Masking of ultrasound cookies Explore further The permanent networking of mobile devices can endanger the privacy of users and lead to new forms of monitoring. New technologies such as Google Nearby and Silverpush use ultrasonic sounds to exchange information between devices via loudspeakers and microphones (also called “data over audio”). Citation: Ultrasound-firewall for mobile phones (2018, May 25) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-05-ultrasound-firewall-mobile.html In the SoniControl project, Zeppelzauer and his colleagues Peter Kopciak, Kevin Pirner, Alexis Ringot and Florian Taurer have developed a procedure to expose the cookies and inform device users. For masking and blocking the ultrasonic data transfer, interference signals are transmitted via the loudspeaker of the mobile device. Thus, acoustic cookies can be neutralized before operating systems or mobile applications can access them. Users can selectively block cookies without affecting the functionality of the smartphone.The masking of the cookies occurs by means of ultrasound, which is inaudible to humans. “There is currently no technology on the market that can detect and block acoustic cookies. The application developed in this project represents the first approach that gives people control over this type of tracking,” said Zeppelzauer.All project results and the application have been made publicly available. The system is therefore directly usable and expandable for everyone. All project results have been released under Creative-Commons license.Data exchange via ultrasound in the Internet-of-ThingsThe technology is now being further developed in a follow-up project, SoniTalk. Through Internet-of-Things (IoT) technologies an increasing number of devices are communicating with one another. Ultrasonic communication is increasingly used for data exchange between mobile phones and devices. Thus, ultrasonic communication is an alternative technology for ad-hoc data exchange, near-field communication (NFC) and as a channel for two-factor authentication that proves the identity of users by combining two different and independent components.The new project SoniTalk wants to give users full control over what is allowed to be sent by which app and should effectively help to protect user privacy. The goal of SoniTalk is an open source, transparent and fully private-sphere oriented protocol for ultrasonic communication. SoniTalk seeks to lay the groundwork for a new free standard in the field of ultrasonic communication that enables secure communication and protects user privacy. Devices increasingly communicate via this inaudible communication channel. Ultrasonic communication allows devices to be paired and information to be exchanged. It also makes it possible to track users and their behaviour over a number of devices, much like cookies on the Web. Almost every device with a microphone and a loudspeaker can send and receive ultrasonic sounds. Users are usually unaware of this inaudible and hidden data transmission.The SoniControl project of St. Pölten University of Applied Sciences has developed a mobile application that detects acoustic cookies, brings them to the attention of users, and if desired, blocks the tracking. The app is thus, in a sense, the first available ultrasound firewall for smartphones and tablets. “The most challenging part of developing the app was to devise a method that can detect existing ultrasound-transmission techniques reliably and in real time,” said Matthias Zeppelzauer, head of the project and senior researcher in the Media Computing research group of the Institute of CreativeMedia/Technologies at St. Pölten UAS.Determining interests and locationSuch ultrasonic signals can be used for so-called “cross-device tracking.” This makes it possible to track the user’s behaviour across multiple devices, and relevant user profiles can be merged with one other. In this way, more accurate user profiles can be created for targeted advertising and filtering of internet content.Up until now, it has not been possible to block acoustic cookies. “In order to accept voice commands, the mobile phone microphone is often permanently active. Every mobile application that has access to the microphone as well as the operating system itself can at any time without notice activate the microphone of a mobile device, listen to it, detect acoustic cookies and synchronise it over the Internet,” said Zeppelzauer. Users are often not informed of this information transmission during operation. Only a permanent deactivation of the microphone would suffice, rendering the device unusable as a telephone. Provided by St. Poelten University of Applied Sciences More information: Project website: sonicontrol.fhstp.ac.atProject results: www.netidee.at/sonicontrolSoniControl App in the Google Play Store: play.google.com/store/apps/det … ac.fhstp.sonicontrolSource Code: git.nwt.fhstp.ac.at/m.zeppelzauer/SoniControl Ultrasound-firewall for mobile phones. Credit: St. Poelten UAS / Matthias Zeppelzauer How silent signals from your phone could be recording and tracking you This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
TOKYO (Reuters) – Fire swept through an animation studio in Japan on Thursday, leaving 23 people feared dead and scores injured, authorities said, after a suspected arsonist was seen shouting “die” as he doused the building with fuel. An aerial view shows firefighters battling the fires at the site where a man started a fire after spraying a liquid, at a three-story studio of Kyoto Animation Co. in Kyoto, western Japan, in this photo taken by Kyodo July 18, 2019. Mandatory credit Kyodo/via REUTERSPrime Minister Shinzo Abe called the fire in the city of Kyoto – the latest grisly killing in a country known for its low crime rates – “too appalling for words” on Twitter and offered condolences to the victims. Police had taken into custody a 41-year-old man who had shouted “die” as he poured what appeared to be petrol around the three-story Kyoto Animation building shortly after 10 a.m. (0100 GMT), public broadcaster NHK reported. Thirteen people were confirmed dead and at least 10 more had no vital signs after they were found in the studio, an official for the Kyoto City Fire Department said. White and black smoke billowed from the building’s charred windows, television footage showed. “I heard the sound of fire engines and stepped outside my house, and saw big flames spewing out of the building,” NHK quoted a 16-year-old boy as saying. “Fire department officials were trying to rescue the injured in a nearby park but it seemed like there weren’t enough of them,” he said. The prime minister said the cause was arson. “Today, many people were killed and wounded in an arson murder case in Kyoto,” Abe said in a post on Twitter. “It is too appalling for words.” POPULAR SERIES The studio produces popular series such as the “Sound! Euphonium”. Its “Free! Road to the World – The Dream” movie is due for release this month. The 10 people without vital sounds were found in the studio, some on third floor and others in a staircase leading up to the roof, the fire official said. Another 36 were injured, 10 of them seriously, the official said. The suspected arsonist was injured and was being treated in hospital, so police could not question him, NHK said. Kyoto police declined to comment. Slideshow (3 Images)There was an outpouring of support for the studio on Japanese-language social media, with some users posting pictures of animation. Many posted with the hashtag “#PrayForKyoani” – a reference to Kyoto Animation. Violent crime is relatively rare in Japan but occasional high-profile incidents have shocked the country. Less than two months ago, a knife-wielding man slashed at a group of schoolgirls at a bus stop in Kawasaki, a city just south of Tokyo, killing one girl and the father of another, while injuring more than a dozen children. In 2016, a man armed with a knife broke into a facility for the disabled in a small town near Tokyo and killed 19 patients. Reporting by Kiyoshi Takenaka, Chris Gallagher, Chang-Ran Kim, Linda Sieg and David Dolan; Editing by Michael Perry, Robert BirselOur Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
Published on SHARE SHARE EMAIL January 30, 2019 SHARE COMMENT Telangana Telangana State has attracted more than $21 billion in investments over the past four-and-a-half years since its formation in 2014. A significant part of the investment, 90-95 per cent, is likely to be put to use on the ground over the next few years.Stating this at a FICCI National Council meeting, Jayesh Ranjan, Principal Secretary, Industries, Telangana, said “a number of new companies and many companies that already operate out of Hyderabad and the state, are seeking to expand.”The investment flow has been made possible due to the state government’s progressive policies and the innovative TS iPass system, which ensures deemed clearance for various industrial applications within 15 days of making an application.Ranjan said the policy provides for punitive measures against officials found responsible for delays in extending clearances to industrial applications. “Though I have not been punished as yet for a delay, at least seven officers have been punished for delays, by way of salary cuts of 2-4 days.”“Having become the No.1 state in Ease of Doing Business within a few years of its formation, we continue to pursue the goals set by Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, with the single focus of transforming the state into Bangaru Telangana (Golden Telangana),” he said.Talking about clearances for industrial units, Ranjan said industries do not have to secure any clearances for commencement of construction works and all clearances would be provided within 15 days of making the application. In case it has not been provided, it would be deemed to have been cleared, he said.IBM, Welspun, HSIL, Adani, AmazonReferring to a mega facility of Amazon, which is seeking to build 3 million sq.ft., the official said “the project designs were extremely complicated, and yet we managed to clear them within 11 days.”Referring to new and upcoming investments, he said HSIL, which has a significant presence in Telangana, has drawn up plans for another manufacturing unit in the state.The Welspun Group, which had committed investment of about $150 million in a manufacturing unit, is also considering a logistics facility. The diversified Adani Group, which has set up a facility for unmanned aerial vehicles, has indicated its interest in setting up a logistics unit close to the aerospace park.Speaking at the event, a senior IBM official said from one facility with about 2,000 employees, it has grown to over 12,000 employees and several facilities in Hyderabad, and the growth momentum would continue. “IBM employees are engaged in cutting-edge research for global operations,” he said.Responding to IBM’s observations, Ranjan said, “under the state’s skill development initiative, IBM courses were most popular and we expect IBM to add its Watson to the portfolio.” COMMENTS