• PrivacyOn Facebook and Twitter, even if you don’t have an account, your privacy is at risk

    Individual choice has long been considered a bedrock principle of online privacy. If you don’t want to be on Facebook, you can leave or not sign up in the first place. Then your behavior will be your own private business, right? A new study shows that privacy on social media is like second-hand smoke. It’s controlled by the people around you.

  • PrivacyAmazon, Facebook and Google don’t need to spy on your conversations to know what you’re talking about

    By Jason Nurse

    If you’ve ever wondered if your phone is spying on you, you’re not alone. One of the most hotly debated topics in technology today is the amount of data that firms surreptitiously gather about us online. You may well have shared the increasingly common experience of feeling creeped out by ads for something you recently discussed in a real life conversation or an online interaction. Tech companies don’t need to listen to your phone calls or read you emails. Simply put, tech firms routinely gather so much data about you in other ways, they already have an excellent idea what your interests, desires and habits might be.

  • China syndromeHuawei industrial espionage in Poland leads to calls for boycott

    The Chinese telecom giant’s industrial espionage activities in Poland have prompted calls for the company to be banned. The United States is leading the push for a boycott, but many EU governments remain undecided. Huawei offers a capable 5G technology, which represents a quantum leap in wireless communication speed, and which will be key to developing the Internet of Things (IoT), including self-driving cars. Critics charge that much of that technology was stolen from Western companies by Chinese intelligence agencies, for which Huwawei serves as a front.

  • CybersecurityThe quiet threat inside ‘internet of things’ devices

    By Charles T. Harry

    As Americans increasingly buy and install smart devices in their homes, all those cheap interconnected devices create new security problems for individuals and society as a whole. The problem is compounded by businesses radically expanding the number of sensors and remote monitors it uses to manage overhead lights in corporate offices and detailed manufacturing processes in factories. Governments, too, are getting into the act – cities, especially, want to use new technologies to improve energy efficiency, reduce traffic congestion and improve water quality. The number of these “internet of things” devices is climbing into the tens of billions. They’re creating an interconnected world with the potential to make people’s lives more enjoyable, productive, secure and efficient. But those very same devices, many of which have no real security protections, are also becoming part of what are called “botnets,” vast networks of tiny computers vulnerable to hijacking by hackers.

  • The Russia connectionHow Russia hacked U.S. power grid

    In an aptly titled investigative report — “America’s Electric Grid Has a Vulnerable Back Door—and Russia Walked Through It” — the Wall Street Journal has used “documents, computer records and interviews” to reconstruct exactly how Russian hackers accessed the U.S. electric grid in the spring of 2016, an attack that continued through 2017 and possibly 2018.

  • The Russia connectionEvidence mounts suggesting “Country A” is Russia

    Alston & Bird, a law firm with experience representing Russian interests, is involved in the mystery grand jury subpoena case assumed to be related to Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation. The case involves a foreign-owned corporation — a financial institution — which is refusing to turn over documents and incurring a daily $50,000 fine.

  • Natural disasters2018 fourth costliest year in insured losses

    2018 was the fourth-costliest year since 1980 in terms of insured losses. This was due to an accumulation of severe and costly events in the second half of the year. A comparison with the last 30 years shows that 2018 was above the inflation-adjusted overall loss average of $140bn. The figure for insured losses – $80bn – was significantly higher than the 30-year average of $41bn. 2018 therefore ranks among the ten costliest disaster years in terms of overall losses, and was the fourth-costliest year since 1980 for the insurance industry.

  • Public healthIt’s the prices, stupid: Americans spend a lot on health care, but get less care

    Americans on average continue to spend much more for health care—while getting less care—than people in other developed countries. The researchers determined that the higher overall health care spending in the U.S. was due mainly to higher prices—including higher drug prices, higher salaries for doctors and nurses, higher hospital administration costs and higher prices for many medical services.

  • CybersecurityCybercrime is on the rise, and Norway is worried

    As society becomes ever more technology-driven and digitized, electronic crime is rising along with it. In Norway, cybercrime results in an annual loss of 0.64 percent of Norway’s GDP — this amounts to NOK 19 billion ($2.2 billion) a year, money that does not benefit society.

  • CybercrimeA personality trait puts you at risk for cybercrime

    Impulse online shopping, downloading music and compulsive email use are all signs of a certain personality trait that make you a target for malware attacks. New research examines the behaviors – both obvious and subtle – that lead someone to fall victim to cybercrime involving Trojans, viruses and malware.

  • Cyber data privacyDHS S&T awards $1.14 million for improving cyber data privacy

    DHS S&T has awarded a total of $1,149,900 across two organizations to develop new research and development (R&D) capabilities to enhance the management of privacy threats and vulnerabilities.

  • EncryptionNew Australian law would compel tech firms to hand over encrypted data

    Australia’s parliament earlier today (Thursday) passed a controversial measure which will force tech firms to give police access to the encrypted communications of suspected terrorists and criminals. The law, fiercely opposed by big tech firms, has engendered heated debate over national security and privacy at a time law enforcement agencies are struggling with how to access encrypted information to monitor illegal activities. The passage of the law may have global implications for encrypted communications. Critics say the law may unleash unintended consequences.

  • Water securityIsraeli device that extracts water from the air helps California firefighters quench thirst

    By Abigail Klein Leichman

    An emergency response vehicle (ERV) carrying an innovative Israeli machine that pulls drinking water out of ambient air is on its way to California to provide hydration to police and firefighters dealing with the aftermath of two massive wildfires that have taken at least eighty-seven lives.

  • Border wallBorder wall came at high cost and low benefit to U.S. workers: Economists

    Researchers find the Secure Fence Act of 2006, which built a partial wall across the U.S.-Mexico border, had a negative economic impact on U.S. citizens. From 2007 to 2010, the United States built an additional 548 miles of fencing across the U.S.-Mexico border. The fence came at a high cost to American taxpayers and only minimally reduced unauthorized Mexican migration, according to the new research.

  • Cybersecurity$2.5 million to support collaborative cybersecurity R&D

    DHS S&T and its counterparts in the Netherlands jointly announced a total of $2.5 million in collaborative cybersecurity research and development (R&D) across five U.S-Dutch research teams. The five research teams will collaborate to develop solutions for Distributed Denial of Defense Security (DDoSD) and Industrial Controls Systems Security.