Start Spreading The (Good) News About Cybersecurity

CEO of NTT Research, leading research in physics & informatics, cryptography & information security, and medical & health informatics.

Bad news in cybersecurity gets a lot of attention. Headlines about data breaches and new forms of malware tend to outweigh any good news that comes from the field of cryptography.

Because this field is highly mathematical and operates on a lengthy time horizon, progress can be difficult to convey. As I discussed previously, it took about 15 years for the capabilities of attribute-based encryption (ABE) to move from a technical paper into the standards world and now possible deployments.

However, academic research is a leading indicator. Recent developments include a solid theoretical foundation for software obfuscation, a new defense for public-key cryptosystems and several ways to make machine learning (ML) more trustworthy.

Obfuscation Finds Terra Firma

For 20 years, cryptographers have been working on ways to make software

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Spreading the concept of financial technology

Despite experiencing rapid growth in the last few years, financial technology (fintech) services in the Kingdom are still underdeveloped and underused. To fulfill its potential in the Cambodian economy, fintech must overcome a number of challenges, including lack of consumer awareness, a weak regulatory framework and scant funding and investment. Khmer Times’ Sok Chan talked to Bora Kem, partner at Mekong Strategic Partners, about the evolution of the fintech industry in the Kingdom. Cambodia’s fintech is currently dominated by mobile wallets and payment providers. It is expected to see additional players in the insurtech, regtech and neobank segments.


KT: What is your view regarding the financial technology industry in Cambodia and how has it developed over the last five years?

 

Bora: The sector has certainly grown. In terms of the number of firms, we have around 50 fintech companies in the payment space and other software and service companies

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The virus wasn’t spreading in New York City schools. Why close them?

But while rising test positivity is a cause for concern and a reason to increase public health interventions, it can’t be looked at in isolation — and it’s not a good measure on which to base a decision to close schools. The metric is best interpreted as a gauge for how hard we’re looking for cases and how hard it is to find them. It is not equivalent to prevalence of the coronavirus in the community (although it is related to that figure); mainly, it’s a signal to do more testing.

The only epidemiological reason to close schools would be evidence that they are magnifying infection and driving community spread. And so far, there is no data suggesting that in-person education is doing those things. To the contrary, the prevalence of infection in schools is comparatively low.

Given the long-term harms that occur when children are out of school for

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Asian shares drop amid worries over spreading COVID-19 cases

TOKYO (AP) — Asian shares have opened lower as rising cases of coronavirus infections in the U.S., Europe and Asia add to worries that economies will once again be hamstrung by pandemic restrictions on travel and businesses.

Reports of surging COVID-19 cases have had a sobering effect on markets that had advanced on hopes for a vaccine and expectations that pro-business policies will continue after last week’s U.S. elections.

“It feels a bit deflated today as investors look to hunker down for what is bound to be a winter of discontent. But beyond the market concerns, the vaccine cannot get here quick enough as what should be a festive time of the year looks bound to be weeks of holiday gloom,” Stephen Innes of Axi said in a report.

Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 sank 1.0% to 25,254.31. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 fell 0.5% to 6,383.70. South Korea’s Kospi edged 0.2% lower

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Unusual structures in bacterial cells keep viral infection from spreading; a list of new ones could provide improved biotech tools — ScienceDaily

Peculiar hybrid structures called retrons that are half RNA, half single-strand DNA are found in many species of bacteria. Since their discovery around 35 years ago, researchers have learned how to use retrons for producing single strands of DNA in the lab, but no one knew what their function was in the bacteria, despite much research into the matter. In a paper published today in Cell, a Weizmann Institute of Science team reports on solving the longstanding mystery: Retrons are immune system “guards” that ensure the survival of the bacterial colony when it is infected by viruses. In addition to uncovering a new strategy used by bacteria to protect themselves against viral infection — one that is surprisingly similar to that employed by plant immune systems — the research revealed many new retrons that may, in the future, add to the genome-editing toolkit.

The study, conducted in the lab

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Here Are The 3 Types of Misinformation Spreading After the Election

Several categories of election misinformation emerged after the counting of votes began on Tuesday, much of it targeting the swing states that remain too close to call.

Here are three types that are making the rounds on social media.

As the vote count got underway, unproven claims of ballots being found or lost — falsely held up as evidence of widespread voter fraud — began to emerge on Facebook and Twitter.

Renee DiResta, a disinformation researcher at the Stanford Internet Observatory, said these posts “repurposed user-created content from Election Day, which documented one-off incidents” then aggregated them “to support claims of fraud and illegitimacy.”

This type of post sometimes used pictures to lend an air of legitimacy to the false claim. On Tuesday evening, for example, a Twitter user commented on a news article with photos showing election workers in Fairfax

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