posted about 1 hour ago on ars technica
Enlarge (credit: BeeBright / Getty Images / iStockphoto) Researchers said on Friday that they found a malicious backdoor in a WordPress plugin that gave attackers full control of websites that used the package, which is marketed to schools. The premium version of School Management, a plugin schools use to operate and manage their websites, has contained the backdoor since at least version 8.9, researchers at website security service JetPack said in a blog post without ruling out that it had been present in earlier versions. This page from a third-party site shows that version 8.9 was released last August. Obvious backdoor Jetpack said it discovered the backdoor after support team members at WordPress.com reported finding heavily obfuscated code on several sites that used School Management Pro. After deobfuscating it, they realized that the code, stashed in the license-checking part of the plugin, was intentionally placed there with the goal of giving outsiders the ability to take control of sites.Read 8 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Enlarge / Liver lesions in patient with chronic active hepatitis C. (credit: Getty | BSIP) A sixth child has died in the United States from puzzling liver inflammation—aka hepatitis—and the number of unexplained cases has risen to 180 across 36 states, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The latest death was announced in a press briefing Friday, led by CDC Deputy Director for Infectious Diseases Jay Butler, who said it was reported to the agency Thursday. He did not indicate in which state the death occurred. In addition to the deaths, 15 of the 180 cases required liver transplants, Butler reported. The cases all occurred in children under the age of 10 but skewed to preschool-age children, with the median age being around 2 years.Read 16 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Enlarge / The prehistoric monument of Stonehenge in Wiltshire, UK. A large Neolithic settlement known as Durrington Walls is less than two miles away and is believed to be where the people who built the famous site camped during the main stage of construction. (credit: Adam Stanford) Nearly two miles away from Stonehenge, there is a large Neolithic settlement known as Durrington Walls, believed to be where the people who built the famous site camped during the main stage of construction. British archaeologists have analyzed fossilized fecal matter collected at the site and found that it contained the eggs of parasitic worms, according to a new paper published in the journal Parasitology. The preserved feces belonged to both dogs and humans, indicating that people brought dogs to the site with them for winter feasts and likely shared the scraps with the canines. “This is the first time intestinal parasites have been recovered from Neolithic Britain, and to find them in the environment of Stonehenge is really something,” said co-author Piers Mitchell, an archaeologist at the University of Cambridge. “The type of parasites we find are compatible with previous evidence for winter feasting on animals during the building of Stonehenge.” For archaeologists keen on learning more about the health and diet of past populations—as well as how certain parasites evolved over the evolutionary history of the microbiome—preserved samples of ancient poo can be a veritable goldmine of information. For instance, ancient Iron Age miners in what is now Austria were quite fond of beer and blue cheese, according to a 2021 analysis of preserved paleo-poop excavated from the prehistoric underground salt mines of Hallstatt-Dachstein/Salzkammergut, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Fecal samples are usually found in dry caves, desert areas, frozen areas, or waterlogged environments (like bogs), where desiccation, freezing, and similar processes preserve the fecal matter for posterity.Read 9 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Enlarge / When there's danger! (credit: Disney) Traditionally, when Disney films skip theaters and go straight to video, it's not a good sign. That's changed somewhat now that the Disney+ content beast needs to be fed, yet the company still differentiates between "triple-A television" like The Mandalorian and "cheap, kid-friendly movies" like the Air Bud series. Hence, today's Disney+ premiere of Chip 'N Dale: Rescue Rangers—a PG-rated reboot with little in the way of advance press screenings—had us assuming the worst, despite of its comedy pedigree. The Lonely Island ("Lazy Sunday," "Mother Lover") is all over the film's credits, but how much of the group's boundary-pushing Saturday Night Live work could survive the family-friendly demands of a straight-to-Disney+ launch? I'm here with surprisingly good news. Chip 'N Dale is a self-aware comedy romp that families will appreciate. What's more, it knows exactly when and how to toy with '80s and '90s gaming, cartoon, and pop-culture references without losing character development and physical comedy.Read 11 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Enlarge (credit: Qualcomm) Qualcomm's mid-cycle "plus" chip refresh—the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1—has been announced. As usual, Qualcomm is promising some modest improvements over the existing 8 Gen 1 chip. The company said the chip will provide "10 percent faster CPU performance," thanks to a 200 MHz peak CPU boost (up to 3.2 GHz now) and a 10 percent faster GPU. The real shocker is a "30 percent improved power efficiency" claim for the CPU and GPU. For the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 Plus, Qualcomm is moving the chip from Samsung Foundry to TSMC, which is apparently where the power improvements are coming from. That's a serious slam against Samsung's 4 nm process versus TSMC's 4 nm process, but it lines up with earlier reports of troubles at Samsung Foundry. Swapping foundries as part of a mid-cycle upgrade is not normal, and it seems that Qualcomm has a bit of a salvage operation on its hands with the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1. The chip has not fared very well in the real world, with the CPU regularly turning in lower benchmark scores than 2021's flagship Snapdragon 888.Read 1 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted about 7 hours ago on ars technica
Enlarge (credit: Anker/YouTube) If you have an M1-based Mac, Apple says you're limited to just one external monitor. But Anker, which makes power banks, chargers, docks, and other accessories, this week released a dock that it says will boost your M1 Mac's max monitor count to three. The 4250 Anker 563 USB-C docking station, spotted by MacRumors, connects to a USB-C port on your computer (which doesn't have to be a Mac) and can also charge a laptop at up to 100 W. Of course, you'll also need to plug in the dock's 180 W power adapter. Once connected, the dock adds the following ports to your setup: 2x HDMI (version not specified) 1x USB-C (3.1 Gen 1): charges devices at up to 30 W 1x USB-A (3.1 Gen 1): charges devices at up to 7.5 W 2x USB-A (2.0) 1x 3.5 mm headphone jack 1x Ethernet Port selection. (credit: Anker) You'll need the two HDMI ports and DisplayPort to add three monitors to an M1 MacBook. There are some notable limitations, though.Read 9 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Enlarge / Shine bright like a diamond. Last month, Hearthstone broke a long-standing precedent by selling a single cosmetic card upgrade for a whopping $25 (or a similar amount of in-game currency). Now that the expensive card's power level is being scaled back, Blizzard is offering a generous refund to players who made that purchase—and it's letting them keep the ultra-rare card, to boot. Drek'Thar has been an extremely popular Hearthstone card since its release in December alongside the Fractured in Alterac Valley set. Thanks to the card's ability to draw and summon two minions from your deck whenever cast (if your deck is constructed correctly), Drek'Thar was showing up in upward of 20 percent of all competitive decks this month, according to HSReplay.net statistics, and decks with the card were winning more than 60 percent of the time. A diamond is forever For months, Hearthstone players could find a Legendary Drek'Thar in regular packs, craft a copy by using in-game dust gained from excess cards, or earn a "free" Golden copy by completing various in-game quests. Starting April 5, though, Blizzard added a way to obtain a new version of Drek'Thar: pay $25 (or 3,000 in-game gold) to purchase an ultra-rare "Diamond" upgrade.Read 8 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Enlarge (credit: Getty Images) Almost every aspect of modern society relies on materials that are limited on Earth. In order to live within the limits set by our planet, we have to figure out how to make the most of what we extract and reuse whatever we have extracted. A new study released this week looks into how close we are to reaching that ideal for 61 different metals. Along the way, its authors figure out how long different metals stay in circulation before they're lost and identify the stage at which those losses take place. While a lack of recycling is a major roadblock on the way to a circular economy, it's far from the only one. For many metals, including some critically important ones, we discard huge amounts that are present in ores we mine for different elements. Mind your metals Tracking that many metals through their entire life cycle is a huge task, but the authors were able to build on previous work by Japanese researchers who developed a software model called MaTrace. The model is designed to track the flow of materials from production to loss, estimating losses at each stage of the material's life cycle based on empirical data.Read 15 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Enlarge The fight for the right to repair remains an active battle as various companies and lawmakers claim worries around safety, cybersecurity, and design innovation. But with concerns about e-waste, device quality, and the health of independent repair shops mounting, advocates like iFixit CEO Kyle Wiens are keeping their gloves up. In the lead up to Ars Technica's first annual Ars Frontiers event in Washington, DC, last week, we held a livestream with Wiens exploring this critical tech issue. Making a federal case of it Tech repairs got complicated in 1998 when Congress passed the Digital Millennium Copyright Act [PDF]. Section 1201 of the copyright law essentially made it illegal to distribute tools for, or to break encryption on, manufactured products. Created with DVD piracy in mind, it made fixing things like computers and tractors significantly harder, if not illegal, without manufacturer permission. It also represented "a total sea change from what historic property rights have been," Wiens said. This makes Washington, DC, the primary battleground for the fight for the right to repair.Read 12 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted about 13 hours ago on ars technica
Enlarge / The Starliner spacecraft launches Thursday evening on top of an Atlas V rocket. (credit: Trevor Mahlmann) Welcome to Edition 4.43 of the Rocket Report! Thanks for your patience last week with me for not putting out a newsletter—I've tried to reward it this week with an extra-long version. I would also like to extend our congratulations to Boeing, NASA, and United Launch Alliance on a successful launch of the Starliner spacecraft, and a good orbital insertion. Next comes a rendezvous and docking with the International Space Station on Friday. As always, we welcome reader submissions, and if you don't want to miss an issue, please subscribe using the box below (the form will not appear on AMP-enabled versions of the site). Each report will include information on small-, medium-, and heavy-lift rockets as well as a quick look ahead at the next three launches on the calendar. Relativity Space completes stage tests. The California-based launch company announced this week that it has successfully completed a mission duty cycle test for its Terran 1 rocket's second stage, running the full test duration (see video from the company's test stage in Mississippi). Finishing this test means that the company believes that the upper stage, and all of its subsystems, are ready for flight. Relativity Chief Executive Tim Ellis has previously said he is highly confident that the Terran 1 rocket will make its debut launch from Florida this year.Read 32 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted about 15 hours ago on ars technica
Enlarge / The retro-futuristic styling of the Ioniq 5 refers back to the Hyundai Pony of the mid-1970s. (credit: Hyundai) Hyundai and Kia are recalling nearly 20,000 of their newest electric vehicles. The problem affects the impressive Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Kia EV6, a pair of EVs built using the Korean OEMs' new E-GMP platform. Specifically, the issue is to do with the EVs' parking brake function. If a voltage fluctuation occurs while the vehicle is parked and turned off, a command signal from the shifter control unit could disengage the parking pawl, potentially allowing the car to roll away. The issue was identified by the automakers in Korea; Hyundai says that it received four claims of Ioniq 5s being affected.Read 2 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Enlarge / Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas speaks at the Heritage Foundation on October 21, 2021, in Washington, DC. (credit: Getty Images | Drew Angerer ) With tech groups asking the US Supreme Court to block the new Texas law against social media "censorship," the state's defense relies in part on an opinion issued last year by Justice Clarence Thomas in a case involving Donald Trump and Twitter. Thomas' opinion, as we wrote at the time, criticized the Section 230 legal protections given to online platforms' moderation decisions and argued that free-speech law shouldn't necessarily prevent lawmakers from regulating those platforms as common carriers. "In many ways, digital platforms that hold themselves out to the public resemble traditional common carriers," Thomas wrote. "Though digital instead of physical, they are at bottom communications networks, and they 'carry' information from one user to another. A traditional telephone company laid physical wires to create a network connecting people. Digital platforms lay information infrastructure that can be controlled in much the same way." The similarity between online platforms and common carriers "is even clearer for digital platforms that have dominant market share," Thomas also wrote.Read 19 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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The third season of The Umbrella Academy will debut in June on Netflix. The Hargreeves siblings return to 2019 only to find themselves caught in an alternate timeline where they were never adopted by their wealthy father in the official trailer for The Umbrella Academy S3. Instead, they must confront their alt-timeline counterparts, the Sparrow Academy, and ward off yet another apocalypse as they try, once again, to return home. (Spoilers for first two seasons below.) For those unfamiliar with the premise, in S1, billionaire industrialist Sir Reginald Hargreeves (Colm Feore) adopted seven children out of 43 mysteriously born in 1989 to random women who had not been pregnant the day before. The children were raised at Hargreeves' Umbrella Academy, with the help of a robot "mother" named Grace (Jordan Claire Robbins) and became a family of superheroes with special powers. But it was a dysfunctional arrangement, marred by the tragic death of one of the children, and the family members ultimately disbanded, only reuniting as adults when Hargreeves died. They soon learned that they had to team up to prevent a global apocalypse.Read 11 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Enlarge / Yes, we're as surprised by this game being good (at least in its closed alpha state) as you are. (credit: Warner Bros. Games) Starting today, Warner Bros. Games is taking the formal veil off its worst-kept video game secret in years: Multiversus. When we saw the leaks about this upcoming free-to-play PC and console game, which stars various WB and Time Warner intellectual property in a cartoony, Smash Bros.-style arena fighter, we had our reservations. Was WB seriously trying to compete with Nintendo's biggest fighting game by pitting Arya Stark against... Shaggy from Scooby-Doo? Whose dream cartoon face-off is that? A few days ago, WB invited us to go hands-on to see for ourselves what the game is like ahead of today's launch of a closed alpha test to address those kinds of questions and more. So far, we've come away impressed and surprised. In a world that didn't necessarily need another Smash Bros. clone, the devs at Player First Games have seemingly cracked the code—and made something that could neatly coexist with Nintendo's massive hit, if not surpass it. (Even better, at first blush, the F2P stuff seems tolerable!) Less blocking, more cooperating Just a normal, everyday mash-up of WB intellectual property. (credit: WB Games) Most of the "arena fighter" genre basics, as established by Smash Bros., are accounted for in WB's latest fighting game. Instead of wearing down an energy bar à la Street Fighter, Multiversus players try to "ring out" their foes by racking up damage and setting up knockout blows. Movement is pretty Super Mario-like in terms of dashing and jumping between floating platforms, and players have a range of basic and special attacks that don't require complex joystick and button combos.Read 14 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Since the financial crisis, corporate lawyers have aspired to build the ultimate ironclad merger contract that keeps buyers with cold feet from backing out. The “bulletproof” modern deal agreement now faces one of its biggest tests, as Elon Musk, the Tesla boss and richest person in the world, openly entertains the possibility of ditching his $44 billion deal for Twitter. Musk said in a tweet this week that the “deal cannot move forward” until the social media platform provides detailed data about fake accounts, a request that Twitter seems unlikely to meet. Twitter’s board, meanwhile, has stated its commitment “to completing the transaction on the agreed price and terms as promptly as practicable."Read 17 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Enlarge / The new Fire 7 tablet. (credit: Amazon) Amazon has updated the 7-inch Fire Tablet—it's now the "2022, 12th gen" version. The big news this year is that Amazon is finally upgrading to USB-C, which is tough to come by in this bargain-basement pricing tier. About that price: The Fire 7 is $74.99 without lockscreen ads or $59.99 if you want to put up with the ads. For the SoC, we have a MediaTek MT8168V. This is a 12 nm chip with four ARM Cortex A53 cores running at 2 GHz and an ARM Mali G52. There's a 7-inch, 1024×600 LCD, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of storage (or $20 more for 32GB), and a "10-hour" battery. (We'll update this article if Amazon gets back to us about the battery size.) There's a microSD slot, a headphone jack, and Wi-Fi 5 (that's 802.11ac) support. There are technically front and back cameras on the Fire 7, but at 2 MP each and "no autofocus," they might not be useful for much. There's no GPS and no NFC, but the tablet comes with a 5 W USB-C charger. The Fire 7 tablet has USB-C. (credit: Amazon) The 2022 Fire 7 also marks the launch of Amazon's "Fire OS 8." This is a fork of Android 11 that doesn't seem to stray far from the normal codebase, but it doesn't have any Google apps or services. Amazon is promising four years of security updates, even at this ultra-low price point.Read 2 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Enlarge / The Electrify America Solar Glow 1 farm will generate enough solar power to offset the entire EA charging network. One of the best things about electric cars, other than their power trains, immediate torque, and relaxing quiet, is the fact that as the electrical grid becomes cleaner, so too does every EV that uses that grid to charge. That process took a step forward this week with the news that by next year, the Electrify America (EA) charging network will be entirely offset by solar energy. On Wednesday, EA signed a 15-year agreement with Terra-Gen to purchase electricity from a 75 MW solar farm being built by the latter in San Bernardino County, California. In the past, Tesla CEO Elon Musk has made various promises about making Tesla’s Supercharger network entirely solar-powered, and the automaker has installed solar arrays at some of its charging locations. It does not appear that the network is fully solar-powered yet, though. The Electrify America Solar Glow 1 project will break ground later this year, and when it's fully operational in 2023, it should have an annual energy production of 225,000 MWh. That’s more than enough to account for the annual energy use of the EA charging network.Read 2 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Dr. Sephus discusses breaking down barriers to machine learning at Ars Frontiers 2022. Click here for transcript. (video link) Welcome to the week after Ars Frontiers! This article is the first in a short series of pieces that will recap each of the day's talks for the benefit of those who weren't able to travel to DC for our first conference. We'll be running one of these every few days for the next couple of weeks, and each one will include an embedded video of the talk (along with a transcript). For today's recap, we're going over our talk with Amazon Web Services tech evangelist Dr. Nashlie Sephus. Our discussion was titled "Breaking Barriers to Machine Learning."Read 27 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Enlarge / A 2003 photo of the arms and legs of a 4-year-old girl infected with monkeypox in Liberia. (credit: Getty | BSIP) A growing outbreak of monkeypox cases has spread across several countries, including the US, suggesting that the animal-transmitted disease that occurs in forested areas of Central and West Africa has been quietly spreading undetected. So far, the US has reported one case in a Massachusetts man who had recently traveled to Canada, which, as of Thursday, reported 17 suspected cases in Montreal. The United Kingdom has identified nine cases, one of which is connected to recent travel to Nigeria, where monkeypox is endemic. But the other cases appear to have been infected within the UK and are all not linked to the travel-related case by contact or timing. Portugal is investigating more than 20 cases, Spain is reportedly investigating 23 cases, and Italy and Sweden have each reported at least one case. Disease origins Monkeypox is a relative of smallpox and produces similar symptoms, but it causes a milder disease than that of the eradicated virus. There are two clades of monkeypox: the West African clade and the Congo Basin clade. The West African clade, which is what has been detected in the UK, is the milder of the two. It is usually a self-limiting infection, though it can cause severe disease in some cases. The case fatality rate has been estimated at about 1 percent. The Congo Basin clade, meanwhile, has an estimated fatality rate of as high as 10 percent. For both clades, children are among those at high risk of severe disease, and infection can be particularly dangerous during pregnancy, causing complications, congenital conditions, and stillbirth.Read 9 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Enlarge / Boeing's Starliner is seen on Wednesday atop an Atlas V rocket at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida. (credit: Trevor Mahlmann) Today's the day for Boeing's Starliner spacecraft to take to the skies. Unless it's not. Nearly 29 months have passed since the company's first attempt to demonstrate that Starliner could safely launch into orbit, fly up to the International Space Station and dock, and then return to Earth in a New Mexico desert beneath three parachutes. During that December 2019 test flight, of course, there were myriad software problems, and Starliner ended up lacking the fuel to rendezvous with the space station. As part of its fixed-price contract with NASA—the space agency is paying about $5.1 billion to Boeing to develop a crew transport system to the space station—the company agreed to redo the demonstration flight. Boeing thought it was ready for this repeat flight last August, but hours before launch more than a dozen valves in Starliner's propulsion system became stuck. The attempt was called off, so Boeing never got to test its revised software code.Read 7 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Enlarge / The Framework Laptop is getting its first major upgrade today. (credit: Framework) We were fans of the Framework Laptop when we reviewed it last year. This was partly because its modular design prioritizes repairability and upgradeability when most other laptops don't. But we also liked it because you didn't need to make huge tradeoffs to get that repairability—the Framework Laptop is lightweight and has a high-quality screen, keyboard, and touchpad, helping it stay competitive with big-box thin-and-light laptops like Dell's XPS 13 and the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon. An upgradeable laptop is only worthwhile if you can actually upgrade it, though, and Framework is making that possible starting today: The company is introducing a new iteration of the Framework Laptop's motherboard that uses 12th-gen Intel CPUs. A brand-new 12th-gen Framework Laptop starts at $1,049 for a Core i5-equipped base model, or $819 for a build-it-yourself kit with no memory or storage. These products will be available for preorder starting today, and shipping will start in July. The 12th-generation Core processors use Intel's latest Alder Lake CPU architecture, which combines high-performance P-cores and high-efficiency E-cores to maximize performance under heavy load and reduce power usage when your computer is mostly idle. The base Core i5-1240P CPU includes four P-cores and eight E-cores, a big boost in core count compared to the quad-core 11th-gen CPUs. The Core i7-1260P upgrade has the same CPU core count with boosted clock speeds and a small increase in integrated GPU performance, while the top-end Core i7-1280P option will get you six P-cores and eight E-cores.Read 6 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Enlarge / The new HP Spectre x360 in "Nocturne Blue with Celestial Blue accents." (credit: Scharon Harding) HP has revamped its Spectre x360 lineup of convertible, champfered-edged laptops with a purportedly quieter sound profile, Intel's new Arc graphics card, and beefed-up webcams. Today, HP released 12th Gen Intel versions of the Spectre x360 in 13.5- and 16-inch sizes. If the 13.5-inch sounds new to you, that's because HP hasn't released a "Spectre x360 13.5" since 2020. Last year, its 13.5-inch Spectre was called the "Spectre x360 14." But don't get confused; this thin-and-light laptop still has a screen that measures 13.5 inches diagonally and uses the 3:2 aspect ratio for up to 3000×2000 resolution if you opt for OLED.Read 12 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted 2 days ago on ars technica
Enlarge (credit: Getty Images) Malicious hackers, some believed to be state-backed, are actively exploiting two unrelated vulnerabilities—both with severity ratings of 9.8 out of a possible 10—in hopes of infecting sensitive enterprise networks with backdoors, botnet software, and other forms of malware. The ongoing attacks target unpatched versions of multiple product lines from VMware and of BIG-IP software from F5, security researchers said. Both vulnerabilities give attackers the ability to remotely execute malicious code or commands that run with unfettered root system privileges. The largely uncoordinated exploits appear to be malicious, as opposed to benign scans that attempt to identify vulnerable servers and quantify their number. First up: VMware On April 6, VMware disclosed and patched a remote code execution vulnerability tracked as CVE-2022-22954 and a privilege escalation flaw tracked as CVE-2022-22960. According to an advisory published on Wednesday by the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, “malicious cyber actors were able to reverse engineer the updates to develop an exploit within 48 hours and quickly began exploiting the disclosed vulnerabilities in unpatched devices.”Read 10 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Enlarge / People watch a television broadcast showing a file image of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un during a military parade at the Seoul Railway Station on May 4, 2022, in Seoul, South Korea. (credit: Getty | Chung Sung-Jun) A mushrooming COVID-19 outbreak in North Korea has reached over 1.7 million cases, with nearly 233,000 new cases reported on Wednesday alone, according to state media reports. It's a startling rise given that North Korea claimed to have zero COVID-19 cases a week ago. But now the secretive, authoritarian country is acknowledging that the pandemic virus has been spreading "explosively" in since late April. Many experts have interpreted the admission as a sign of a dire situation in the country and a plea for international aid. North Korea has a weak health care system, and many of its people are undernourished due to an ongoing food crisis. Moreover, the country previously shunned offers of vaccines from the United Nations-backed COVAX program and China, leaving its population unvaccinated. After North Korea acknowledged the outbreak for the first time last Thursday, South Korea offered aid, including vaccines. But North Korea has reportedly not responded. But, the country may have accepted aid from its closest ally, China. According to unnamed diplomats who spoke with The Wall Street Journal, three North Korean cargo planes flew to the Chinese city of Shenyang on Monday, returning the same day carrying basic medical supplies.Read 6 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Door detection will use the lidar scanner and machine learning to identify doors and relay information about their location, labeling, and more to blind or low-vision users. [credit: Apple ] Global Accessibility Awareness Day is Thursday, so Apple took to its newsroom blog this week to announce several major new accessibility features headed to the iPhone, Apple Watch, iPad, and Mac. One of the most widely used will likely be Live Captions, which is coming to iPhone, Mac, and iPad. The feature shows AI-driven, live-updating subtitles for speech coming from any audio source on the phone, whether the user is "on a phone or FaceTime call, using a video conferencing or social media app, streaming media content, or having a conversation with someone next to them." The text (which users can resize at will) appears at the top of the screen and ticks along as the subject speaks. Additionally, Mac users will be able to type responses and have them read aloud to others on the call. Live Captions will enter public beta on supported devices ("iPhone 11 and later, iPad models with A12 Bionic and later, and Macs with Apple silicon") later this year.Read 4 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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