The ransom demand arrived one recent morning by email, after about a dozen guests were locked out of their rooms at the lakeside Alpine hotel in Austria.
The electronic key system at the picturesque Romantik Seehotel Jaegerwirt had been infiltrated, and the hotel was locked out of its own computer system, leaving guests stranded in the lobby, causing confusion and panic.
“Good morning?” the email began, according to the hotel’s managing director, Christoph Brandstaetter. It went on to demand a ransom of two Bitcoins, or about $1,800, and warned that the cost would double if the hotel did not comply with the demand by the end of the day.
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There are plenty of lunatics on Facebook, Twitter and other social media. Not to mention trolls, haters and other assorted unpleasantness. Most are harmless. A few are terrorists and insurgents who would love nothing better than to kill U.S. troops.
So, how do you tell the loonies and the loudmouths from the real killers?
The Pentagon’s cutting-edge research agency wants software that can sift through social media, and determine whether the person writing “Death to America” on Facebook is just venting steam — or is about to strap on an explosive vest and launch a suicide attack on American soldiers.
DARPA wants software that can potential attackers while “ensuring privacy and appropriately addressing personally identifiable information that may be found in PAI.
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