• Twitter users likely to spread falsehoods during disasters

    We know that Twitter is littered with misinformation. But how good are the social media platform’s most active users at detecting these falsehoods, especially during public emergencies? Not good, according to researchers who examined more than 20,000 tweets during Hurricane Sandy and the Boston Marathon bombing.

  • Russia conducted "unprecedented, coordinated" attacks on U.S. voting systems in 2016: Senate Intelligence Committee

    Hackers affiliated with the Russian government conducted an “unprecedented, coordinated” campaign against the U.S. voting system, including successfully penetrating a few voter-registration databases in 2016, the Senate Intelligence Committee has concluded. The cyberattacks targeted at least eighteen states, and possibly three more. “Russian actors scanned databases for vulnerabilities, attempted intrusions, and in a small number of cases successfully penetrated a voter registration database,” the committee said in an interim report releaed Tuesday.

  • Georgia governor vetoes controversial computer crime bill

    Georgia Governor Nathan Deal, recognizing the concerns of Georgia’s cybersecurity sector, has vetoed a bill which would have threatened independent research and empowered dangerous “hack back” measures. The bill could have given prosecutors the discretion to target independent security researchers who uncover security vulnerabilities, even when they have no criminal motives and intend to disclose the problems ethically.

  • Cryptojacking spreads across the web

    Right now, your computer might be using its memory and processor power – and your electricity – to generate money for someone else, without you ever knowing. It’s called “cryptojacking,” and it is an offshoot of the rising popularity of cryptocurrencies like bitcoin.

  • Hysteria over Jade Helm exercise in Texas was fueled by Russians, former CIA director says

    Gov. Greg Abbott’s decision in 2015 to ask the Texas State Guard to monitor a federal military exercise prompted significant criticism. A former CIA director said Wednesday that the move emboldened Russians to next target elections.

  • Keeping Big Data safe

    NIST has announced the Unlinkable Data Challenge, created to help the public safety community conduct research using data gathered with personal digital devices and taken from large databases such as driver’s license and health care records. Much of this data includes personal information that can be used to identify its source. Exposing this data risks those individuals’ privacy, but the inability to share it impedes research in many fields, including thwarting crime, fighting fires and slowing the spread of epidemics.

  • Bring in the nerds: EFF introduces actual encryption experts to U.S. Senate staff

    Policymakers hear frequently from the FBI and the Department of Justice about the dangers of encryption and the so-called Going Dark problem, but they very rarely hear from actual engineers, cryptographers, and computer scientists. Last week in the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center, the Electronic Frontier Fundation (EFF) convened a closed-door briefing for Senate staff about the realities of device encryption.

  • The Syria swarm: How pro-Kremlin accounts influence Western public opinion

    As the United States, Britain, and France launched targeted airstrikes against suspected chemical weapons sites in Syria on 13 April, U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis predicted that there would be “a significant disinformation campaign over the coming days by those who have aligned themselves with the Assad regime.” Mattis was right.

  • Critical industrial software flaws left U.S. infrastructure vulnerable to hackers

    Tenable Research, a Maryland-based cybersecurity firm, has discovered vulnerabilities in two applications widely used by manufacturers and power plant operators. These vulnerabilitiers may have given hackers a foothold in U.S. critical infrastructureg.

  • Fake news, the First Amendment, and failure in the marketplace of ideas

    The rise of social media and fake news challenge long-held assumptions about the First Amendment and are undermining the functioning of the “the marketplace of ideas,” a Duke professor argues. “There are a number of very specific ways in which the structure and operation of today’s digital media ecosystem favors falsity over truth; and this shifting balance raises some troubling implications for how we think about the First Amendment,” he says.

  • The rise of online disinformation

    Last week the European Commission took steps to tackle the spread and impact of online disinformation in Europe and ensure the protection of European values and democracies. A new study by the Joint Research Center (JRC) of the European Commission, which examined the digital transformation of news media and the rise of disinformation. Among other things, the study finds that true news audiences dwarf false news audiences, though fake news travels faster and further on social media sites, also across echo chambers, and may capture consumer attention longer than true news.

  • EU supports Africa single digital market

    The EU said it was committed to helping Africa build a single digital market so the continent could enjoy the transformative power of e-commerce, as is the case in like Europe. The EU said that assuring affordable broadband connectivity, improving digital literacy and skills, promoting digital entrepreneurship, and using digitalization would be an enabler of sustainable development by deploying e-government, e-commerce, e-health, e-education, and e-agriculture in Africa.

  • Hackers steal bitcoin from air-gapped wallets

    Researchers have found a way to exfiltrate bitcoin wallets even when they that are airgapped—meaning they aren’t connected to the internet or to any other devices. The research is significant because it shows that even when devices are not connected to the internet, attackers may still successfully steal the information.

  • DHS S&T awards first Phase 4 award for IOT security

    Atlanta-based Ionic Security is the first company to successfully complete prototype testing and move to the pilot deployment phase as part of DHS S&T’s Silicon Valley Innovation Program (SVIP). SVIP offers up to $800,000 in non-dilutive funding to eligible companies.

  • Russian bots did “influence the General Election by promoting Jeremy Corbyn”: Study

    An examination by Swansea University and the Sunday Times found that Russian government bots distributed thousands of fake posts on social media in the run-up to Britain’s election last June, aiming to help Labor Party leader Jeremy Corbyn win the election. He did not win, but still achieved unexpectedly good results for the Labor Party – results which defied predictions — in the process weakening Prime Minister Theresa May. The methodology of the Russian government’s pro-Corbyn social media campaign was similar to the Kremlin’s broad disinformation campaign to help Donald Trump win the 2016 U.S. presidential election.