• U.S. nuclear power plants bolster defenses against cyberattacks

    The threat to digital systems at the U.S. nuclear power plants is considerable — especially for new nuclear power facilities that would be built in the United States and throughout the world, as control rooms would employ digital systems to operate the plants; these state-of-the-art instruments and systems make them targets for hackers

  • Need for digital security spurs growth of cyber security field

    The growing need for digital security has made the shortage of cyber security professionals in the United States even more apparent, and the U.S. government is now engaged in a campaign to train, hire, and retain thousands of cyber professionals; the private sector is doing its share, too: Raytheon initiated the MathMovesU program in 2005, to inspire middle school students to consider math, science, and engineering education and careers; Raytheon awards more than $2 million annually in scholarships and grants to students, teachers, and schools nationwide

  • Chinese government funds research based on stolen U.S. trade secrets

    Chinese national, Kexue Huang, charged with economic espionage involving theft of trade secrets from Dow AgroSciences, a leading U.S. agricultural company; Huang published an article without Dow’s authorization through Hunan Normal University (HNU) in China, which contained Dow trade secrets; the article was based on work supported by grants from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC), an agency of the Chinese government

  • Carnegie Mellon launches robotics start-up

    Carnegie Robotics LLC will partner with Carnegie Mellon to manufacture robotic components and systems; startup to create products based on technology from CMU’s National Robotics Engineering Center

  • India gives BlackBerry reprieve, saying Google, Skype are next

    BlackBerry users in India have received a 60-day reprieve: RIM has offered the Indian government a solution to interception issue (the Indian government wants to have the ability to intercept BlackBerry communications), and the government says it will examine the offer during the next two months; the government also said that services offered by Google and Skype are next, but unlike BlackBerry, Skype and Google Talk are both encrypted end-to-end, so intercepting communications is extremely difficult

  • DARPA awards additional $11 million for video search technology

    As a result of advancements in intelligence gathering technologies (think UAVs), the U.S. military and intelligence community have been accumulating video archives over the past decade which make YouTube look puny; it is not only the number of pictures, but their quality: mere HD movies and TV are small and tightly compressed compared to the high resolution, full-motion imagery which pours in like an avalanche from every Predator or Reaper drone — and dozens of these surveillance drones are airborne above southwest Asia every minute of every day; DARPA is looking for an effective, automated video search technology

  • Rapiscan in $12 million nuclear detection contract

    DHS’s Domestic Nuclear Detection Office (DNDO) has contracted Rapiscan Systems for detection of shielded nuclear materials; the company has been tasked with developing a Liquefied Noble gas detector — in collaboration with Yale University — a threshold activation detector, a human portable system, and an aircraft inspection solution

  • U.S. Navy buys sensor system from FLIR to protect ships from terrorist attacks

    U.S. Navy ship systems designers needed electro-optical sensor systems for the Shipboard Protection System (SPS), which helps protect Navy surface vessels from terrorist attacks while moored to piers, at anchor, or during restricted maneuvering; they found their solution from Wilsonville, Oregon-based FLIR Systems

  • Wolfhound sniffs out contraband cell phones

    Wolfhound Cell Detector is a handheld, wireless sniffer specifically tuned to the RF signature of common cell phones; it helps universities, government and military installations, hospitals, law enforcement agencies, financial institutions, and prisons and correctional facilities enforce their No Wireless policies

  • 3M acquires biometric specialist Cogent for $943 million

    Cogent Systems participates in the $4 billion global biometric market, which is projected to grow at a rate greater than 20 percent per year; identification and authentication solutions from 3M include border management products; document manufacturing and issuance systems for IDs, passports, and visas; document readers and verification products; and security materials, such as laminates, to protect against counterfeiting and tampering; Cogent Systems provides finger, palm, face, and iris biometric systems for governments, law enforcement agencies, and commercial enterprises

  • Drive-by full-body scanning

    Massachusetts-based American Science & Engineering is selling van-mounted backscatter X-ray detection system to law enforcement; these vans can be driven past neighboring vehicles to see their contents

  • Iris scan biometrics ideal for Minority Report-like project

    Leon, Mexico has began implementing an iris scan biometric system from New York-based Global Rainmakers; the system, rolled out across the city, will see the eyes of anyone taking money out of an ATM, paying for items in a store, or simply catching a bus scanned by hi-tech sensors; Global Rainmaker’s CEO says the company has chosen iris scan for its project because “With iris, you have over 2,000 points— With those 2,000 points, you can create a unique 16,000 bit stream of numbers that represents every human on the planet. That provides a reference point that can connect everything you do in all aspects of life, for the first time ever”

  • Automatic heart-beat recognition authentication for iPhone users?

    To make iPhones and iPads more secure, Apple is considering implementing automatic biometric authentication technologies on the devices; the authentication procedure will lock the device and wipe all data on it in the event an unauthorized user tries to operate it; the technology may also report back to Apple in the event customers have jailbroken or unlocked the device, allowing the company to deny services to these customers

  • Biometrics replaces traditional means of identification

    Access cards, PINs, and passwords, designed to protect end-users, are not only ineffective against modern day threats, but often end up being used to perpetrate crime; card-based systems will only control the access of authorized pieces of plastic, but not who is in possession of the card; one of the benefits of a biometric technology is that only authorized people — not merely their credentials — are granted access to, for example, a building, a specific part of a building or even a computer or an account

  • Police robot seeks out the bad guys

    Police units in California use DHS grants to buy a robot to go into dangerous places to look for bad guys; the $12,000, 25-pound robot is waterproof, equipped with a 360-degree camera and tracks for movement; it climbs stairs, runs on grass and gravel, and can right itself if it flips over