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Anyone who has a vagina, whether they're a woman, girl, non-binary or trans person, may experience the discomfort of a vaginal infection at some point in their life. Until now, there's been little or no innovation to help identify these conditions.
Enter: ALMA. It's smart underwear that can empower accurate home diagnosis without an awkward trip to a clinic. How does it work?
The age of smart underwear<p>From thinking fridges to talking watches, 'smart' tech (also known as the internet of things) has exploded in recent years. But there's nothing like this intelligent underwear. Created by four friends as part of the <a href="https://www.re-fream.eu/" target="_blank">Re-FREAM research project</a>, ALMA is a non-invasive wearable device that monitors vaginal discharge to help those who suffer from vaginal infections to identify the problem earlier.</p> <p>Vaginal infections – such as bacterial vaginosis and candidal vulvovaginitis (vaginal thrush) – are a common problem. Stigma or the inconvenience of making an appointment with a health professional often prevents sufferers seeking early diagnosis. But fast treatment can reduce the infection duration and severity of the symptoms. That's where ALMA aims to help – the low-cost, reusable undergarment gathers data to monitor vaginal health. </p>
On September 9, in a hospital in Dusseldorf, Germany, a patient died from a virus. It wasn't what you might think: the hospital was hit by ransomware, infecting 30 servers before causing a total system shutdown, leading to the loss of her life. Yet this was a random act of chaos: the hackers misfired, they intended to infiltrate a nearby university.
This attack was fatal, but not unexpected. Attacks on hospitals and other health organizations have dramatically increased during the pandemic. When they hit, they can cost lives. Hospitals often have limited cybersecurity, making them vulnerable to attacks. In March, the University Hospital Brno, Czech Republic, faced a similar attack, fortunately, with no casualties.
For the latest hacker episode:HUNTER, we spoke to hospital staff to understand how ransomware attacks could harm patients.
Where there’s panic, there’s cybercrime<img lazy-loadable="true" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNDQ1MjE3Mi9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY1MDE1MDIzMn0.ZwP5NSWUmXtzD_iPL31w2T20vN7hh-wkS4_bGdhXSqY/img.jpg?width=980" id="a9c80" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="3d595fd05c969f4cd0f9a2aeac09fd0c" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" data-width="4096" data-height="2048" /><p>During the peak of pandemic information overload, COVID-19-themed cyberattacks spiked to a million a day in early March. Attacks targeting people access systems remotely – such as<a href="https://encyclopedia.kaspersky.com/knowledge/what-is-phishing/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer"> <u>phishing</u></a>, malicious websites, and <a href="https://www.kaspersky.co.uk/resource-center/preemptive-safety/what-is-malware-and-how-to-protect-against-it" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer"><u>malware</u></a> - increased by a staggering 300 times during 2020.</p><p>Craig Jones, Director of Cybercrime at Interpol, explains: "Since March, the levels of work have ramped up. I've never known a period like it, not just at Interpol but also during my law enforcement experience." Check out Interpol's advice to protect yourself<a href="https://www.interpol.int/en/Crimes/Cybercrime/COVID-19-cyberthreats" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer"> <u>against Covid-19 cyberthreats</u></a>.</p><p>So what can we do in a world where cybercriminals seem to be one step ahead of us? Hunting down the hackers is no easy task, but as the heroes in the second season of hacker:HUNTER shows, we can protect everyone by taking a stand against cybercrime.</p>
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