Metaminds

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We’re Proud to Announce Our Partners are a Part of Forbes’ List “30 under 30”

After spending several years studying abroad, they came back home to put their vision into action and open Kaiamo, one of the most prestigious restaurants in Bucharest. During the fight against COVID-19, we found in the Kaiamo restaurant the perfect partner to help us implement our initiative of comforting the ”Anonymous heroes of these days”. […]
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In the Top European Companies with the Fastest Growth

Our hard work has been validated by the latest report published by Financial Times. On the 23th of March, the prestigious publication Financial Times published the annual list of Europe’s fastest-growing companies. We are glad to have been named the top Romanian company in the IT field amongst those included in the ranking. We are also […]
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Metaminds: Making Romanian Schools Safer and Smarter One Step at a Time

In developing a project with Telekom Romania Mobile Communications, Metaminds has successfully implemented the core infrastructure of a two-factor authentication solution. One of our most recent accomplishments proves how serious we are when it comes to metacognition: we finalized the core system which will allow the operation of a nationwide initiative to digitalize Romanian schools. […]
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Informational Security in the Time of Social Distancing

In a time characterized by social distancing, companies are forced to function differently in order to survive. IDC has organized an online event that focused on information security in the light of the period the world is passing through. A study published on the 31st of March stated that around 70% of companies were forced […]
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Reviewed by Marius Marinescu

June 3

Anonymous’ Hacking Tactics – Revealed In The Attack On Vatican

The Los Angeles Times reported that Father Leonard Boyle was working to put the Vatican’s Library on the World Wide Web through a site funded by IBM. “Bringing the computer to the Middle Ages and the Vatican library to the world.” Boyle computerized the library’s catalog and placed manuscripts and paintings on the website, which was in part funded by IBM. Today, thousands of manuscripts and incunabula have been digitized and are publicly available on the Vatican Library website. A number of other offerings are available, which include images and descriptions of the Vatican’s extensive numismatic collection that dates back to Roman times.   The Vatican’s digital presence soon caught the hacker’s attention and in August 2011, when by the elusive hacker movement known as Anonymous launched a cyber-attack against it.  Although the Vatican has seen its fair share of digital attacks over the years, what makes this particular one special is the fact that this was the first Anonymous attack to be identified and tracked from start to finish by security researchers, providing a rare glimpse into the recruiting, reconnaissance and warfare tactics used by the shadowy hacking collective.   The campaign against the Vatican, which has not received wide attention at the time, involved hundreds of people, some with hacking skills and some without. A core group of participants openly drummed up support for the attack using YouTube, Twitter and Facebook. Others searched for vulnerabilities on a Vatican Web site and, when that failed, enlisted amateur recruits to flood the site with traffic, hoping it would crash.   Anonymous, which first gained widespread notice with an attack on the Church of Scientology in 2008, has since carried out hundreds of increasingly bold strikes, taking aim at perceived enemies including law enforcement agencies, Internet security companies and opponents of the whistle-blower site WikiLeaks.   The group’s attack on the Vatican was confirmed by the hackers and it may be the first end-to-end record of a full Anonymous attack. The attack was called “Operation Pharisee” in a reference to the sect that Jesus called hypocrites. It was initially organized by hackers in South America and Mexico before spreading to other countries, and it was timed to coincide with Pope Benedict XVI’s visit to Madrid in August 2011 for World Youth Day, an annual  international event that regularly attracts more than a million young Catholics.   Hackers initially tried to take down a website set up by the church to promote the event, handle registrations and sell merchandise. Their goal – according to YouTube messages delivered by an Anonymous figure in a Guy Fawkes mask – was to disrupt the event and draw attention.   The hackers spent weeks spreading their message through their own website and social media channels like Twitter and Flickr. Their Facebook page encouraged volunteers to download free attack software so that they might join the attack. It took the hackers 18 days to recruit enough people. Then the reconnaissance began. A core group of roughly a dozen skilled hackers spent three days poking around the church’s World Youth Day site looking for common security holes that could let them inside. Probing for such loopholes used to be tedious and slow, but the advent of automated tools made it possible for hackers to do this around the clock.   In this case, the scanning software failed to turn up any gaps. So, the hackers turned to a brute-force approach – a DDoS attack. Even unskilled supporters could take part in this from their computers or smartphones. Over the course of the campaign’s final two days, Anonymous enlisted as many as a thousand people to download attack software, or directed them to custom-built websites that let them participate using their cellphones. Visiting a particular web address caused the phones to instantly start flooding the target website with hundreds of data requests each second, with no special software required.   On the first day, the denial-of-service attack resulted in 28 times the normal traffic to the church site, rising to 34 times the next day. Hackers involved in the attack, who did not identify themselves, said, through a Twitter account associated with the campaign, that the two-day effort succeeded in slowing the site’s performance and making the page unavailable “in several countries”. Anonymous moved on to other targets, including an unofficial site about the pope, which the hackers were briefly able to deface.   In the end, the Vatican’s defenses held up because, unlike other hacker targets, it invested in the infrastructure needed to repel both break-ins and full-scale assaults, using some of the best cybersecurity technology available at the time. Researchers who have followed Anonymous say that despite its lack of success in this and other campaigns, their attacks show the movement is still evolving and, if anything, emboldened.
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Reviewed by Stefan Iliescu

May 8

Fortran

”Modern Fortran is a powerful and flexible programming language that constitutes the foundation of high performance computing for research and science. Its powerful parallelization capabilities, low-level machine learning and deep learning libraries make it perfectly suited for the large scale simulation of physical systems to the detriment of C language. But history also gives us another perspective on the competition between Fortran and C. The code was passed on to the students, who, found Fortran much easier to learn than C. Given the long history of Fortran, it is no surprise that a large amount of legacy code in physics is written in Fortran.”  Ștefan Iliescu - Chief Data Scientist at Metaminds.    
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Reviewed by Cristian Gal

May 5

WorldWideWeb

31 years ago, Berners-Lee wrote a proposal for "a large hypertext database with typed links". This turns up in what we know today as the World Wide Web. "His work paved the way for a brave new hyper-connected world where, be it against disinformation or to ward off malware, protecting is caring. Cyber security is a matter of responsibility.” — Petru Cristian Gal, Security Solutions Team Leader Metaminds.
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Reviewed by Stefan Iliescu

March 24

Belady anomaly

”Usually, if you increase the number of frames allocated to a process in virtual memory the chances to receive fewer page faults increase. Sometimes the opposite happens and the phenomenon is called Belady's Anomaly. This phenomenon is experienced to a greater or lesser extent in page replacement algorithms such as First In First Out (FIFO), Second Chance Algorithm and Random Page Replacement Algorithm. Although algorithms that do not suffer from this anomaly are being used too, such as LRU or Optimal Page Replacement - that follow the stack algorithm property, the anomaly is still a topic of interest for research.” Ștefan Iliescu - Chief Data Scientist at Metaminds.
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Reviewed by Marius Marinescu

March 24

HP-41C pocket calculator

39 years ago NASA demonstrated the power of being prepared for any type of situation: by installing a specific software on the HP-41C pocket calculator, the astronauts from the first space shuttle flights were able to calculate the exact angle at which they needed to re-enter the Earth's atmosphere. ”Nowadays a mobile phone has roughly 5.5 million times more processing power than the pocket calculator and so does the malware. Not that you typically need to re-enter the Earth's atmosphere on a Monday morning using your new shiny mobile phone, but better to keep it safe than sorry.” Marius Marinescu, Chief Technology Officer at Metaminds.
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