• Energy securityStrategic threat: Russia’s use of the “energy weapon” against Western Europe

    In 2016, Russian gas imports equaled 23 percent of total U.K. gas demand, 25 percent in France, 40 percent in Italy, 55 percent in Denmark, 58 percent in the Czech Republic, 62 percent in Germany and Hungary, 64 percent in Poland, 70 percent in Austria, and 84 percent in Slovakia. Although it has not been widely successful to date in the former Soviet zone, Russia’s use of the “energy weapon” against Western European countries in various forms still constitutes a strategic threat that warrants close attention from policymakers, experts say.

  • CybersecurityWhy has healthcare become such a target for cyber-attackers?

    By Myrsini Athinaiou

    More than 16m patient records were stolen from healthcare organizations in the United States and related parties in 2016. That year, healthcare was the fifth most targeted industry when it came to cyber-attacks. And earlier this year, Britain’s National Health Service was crippled by a ransomware attack that locked up the computers holding many of its records and booking systems. As connected technology becomes even more embedded in healthcare, this cyber-threat is only likely to grow. But if we want to protect our health from cyber-attacks, we shouldn’t fear technology. Instead, we need to understand it better and realize that the threat becomes much worse when people make simple mistakes.

  • Dust stormsDust Bowl redux: Increase in dust storms in the U.S.

    Could the storms that once engulfed the Great Plains in clouds of black dust in the 1930s once again wreak havoc in the United States? A new statistical model developed by researchers predicts that climate change will amplify dust activity in parts of the United States in the latter half of the 21st century, which may lead to the increased frequency of spectacular dust storms that have far-reaching impacts on public health and infrastructure.

  • CyberattacksCyberattack could cost $120 billion: Lloyd’s

    Insurance giant Lloyd’s of London has warned that the cost of a serious cyberattack to the global economy could reach $120 billion or more – which was the cost of damage inflicted by Hurricanes Katrina or Sandy. insurance firm says the threat posed by global cyberattacks has spiraled, and that it poses a huge risk over the next decade to business and governments everywhere. Trevor Maynard, Lloyd’s head of innovation and co-author of the report, said that where people are involved, risk changes quite rapidly — from cyberattacks to terrorism and political risk – but that from year to year, such risks vary relatively little. “But climate change in the end will be far larger as a risk,” he said, and it remains the biggest challenge in the long run.

  • CybersecurityApp ensures safe surfing on public Wi-Fi hotspots

    By Abigail Klein Leichman

    You always need to assume someone’s looking over your shoulder when you’re using public Wi-Fi: a hacker, or the government, or a plain old snoop. New app — SaferVPN — automatically turns on as soon as your device connects to unsecured networks, an begins to direct data through an encrypted “tunnel.”

  • The Russian connectionRussian hackers likely behind cyberattacks on U.S. nuclear operators: Experts

    Russian government hackers are suspected to be behind a series of cyberattacks on U.S. nuclear operators. The attacks were similar to recent Russian attacks on Ukraine’s power infrastructure. Experts say that rhe attacks in Ukraine and the United States show that Russian hackers appear to be testing increasingly advanced tools to disrupt power supplies. “If you think about a typical war, some of the acts that have been taken against critical infrastructure in Ukraine and even in the U.S., those would be considered crossing red lines,” says one security expert.

  • Nuclear powerHow to save the U.S. nuclear industry

    From Diablo Canyon on the central California coast to Turkey Point on the southeast tip of Florida, the United States is home to 99 nuclear power reactors at 62 nuclear plants generating roughly 20 percent of the nation’s electrical energy. But in an industry beset by disruptive technologies and intense competitive pressures, the future of nuclear energy in the U.S. is anything but certain. Economic pressures are taking their toll. Five nuclear plants have shut down nationwide since 2013, and 19 reactors are currently undergoing decommissioning.

  • Urban warfareIsrael to buy urban warfare drones meant to minimize casualties

    The Israeli military is purchasing an unspecified number of small, multi-rotor drones that can be armed and have sufficient mobility to perform well in urban combat situations. The TIKAD drone is made by Duke Robotics, a Florida-based company that was co-founded by Lt. Col. Raziel “Razi” Atuar, a 20-year IDF veteran.

  • CounterfeitsQuantum technology holds promise of a future without fakes

    Counterfeit products are a huge problem - from medicines to car parts, fake technology costs lives. Every year, imports of counterfeited and pirated goods around the world cost nearly $0.5 trillion in lost revenue. Counterfeit medicines alone cost the industry over $200 billion every year. They are also dangerous to our health – around a third contain no active ingredients, resulting in a million deaths a year. Researchers exhibiting at the Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition believe we are on the verge of a future without fakes thanks to new quantum technology.

  • Hate speechTo curb hate speech on social media, we need to look beyond Facebook, Twitter: Experts

    Germany has passed a new controversial law which requires social media companies quickly to delete hate speech or face heavy fines. The debate over the new law has focused on the most common social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, or Youtube. Experts say that placing Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube at the center of the debate over hate speech on social media websites is understandable, but it could undermine monitoring less widely known social media players. Some of these smaller players may present more problematic hate speech issues than their bigger rivals.

  • EncryptionEncryption system hides your travel data from Uber

    The apps created by Uber and its competitors put peers in touch with each other when one of them is looking for a ride. But the online platforms these companies have developed also collect users’ personal data – from passengers and drivers alike. Multiplied by millions of users each day, that comes out to be a goldmine of information, especially in the era of Big Data. Researchers looked at how the same level of service could be achieved without disclosing users’ personal data.

  • Oil spillsOil spill puzzle solved: Oil-eating bacteria consumed the Deepwater Horizon oil plume

    The Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010 is one of the most studied spills in history, yet scientists have not agreed on the role of microbes in eating up the oil. Now, a research team has identified all of the principal oil-degrading bacteria as well as their mechanisms for chewing up the many different components that make up the released crude oil.

  • Emerging threatsGlobal warming damages U.S. economy, increases inequality

    Unmitigated climate change will make the United States poorer and more unequal, according to a new study. The pioneering study is the first of its kind to price warming using data and evidence accumulated by the research community over decades. From this data, the researchers estimate that for each 1 degree Fahrenheit (0.55 degrees Celsius) increase in global temperatures, the U.S. economy loses about 0.7 percent of Gross Domestic Product, with each degree of warming costing more than the last.

  • AviationU.S. imposes enhanced security measures on U.S.-bound flights from 105 countries

    The United States will impose tough new security measures on all international flights bound for the United States. DHS officials said 280 airports in 105 countries would be affected by the tightened security, affecting around 2,000 flights a day. Airlines have been warned that a failure to comply with these enhanced security measures would carry consequences, including banning laptops altogether on the airlines’ U.S.-bound flights.

  • CybersecurityIntel teams up with Israeli cybersecurity incubator to foil hacking attacks

    Intel, the world’s largest chip-maker, is joining forces with the Israeli cybersecurity incubator Team8 to locate innovative technology that will fend off increasingly sophisticated cyberattacks. In joining forces with Team8 and their syndicate members, which include big names like Microsoft and Cisco, Intel is further advancing its desire to be a major player in the cybersecurity market. Israel is home to around 450 cybersecurity startups and receives around 20 percent of global investment in the field.