• Wire pops lock certified for US defense facilities

    The Access Control E-Plex 5800 lock from Swiss company Kaba was described as the first lock certified as meeting new DHS requirements for coded access that keeps track of which contractors or federal workers open which doors; at the DefCon event in Las Vegas, a security expert demonstrated how this high-security lock, certified for use in sensitive U.S. government facilities, can be easily opened with just a piece of wire

  • Industry: government hampering efforts to fight counterfeit chips

    Representatives from the semiconductor industry said that new Treasury Department and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) policies have made it difficult to assist the Pentagon in its struggle to keep counterfeit computer components out of its supply chain; Brian Toohey, the president of the Semiconductor Industry Association, a lobbying group, said that new policies introduced in 2008 by the Treasury Department and CBP have made it difficult for manufacturers to identify counterfeit products

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  • A natural food preservative kills food-borne bacteria

    Salmonella and E. coli account for more than half of all food recalls in the United States; salmonella contributes to an estimated 28 percent of more than 3,000 U.S. deaths related to foodborne illness each year; researchers have discovered and received a patent for a naturally occurring lantibiotic — a peptide produced by a harmless bacteria — that could be added to food to kill harmful bacteria like salmonella, E. coli, and listeria

  • Boeing and Siemens join forces to protect smart grid

    In a bid to improve efficiency and security for the Pentagon’s electrical “smart grid,” defense giant Boeing has teamed up with German technology conglomerate Siemens to develop new technologies

  • Cost of cyberattacks on the rise

    A new study shows that cybercrime is costing corporations 56 percent more than last year; the study conducted by the Ponemon Institute and sponsored by ArcSight, an HP company, found that the median cost of cybercrimes for the fifty companies surveyed was $5.9 million; the increase in costs were largely due to hackers using stealthier techniques

  • Microsoft offers $250,000 in cybersecurity competition

    Last Wednesday at the annual Black Hat and Defcon convention for hackers, Microsoft announced a competition for cyber security specialists in which it would award $200,000 to the individual who develops the most innovative computer protection technology

  • Market forces to help reduce emission, increase storage of CO2

    New computer modeling work shows that by 2100, if society wants to limit carbon dioxide in the atmosphere to less than 40 percent higher than it is today, the lowest-cost option is to use every available means of reducing emissions — including using forests to store carbon

  • Researchers show how to unlock, start a car remotely

    Two researchers at the Black Hat event in Las Vegas demonstrated they could send commands from a laptop to unlock the doors of a Subaru Outback — and then start the car; they said that in addition to vehicles, many other GPS-tracking devices, 3G security cameras, urban traffic control systems, SCADA sensors, and home controls and systems are also telephony-enabled and, as a result, susceptible to attack

  • Dow fined $2.5 million for violations at Michigan chem plant

    Due to environmental and safety violations at its chemical plant in Midland, Michigan, Dow Chemical will have to pay $2.5 million in fines; federal inspectors found that the chemical plant violated air, water, and waste regulations between 2005 and 2007

  • Napolitano addresses Public Private Partnership conference

    DHS secretary Janet Napolitano spoke to the attendees and reiterated the private sector’s role as an important partner in strengthening the homeland security enterprise better to defend against evolving threats, including disasters

  • Thales’s Liberty LMR completes Department of Interior tests

    Thales’s Liberty LMR has passed U.S. Department of Interior tests; the radio had earlier been approved for Law Enforcement and Tiers 1, 2, and 3; the company says the Liberty LMR, a software-defined radio solution, enables interoperability across all public safety bands, linking government agencies and first responders with a single portable radio

  • Japan's disaster recovery expected to boost U.S. exports

    America’s western sea ports and industries like timber and oil are expected to see an increase in activity as Japan’s reconstruction efforts swing into full gear; the natural disaster leveled large portions of Japan and to rebuild the country will need to import record amounts of logs, timber, and plywood

  • Listening to the sound of bullets

    ShotSpotter systems relies on a system of acoustic sensors to identify the location from which a shot has been fired; the alerts are immediately conveyed to police dispatchers, 911 operators, and sometimes to officers in the field via laptops in patrol cars; the system includes a computer program which displays a comprehensive bird’s-eye view of the area, marking the location of the incident with a red dot and indicating the time and number of rounds fired

  • Disasters take toll on PartnerRe’s profits

    On Monday PartnerRe Ltd., the international reinsurer, announced that its second quarter earnings fell 35 percent as a result of the devastating natural disasters that struck around the world

  • USDA declares twenty disaster zones in California

    On Monday the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) designated twenty counties across California as natural disaster areas, qualifying residents for federal assistance; severe weather in these areas resulted in large losses to this season’s sweet cherry and wine grape crops