Business

  • Tainted apps make their way into official Android store

    More than fifty applications have been found to be infected with a new type of Android malware called DroidDream, an information stealer; fraudsters repackaged legitimate apps (mostly games) so that they included malicious code before uploading them to the marketplace; the tactic has been seen in mobile marketplaces in China and elsewhere but this is the first time the approach has been successfully applied in the United States

  • ASIS and (ISC)2 join forces for annual security conference and more

    (ISC)2 will hold its first annual Security Congress in conjunction with ASIS International’s 57th annual Seminar and Exhibits conference in Orlando, Florida; the combined events are expected to attract more than 20,000 security professionals from around the world; during the conference the two organizations will jointly offer certification seminars for various security and technology-related credentials; (ISC)2 and ASIS signed a deal to work together and leverage their mutual strengths and membership bases; beyond the conference, the two organizations will work together on developing educational programming, research, and legislative issues; the ASIS International conference will be held from 19 September 2011 to 22 September 2011

  • Kenya orders 100,000 more biometric ID cards from OTI

    On Track Innovations Ltd. (OTI) recently received an additional order for 100,000 of its MediSmart healthcare biometric ID cards; the cards were purchased by Kenya’s Smart Applications International Ltd. (SMART) for use in medical facilities across Kenya; the card contains a microchip that stores a patient’s name, picture, signature, and medical treatment records; SMART has already issued an estimated 200,000 MediSmart cards to combat fraud

  • China races to claim Arctic resources

    As temperatures around the world continue to rise and the ice in the Arctic Ocean melts, the once frozen seas are increasingly open for exploration and countries have been scrambling to claim the region’s vast resources; several countries including Canada, the United States, and Russia have all sought to expand their territorial claims over the region and now new countries like China are pushing in; Chinese researchers recently sailed to within 120 nautical miles of the North Pole; only a few years prior, this trip would have been impossible due to the thick ice in the ocean that can be more than 30 feet thick; scientists estimate that during the summer months, the Arctic Ocean could be ice-free by as early as 2013 or as late as 2060

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  • Acoustic gunfire detection devices heading to the field

    Technological developments may one day create artificial soldiers, but until they come along, the United States and other countries will continue to rely on human soldiers; the militaries thus want to preserve as many of their soldier’s lives as possible; to that end, Shoulder-Worn Acoustic Targeting System (SWATS), which helps Marines zero in on enemy sniper fire, is a godsend to the United States; asymmetric warfare favors the forces that can strike and runaway unharmed, but with plentiful acoustic sensors in the field it will be that much harder for snipers to ambush U.S. soldiers and live to escape

  • Law enforcement, and domain name registrars discuss ways to tackle net crooks

    Police and other law enforcement agencies in the United States and the United Kingdom are increasingly turning their attention to domain names as an Internet choke-point that can be used to shut down Web sites selling counterfeit goods and enabling the trading of pirated movies and child pornography

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  • Are your phones really secure?

    Breakthroughs in technology have enabled malicious actors to listen in on any conversation using your phone even when not in use; eavesdroppers have circumvented encrypted audio channels by relying on a relatively simple principle in physics — resonance; by tapping into an object’s natural resonance, spies have turned phones and phone cables into listening devices even when they are not in use; researchers at Teo, a manufacturer of secure telecommunications equipment, were able to capture human voices using standard phones, unplugged Ethernet cables, or even a rock; to address this security gap, Teo has designed its IP TSG-6 phones with special vibration dampening circuitry and materials that render them impervious to these types of listening devices

  • Android apps send private data in the clear

    Cell phones running the Android operating system fail to encrypt data sent to and from Facebook and Google Calendar, shortcomings that could jeopardize hundreds of millions of users’ privacy; Facebook’s recently unveiled always-on SSL encryption setting to prevent snooping over insecure networks — but the encryption is no good, meaning that all private messages, photo uploads, and other transactions are visible to eavesdroppers

  • Harris Corp. awarded $9 million Army contract to boost biodefense

    The U.S. Army recently signed a $9 million deal with Harris Corp. to bolster the army’s biological defense capabilities; Harris will provide the Army’s Joint Biological Point Detection System (JBPDS) with its advanced Falcon II AN/PRC-150 high-frequency radio system; the radio system is capable of detecting and identifying biological warfare agents and will automatically send alerts to headquarters when it senses the presence of these agents; JBPDS is a portable self-contained unit designed to automatically detect and identify airborne biological agents

  • Border bottlenecks hamper trade

    Last year, U.S. exports to Mexico totaled $163 billion, and imports from Mexico totaled $229.6 billion; nearly 80 percent of that trade crosses through land border ports on trucks and railcars; the 1.8-million strong Border Trade Alliance says bottlenecks at border crossings hamper this trade and make it more costly to grow it; the Alliance urges Congress and the Obama administration to invest in border ports of entry, including hiring more staff; Obama’s proposed 2011 budget includes only 300 new Customs and Border Protection officers, while Republicans propose shrinking the Border Patrol by 870 agents

  • Studying wait times at modified truck fast lane

    Western Washington University has received $49,000 to conduct field research on wait times and lane reconfiguration at the U.S.-Canada border; the university’s Border Policy and Research Institute will collect and analyze data on wait times as part of a pilot to examine alternative use of the dedicated Free and Secure Trade truck lane at the Blaine crossing

  • New SPEXER security radar offers new capabilities in threat detection

    Cassidian, the renamed defense and security division of EADS, is showing its new security radar; the company says that SPEXER 2000 is the first security radar using the newest radar technology of Active Electronically Scanning Array (AESA); by electronic guidance of the radar beam, this technology enables the sensor to fulfill several tasks at the same time while increasing the detection capability substantially; therefore, one SPEXER 2000 can replace two or more conventional radars

  • A warming world would add billions to shipping costs

    As anyone with a boat knows, many sorts of marine life can attach themselves to a hull below the waterline; on a large ship, the weight of such hitchhikers — everything from algae to barnacles to small colonies of coral — can weigh as much as ten tons; the U.S. shipping industry spends more than $36 billion each year in added fuel costs to overcome the drag induced by clinging marine life or for anti-fouling paint that prevents that life from hitching a ride in the first place; global warming will see the problem of hull-clinging creatures worsen substantially

  • Agriculture industry concerned over expansion of E-Verify

    As Congressional lawmakers look to expand the E-Verify program to crack down on undocumented workers, businesses have become increasingly uneasy with the proposal; Arizona, Utah, and Mississippi have required all employers to use the system, and House GOP leaders are following their lead and pushing to make the system compulsory for all businesses across the United States; critics fear that making the program mandatory could destabilize critical sectors of the economy; the agriculture industry is particularly concerned as they depend heavily on undocumented workers for labor and worry that mandating the system could potentially jeopardize millions of jobs in the industry; proponents of expanding E-Verify believe that it is a better alternative to the existing I-9 screening process which has been easily circumvented with forged documents

  • Jeb Bush and former Mexican president to headline ASIS 2011

    Former governor of Florida Jeb Bush and former president of Mexico Vicente Fox have both agreed to speak at this year’s upcoming ASIS International annual conference in Orlando, Florida; the two former elected officials will be the event’s keynote speakers along with Burt Rutan, the designer of SpaceShipOne, the first privately built manned spacecraft to reach space; last year roughly 22,000 professionals from more than ninety countries attended; this year’s conference is scheduled to take place from 19 September to 22 September 2011; it was estimated that 21 percent of buyers attending last year’s conference were planning on procuring at least $5 million worth of security products and services for the year