Yesterday, the French newsmagazine l'Express claimed that French government cybersecurity experts have concluded that the U.S. government used malware resembling Flame to surreptitiously enter  “the computers of several close advisers to then-president Nicolas Sarkozy—including Chief of Staff Xavier Musca,” The Hill reported.

The White House has so far refused to comment on the l’Express story, as has the Palais de l' Elysées.

According to the l’Express, the cyberattack happened shortly before the second round of the French presidential elections in May in which the conservative Sarkozy lost to socialist candidate  Francois Hollande.

The l’Express article, which details how the break-in occurred,  indicates that the Sarkozy’s advisors’ computers were hacked via phishing emails.

The Hill article says that U.S. Department of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano “reportedly did not deny the allegations when asked point-blank about them” by l’Express.

 Napolitano also stated in the article that neither the Flame nor Stuxnet had “never been linked to the U.S. government.”  Hmm, I guess that all depends on what the definition of “linked” means.


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Metamaterials Could Solve One of 6G’s Big Problems

There’s plenty of bandwidth available if we use reconfigurable intelligent surfaces

12 min read
An illustration depicting cellphone users at street level in a city, with wireless signals reaching them via reflecting surfaces.

Ground level in a typical urban canyon, shielded by tall buildings, will be inaccessible to some 6G frequencies. Deft placement of reconfigurable intelligent surfaces [yellow] will enable the signals to pervade these areas.

Chris Philpot

For all the tumultuous revolution in wireless technology over the past several decades, there have been a couple of constants. One is the overcrowding of radio bands, and the other is the move to escape that congestion by exploiting higher and higher frequencies. And today, as engineers roll out 5G and plan for 6G wireless, they find themselves at a crossroads: After years of designing superefficient transmitters and receivers, and of compensating for the signal losses at the end points of a radio channel, they’re beginning to realize that they are approaching the practical limits of transmitter and receiver efficiency. From now on, to get high performance as we go to higher frequencies, we will need to engineer the wireless channel itself. But how can we possibly engineer and control a wireless environment, which is determined by a host of factors, many of them random and therefore unpredictable?

Perhaps the most promising solution, right now, is to use reconfigurable intelligent surfaces. These are planar structures typically ranging in size from about 100 square centimeters to about 5 square meters or more, depending on the frequency and other factors. These surfaces use advanced substances called metamaterials to reflect and refract electromagnetic waves. Thin two-dimensional metamaterials, known as metasurfaces, can be designed to sense the local electromagnetic environment and tune the wave’s key properties, such as its amplitude, phase, and polarization, as the wave is reflected or refracted by the surface. So as the waves fall on such a surface, it can alter the incident waves’ direction so as to strengthen the channel. In fact, these metasurfaces can be programmed to make these changes dynamically, reconfiguring the signal in real time in response to changes in the wireless channel. Think of reconfigurable intelligent surfaces as the next evolution of the repeater concept.

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