeffries

The inspiration for the chestburster creature from “Alien,” a rare subfamily of parasitoid wasps reproduces by literally inserting or injecting its eggs into unsuspecting caterpillars, which leads to the eggs literally eating their way to freedom.

According to research published in the Journal of Hymenoptera Research, three new species of Microgastrinae wasps have been named, one of which has been given the name  Dolichogenidea xenomorph, xenomorph being the name of the creature in the 1979 sci-horror movie, “Alien.”

“Dolichogenidea xenomorph or alien wasp acts as a parasite in caterpillars in a similar way that the fictional Alien creature does in its human host,” lead researcher Dr. Erinn Fagan-Jeffries of the University of Adelaide’s School of Biological Sciences said in a statement.

“This alien wasp is also black and shiny like the alien, and has a couple of weird traits for the genus — so xenomorph, meaning ‘strange form’, fits really well,” Dr. Fagan-Jefferies added.

D. xenomorph is tiny, at just 0.2 inches (5 millimeters) long, but it sports a pair of black antennae that are more than double its body length. Female alien wasp is equipped with an “extremely long” ovipositor, which allows them to inject the eggs into the unsuspecting hosts, the researchers noted.

In addition to the D. xenomorph, the researchers describe two others, Dolichogenidea finchi and Dolichogenidea mediocaudata, but it’s the D. xenomorph that is understandably grabbing the majority of attention.

“This species is named as alien wasp for the fictional creature from the movie franchise ‘Alien,’ which reportedly was inspired by the lifecycle of parasitic wasps,” the researchers wrote in their paper. “The name of the fictional creature comes from the Greek ‘xeno’ (strange) and ‘morphe’ (form) which is also appropriate.”

Researchers believe that there could be as many as 10,000 Microgastrinae wasps across the planet, but only a few thousand have actually been identified, LiveScience reports.

Female D. xenomorph wasps generally insert their eggs into Australian moth caterpillars known as Antipterna euanthes. The female D. xenomorph inserts dozens of tiny eggs into the caterpillars and after they hatch, the begin to eat the host body from the inside. Or in the words of actor Tom Skerrit who played the character Dallas in the movie, “like he exploded from inside.”

Read more: Indiana man warns locals to ‘beware’ of giant spiders after spotting 6-inch crawler at work

Once they’ve gorged on their fair share of blood and there is no additional room inside the moth caterpillar to grow, the larvae chew through the body in the span of a few weeks. From there, they spin a communal cocoon as they begin their next development phase, the researchers added.

Assuming the caterpillar doesn’t die after the xenomorph larvae burst through, it could be a bodyguard for the newly hatched wasps, LiveScience added. Eventually, the caterpillar does die (poor zombie caterpillar) and the cycle repeats, with the newly formed xenomorphs looking for additional hosts.

It’s unclear exactly how widespread the species is (so far, they’ve only been found at southeastern and southwestern coasts of Australia, according to the researchers), but its ferocity is unquestioned.

“At less than 5mm in length, Dolichogenidea xenomorph might seem to lack the punch of its fearsome namesake,” Fagan-Jeffries said. “But size is relative; to a host caterpillar, it’s an awesome predator.”

Watch Video Here

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ECP to reprint ballot papers removing Maryam Nawaz, Safdar’s name

ECP to reprint ballot papers removing Maryam Nawaz, Safdar’s name
ECP to reprint ballot papers removing Maryam Nawaz, Safdar’s name
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ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan will reprint ballot papers to remove the names of Maryam Nawaz and her spouse retired captain Safdar after both were sentenced by an accountability court.

The spokesman for the election commission released a statement after both were declared ineligible to contest the upcoming general elections after the guilty verdict in the Avenfield reference case.

The statement said the a candidate is deemed ineligible to contest after being declared guilty by a court of law, and that ineligibility does not affect the general elections which will be held as scheduled.

He added that new ballot papers will be printed after both were declared ineligible and sentenced by the accountability court.

It may be mentioned that Maryam Nawaz was contesting from NA-127 Lahore, while captain Safdar was contest to NA-14 in Mansehra.

Maryam was sentenced to seven years in the Avenfield reference case, while Safdar was sentenced to one year. Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif was sentenced to ten years in prison and fined right million pounds.

 

NAB decides to arrest Nawaz, Maryam on return from London

NAB decides to arrest Nawaz, Maryam on return from London
NAB decides to arrest Nawaz, Maryam on return from London
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KARACHI: The National Accountability Court (NAB) has decided to arrest the convicts, former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam Nawaz, on their return from London, ARY News reported.

NAB sources said the relevant authorities of the institution had issued order to arrest Nawaz and Maryam upon their landing in Pakistan.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa police will also be contacted to arrest former MNA and Nawaz’s son-in-law captain (retd) Safdar as the authorities have decided to arrest all those who have been convicted by NAB court, the sources said.

Read more: Red warrant to be issued for Nawaz’s extradition: Farogh Naseem

An accountability court handed Nawaz Sharif 10 years as jail time for owning assets beyond income and 1 year for not cooperating with NAB in the Avenfield properties corruption reference filed by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB).

His daughter Maryam Nawaz was given 7 years for abutment, and 1 year for non-cooperation with the anti-graft authority.

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Red warrant to be issued for Nawaz’s extradition: Farogh Naseem

Red warrant to be issued for Nawaz’s extradition: Farogh Naseem
Red warrant to be issued for Nawaz’s extradition: Farogh Naseem
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KARACHI: Legal expert Farogh Naseem on Friday said help will be sought through red notice and red warrant to extradite former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, if he does not return to Pakistan, ARY News reported.

An accountability court handed Nawaz Sharif 10 years as jail time for owning assets beyond income and 1 year for not cooperating with NAB in the Avenfield properties corruption reference filed by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB).

His daughter Maryam Nawaz has been sentenced to seven years imprisonment for abetment, and one year for non-cooperation with the anti-graft authority.

Explicating the court verdict, the counsel Farogh said Maryam’s disqualification term will begin after she would have served her jail term, which means that she has in total been disqualified for 17 years. While, he said, likewise Nawaz has been disqualified for 20 years.

A red notice is a request to locate and provisionally arrest an individual pending extradition. While, a red notice is the closest instrument to an international arrest warrant. Interpol (the International Criminal Police Organization) circulates notices to member countries and the required person can be extradited through formal application, after he has been found.

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Nawaz gets 10 years in prison and Maryam 7 in Avenfield case

Nawaz gets 10 years in prison and Maryam 7 in Avenfield case
Nawaz gets 10 years in prison and Maryam 7 in Avenfield case
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ISLAMABAD: An accountability court on Friday sentenced former premier Nawaz Sharif to a total of 10 years in prison and directed him to pay a fine of £8 million after finding him guilty on different charges in the Avenfield properties case.

Judge Muhammad Bashir found Mr. Sharif guilty of accumulating assets beyond his known sources of income.

He handed out seven-year imprisonment to the former premier’s daughter Maryam Nawaz and a fine of £2 million. She has been awarded an additional one year’s imprisonment on charges of using Calibri font to fabricate Avenfield properties trust deeds.

Whereas, her husband Captain retired Safdar has been awarded one year’s jail term.

Highlights

  • Nawaz Sharif handed out 10-year imprisonment and £ 8m fine

  • Maryam Nawaz gets seven years in prison and a fine of £ 2m

  • Captain Safdar to undergo rigorous imprisonment of one year

  • Avenfield properties to be confiscated

Moreover, the judge ordered confiscation of the Sharif family’s London properties in question in the case.

Four members of the Sharif family ─ Nawaz, Maryam, Hasan and Hussain ─ who have been named in the case – are in London, while Captain Safdar is in Pakistan, but didn’t appear in court to hear the verdict.

The judge earlier rejected an application filed by the former prime minister seeking a seven-day postponement of the verdict.

He reserved the verdict on the application after hearing arguments from the Sharif family’s lawyer Amjad Pervez and NAB prosecutor Sardar Muzaffar.

At the outset of the hearing, the lawyer argued that the former premier and his daughter are not proclaimed offenders and added they will show up in court upon return from London after seven days.

Opposing the plea, the NAB prosecutor contended a reserved verdict is not deferred and pleaded that the application be dismissed for being non-maintainable.

Security has been beefed up in and outside the court to avoid any untoward incident.

The accountability judge had earlier set July 6 (today) for pronouncement of the verdict in the Avenfield case against Mr. Nawaz Sharif, his daughter Maryam Nawaz and son-in-law Captain retired Safdar.

A day earlier, the former premier’s lawyer filed the application, stating that the ex-PM wanted to hear the judgment while standing in the courtroom with his people whom he wanted to hold as witnesses.

He said Mr. Sharif and his daughter traveled to London on June 14 for tending to ailing wife Kulsoom Nawaz, who is undergoing cancer treatment there. Upon arrival in London, they discovered that she suffered a cardiac arrest and was put on a ventilator.

He said the former premier wanted to return to Pakistan if his wife had recovered sufficiently.

Not only is delay in the interest of justice, but in consonance with the spirit and requirement of Section 366 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1989, the counsel argued.

He pleaded that the announcement of the order in the reference be postponed for a minimum period of seven days so that Mr. Sharif and his daughter could return home.

A report about the condition of ailing Kulsoom Nawaz was also attached to the application, which stated, “she continues to be ventilator-dependent. Whilst last week it did look as if she might be able to [be] weaned, her respiratory indices deteriorated and she has required pressure control ventilation.”

Background

The Avenfield reference is among four corruption references filed against former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, his three children and former finance minister Ishaq Dar in compliance with the July 2017 Supreme Court verdict in the Panama Papers case.

On July 28, the apex court disqualified Mr. Sharif in a unanimous verdict, thus cutting short his third stint in power.

The court directed the anti-graft watchdog to file references against the former premier and members of his family in the wake of the Panama Joint Investigation Team (JIT) report leveling serious corruption allegations against them.

Subsequently, three references were filed against Sharifs, which pertained to the Al-Azizia Steel Mills and Hill Metal Establishment, Flagship Investment Ltd, and Avenfield properties of London.

Nawaz sharif and his two sons – Hussain and Hasan – have been named in all three references whereas his daughter Maryam and son-in-law Capt. Safdar have been nominated in the Avenfield reference only.

As per Avenfield Properties reference, Sharif, his brood and his son-in-law had purchased four flats in Park Lane, UK, without legitimate financial means. However, the former premier and his family members have consistently claimed that the apartments were purchased with legal means.

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