• 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.

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  • 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.

  • F-35A first: Israel the first country to deploy F-35 in combat

    Israel has become the first air force in the world to use the F-35 stealth fighter in military operations, according to Israel Air Force sources. The state-of-the-art stealth fighter was not involved in the most recent Israeli strike against Iranian targets in Syria, but was involved in two operations before that.

  • Terrorism: Emergency response Terror attacks: how psychological research can help improve the emergency response

    By Nicola Power, Laura Boulton, and Olivia Brown

    In this age of unpredictability, how can the emergency services prepare themselves to respond to a terror attack, like the one at the Ariana Grande concert in Manchester in 2017? We’ve looked into the psychology of decision making and how the key lessons from The Kerslake Report – which evaluated the emergency response during the Manchester attack – could be applied on the ground.

  • Security & privacyNIST updates Risk Management Framework to include privacy considerations

    Augmenting its efforts to protect the U.S. critical assets from cybersecurity threats as well as protect individuals’ privacy, NIST has issued a draft update to its Risk Management Framework (RMF) to help organizations more easily meet these goals.

  • ForensicsUsing proteins from bones to identify people

    When a team of researchers led by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) developed a new biological identification method that exploits information encoded in proteins, they thought it could have multiple applications. Nearly two years later, they’ve turned out to be right. One possible important application for using protein markers from human bones could be to help determine the identity of partial remains from catastrophic events, such as plane crashes, fires or the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

  • HurricanesFuture hurricanes: Stronger, slower, wetter

    Scientists have developed a detailed analysis of how twenty-two recent hurricanes would be different if they formed under the conditions predicted for the late twenty-first century. While each storm’s transformation would be unique, on balance, the hurricanes would become a little stronger, a little slower-moving, and a lot wetter.

  • Search & rescueArtificial “nose” helps find people buried by earthquakes, avalanches

    Trained rescue dogs are still the best disaster workers – their sensitive noses help them to track down people buried by earthquakes or avalanches. Like all living creatures, however, dogs need to take breaks every now and again. They are also often not immediately available in disaster areas, and dog teams have to travel from further afield.. Scientists have developed the smallest and cheapest ever equipment for detecting people by smell. It could be used in the search for people buried by an earthquake or avalanche.

  • Our picksChina & U.S. technology; the golden age of armed robbery; privacy at the border, and more

      Spies are going after U.S. supply chains, intel agencies say

      How China acquires ‘the crown jewels’ of U.S. technology

      Summary: Fourth Circuit rejects suspicionless, forensic searches of devices at the border in United States v. Kolsuz

      The golden age of armed robbery

      Is Telegram secure? French terror arrest raises new questions about messaging app

      What to do after Santa Fe? Gov. Greg Abbott suggests metal detectors, mental screenings to protect schools

      Meet the Israeli company ready to sell citywide surveillance

      Police took 4 minutes to corner the Santa Fe shooter and 25 to capture him — here’s what we know about how the lengthy firefight went down

      In the Middle East, soon everyone will want the bomb

  • The Russia watchA closer look at IRA; cybercriminals and the Kremlin; Where's the hacking indictment?

      What did Russian trolls want in 2016? A closer look at the Internet Research Agency’s active measures

      Trump, his critics, and the basic divide over the FBI

      Russia is back in Africa — and making some very odd deals

      Why companies complying with U.S. sanctions in Russia could be sanctioned too

      Trial exposes connections between cybercriminals and Russian government

      Can the 2018 elections be hacked? Experts think so, & here we go again

      Twitter bots helped Trump and Brexit win, economic study says

      Mystery in Mueller probe: Where’s the hacking indictment?

  • Iran’s nukesPompeo says U.S. to impose “strongest sanctions in history” against Iran

    U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says Washington will impose “the strongest sanctions in history [on Iran] once they come into full force” and that the “sting of sanctions will only grow more painful if the regime does not change its course.” Pompeo set twelve conditions for Iran to follow in order for the United States to agree to a new nuclear deal with Tehran in a speech in Washington today (21 May). Iran will have to choose between maintaining its economy or sponsoring terrorist and insurgent groups in countries like Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, and Yemen — what he called “squandering precious wealth on fights abroad.” “It will not have the money to do both,” he said.

  • EbolaWHO: Response to Congo Ebola outbreak so far working

    An Ebola outbreak has gripped parts of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. According to the latest figures from the World Health Organization there have been 45 reported cases, 14 of which have been confirmed as Ebola. Of these 45 cases, 25 have resulted in fatalities. Most concerning, the outbreak has spread from a rural precinct to the city of Mbandaka which has a population of 1.2 million and sits on the Congo river, a major thoroughfare.