The heartbleed bug is back and this time it’s a different for of monster. The new variant of heartbleed is being dubbed “Cupid” by the security researcher who discovered it, Luis Grangeia. The “Cupid” bug can be used to launch heartbleed style attacks but this time on WiFi based routers (instead of the open web) and Android Jelly Bean devices connected to those routers. The bug allows hackers to target certain routers that are EAP based routers (e.g. require an individual logon and password, such as WiFi routers) by pulling the private security keys effectively bypassing any security measures. From this position the hackers could even view snippets of the working memory of the targeted devices potentially exposing user credentials, client certificates and private keys. The damage from this variant of heartbleed will apparently be much more contained than the first variant, however, it still isn’t known how many devices and routers are currently vulnerable to the attack. Any Android devices running 4.1.1 Jelly Bean are particularly vulnerable and if possible those users are encouraged to upgrade. Check out the technical details at the two source links.
Wireless routers and Wi-Fi is deemed necessary by many people all around the world, but it appears that the impact on health is severe. There have been multiple studies in the past suggesting the negative impact they may have on humans but the latest research could be the most compelling yet. And it comes from a group of high school students.
Five students came to the conclusion that sleeping near their cell phones at night caused them to have problems concentrating during school the next day. Intrigued, the students asked if they could study the effects of cell phone radiation on humans but the school simply didn’t have the resources to make it happen.
Instead, the students opted to perform testing on a Wi-Fi router which is comparable to the radiation levels put out by cell phones. They placed six trays of lepidium sativum seeds, a garden cress grown commercially throughout Europe, in a room with two Wi-Fi routers. In another room, the same number of seeds were placed without routers.
Over the next 12 days, the students examined an interesting phenomenon. The seeds in the room without the routers had blossomed into healthy plans while those in the room with the routers were either dead or hadn’t grown at all.
The students received top honors in a regional science fair but more importantly, a professor of neuroscience at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden was so impressed that he wants to repeat the experiment in a controlled scientific environment.
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