Why You Should Keep Your Smartphone Away From The Fridge
German researchers put Android phones in the freezer for an hour in an attempt to get around their encryption systems and access sensitive data. It worked.
Kecia Lynn has worked as a technical writer, editor, software developer, arts administrator, summer camp director, and television host. A graduate of Case Western Reserve University and the Iowa Writers' Workshop, she is currently living in Iowa City and working on her first novel.
What's the Latest Development?
Researchers at Friedrich-Alexander University in Germany were able to hack into Android phones through a relatively simple method: They put them in a freezer for an hour, cooling them to below -10 degrees Celsius (14 degrees Fahrenheit), then quickly removed and reinserted the battery. Using custom-made software, they were then able to restart the phone and access photos, contact lists, and other sensitive information stored in the phone's memory. Although the focus was on a specific type of phone, the team thinks their method may work for other phones as well.
What's the Big Idea?
According to a blog post about the research, Android's encryption system, introduced with version 4.0 of the OS, was proving especially difficult for IT forensics workers and law enforcement officials to crack. Appropriately, the software the team created was titled Forensic Recovery of Scrambled Telephones (FROST). In addition to expanding their tests to other smartphones, they are now working on ways to defend against such attacks. One of their recommendations is to move the location of encryption keys from sensitive memory chips to the phone's processor memory.
Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com
In a breakthrough for nuclear fusion research, scientists at China's Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST) reactor have produced temperatures necessary for nuclear fusion on Earth.
- The EAST reactor was able to heat hydrogen to temperatures exceeding 100 million degrees Celsius.
- Nuclear fusion could someday provide the planet with a virtually limitless supply of clean energy.
- Still, scientists have many other obstacles to pass before fusion technology becomes a viable energy source.
Military recruits are supposed to be assessed to see whether they're fit for service. What happens when they're not?
- During the Vietnam War, Robert McNamara began a program called Project 100,000.
- The program brought over 300,000 men to Vietnam who failed to meet minimum criteria for military service, both physically and mentally.
- Project 100,000 recruits were killed in disproportionate numbers and fared worse after their military service than their civilian peers, making the program one of the biggest—and possibly cruelest—mistakes of the Vietnam War.
The 116th Congress is set to break records in term of diversity among its lawmakers, though those changes are coming almost entirely from Democrats.
- Women and nonwhite candidates made record gains in the 2018 midterms.
- In total, almost half of the newly elected Congressional representatives are not white men.
- Those changes come almost entirely from Democrats; Republican members-elect are all white men except for one woman.
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.