• In FBI versus Apple, government strengthened tech’s hand on privacy

    The ongoing fight between Apple and the FBI over breaking into the iPhone maker’s encryption system to access a person’s data is becoming an increasingly challenging legal issue. This case is very specific, and in this narrow case, Apple and law enforcement agencies will likely find a compromise. However, this question is not going away anywhere. With the “Internet of things” touted as the next big revolution, more and more devices will capture our very personal data – including our conversations. This case could be a precedent-setting event that can reshape how our data are stored and managed in the future.

  • Hackers hold hospitals’ medical data hostage

    Hackers attacked several hospitals in Germany with ransomware – locking medical files and demanding ransom payment for releasing the encrypted data. The blackmailing of hospitals by encrypting their medical file has become a growing problem around the world. In California, for example, a Hollywood hospital earlier this month had to pay about $17,000 in the digital currency bitcoins to hackers in order to regain access to medical files.

  • More Americans support Justice Dept. than Apple in locked iPhone dispute

    As the standoff between the Department of Justice and Apple Inc. continues over an iPhone used by one of the suspects in the San Bernardino terrorist attacks, 51 percent say Apple should unlock the iPhone to assist the ongoing FBI investigation. Fewer Americans (38 percent) say Apple should not unlock the phone to ensure the security of its other users’ information; 11 percent do not offer an opinion on the question.

  • Passwords, privacy and protection: can Apple meet FBI’s demand without creating a ‘backdoor’?

    The point of encryption is to make decryption hard. However, hard does not mean impossible. The FBI could decrypt this data, with sufficient effort and computational power, and they could do this with no help from Apple. However, this route would be expensive, and would take some time. In effect, what they’re requesting of Apple is to make their job easier, cheaper and faster. Ultimately, how this matter gets resolved may depend more on the big-picture question of what privacy rights we as a society want for the data we record on our personal devices. Understanding the technical questions can inform this discussion.

  • How mobile ads leak personal data

    The personal information of millions of smartphone users is at risk due to in-app advertising that can leak potentially sensitive user information between ad networks and mobile app developers, according to a new study.

  • Detecting hidden malicious ads hidden in apps

    The danger of acquiring a computer virus or spyware used to come with the risk of visiting the dark, sketchy corners of the Internet. But now trusted and harmless smartphone apps like MyFitnessPal and Candy Crush carry their own risks. As more and more people own smartphones, the number of malicious ads hidden in apps is growing — tripling in just the past year.

  • Asia, Middle East lead rise in 2015 arms imports

    The volume of international transfers of major weapons has grown continuously since 2004 and rose by 14 percent between 2006 and 2010 and 2011–2015, according to new data. Six of the top ten largest arms importers in the 5-year period 2011–15 are in Asia and Oceania. Arms imports by states in the Middle East rose by 61 percent between 2006 and 2010 and 2011 and 2015.

  • Integrating markets to offset climate-related food insecurity

    Global market integration is key to buffering future commodity prices and food security from the negative effects of climate change on agriculture. Rising temperatures and an increase in extreme weather events will likely have adverse impacts on global crop production, leading to higher food prices and food scarcity. But global markets that have the ability to deliver food where it is needed most could help offset these consequences.

  • Sanctions boost foreign military more than they hurt economy

    The available evidence indicates that economic sanctions are not effective tools for achieving specific policy goals in foreign nations, according to new research. The researchers argue that increased military spending caused by economic sanctions counterbalances the adverse impact of the sanctions – and points to Iran as a case study in how this can happen.

  • Apple refuses to comply with court order to help FBI investigate San Bernardino terrorists

    Apple’s encryption technology has placed the company at the heart t of the privacy vs national security debate, as the company said it would defy a court order which requires to company to help investigate the San Bernardino attack by helping the FBI crack the code of an iPhone , Syed Rizwan Farook, one of terrorists, used. The U.S. government, stunned by Apple’s refusal to help in investigating a terrorist attack on U.S. soil, persuaded a court to issue on order compelling Apple to cooperate in the investigation.

  • Cybercrime’s true toll

    Cyber thieves who steal credit and debit card numbers are making millions of dollars in profits, fueling a global criminal enterprise marked by the high-profile data breaches of major companies such as Target and Home Depot. A criminologist offers one of the first scientific studies to estimate cybercrime profits, saying the findings should be a wakeup call for consumers and law enforcement officials alike.

  • Securityhunter receives $200 million Blanket Purchase Agreement (BPA) from SSA

    Baltimore, Maryland-based Securityhunter, Inc., a government security solutions integrator, has just received a $200 million Blanket Purchase Agreement (BPA) to provide security systems and support services for 1,500 Social Security Administration (SSA) locations around the country.

  • Extracting rare-earth elements from coal could soon be economical in U.S.

    The United States could soon decrease its dependence on importing valuable rare-earth elements (REEs) which are widely used in many industries, according to a team of researchers. who found a cost-effective and environmentally friendly way to extract these metals from coal byproducts.

  • Hyperion cyber security technology receives commercialization award

    The commercial licensing of a cybersecurity technology developed at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory has been recognized by the Federal Laboratory Consortium for Technology Transfer (FLC) as a good example of moving technology to the marketplace. Hyperion, which has the capability automatically to analyze executable programs and recognize behaviors that signal malicious intent and vulnerabilities, was licensed to Virginia-based R&K Cyber Solutions, LLC, in late 2014.

  • LA, Calif. file criminal charges against SoCalGas over massive methane leak

    Criminal charges were filed on Tuesday against Southern California Gas, the utility company whose blown-out natural gas well forced thousands of people in the Los Angeles area to evacuate their homes. The charges claim that the company failed to report the massive leak to the authorities, as it operating license requires.Papers filed in court yesterday claim that the company allowed the release of 80,000 metric tons of methane into the atmosphere.