6 Algorithmic Breakthroughs Of 2020

With a number of developments going around along with the constant digitisation, even this year, emerging technologies like AI have proved to be more intelligent as well as complex than humans.
Here is a list of the algorithmic breakthroughs that were made in 2020.

Read more: https://bit.ly/2Kr1nck

#algorithm #google #emergingtech #technews #artificial-intelligence

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6 Algorithmic Breakthroughs Of 2020
Brain  Crist

Brain Crist


Citrix Bugs Allow Unauthenticated Code Injection, Data Theft

Multiple vulnerabilities in the Citrix Application Delivery Controller (ADC) and Gateway would allow code injection, information disclosure and denial of service, the networking vendor announced Tuesday. Four of the bugs are exploitable by an unauthenticated, remote attacker.

The Citrix products (formerly known as NetScaler ADC and Gateway) are used for application-aware traffic management and secure remote access, respectively, and are installed in at least 80,000 companies in 158 countries, according to a December assessment from Positive Technologies.

Other flaws announced Tuesday also affect Citrix SD-WAN WANOP appliances, models 4000-WO, 4100-WO, 5000-WO and 5100-WO.

Attacks on the management interface of the products could result in system compromise by an unauthenticated user on the management network; or system compromise through cross-site scripting (XSS). Attackers could also create a download link for the device which, if downloaded and then executed by an unauthenticated user on the management network, could result in the compromise of a local computer.

“Customers who have configured their systems in accordance with Citrix recommendations [i.e., to have this interface separated from the network and protected by a firewall] have significantly reduced their risk from attacks to the management interface,” according to the vendor.

Threat actors could also mount attacks on Virtual IPs (VIPs). VIPs, among other things, are used to provide users with a unique IP address for communicating with network resources for applications that do not allow multiple connections or users from the same IP address.

The VIP attacks include denial of service against either the Gateway or Authentication virtual servers by an unauthenticated user; or remote port scanning of the internal network by an authenticated Citrix Gateway user.

“Attackers can only discern whether a TLS connection is possible with the port and cannot communicate further with the end devices,” according to the critical Citrix advisory. “Customers who have not enabled either the Gateway or Authentication virtual servers are not at risk from attacks that are applicable to those servers. Other virtual servers e.g. load balancing and content switching virtual servers are not affected by these issues.”

A final vulnerability has been found in Citrix Gateway Plug-in for Linux that would allow a local logged-on user of a Linux system with that plug-in installed to elevate their privileges to an administrator account on that computer, the company said.

#vulnerabilities #adc #citrix #code injection #critical advisory #cve-2020-8187 #cve-2020-8190 #cve-2020-8191 #cve-2020-8193 #cve-2020-8194 #cve-2020-8195 #cve-2020-8196 #cve-2020-8197 #cve-2020-8198 #cve-2020-8199 #denial of service #gateway #information disclosure #patches #security advisory #security bugs

Wasswa  Meagan

Wasswa Meagan


6 Algorithmic Breakthroughs Of 2020

With the increase in efficient use-cases, the interest in the field of artificial intelligence is gaining a hot seat among researchers and organisations. Despite the pandemic, 2020 has witnessed several interesting developments in the domain of AI and machine learning. With a number of developments going around along with the constant digitisation, even this year, emerging technologies like AI have proved to be more intelligent as well as complex than humans.

Here is a list of the algorithmic breakthroughs that were made in 2020.

Note: This list is in no particular order.


Developed by the researchers at Facebook AI Research (FAIR), Recursive Belief-based Learning or ReBeL is a general RL+Search algorithm that can work in all two-player zero-sum games, including imperfect-information games. The algorithm is built on the RL+Search algorithms like AlphaZero, and it makes decisions by factoring in the probability distribution of different beliefs of each player about the current state of the game.

According to the official blog post, the experimental results showed that ReBeL is effective in large-scale two-player zero-sum imperfect-information games like Liar’s Dice and poker, where the algorithm even managed to defeat a top human professional in the benchmark game of heads-up no-limit Texas Hold ’em.

Know more here.

Efficient Non-Convex Reformulations

The algorithmEfficient Non-Convex Reformulations is introduced by Alphabet’s DeepMind. It is a verification algorithm and a novel non-convex reformulation of convex relaxations of neural network verification. The method automatically generates a sequence of primal and dual feasible solutions to the original convex problem, making optimality certification easy.

According to its developers, this new scalable algorithm leads to verifying properties of neural networks and solves certain kinds of structured regression problems. It can have an impact in terms of better methods to evaluate the reliability and trustworthiness of state of the art deep learning systems, thereby catching any unseen failure modes and preventing undesirable consequences of deep learning models.

Know more here.

Memory-Efficient First-Order Semidefinite Programming

Memory-Efficient First-Order Semidefinite Programming is a first-order dual SDP algorithm that requires memory only linear in the total number of network activations and only requires a fixed number of forward/backwards passes through the network per iteration.

With this algorithm, the developers at DeepMind tried to exploit the well-known reformulations of SDPs as eigenvalue optimisation problems. According to the experimental results, the authors claimed that this approach could lead to scalable and tight verification of networks trained without the need for special regularisers to promote verifiability.

Know more here.

Advantage Weighted Actor-Critic (AWAC)

Advantage Weighted Actor-Critic (AWAC) is a machine learning algorithm that learns from offline data and fine-tunes in order to reach expert-level performance after collecting a limited amount of interaction data. It is able to quickly learn successful policies on difficult tasks with high action dimension and sparse binary rewards, significantly better than prior methods for off-policy and offline reinforcement learning.


According to its developers, the algorithm solves the rotation of pen tasks in 120K timesteps, the equivalent of just 20 minutes of online interaction. Also, the algorithm can utilise different types of prior data, such as demonstrations, suboptimal data, and random exploration data.

Know more here.

RigL Algorithm

A few months ago, Google introduced a new algorithm for training sparse neural networks, known as RigL algorithm. The algorithm identifies which neurons should be active during training, which helps the optimisation process to utilise the most relevant connections and results in better sparse solutions. RigL has the capability to improve the accuracy of sparse models intended for deployment as well as the accuracy of large sparse models that can only be trained for a limited number of iterations.

#algorithms 2020 #bremen

Shawn  Durgan

Shawn Durgan


Qualcomm Bugs Open 40 Percent of Android Handsets to Attack

Researchers identified serious flaws in Qualcomm’s Snapdragon SoC and the Hexagon architecture that impacts nearly half of Android handsets.

Six serious bugs in Qualcomm’s Snapdragon mobile chipset impact up to 40 percent of Android phones in use, according research released at the DEF CON Safe Mode security conference Friday.

The flaws open up handsets made by Google, Samsung, LG, Xiaomi and OnePlus to DoS and escalation-of-privileges attacks – ultimately giving hackers control of targeted handsets. Slava Makkaveev, a security researcher with Check Point, outlined his discoveryand said while Qualcomm has provided patches for the bug, most OEM handset makers have not yet pushed out the patches.

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The faulty Qualcomm component is the mobile chip giant’s Snapdragon SoC and the Hexagon architecture. Hexagon a brand name for Qualcomm’s digital signal processor (DSP), part of the SoC’s microarchitecture. DSP controls the processing of real-time request between the Android user environment and the Snapdragon processor’s firmware – in charge of turning voice, video and services such GPS location sensors into computationally actionable data.

Makkaveev said the DSP flaws can be used to harvest photos, videos, call recordings, real-time microphone data, and GPS and location data. A hacker could also cripple a targeted phone or implant malware that would go undetected.

The six flaws are CVE-2020-11201, CVE-2020-11202, CVE-2020-11206, CVE-2020-11207, CVE-2020-11208 and CVE-2020-11209. Using a fuzzing technique against handsets with the vulnerable chipset, Check Point was able to identify 400 discrete attacks.

The prerequisite for exploiting the vulnerabilities is the target would need to be coaxed into downloading and running a rogue executable.

Qualcomm declined to answer specific questions regarding the bugs and instead issued a statement:

“Providing technologies that support robust security and privacy is a priority for Qualcomm. Regarding the Qualcomm Compute DSP vulnerability disclosed by Check Point, we worked diligently to validate the issue and make appropriate mitigations available to OEMs. We have no evidence it is currently being exploited. We encourage end users to update their devices as patches become available and to only install applications from trusted locations such as the Google Play Store.” – Qualcomm Spokesperson

The flaws were brought to Qualcomm’s attention between February and March. Patches developed by Qualcomm in July. A cursory review of vulnerabilities patched in the July and August Google Android Security Bulletins reveal patches haven’t been yet been pushed to handsets. For that reason, Check Point chose not to reveal technical specifics of the flaws.

What technical details that are available can be found in a DEF CON Safe Mode video posted to online. Here Makkaveev shares some technical specifics.

#hacks #mobile security #vulnerabilities #cve-2020-11201 #cve-2020-11202 #cve-2020-11206 #cve-2020-11207 #cve-2020-11208 #cve-2020-11209 #def con safe mode #digital signal processor #dos #dsp #escalation of privileges attack #google #hexagon architecture #lg #oneplus #qualcomm #samsung #snapdragon #soc #xiaomi

6 Algorithmic Breakthroughs Of 2020

With a number of developments going around along with the constant digitisation, even this year, emerging technologies like AI have proved to be more intelligent as well as complex than humans.
Here is a list of the algorithmic breakthroughs that were made in 2020.

Read more: https://bit.ly/2Kr1nck

#algorithm #google #emergingtech #technews #artificial-intelligence

A greedy algorithm is a simple

The Greedy Method is an approach for solving certain types of optimization problems. The greedy algorithm chooses the optimum result at each stage. While this works the majority of the times, there are numerous examples where the greedy approach is not the correct approach. For example, let’s say that you’re taking the greedy algorithm approach to earning money at a certain point in your life. You graduate high school and have two options:

#computer-science #algorithms #developer #programming #greedy-algorithms #algorithms