• Cyber operationsWhy it’s unwise for the U.K. to boast about its cyberattack capability

    By Joe Devanny

    The U.K. government is very publicly investing more money in its ability to conduct cyberattacks and, at the same time, it is becoming increasingly open in talking about the attacks it has conducted in the past – and those it might conduct in future. There are risks involved in publicly signaling the imminence of cyber and other attacks, especially against capable adversaries with a demonstrable appetite for taking risks and a cavalier attitude about collateral damage. The U.K. needs to think more carefully about how it integrates cyber operations, and communication about them, into its wider approach – not only towards Russia but across the whole spectrum of national security operations.

  • CybersecurityA new cybersecurity research group focuses on human behavior

    Sociologist David Maimon’s earliest research examined the effects neighborhoods have in determining why some people in neighborhoods engage in crime and deviant behaviors. In 2010, he turned his focus to cybercrime and the unique online ecosystem in which cybercriminals thrive. Maimon leads the Evidence-based Cybersecurity Research Group at GSU. “The notion of ‘cybersecurity’ in academic literature and the world is still technical,” he said. “Our work is unique in that we focus on human behavior.”

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  • BiosecurityDOD lagging on lab biosecurity: GAO

    For three years, the DoD has been attempting to implement security reforms after reports revealed that an Army lab at the Dugway Proving Ground in Utah accidentally sent 575 live samples of Bacillus anthracis, the bacterium that causes anthrax, to 194 labs over the course of a decade. The GAO says the Department of Defense (DoD) is still short of meeting goals meant to improve the department’s biosafety and biosecurity programs, leaving government labs still at risk.

  • ResilienceThe importance of community networks to disaster resilience

    Research finds that community networks and better official communication could aid in response and resilience to disasters. Researchers who worked in Houston and Corpus Christie after Hurricane Harvey write that they found “first, missed opportunities to harness social capital for disaster preparedness and, second, a greater need for government agencies and disaster relief organizations to effectively communicate with the public before, during and after disasters.”

  • EncryptionEconomic benefit of NIST’s encryption standard at least $250 billion

    NIST has released a study that estimates a $250 billion economic impact from the development of its Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) over the past twenty years. AES is a cryptographic algorithm used to encrypt and decrypt electronic information. It was approved for use by the federal government in November 2001 and has since been widely adopted by private industry. Today, AES protects everything from classified data and bank transactions to online shopping and social media apps.

  • Cyber strategyU.S. prepared to strike in cyberspace

    The United States is prepared to go on the offensive in cyberspace to ensure adversaries know there is a price to pay for hacks, network intrusions and other types of attacks. President Donald Trump signed a new National Cyber Strategy on Thursday, calling for a more aggressive response to the growing online threat posed by other countries, terrorist groups and criminal organizations.

  • Mass shootingsAnxiety surrounding mass shootings closes ideological divides -- briefly

    People who feel anxious surrounding mass shootings tend to abandon their political ideology on typically divided issues, according to a study. Yet policymakers — especially those seeking gun law reforms trying to stem the number of mass shootings — in recent years have largely failed to capitalize on attitudes surrounding this type of anxiety.

  • Truth decayAmnesty International toils to tell real videos from fakes

    Increasingly sophisticated artificial-intelligence video tools, like FakeApp, are raising concerns by helping the technically astute create realistic computer-generated videos known as “deepfakes.” A deepfake video can put a person’s face on somebody else’s body, make them say words they never uttered, show them in a place they’ve never been, or even put them at an event that never occurred.

  • Truth decayHow to fight information manipulations: 50 recommendations

    French government think tanks have issued 50 recommendations to combat “information manipulations.” The recommendations are part of an exhaustive new study published by the Center for Analysis, Planning and Strategy (CAPS) — attached to the ministry of foreign affairs — and the Institute for Strategic Research of the Military School (IRSEM) — attached to the ministry of the armed forces. It warns that information manipulation, defined as “the intentional and massive distribution of false or biased news for hostile political purposes,” aims to “undermine the foundations of our democracy” and thereby constitute a threat to national security.

     

  • Cloak & daggerName your poison: Exotic toxins fell Kremlin foes

    The suspected poisoning of anti-Kremlin activist Pyotr Verzilov in Moscow — just a few months after nerve-agent poisonings in Britain that led to one death and left three others severely ill — conjures up memories of other Kremlin foes who have fallen victim to toxic attacks in the Vladimir Putin era and previously.

  • The Russia connectionMore evidence dossier did not start Russia investigation

    ABC News’ latest reporting corroborates the now well-known fact: The Christopher Steele’s dossier was not the impetus for the FBI’s Russia investigation.

  • Government hackingGovernment hacking raises new security concerns

    News of governments such as Russia and North Korea deploying their tech teams to hack into companies for political reasons has made headlines (think Sony after release of the movie The Interview). But what about when the U.S. government “hacks” to get around security measures designed to protect consumers? Can those hacks backfire and put us all at risk?

  • BridgesA bridge over the Strait of Gibraltar? New bridge forms span farther

    A bridge’s span is the distance of suspended roadway between towers, with the current world record standing at just under 2km. Newly identified bridge forms could enable significantly longer bridge spans to be achieved in the future, potentially making a crossing over the Strait of Gibraltar, from the Iberian Peninsula to Morocco, feasible.

  • Building securityNew SAFETY Act best practices guide to commercial building security

    A new web-based tool can help security professionals for commercial office buildings perform assessments based on the Best Practices for Anti-Terrorism Security (BPATS) for commercial office buildings.

  • TransportationRevisiting federal safety regulations for liquid petroleum gas distribution systems

    Current federal safety regulations for small distribution systems used for propane and other liquefied petroleum gases (LPGs) should be improved for clarity, efficiency, enforceability, and applicability to risk, says a new report from the National Academies of Sciences.

  • PandemicsThis is not a drill: 5 reasons why the experts are worried about the next pandemic

    By Ali Moore

    Earlier this year, the World Health Organization (WHO) issued a global alert for a disease that doesn’t exist yet. A potentially savage pathogen called Disease X.  “History tells us that it is likely the next big outbreak will be something we have not seen before,” says WHO. Warnings tell us the next global pandemic is a case of not ‘if’, but ‘when’. So, hypothetically, how is the world preparing itself?

  • Our picksProtecting ourselves from hurricanes; mind-controlled drones; rounding up non-criminals, and more

    ·  Hurricane Florence’s floods caused severe property damage. Here’s a solution.

    ·  We’re ignoring the best way to protect ourselves from hurricanes

    ·  5 Trump policies that will make future flooding worse

    ·  Time for peace talks with ISIS and Al Qaeda?

    ·  The Pentagon’s wild plan for mind-control drones

    ·  Trump’s immigrant roundups increasingly net noncriminals

    ·  ICE can’t be trusted to care for detainees during Hurricanes

    ·  How LE can help prevent a biological attack

  • The Russia watchThe plot to subvert an election; timeline of Russia’s 2016 interference; will Trump classify Mueller’s report?, and more

    ·  The plot to subvert an election: Unraveling the Russia story so far

    ·  A timeline showing the full scale of Russia’s unprecedented interference in the 2016 election, and its aftermath

    ·  Tale of a troll: The Russian operation to target Hillary Clinton

    ·  Tragedy? Farce? Confusion? The method behind that Russian poisoning interview

    ·  Trump’s ability to classify Mueller report is greater threat than executive privilege

    ·  We now know more about the apparent poisoning of the Pussy Riot member Pyotr Verzilov

    ·  Inside the shadowy think tank tied to Paul Manafort

    ·  Instagram will promote mid-term voting with stickers, registration info

  • TerrorismU.S. again names Iran as leading terrorism sponsor

    The United States has once again named Iran as the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism, accusing it of fueling conflicts and undermining governments throughout the Middle East. An annual survey on global terrorism, released by the State Department on 19 September, said Iran and its proxies are responsible for intensifying multiple conflicts and undermining U.S. interests in the region.

  • BiodefenseWhite Houses unveils new National Biodefense Strategy

    The Trump administration on Tuesday released a new National Biodefense Strategy, along with an order from President Donald Trump that directs the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to take the coordinating lead and establishes a cabinet-level biodefense steering committee. Some experts are praising the broad scope of the strategy, new elements that it covers, and the high-level attention and oversight built into the plan.

  • Coastal retreatClimate change: we need to start moving people away from some coastal areas, warns scientist

    By Luciana Esteves

    Climate change has forced a paradigm shift in the way coastal flooding and erosion risks are managed. In areas of lower risk, adaptation plans are being devised, often with provisions to make properties and infrastructure more resilient. Adaptation may involve requiring raised foundations in flood-prone areas or the installation of mitigating measures, such as sustainable drainage systems. Building codes may also be established to make structures more disaster-proof and to control the types of constructions within risk zones. But such adaptation options are often of limited use or unsuitable for high-risk areas. In such areas relocation is the only safe climate-proof response.

  • Extremism onlineIdentifying extremists online even before they post dangerous content

    The number and size of online extremist groups using social networks to harass users, recruit new members, and incite violence is rapidly increasing. New research has found a way to identify extremists, such as those associated with the terrorist group ISIS, by monitoring their social media accounts, and can identify them even before they post threatening content.