• Italian police cannot unlock Bari terrorist iPhone

    The Italian security services have been unable to unlock the Apple iPhone 6 plus of a suspect member of a terrorist ring in the city of Bari. Analysts say the development will likely result in another stand-off between Apple and a government fighting terrorism, similar to the stand-off between Apple and the U.S. government over the iPhone used by the San Bernardino terrorists.

  • CBP MSC vehicle contracts to Telephonic appear problematic

    According to federal government documents, problematic contract inconsistencies predominate in yet another CBP surveillance technology program. The CBP contract in question calls for the production of Multiple Surveillance Capability (MSC) vehicles. Unfortunately, the unintended consequences of these documented problematic delays in the CBP and Office of Technology Innovation and Assessment (OTIA) acquisition process with Telephonics MSC vehicle contracts have serious ramifications. Equally troubling is that CBP MSC contract delays from 2010 to 2015 mirror SBInet delays from 2006 to 2011. These contract delays with Telephonics MSC vehicles, a surveillance technology already in place in other countries, continues to create a U.S.-Mexican border far less secure or safe than it should or has to be.

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  • Cybersecurity’s weakest link: humans

    There is a common thread that connects many of the recent hacks which captured the headlines. They all employed generic – or what is now considered “old school” – phishing attacks which typically took the form of the infamous “Nigerian prince” type e-mails, trying to trick recipients into responding with some personal financial information. “Spearphishing” attacks are similar but far more vicious. They seek to persuade victims to click on a hyperlink or an attachment that usually deploys software (called “malware”) allowing attackers access to the user’s computer or even to an entire corporate network. Yes, people are the weakest links in cybersecurity. But they don’t have to be. With smarter, individualized training, we could convert many of these weak links into strong detectors – and in doing so, significantly strengthen cybersecurity.

  • Climate-driven water scarcity could reduce economic growth by up to 6%: World Bank

    Water scarcity, exacerbated by climate change, could cost some regions up to 6 percent of their GDP, spur migration, and spark conflict, according to a new World Bank report released the other day. The report says the combined effects of growing populations, rising incomes, and expanding cities will see demand for water rising exponentially, while supply becomes more erratic and uncertain.

  • FBI does not know how the $1m iPhone hack works

    The  FBI does not know how the hack which was used to unlock the San Bernardino terrorist’s iPhone 5C works, even though the agency paid about $1 million for the technique. The identity of the hackers who sold the technique to the agency is a closely guarded secret, and the FBI director himself does not know who they are.

  • ISIS runs fish farms, car dealerships to compensate for lost oil revenues

    The U.S.-led coalition’s air strike have crippled the ISIS oil-smuggling-based economy, forcing the organization to rely on fish farming and car dealing as alternative money generating resources, a new report has revealed. In order to close a yawning gap in the organization’s once-lucrative $2.9 billion oil trading scheme, ISIS has now increasingly turned to other revenue streams.

  • ISIS monthly revenue drops from $80 million to $56 million

    ISIS’s monthly revenue has dropped by almost 30 percent in the last year, according to new analysis. Oil production is down to 21,000 barrels per day from 33,000. The loss of territory and population under ISIS control has shrunk the organization’s tax base. To compensate for declining income, ISIS has imposed new taxes on broken satellite dishes and fines for driving on wrong side of the road.

  • S&T licenses physical/cyber risk assessment tool to the commercial market

    DHS S&T announced that a fifth cybersecurity technology has been licensed for commercialization as a part of the Cyber Security Division’s Transition to Practice (TTP) program. The TTP program builds on the S&T process of funding projects through the full research and development lifecycle through to the commercial marketplace. The new technology — Physical and Cyber Risk Analysis Tool (PACRAT) — assesses cyber risks simultaneously with physical risks.

  • 2015 was the most lethal year for terrorism in Europe in a decade

    2015 was the most lethal year for terrorist violence in Europe in nearly a decade, as terrorists increasingly target private citizens and public gatherings. This marks the first net increase in global terrorism risk ratings since 2013, with the risk ratings of eighteen countries experiencing an increase and thirteen countries seeing a decrease. Shootings overtake bombings in the Western world for the first time since 2007, with terrorists targeting private citizens and public gatherings.

  • The past, present, and future of ransomware

    The rise of ransomware over the past year is an ever growing problem. Business often believe that paying the ransom is the most cost effective way of getting their data back — and this may also be the reality. The problem we face is that every single business that pays to recover their files, is directly funding the development of the next generation of ransomware. As a result of this we are seeing ransomware evolve at an alarming rate.

  • The politics of asylum accommodation in the U.K.

    A new study offers a first examination of recent changes in the nature of asylum accommodation in the United Kingdom, arguing that in the model existing today, economic calculations make asylum-seeking a “market” in which neoliberal norms of market competition, economic efficiency, and dispersed responsibility are central.

  • WhatsApp implements end-to-end encryption

    WhatsApp announced on Tuesday that it has implemented complete end-to-end encryption which will protect all text, photo, video, and voice communications from eavesdropping. This means hackers and criminals will be shut out, but so will law enforcement and intelligence services, and even the company itself. This means that the company will not able to comply with court orders to allow law enforcement access to the information stored on the encrypted device. Leaders of law enforcement agencies were quick to criticize WhatsApp’s move for creating “warrant-proof” spaces for criminals and terrorists.

  • Global warming of 2.5°C degrees would put at risk trillions of dollars of world’s financial assets

    An average of $2.5 trillion, or 1.8 percent, of the world’s financial assets would be at risk from the impacts of climate change if global mean surface temperature rises by 2.5°C (4.5°F) above its pre-industrial level by 2100, according to a new study. that the authors found, however, that uncertainties in estimating the “climate Value at Risk” mean that there is a 1 percent chance that warming of 2.5°C could threaten $24 trillion, or 16.9 percent, of global financial assets in 2100.

  • ISO to collect data about terrorism insurance for Treasury Department

    ISO will collect, aggregate, and help analyze terrorism data this year for the U.S. Department of the Treasury, the federal agency charged with assessing the effectiveness of the federal Terrorism Risk Insurance Program. ISO is a Verisk Analytics.

  • FBI cracks terrorists’ iPhone without Apple's help

    The Justice Department on Monday asked a court to withdraw the government’s request that the court order Apple to help the FBI gain access to the encrypted iPhone used by the San Bernardino terrorists. The Justice Department filed the request after the FBI had successfully accessed data stored on an encrypted iPhone. The FBI wanted the court to compel Apple to relax the 10-attempt limit, which is part of the encryption system which comes with the device. If there are more than ten attempts to guess the password, the phone locks forever and all the data on it is wiped out. The FBI argued that its computers, using brute-force, would be able to break the phone’s password, but that it would take more than ten attempts.