Monday, February 19, 2024

Short Takes – 2-19-24

Plutonium to carbon double bond a first. article. More than a bit chem-geeky. Pull quote: “The first organo-plutonium complex (Pu(C5H5)3) was reported in 1965 but research into the fundamental properties of plutonium has been held back due to experimental difficulties and availability of the element. ‘Uranium is probably the last element in the periodic table where you can work in a normal laboratory,’ explains Steve Liddle, head of inorganic chemistry at the University of Manchester and one of the researchers on the study. ‘Go one place to the right and you need a completely different radiological lab setup.’”

QR Phishing. Fact or Fiction? blog post. Pull quote: “The embedded QR code [in an email] will be shown and with a suitable lure, the email can direct the victim to move from the secure endpoint to a less secure mobile platform. The link is unlikely to have been scanned by URL filters due to it not being a link at the time of scanning.”

QNAP vulnerability disclosure ends up an utter shambles. article. Pull quote: “Unit 42's assessment, on the other hand, was the polar opposite: "These remote code execution vulnerabilities affecting IoT devices exhibit a combination of low attack complexity and critical impact, making them an irresistible target for threat actors. As a result, protecting IoT devices against such threats is an urgent task."”

German battery maker Varta halts production after cyberattack. article. Can you say ‘Network Segmentation’??? Pull quote: “"This affects the five production plants and the administration. The IT systems and, thus, production were proactively shut down temporarily for security reasons and disconnected from the internet."”

It’s already hurricane season in the waters of the Atlantic. That could spell danger with La Niña coming. article. Pull quote: “It’s difficult to know what the combination of near-record ocean warmth and a La Niña could be capable of, since there has been no other hurricane season in which temperatures were this extreme, Klotzbach said.”

Technological McCarthyism in 2024's s/UAS Industry. commentary. Contrarian view on Chinese drone threat. Pull quote: “In this light, the debate over banning Chinese drones should prompt us to ask deeper questions about our national approach to technology, security and global competitiveness. It's time to move beyond fear-driven policies and embrace a strategy that actually unlocks the dawn of a new day where America is undoubtedly leading the way in the s/UAS industry; not by closing our doors, but by opening our minds to the possibilities of what we can create and achieve. What users actually demand from these tools. Not marketing and roadshows; actual commercial market demand + consumption.”

Why no one knows quite when a descending satellite will hit Earth this week. article. Pull quote: “ESA’s latest prediction — revealed this morning — is that the re-entry will take place at 12:14 CET on February 21. There’s an uncertainty window, however, of about two-thirds of a day (+/- 15.06 hours) — which is typical at this point.”

Potential new weapon in battle against superbugs. article.  Pull quote: ““While we don’t yet know whether cresomycin and drugs like it are safe and effective in humans, our results show significantly improved inhibitory activity against a long list of pathogenic bacterial strains that kill more than a million people every year, compared with clinically approved antibiotics,” Myers said.”

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