• PrivacyPotential threat to speech privacy via smartphone motion sensors

    Could smartphone motion sensors be used by cybercriminals to record speech? It is a question that many academic and industry researchers are working to answer in order to ward off this kind of malicious use before it happens. Recent studies suggest security flaws and sensitivities to low-frequency audio signals, such as human speech, in accelerometers and gyroscopes could allow cybercriminals to collect confidential information such as credit card numbers and Social Security numbers as users speak into or near a mobile device.

  • CybersecurityConnected cars vulnerable to cyberthreats

    Connected cars could be as vulnerable to cyberattack as the smartphone in your hand or the personal computer on your desktop, according to a new study from the U.K.“Connected cars are no different from other nodes on the internet of things and face many of the same generic cybersecurity threats,” the team reports.

  • CyberattacksWhy some claim credit for cyberattacks – and some don’t

    The decision to claim credit for a cyberattack on a government or institution depends on both the goals of the attack and the characteristics of the attacker, according to a new study, which is one of the first to look into the voluntary claiming of cybersecurity operations. The researchers note that whether or not the originator of the cyberattack wished to claim credit for it, advances in cybersecurity improve the ability of government and law enforcement agencies to track hackers.

  • KasperskyKaspersky to halt cooperation with Europe to fight cybercrime

    Russia’s Kaspersky Lab says it will no longer cooperate on several European cybercrime-fighting initiatives after the European Parliament moved to ban its antivirus software. The United States and a number of European countries have accused Kaspersky of having ties to the Kremlin and Russian intelligence services. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security last year ordered the country’s agencies using Kaspersky products to remove and replace them with other approved software within 90 days.

  • The Russia connectionFrom Nord Stream to Novichok: Kremlin propaganda on Google’s front page

    On 24 May, an international team of investigators announced that a Russian anti-aircraft missile was directly responsible for the downing of Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 (MH17). Initial analysis of social media reactions to these announcements indicated that Kremlin outlets were struggling to effectively counter the new evidence implicating Moscow in the downing of MG17. However, over the next week, conspiracy theories and disinformation narratives from Russian propaganda outlets found a foothold on an impactful and unlikely medium: Google’s front page.

  • The Russia connectionWas there a connection between Russian Facebook propaganda and a foiled terrorist attack in Kansas City?

    On 18 April, a jury convicted three Kansas men of conspiring to use “weapons of mass destruction” against an apartment complex where many of the residents were Somali refugees. They were arrested before they were able to carry out their bomb plot in 2016. All three were known to be very active on Facebook, where they called themselves “Crusaders.” Experts wonder whether the divisive and polarizing ads which Russian disinformation specialists ran on Facebook during 2016 motivated the three to plan the attack.

  • CybersecurityWhy 50,000 ships are so vulnerable to cyberattacks

    By Keith Martin and Rory Hopcraft

    The 50,000 ships sailing the sea at any one time have joined an ever-expanding list of objects that can be hacked. Cybersecurity experts recently displayed how easy it was to break into a ship’s navigational equipment. This comes only a few years after researchers showed that they could fool the GPS of a superyacht into altering course. Once upon a time objects such as cars, toasters and tugboats only did what they were originally designed to do. Today the problem is that they all also talk to the internet. The maritime industry is undoubtedly behind other transportation sectors, such as aerospace, in cybersecurity terms. There also seems to be a lack of urgency to get the house in order. So the maritime industry seems particularly ill-equipped to deal with future challenges, such as the cybersecurity of fully autonomous vessels.

  • Data protectionNovel transmitter protects wireless data from hackers

    By Rob Matheson

    Today, more than eight billion devices are connected around the world, forming an “internet of things” that includes medical devices, wearables, vehicles, and smart household and city technologies. By 2020, experts estimate that number will rise to more than twenty billion devices, all uploading and sharing data online. But those devices are vulnerable to hacker attacks that locate, intercept, and overwrite the data, jamming signals and generally wreaking havoc. A novel device uses ultrafast “frequency hopping” and data encryption to protect signals from being intercepted and jammed.

  • EncryptionThe ENCRYPT Act protects encryption from U.S. state prying

    By David Ruiz

    It’s not just the DOJ and the FBI that want to compromise your right to private communications and secure devices—some state lawmakers want to weaken encryption, too. In recent years, a couple of state legislatures introduced bills to restrict or outright ban encryption on smartphones and other devices. Fortunately, several Congress members recently introduced their own bill to stop this dangerous trend before it goes any further.

  • Disasters & social mediaAs bad news stories spread on social media, they become more negative, inaccurate, and hysterical

    News stories about potential threats become more negative, inaccurate, and hysterical when passed from person to person, new research finds. Even drawing the public’s attention to balanced, neutral facts does not calm this hysteria. “The more people share information, the more negative it becomes, the further it gets from the facts, and the more resistant it becomes to correction,” says one researcher.

  • RadicalizationInternet search data shows link between anti-Muslim and pro-ISIS searches in U.S.

    In ethnically alike communities where poverty levels run high, anti-Muslim internet searches are strongly associated with pro-ISIS searches, according to a new analysis. This pattern, say the authors of a new study, suggests that counterterrorism policies targeting Muslims may do the opposite of what they intend, making these communities even more vulnerable to radicalization.

  • The Russia connectionAtlantic Council launches a website to track Russian disinformation

    The Atlantic Council yesterday launched a new webpage – DisinfoPortal.org – an interactive online guide to track the Kremlin’s disinformation campaigns abroad. The portal brings together 23 top organizations and more than 80 experts fighting Russian disinformation in the United States and Europe. “It’s time to stop ‘admiring the problem’ of Russian disinformation and start fighting back, using the tools of democratic societies to counter the autocrat’s playbook,” said Ambassador Daniel Fried of the Atlantic Council.

  • Election securitySynack launches a pro bono Secure the Election initiative

    Redwood City, California-based cybersecurity firm Synack has launched the Secure the Election initiative, a pro bono campaign to help states secure voting systems before 2018 Midterm elections. Other cybersecurity companies have been in touch with states about offering free, or reduced price, services to help secure elections.

  • The Russia connectionCold War-era KGB “active measures” and the Kremlin’s contemporary way of war

    Bob Seely, a Conservative MP for the Isle of Wight and a Russia researcher, has just published the first comprehensive definition of the nature of modern Russian warfare. The paper draws a direct comparison between Cold War-era KGB “Active Measures” and the aggression of Putin’s Russia. “From fake news aimed at Europe to the propaganda of RT, and from the occupation of Crimea to the streets of Salisbury, Russia is waging a very modern kind of conflict on the West – as well as on the Russian people themselves,” Seely said.

  • CybersecurityIncreased IT security at hospitals does not equal fewer cyberattacks, breaches

    The Verizon Data Breach report indicates the health care sector is the top target for cyberattacks. And, as hospitals do more to guard against attacks, it’s not necessarily translating into fewer data breaches, according to new research. Researchers found that the increased use of information technology security systems by hospitals did not equal fewer breaches, contrary to predictions.