By “product releases,” Ahlberg means new software. And for the first time, Recorded Future says, it can now codify just how big a change it was.
The company brought in a cyber expert, Mario Vuksan, the CEO of Reversing Labs, to investigate the technical aspects of the new software. Vuksan essentially reverse-engineered the 2013 encryption updates and found not only more sophisticated software, but also newly available downloads that allowed encryption on cellphones, Android products and Macs.
To put that change into context, for years, al-Qaida has used an encryption program written by its own coders called Mujahideen Secrets. It was a Windows-based program that groups like al-Qaida’s arm in Yemen and al-Shabab in Somalia used to scramble their communications. American-born radical imam Anwar al-Awlaki used it, too. Since Mujahideen Secret’s introduction in 2007, there had been some minor updates to the program, but no big upgrades.
Ahlberg thought the fact that the group changed the program months after Snowden’s revelations provided good circumstantial evidence that the former contractor had had an impact — but he wanted to see how much.
As it turns out, Recorded Future and Reversing Labs discovered that al-Qaida didn’t just tinker at the edges of its 7-year-old encryption software; it overhauled it. The new programs no longer use much of what’s known as “homebrew,” or homemade algorithms. Instead, al-Qaida has started incorporating more sophisticated open-source code to help disguise its communications.
“This is as close to proof that you can get that these have changed and improved their communications structure post the Snowden leaks,” Ahlberg said.
A newly agreed cease-fire in the Gaza conflict collapsed hours after it came into effect on Friday with the Israeli military announcing that a soldier appeared to have been captured by Palestinian militants who emerged from a tunnel near Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip.
Gaza health officials said that 35 Palestinians were killed and more than 100 wounded as Israeli forces bombarded the area. Palestinian witnesses said by telephone that Israeli tank shells hit eastern Rafah as residents returned to inspect homes they had evacuated.
Lt. Col. Peter Lerner, a spokesman for the Israeli military, said that government forces were moving to destroy a tunnel, as the terms of the cease-fire allowed for, when several militants came out of the ground.
US-UN plan for 72-hour ceasefire and talks falls apart, as Hamas breaches truce with Rafah attack and kidnapping; after five soldiers killed Thursday, IDF death toll rises to 61
The Times of Israel is liveblogging events as they unfold through Friday, the 25th day of Operation Protective Edge. The US and UN announced a 72-hour truce from Friday morning to be followed by negotiations, but the truce quickly collapsed as Hamas carried out an attack in Rafah in which a soldier was kidnapped. Thursday saw 90 rockets fired at Israel, several Israelis hurt by mortar fire, ongoing IDF strikes at Hamas targets in Gaza and tunnel demolitions, and US criticism of an Israeli strike that killed a reported 15 people at a UN school in Gaza on Wednesday
Five IDF soldiers were killed late Thursday in a mortar attack inside the Israeli border; 61 soldiers and three civilians have been killed on the Israeli side in the 25 days of fighting, while Gazan health officials put the death toll there at over 1,400. Israel says hundreds of those are Hamas fighters.
John Timmer talks about the New Mars Rover over at Ars Technica
When NASA announced its plans for future explorations of Mars, there was a sense of disappointment in some quarters, since it featured a rover much like Curiosity. But NASA made clear that it was only using the proven technology of the vehicle itself; the instruments it carried would be all new, and shaped by both the advancement of technology and the experience of past missions.
Today NASA announced exactly what instruments the mission—currently called Mars 2020— will carry. They included hardware capable of making a more directed search for organic chemicals on the red planet, which could be evidence that life existed there in the past. And it will also carry an experiment designed to test our ability to produce oxygen for future manned explorations of Mars. The rover will also gather and cache samples to be picked up and returned to Earth by a future mission.
To celebrate us recently hitting 100,000 Subscribers & 100 videos make sure you watch to the end for a little give away competition. To enter you must tweet us who you would like to see Nathan Fillion & Adam Baldwin Cosplay (can be ridiculous or serious just use your imagination) - include the link to the video and the hashtag: #SneakySDCC
We will pick our favourite and announce the winner on Saturday 2nd of August.
San Diego Comic Con! The geek mecca for anything Comic, TV, Gaming or Movie related and we took our camera’s to find some of the amazing and talented cosplayers wandering the halls!
A massive thank you to everyone who we met & took part as well as a huge thank you to the Nerdist team for flying us out and everyone who supported us over the weekend!
Follow us on Twitter: twitter.com
Chat with us on Facebook:facebook.com
Song is “Everybody’s Angel” by “Down With Webster”
Used under specific permission (Thanks guys!!)
Jessica Nigri: facebook.com
Costume by Jessica LG facebook.com
Filmed on a Sony FS700, with a FlyCam 5000
Edited with Avid Media Composer, VFX with Adobe After Effects
Special shout out to Rob & Stacey who’s wedding we missed to film this! Congratz guys
Cosplayers (leave a comment if would like to be on the list)
Giant Creature by Stan Winston School & LegacyFX facebook.com
Moon Moxxi by Jessica Nigri: facebook.com
Space Girl by Yaya Han: facebook.com
Jason Voorhees by Abby Darkstar: facebook.com
Siren by Lindsay Elyse: facebook.com
Ninja Gaiden by Nadyasonika: facebook.com
Gotham Bombshell- Zatanna by Chrissy Lynn: facebook.com
Star Trek Bunny by Chloe Dykstra: facebook.com
Raven by Jenny Lorenzo : twitter.com
Gambit by Michael Huffman: facebook.com
Rorschach by Meagan Marie: facebook.com
Supergirl by Angie Viper: facebook.com
Apocalypse played by Mick Ignis, facebook.com
Created by Cinema Makeup Schools Walter Welsh, Lee Joyner, and Kelton Ching cinemamakeup.com
Moxxi by Enasni Volz: facebook.com
Rocky Balboa by Lonstermash facebook.com
Iron Man & Rescue by Mike Schiffbauer & Jackie Jacobson facebook.com
Walking Dead group: twitter.com
Ivy by Mac Beauvais facebook.com
Male Jinx facebook.com
“There is no school tomorrow; there are no children left in Gaza,” the men can be seen chanting as part of a roughly formed song that also included the stanzas “I hate all the Arabs” and “Gaza is a cemetery.”
The mob also called for Israeli Arabs to be stripped of their citizenship.
The Saturday night gathering was meant to counter a much larger left-wing demonstration in favor of ending the conflict in Gaza and resuming peace talks. Several thousand left-wing activists had gathered in Tel Aviv’s Rabin Square, where they were calling for an end to bloodshed in the Gaza Strip and a return to negotiations with the Palestinians
Israel and Palestinian militant groups in the Gaza Strip have agreed to a three-day humanitarian truce to begin Friday morning, and negotiators from both sides will travel to Cairo to discuss a longer-term.
The 72-hour break after more than three weeks of fighting was set to begin at 8 a.m. (0500 GMT), according to a joint statement released by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.
A spokesman for Hamas, the Islamist group dominant in Gaza, said all Palestinian factions would abide by the truce as long as Israel holds its fire.
I’d be interested in the LGF community’s take on these points by William Saletan.
1. Your enemy refuses to protect its people. Normally, if you invade a country and pound the daylights out of it, you can expect its government to seek, or at least accept, a cease-fire to stop the bleeding. Not here. Hamas has refused to endorse or honor a simple cease-fire despite the ridiculous imbalance of casualties.
Israel argues, correctly, that Hamas doesn’t care about Gazan civilians. Hamas also seems fragmented, unable to make decisions. Arab governments aren’t stepping in, either—they seem to hate Hamas more than they love Gazans. But the absence of competent advocacy for Gazans isn’t a reason to keep shooting. It’s a reason to stop. When your enemy shows no mercy for its own people, that responsibility falls to you.
2. You’re killing too many civilians. Last time I checked, on a per-strike basis, Israel’s rate of inflicting civilian casualties was lower than NATO’s in the Kosovo war. But in just three weeks, Israel has launched so many strikes that its civilian casualty toll has eclipsed NATO’s.
In the 1960s, more than 40 percent of Americans smoked. Now, that’s down to 18 percent. Not only are fewer people smoking, heavy smokers are consuming fewer cigarettes.
“We are winning the war,” Koval says. “I guess from my perspective, we’d rather win the war faster.”
She says the overall numbers mask a huge cultural variation.
“I live in Washington, D.C.; we have a low smoking rate here. But if you go to a place like West Virginia, which has the highest smoking rate in the country, the behavior feels completely normalized,” Koval says.