Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Registration is now open for Ohio’s premier educational and networking event for ecological farmers, backyard growers, and others committed to sustainable agriculture, local food, and green living.The Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association’s (OEFFA) 40th annual conference, A Climate for Change, will run Thursday, Feb. 13 through Saturday, Feb. 15, 2020 at the Dayton Convention Center in Dayton. “This year’s event features speakers and sessions dedicated to creating a climate to change agriculture,” said Renee Hunt, OEFFA program director. “Cultivating a resilient, just, and sustainable agricultural system can help farmers mitigate their climate risks, and address our global crisis.”Each year, the conference draws more than 1,100 attendees. Online registration is now open at www.oeffa.org/conference2020.OEFFA’s popular conference will feature keynote speakers including:Friday keynote speaker Laura Lengnick is an award-winning soil scientist who has explored agricultural sustainability for more than 25 years as a researcher, policy-maker, educator, author, consultant, and farmer. She is the author of Resilient Agriculture: Cultivating Food Systems for a Changing Climate and founder of Cultivating Resilience.Saturday keynote speaker Eric Holt-Giménez is an agroecologist, political economist, activist, and author. He has worked extensively abroad, helping to start the Campesino a Campesino (Farmer to Farmer) Movement, and is the former Executive Director of Food First. His most recent book is Can We Feed the World Without Destroying It?In addition there will be three full-day Food and Farm School class options on Thursday to provide in-depth learning opportunities:Market gardening 2.0—led Jean-Martin Fortier, farmer and author of The Market GardenerLearning from the numbers: Deepening farm financial awareness — led by author and farmer Jody PadghamWhat the hemp is going on?! A practical guide to hemp farming in Ohio — led by a team of experts on regulation, production, and marketingThis three-day event offers more than 100 hours of workshops, abundant networking opportunities in the Exhibit Hall and beyond, moments to unwind and share a drink with new friends, activities to please the whole family, and more, including:Nearly 80 90-minute workshops on topics including sustainable farming, gardening, homesteading, livestock, business management, and policy, and moreAn expanded three-day trade show featuring dozens of businesses, nonprofits, and government agencies, along with areas for large equipment displayA half day special session, Building Agricultural Resilience to a Changing Climate, with Aaron Wilson, Rafiq Islam, Vinayak Shedaker, and Alan SundermeierThe Contrary Farmers’ Social on Thursday at 2nd Street MarketThe Cream of the Crop Banquet on FridayA free FarmLink Live training and networking session on ThursdayA kids’ conference for children ages 6-12 and a playroom for young childrenLocally-sourced, from-scratch lunches; raffle; book table; book signings, and much more.OEFFA is offering a special registration rate for members who register by Dec. 12. A limited number of scholarships are available to minorities, beginning farmers, and Columbus-area farmers, along with reduced rate volunteer spaces. Online registration will be open until Jan. 27. On-site walk-in registration will also be available for an additional fee. For more information about the conference, or to register, go to www.oeffa.org/conference2020.
3 Areas of Your Business that Need Tech Now Cognitive Automation is the Immediate Future of… The mission is clear: infiltrate the target corporate network in order to obtain corporate data and perhaps even some intellectual property along the way. Tools on hand? Just you, a clean Internet-connected machine and 15 minutes of uninterrupted time.With just a little knowledge, that’s plenty of time to get inside a supposedly unbreachable network—just by building your own botnet.What’s A Botnet, Again?Simply put, a botnet is a network of malware-infected computers that are remote-controlled by a command server. Whoever controls the botnet can make those zombie computers do bad stuff—launching distributed denial-of-service attacks is one favorite pastime—or just exploit them to harvest passwords and to access other private information within, say, a corporate network.See also Does It Really Take A Government To Launch Cloud-Based Cyberattacks?Botnets have been overshadowed recently by criminal phishing expeditions, nation-state hacks and zero-day attacks, but they represent a type of threat no one should dismiss lightly. Botnet zombies are already pervasive inside home and business networks—in part because ordinary security measures often don’t protect against them.But it’s also true that setting up a botnet is ridiculously easy. Simon Mullis, systems engineer at the security vendor FireEye, recently walked me through the process of creating a malware package that would install and infect an end-user system on a target network, turning it into a zombie that would do our bidding.The premise of the exercise was straightforward: Infect a target system that started off completely free of malware. Of course, Mullis wasn’t blasting a hapless PC with zombie malware; he just targeted a clean Window virtual machine he’d set up himself. To control the bot, he created his own command-and-control system by spinning up a LAMP server on Amazon Web Service’s EC2 platform. (He used EC2 simply for its convenience; he could just as easily have run the demonstration from a physical server right there in his office.)How To Build A BotnetOpening his browser, Mullis searched for a botnet builder tool for malware known as Ice IX. Google’s top response to his particular query—which I’m not going to reveal here—yielded a site that offered the tool for free. Ice IX is a nasty little piece of malware that injects a fake Facebook page into a victim’s browser that collects credit card information under false pretenses.Any malware, though, would have done just as well. Using methods and tools that can be found online in minutes, a botnet creator can create a central command and control server and then use social engineering to inject malware onto the victim’s computer—by, say, emailing an innocuous looking but disguised file, or tricking a user into downloading the file from a compromised website.After downloading and installing the Ice IX kit software, Mullis started up its bot builder kit and began to set up the parameters for the malware—specifying, for instance, how often the malware would communicate with the command server, what actions it would undertake and even how it would hide from anti-virus scans. Much of this work was simply a matter of filling in appropriate fields in the Ice IX builder kit’s straightforward Windows interface.Some of the rest required editing the Ice IX kit’s powerful setup.txt script. Individual command lines in that script might direct the malware to take screenshots of pages that were visited by the zombie machine’s browser on a certain domain, such as a bank web site. Or have the malware tell the zombie machine’s browser to block sites (such as anti-virus updating sites) altogether. It can also redirect legitimate site URLs to malevolent sites intended to collect critical information—credit card numbers, Social Security numbers, passwords. You name it.Once he’d set the malware’s specifications, including the location of its controlling command server, Mullis uploaded Ice IX-produced files to his LAMP server. And presto—he had a fully configured botnet command server.Congratulations On Your New Botnet!Constructing the bot and prepping the command server is the first half of the equation. Next up is the task of encrypting and packing the infected file that will deliver containing the bot-installation malware on the target machine. The file is usually a PDF or document file, as those are the ones many users will click without thinking when faced with a phishing email or a malicious website.The malware delivery file is created with a ‘crypter and packer software, and is sent to the target for infection with the aforementioned social engineering practices. At this point, the zombied computer can now be under the author’s control.After delivering the malware package to his Windows virtual machine, Mullis simulated a user double-clicking on the file, packaged to appear as a PDF document. The file suddenly vanished from the desktop of the virtual Windows PC; its malware package was already running invisibly in the background, installing the bot software and seizing control. An unsuspecting user could easily be completely unaware that her system had just been zombified.The Bot Goes To WorkSuppose some unscrupulous individual had just zombified a corporate PC in the real world. What happens next?If the goal is network infiltration, the zombie can now read email and monitor traffic and communications, enabling its overseer to work his way through the organization in hopes of sniffing out passwords, identifying specific databases containing engineering secrets, and fingering users with greater administrative powers. At every opportunity, the botmaster spreads more malware to other computers, bolstering the ranks of his zombie horde within the corporate network and improving the odds that he’ll stumble across something juicy.And if he needs to grant his zombies new powers, all the botmaster has to do is upload new malware packages to the infected computers. This highlights one of the major dangers of botnets—they can be customized to perform just about any type of illicit activity the botmaster wants. It’s is a slower and less flashy method of attack than zero-day attacks that exploit known weaknesses in the software running on PCs and servers. But it can be every bit as effective.Botnet infiltration works so well in part because most people will tend to trust files that appear to have originated with other employees inside the company’s network. People will almost always pass along files from sources they know. And that’s a very large problem: Mullis estimated that “around 95% of the organizations we work with has this type of malware somewhere on their networks.”And while creating a botnet like this isn’t the sort of thing any person off the street could do, it’s uncomfortably close. You need some basic knowledge of how webservers are constructed—in particular, some familiarity with back-end databases like MySQL that have become ubiquitous for managing all the information stored on websites. If you’ve ever run a website, you could do this.See also BotClouds: How Botnets Now Offer Crime-As-A-ServiceThe website Mullis visited to download Ice IX kit in the first place listed the 14 steps for installing and using the software right on the download page. Step 14? “Profit.”Welcome To The Big LeaguesMullis’ point in running this demo was to underscore just how powerful malware-creation tools have become, how simple they are for relatively unsophisticated computer jockeys to use—and just how easy it is to find them. These tools are far beyond the level of sophistication the talented amateurs known as “script kiddies” once used: In just 13 minutes, anyone with a modicum of knowledge can use simplified point-and-click tools to build malware that can steal identities and corporate secrets alike without breaking a (metaphorical) sweat.See also The Hackers Are WinningAnd that’s just what Mullis found with a few Google searches; one can only imagine what tools the big-league hackers have at their disposal. That, Mullis said, is the real problem: Malware creation is frightenly easy to create for nearly all levels of hackers, thanks to the easy availability of these malware builder kits. The really dangerous malware is light-years beyond what prepackaged tools like the Ice IX kit can produce.Complicating this is the fact that anti-virus software is often unaware of this kind of malware. Zombie-type malware can only be detected if the anti-virus vendor has managed to get a signature for the malware in question. This is often difficult, since this malware takes active pains to avoid detection.In the arms race between hackers and users, the hackers are winning. The sheer volume of available malware-building kits makes that clear. Eventually, defenders should be able to catch up, but for now, it’s open season for incautious users. Image courtesy of Shutterstock IT + Project Management: A Love Affair Tags:#botnet#security Massive Non-Desk Workforce is an Opportunity fo… brian proffitt Related Posts
A player had to be very good in order to even suffer so large a decline in the first place, and Anthony certainly fit that bill … once upon a time. Many of the names on that list managed to bounce back and be quality contributors going forward, though few were as old (and none as bad) as Anthony has been recently. So in that sense, the collapse of Anthony’s game has been historic — we’ve never really seen a star’s numbers fall off quite so much in such a short time.If the Rockets do end up cutting ties with Anthony, he may still draw interest from certain NBA teams. (At the very least, the Melo-to-the-Lakers rumor mill is already starting to rumble back to life.) And, however small, there is some evidence Anthony could be more effective in a different system than that of the Rockets, where his game never meshed with Mike D’Antoni’s overarching philosophy at either end of the court. But whether due to fit or declining skills, it has been a nothing less than stunning fall for Anthony these past few seasons. 5Dwyane Wade28-31+9.4+5.9+6.33.9-5.5 Carmelo Anthony may have played his last game as a member of the Houston Rockets. Or maybe not. Who knows? Either way, the Carmelo Experiment in Houston hasn’t gone according to plan over the first month of the season. Coming off a charmed 65-win campaign in 2017-18, this year’s Rockets are below .500 — and while Houston’s problems run deeper than Anthony, he has done little to suggest they’re merely coincidental with his presence on the team.Going into the season, my colleague Chris Herring wrote that Anthony’s success or failure in Houston would largely depend on his ability to curtail his usual scoring tendencies and play effectively off the ball — finding opportunities for open shots (presumably off passes from Chris Paul and James Harden) and knocking them down. In addition, Anthony would need to prove he wasn’t a total liability on defense, considering Houston lost lockdown forwards Trevor Ariza and Luc Mbah a Moute over the summer.Unfortunately, Anthony hasn’t really done much in any facet of that role so far. He has dialed back the share of team offense he’s using — down to a career-low 20.5 percent usage rate — which would normally be a positive sign of accepting a diminished function in the offense. But he’s also stopping the ball too often — he has assisted just 2.9 percent of teammate buckets while on the floor — and his shooting hasn’t been up to par. Anthony is hitting catch-and-shoot jumpers at an effective field goal percentage of just 51.8 percent, which according to Second Spectrum ranks 32nd out of 48 shooters with at least 50 attempts. More concerning, Anthony also ranks 224th out of 266 qualified shooters in overall quantified shot quality, Second Spectrum’s metric for judging the expected value of a shot (based on distance, defender proximity, etc.). Anthony has always excelled at making tough shots, but in order to fit into Houston’s obsessively efficiency-maximizing scheme, he needed to prove he could generate easy ones, too.Moreover, Anthony has been a prime culprit in Houston’s drop from sixth in defensive efficiency last season to 20th this year. According to Basketball-Reference.com, the Rockets are allowing an eye-popping 119.2 points per 100 possessions with Anthony on the court, 10.1 more than they do with him off the floor. That 109.1 mark without Anthony would rank 14th in the league anyway, so it’s more than just Anthony that’s causing the Rockets to slip from their defensive form of last season. His arrival certainly hasn’t helped the cause, though.Anthony’s friend (and fellow Banana Boater) Dwyane Wade tweeted Sunday that fans and journalists were trying to make Anthony “the fall guy” for Houston’s slow start, and he has a point. Looking beyond Anthony, Houston has three rotation players — Eric Gordon, Gerald Green and Michael Carter-Williams — with true shooting percentages below 50 percent. Harden hasn’t quite recaptured his MVP form from last year, and Paul appears to be slowing down at age 33. The Rockets look sluggish (they rank 28th in pace) and are making only 32.7 percent of their many three-point attempts, which ranks a shocking 25th in the league.1For comparison’s sake, they ranked 13th last year.But Anthony is also hitting new statistical lows in what has been an otherwise Hall of Fame career. At age 33 with Oklahoma City last season, he’d never been worse according to Player Efficiency Rating (12.7), Win Shares per 48 minutes (.071) or Box Plus/Minus (-3.8). Although there was hope he’d just slumped in a bad situation on OKC, Anthony is blowing away those old career-worst marks this season: He currently has a PER of 11.5 with .043 WS/48 and a BPM of -5.1.It’s not unheard of to see a player dip so drastically in production as he ages into his 30s, but it is shocking to see it happen to a player who has been as good as Anthony has been and also hasn’t suffered a major injury. According to Basketball-Reference’s data, Anthony’s 7.7-point decline in BPM from 2015-16 to 2018-19 is tracking to be the largest since the ABA merger for any player who logged at least 50 percent of team minutes over each season in a four-year span. PlayerAgesYear 1Year 2Year 3Year 44-year Change 8Terry Porter27-30+6.1+3.1+2.41.0-5.1 4James Worthy28-31+4.0+2.3+0.7-1.6-5.6 20Kevin Willis29-32+1.0-0.4+1.1-3.2-4.2 12Bobby Jones25-28+7.7+5.1+3.83.1-4.6 18Dwyane Wade27-30+10.7+9.4+5.96.3-4.4 Few players have ever declined so much as Melo, so quicklyBiggest decline in Box Plus/Minus (BPM) for qualified NBA players over a four-season span, 1976-2019 6Kareem Abdul-Jabbar37-40+4.9+4.5+1.6-0.6-5.5 7Derek Harper28-31+4.3+2.8+0.7-0.9-5.2 10Kevin Garnett27-30+9.9+9.7+7.95.0-4.9 2Mookie Blaylock29-32+7.2+3.6+4.90.2-7.0 9John Drew23-26+3.1+1.3-0.7-1.8-4.9 11Ricky Rubio25-28+1.9+0.8+1.7-2.9-4.8 13Julius Erving31-34+7.8+6.3+5.93.2-4.6 14Shawn Kemp24-27+6.5+3.1+3.82.0-4.5 15Dirk Nowitzki27-30+5.7+6.7+5.21.2-4.5 16Ray Williams25-28+4.0+3.1+3.9-0.4-4.4 BPM by Year in Span … 3Michael Adams28-31+4.4+1.7-0.1-1.6-6.0 1Carmelo Anthony31-34+2.6-0.7-3.8-5.1-7.7 19George Gervin30-33+1.1-0.4-1.3-3.3-4.4 Includes players who played at least 50 percent of available minutes each season in the four-season stretch.Source: Basketball-Reference.com 17Scott Skiles26-29+1.6-1.4+1.0-2.8-4.4
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has revealed that Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is set to make a return to action before the end of this seasonThe 25-year-old midfielder has been sidelined since last April with a cruciate ligament injury in his right knee from a Champions League semi-final clash against AS Roma.Oxlade-Chamberlain was expected to need 12 months of recovery, but he’s relentless efforts to get back up to fitness saw him return to training outdoors last month.Now Klopp believes a comeback before the season’s over is on the table for Oxlade-Chamberlain.‘He’s in a very good way, but will still take time,” said Klopp on the club website. “He is closer than Rhian. He is on a very good way.“But last time [I spoke about it] I think I put a bit of pressure on the medical department but when I see him running, moving with the ball and all the stuff – which he is all doing already – it looks really good, promising, close to a return.Solskjaer praises Harry Maguire after Man United’s 1-0 win Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Ole Gunnar Solskjaer singled out Harry Maguire for praise after helping Manchester United keep a clean sheet in their 1-0 win over Leicester City.“But, in the end, it’s so long out, [since] April against Roma – what a situation.“It will be fine; it looks completely without any problems in the moment, no swellings anymore.“He can really work already on his fitness issues, which he’s had for a long time. I think we will see him this season.”Since joining from Arsenal in 2017, Oxlade-Chamberlain has managed five goals and eight assists in 42 appearances for Liverpool.The Reds will face Crystal Palace at Anfield on Saturday in the Premier League.
Kolkata: The Election Commission (EC) has released merchandise with the catchline ‘Veni, Vidi, Vote’ — an improvisation on Julius Caesar’s “Veni, Vidi, Vici” — urging people to be a proud voter in the world’s biggest democratic exercise. “Veni, Vidi, Vici” is a Latin phrase which means “I came, I saw, I conquered”. Caesar had used these words in a letter to the Roman Senate after easily winning a war. “To spread awareness about voting, the Election Commission has sent some merchandise such as key chains and badges which will be distributed among voters before the elections,” Additional Chief Electoral Officer Sanjay Basu told reporters here on Friday. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataThe quirky merchandise, includes bags, coasters, mugs, caps and T-shirts with slogans like ‘Ready to vote, proud to be a voter’ and ‘Let’s get inked’. “We are also planning to use Bangla phrases in some of these items for West Bengal,” Basu said. Basu also informed about the awareness initiatives undertaken by District Electoral Officers across the state. ‘Somanubhuti Jatra’ (Journey of Equality) is a bus with election-related information moving around East Burdwan district. “This bus has been launched under Awareness on Wheels to answer the election-related queries and encourage people with disabilities to cast their vote,” he said.