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Ransomware Attacks and Crypto Payments: Insights from 2024 | IDOs News

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Ransomware Attacks and Crypto Payments: Insights from 2024 | IDOs News
Ransomware Attacks and Crypto Payments: Insights from 2024 | IDOs News







The evolving landscape of ransomware threats in 2024 was a focal point at the Chainalysis Links Conference, as highlighted in the latest episode of the Public Key podcast. Andrew Davis, General Counsel at Kivu Consulting, provided critical insights into the sophisticated tactics employed by ransomware attackers and the complexities of negotiating payments.

The Evolving Threat Landscape

As ransomware tactics evolve, businesses face increasing challenges in safeguarding their data. Davis pointed out that the rise in cyber extortion and data theft has drawn significant attention from law enforcement. Notable incidents involving major pharmacy payment processors and oil pipelines have underscored the critical need for robust cybersecurity measures.

Davis elaborated on the various typologies of ransomware attacks, including cyber extortion and data theft. He noted that the decision to pay a ransom is fraught with complexities, as only about a third of the organizations Kivu Consulting assisted in 2023 chose to make payments. Despite this, these organizations still faced significant disruptions and had to rebuild their systems.

New Attack Vectors and AI Challenges

One of the significant threats highlighted by Davis is the increasing use of artificial intelligence (AI) in ransomware attacks. AI is being leveraged to create deep fakes and modify images and videos, making it harder for organizations to discern genuine threats from fabricated ones. This advancement in technology presents a new layer of challenges for cybersecurity professionals.

Common attack vectors, such as social engineering and the exploitation of unpatched vulnerabilities, remain prevalent. Davis stressed the importance of organizations being vigilant about these methods, as they are the primary means by which attackers gain initial access.

Insights from Cybersecurity Experts

This episode of the Public Key podcast also featured a discussion on the role of Initial Access Brokers (IABs) and the debate around banning ransomware payments. Davis emphasized the importance of consulting professionals when dealing with ransomware attacks, given the legal and financial complexities involved.

Reflecting on the recent disruptions caused by ransomware, Davis mentioned the significant impact on various sectors, including healthcare and the gaming industry. He pointed out that while law enforcement agencies are making efforts to combat these threats, the sophistication of ransomware groups continues to pose substantial risks.

Industry Trends and Future Outlook

The podcast concluded with a discussion on the future of ransomware and best practices for organizations to protect themselves. Davis noted that while larger companies are increasingly prepared with better backup systems and isolated networks, middle-market companies still face challenges due to cost-benefit analyses that may underestimate the risk of ransomware attacks.

In summary, the evolving tactics of ransomware groups and the integration of AI in their strategies highlight the need for continuous vigilance and collaboration between the public and private sectors. Organizations are encouraged to invest in robust cybersecurity measures and consult professionals to navigate the complexities of ransomware threats.

For more insights, the full episode can be accessed on the Public Key podcast by Chainalysis.

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Enhancing Agent Planning: Insights from LangChain | IDOs News

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Enhancing Agent Planning: Insights from LangChain | IDOs News
Enhancing Agent Planning: Insights from LangChain | IDOs News




Alvin Lang
Jul 21, 2024 04:57

LangChain explores the limitations and future of planning for agents with LLMs, highlighting cognitive architectures and current fixes.





According to a recent LangChain Blog post, planning for agents remains a critical challenge for developers working with large language models (LLMs). The article delves into the intricacies of planning and reasoning, current fixes, and future expectations for agent planning.

What Exactly Is Meant by Planning and Reasoning?

Planning and reasoning by an agent involve the LLM’s ability to decide on a series of actions based on available information. This includes both short-term and long-term steps. The LLM evaluates all available data and decides on the first step it should take immediately, followed by subsequent actions.

Most developers use function calling to enable LLMs to choose actions. Function calling, first introduced by OpenAI in June 2023, allows developers to provide JSON schemas for different functions, enabling the LLM to match its output with these schemas. While function calling helps in immediate actions, long-term planning remains a significant challenge due to the need for the LLM to think about a longer time horizon while managing short-term actions.

Current Fixes to Improve Planning by Agents

One of the simplest fixes is ensuring the LLM has all the necessary information to reason and plan appropriately. Often, the prompt passed into the LLM lacks sufficient information for reasonable decision-making. Adding a retrieval step or clarifying prompt instructions can significantly improve outcomes.

Another recommendation is changing the cognitive architecture of the application. Cognitive architectures can be categorized into general-purpose and domain-specific architectures. General-purpose architectures, like the “plan and solve” and Reflexion architectures, provide a generic approach to better reasoning. However, these may be too general for practical use, leading to the preference for domain-specific cognitive architectures.

General Purpose vs. Domain Specific Cognitive Architectures

General-purpose cognitive architectures aim to improve reasoning generically and can be applied to any task. For example, the “plan and solve” architecture involves planning first and then executing each step. The Reflexion architecture includes a reflection step after task completion to evaluate correctness.

Domain-specific cognitive architectures, on the other hand, are tailored to specific tasks. These often include domain-specific classification, routing, and verification steps. The AlphaCodium paper demonstrates this with a flow engineering approach, specifying steps like coming up with tests, then a solution, and iterating on more tests. This method is highly specific to the problem at hand and may not be applicable to other tasks.

Why Are Domain Specific Cognitive Architectures So Helpful?

Domain-specific cognitive architectures help by providing explicit instructions, either through prompt instructions or hardcoded transitions in code. This method effectively removes some planning responsibilities from the LLM, allowing engineers to handle the planning aspect. For instance, in the AlphaCodium example, the steps are predefined, guiding the LLM through the process.

Nearly all advanced agents in production utilize highly domain-specific and custom cognitive architectures. LangChain makes building these custom architectures easier with LangGraph, designed for high controllability, which is essential for creating reliable custom cognitive architectures.

The Future of Planning and Reasoning

The LLM space has been evolving rapidly, and this trend is expected to continue. General-purpose reasoning is likely to become more integrated into the model layer, making models more intelligent and capable of handling larger contexts. However, there will always be a need to communicate specific instructions to the agent, whether through prompting or custom cognitive architectures.

LangChain remains optimistic about the future of LangGraph, believing that as LLMs improve, the need for custom architectures will persist, especially for task-specific agents. The company is committed to enhancing the controllability and reliability of these architectures.

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Binance (BNB) Unveils CPT Framework to Analyze Crypto Market Dynamics | IDOs News

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Binance (BNB) Unveils CPT Framework to Analyze Crypto Market Dynamics | IDOs News
Binance (BNB) Unveils CPT Framework to Analyze Crypto Market Dynamics | IDOs News




Rebeca Moen
Jul 21, 2024 09:51

Binance Research introduces the CPT Framework to analyze crypto market dynamics, focusing on capital, people, and technology as key structural drivers.





Binance Research has introduced a comprehensive framework to analyze the current state of the cryptocurrency market, termed the CPT Framework. This model aims to shed light on both short- and long-term drivers influencing market dynamics, according to Binance Research.

The past few months have been challenging for the crypto markets. Following a rapid rise at the start of the year, the market has been trading within a range. June saw an 11.4% decline in total crypto market capitalization month-on-month, despite some recent relief. As of now, the market remains 14% down from its March peak.

Drivers of Market Weakness

Several market events have contributed to the recent decline in crypto prices. Key among these was the distribution of 140,000 BTC (approximately $9 billion) to Mt. Gox creditors starting July 5. Additionally, the German government transferred 50,000 BTC (~$3.2 billion) to centralized exchanges and market makers between June 19 and July 13. The U.S. government also transferred 3,940 BTC (worth $248 million) to Coinbase Prime on June 26. Despite these large-scale disposals, some mitigating factors suggest that the impact may be short-lived.

Introducing the CPT Framework

Binance’s CPT Framework categorizes structural market factors into three distinct areas: Capital, People, and Technology. Each of these factors plays a crucial role in shaping the long-term health of the crypto market.

1. Capital

The influx of new money into the crypto ecosystem has slowed. This stagnation has resulted in a “Player vs. Player” (PvP) market, where participants compete for returns. Indicators such as stablecoin supply stagnation, a slowdown in funds raised by projects, and outflows from spot BTC ETFs highlight this trend.

Key Takeaways:

  • New capital is essential for sustainable market growth.
  • Attracting new capital requires appealing to investors across primary, secondary, and traditional finance markets.
  • Strong fundamentals and clear narratives are beneficial in attracting and retaining investor interest.

2. People

Market participants have faced challenges in generating sustainable returns. Retail users, institutional investors, project teams, market makers, and regulators have all been impacted by high valuations and sell pressure from token unlocks. Falling trading volumes since March further indicate a challenging environment.

Key Takeaways:

  • High valuations and low initial circulating supplies pose long-term structural challenges.
  • Increased awareness and research on tokenomics can help mitigate these issues.
  • Support for high-quality projects with small to medium market capitalization is crucial for a healthy market environment.

3. Technology

Technological advancements in blockchain and crypto, such as scaling solutions and user-focused developments, are crucial for onboarding new users. However, the focus remains disproportionately on infrastructure projects, which need to be balanced with the development of diverse and innovative dApps.

Key Takeaways:

  • Technological innovations attract a broader audience by providing tangible use cases.
  • Funding should be redirected to develop user-friendly dApps to amplify the reach of the crypto ecosystem.

Market Outlook

Despite recent challenges, Binance Research remains optimistic about the market’s outlook for the rest of the year. Several upcoming catalysts could propel the industry forward, including potential approvals of spot ETH ETFs, a favorable macro environment with potential interest rate cuts, the U.S. Presidential Election, and the Bitcoin halving event.

Market cycles consist of periods of ups and downs. Pullbacks serve as a healthy reset when there are excesses in the market. Long-term investors might see market corrections as opportunities to add to their portfolios, while risk-averse investors may consider holding their positions.

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NVIDIA Advances AI-Driven 6G Innovation with AI-RAN Alliance, 3GPP, and O-RAN | IDOs News

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NVIDIA Advances AI-Driven 6G Innovation with AI-RAN Alliance, 3GPP, and O-RAN | IDOs News
NVIDIA Advances AI-Driven 6G Innovation with AI-RAN Alliance, 3GPP, and O-RAN | IDOs News




Rebeca Moen
Jul 21, 2024 05:27

NVIDIA collaborates with AI-RAN, 3GPP, and O-RAN to drive AI-driven innovations in 6G technology, focusing on AI-native tools and frameworks.





The development of 6G technology is accelerating as the 5G era advances. NVIDIA is at the forefront, working with key industry players to foster innovation and collaboration in AI-driven 6G solutions, according to the NVIDIA Technical Blog.

AI Blueprints for Radio Access Network

The Radio Access Network (RAN) is a critical component of cellular networks, and AI/ML methodologies are being integrated to manage its increasing complexity. The International Telecommunications Union (ITU) has proposed an AI-native air interface for 6G, aimed at enhancing performance through AI/ML. NVIDIA has contributed significantly to 3GPP’s Release 18 study on AI/ML for the 5G New Radio (NR) air interface and is now focusing on Release 19, which will expand AI/ML integration.

Digital Twin Networks

Digital Twin Networks (DTNs) are essential for simulating and validating AI/ML models in 6G. These networks emulate physical 5G/6G networks, allowing developers to create and test AI/ML models in a controlled environment. NVIDIA’s Aerial Omniverse Digital Twin is a next-generation simulation platform designed to support AI-native air interface research and development.

Over-the-Air Innovation Sandbox

An Over-the-Air (OTA) development platform complements DTNs by providing a real-world environment to validate and benchmark AI/ML algorithms. NVIDIA’s Aerial RAN CoLab Over-The-Air (ARC-OTA) serves as a 3GPP Release 15 compliant, full-stack network sandbox, enabling developers to test and refine their innovations.

Collaboration with Industry Leaders

NVIDIA is collaborating with the AI-RAN Alliance, 3GPP, and O-RAN to drive AI/ML-enabled innovations that will define 6G. The AI-RAN Alliance focuses on creating implementation blueprints and benchmarking AI/ML algorithms for the new AI-native RAN. Meanwhile, the O-RAN Alliance is working on an AI-focused transformation towards an open and interoperable architecture.

Future Prospects

The pace of AI/ML adoption in 6G is expected to accelerate as standards become clearer and commercial deployment approaches. NVIDIA’s 6G Developer Program, which includes over a thousand researchers, is a key platform for ongoing and future collaborations. Researchers are encouraged to join this program to contribute to the advancement of 6G technology.

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