• U.S. hate groups hit record number last year amid increased violence

    American hate groups had a bumper year in 2018 as a surge in black and white nationalist groups lifted their number to a new record high, the Southern Poverty Law Center said in a report issued Wednesday. The increase was driven by growth in both black and white nationalist groups, the SPLC said. The number of white nationalist groups jumped from 100 to 148, while the number of black nationalist groups — typically anti-Semitic, anti-LGBTQ and anti-white — rose from 233 to 264. Some conservative groups have accused the SPLC of unfairly labeling them as “hate groups,” and last month, the Center for Immigration Studies sued the SPLC for “falsely designating” it as a hate group in 2016, saying the SPLC has produced no evidence that the group maligns immigrants as a class.

  • Top password managers have fundamental flaws

    Top password managers have fundamental flaws that expose user credentials in computer memory while locked, according to new research. Sixty Million users and 93,000 businesses worldwide rely on 1Password, Dashlane, KeePass, and LastPass to protect data.

  • Expanding cybersecurity education to fill job market shortfall

    Experts say that the U.S. cyber workforce shortfall is growing. By the 2022, the shortage of cybersecurity professionals is predicted to be 1.8 million. Colleges and universities expand their cybersecurity education offerings.

  • Putting data privacy in the hands of users

    In today’s world of cloud computing, users of mobile apps and web services store personal data on remote data center servers. Services often aggregate multiple users’ data across servers to gain insights on, say, consumer shopping patterns to help recommend new items to specific users, or may share data with advertisers. Traditionally, however, users haven’t had the power to restrict how their data are processed and shared. New platform acts as a gatekeeper to ensure web services adhere to a user’s custom data restrictions.

  • Next-generation grid security tech

    Researchers will demonstrate the effectiveness of metro-scale quantum key distribution (QKD) as a means of secure communication for the nation’s electricity suppliers. This initial milestone is part of the team’s three-year project focused on next-generation grid security.

  • Don’t be fooled by fake images and videos online

    Advances in artificial intelligence have made it easier to create compelling and sophisticated fake images, videos and audio recordings. Meanwhile, misinformation proliferates on social media, and a polarized public may have become accustomed to being fed news that conforms to their worldview. All contribute to a climate in which it is increasingly more difficult to believe what you see and hear online. There are some things that you can do to protect yourself from falling for a hoax. As the author of the upcoming book Fake Photos, to be published in August, I’d like to offer a few tips to protect yourself from falling for a hoax.

  • Are Russian trolls saving measles from extinction?

    Scientific researchers say Russian social-media trolls who spread discord before the 2016 U.S. presidential election may also contributed to the 2018 outbreak of measles in Europe that killed 72 people and infected more than 82,000 — mostly in Eastern and Southeastern European countries known to have been targeted by Russia-based disinformation campaigns. Experts in the United States and Europe are now working on ways to gauge the impact that Russian troll and bot campaigns have had on the spread of the disease by distributing medical misinformation and raising public doubts about vaccinations.

  • How far should organizations be able to go to defend against cyberattacks?

    Organizations can and should be encouraged to take passive defense measures, like gathering intelligence on potential attackers and reporting intrusions. But in my view they should be discouraged – if not prevented – from acting aggressively, because of the risk of destabilizing corporate and international relations. If the quest for cyber peace degenerates into a tit-for-tat battle of digital vigilantism, global insecurity will be greater, not less.

  • Developing a system to identify, patch software security holes

    DARPA is funding research of security vulnerabilities in web software. A new system called GAMEPLAY (for Graph Analysis for Mechanized Exploit-generation and vulnerability Patching Leveraging human Assistance for improved Yield) will spot security weaknesses in the millions – sometimes billions – of lines of code that run websites including banking and online shopping which are attractive to hackers.

  • Russia is attacking the U.S. system from within

    A new court filing submitted last Wednesday by Special Counsel Robert Mueller shows that a Russian troll farm currently locked in a legal battle over its alleged interference in the 2016 election appeared to wage yet another disinformation campaign late last year—this time targeting Mueller himself. Concord Management and Consulting is accused of funding the troll farm, known as the Internet Research Agency. But someone connected to Concord allegedly manipulated the documents and leaked them to reporters, hoping the documents would make people think that Mueller’s evidence against the troll farm and its owners was flimsy. Natasha Bertrand writes that “The tactic didn’t seem to convince anyone, but it appeared to mark yet another example of Russia exploiting the U.S. justice system to undercut its rivals abroad.”

  • Fake news detector algorithm works better than human screeners

    An algorithm-based system that identifies telltale linguistic cues in fake news stories could provide news aggregator and social media sites like Google News with a new weapon in the fight against misinformation. The researchers who developed the system have demonstrated that it’s comparable to and sometimes better than humans at correctly identifying fake news stories.

  • Peering under the hood of fake-news detectors

    New work from MIT researchers peers under the hood of an automated fake-news detection system, revealing how machine-learning models catch subtle but consistent differences in the language of factual and false stories. The research also underscores how fake-news detectors should undergo more rigorous testing to be effective for real-world applications.

  • Quantifying how much quantum information can be eavesdropped

    The most basic type of quantum information processing is quantum entanglement. In a new study, researchers have provided a much finer characterization of the distributions of entanglement in multi-qubit systems than previously available. These findings can be used in quantum cryptography to estimate the quantity of information an eavesdropper can capture regarding the secret encryption key.

  • Better safeguards for sensitive information

    Despite being the most advanced quantum technology, secure encryption of information units based on a method called quantum key distribution (QKD) is currently limited by the channel’s capacity to send or share secret bits. Researchers show how to better approach the secret key capacity by improving the channel’s lower boundary.

  • Artificial Intelligence to make life harder for hackers

    As the volume of digital information in corporate networks continues to grow, so grows the number of cyberattacks, and their cost. One cybersecurity vendor, Juniper Networks, estimates that the cost of data breaches worldwide will reach $2.1 trillion in 2019, roughly four times the cost of breaches in 2015. Now, computer scientists have developed a tool that could make it harder for hackers to find their way into networks where they don’t belong.