Actualidad breaking news Actualidad News Wed, 27 Sep 2023 22:44:14 GMT This New Software Tool Can Detect Money Laundering Faster, More Accurately Than Ever Before Money laundering remains a substantial global challenge, accounting for an estimated 2% to 5% of the annual global GDP, which is equivalent to a staggering £632 billion ($773 billion) to over £1.5 trillion ($1.8 trillion), according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). In response to this pervasive issue, computer scientists have developed a novel tool for swifter and more precise detection of money laundering. This tool boasts the impressive capability to scan 50 million transactions in less than one second. The innovation is from researchers in the Department of Informatics from the King's College London, who have introduced a unique approach to identifying money laundering. This new tool is based on advanced algorithms that quickly identify when criminals are dividing a large sum of money into multiple smaller transactions between numerous bank accounts, a technique commonly known as "smurfing." How the Tool Detects Money Laundering The algorithms operate on data extracted from multiple bank accounts, represented as nodes in a complex graph. The software zeroes in on the segment of the graph exhibiting the most suspicious activity. For instance, if there's a deposit of one million pounds, the software traces every instance of this exact sum, even if it's fragmented across various accounts and expenditures. The tool's effectiveness significantly outpaces current detection methods, being over three times more efficient. According to the research team, it can also process larger volumes of data. Existing money laundering detection methods are primarily rule-based, or machine-learning based, relying on preset criteria or analyzing extensive transaction histories for suspicious patterns. However, researchers noted that these methods often fall short in uncovering intricate schemes like smurfing. Moreover, they necessitate prior knowledge of money laundering patterns, which can be lacking when dealing with emerging or evolving techniques. This limitation results in reduced accuracy. Dr. Huiping Chen, lead researcher and PhD student at the Department of Informatics, underscored the critical importance of enhancing money laundering detection, recognizing it as a pressing global issue. The Tool's Automation Dr. Grigorios Loukides, co-lead researcher, emphasized the optimal efficiency of their method, surpassing current state-of-the-art approaches by 3.2 times. He highlighted the tool's automation and accelerated data analysis, empowering experts to swiftly identify suspicious actors. "Our tool is also more automated and enables a far more rapid analysis of the data than what's currently available. By allowing money laundering experts to survey vast amounts of data faster than ever before, we can empower them to pick up on actors with bad intent efficiently," Loukides noted. ... Wed, 27 Sep 2023 03:00:00 GMT Scientists Might Have Found a New Genetic Trigger for Parkinson's Disease A team of scientists appears to have unearthed a previously unknown genetic trigger for Parkinson’s disease—one much more commonly seen in people with recent African ancestry. They found that those who were born with one or two copies of this associated variant were noticeably more likely to develop Parkinson’s. The results highlight the value of conducting genetic research in diverse populations, the authors say. Parkinson’s is a neurodegenerative condition that progressively worsens people’s motor function and often eventually leads to dementia. It currently affects up to a million Americans and over 8 million people worldwide. In most cases, Parkinson’s is thought to be caused by a complex mix of genetic and environmental factors, such as age and greater exposure to certain pollutants. But there are also known mutations that substantially raise a person’s individual risk, and about 15% of all cases are thought to have a family history of Parkinson’s. Much of the research looking into the genetic underpinnings of Parkinson’s and other diseases has been done with largely European populations. And while we’ve learned a lot from this research, the relative lack of data on other groups means we could be missing important information. A large team of scientists from the U.S., the UK, and Nigeria decided to work together to help remedy this gap. The team conducted a genome-wide association study (GWAS)—a type of study that looks for variants statistically linked to diseases or traits in a large group of people. They focused specifically on nearly 200,000 people of African or mixed ancestry, mostly from Nigeria as well as parts of the U.S. About 1,500 individuals in this group were diagnosed with Parkinson’s, while the rest were not. ... Wed, 27 Sep 2023 03:00:00 GMT Hackers steal $200M from crypto company Mixin Hong Kong-based crypto company Mixin announced on Sunday that it was breached and that the hackers stole around $200 million. “In the early morning of September 23, 2023 Hong Kong time, the database of Mixin Network’s cloud service provider was attacked by hackers, resulting in the loss of some assets,” the company wrote on X, formerly Twitter. “Deposit and withdrawal services on Mixin Network have been temporarily suspended. After discussion and consensus among all nodes, these services will be reopened once the vulnerabilities are confirmed and fixed.” The company said it contacted Google and crypto security firm SlowMist to help with the investigation. Mixin describes its product as an “open and transparent decentralized ledger, which is collectively booked and maintained by 35 mainnet nodes.” In other words, the Mixin Network is a decentralized exchange and cross-chain network that allows users to transfer digital assets. “We build open source software that always puts security, privacy and decentralization first,” the company says on its website, where Mixin claims it has one million users as of July. At this point, it’s unclear how hackers were able to steal the money after hacking into Mixin’s cloud database, given that — in theory — Mixin is decentralized. Google spokesperson Melanie Lombardi confirmed in an email to TechCrunch that “Mandiant has been engaged by Mixin in support of the incident response.” Mandiant is a cyber incident response firm that was acquired by Google last year. Mixin, and SlowMist did not immediately respond to a request for comment. In the announcement, Mixin also said that it will announce an unspecified “solution” to deal with the stolen assets at a later date. The hack on Mixin is the biggest theft in the crypto world in 2023, according to data maintained by Rekt, an organization that publishes a list of hacked crypto organizations and projects. The previous highest theft was that of Euler, a crypto lending platform, which experienced an attack that resulted in the loss of around $197 millions in March. ... Wed, 27 Sep 2023 03:00:00 GMT Apple executives break down AirPods’ new features AirPods only got a passive mention during the keynote at Apple’s event. It’s understandable — the iPhone 15 and Apple Watch Series 9 (and Ultra 2) were center stage. Besides, the headphones didn’t get the same manner of hardware updates. As a press release issued after the event confirmed, the biggest physical change to the AirPods Pro 2 is the (admittedly long-awaited) arrival of a USB-C charging case. You would be forgiven for thinking the AirPods news ended there. However, Apple’s high-end earbuds also received a meaningful software update, in the form of new listening modes that can be accessed with a few taps in iOS 17 in both versions of the AirPods Pro 2 (USB-C and Lightning). With the new models connected, swipe down to pull up Control Center and then long-press the volume slide. Three mode selections will pop up below: Noise Cancellation, Conversational Awareness and Spatial Audio. It’s the first two that are getting the love this year. Adaptive Audio has been added to the options, alongside standard Noise Cancellation, Transparency and off. Tapping the new option, it gets highlighted with a rainbow backdrop. The new feature seamlessly flits between different settings in real time. It’s a bid to bring both ends of the spectrum to single setting, so you can walk down a crowded street with situational awareness, while not getting the full noise impact of the trash truck as it drives by. Although similarly named to last year’s Adaptive Transparency feature, Adaptive Audio offers a full spectrum of modes, with both transparency and noise cancellation playing a role. “Adaptive Transparency, which we announced last year, that has to happen really quickly,” Product Marketing Director Eric Treski said in a conversation with TechCrunch. “That happens at 40,000 times a second. That’s not only the monitoring, that’s the reduction as well. In order to bring that down quickly, it needs to be happening in real time. Adaptive audio is a little bit slower over the course of a few seconds, because it’s meant to be a much more methodical process to know what you’re listening to. We’re going from Adaptive Audio into transparency, so — in order to make it less jarring and more comfortable — it’s much more purposely slower for that reason.” ... Wed, 27 Sep 2023 03:00:00 GMT