Helvetica Is Now An Encryption Device

Researchers have figured out a way to embed encryption into typed blocks of text on paper. Their secret weapon? Helvetica and Times New Roman.  Fonts have been transformed into encryption tools. A new paper by a group of researchers at Columbia University details a method for making tiny changes to fonts that the human eye can’t detect but that look entirely different to a computer vision algorithm. A demo of the technology, dubbed “Fontcode,” shows how they were able to embed the secret message “Hello World!” into a paragraph taken from The Lord of the Rings.

The researchers use an algorithm from previous research that can slowly shift letter forms from one typeface to another to make tiny changes in the shape of every letter that the human eye can’t detect. That could make an “h” slightly thicker in the stem,” or the curve of a “j” slightly sharper.

Once they had these “perturbed” letters, the researchers could make 52 variations of each letter. Each of the 52 variations corresponds to every other lowercase and capital letter in the alphabet (and theoretically every numeral and punctuation mark as well). These 52 variations for each letter go into what the researchers call a “code book” that helps the computer match the perturbed letter it sees with the secret letter it’s encoding.  Check it out:

SOURCE –Fastcodesign.com

The latest from Q branch – self-destructing electronics…

Friends, time to get your 007 on!  Engineers have developed a new kind of “transient electronics”, which are designed to disappear when they’re no longer needed.  This new class of electronics can dissolve and disappear on a pre-set schedule, within a few minutes or a few years, depending on when you want them to go away. They could live in the body and deliver drugs, they could stick on the exterior of buildings or tanks, and they can become compost instead of metal scrap.

The applications are endless but here’s a list of other items that have been built so far: transient transistors; diodes; wireless power coils; temperature and strain sensors; photodetectors; solar cells; radio oscillators and antennas; and digital cameras. There is a huge array of possible uses for this technology, which is partly funded by our friends at DARPA.  Pretty cool stuff!

SOURCE – Popular Science

Scientists Store One Bit of Data on a Single Atom…

Friends, file this one under “Wow”.  IBM researchers just discovered a way to store data on a single atom.   Data storage is undergoing dramatic evolution, recently researchers successfully stored digital data — an entire operating system, a movie, an Amazon gift card, a study and a computer virus — in strands of DNA.

The IBM researchers have developed the world’s smallest magnet using a single atom and they packed it with one bit of digital data.  Currently, hard drives use about 100,000 atoms to store a single bit of information — a 1 or 0 — using traditional methods.   So, this breakthrough could allow people to store 1,000 times more information in the same amount of space in the future applications.

The discovery, which was described in the journal Nature, builds on 35 years of nanotechnology history at IBM, including their Nobel prize-winning scanning tunneling microscope (STM) that was used to build the atomic hard drive.  The scientists used a single atom of the rare earth element holmium and carefully placed it on a surface of magnesium oxide, which makes its north and south poles hold in a stable direction. The two stable magnetic orientations define the 1 and 0 of the bit.   The researchers then used a very accurate, sharp, and small, needle to pass an electrical current through the holmium atoms that flips its north and south poles, thus replicating the process of writing binary data (1s and 0s) to a traditional magnetic hard drive.

SOURCE: The Hacker News

Scramblecode, a security-oriented Programming Language

Friends, this looks really interesting…

Adding to the existing portfolio of some 700 programming languages is a new release candidate for Scramblecode, a security-oriented offering from Danish software vendor ProgramPartner ApS.  Scramblecode  is all about encryption and safety.

Scramblecode is an easy to learn programming language based on curly brackets and classes,” the company says on its Web site. “It uses encrypted compilation to secure the code, and protects the execution while working with encrypted variables.

The company today announced release candidate 1 (RC1) for Scramblecode, which is available for download and testing that can be done completely off-line on a variety of machines.  The Scramblecode package comes with its own IDE, including a code editor, test bench and debugger. The company said that because Scramblecode implements memory encryption, ordinary debugging and memory analysis tools aren’t effective. Built for Windows development, Scramblecode lets coders load a virtual machine (VM) into memory to execute private assembler instructions and it individually protects each instruction and works with encrypted variables in memory. Furthermore, an attack that cracks just one instruction (or even one bit) could crash program execution.

SOURCE – ADTMag.com

Email Encryption Service Provider ‘ProtonMail’ Now on Tor

ProtonMail-Tor-ServiceIf you look in the VooDoo Tech section, you’ll see we endorse both ProtonMail and Tor.  Both are excellent services if you value your online privacy and now they work together!  ProtonMail, launched in 2014 by a group of MIT and CERN experts, is the largest email encryption service provider in the world having more than two million users. It is the preferred emailing platform of activists and journalists who need to keep information confidential.  In its latest announcement, ProtonMail’s co-founder Dr. Andy Yen stated that they would allow the users to directly access their email accounts via Tor network so that they could counter steps taken by authoritative governments across the globe to minimize user privacy.

Dr. Yen said that it is inevitable to avoid censorship in some countries and they have been “proactively working to prevent this.” Dr. Yen further acknowledged that the reason why they have chosen Tor is that “Tor provides a way to circumvent certain Internet blocks so improving our compatibility with Tor is a natural first step.”

This perhaps looks like a step taken after the recent actions from the governments to curb the public’s access to encrypted platforms and secure internet usage. Such as Egyptian government blocked encrypted chat application Signal and the UK government’s approval of the Investigatory Powers Bill aimed at tracking the activities of web browsers.  Friends, do yourself a favor… Use Tor and get yourself a ProtonMail account.

SOURCE – Hackread.com

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