• Pandemic responseExpert Panel: Current Global Alert System “Clearly Unfit” to Prevent Another Pandemic

    An independent report by experts offers a scathing assessment of the global response to the COVID-19 pandemic. “The current system—at both national and international levels— was not adequate to protect people from COVID-19,” the report says. The current pandemic alert system is too slow, and it lost precious time “when many more countries could have taken steps to contain the spread of SARS-CoV-2 and forestall the global health, social, and economic catastrophe that continues its grip. The Panel finds that the system as it stands now is clearly unfit to prevent another novel and highly infectious pathogen, which could emerge at any time, from developing into a pandemic.”

  • DronesTracking Drones in Urban Settings

    As drones become more popular and more worrisome from a security standpoint, many projects have sought to engineer systems to spot them. Engineers are using machine learning and radar to detect drones in complicated urban settings.

  • Power grid resilienceRenewable Energy Will Enhance Power Grid's Resilience

    A new study shows that integrating renewable energy into the American Electric Power System (AEPS) would enhance the grid’s resilience, meaning a highly resilient and decarbonized energy system is possible. The researchers’ analysis is based upon the incremental incorporation of architectural changes that would be required to integrate renewable energy into AEPS.

  • Infrastructure securityThe TSA Should Regulate Pipeline Cybersecurity

    By Robert K. Knake

    Fuel deliveries to the east coast of the United States have been brought to a standstill by cybercriminals that have gained access to Colonial Pipelines’ networks and forced the company to shut down its distribution system. After two decades of trying to make a voluntary partnership with industry work, this incident demonstrates that neither thoughts, prayers, nor information sharing is sufficient. It is time for the federal government to exercise its existing authority to regulate the cybersecurity of pipelines.

  • CybercrimeCybercrime a Booming Business — Thanks to COVID

    By Marcel Fürstenau

    The coronavirus pandemic has given a huge boost to internet crime. The number of offenses is on the rise while the number of successfully solved cases is stagnating in Germany. Germany’s Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA) registered 108,474 cybercrimes in its latest annual report. That is an increase of nearly 8% on the previous year.

  • Truth decayDetecting Conspiracy Theories on Social Media

    Conspiracy theories circulated online via social media contribute to a shift in public discourse away from facts and analysis and can contribute to direct public harm. Social media platforms face a difficult technical and policy challenge in trying to mitigate harm from online conspiracy theory language. Researchers are working to improvemachine learning to detect and understand online conspiracy theories.

  • Hostage videosVideos: Proof of Life or Death?

    Can the fate of hostages be determined from proof-of-life video messages? While terrorist hostage-taking is uncommon, ideologically motivated hostage-takers often provide a video demonstrating proof of control and proof of life (POL). These videos establish that a hostage is alive at the time the video was made, and hence provide valuable information for families and governments charged with their safe recovery. What they don’t reveal, however, is the likely fate of hostages.

  • ARGUMENT: Microwave weaponsClaims of Microwave Attacks Are Scientifically Implausible

    Allegations about microwave attacks on U.S. personnel have been reported regularly, some going back decades. The recent wave of reports started in 2016, with reports from the American and Canadian diplomatic missions in Havana, hence the name “Havana syndrome.” “Here’s the problem,” Cheryl Rofer writes. “Aside from the reported syndromes, there’s no evidence that a microwave weapon exists—and all the available science suggests that any such weapon would be wildly impractical. It’s possible that the symptoms of all the sufferers of Havana syndrome share a single, as yet unknown, cause; it’s also possible that multiple real health problems have been amalgamated into a single syndrome.”

  • Coastal challengesSeeking Inclusive Strategies to Help Coastal Communities Adjust, Plan for Sea-Level Rise

    Recurring flood damage to homes and powerful storms that threaten infrastructure are realities facing many coastal North Carolina communities. However, for three predominately African-American, rural communities near the coast, NC State researchers documented additional injustices that threaten the communities’ ability to adapt to a changing climate.

  • Coastal challengesAntarctica Remains the Wild Card for Sea-Level Rise Estimates

    Estimates show that limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees C above pre-industrial temperatures would cut projected 21st century sea-level rise from land ice in half, relative to currently pledged emissions reductions.

  • Domestic Terrorism Warning System for DHS | Immigration-Related Biometrics Collection | U.S. Gov. Advisories Help Russian Hackers, and more

    ·  DHS Launches Warning System to Find Domestic Terrorism Threats on Public Social Media

    ·  Ransomware Attacks Like the One that Hit Colonial Pipeline Are Increasingly Common

    ·  US, UK Agencies Warn Russian Hackers Are Adapting Based on Government Advisories

    ·  Your Old Mobile Phone Number Could Compromise Your Cybersecurity

    ·  Israel’s Version of Moving Fast and Breaking Things: The New Cybersecurity Bill

    ·  What We Know about the Pipeline Ransomware Attack: How It Happened, Who Is Responsible and More

    ·  Boko Haram Boosts Plans to Have Separate Islamic Country, Lures Borno, Yobe Residents

    ·  Far-Right Using COVID Conspiracy Theories to Lure Young - UK Police

    ·  French Military Leader Asserts Islamic State Is ‘Regenerating’ Underground

    ·  DHS Drops Proposal to Expand Immigration-Related Biometrics Collection

  • Energy securityCriminals Carried out Cyberattack on U.S. Pipeline

    Security experts say that DarkSide, a group of veteran cybercriminals, is responsible for the ransomware attack on Colonial Pipeline, the worst cyberattack on U.S. critical infrastructure to date. The cyberattack forced Georgia-based Colonial Pipeline to shut a critical fuel network that serves populous states on the East Coast.

  • Energy securityProtecting Critical Energy Infrastructure

    Increasingly, both Israel and the U.S. face costly cyberattacks that can cause severe damage to critical energy infrastructure. A new consortium will develop, integrate, and test technologies, and demonstrate high value cyberattack mitigation technologies on the energy infrastructure, using data analytics, artificial intelligence, and machine learning.

  • UnrestSecond Open Letter by French Soldiers Warns of Civil Insurrection

    By Lisa Bryant

    Disquiet is growing within France’s military ranks, with the publication of a second open letter — this time by serving soldiers — warning growing Islamism, delinquency and violence threaten the country’s very survival.

  • China watchHuawei’s Ability to Eavesdrop on Dutch Mobile Users Is a Wake-up Call for the Telecoms Industry

    By Greig Paul

    Chinese technology provider Huawei was recently accused of being able to monitor all calls made using Dutch mobile operator KPN. While the full report on the issue has not been made public, journalists reporting on the story have outlined specific concerns that Huawei personnel in the Netherlands and China had access to security-essential parts of KPN’s network – including the call data of millions of Dutch citizens – and that a lack of records meant KPN couldn’t establish how often this happened.

  • Critical materialsE-Waste and National Security

    End-of-life circuit boards, certain magnets in disc drives and electric vehicles, EV and other special battery types, and fluorescent lamps are among several electrical and electronic products containing critical raw materials (CRMs), the recycling of which should be made law, says a new report.

  • FloodsCoral Reefs Prevent More than $5.3 Billion in Potential Flood Damage for U.S. Property Owners

    Coral reefs provide many services to coastal communities, including critical protection from flood damage. A new study reveals how valuable coral reefs are in protecting people, structures, and economic activity in the United States from coastal flooding during storms.

  • Planetary securityExperts Evaluate Planetary Defense Methods

    Scientists are working to develop methods to prevent asteroids from wreaking havoc on Earth. “We know that currently, the U.S. has many knowledge and capability gaps for planetary defense readiness,” says one expert.. “The work we are doing today, and the opportunity to discuss that work with the broader international community at venues like the IAA Planetary Defense Conference (PDC), is helping to close these gaps.”

  • Our picksWinning War on COVID Vaccine Lies | Deported Veterans | Bizarre Election Audit, and more

    ·  U.S. Government Working to Help Top Fuel Pipeline Operator after Cyberattack

    ·  Facebook Winning War on COVID Vaccine Lies, Hoaxes and Conspiracies. Twitter and TikTok? Not So Much, Report Says

    ·  Permitless-Carry Gun Laws Are Misguided and Should Be Scrapped

    ·  In Arizona’s Bizarre Election Audit, Ballots Are Being Checked for Bamboo and Election Chief Has Been Assigned Protection

    ·  Regulator Shares Discredited Conspiracy Theories about COVID

    ·  Deported Veterans Ask Biden to Bring Them Home

    ·  U.S. Joins Christchurch Call to Action to Eliminate Terrorist and Violent Extremist Content Online

    ·  Former Neo-Nazi Terror Leader Turns Self in after Bond Revoked

    ·  Counter-Terror Expert Urges Media to Stop ‘Celebrisiting’ British ISIS Volunteers

    ·  France to Expel Refugees If They Commit Crimes or Are Flagged for Extremism

  • Political crimesGermany Sees Spike in Politically Motivated Crimes

    German interior minister Horst Seehofer has warned of what he called an alarming rise in politically motivated crime last year, particularly among far-right groups.

  • PandemicsHow Can Scientists Predict a COVID-19 Outbreak? There Is an App for That

    A mobile app that uses crowd-sourced data on COVID-19 symptoms can accurately identify where local coronavirus outbreaks will appear, according to scientists who developed the app. “COVID Control” using self-reported virus symptom information could predict next outbreak.

  • Human traffickingTurning Technology against Human Traffickers

    By Kylie Foy

    Last October, the White House released the National Action Plan to Combat Human Trafficking. The plan was motivated, in part, by a greater understanding of the pervasiveness of the crime. This increasing awareness has also motivated MIT Lincoln Laboratory to harness its technological expertise toward combating human trafficking.