The developers of the first versions of the robot have a low opinion of their brainchild.
Amazon has a new robot – a small cyber pet named Astro, reminiscent of the iconic Star Wars character R2D2 and designed to help guard the house. However, in reality, the robot is a real nightmare in terms of both functionality and cybersecurity.
The $ 1,000 new product is an “Alexa on Wheels” and looks very cute on the outside, but on the inside it is a collection of wires and hardware components designed to collect as much data about users as possible. This is reported by the Motherboard edition, which managed to communicate with informed sources and get acquainted with the documents related to the project.
When Astro first starts working, users should introduce all the inhabitants of the house to it by showing their faces and showing their voices. Thanks to this, the robot will know who is supposed to be in the house and who is a stranger in it.
According to Kristy Schmidt, Amazon Senior PR Director for Products and Services, the Astro is designed to “process a lot of data, including images and raw sensor data, collected by the robot as it moves around the house.” As Schmidt explained, this helps Astro respond quickly to the environment in which it finds itself. In addition, the visual ID is stored on the device, and the robot “recognizes” the hosts by processing the data internally.
According to the documents reviewed by Motherboard journalists, a large amount of data collected by the robot is necessary for its “security function” to work.
So, if necessary, Astro can be transferred to the “patrol” mode, in which he will spy on strangers and record suspicious activity in the house in the absence of the owners. When, while moving around the house, a robot stumbles upon someone whose face is not stored in its database, it follows on its heels, collecting and storing all possible data until the owner orders him to stop.
With the help of a dedicated application, Astro allows users to view live video from home while they are away.
The robot can be used in conjunction with the Amazon Ring home security system, doubling the intelligence network of US police departments. After pairing with Ring, the robot begins to respond to security-related events by patrolling the house if an alarm is triggered.
Apart from its “espionage” activities, Astro also does not work very well. Several developers who worked on previous versions of the robot reported that its functionality was very limited.
“The Astro is terrible and will almost certainly dash down the stairs if the opportunity presents itself. Human detection is unreliable at best, making home security laughable. As for such an absurd cost, the device is too fragile. retracted position, and when this happens, it is impossible to send the device back to Amazon, “- said one of the developers, who requested anonymity.
All of the above makes buying a robot both creepy and useless at the same time. It’s like tying the wheels to a bulky camcorder and letting it wander around the house awkwardly. Moreover, Astro does not even know how to vacuum.
Scissors undercut: Windows 11 vulnerability reveals sensitive information from screenshots, including deleted parts
A dangerous vulnerability has been discovered in one of the standard Windows 11 applications that could lead to the disclosure of sensitive information to the user. Moreover, at the moment the vulnerability is not closed and attackers can use it.
We are talking about the application Snipping Tool (Scissors). The vulnerability, called aCropalypse, allows you to undo changes made by a user when editing a screenshot, including cropped or blurred parts that hide sensitive data.
When you edit a screenshot, you can save it with the same name as the original file by overwriting it. However, as it turns out, the Windows 11 Snipping Tool does not remove the original information from the file, but simply leaves it added at the end, which is usually invisible to users. With some trickery, a potential attacker can extract hidden information from a file and see what information has been edited.
As you can see, edited screenshots are usually much larger due to the inclusion of information from the original image.
This is a pretty serious vulnerability. For example, if you share a screenshot of an order confirmation page on Amazon, it may contain an address, the same goes for credit card numbers and other sensitive data.
In 2018, Google had an AI ready for a ChatGPT-style chatbot, but it was closed due to security issues.
In recent months, the ChatGPT chatbot has been on the news pages, and this has forced many companies to catch up with OpenAI. Among them are Microsoft, Google and a number of Chinese corporations. However, reportedly, the situation could be different.
As early as 2018, Google is said to have had a natural language processing AI similar to ChatGPT. However, company executives closed the project, considering it too dangerous. One of the developers was research engineer Daniel De Freitas, and Noam Shazeer, a software engineer at Google, also contributed to the project.
The project was called Meena and was a chatbot that could talk about different topics. With him you could discuss TV shows, have discussions about philosophy and joke. At the same time, the developers believed that this technology could be added to the search engine, however, in the end, Google stopped development. The company said the bot did not meet its AI security standards.
Note that later, on the basis of these developments, the LaMDA chat bot was created, which flies into the basis of Bard. Thus, the development nevertheless reached the mass user, albeit with a great delay.
Two-way satellite communications and military-grade security. Presented smartphone Motorola Defy 2
The British company Bullitt Group and Motorola, now owned by the Chinese Lenovo, introduced a new smartphone of the protected Motorola Defy series. The highlights of the Motorola Defy 2 are support for two-way satellite communication, combined with 5G fifth-generation cellular networks, and a very durable design.
The smartphone is resistant to dust, sand, dirt and water (IP68 and IP69K) and has been tested to military standard Mil-Spec 810H for extreme high and low temperatures, humid environments, salt fog, vibration and shock. The Motorola Defy 2 can be washed with soap and water and can also be cleaned with alcohol wipes.
The smartphone itself is equipped with a 6.6-inch Full HD + display with a refresh rate of 120 Hz, an 8 MP front camera, a main triple camera (50 MP, 8 and 2 MP), SoC MediaTek Dimensity 930, 6 GB of RAM and 128 GB flash memory that can be expanded with microSD cards, and a 5000 mAh battery with support for 15W charging and Qi wireless charging.
MediaTek Bullitt and 3GPP NTN technology, Bullitt satellite messaging service are supported. The smartphone is running Android 12 operating system, two major Android updates and 5 years of security updates are promised.
The Motorola Defy 2 smartphone will be available from Q2 2023 on select carriers in North America, Latin America and Canada starting at $599.
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