• Extremists & social mediaNew Zealand, France leading an effort to ban terrorists from social media

    New Zealand and France will host a meeting with technology companies and world leaders to develop a strategy to block terrorists from social media. The meeting comes in the wake of the March shootings at two mosques in Christchurch.

  • Extremists & social mediaWhite supremacists use social media aid, abet terror

    Before carrying out mass shooting attacks in Pittsburgh and New Zealand, white supremacist terrorists Robert Bowers and Brenton Tarrant frequented fringe social networking sites which, according to a new study, serve as echo chambers for the most virulent forms of anti-Semitism and racism, and active recruiting grounds for potential terrorists.

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  • CybersecurityCan WiFi networks be completely secure?

    There are many ways in which hackers and crackers can break into a Wi-Fi network. It is trivial if the network uses out of date security protocols or weak passwords. But even if the system is set up with the latest security measures, strong passwords, and firewall and malware protection, there are still ways and means that a malicious third party might access such a network.

  • CybersecurityActively used private keys on the ethereum blockchain facilitate cryptocurrency theft

    Researchers at Independent Security Evaluators (ISE) have discovered 732 actively used private keys on the Ethereum blockchain. The researchers also found that poorly implemented private key generation is also facilitating the theft of cryptocurrency.

  • DNA identificationRapid DNA technology ID’ed California wildfire victims

    Amid the chaos and devastation of a mass casualty evet, medical examiners often provide closure as they identify victims in the aftermath, but their ability to do this quickly can vary depending on the size, scope, and type of disaster. Such challenges were the case following the Camp Fire wildfire that killed eighty-five people and devastated communities in Paradise, California, in the fall of 2018. S&T’s Rapid DNA technology became the first resort as it provided identifying information in under two hours when dental records and fingerprints weren’t available.

  • DNA identificationAbundance of DNA evidence insufficient to prevent wrongful convictions

    As we enter an era in which DNA evidence is routinely used in criminal investigations, errors that led to wrongful convictions—including mistakes later corrected with DNA tests—may seem to be fading into history. This, however, is not true, says an expert.

  • Preventable-disease outbreaksDecline in measles vaccination causing resurgence of preventable, nearly eradicated disease

    In 2000, measles was declared to be eliminated in the United States, when no sustained transmission of the virus was seen in this country for more than twelve months. Today, however, the United States and many other countries that had also eliminated the disease are experiencing concerning outbreaks of measles because of declines in measles vaccine coverage.

  • Planetary securityNuclear weapons might save the world from an asteroid strike – but we need to change the law first

    By James A. Green

    The schlocky 1998 Bruce Willis movie Armageddon was the highest grossing film of that year. The blockbuster saw a master oil driller (Willis) and an unlikely crew of misfits place a nuclear bomb inside a giant asteroid heading for Earth, blow it up – and save humanity. Armageddon isn’t exactly a documentary: it’s packed full of sci-fi nonsense. But, 20 years on, its basic plot – of using a nuclear explosion to avert a cataclysmic asteroid collision – doesn’t seem quite as silly as it did at the time.

  • Our picksCrime-predicting camera; ISIS global reach; family-tree forensics, and more

    ·  AI-enabled cameras that detect crime before it occurs will soon invade the physical world

    ·  Theresa May set to anger U.S. with ‘limited access’ for Huawei

    ·  The 2020 election is going to make 2016 look like a student council election

    •  Justice Department filing contradicts Kushner’s view of Russia threat

    ·  Nielsen was warned not to talk to Trump about new Russian election interference: report

    ·  ISIS still has global reach, despite the caliphate’s collapse

    ·  What the Sri Lanka bombings tell us about the state of ISIS

    ·  Sri Lanka Easter bombings spurs call to ban burqas amid reports some of the attackers were women

    ·  The meteoric rise of family tree forensics to fight crimes

    ·  With absolutely no evidence, Trump suggests U.K. spied on him for Obama

  • Sri Lanka attacksIS claims responsibility for deadly Sri Lanka blasts

    The Islamic State group said Tuesday, without providing evidence, that it was responsible for a series of blasts in Sri Lanka that killed more than 300 people and injured hundreds of others on Easter Sunday. Also Tuesday, Sri Lanka’s state minister of defense told parliament that those who carried out the attacks did so in retaliation for attacks at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand last month.

  • Sri Lanka attacksSri Lanka attacks: government’s social media ban may hide the truth about what is happening

    By Meera Selva

    Sri Lanka has temporarily banned social media and messaging apps in the wake of the coordinated Easter Sunday attacks on churches and hotels across the country, which killed at least 290 people. The ban is ostensibly to stop the spread of misinformation – but in Sri Lanka Facebook and social media platforms generally have created a positive space for public conversation that did not exist before. Shutting down social media, leaving its citizens reliant on state messaging and a weak and beaten down form of journalism, the government now risks preventing Sri Lankans from finding out the truth about what is happening in their fragile and delicately balanced country.

  • Human smugglingLucrative human smuggling business via Central America benefits many

    A new report estimates that the smuggling of unlawful migrants from the Northern Triangle region of Central America—Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador—to the United States generated between $200 million and $2.3 billion for human smugglers in 2017.

  • GunsThe darker side of the dark web: Weapons trade

    Debates over gun regulations make headlines across the world, but there’s an underground operation for weapons that has drawn very little attention – until now. Researchers crept into the dark web to investigate how firearms are anonymously bought and sold around the world.

  • Truth decayCan artificial intelligence help end fake news?

    By Tom Cassauwers

    Fake news has already fanned the flames of distrust towards media, politics and established institutions around the world. And while new technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) might make things even worse, it can also be used to combat misinformation.

  • Preventable-disease outbreakU.S. measles numbers continue to climb, nearing record

    The U.S. measles total climbed by 71 cases last week, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said Monday in an update, putting the year’s total at 626, within striking distance of the most cases since the United States officially eliminated the disease in 2000. With weekly measles numbers continuing to grow at a steady clip, a top Food and Drug Administration (FDA) official on Monday released a statement affirming the agency’s continued confidence in the safety and effectiveness of the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine.

  • Preventable-disease outbreakFDA confident in the safety, effectiveness of MMR vaccine

    The FDA has joined other scientific and medical groups in an effort to combat the conspiracy-fueled campaign of disinformation and misrepresentation by anti-vaccine activists. “We cannot state strongly enough – the overwhelming scientific evidence shows that vaccines are among the most effective and safest interventions to both prevent individual illness and protect public health,” said Peter Marks, director of FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research.

  • Planetary securityCelestial menace: Defending Earth from asteroids

    Incoming asteroids have been scarring our home planet for billions of years. This month humankind left our own mark on an asteroid for the first time: Japan’s Hayabusa2 spacecraft dropped a copper projectile at very high speed in an attempt to form a crater on asteroid Ryugu. A much bigger asteroid impact is planned for the coming decade, involving an international double-spacecraft mission.

  • Our picksWhat’s different about the Sri Lanka attacks; FBI’s facial recognition accuracy falls short; Greenland is falling apart, and more

    ·  Greenland is falling apart

    ·  Anti-vaxxers ‘educated just well enough to make terrible decisions for their children’

    ·  A scholar of extremism on how religious conflict shapes Sri Lanka

    ·  What people don’t get about why planes crash

    ·  70+ new measles cases reported across the U.S.

    ·  Climate change: Slightly stronger but fewer hurricanes, one expert says

    ·  New Mexico border militia leader allegedly said group planned to assassinate Obama, Clinton

    ·  Say freeze? FBI’s facial recognition accuracy unmeasured for three years, warns watchdog

    ·  What’s different about the attacks in Sri Lanka

  • Sri Lanka attacksNearly 300 killed, 500 injured in Easter Sunday attacks on churches, hotels in Sri Lanka

    In the worst wave of terrorist violence in Sri Lanka in ten years, a series of blasts on Sunday have hit churches and hotels in and near the Sri Lankan capital, Colombo. The nearly simultaneous blasts targeted churches during Easter services and hotels frequented by foreign guests. Sri Lankan officials said 290 people, including at least 27 foreigners, had been killed in the blasts in Colombo and elsewhere. More than 500 more have been injured.

  • Sri Lanka attacksSri Lanka attacks among the deadliest terrorist attacks since 9/11

    The Sunday attacks in Sri Lanka – nearly 300 killed and more than 500 injured — places the bombings on a par with other high-casualty terrorist atrocities since September 11, the single deadliest terrorist attack in history, in which 2,977 people were killed.

  • VisasAfrican asylum-seekers may bear brunt of proposed travel curbs

    As the White House mulls new travel restrictions on countries with high visa overstay rates, activists say African asylum-seekers may feel the consequences.

  • Lone-wolf terroristsThe first lone-wolf terrorist

    Muharem Kurbegovic is considered the first “lone-wolf” terrorist. He was born in Sarajevo in 1943 and immigrated to the United States in 1967 to pursue a career in engineering. In 1973 he launched a series of bombing in and around Los Angeles. What especially alarmed the authorities was his interest in building chemical weapons, including nerve-gas munitions, to use in his planned attacks: