• CybersecurityCybersecurity firm trains students for high-tech heroics

    With newscasts regularly portraying a menacing picture of cybercrime, Indiana State University Professor Bill Mackey — and the students he teaches — is almost guaranteed job security. Perhaps the biggest news story this spring involves the Russians, the Democratic National Committee and, possibly, the Trump White House. It also involves exactly the focus of Mackey and his cyber security company, Alloy. Preventing the human missteps is exactly what Mackey’s enterprise does that’s different from almost everyone else: They marry the technological part (the computer-code breaking) with the human element for a mixture of tech and cybercriminology.

  • CybersecurityMalware behavior detection technology commercialized

    Virginia-based Lenvio Inc. has exclusively licensed a cybersecurity technology from the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory – a technology that can quickly detect malicious behavior in software not previously identified as a threat. The platform, known as Hyperion, uses sophisticated algorithms to seek out both legitimate and malicious software behavior, identify malware such as viruses or executable files undetected by standard methods, and ultimately help reduce the risk of cyberattacks.

  • CybersecurityInternet Atlas maps the physical elements of the internet to enhance security

    Despite the internet-dependent nature of our world, a thorough understanding of the internet’s physical makeup has only recently emerged. Researchers have developed Internet Atlas, the first detailed map of the internet’s structure worldwide. Though the physical elements of the internet may be out of sight for the average user, they are crucial pieces of the physical infrastructure that billions of people rely on.

  • Cybersecurity2017 Cyber Defense Competition tests infrastructure vulnerability

    More than 100 college and high school students from nine states honed their cyber defense skills against experts at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory during Argonne’s second annual Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition. In the competition, fifteen college teams defended mock electrical and water utilities from the repeated cyberattacks of a team of experts from Argonne, the Illinois and Wisconsin National Guard, and the technology industry.

  • Disasters & social mediaBig data study of disaster-related social media language helps first responders

    Researchers explore how the properties of language style used in social media — particularly on Twitter — can help first responders quickly identify areas of need during a disaster. The researchers analyzed several hundred thousand tweets from social media users located in and around the areas where Hurricane Sandy, the Oklahoma tornadoes, and the Boston Marathon bombing occurred.

  • The Russian connectionFacebook targets 30,000 fake-news accounts ahead of French election

    Facebook was the subject of harsh criticism for allowing itself to be used by two Russian intelligence services – the GRU and the FSB – in their broad campaign of fake news in the summer and fall 2016, undertaken to help Donald Trump win the November election. The company has taken action to prevent Russia and other actors from engaging in a similar campaign in France, where the first round of the presidential election is to be held on Sunday, 23 April. Facebook said it has targeted 30,000 fake accounts linked to France as part of a global effort against misinformation.

  • HackingPhone's power use offers hackers an opening

    Experts have long known the risks associated with charging a smartphone using a USB cord that can also transfer data, but new research shows that even without data wires, hackers using a “side channel” can quickly find out what websites a user has visited while charging a device. Researchers warn that “a malicious charging station” can use seemingly unrelated data—in this case, a device’s power consumption—to extract sensitive information.

  • HackingStopping TDoS attacks

    Imagine if your call to 911, your financial institution, a hospital, or even your child’s school doesn’t get through. In the past few years, 911 emergency call centers, financial services companies and a host of other critical service providers and essential organizations have been victims of telephony denial of service (TDoS) attacks. These attacks are a type of denial of service (DoS) attack in which a voice service is flooded with so many malicious calls valid callers can’t get through. DHS S&T is working to make sure TDoS attacks cannot disrupt critical phone systems.

  • Biometric securityPartial fingerprints sufficient to trick biometric security systems on smartphones

    No two people are believed to have identical fingerprints, but researchers have found that partial similarities between prints are common enough that the fingerprint-based security systems used in mobile phones and other electronic devices can be more vulnerable than previously thought.

  • PIN stealingStealing your PIN by tracking the motion of your phone

    Cyber experts have revealed the ease with which malicious websites, as well as installed apps, can spy on us using just the information from the motion sensors in our mobile phones. Analyzing the movement of the device as we type in information, they have shown it is possible to crack four-digit PINs with a 70 percent accuracy on the first guess — 100 percent by the fifth guess — using just the data collected via the phone’s numerous internal sensors.

  • CybersecurityHack-resistant hardware

    Military and civilian technological systems, from fighter aircraft to networked household appliances, are becoming ever more dependent upon software systems inherently vulnerable to electronic intruders. DARPA has advanced a number of technologies to make software more secure. But what if hardware could be recruited to do a bigger share of that work? That’s the question DARPA’s new System Security Integrated Through Hardware and Firmware (SSITH) program aims to answer.

  • HackingHackers activate Dallas’s emergency sirens system

    Near midnight on Friday night the residents of Dallas, Texas were startled when, simultaneously, 156 emergency sirens sounded the unmistakable warning alarm. Dallas officials soon discovered the reason: The city’s alarms system had been hacked. Dallas’s mayor Mike Rawlings said: “This is yet another serious example of the need for us to upgrade and better safeguard our city’s technology infrastructure.”

  • Critical infrastructureUrgent action needed to bolster cybersecurity for critical infrastructure

    There has never been a more crucial time to examine cybersecurity for critical infrastructure, most of which is privately owned. According to MIT experts, over the last twenty-five years, presidents from both parties have paid lip service to the topic while doing little about it, leading to a series of short-term fixes they liken to a losing game of “Whac-a-Mole.” This scattershot approach, they say, endangers national security. A new report warns of hacking risk to electric grid, oil pipelines, and other critical infrastructure. “The nation will require a coordinated, multi-year effort to address deep strategic weaknesses in the architecture of critical systems, in how those systems are operated, and in the devices that connect to them,” the authors write. “But we must begin now. Our goal is action, both immediate and long-term.”

  • PrivacyDriver privacy can be compromised in Usage-Based Insurance (UBI) systems

    Researchers have demonstrated that it is possible to compromise a driver’s private information stored in the cloud for Usage-Based Insurance (UBI) programs, based on only part of the data collected. UBI programs determine a consumer or fleet insurance premium rate based on several driving parameters that are collected, including total driving time, cornering and average speed. As part of the burgeoning Internet of Things (IoT) connected-device functionality in vehicles, driver data is gradually being stored in the cloud, rather than onboard a vehicle’s computer.

  • Campaign meddlingOnline campaigning poses a risk to democracy: Experts

    A working group set up by the London School of Economics said that there is a need for an in-depth, independent, research driven, evidence-based review of the role of social media in political campaigning. “There is a real danger that public trust in the democratic process will be lost. There is real potential for foreign influence. We have now the ability to manipulate public opinion on a level we have never seen before. And the current framework is weak and helpless,” said the lead author of an LSE policy brief.