• The Russia connectionU.S. disrupted major Russian cyberattack, possibly on Ukraine

    The U.S. Justice Department has seized an Internet domain controlled by a hacking group tied to Russian military intelligence that was planning a major cyberattack, possibly in Ukraine. The U.S. move late on 23 May was aimed at breaking up what the department said was a dangerous botnet of a half-million infected computer network routers that could have allowed the hackers to take control of computers and stage destructive attacks, as well as steal valuable information.

  • African securityU.S. troops help fight terrorists in Africa -- quietly

    The attack on the U.S. troops in Niger last October, which left four American troops dead and two wounded, was a surprise to the American public because the presence of the U.S. forces in Africa was mostly off the media. The Niger operation is one of the several U.S. military missions ongoing in about twenty African countries, mostly in the northern half of the continent. Most of these missions have one goal: “rolling back Islamist extremism.”

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  • Border controlCan technology and ‘max fac’ solve the Irish border question? Expert explains

    By Katy Hayward

    How might the U.K.“take back control” of its borders without making the border in Ireland any harder? One proposal on the table is maximum facilitation (max fac). This approach does not avoid the creation of a customs border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland but rather aims to make the border as invisible and frictionless as possible through the use of technology.

  • Mass shootingsEvery second matters during active assailant events

    Studies, event after-action reports, and most publications on the subject have proven that during Direct Threat attacks, most casualties occur in the first 120 seconds (2 minutes). An armed responder to the event arrives in between 4 to 11 minutes on average. It takes an additional 2 to 5 minutes before they enter the building and an additional 2 to 6 minutes to engage the attacker(s). Even if armed intervention is on-site, their reaction and engagement take minutes. The best solution to Direct Threat attacks must thus reduce the timeline of an attack to as close to zero as technology will allow.

  • Mass shootingsMass shootings influenced school architecture long before Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick questioned entrances and exits

    By Brandon Formby

    Architects and school safety experts say that campuses are already designed with minimizing death in mind — but that architecture can only go so far.

  • Social media & violenceMoral rhetoric in social media posts tied to protests becoming violent

    Moral rhetoric on Twitter may signal whether a protest will turn violent. Researchers also found that people are more likely to endorse violence when they moralize the issue that they are protesting — that is, when they see it as an issue of right and wrong. That holds true when they believe that others in their social network moralize the issue, too.

  • Be PreparedU.S. “prepping” culture influenced by events, not apocalyptic visions

    The culture of preparing for disasters in the United States is usually portrayed as a delusional response to the belief in the imminent long-term collapse of society due to irrational fears of foreign invasions, the conspiratorial plans of New World Orders or a religious apocalypse. New research finds most people hoarding items such as food and water do so “just in case,” rather than because of deeply held, irrational beliefs that society is on the verge of an imminent collapse.

  • SuperbugsAntibiotic resistance rise tied to hotter temps

    Could a warming climate be one of the factors bringing the world closer to the “post-antibiotic” era that infectious disease experts have been warning about? That’s one of the questions raised by a new study that explores the role that climate and other factors play in the distribution of antibiotic resistance in the United States.

  • Our picksISIS propaganda & Google Plus; Amazon & facial recognition; Conspiracy theorist in the dock, and more

    · Pro-ISIS propaganda finds fertile ground on Google Plus platform

    · What has DHS learned from phases 1 and 2 of CDM?

    · Pentagon bans personal devices from classified areas

    · Amazon pushes facial recognition to police. Critics see surveillance risk.

    · Questions remain on Energy’s cyber shop

    · 6 Sandy Hook families, FBI agent sue Alex Jones for Defamation

    · How North Korean hackers became the world’s greatest bank robbers

    · U.S. State Department on alert after possible “sonic attack” in China

  • The Russia watchRussian trolls dupe good Americans; did Russia swing 2016 election?; Baltic states fight back, and more

    · Lawmakers look to fortify federal cyber defenses ahead of 2018 midterms

    · James Clapper in new book: “Of course” the Russians “swung the election to a Trump win”

    · How Russians trolls dupe good Americans

    · Russia waging ‘great hybrid war’ against Poland: report

    · Who’s the best at holding the front line?

    · Baltic governments respond to growing Russian spy threat

    · Austria’s tilt toward Russia worries intelligence experts

    · Who’s afraid of Kaspersky?

    · Researchers uncover sophisticated botnet aimed at possible attack inside Ukraine

    · All of Robert Mueller’s indictments and plea deals in the Russia investigation so far

    · U.S. government can’t get controversial Kaspersky Lab software off its networks

  • Hemispheric securityTerrorists, criminals reap more than $43 billion a year from Latin America’s Tri-Border Area

    Terrorists and criminals are able to pocket up to $800 million a week or $43 billion a year from activities taking place in Latin America’s Tri-Border Area (TBA), according to a new report. The TBA is the rugged area between Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay. It encompasses a river system stretching for 2,100 miles and crossing five countries: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay.

  • BackdoorsFBI: The number of unhackable devices lower than that reported to Congress

    The FBI has been telling lawmakers that it was facing a serious problem in accessing the encrypted devices seized from criminals and terrorists. For months, the Bureau has claimed that encryption prevented the bureau from legally searching the contents of nearly 7,800 devices in 2017, but on Monday the Washington Post reported that the actual number is far lower due to “programming errors” by the FBI.

  • BiosecurityGrowing concerns about DIY gene editing

    There is a growing concerns regarding the rising popularity of do-it-yourself (DIY) gene editing. From the horsepox de novo synthesis to public stunts at conventions where biohackers injected themselves with HIV treatment, it is becoming difficult to ignore why these actions are dangerous.

  • BiosecurityBiosecurity: Do synthetic biologists need a license to operate?

    By Kostas Vavitsas

    Advances in gene editing technology and the drop in costs make it possible for individuals to perform more sophisticated molecular biology experiments in private spaces. This hobby attracts a variety of people and has been hailed as a way to democratize genetic engineering. A few recent stunts raise concerns about what are the hazards of individuals with gene-editing capabilities.

  • Fire hazardReducing fire hazards from materials

    Fire researchers will tell you that there’s a simple solution for reducing fire hazards: eliminate flammable materials. If it doesn’t burn, the experts say, then there won’t be a fire. Of course, that option isn’t very practical or realistic; after all, who wants to sit on a block of cement when you can have a cushiony recliner? NIST offers a better strategy for reducing the thousands of deaths and injuries and billions of dollars in damage resulting from the more than a million fires each year in the United States.

  • AmmoAlternatives to lead ammo carry their own toxic risks

    Hunting with lead shot is highly restricted or entirely banned in many countries due to the danger of poisoning birds and the environment. However, alternative ammunition is not without its own risks, researchers found. Ammunition manufacturers now offer a range of alternative hunting shot containing iron, copper, zinc, tungsten, or bismuth as primary declared component. Researchers have found, however, that these alternatives are even more toxic to water organisms than conventional lead shot.

  • TsunamisBig tsunami in the Caribbeans

    Indian Ocean tsunami has researchers reevaluating whether a magnitude 9.0 megathrust earthquake and resulting tsunami might also be a likely risk for the Caribbean region, seismologists reported. Some seismologists “think that several faults in the region could be capable of producing earthquakes of 8.6, and the catastrophic planning by our emergency management community is considering 8.5 and 9.0 earthquakes,” says one researcher.

  • MonstersScientists set to tackle the mystery of Loch Ness

    The story of the Loch Ness monster is one of the world’s greatest mysteries. We have waited more than a thousand years for an answer on its existence. Now, it is only months away.

  • Our picksInfiltrating presidential campaigns; teen-phone monitoring app; forget the Libya model, and more

    · When the CIA infiltrated a presidential campaign

    · DHS’ new cybersecurity strategy highlights risk prioritization

    · Lethal pig virus similar to SARS could jump to humans, researchers say

    · Can the new Ebola vaccine stop the latest outbreak?

    · Teen-phone monitoring app leaks info about teens and parents

    · Forget the Libya model. South Africa shows the path to peace with Pyongyang.

    · Security managers and modernization don’t mix…or do they?

    · The futility of trying to prevent more school shootings in America

  • The Russia watchElection security concerns remain; Putin’s fourth term; Russian conspiracy theories, and more

    · Russian hackers, long lines, voting data: What Florida elections officials are talking about this week

    · DHS chief reignites debate over Russian election meddling findings

    · Election security concerns remain

    · The Pentagon is seeking money for a new nuclear weapon. Congress should be skeptical.

    · Did Trump collude? Depends on your expectations.

    · What to expect from the Russian government in Putin’s fourth term

    · We surveyed 100 security experts. Almost all said state election systems were vulnerable.

    · Everyone against Russia: Conspiracy theories on the rise in Russian media

  • China syndromeU.S., China reported near deal to lift Iran sanctions against tech giant

    Washington and Beijing are reportedly close to a deal to lift a U.S. ban on American firms supplying Chinese technology giant ZTE Corp., originally imposed over allegations that it violated U.S. sanctions against both Iran and North Korea. The deal might include China removing tariffs on U.S. agricultural products, as well as buying more U.S. farm goods.

  • EbolaEbola vaccine drive launched in DRC as number of cases rise to 49

    In a development that global health officials say is a turning point in how the world fights Ebola, vaccinators today began immunizing health workers in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), the first stage of a ring vaccination strategy. In other developments, four more illnesses were reported, along with another healthcare worker death, and more countries signaled financial support to help with the international response to the outbreak.