It’s taken some time, but as I’m getting a few hits on my website from people searching for information on the malware that was inserted onto my website, I thought I’d make what we’ve found out so far public.
So, how did the hackers get in? It seems that the security breach was due to Parrallels Plesk Control Panel which the web server my site is hosted on uses as it’s web based interface. I finally tracked down this information from this excellent website, and it’s an interesting read:
It seems that the Plesk vulnerability was compounded by the fact that the password list in plesk is stored in plain text!!!!!! This meant that the hackers potentially had access to all the plesk passwords on the server (including ftp etc..) So, unless all passwords on the server (which may well host multiple sites!) were reset, the hacker could get back in and read all the passwords again! One interesting addition, is that we discovered extra scripts in the cgi-bin directory of websites on the server which seem to be similar to other distributed denial of service attack type scripts.
Anyway, now Plesk is patched and upgraded and all the passwords on the server have been reset, normal service should resume!
We have a programme change in the Sounds in Space 2012 event. We are pleased to announce that John Crossley will be talking to us about the 5.1 mix he carried out for Imogen Heap (called Neglected Space which was featured on the Xizi She Knows single) which utilised both Pro-tools and 4th order Ambisonics. It’s not too late to register for the event! See details here!
I’m very sorry to report that my website was hacked and was delivering malware between 20th – 22nd June, 2012. Google Chrome picked it up straight away, and my virus checker (MS Security Essentials) cleaned instantly, but if you have visited the site recently, it would be a good idea to clear your browser cache and run a full virus scan. The two exploits are reported as being:
Looking at more details of the CVE exploit, it seems that it could have been targeting Macs, but I can’t be sure. For example, see this link, while the BlacoleRef is targetted at Windows (see this link for a different variant of the same trojan).
If your OS patches and anti-virus are up to date, then there shouldn’t be a problem, but please check to be sure.
After discussing the issue with my web host, we think we have identified how the exploit happened, and fixed the issue (my first attempt at cleaning the virus worked, but the site got reinfected soon after….it’s all clean now). The free Securi Sitecheck website scanning tool was invaluable in this task, and for this free service, I thank you!
Sorry about this if it’s caused you any issues….normal service should now resume!
The programme for the FREE Event Sounds in Space, is now available (it may still be tweaked, however, but the general timings for the day are fixed!). This research symposium has speakers from the BBC, talks about Binaural Sound Art (with a 48-way binaural demo….bring your own headphones!) and aurilisations of Sonic Crystals, among other things! Have at a look at the Sounds in Space page for details.
Exploring spatial sound arts practice, the symposium will present a number of original spatial sound works and present details regarding the technical, practical and aesthetic aspects of spatial works.
The event is FREE, and light refreshment and lunch is provided. To register for a place (numbers are limited) please email Jessamie Self at firstname.lastname@example.org
Call for Participation
If you’re interested at presenting/demonstrating at the event, please email me at email@example.com by 5pm on Monday 28th May 2012. Abstracts should be around 150 words in length and submitted as a standard Word document. Please also provide a 100 word personal summary (to be used for publicity purposes) for all contributing personnel. For more details, please look at the Sounds in Space 2012 Page.
I’m going to add quite a bit of content to this site soon, and have been looking into ways of embedding surround sound audio. The HTML5 Audio tag looks ideal for this and, it seems, some browsers will support 5.1 surround files….hooray. However, they all seem to support different format surround files……booo! Anyway, as a test, try the embedded players below.
Chrome on PC – seems to successfully downmix to stereo and play multi-channel OGG, AAC and WAVE versions
Chrome on MAC – same as above EXCEPT, it doesn’t downmix to stereo, it only reproduces front channels (including Centre)
Firefox on PC – recognises ogg….refuses to play anything. Nothing else recognised (shame on you, firefox)
Firefox on Mac – plays ogg correctly in multi-channel, but over stereo reproduces front left out the left speaker and Centre front out of the right speaker! Doesn’t recognise any other formats.
Internet Explorer 9 on PC – correctly plays and downmixes AAC and WAVE versions (from what I can tell)
Internet Explorer 8 on PC – doesn’t recognise anything
Safari on Mac – Doesn’t play OGG, plays the rest. Downmixes to stereo including all channels, but downmixes AAC and WAVE by just routing surround Left and Right to the left and right front speakers, but seems to do a more complex downmix of AC3 to the front left and right (includes phase shifts by the sounds of it!)
This is a simple 5.1 test file with Microsoft Anna reporting speakers to you….
Just thought I’d put up a quick video of what we’ve been upto in the last few weeks. Below is a video of a Microsoft Kinect powered Theremin. In this example, I’m using OSCeleton to generate the positional data, processing.org to display the blobs and format the data, and Plogue Bidule (which is capturing Open Sound Control messages from Bidule) to play the audio. The gfx are pretty basic so it works on my very old laptop, but you’ll get the gist of what’s going on!
I’ve uploaded a bug-fix release to the Mac WigWare decoders, panners and reverb. The bug fix stops crashing in some hosts and/or the outputting of not very nice sound when the plug-ins are first loaded. Please let me know if anyone has any problems….. the files can be found on the WigWare page, or below:
The University of Derby is pleased to announce a joint symposium event organised by the Creative Technologies Research Group (CTRG) and Digital and Material Arts Research Centre (D:MARC). Digital Hybridity + Sounds In Space will involve a full programme of research presentations and practical demonstrations relating to the sound and visual arts, the combination of these events providing a rich opportunity for exploration of academic, technical and creative practice research in the aesthetics, procedure, technology, perception, and pedagogy of technology-based sound, music, and intermedia art.
Sound In Space: Exploring visual and sound arts practice, the symposium will present a number of original spatial sound works including a multichannel “collaborative sound canvas” comprising sound events developed, captured, processed,composed, and assembled by students and staff of the Faculty of Arts, Design & Technology. Introducing leading edge research in surround sound technology, education and application, the aesthetics and implications of a shifting paradigm in sound creativity through technology will be explored in an intensive, immersive and playful way.
The call for papers and contributions, and full details about the joint symposium event can be found in [Download not found]