100-Million-Year-Old Spider Attack Found in Amber

THE START OF JURASSIC PARK!!!!!

Discovery:

Researchers have found trapped in amber a rare dinosaur-age scene of a spider attacking a wasp caught in its web.

The piece of amber, which contains 15 intact strands of spider silk, provides the first fossil evidence of such an assault, the researchers said. It was excavated in a Burmese mine and dates back to the Early Cretaceous, between 97 million and 110 million years ago.

PHOTOS: Cretaceous African Life Sealed in Amber

“This juvenile spider was going to make a meal out of a tiny parasitic wasp, but never quite got to it,” George Poinar, Jr., a zoology professor at Oregon State University, said in a statement.

“This was a male wasp that suddenly found itself trapped in a spider web. This was the wasp’s worst nightmare, and it never ended. The wasp was watching the spider just as it was about to be attacked, when tree resin flowed over and captured both of them.”

Poinar and Ron Buckley, an amber collector from Kentucky, described the find in a paper published in the October issue of the journal Historical Biology. They wrote that while there are examples of amber-trapped insects caught in webs, “there is no previous fossil record of a spider attacking its ensnared prey.”

PHOTOS: Dinosaur Feathers Found in Amber

The amber chunk also contains the body of another male spider in the same web, which might make the fossil the oldest known evidence of social behavior in spiders, according to the authors.

Both the spider and wasp species are today extinct. But the type of wasp (Cascoscelio incassus) belongs to a group that today is known to parasitize spider eggs, Poinor said. The attack on the wasp by the bristly orb-weaver spider, Geratonephila burmanica, might then be considered revenge.

Two men admit to $10 million hacking spree on Subway sandwich shops

According to ARS:

Two Romanian men have admitted to participating in an international conspiracy that hacked into credit-card payment terminals at more than 150 Subway restaurant franchises and stole data for more than 146,000 accounts. The heist, which spanned the years 2009 to 2011, racked up more than $10 million in losses, federal prosecutors said.

Iulian Dolan, 28, of Craiova, Romania, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit computer fraud and two counts of conspiracy to commit credit card fraud, documents filed on Monday in US District Court in New Hampshire showed. Dolan admitted he helped alleged ring leader Adrian-Tiberiu Opera scan the Internet for point-of-sale systems. “These were typically password-protected, so Dolan would attempt to crack the passwords, where necessary,” Monday’s plea agreement, which was signed by the defendant, stated. “Next, once he cracked the password and gained administrative access, Dolan remotely installed software programs called ‘keystroke loggers’ (or ‘sniffers’) onto the POS systems. These programs would record, and then store, all of the data that was keyed into or swiped through the merchants’ POS systems, including customers’ payment card data.”

Dolan hacked into “several hundred US merchants'” systems and stole payment data belonging to about 6,000 cardholders, according to the document. He has agreed to spend seven years in prison.

Cezar Iulian Butu, 27, of Ploiesti, Romania, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit credit card fraud. In a separate plea agreement that was also signed, he admitted repeatedly asking Opera to provide him with payment card data stolen through the conspiracy. He obtained data belonging to about 140 cardholders. Butu has agreed to be sentenced to 21 months in prison.

Opera remains in US custody and is awaiting trial in the District of New Hampshire.