• Cybersecurity on the fly

    When we think of cybersecurity, we think of applying protection measures to our desktop computers such as installing antivirus programs and using passcodes and pin numbers. Just like our computers, aircraft systems are vulnerable and are not exempt from a cyber-attack. If hacked, some examples of possible cyber effects on aircraft systems can be anything from breakdowns in communication and navigation systems to the more critical systems such as collision avoidance and life support systems.

  • Training cybersecurity professionals to protect critical infrastructure

    Idaho National Laboratory and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announce the successful completion of the 100th iteration of the Industrial Control Systems Cybersecurity (301) training course; a course tailored to defending systems used across the critical infrastructure sectors. Since April 2007, over 4,000 cybersecurity professionals have participated in the advanced course.

  • Hackers could take control of missiles on U.K. subs, start a “catastrophic” nuclear war: Report

    Britain’s Trident nuclear weapons deterrent program consists of four Vanguard-class submarines, each carrying up to sixteen Trident II D5 ballistic missiles with a nuclear warhead. Hackers could take control of nuclear weapons-carrying Vanguard-class submarines and start a “catastrophic” nuclear war, a new report warns. The 38-page report warns a security breach could “neutralize operations, lead to loss of life, defeat or perhaps even the catastrophic exchange of nuclear warheads (directly or indirectly).” Des Browne, former U.K. Defense Secretary, said: “To imagine that critical digital systems at the heart of nuclear weapon systems are somehow immune or can be confidently protected by dedicated teams of network managers is to be irresponsibly complacent.”

  • World heading toward “permanent cyber war”: France’s cyber chief

    The world is heading towards a “permanent war” in cyberspace, Guillaume Poupard, director general of the National Cybersecurity Agency of France (ANSSI), has warned. Poupard said cyberattacks of growing frequency and intensity were coming from states which he did not name, as well as criminal and extremist groups. “We must work collectively, not just with two or three Western countries, but on a global scale,” he added, saying attacks could aim at espionage, fraud, sabotage, or destruction.

  • Cybercrime to cost global business more than $8 trillion in the next five years

    A new report by Juniper Research has found that criminal data breaches will cost businesses a total of $8 trillion over the next five years, due to higher levels of internet connectivity and inadequate enterprise wide security. The new research forecasts that the number of personal data records stolen by cybercriminals will reach 2.8 billion in 2017, almost doubling to five billion in 2020, despite new and innovative cybersecurity solutions emerging.

  • Putin: “Patriotic,” “private” Russian hackers may have interfered in 2016 U.S. election

    In a surprising shift, President Vladimir Putin for the first time admitted publicly that Russian hackers may have meddled in the 2016 U.S. elections. He said, however, that the hackers were not Russian government employees but rather “patriotically minded” private Russians. The U.S. intelligence community, and Western intelligence services more generally, have collected voluminous, and incontrovertible, evidence, based on both signal and human intelligence, that hackers and disinformation specialists working for the GRU and the FSB – Russia’s military and domestic intelligence services, respectively – have launched a broad disinformation and hacking campaign last year in order to influence the 2016 presidential election. The Russian leader seemed aware of the possibility that more information about the Russian government’ role in the hacking and disinformation campaign may be revealed, and was trying to get ahead of such disclosures by saying that digital technology can be manipulated.

  • Bug-bounty program to strengthen DHS cyber defenses

    Congress is considering a bill would establish a bug bounty pilot program – modeled off of similar programs at the Department of Defense and major tech companies – in order to strengthen cyber defenses at DHS by utilizing “white-hat” or ethical hackers to help identify unique and undiscovered vulnerabilities in the DHS networks and data systems.

  • Bolstering the security of inter-domain routing

    Since the creation of the internet, the Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) has been the default routing protocol to route traffic among organizations (Internet Service Providers [ISPs] and Autonomous Systems [ASes])). While the BGP protocol performs adequately in identifying viable paths that reflect local routing policies and preferences to destinations, the lack of built-in security allows the protocol to be exploited. To improve the security of inter-domain routing traffic exchange, NIST has begun development of a Special Publication (SP 800-189 – in preparation) that provides security recommendations for the use of Inter-domain protocols and routing technologies.

  • Judy malware may be the largest malware campaign found on Google Play: Check Point

    Check Point researchers last week discovered a widespread malware campaign on Google Play, Google’s official app store. Check Point says that the malware, dubbed “Judy,” is an auto-clicking adware which was found on forty-one apps developed by a Korean company. The malicious apps reached an astonishing spread between 4.5 million and 18.5 million downloads.

  • Using Bitcoin to prevent identity theft

    A reaction to the 2008 financial crisis, Bitcoin is a digital-currency scheme designed to wrest control of the monetary system from central banks. With Bitcoin, anyone can mint money, provided he or she can complete a complex computation quickly enough. Through a set of clever protocols, that computational hurdle prevents the system from being coopted by malicious hackers. Researchers from MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory presented a new system that uses Bitcoin’s security machinery to defend against online identity theft. The system piggybacks on the digital currency’s security protocols to thwart hijacked servers.

  • Florida GOP operative asked for – and received -- Russian hackers’ help in congressional race

    The Wall Street Journal reports today that the Russian government hackers’ effort to upend the 2016 presidential election was not limited to stealing Democratic National Committee (DNC) and Clinton campaign emails and memos and then using Wikileaks to publish them in order to embarrass and weaken Hillary Clinton. Aaron Nevins, a Republican operative in Florida, now admits that he colluded with Russian government hackers in order to help the candidate he supported win a congressional race. When the Journal asked Nevins whether it was right to collaborate with the Russian government to undermine a congressional race in the United States, he responded: “If your interests align,” he said, “never shut any doors in politics.”

  • Network traffic offers early indication of malware infection

    By analyzing network traffic going to suspicious domains, security administrators could detect malware infections weeks or even months before they’re able to capture a sample of the invading malware, a new study suggests. The findings point toward the need for new malware-independent detection strategies that will give network defenders the ability to identify network security breaches in a more timely manner.

  • Combination of features creates new android vulnerability

    A new vulnerability affecting Android mobile devices results not from a traditional bug, but from the malicious combination of two legitimate permissions that power desirable and commonly-used features in popular apps. The combination could result in a new class of attacks, which has been dubbed “Cloak and Dagger.”

  • Russia may have rigged Brexit vote – and U.K.’s 8 June general election could be next: Experts

    A report handed to the British Parliament’s Intelligence and Security Select Committee suggests that Russian secret funds and disinformation campaign may have swayed the EU referendum vote in favor of Brexit. Ahead of the 8 June parliamentary election, GCHQ [Government Communications Headquarters – the U.K. equivalent of the U.S. NSA] has warned leaders of Britain’s political parties of the threat Russian government hacking was posing to British democracy – while Russian interference with Brexit is also on the radar of the Electoral Commission, which is worried about the transparency of money donated to political parties and campaigns.

  • New funding enables work on Internet policy and cybersecurity for key infrastructure

    MIT’s cross-disciplinary Internet Policy Research Initiative (IPRI) announced that it has awarded $1.5 million to a select group of principal investigators for early-stage Internet policy and cybersecurity research projects. “Understanding the nuance of cybersecurity risk in our critical infrastructure will help policymakers assure that the proper incentives are in place to reduce the threat of catastrophic attacks,” says IPRI founding director Daniel Weitzner.