• Cybersecurity“Surfing Attack” Hacks Siri, Google with Ultrasonic Waves

    Ultrasonic waves don’t make a sound, but they can still activate Siri on your cellphone and have it make calls, take images or read the contents of a text to a stranger. All without the phone owner’s knowledge.

  • CybersecurityFor Better Cybersecurity, New Tool Fools Hackers into Sharing Keys

    Instead of blocking hackers, a new cybersecurity defense approach actually welcomes them. The method, called DEEP-Dig (DEcEPtion DIGging), ushers intruders into a decoy site so the computer can learn from hackers’ tactics. The information is then used to train the computer to recognize and stop future attacks.

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  • EpidemicsTrump Puts VP Pence in Charge of COVID-19 Response

    In a televised speech to the nation last night, President Donald Trump addressed the growing threat of COVID-19 and put Vice President Mike Pence in charge of a task force to lead US response efforts. The speech comes a day after officials from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said community spread was all but inevitable in the United States, while Trump said during a press conference in India that the situation was under control stateside. Trump also said that “We will essentially have a flu shot for this very soon,” said Trump, but experts cautioned that no vaccine will be ready for use for at least another year to 18 months.

  • EpidemicsCould Coronavirus Really Trigger a Recession?

    By Michael Walden

    Fears are growing that the new coronavirus will infect the U.S. economy. The worry is understandable; viruses are scary things. The 1918-1919 influenza pandemic, also known as the Spanish flu, killed at least 50 million people worldwide, with some estimates putting the number as high as 100 million. In the U.S., almost 1 of every 3 people became infected, and 500,000 died. Even for those who survived, there were numerous cases of long-term physical disability. Fortunately, the adverse economic impacts were short-lived. With today’s more mobile and interconnected world, however, some suggest any large-scale pandemic would be much more severe, with costs in the trillions. Even if the death rates are relatively low, the economy can still suffer. These economic impacts would likely come in four forms: shortages of products from China, reduced sales to China, a drop in consumer spending based on fears about the virus and falling stock prices.

  • China syndromeSen. Rubio Wants Review of Sale of AT&T Unit Operating in Central Europe to a “China proxy”

    Senator Marco Rubio (R-Florida) is asking U.S. officials to review the national-security implications of AT&T’s planned sale of its majority stake in Central European Media Group Enterprises (CME) to PPF Group, a Czech-owned conglomerate, because of PPF’s record of acting as “China’s proxies” inside the Czech Republic. Rubio charges that PPF has “supported China’s malign activities abroad.”

  • Truth decayTools to Help Fight Disinformation Online

    Today’s information ecosystem brings access to seemingly infinite amounts of information instantaneously. It also contributes to the rapid spread of misinformation and disinformation to millions of people. Researchers at RAND’s Truth Decay initiative worked to identify and characterize the universe of online tools targeted at online disinformation, focusing on those tools created by nonprofit or civil society organizations.

  • CybersecurityProtecting Sensitive Metadata So It Cannot Be Used for Surveillance

    By Rob Matheson

    MIT researchers have designed a scalable system that secures the metadata of millions of users in communications networks, to help protect the information against possible state-level surveillance. The system ensures hackers eavesdropping on large networks cannot find out who is communicating and when they’re doing so.

  • MineralsU.S. Mine Produced $86.3 Billion in Minerals in 2019

    U.S. mines produced approximately $86.3 billion in minerals in 2019 –- more than $2 billion higher than revised 2018 production totals. The U.S. continues to rely on foreign sources for some raw and processed mineral materials. In 2019, imports made up more than one-half of U.S apparent consumption for 46 nonfuel mineral commodities, and the U.S. was 100 percent net import reliant for 17 of those. The domestic production of critical rare-earth mineral concentrates increased by 8,000 metric tons (over 44 percent) in 2019 to 26,000 metric tons, making the U.S. the largest producer of rare-earth mineral concentrates outside of China.

  • Planetary securityNew Technologies, Strategies Expanding Search for Extraterrestrial Life

    Emerging technologies and new strategies are opening a revitalized era in the search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI). New discovery capabilities, along with the rapidly expanding number of known planets orbiting stars other than the Sun, are spurring innovative approaches by both government and private organizations.

  • ArgumentHackers Are Everywhere. Here’s How Scholars Can Find Them.

    The world of cyber operations is full of hard national security choices. Ben Buchanan asks: “How do long-held ideas of counterintelligence, deterrence and deception apply in this new arena of competition? How does escalation work with hacking? Who carried out this intrusion, and what was the intention behind it? Most of all, what does any of this mean for geopolitics in the modern age, and how can scholars communicate that to policymakers?”

  • PerspectiveDigital Threats to Democracy

    A new study surveyed hundreds of technology experts about whether or not digital disruption will help or hurt democracy by 2030. Of the 979 responses, about 49 percent of these respondents said use of technology “will mostly weaken core aspects of democracy and democratic representation in the next decade,” while 33 percent said the use of technology “will mostly strengthen core aspects of democracy.”

  • PerspectiveSpies, Election Meddling, And Disinformation: Past and Present

    Calder Walton writes that following Russia’s “sweeping and systematic” attack on the 2016 U.S. presidential election—which was intended to support Moscow’s favored candidate, Donald J. Trump, and undermine his opponent, Hillary Clinton—the media frequently labeled the operation “unprecedented.” “The social-media technologies that Russia deployed in its cyber-attack on the United States in 2016 were certainly new,” he writes, “but Russia’s strategy was far from unusual. In fact, the Kremlin has a long history of meddling in U.S. and other Western democratic elections and manufacturing disinformation to discredit and divide the West.”

  • Our picksTSA Hiring Freeze | Tourists vs Spies | Cyberforce Targeting Terrorists, and more

    ·  Foreign Interference in U.S. Elections is Even Worse Than You Thought

    ·  How Russia And Other Foreign Actors Sow Disinformation in Elections

    ·  Interpol Official Warns of Dramatic Rise in Extremist Right-Wing Violence

    ·  New Jersey Declared White Supremacists a Major Threat. Here’s Why That’s Groundbreaking.

    ·  Automatic Release in the U.K. of about 50 Terrorists to Be Stopped by New Law

    ·  How Many Mass Shootings Will It Take for Germany to Confront Its Far-Right Problem?

    ·  Trump Freezes Hiring at Another DHS Agency

    ·  Were These Six Chinese Trespassers Confused Tourists or Spies? The FBI Wants to Know

    ·  U.K. to Launch Specialist Cyber Force Able to Target Terror Groups

    ·  ISIS Still Targeting Swedish City Despite Closure of Extremist School

  • Iran’s nukesIran Nuclear Accord Parties Meet to Try to Salvage Deal

    The remaining members of the floundering Iran nuclear deal are set to meet in Vienna Wednesday for the first time since Germany, France, and Britain initiated dispute procedures that could reimpose U.N. sanctions on Tehran. The talks come as the signatories try to rescue the landmark 2015 accord, which has been faltering since U.S. President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew from it in 2018 and enforced crippling sanctions on Iran.

  • Homegrown violent extremistsNew Jersey: Homegrown Violent Extremists Greater Threat Than Foreign Terrorists

    New Jersey’s Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness (NJOHSP) now regards white supremacist extremists as posing a threat which is equal or greater than that posed by terrorists inspired by Islamist fundamentalism (in both cases, homegrown violent extremists [HVEs] pose a far greater threat than foreign terrorists). “Homeland security and law enforcement professionals at all levels have taken notice of the rise in activity from white supremacist extremists,” NJOHSP says in an introduction to the annual Terrorism Threat Assessment issued by the office. “New Jersey is committed to protecting the diversity of culture and faith that shapes our great State. For that reason, NJOHSP increased the threat posed by white supremacist extremists from moderate to high in 2020, joining homegrown violent extremists as the most persistent hostile actors in New Jersey.”

  • AccelerationismWhite Supremacists Embrace "Accelerationism"

    Accelerationism is a term white supremacists have assigned to their desire to hasten the collapse of society as we know it. The term is widely used by those on the fringes of the movement, who employ it openly and enthusiastically on mainstream platforms, as well as in the shadows of private, encrypted chat rooms. 

  • TerrorismNew Center to Lead Counterterrorism, Terrorism Prevention Research

    DHS S&T has awarded the University of Nebraska at Omaha a 10-year, $36 million grant to establish a DHS Center of Excellence (COE) for Terrorism Prevention and Counterterrorism Research (TPCR). TPCR will lead a consortium of academic, industry, government, and laboratory partners aiming to gain better understanding of terrorism and its sources, and help fashion effective counterterrorism policies.

  • Nuclear warNuclear War Could Be Devastating for the U.S., Even If No One Shoots Back

    By Joshua M. Pearce

    The White House’s 2021 budget calls for $28.9 billion for the Pentagon for nuclear weapons and a 20 percent increase to $19.8 billion for the National Nuclear Security Administration. Yet the U.S. already has over 3,000 nuclear weapons. The U.S. could only safely use a fraction of them without killing Americans with an unintended adverse series of cascading environmental effects: Soot from the burning of cities following numerous nuclear blasts would cause a significant drop in global temperature, blocking the sunlight from reaching the Earth’s surface. This would cause a drop in precipitation, increased ultraviolet radiation resulting from a badly damaged atmosphere, and a breakdown in supply chains and food production. In short, a nuclear attack using only a few nuclear weapons would be exceedingly damaging for the aggressor nation.

  • MineralsIdentifying the Greatest Risk to U.S. Mineral Resource Supplies

    Policymakers and the U.S. manufacturing sector now have a powerful tool to help them identify which mineral commodities they rely on that are most at risk to supply disruptions. The risk tool identified 23 mineral commodities whose supply poses the greatest risk, including those used in consumer electronics, renewable energy, aerospace, and defense applications.

  • Our picksFacebook haunts U.S. Democracy | White-Supremacist Violence | Flying Cars, and more

    •  Russian Interference in 2016 Election Prompted Better Information Sharing, Top DHS Cyber Official Says

    ·  “Coordinated Inauthentic Behavior”: Facebook haunts U.S. Democracy

    ·  White-Supremacist Violence Is Terrorism

    ·  U.K. to Ban Neo-Nazi Sonnenkrieg Division as a Terrorist Group

    ·  As Domestic Terrorists Outpace Jihadists, New U.S. Law Is Debated

    ·  Will Flying Cars Help the U.S. Beat China? The Air Force Hopes So

    ·  Coronavirus Fears in Connecticut Include Whether State Could Run Out of Protective Supplies

  • EpidemicsWHO Notes COVID-19 Pandemic Potential as 5 More Mideast Nations Affected

    Five more countries in the Middle East yesterday reported their first COVID-19 cases, all linked to Iran travel, signaling an escalating situation in the region in the wake of Iran’s outbreak, as World Health Organization (WHO) officials yesterday announced that, although the global situation isn’t yet a pandemic,  the world should prepare for one. Elsewhere, the pace of newly reported cases of the novel coronavirus continued to surge in South Korea and Italy, though cases are declining in China, where a WHO-led international joint mission wrapped up its visit and shared its initial findings yesterday.

  • China syndromeGrowing Tory Opposition to Boris Johnson’s Huawei Decision

    David Davis, a leading Conservative MP and a former Brexit Secretary, has warned that allowing Chinese technology giant Huawei to build some of the infrastructure for the U.K. 5G communication network could be seen as “the worst decision made by a British prime minister.” The government Huawei move represented the “worst intelligence decision since MI6’s recruitment of Kim Philby,” Davis said, adding that if the government allowed Huawei access to the U.K. 5G infrastructure, then “We are handing the keys to large parts of the country over to China.” Davis was blunt: “This is the ground on which future wars will be fought.”