#EndSARS: Nigerians protest against police brutalit Nigeria’s federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) is widely accused of unlawful arrests, torture and even murder.

Protesters call for the scrapping of the controversial police unit Hundreds of people have protested against alleged police brutality for a second day across Nigeria after a video of a man allegedly being killed by police went viral.

Anger has been brewing on social media after the video of the alleged killing in the southern Delta state, which authorities denied was real.

Nigeria special police unit reined in after abuse allegations The man who filmed the video was arrested, provoking even more anger.

Hundreds of youths gathered in Ikeja in central Lagos on Friday, holding banners reading “respect for human rights” and “a more equal society”.

In Abuja, dozens of protesters also gathered and police forces used tear gas to disperse protesters, according to witness accounts.

“Our members were close to 200 in the protest. We were teargassed,” human rights activist Deji Adeyanju told the AFP news agency.

“It’s just sad that they are clamping down on peaceful civil protest.”

Protester Anita Izato posted on Twitter: “They poured tear gas on each and every one of us, it’s so hot I had to put water on my face. This is what Nigeria has turned into.”

‘We all risk being tortured’ The protest movement was initially aimed at the federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), widely accused of unlawful arrests, torture and even murder, but has since broadened to include all police forces.

While the SARS unit was suspended on Sunday, groups such as Amnesty International said the government had not gone far enough, pointing to previous unsuccessful attempts to ban the force.

The #EndSARS hashtag is thought to have been first used in 2018.

There were more than 2.4 million tweets with #EndSARS on Friday. Several celebrities also expressed support for the movement.

Sandra Ezekwesili, a Nigerian broadcast journalist, also joined the discussion and urged people to keep protesting:

Amnesty International also voiced its opinion:

Florence Ifeoluwa Otedola, also known as DJ Cuppy, stood behind the movement:

” The movement is growing,” 29-year-old Chinoso Esengba, a doctor participating in Friday’s protest, said.

“This problem affects us all. We all risk being tortured, arrested, extorted for no good reason.”

That Time Albert Einstein Invented a New Refrigerator

The name Albert Einstein has become a byword for genius – and rightly so. The German physicist’s theories of Special and General Relativity fundamentally reshaped our understanding of the uni-verse to a degree not seen since Isaac Newton, while his groundbreaking 1905 papers on Brownian Motion and the Photoelectric Effect laid the groundwork for modern atomic and quantum theory. Yet despite his status as a giant of theoretical physics, one thing Einstein is not commonly associat-ed with is hands-on mechanical innovation. It may thus come as a surprise that Einstein actually held over 50 patents for practical devices ranging from hearing aids, cameras, gyrocompasses, and even a stylish vest with an adjustable elasticated waistband. But the vast majority of Einstein’s pa-tents covered an altogether unexpected device: a new kind of refrigerator.

The origins of Einstein’s long-forgotten foray into practical mechanics lay in a tragic accident. In 1926 Einstein read a newspaper article about a Berlin family who had died in their sleep when their refrigerator sprung a leak. Refrigerators at the time ran on a variety of refrigerants such as Ammonia, Methyl Chloride, and Sulfur Dioxide, all of which were highly toxic or even explosive. Moved by this tragedy, Einstein set out to design a safer refrigeration system. To aid him in this en-deavour he enlisted the help of former student Leo Szilard, an acclaimed Hungarian physicist who in 1933 would invent the concept of the nuclear chain reaction. They proved to be an ideal team, Szilard having written his doctoral dissertation on the thermodynamics of fluctuating systems and Einstein having worked for many years as a clerk at the Swiss Patent Office in Bern, granting him intimate knowledge of the patent system. However, the presence of Einstein’s name on the patent applications raised more than a few eyebrows, with several patent clerks writing back to confirm that this was indeed the Einstein.

In total Einstein and Szilard were granted 45 patents covering three different refrigerator designs. Their first design was an improvement on the vapour-absorption cycle invented in 1922 by Swe-dish engineers Baltzar von Platen and Carl Munters. Unlike regular vapour-compression refrigera-tors which use a mechanical compressor, Einstein and Szilard’s system had no moving parts and was completely sealed, eliminating the need rotary seals and other components that could potential-ly leak. The refrigerator used a complicated circuit to circulate a combination of water, ammonia, and butane refrigerants and was powered from the outside by a gas flame, much like the propane refrigerators used by many campers and RV-ers.

But while this is the best-known of the Einstein-Szilard refrigerators, it is the pair’s second design which most excited Einstein. Dubbed the Volks-Kühlschrank or “people’s refrigerator”, this was an ingeniously simple device that could be powered by water pressure from an ordinary household tap. Water running through a Venturi generated a mild vacuum, which caused methanol stored in a tank to evaporate. This vapour then absorbed heat from the food compartment before dissolving in the outgoing water, carrying the heat with it. While this process eventually consumed the Methanol, requiring it to be regularly topped up, Einstein reasoned that Methanol was cheap enough for this to not be an issue. Indeed, Einstein had high hopes for this design, which he believed could bring reli-able refrigeration into the homes of even the poorest families.

The pair’s third design was by far their most technologically advanced, but also their most impracti-cal. This system was largely identical to a regular vapour-compression fridge except that instead of a mechanical compressor it used a series of powerful electromagnets to pump liquid metal through a circuit. The liquid metal was then used to compress regular refrigerant gases. At first the pair used liquid Mercury, but when this proved insufficiently conductive they switched to a liquid Sodium-Potassium alloy, which was not only highly corrosive but had a nasty habit of bursting into flames or even exploding on contact with air and water. Despite this rather significant hazard, however, as the system was completely sealed Einstein and Szilard were confident this would not be a serious problem.

Yet despite the ingenuity of these designs, in the end very little came of the Einstein-Szilard refrig-erators. In 1927 Swedish Electrolux bought the absorption refrigerator patents for around $750 (about $11K today), but this was mainly to retain control on their existing Munters/von Platen pa-tents; the Einstein-Szilard design was never incorporated into any commercial refrigerator. Further-more, while more efficient than other absorption cycles, the system was far less efficient than regu-lar vapour-compression fridges, and the discovery in 1930 of the non-toxic, non-flammable refrig-erant Freon nullified the safety advantages of the Einstein-Szilard design.

The ingenious water-powered refrigerator also turned out to be a dead end. Not only did Methanol turn out to be far more expensive than Einstein had anticipated, but water pressure in German apartments was notoriously weak and inconsistent. And while the electromagnetic pump was an impressive technological achievement, its sodium-potassium working fluid was far too dangerous for household use. It was also loud: in the words of Szilard’s friend, Hungarian Physicist Denis Ga-bor, the prototype “howled like a jackal.” Interestingly given Einstein’s more famous work in phys-ics, the Einstein-Szilard pump did eventually find a niche use in certain types of nuclear reactors, which use liquid sodium-potassium as a coolant.

While Einstein’s practical inventions never made as much of an impact as his theoretical work, 90 years since it was patented the Einstein-Szilard absorption refrigerator may be poised to make a comeback. An improved version called the Isobar is currently under development by UK inventor William Broadway for transporting vaccines in developing countries with limited electrical infra-structure – an application that would have delighted the famously humanitarian Einstein.

Qatar to investigate ‘invasive’ exams of women at Doha airport

Qatar Airways plane
Female passengers were strip-searched and subjected to medical exams at Doha airport after a baby was found

Qatar has said it will investigate allegations that women booked on 10 flights were subjected to invasive examinations at an airport in Doha.

The women were checked for whether they had given birth after a baby was found in a bin at Hamad Airport on 2 October.

At least 18 Australians were examined along with women from other countries, the Australian government said.

Qatar’s government apologised and said the baby girl was safe in medical care in Doha.

It said the infant had been found in a plastic bag, buried under rubbish, prompting an “immediate search for the parents, including on flights in the vicinity of where the newborn was found”.

“While the aim of the urgently-decided search was to prevent the perpetrators of the horrible crime from escaping, the State of Qatar regrets any distress or infringement on the personal freedoms of any traveller caused by this action,” a statement read.

The government had directed a “comprehensive, transparent investigation” into the incident, and said it would share the results with other countries.

Australia said it was receiving assistance from Qatar and co-ordinating efforts with “two or three” other nations whose citizens were affected, but declined to say which ones.

Australian alarm

The invasive searches came to light this week after passengers contacted authorities in Australia.

Foreign Minister Marise Payne revealed on Wednesday a total of 18 Australian women had been examined, five more than reported earlier this week.

Australian Foreign Minister Marise PayneIMAGE COPYRIGHTEPA
image captionAustralia’s Foreign Minister Marise Payne said women on 10 different aircraft faced the searches

Australian media have previously reported that all adult women who had boarded one plane from Doha to Sydney were ordered to disembark.

They were taken to an ambulance on the tarmac and told to remove their underwear before being examined.

Many were distressed afterwards and had received health support from the Australian government, witnesses said.

On Monday, Australia’s foreign ministry said reports had indicated the incident was “beyond circumstances in which the women could give free and informed consent”.

But it declined to label it sexual assault while awaiting further details from Qatari officials. Opposition politicians in Australia have called it sexual assault.

Australia has also referred the matter to its federal police.

Australia’s foreign department secretary Frances Adamson told a Senate hearing on Wednesday that an Australian diplomatic official had been on the flight heading to Sydney.

She was not subjected to an exam, but reported the incident to the ministry immediately.

“I was incredulous that this could have happened,” Ms Adamson told the hearing.

“This is not – by any standard – normal behaviour and the Qataris recognise that, are appalled by it, do not want it to happen again.”

In its statement, Qatar said it was committed to ensuring the safety, security and comfort of travellers transiting through the country.

Doha’s Hamad International Airport has remained open as a key transit hub for international travel amid the pandemic.

Trump Campaign Site Hacked – What We Know & Lessons Learned

On October 27, 2020 at approximately 4:50pm Mountain Time, Donald Trump’s campaign website, www.donaldjtrump.com, was defaced. The attackers left a message claiming they had compromising information on President Trump. The defacement page contained two Monero cryptocurrency wallet IDs encouraging visitors to “vote” by sending cryptocurrency to the wallets, indicating that if the first wallet received more money than the second wallet, the attackers would release this compromising information.

While the site was compromised, visitors were greeted with the following:

Wordfence protects WordPress websites, and we offer a hacked site cleaning service for WordPress site owners. Donald Trump’s campaign website is hosted using Expression Engine, which is an alternative content management system to WordPress. While Wordfence doesn’t protect sites using Expression Engine, we thought we’d take a look at the facts surrounding this incident and what lessons we might learn.

Technical Analysis

The campaign website made use of the Expression Engine CMS, a commercial CMS with few known vulnerabilities. The site used Cloudflare as a content delivery network (CDN).

Since the site was protected by Cloudflare, the attackers would not have been able to access the site via FTP or SSH unless they knew the Origin IP, that is, the IP of the server hosting the site. When a site uses Cloudflare, the Cloudflare servers are what site visitors access, rather than the ‘origin’ server that actually contains the content and any web application. Cloudflare tries to hide the origin server IP address, making it difficult to access that server unless you can discover the IP address.

The defacement page itself displayed two XMR (Monero) wallets. Monero is a cryptocurrency popular amongst threat actors because it uses an obfuscated public ledger. This means that, while transactions are recorded, they’re not currently traceable. This makes it impossible for outsiders to discover who sent money to each wallet or the amounts involved.

The attackers also left a Pretty Good Privacy(PGP) Public Key on the defacement page. A PGP Public Key can be used to verify signed messages and ensure that a message sender is the same person who posted the public key. If the attackers later decided to release information, they could prove they were the same threat actors who defaced the site by signing released information with their private key.

Only information signed with their private key would be verifiable using the published public key. In this case, the Public Key appears to correspond to a nonexistent email address, hack@planet.gov. Nonetheless, we have provided the PGP key for posterity:

Potential Intrusion Vectors(IVs)

There are several possible intrusion vectors, or mechanisms that the attackers could have used to gain access and deface the Trump campaign website. We describe several possibilities below, but to be clear, without forensic evidence to verify these theories, we cannot definitively know how the site was compromised.

In each case, compromised credentials are by far the most probable Intrusion Vector. A Dutch Researcher recently claimed to have accessed Trump’s Twitter account using the password “maga2020!”. Trump’s Twitter account was also hacked In 2016 when a data breach revealed that he was using the password “yourefired”.

IV: Compromised credentials used to sign into Expression Engine – High Probability

Expression Engine, like most content management systems, provides an administrative panel for publishing content. By default this is located at /admin.php. On donaldjtrump.com, however, the admin login has been relocated to a different location, an example of security through obscurity.

The Internet Archive indicates that the last time the admin page was accessible in the default location was in June of 2015. Even in this hidden location, if an attacker was able to access the administrative panel they would have been able to alter any content on the site, though they would not have had access to any sensitive information.

The “Privacy Policy” and “Terms & Conditions” pages are displaying a “404 page not found” error hours after the site has been restored. This indicates that something changed on the content management system itself, rather than on the Cloudflare configuration. So we believe that the CMS being compromised is therefore a higher probability than Cloudflare being compromised, which we describe below.

IV: Compromised credentials used to sign into Cloudflare – Medium Probability

If an attacker was able to sign into the campaign’s Cloudflare account, they could have pointed the domain to an IP address under their control, effectively replacing the site’s content with the content on their own hosting account. This might also explain how the campaign was able to “restore” the original site content so quickly.

Simply pointing the domain back to the correct IP would have reverted the defacement. The fact that some pages on the site, such as the “Privacy Policy” and the “Terms of Service” are still displaying 404 errors at the time of our publication indicates that this is a less likely intrusion vector.

IV: Compromised Credentials or Social Engineering used to change domain nameservers at registrar – Low Probability

This would work using a similar mechanism to the Cloudflare compromise. If an attacker was able to login to the account where the domain donaldjtrump.com was registered, or socially engineer their way into the account at the domain’s registrar, they might have been able to point it away from Cloudflare’s nameservers and to nameservers under their control.

The fact that some pages on the site are still displaying 404 errors indicates that this is a less likely possibility. Additionally, nameserver changes typically take long enough to propagate that the defaced page would likely still be visible from some locations.

IV: Origin server hacked via FTP or SSH – Low Probability

This is the least likely scenario since the attackers would need to know the site’s origin IP address as well as the FTP or SSH credentials for the site’s hosting account in order to connect directly to the site without being blocked by Cloudflare.

IV: Web Application Vulnerability – Low Probability

While it is possible that a vulnerability in Expression Engine was exploited, Expression Engine has had few known vulnerabilities and the chances of a 0-day vulnerability in this CMS remaining unknown for long are low. Additionally, a vulnerability or exploit chain would be required to allow privilege escalation or remote code execution in order for the attacker to deface the site in this manner.

Takeaway Lessons

Almost every possible scenario includes reused credentials being exploited to gain access to the donaldjtrump.com site. In almost every case, having 2-Factor Authentication enabled would have prevented such a scenario from occurring. It’s also a reminder that it is important to enable 2-Factor Authentication not only on your website’s administrative panel, but on every service that offers it, including services you might not think of as being vulnerable.

If the credentials you are using have been exposed in a data breach, it doesn’t matter how secure the service you’re using is. By enabling 2-Factor Authentication, you add an extra layer of protection.

While Wordfence doesn’t offer protection for Expression Engine, we do offer best-in-class protection for WordPress. This includes 2-Factor Authentication as a completely free feature.

Don’t wait for an attacker to guess your password. Turn on 2-Factor Authentication to protect your web assets.



NASA’s SOFIA Discovers Water on Sunlit Surface of Moon


16 hours ago

The Guardian


Water exists on the moon, scientists confirm


12 hours ago

The New York Times


NASA Finds Water and Ice on Moon in More Places Than Thought

Artemis artworkimage copyrightNASA image captionArtwork: Nasa wants to return to the Moon, but this time it wants to stay

Having dropped tantalising hints days ago about an “exciting new discovery about the Moon”, the US space agency has revealed conclusive evidence of water on our only natural satellite.

This “unambiguous detection of molecular water” will boost Nasa’s hopes of establishing a lunar base.

The aim is to sustain that base by tapping into the Moon’s natural resources.

The findings have been published as two papers in the journal Nature Astronomy.

Unlike previous detections of water in permanently shadowed parts of lunar craters, scientists have now detected the molecule in sunlit regions of the Moon’s surface.

Speaking during a virtual teleconference, co-author Casey Honniball, postdoctoral fellow at Nasa’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland, said: “The amount of water is roughly equivalent to a 12-ounce bottle of water in a cubic metre of lunar soil.”

Her Nasa colleague Jacob Bleacher, from the agency’s human exploration directorate, said researchers still needed to understand the nature of the watery deposits. This would help them determine how accessible they would be for future lunar explorers to use.

And while there have previously been signs of water on the lunar surface, these new discoveries suggest it is more abundant than previously thought. “It gives us more options for potential water sources on the Moon,” said Hannah Sargeant, a planetary scientist from the Open University in Milton Keynes, told BBC News. media captionNasa announcement: What is on the Moon?

“Where to put a Moon base is largely focused on where the water is.”

The US space agency has said it will send the first woman and next man to the lunar surface in 2024 to prepare for the “next giant leap” – human exploration of Mars as early as the 2030s.

Dr Sargeant explained that this meant developing “a more sustainable way of doing space exploration”.

“Part of that is using these local resources – especially water,” she told BBC News. How did scientists find this lunar water?

The first of these new discoveries was made from an airborne infrared telescope known as Sofia. This observatory, on board a modified Boeing 747, flies above much of Earth’s atmosphere, giving a largely unobstructed view of the Solar System.

Using this infrared telescope, researchers picked up the “signature” colour of water molecules.

The researchers think it is stored in bubbles of lunar glass or between grains on the surface that protect it from the harsh environment.

In the other study, scientists looked for permanently shadowed areas – known as cold traps – where water could be captured and remain permanently. They found these cold traps at both poles and concluded that “approximately 40,000 kilometres squared of the lunar surface has the capacity to trap water”. What does this discovery mean?

Dr Sargeant said this could “broaden the list of places where we might want to build a base”.

There are quite a few one-off missions to the Moon’s polar regions coming up in the next few years. But in the longer term, there are plans to build a permanent habitation on the lunar surface,

“This could have some influence. It gives us some time to do some investigation,” said the Open University researcher.

“It doesn’t give us much time because we’re already working on Moon base ideas and where we’re going to go, but it’s more promising.

“We were going to go to the Moon anyway. But this gives us more options and makes it an even more exciting place to go.”

Experts say that water-ice could form the basis of a future lunar economy, once we’ve figured out how to extract it.

It would be much cheaper to make rocket fuel on the Moon than send it from Earth. So when future lunar explorers want to return to Earth, or travel on to other destinations, they could turn the water into the hydrogen and oxygen commonly used to power space vehicles.

Re-fuelling at the Moon could therefore bring down the cost of space travel and make a lunar base more affordable.