If the idea of traveling at speeds up to 670 mph while sitting inside a futuristic pod propelled by strong electromagnets through an airless tube sounds like a cool sci-fi concept to you, then you should watch the latest video published by Virgin Hyperloop.
The video shows how the Hyperloop concept, which was first proposed in 2013 by Elon Musk, might enable a faster, greener, and more cost-efficient mode of travel in a not-so-distant future — at least in the United Arab Emirates.
Unlike many existing train stations, the one from which the passengers in the video board their pods is clean, bright, and inviting. The pods themselves echo the same optimistic vision of the future, where traditional materials and high-end technology work in unison to create a more pleasant transportation experience.
Every passenger seat is equipped with wireless charging, and translucent LCD screens that double as dividers between individual rows of seats show the remaining travel time and current speed. Smaller info displays inform passengers about Wi-Fi and toilet availability, both of which are guaranteed to come in handy during longer trips.
When will first passengers be able to enjoy this exciting new mode of transportation? Sometime in 2030, most likely. Virgin Hyperloop, which receives financial backing from Dubai’s regime-backed DP World, must first receive its safety certification before it is allowed to operate in the United Arab Emirates.
So far, Virgin Hyperloop has successfully completed its first passenger test, during which the pod accelerated to around 100 mph. That’s a fairly impressive speed, but there’s no denying that the company has a long way to go before it hits 670 mph.
When it does, its Hyperloop system could be a game-changer for all people who commute long-distances on a regular basis. Jay Walder, CEO of Virgin Hyperloop, said that the company’s Hyperloop system must be affordable for people to use. As such, prices should be much closer to driving than flying thanks to the fact that multiple pods (each carrying up to 28 passengers) can travel inside the same tube mere milliseconds apart.
New Variants Of Android Spyware Are Targeting Middle East Users
Sophos recommends Android users to never install apps from untrusted sources and avoid ignoring available OS and app updates.
British security software and hardware company Sophos has recently revealed that new variants of Android spyware used by the C-23 group are actively targeting users in the Middle East.
C-23, also known as GnatSpy, FrozenCell, or VAMP, is what cybersecurity professionals refer to as an advanced persistent threat (APT) adversary. Such adversaries are typically well-funded and well-organized, which allows them to quickly evolve their tactics to overcome even the most sophisticated cybersecurity defenses.
The C-23 adversary has been known for targeting individuals in the Middle East since at least 2017, with a particular focus on the Palestinian territories.
The latest variants of its Android spyware are most likely distributed via a download link sent to victims as text messages. The link leads to a malicious app that pretends to install legitimate updates on the victim’s mobile device. When the app is launched for the first time, it requests a number of permissions that let it spy on the victim. It then disguises itself to make removal more difficult.
“The new variants use more, and more varied, disguises than previous versions, hiding behind popular app icons such as Chrome, Google, Google Play, YouTube, or the BOTIM voice-over-IP service” explain Sophos. “If targets click a fraudulent icon, the spyware launches the legitimate version of the app, while maintaining surveillance in the background”.
The information the new spyware can steal includes everything from text messages to the names of installed apps to contacts from all kinds of apps, including Facebook and WhatsApp. The spyware can even dismiss notifications and toggle “Do Not Disturb” settings.
Sophos recommends Android users to never install apps from untrusted sources and avoid ignoring available OS and app updates. The company’s own mobile antivirus app, called Sophos Intercept X for Mobile, can detect the new spyware as well as all kinds of other malicious software.