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Exam Code: 77-727 Practice exam 2022 by Killexams.com team
77-727 Excel 2016: Core Data Analysis, Manipulation, and Presentation

Successful candidates for the Microsoft Office Specialist Excel 2016 certification exam have a fundamental understanding of the Excel environment and the ability to complete tasks independently. They know and demonstrate the correct application of the principle features of Excel 2016. Candidates create and edit a workbook with multiple sheets, and they use a graphic element to represent data visually. Workbook examples include professional-looking budgets, financial statements, team performance charts, sales invoices, and data-entry logs.

- Create and manage worksheets and workbooks (30-35%)
- Manage data cells and ranges (15-20%)
- Create tables (15-20%)
- Perform operations with formulas and functions (10-15%)
- Create charts and objects (15-20%)

Create and manage worksheets and workbooks (30-35%)
Create worksheets and workbooks
• Create a workbook, import data from a delimited text file, add a worksheet to an existing workbook, copy and move a worksheet
Navigate in worksheets and workbooks
• Search for data within a workbook; navigate to a named cell, range, or workbook element; insert and remove hyperlinks
Format worksheets and workbooks
• Change worksheet tab color, rename a worksheet, change worksheet order, modify page setup, insert and delete columns or rows, change workbook themes, adjust row height and column width, insert headers and footers
Customize options and views for worksheets and workbooks
• Hide or unhide worksheets, hide or unhide columns and rows, customize the Quick Access Toolbar, change workbook views, change window views, modify document properties, change magnification by using zoom tools, display formulas
Configure worksheets and workbooks for distribution
• Set a print area, save workbooks in alternative file formats, print all or part of a workbook, set print scaling, display repeating row and column titles on multipage worksheets, inspect a workbook for hidden properties or personal information, inspect a workbook for accessibility issues, inspect a workbook for compatibility issues
Manage data cells and ranges (15-20%)
Replace data; cut, copy, or paste data; paste data by using special paste options; fill cells by using Auto Fill; insert and delete cells
Format cells and ranges
• Merge cells, modify cell alignment and indentation, format cells by using Format Painter, wrap text within cells, apply number formats, apply cell formats, apply cell styles
Summarize and organize data
• Insert sparklines, outline data, insert subtotals, apply conditional formatting
Create tables (15-20%)
Create and manage tables
• Create an Excel table from a cell range, convert a table to a cell range, add or remove table rows and columns
Manage table styles and options
• Apply styles to tables, configure table style options, insert total rows Filter and sort a table
• Filter records, sort data by multiple columns, change sort order, remove duplicate records
Perform operations with formulas and functions (10-15%)
Summarize data by using functions
• Insert references, perform calculations by using the SUM function, perform calculations by using MIN and MAX functions, perform calculations by using the COUNT function, perform calculations by using the AVERAGE function
Perform conditional operations by using functions
• Perform logical operations by using the IF function, perform logical operations by using the SUMIF function, perform logical operations by using the AVERAGEIF function, perform statistical operations by using the COUNTIF function
Format and modify text by using functions
• Format text by using RIGHT, LEFT, and MID functions; format text by using UPPER, LOWER, and PROPER functions; format text by using the CONCATENATE function
Create charts and objects (15-20%)
Create a new chart, add additional data series, switch between rows and columns in source data, analyze data by using Quick Analysis
Format graphic elements
• Resize charts, add and modify chart elements, apply chart layouts and styles, move charts to a chart sheet
Insert and format objects
• Insert text boxes and shapes, insert images, modify object properties, add alternative text to objects for accessibility

Excel 2016: Core Data Analysis, Manipulation, and Presentation
Microsoft Manipulation, availability
Killexams : Microsoft Manipulation, availability - BingNews https://killexams.com/pass4sure/exam-detail/77-727 Search results Killexams : Microsoft Manipulation, availability - BingNews https://killexams.com/pass4sure/exam-detail/77-727 https://killexams.com/exam_list/Microsoft Killexams : Cross-Market Manipulation Allegations: Economic Implications

Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Cross-market manipulation surveillance recently has garnered an increasing share of the international regulatory public spotlight. Compared to matters in which focused conduct (e.g., spoofing) is contained within a single market, fewer matters related to cross-market manipulation have been publicly pursued. However, regulators around the world, including the U.S., are now highlighting their continued focus on this type of market abuse, which is perceived to be more difficult to detect. In a cross-market manipulation scheme, traders allegedly place orders or undertake other activity in one product on an exchange or other trading venue with the intent of artificially impacting the related product trading on a different exchange or through a different venue. These related products have prices that are related to or correlated with the economics of the first product, or they may be derivatives linked to the first product.

While it has long been debated what attributes of cross-market trading activity may constitute manipulation rather than hedging or other legitimate conduct, latest years have brought new court decisions and announcements by regulators. Still, this question remains far from answered. For example, the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) alleged that Etracom LLC perpetuated a cross-market manipulation of “electricity prices in the California wholesale electric market.” 1 The FERC alleged that Etracom submitted “uneconomic” virtual supply offers “at the New Melones intertie at the border of the [California Independent System Operator (CAISO)] wholesale electricity market in order to affect wholesale power prices and economically benefit ETRACOM’s Congestion Revenue Rights (CRRs) sourced at that location” during an approximately two-week period in May 2011. 2 While CRRs do not trade within a wholly separate market, the FERC has referred to this case as a “cross-market manipulation” scheme based on the fact that Etracom engaged in “virtual transactions at the New Melones intertie not for any legitimate reason, such as arbitraging the difference between day-ahead and real-time prices, but rather with the intent to artificially lower the New Melones day-ahead LMP to benefit its CRR positions.” 3 According to the FERC, Etracom lost over $42,000 on its virtual supply offers in May while earning more than 12 times that amount as a result of its congestion revenue rights positions during the two-week period. A similar case was brought by the FERC against Vitol Inc. in 2020, also in the CAISO market. 4

In Europe, concerns about cross-market manipulation schemes appear to be central to regulators. For example, in November 2021, the U.K.’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) discussed its concern that some electronic execution platforms (especially in the fixed income and rates markets) do not require a “direct connection to users’ trading systems,” and that therefore the users of these platforms have “been unable to establish [a connection]” to report their orders and trades. 5 The FCA is “concerned that users of web-based platforms may not be able to monitor all their orders to detect potential market abuse.” The FCA further highlights that orders are “a critical component in effective monitoring for some types of actual or attempted market manipulation” including “cross venue . . . manipulation.” 6 If they do not have the capability to capture all executed and unexecuted orders, firms “may fail to identify this activity.” 7 With the latest increased global cross-market surveillance efforts and the continued focus by regulatory agencies, enforcement actions of cross-market manipulation from previous years shed light on how future matters potentially can be evaluated. This article discusses two such actions and their economic implications: In the Matter of Michael D. Franko and In the Matter of Davis Ramsey.

In the Matter of: Michael D. Franko

In September 2018, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) settled charges against Victory Asset Inc. and Michael D. Franko for spoofing and cross-market manipulation in U.S. and U.K. markets. The CFTC imposed civil monetary penalties on Victory and Franko of $1.8 million and $500,000, respectively. 8 During the period of the alleged manipulative conduct, Franko was employed by one of Victory’s predecessor entities.

According to the CFTC, the cross-market scheme involved “spoofing in one market to benefit a position in another market, where the price of the two markets is generally correlated, particularly in the short term.” 9 The CFTC found that Franko placed a relatively small bid or offer with the intent to execute that order in one market (e.g., on a U.S. commodities exchange) and then, prior to the execution of the bona fide order, placed a larger order in a different market (e.g., on a U.K. commodities exchange) “with the intent to cancel that order before execution.” 10 For example, the CFTC determined that Franko placed one or more non–bona fide orders in copper futures on the U.K.-based London Metal Exchange (LME) to benefit a genuine order that he had placed in copper futures on the U.S.-based Commodity Exchange (COMEX), a designated contract market that is part of the CME Group. In doing so, he was allegedly “taking advantage of the correlation in price between these markets.” 11

In its order, the CFTC provides an example of how “Franko’s Spoof Orders were designed to create or exacerbate order book imbalance in the Relevant Markets, for the benefit of his Genuine Orders.” 12 For this example, the CFTC provides the date at issue (December 17, 2013) as well as information on price levels and quantities of orders, but does not provide the precise timestamps. An analysis of the COMEX and LME copper futures data on December 17, 2013,shows that there is one instance that matches significant aspects of the example trading pattern as identified by the CFTC. 13 Figure 1 illustrates the pattern described for LME copper futures. Around 13:23:46 UTC, 100 contracts were placed on the LME at the second best bid of $7,277.25. According to the CFTC, shortly before placing the bid order for 100 contracts on the LME, Franko placed two sell orders of 11 contracts each on COMEX. The two sell orders were “iceberg orders that only showed to the market as one lot.” 14 The two sell orders were fully and partially filled, respectively, while the bid order of 100 contracts was outstanding on the LME.

Approximately one second after placing his bid order on the LME, Franko cancelled it. He then placed a second buy order for 100 contracts “that was at a higher price than his previous Spoof Order, but, because of market movement, it was placed at the third best bid.” 15 This is shown in Figure 1, at 13:23:51 UTC, when the red bar representing 100 contracts appears on the LME at the third best bid of $7,278.25. While this second order was active, “five more lots on Franko’s Second Genuine Order were filled” on COMEX. Then, approximately one second after placing it, he cancelled his second “Spoof Order.” 16

The concurrent market activity on COMEX is shown in Figure 2. In particular, the order book on COMEX shows an upward movement of one price level approximately concurrent to the upward movement on the LME. Figure 2 also shows executions that fit the trading pattern described by the CFTC.

In the Matter of Davis Ramsey

In September 2018, the CFTC imposed remedial sanctions against and accepted a settlement with Davis Ramsey for cross-market manipulation in binary contracts and related futures contracts. 17 The CFTC imposed civil monetary penalties on Ramsey of $325,000. 18

According to the CFTC, the cross-market scheme involved taking a “position in one or more Binary Contracts [US 500 Binary Contracts] for which the outcome at expiration . . . was determined based on the price of certain futures contracts that were traded on either COMEX or CME.” 19 Ramsey would then “place trades on CME in the relevant futures contracts . . . with the intent and in a manner designed to impact the price of those futures contracts to achieve his further objective, which was to influence the settlement of the Binary Contracts in his favor.” 20 The Binary Contracts traded on the Northern American Derivatives Exchange (Nadex), which is a source of liquidity and market wholly separate from the CME on which the related futures contracts traded.

The CFTC found that Ramsey traded Binary Contracts with certain futures as the underlying. While having an open position in Binary Contracts immediately prior to the expiration of the Binary Contracts, Ramsey traded in the underlying futures contracts. According to the CFTC, Ramsey “entered into these transactions with the intent to influence the Futures prices that would be used to calculate the relevant Binary Contract Expiration Value.” 21 He placed “multiple small . . . orders at prices that would cause his Binary Contracts to expire in-the-money.” 22 After the expiration of the Binary Contracts, he would close his futures position.

The CFTC found “at least one occasion during the Relevant Period” when Ramsey’s strategy caused “certain Futures contracts on CME to trade at an artificial price just prior to a Binary Contract Expiration for positions” that Ramsey held in his trading accounts with Nadex, which were wholly separate from his trading accounts with CME. 23 The CFTC points to an example from May 10, 2017, when Ramsey bought Binary Contracts written on the CME S&P 500 E- mini futures. The payoff criterion for these Binary Contracts was 2391.95—that is, if the E-mini futures exceeded this price level, the Binary Contracts would have been in-the-money and therefore valuable for traders who purchased this contract. The payoff criterion is determined by Nadex based on the average price of the E-mini futures for the 25 trades leading up to 11:00 AM ET (disregarding the bottom and top five trades). According to the CFTC, because “the June S&P E-mini trades in 25 cent increments . . . , for the Binary Contract Expiration Value to be above 2391.95, of the [15] trades used to calculate the average, at least [13] . . . would have to be at a price of 2392 with the remaining two trades at a price of 2391.75.” 24

Between 10:57:48 AM ET and 10:57:53 AM ET, Ramsey bought a total of 70 Binary Contracts. Approximately two seconds later, at 10:59:44 AM ET, he started placing one-lot orders in the June S&P E-mini futures. Ramsey placed all of his orders at a price level of 2392. 25 Figure 3 illustrates the pattern described for the S&P E-mini futures. During the period in which Ramsey was trading, the June S&P E-mini futures contract had traded between 2391.5 and 2391.75. In total, Ramsey placed and executed 82 separate one-lot buy orders. Figure 3 shows in more detail how the market moved at the time of Ramsey’s trading. In particular, the order book on CME shows an upward movement of one price level around the time when Ramsey started to place marketable buy orders. Figure 3 also shows executions that fit the trading pattern described by the CFTC.

According to the CFTC, as “a result of Ramsey’s CME trading, his Binary Contracts [on Nadex] did expire in the money.” 26 The CFTC also found that the 25 trades that were used by Nadex to determine the expiration value of the Binary Contracts “included [18] trades at a price of 2392,” 16 of which were executed by Ramsey. 27 The final expiration value of the Binary Contracts was 2391.967. Overall, the CFTC found that during the period when Ramsey engaged in this strategy, he made a profit of “at least $250,636.25” across his Nadex accounts. 28

Conclusion

Regulatory surveillance functions and capabilities are evolving to monitor for market abuse risks spanning multiple contracts and products across separate trading venues. While the landscape of cross-market manipulation prosecutions and enforcement actions is evolving, latest actions taken by courts and regulators signal the commitment to include cross-market manipulation law enforcement in the broader enforcement of general market abuse regulation. In the Franko and Ramsey matters, the traders employed similar trading strategies (entering of allegedly non–bona fide orders in one market to affect genuine orders in another) across multiple, highly correlated venues and instruments. Thus, these matters provide insights and guidance relevant for evaluating future cross-market manipulation enforcement investigations.

This article was first published by The World Financial Review. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the authors, who are responsible for the content, and do not necessarily represent the views of Cornerstone Research or any of its clients.


FOOTNOTES

1 Federal Energy Regulatory Commission v. Etracom LLC et al., Case Number 2:16-at-01011. 

2 Federal Energy Regulatory Commission v. Etracom LLC et al., Case Number 2:16-at-01011, ¶ 4. 

3 Federal Energy Regulatory Commission v. Etracom LLC et al., Case Number 2:16-at-01011, ¶ 52. 

4 Federal Energy Regulatory Commission v. Vitol Inc. et al., Case Number 2:20-cv-00040. 

5 “Newsletter on Market Conduct and Transaction Reporting Issues,” Market Watch 68, November 2021, https://www.fca.org.uk/publications/newsletters/market-watch-68 (“Market Watch 68”).

6 Market Watch 68. 

7 Market Watch 68. 

8 “CFTC Orders Futures Trader and Trading Firm to Pay $2.3 Million in Penalties for Cross-Market and Single-Market Spoofing and Manipulative Scheme,” CFTC, September 19, 2018, https://www.cftc.gov/PressRoom/PressReleases/7796-18 (“CFTC Victory/Franko Press Release”).

9 CFTC Victory/Franko Press Release.

10 CFTC Victory/Franko Press Release.

11 CFTC Victory/Franko Press Release.

12 Order Instituting Proceedings Pursuant to Section 6(c) and (d) of the Commodity Exchange Act, Making Findings and Imposing Remedial Sanctions, In the Matter of: Michael D. Franko, CFTC Docket No.: 18-35, September 19, 2018 (“CFTC Order Franko”).

13 See CFTC Order Franko, p. 3. To identify instances that match the example trading pattern within the relevant period as identified by the CFTC, COMEX and LME data as provided by Refinitiv were screened for the order submission pattern described in the CFTC’s Order.

14 See CFTC Order Franko, p. 3.

15 See CFTC Order Franko, p. 3.

16 See CFTC Order Franko, p. 3.

17 Order Instituting Proceedings Pursuant to Section 6(c) and (d) of the Commodity Exchange Act, Making Findings and Imposing Remedial Sanctions, In the Matter of: Davis Ramsey, CFTC Docket No.: 18-49, September 27, 2018 (“CFTC Order Ramsey”).

18 See CFTC Order Ramsey, p. 9.

19 See CFTC Order Ramsey, p. 2.

20 See CFTC Order Ramsey, p. 2.

21 See CFTC Order Ramsey, p. 4.

22 See CFTC Order Ramsey, p. 4. 

23 See CFTC Order Ramsey, p. 4.

24 See CFTC Order Ramsey, p. 4.

25 See CFTC Order Ramsey, pp. 4–5.

26 See CFTC Order Ramsey, p. 5.

27 See CFTC Order Ramsey, p. 5.

28 See CFTC Order Ramsey, p. 6.

Mon, 03 Oct 2022 12:00:00 -0500 en text/html https://www.natlawreview.com/article/cross-market-manipulation-allegations-economic-implications
Killexams : Malicious manipulation

SBP governor informs NA committee formal investigation underway against private banks for exchange rate manipulation


Commercial banks operating in the country face a faux pas as they are blamed for insider trading, and manipulating the exchange rate. This is a serious charge and has come in the backdrop of the rupee’s consistent bleeding at the hands of the dollar, and the deliberate buying and concealment of the US currency. The Governor of the State Bank of Pakistan has informed the National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Finance and Revenue that a formal investigation is underway against private banks, and some of them have been issued show-cause notices, too. The central bank will probe into the extent of violation and take appropriate action. But if previous inquiries are any criterion then it goes without saying that the nation has been robbed once again, and there is little that one can expect in retribution.

It is irksome that the dollar’s appreciating strength was exploited and the economy was given a death blow by stocking foreign exchange. It led to a run on the mill, as genuine foreign currency seekers were taken for a ride. The audacity of shady bankers could not have been possible without the authorities being on board in this criminal act. It is tantamount to debauchery, to say the least. While the central bank is yet to ascertain the magnitude of loss to the national exchequer, what is more disconcerting is that none from the concerned quarters even got a wind of the nefarious activities right under their nose. It could also be a possibility that all were hand-in-glove.

The scam necessitates some deep detailing to understand how rotten our system is, and how commercial banks and private entities can hold the economy to ransom. It is said that the banks doubled their buying of the US currency and were sending it abroad via credit cards. This activity continued unchecked as the government was struggling to control the outflow of precious foreign exchange. Basically, the banks were operating in cahoots with open market dealers, and dollars to the tune of millions were check-mated. The impugned transactions reportedly went up as high as $12 million per bank per week. The plastic money transaction format was the lethal tool which went in parallel with malicious intent. Pakistan unfortunately is home to money-laundering in all forms and manifestations, with no viable litigation and arm to stem it in sight. This draws ire and raises eyebrows.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 7th, 2022.

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Thu, 06 Oct 2022 16:33:00 -0500 text/html https://tribune.com.pk/story/2380478/malicious-manipulation
Killexams : Fear driving China's tech manipulation poses threat to all: UK spy chief

China is using its financial and scientific muscle to manipulate technologies in a manner that risks global security, Britain's top cyber spy will say on Tuesday, warning that Beijing's actions could represent "a huge threat to us all."

In a speech, Jeremy Fleming, director of the GCHQ spy agency, will say that the Chinese leadership was seeking to use technologies such as digital currencies and its Beidou satellite navigation network to tighten its grip over its citizens at home, while spreading its influence abroad.

"They seek to secure their advantage through scale and through control," Fleming will say in the annual security lecture at the Royal United Services Institute think tank, according to extracts released by his office.

"This means they see opportunities to control the Chinese people rather than looking for ways to support and unleash their citizens' potential. They see nations as either potential adversaries or potential client states, to be threatened, bribed, or coerced."

In this photo released by China's Xinhua News Agency, Chinese President Xi Jinping speaks during the annual Central Economic Work Conference in Beijing. The ruling Communist Party has called for faster technology development to increase China's econo (Huang Jingwen/Xinhua via AP / AP Images)

WHAT IS 'FDPR' AND WHY IS THE US USING IT TO CRIPPLE CHINA'S TECH SECTOR?

The remarks are Fleming's latest public warnings about Beijing's behaviour and aspirations. Last year, he said the West faced a battle to ensure China did not dominate important emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, synthetic biology and genetics.

Fleming will say the Chinese leadership was driven by a fear of their own citizens, of freedom of speech, of free trade and open technological standards and alliances, "the whole open, democratic order and the international rules-based system."

CURRENT, FORMER SOCIAL MEDIA EXECS ADDRESS NATIONAL SECURITY ISSUES AT SENATE HEARING

That fear combined with China's strength was driving it "into actions that could represent a huge threat to us all," he will say.

In this April 13, 2020, file photo, a worker assembles gearboxes at the Kofon factory in Huanggang in central China's Hubei province. China’s economy rebounded from a painful contraction to grow by 3.2% over a year earlier in the latest quarter as an (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan / AP Images)

A spokeswoman for the Chinese foreign ministry said the claims had "no basis in fact".

BRITAIN CONTINUES TO FACE TURBULENCE AS ECONOMIC AND POLITICAL TURMOIL CONTINUES

"China's financial and technological development is aimed at making a better life for the Chinese people, and is not aimed at anyone and does not constitute a threat. Harbouring a China threat theory and provoking confrontation is both detrimental to others and harmful to oneself," the spokeswoman told reporters.

China's CATL to build $7.6 billion battery plant in Hungary. People walk by CATL's current R&D headquarters, the Contemporary Amperex Technology Ltd (CATL) in Ningde, Fujian province, China, on Dec. 16, 2016. (REUTERS/Jake Spring/File Photo / Reuters)

Fleming will also highlight technologies where he says China is seeking to gain leverage, such as its development of a centralised, digital currency to allow it to monitor the transactions of users, as well as to possibly evade the sort of sanctions Russia has faced since its invasion of Ukraine.

In this photo taken Sunday, March 8, 2020, residents wearing masks against the coronavirus walk past an Huawei advertisement in Beijing. China's commerce ministry says on Sunday, May 17, 2020 it will take "all necessary measures" in response to new U (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan / AP Images)

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE ON FOX BUSINESS

He will also point to Beidou, China’s answer to the U.S.-owned GPS navigation system.

"Many believe that China is building a powerful anti-satellite capability, with a doctrine of denying other nations access to space in the event of a conflict," he will say. "And there are fears the technology could be used to track individuals."

Tue, 11 Oct 2022 02:24:00 -0500 en-US text/html https://www.foxbusiness.com/politics/fear-driving-chinas-tech-manipulation-poses-threat-all-uk-spy-chief
Killexams : Foreign actors 'likely' to use 'information manipulation' tactics during 2022 election: Feds

Foreign actors are "likely" to use "information manipulation" to try to influence the 2022 election, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency and FBI warn in a new bulletin.

"Foreign actors may intensify efforts to influence outcomes of the 2022 midterm elections by circulating or amplifying reports of real or alleged malicious cyber activity on election infrastructure," the public service announcement dated Oct. 6 states. "Additionally, these foreign actors may create and knowingly disseminate false claims and narratives regarding voter suppression, voter or ballot fraud, and other false information intended to undermine confidence in the election processes and influence public opinion of the elections' legitimacy."

CISA is the cyber arm of the Department of Homeland Security.

The law enforcement agencies cite previous elections where foreign governments, without directly naming any, have attempted to influence the election and "incite violence" as a result of spreading misinformation.

In the 2016 and 2020 presidential elections, the U.S. government identified Russia, China and Iran as election disrupters.

"Foreign actors can use a number of methods to knowingly spread and amplify false claims and narratives about malicious cyber activity, voting processes, and results surrounding the midterm election cycle," the alert says. "These actors use publicly available and dark web media channels, online journals, messaging applications, spoofed websites, emails, text messages, and fake online personas on U.S. and foreign social media platforms to spread and amplify these false claims."

John Cohen, the former Acting Secretary of Intelligence and Analysis at the Department of Homeland Security said it is "critical" local, state and federal officials come together to "understand the risks posed by these foreign and domestic threat actors and take steps to protect elections officials, workers and infrastructure from physical and cyberattacks."

PHOTO: The FBI seal is seen outside the headquarters building in Washington, DC on July 5, 2016.

The FBI seal is seen outside the headquarters building in Washington, DC on July 5, 2016.

Yuri Gripas/AFP/Getty Images

"As we approach the midterm elections, state and local officials face a number of highly dangerous election-related threats ranging from cyberattacks and information operations by hostile foreign powers to threats of violence directed at election officials and infrastructure," Cohen, an ABC News contributor said. "The security of the nation depends on it."

In one example, federal officials say foreign actors might try and say hackers have compromised voter registration data -- that voter registration data is publicly available from state and local governments.

"These efforts by foreign actors aim to undermine voter confidence and to entice unwitting consumers of information and third-party individuals to like, discuss, share, and amplify the spread of false or misleading narratives," the alert says.

"The FBI and CISA urge the American public to critically evaluate the sources of the information they consume and to seek out reliable and Tested information from trusted sources, such as state and local election officials and reputable news media. The FBI and CISA will continue to quickly respond to potential threats, by seeking to engage with state and local officials and the public when possible."

Earlier this week, officials from the Department laid out what they see as the biggest threats to the 2022 midterm elections.

Among the "big four" areas of concern Jenn Easterly, the director of CISA says, are insider threats, threats from state-sponsored actors, physical threats and disinformation.

"Cybersecurity threats from sophisticated state sponsored threat actors, but also from cyber criminals, we still worry about potential ransomware attacks, insider threats from people with institutional knowledge and current or prior Authorized Access to equipment or sensitive information," she told reporters on Monday, adding they've seen examples of these activities but declined to provide any. "We've seen some of this increasing physical security concerns which very sadly include unprecedented levels of threats and harassment targeting election officials and, increasing myths and disinformation about elections that that undermine confidence in our democratic institutions."

Easterly told ABC News that the challenges are "interconnected" and cannot be viewed individually, especially when it comes to foreign threat actors.

Fri, 07 Oct 2022 14:36:00 -0500 en text/html https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/foreign-actors-information-manipulation-tactics-2022-election-feds/story?id=91160649
Killexams : How Market Manipulation Led to a $100M Exploit on Solana DeFi Exchange Mango

A rogue crypto trader utilized millions of dollars to manipulate the prices of Mango’s MNGO tokens on the namesake decentralized exchange (DEX) to eventually drain over $116 million in liquidity from the platform.

The exchange allows users to trade spot and perpetual futures using its on-chain trading interface at low fees. Some $30 million worth of crypto was traded on the exchange in the past 24 hours, as per CoinGecko data.

The move stemmed amid ongoing drama surrounding a bad debt within the Solana DeFi ecosystem that involved the lending application Solend and Mango.

As reported earlier this morning, Mango and Solend teamed up earlier this year to put together funds to bailout a large Solana whale that had $207 million in debt spread across multiple lending platforms – in a move that was supposed to backstop potential losses across the Solana ecosystem if the whale’s position were to be liquidated.

Solana-based Mango, like other DEXs, relies on smart contracts to match trades between decentralized finance (DeFi) users. This is key to understanding how the exploit took place: Smart contracts are wholly decentralized and are not overseen by a centralized party – which means a rogue trader can deploy enough money to exploit loopholes in any protocol without the risk of anyone stepping in to stop the attack before it takes place.

Two accounts were used to conduct the attack. On account “A,” the trader initially used 5 million USD Coin (USDC) to purchase 483 million MNGO and go short, or bet against, the asset. Then on account “B,” the trader used another 5 million USDC to buy the same amount of MNGO, using 10 million USDC in total to effectively hedge his position, data on Mango pointed out by Genesis head of derivatives Joshua Lim shows.

The trader then used more funds to buy up spot MNGO tokens, taking its price from just 2 cents to as much as 91 cents within a ten-minute span. This was possible as spot MNGO was a thinly-traded token with low liquidity, which allowed the rogue trader to manipulate prices quickly.

As spot MNGO prices increased, the trader’s account “B” quickly racked up some $420 million in unrealized profits. The attacker then took out over $116 million in liquidity from all tokens available on Mango, which effectively wiped out the protocol.

Spot MNGO prices soon corrected back to 2 cents, falling under the prices that the trader first used to purchase MNGO futures on account “A.” That account sits at over $6 million in profits at writing time – but there’s no liquidity left in the platform to pay the trader out.

All in all, the rogue trader used over 10 million USDC to take out over $116 million from Mango, paying minimal fees for conducting the attack and doing everything within the parameters of how the platform was designed. Mango wasn’t hacked, it worked exactly as intended, and a savvy trader, albeit with nefarious intentions, managed to wring token liquidity out.

It’s important to note that the above manipulative strategy won't work on two centralized exchanges, because a trader placing high bids on one venue would mean prices automatically move higher on that exchange and other exchanges immediately raise the price of assets on their own systems – meaning the strategy is unlikely to net any profits.

Meanwhile, Mango developers said Wednesday that Switchboard and Pyth pricing oracles updated the benchmark price of MNGO to above $0.15, in line with the price hike on FTX and Ascendex. Oracles are third-party tools that fetch data from outside a blockchain to within it.

"Neither oracle providers have any fault here. The oracle price reporting worked as it should have," Mango wrote on Twitter.

“The attacker pumped and dumped the mango token, which is a thinly traded token,” wrote Kanav Kariya, president at Jump Crypto, a crypto fund that has heavily backed Pyth, in a tweet.

“Oracles just report the price. Pyth/Switchboard accurately reported the prevailing prices on exchanges,” Kariya added. MNGO is down 40% in the past 24 hours.

CORRECTION (Oct. 12, 2022 14:14 UTC): Amends paragraph about pricing oracles. Adds tweet from Mango saying pricing oracles worked as they should have.

Thu, 13 Oct 2022 21:58:00 -0500 en-US text/html https://finance.yahoo.com/news/market-manipulation-led-100m-exploit-101120986.html
Killexams : How advanced optical tweezers revolutionized cell manipulation

Optical tweezers (OTs), also known as optical traps, are highly focused laser beams that can be used to trap and manipulate microscopic objects with a noncontact force. Employed in a wide range of nano and micro-scale operations, OTs have become particularly useful in the manipulation of biological objects including human cells.

A new review published in The European Physical Journal Plus conveys the latest achievements in OTs over latest decades. The review is authored by researchers from the College of Information Science and Engineering, Northeastern University, Shenyang, China — Sheng Hu, Jun-yan Ye, Yong Zhao and Cheng-Liang Zhu .

"It is well-known that the cell is the basic unit of human life. If we can understand mutation, proliferation, and necrosis of cells, diseases inside the would be discovered and solved in the level of the cell," Hu says. "Thus, , are a can be thought of as a pioneer used to confine these molecules so that more precise bio-measurement could capture the changes in one cell, including protein, mitochondria, and DNA."

The authors begin by explaining the origins of OTs dating back to the work of James Clerk Maxwell and the fact that light, despite lacking mass, can possess momentum. Thus, the momentum of light could create a mechanical effect in matter. This concept would later be developed into the idea that could be suspended by .

The authors point out that the advent of laser instruments — the coherent light with both and good monochromatic characteristics— led to the optical manipulation of such micro-particles, with the stable trapping of micro-particles achieved in 1986.

OTs have now developed to the stage at which they can be used to trap, sort, transport, and enrich various biological particles. For more complicated and delicate tasks, single optical beams are now bolstered by devices like acousto-optic modulators and electric vibrating mirrors.

The researchers add that OTs can now be used to accompany a new microscopy setup called "human bright eye" to manifest the microstructure composed of micro/nano-particles. This means OTs can act as a "human slender finger" holding onto these particles delicately while this faux human eye probes them.

The team details the advantages that OTs offer over similar techniques, such as atomic force microscopes (AFM), magnetic tweezers (MT), and acoustic tweezers (AT. These advantages include providing a finer force strength, their non-invasive nature, and the fact they are made up of multiple optical components.

This means optical manipulation and OTs specifically have found uses in fields as diverse as biology, pharmacology, and clinical research fields gripping nano and micro particles from molecules through to cells.

"Considering the potential 'real world' applications of OTs there is still a long way to go," Hu concluded. "For example, the problem of radiation exposure to cells or proteins needs to be improved. Moreover, achieving stability of optical patterns to submicro-scale particles is still tough, reflecting a complicated optical adjustment. Although this can lead to confusion and even sometimes frustration, the intriguing biological presentations motivate us to facilitate the progress of the technique."



More information: Sheng Hu et al, Advanced optical tweezers on cell manipulation and analysis, The European Physical Journal Plus (2022). DOI: 10.1140/epjp/s13360-022-03190-9

Citation: How advanced optical tweezers revolutionized cell manipulation (2022, October 12) retrieved 17 October 2022 from https://phys.org/news/2022-10-advanced-optical-tweezers-revolutionized-cell.html

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Wed, 12 Oct 2022 07:29:00 -0500 en text/html https://phys.org/news/2022-10-advanced-optical-tweezers-revolutionized-cell.html
Killexams : Former Dallas ISD auditor sues district over allegations of grade, attendance manipulation

A former Dallas schools auditor is suing the district, alleging that she was fired after reporting grade and attendance manipulation at a high school.

The lawsuit escalates Andrea Whelan’s ongoing whistleblower fight against the district, coming a month after Dallas ISD trustees denied her request to be reinstated.

“Dallas ISD does not comment on pending litigation,” district spokeswoman Robyn Harris said in an email.

During a September grievance hearing, Whelan argued that she was fired because she reported her findings to the Texas Education Agency. District administrators have denied that was the reason.

“I was terminated … because [DISD’s chief internal auditor] didn’t want to do his job and report problems that I had identified in my investigation,” Whelan said.

Her lawsuit, filed Thursday in district court, alleges that, in 2021, Whelan uncovered that high school administrators were giving course credit without students meeting certain attendance requirements or “producing any meaningful work.”

School officials had “substantial pressure” to boost student achievement and attendance, which impacts state funding allocations, she alleges.

Her draft report was rewritten at the direction of supervisors to omit significant details and to conclude allegations of manipulation were unsubstantiated, according to the lawsuit.

In early March 2022, Whelan was put on a performance improvement plan. Later that month, she reported her concerns of grade and attendance manipulation to the Texas Education Agency and notified her supervisor that she had done so.

Dallas ISD officials fired her shortly after.

“Ms. Whelan’s termination was a direct result of her report of violation of law to an appropriate law enforcement authority,” the lawsuit states.

During the public grievance hearing, Kathryn Long, the attorney representing district administrators, stressed that it was Whelan’s poor job performance — and not any whistleblowing — that was behind the decision to fire her.

“Her reports failed to adhere to proper investigative and auditing standards,” she said. “This investigation report had holes you could drive a Mack Truck through.”

What Whelan flagged as grade-changing was a school principal helping students with credit recovery amid ongoing pandemic disruptions, Long added.

The DMN Education Lab deepens the coverage and conversation about urgent education issues critical to the future of North Texas.

The DMN Education Lab is a community-funded journalism initiative, with support from The Beck Group, Bobby and Lottye Lyle, Communities Foundation of Texas, The Dallas Foundation, Dallas Regional Chamber, Deedie Rose, Garrett and Cecilia Boone, The Meadows Foundation, The Murrell Foundation, Solutions Journalism Network, Southern Methodist University, Sydney Smith Hicks, Todd A. Williams Family Foundation and the University of Texas at Dallas. The Dallas Morning News retains full editorial control of the Education Lab’s journalism.

Fri, 14 Oct 2022 12:17:00 -0500 en text/html https://www.dallasnews.com/news/education/2022/10/14/former-dallas-isd-auditor-sues-district-over-allegations-of-grade-attendance-manipulation/
Killexams : NY Child Welfare Agents Use Coercion, Manipulation to Enter Families’ Homes

New York’s Administration for Children’s Services (ACS) states that, by law, caseworkers are not allowed to enter and search a home without either permission to enter or an entry order (search warrant). But an investigation by  Eli Hager for ProPublica found that caseworkers frequently say things that are coercive and manipulative in order to get inside homes without going to a judge. The agency obtains an average of fewer than 94 entry orders a year to inspect homes, meaning it has a warrant less than 0.2 percent of the time that it conducts searches into likely millions homes.

Caseworkers examine the contents of parent’s refrigerators, scrutinize cleanliness, and instruct children to lift up their shirts and pull down their pants, leaving their underwear on, to look for bruises, scrapes and scratches. Many parents don’t know that they have the right to deny these government agents or don’t push back for fear of losing their children. In New York, less than 4 percent of the agency’s more than 56,000 cases each year end up revealing a safety situation requiring the removal of a child from a home. . Black and Hispanic children account for at least 83 percent of children in ACS cases last year.

Thu, 13 Oct 2022 02:42:00 -0500 TCR Staff en-US text/html https://thecrimereport.org/2022/10/13/ny-child-welfare-agents-use-coercion-manipulation-to-enter-families-homes/
Killexams : NASCAR Fines Stewart-Haas Racing $200K for Race Manipulation No result found, try new keyword!NASCAR Fines Stewart-Haas Racing $200K for Race Manipulation By JENNA FRYER ... NASCAR cut Miller's availability on the Topic at just under 11 minutes, and Miller was not asked if NASCAR ... Thu, 13 Oct 2022 22:11:00 -0500 text/html https://www.usnews.com/news/sports/articles/2022-10-11/nascar-fines-stewart-haas-racing-200k-for-race-manipulation Killexams : Fear driving China's tech manipulation poses threat to all - UK spy chief

LONDON, Oct 11 (Reuters) - China is using its financial and scientific muscle to manipulate technologies in a manner that risks global security, Britain's top cyber spy will say on Tuesday, warning that Beijing's actions could represent "a huge threat to us all."

In a speech, Jeremy Fleming, director of the GCHQ spy agency, will say that the Chinese leadership was seeking to use technologies such as digital currencies and its Beidou satellite navigation network to tighten its grip over its citizens at home, while spreading its influence abroad.

"They seek to secure their advantage through scale and through control," Fleming will say in the annual security lecture at the Royal United Services Institute think tank, according to extracts released by his office.

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"This means they see opportunities to control the Chinese people rather than looking for ways to support and unleash their citizens' potential. They see nations as either potential adversaries or potential client states, to be threatened, bribed, or coerced."

The remarks are Fleming's latest public warnings about Beijing's behaviour and aspirations. Last year, he said the West faced a battle to ensure China did not dominate important emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, synthetic biology and genetics.

Fleming will say the Chinese leadership was driven by a fear of their own citizens, of freedom of speech, of free trade and open technological standards and alliances, "the whole open, democratic order and the international rules-based system."

That fear combined with China's strength was driving it "into actions that could represent a huge threat to us all," he will say.

A spokeswoman for the Chinese foreign ministry said the claims had "no basis in fact".

"China's financial and technological development is aimed at making a better life for the Chinese people, and is not aimed at anyone and does not constitute a threat. Harbouring a China threat theory and provoking confrontation is both detrimental to others and harmful to oneself," the spokeswoman told reporters.

Fleming will also highlight technologies where he says China is seeking to gain leverage, such as its development of a centralised, digital currency to allow it to monitor the transactions of users, as well as to possibly evade the sort of sanctions Russia has faced since its invasion of Ukraine.

He will also point to Beidou, China’s answer to the U.S.-owned GPS navigation system.

"Many believe that China is building a powerful anti-satellite capability, with a doctrine of denying other nations access to space in the event of a conflict," he will say. "And there are fears the technology could be used to track individuals."

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Reporting by Michael Holden in London, additional reporting by Martin Pollard in Beijing Editing by Matthew Lewis, William Maclean

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Mon, 10 Oct 2022 22:22:00 -0500 Reuters en text/html https://www.reuters.com/world/china/fear-driving-chinas-tech-manipulation-poses-threat-all-uk-spy-chief-2022-10-10/
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