China denounces the Netherlands' accusations of piracy China denounces the Netherlands' accusations of piracy

China denounces the Netherlands' accusations of piracy

China denounces the Netherlands' accusations of piracy

Wednesday, Beijing denounced the Dutch government's accusation that "Chinese government agencies" were carrying out a spying campaign against the Netherlands, considering it "false allegations," according to Agence France-Presse.

The Dutch Military Intelligence and Security Service announced in a statement the discovery of malicious software planted in a computer network used by its army, placing responsibility for this on a Chinese government entity.

Reuters reported on Tuesday that the two Dutch intelligence agencies, known by the acronyms “MAVD” and “AIVD,” reported that hackers had developed complex malware that concealed its activity within the ministry’s network.

The two agencies said in a joint statement, “China uses this type of malware to spy on computer networks. The malware was developed specifically for FortiGate devices that organizations use as a firewall on their systems, and the manufacturer Fortinet supplies this product around the world.”

This is the first time that the Netherlands has announced China's involvement in electronic espionage activity, with increasing tensions related to national security between Beijing and The Hague, according to Reuters.

In response, Agence France-Presse reported the response of the Chinese embassy in The Hague, which stressed that Beijing “always strongly opposes and confronts cyberattacks in all their forms in accordance with the law.” The embassy added in a statement on its website: “We will not allow any country or person using Chinese infrastructure to engage in such illegal activities.” The statement continued, "China opposes any malicious speculation and false accusations," considering cybersecurity "a common challenge for all countries."

The software was found in a network that carries out unclassified research and development work, according to Dutch intelligence services.

The United States considered that China represented “the largest, most active and persistent threat of electronic espionage” to its government and private sector, according to Agence France-Presse.

Last month, Washington said it had dismantled a Chinese-based hacking network known as “Volt Typhoon,” and accused it of penetrating sensitive American infrastructure networks with the aim of disrupting them in the event of a conflict.

Beijing dismissed the accusations as "false," citing what it said was the United States' history of cyber espionage.

Researchers, one of whom is Egyptian, decode charred manuscripts with artificial intelligence

Three researchers, one of whom was Egyptian, won a prize of $700,000 on Monday for their success in using artificial intelligence to decipher a small part of manuscripts about 2,000 years old that were severely damaged by the eruption of Volcano Vesuvius in 79 AD, according to Agence France-Presse.

He launched the competition called "Vesuvius Challenge"; Brent Sales, a computer science researcher at the University of Kentucky, in addition to Nat Friedman, founder of the GitHub platform, which is now owned by Microsoft.

The organizers of the competition explained that the Herculaneum manuscripts include about 800 manuscripts that were charred during this eruption that buried the Italian cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum about two thousand years ago.

These scrolls, which resemble charred tree trunks and are kept in the Institut de France in Paris and the National Library in Naples, crumble and are easily damaged when trying to open them.

Before the competition, the organizers scanned four manuscripts and offered a total reward of one million dollars to anyone who could decode at least 85% of 4 syllables consisting of 140 letters.

The winning trio of the “Vesuvius Challenge” competition consists of the Egyptian doctoral student in Berlin, Youssef Nader, the SpaceX trainee Luc Varitor from Nebraska in the United States, and the Swiss robotics student Julian Schliger.

The three used artificial intelligence to analyze the ink on papyrus, and determined the nature of Greek letters by monitoring repetitions. Using this technique, Luke Variator was able to decipher the first word in the passage, which is "purple" in Greek.

Thanks to their cooperation, they were able to decipher about 5% of one of the manuscripts, according to the organizers. Nat Friedman explained that its author was "most likely the Epicurean philosopher Philodemus" who wrote "about food, music, and how to enjoy life's pleasures."

Some historians believe that these documents were previously owned by Lucius Calpurnius Piso Caisoninus, father of Calpurnia, one of Julius Caesar's wives. The "Villa of Papyrus", where the manuscripts were found in the eighteenth century, is still mostly buried, and it is believed that it contains thousands of other manuscripts.

“Some of these texts could lead to a complete reconsideration of the history of the main stages in the ancient world,” Robert Fowler, researcher and president of the Herculaneum Society, told Bloomberg Businessweek.

Deciphering these texts would indeed represent a major achievement, as an inventory conducted by the University of California, Irvine showed that only 3 to 5% of ancient Greek texts survived into the modern era.
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