• Terrorism & social mediaJudge questions whether Facebook is doing enough to deter terrorists from using its platform

    A federal judge harshly criticized Facebook, admonishing the social media giant for not be doing enough to deter terrorists from using its platform. U.S. District Judge Nicholas Garaufis in Brooklyn, New York, also accused Kirkland & Ellis LLP, Facebook’s lawyers — who had sent a first-year associate to a hearing — of not taking seriously lawsuits which touch on important issues such as international terrorism and the murder of innocents. “I think it is outrageous, irresponsible, and insulting,” Garaufis told the attorney. The judge ordered the law firm to send a more senior lawyer to the next hearing on 28 September because he wanted to “talk to someone who talks to senior management at Facebook.”

  • Which best protects your privacy: Apps or Web sites? It depends

    To protect your privacy, should you use the app — or a Web browser? This is the question researchers ask in new research that explores how free app — and Web-based services on Android and iOS mobile devices — compare with respect to protecting users’ privacy. In particular, the researchers investigated the degree to which each platform leaks personally identifiable information. The answer? “It depends,” they say.

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  • CybersecurityNIST’s regional approach to addressing U.S. cybersecurity challenge

    NIST has awarded grants totaling nearly $1 million for five projects that are taking a community approach to addressing the U.S. shortage of skilled cybersecurity employees. The NIST-led National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE), a partnership among government, academia, and the private sector, will oversee the grants as part of its mission to support cybersecurity education, training, and workforce development.

  • CybersecurityCyber incidents’ cost not large compared with other business losses

    The cost of a typical cyber breach to an American company is much less than generally estimated, providing one possible explanation for why companies do not invest more to improve computer security, according to a new study. Researchers found that the typical cost of a breach was about $200,000 and that most cyber events cost companies less than 0.4 percent of their annual revenues. The $200,000 cost was roughly equivalent to a typical company’s annual information security budget. Given that finding, the study’s author says that businesses “lack a strong incentive to increase their investment in data security and privacy protection.”

  • Space cybersecurity Space: Cybersecurity’s final frontier

    The world is dangerously unprepared for a global disaster sparked by cyberattacks on space infrastructure. Much of the world’s infrastructure – including the economies and militaries of the world’s developed countries – is dependent on space machinery, and any disruption of that machinery would have a cascading consequences – some merely debilitating, other catastrophic. Governments around the world have invested heavily in protecting infrastructure on Earth – yet not nearly enough has been done to thwart threats from space to that infrastructure.

  • Digital divideNorth Korea has only has 28 Web sites, mistakenly leaked official data reveals

    Launching an effective cyberwar against North Korea would be difficult because the secretive country has only twenty-eight registered domains. The information about the surprisingly small number of North Korean registered domains was the result of incorrect configuration of one of North Korea’s top-level name servers. The incorrect configuration made the server reveal a list of all the domain names under the domain .kp.

  • Digital spooksMI6 to recruit hundreds more staff in response to advances in digital technology,

    MI6, the U.K.’s overseas intelligence service, is set to recruit hundreds more digital specialists over the next four years in response to the ever-growing digital threats and challenges posed by advancing digital technology. MI6 employs 2,500 people, and the agency focuses on intelligence-gathering and operations outside the United Kingdom. MI5 is in charge of security within the United Kingdom (James Bond worked for MI6). In a rare public appearance, Alex Younger, the head of MI6, said of terrorism: “regrettably, this is an enduring issue which will certainly be with us, I believe, for our professional lifetime.”

  • Grid securityThe smart grid makes it easier for hackers to turn out the lights

    The development of the smart power grid and the smart meter in our homes to accompany it brings several benefits, such as improved delivery and more efficient billing. Conversely, any digital, connected technology also represents a security risk. The smart electricity grid is more vulnerable to accidental and incidental problems with the flow of data, and to malicious manipulation for the sake of sabotage, criminal, or online military or terrorist action.

  • Cybersecurity“Great British Firewall”: U.K. plans firewall to protect industries, consumers

    The GCHQ, U.K.’s surveillance agency, said it was planning to build a British firewall to offer protection against malicious hackers. GCHQ has developed cybersecurity systems the aim of which is to protect government sites and critical infrastructure, but the agency is now ready to offer its expertise to major private companies. “It’s possible to filter unwanted content or spam. It’s possible to filter offensive content. It’s technically possible to block malicious content,” GCHQ director said. “So, the question is: why aren’t we, the cybersecurity community, using this more widely? Well, we — in the U.K.— now are.”

  • CybersecuritySetting up a decoy network to help deflect a hacker's hits

    Computer networks may never float like a butterfly, but information scientists suggest that creating nimble networks that can sense jabs from hackers could help deflect the stinging blows of those attacks. The researchers created a computer defense system that senses possible malicious probes of the network and then redirects that attack to a virtual network that offers little information about the real network.

  • PrivacyFitness trackers found to have serious security flaws

    They may look like a normal watch but are capable to do much more than just showing the time: So-called fitness trackers are collecting data on their users’ lifestyle and health status on a large scale helping them with training or losing weight. Researchers have investigated fraud opportunities with fitness trackers and detected serious security flaws.

  • EncryptionNew chip to bring highest level of encryption to mobile devices

    Random number generators are crucial to the encryption that protects our privacy and security when engaging in digital transactions such as buying products online or withdrawing cash from an ATM. For the first time, engineers have developed a fast random number generator based on a quantum mechanical process that could deliver the world’s most secure encryption keys in a package tiny enough to use in a mobile device.

  • CybersecurityWorld’s largest regional security group turns to Israel in fight against cyber terror

    The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), an umbrella body for fifty-seven European, North American, and Central Asian nations in the security field, has chosen an Israeli professor to plan and establish a new teaching and research framework concerning online terror. “Online incitement, radicalization, and recruitment have had a significant impact on the recent waves of terror around the world,” Prof. Gabi Weimann, the author of Terrorism in Cyberspace, said. “This has raised awareness of the importance of research and academic knowledge in this field.”

  • EncryptionUnbreakable encrypted messages a step closer

    Until now, unbreakable encrypted messages were transmitted via a system envisioned by American mathematician Claude Shannon, considered the “father of information theory.” Shannon combined his knowledge of algebra and electrical circuitry to come up with a binary system of transmitting messages that are secure, under three conditions: the key is random, used only once, and is at least as long as the message itself. Researchers have now moved beyond the theoretical in demonstrating that an unbreakable encrypted message can be sent with a key that is far shorter than the message — the first time that has ever been done.

  • Intelligence softwareStrengthening national security by improving intelligence software

    An intelligence analyst hunting for answers in a sea of data faces steep challenges: She must choose the right search terms, identify useful results, and organize them in a way that reveals new connections. Making that process quicker and more intuitive could yield faster answers to key national security questions. Researchers are developing intelligence software that allows analysts to interact more closely with their data.