• Russian ships scouting key communication cables

    Russia has not only attacked the infrastructure of American democracy, but has also engaged in what the U.S. government describes as a pervasive, wide-ranging cyber-assault on U.S. energy grid and other key components of the U.S. critical infrastructure. These attacks included leaving “sleeper” malware in key infrastructure nodes, which would allow Russia – remotely, and at the time of its choosing — to turn off power stations, open dam gates, shutdown water treatment facilities, and more. Western intelligence services have spotted Russian ships lurking around critical underwater communications cables, causing concern the Kremlin is doing reconnaissance in preparation for possible future retaliatory action.

  • Georgia passes anti-cyber whistleblower bill

    Despite the vigorous objections of the cybersecurity community, the Georgia legislature has passed a bill which would open independent researchers who identify vulnerabilities in computer systems to prosecution and up to a year in jail. Critics of the bill say that Georgia has positioned itself as a hub for cybersecurity research, but the bill would make cybersecurity firms think twice about relocating to Georgia.

  • Czechs extradite alleged Russian hacker Nikulin to U.S.

    The Czech Justice Ministry has announced that an alleged Russian hacker wanted by both Washington and Moscow has been extradited to the United States. Yevgeny Nikulin is accused of hacking big Internet companies including LinkedIn and Dropbox in 2012 and 2013. The FBI links him to the hacking of the Democratic Party’s servers during the 2016 U.S. presidential election campaign.

  • U.K.'s best cyber defenders compete for chance to take on the U.S. cyber best

    Inter-ACE, now in its third year, was established to help resolve the vast and growing cyber security skills gap, with an estimated shortfall of 1.8 million workers worldwide by 2022. More than 130 students representing eighteen of the U.K.’s top cybersecurity universities battled it out at the Inter-ACE 2018 cybersecurity challenge, hosted by the University of Cambridge. The competition, supported by GCHQ’s National Cyber Security Center, and designed to attract the next generation of cybersecurity talent.

  • Busting Russia’s fake news the European Union way

    The U.S. has been rocked over the last two years by claims that the Russian government directly attempted to meddle in the 2016 presidential election. Such efforts may be relatively new in the U.S. But they are part of a much larger global push by the Kremlin to affect politics across the European Union and exploit citizens through the internet. I study computer hacking, malware and the role of the internet in fraud and deception by various actors. And I believe that the Europeans have something to teach the United States about how to protect citizens subject to Russian internet propaganda.

  • Modeling cyber insurance could protect the power grid

    The failure of even parts of the U.S. power grid could cause rolling blackouts that paralyze health care, traffic and business systems. With the advent of “smart” infrastructures that send data to the internet, cybersecurity is becoming a prime concern of public officials. Researchers are aiming to help utility companies prepare for that risk by making it easier for insurance companies to cover it.

  • Privacy of Americans not protected in omnibus spending bill

    The CLOUD Act, inserted at the very end of the 2,232-page omnibus spending bill, will make substantial amendments to the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA). It grants U.S. law enforcement entities new powers to compel U.S. companies to disclose communications and data on U.S. and foreign users that is stored overseas. It also empowers foreign governments to demand the stored and real-time data and communications of users outside the U.S.

  • Cybersecurity Lab welcomes first female hacker-in-residence

    NYU Tandon’s Offensive Security, Incident Response and Internet Security Laboratory, aka the OSIRIS Lab, recently welcomed a new hacker-in-residence: Sophia d’Antoine, a Senior Security Researcher at Trail of Bits. As a hacker-in-residence at the student-run cybersecurity research lab, d’Antoine will be imparting her own expertise to the student members hoping to learn practical approaches to combating hackers who exploit real systems.

  • Why junk news spreads so quickly across social media

    Why and how has the rise of social media contributed to the spread of what we at the Oxford University’s Computational Propaganda Project call “junk news” — the tabloidization, false content, conspiracy theories, political propaganda we have become all too familiar with? Three reasons: Algorithms, advertising. and exposure in public life.

  • Leaky apps exacerbate Facebook’s privacy risks

    A bug in Facebook’s advertising platform made it possible for potential hackers to uncover users’ phone numbers, according to new research. The Facebook advertising system is incredibly effective at targeting specific audiences, which is what has made the company so lucrative, says a researcher. But because anyone can become an advertiser, and there is very little transparency in what ads are being placed, the platform “could be used for nefarious purposes,” he added.

  • Cambridge Analytica: the data analytics industry is already in full swing

    Revelations about Cambridge Analytica have laid bare the seeming lack of control that we have over our own data. Suddenly, with all the talk of “psychographics” and voter manipulation, the power of data analytics has become the source of some concern. But the risk is that if we look at the case of Cambridge Analytica in isolation, we might prevent a much wider debate about the use and control of our data. By focusing on the reports of extreme practices, we might miss the many everyday ways that data analytics are now shaping our lives.

  • Higher education joint cyber security operations center launches

    Indiana University, Northwestern University, Purdue University, Rutgers University and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln have announced the launch and activation of OmniSOC, a specialized, sector-based cyber security operations center, or SOC, that provides trusted, rapid, actionable cyber intelligence to its members. OmniSOC protects five universities, hundreds of thousands of devices and tens of thousands of students and faculty from cyber threats.

  • Leveraging emerging brain-like computers for cracking codes

    Scientists have discovered a way to leverage emerging brain-like computer architectures for an age-old number-theoretic problem known as integer factorization. By mimicking the brain functions of mammals in computing, Army scientists are opening up a new solution space that moves away from traditional computing architectures and towards devices that are able to operate within extreme size-, weight-, and power-constrained environments.

  • U.S. not ready to fend off Russian meddling in the 2018 midterms: GOP, Dem. lawmakers

    Dan Coats, the director of national intelligence (DNI), told lawmakers two weeks ago that “the Unsaid States is under attack” by Russia. On Wednesday, the Senate Intelligence Committee held hearings about how the United States was addressing one of the components the three-pronged Russian attack: Russia’s ambitious effort to undermine and discredit American democracy by attacking the U.S. election infrastructure. Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and former DHS secretary Jeh Johnson were confronted by pointed questions from both Republicans and Democrats, questions which revealed a bipartisan consensus that the United States is not prepared to fend off Russian meddling in the 2018 midterms.

  • Senate Intel Committee: Initial election security recommendations for 2018 election cycle

    The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence will hold an open hearing today, Wednesday, 21 March 2018, on the threats to election infrastructure. The hearing will cover Russian attempted attacks on state election infrastructure in 2016, DHS and FBI efforts to improve election security, and the view from the states on their cybersecurity posture. The committee yesterday made available its initial recommendations on election security after investigating Russian attempts to target election infrastructure during the 2016 U.S. elections.