• Machine-learning-based solution to help combat phishing

    When it comes to hacking, phishing is one of the oldest tricks in the book. According to IBM security research, some 30 percent of phishing e-mails are opened by targeted recipients. Additionally, the attacks are becoming more advanced and harder to detect at first glance. A new machine-learning-based security solution could help businesses detect phishing sites up to 250 percent faster than other methods.

  • Cyber attacks ten years on: from disruption to disinformation

    Today – 27 April — marks the tenth anniversary of the world’s first major coordinated “cyberattack” on a nation’s internet infrastructure: Russian government hackers attacked the computer systems of the government of Estonia in retaliation for what Russia considered to be an insult to the sacrifices of the Red Army during the Second World War. This little-known event set the scene for the onrush of cyber espionage, fake news, and information wars we know today. A cybersecurity expert recently told the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence that to understand current Russian active measures and influence campaigns — that is, to understand cyber operations in the twenty-first century – we must first understand intelligence operations in the twentieth century. Understanding the history of cyber operations will be critical for developing strategies to combat them. Narrowly applying models from military history and tactics will offer only specific gains in an emerging ecosystem of “information age strategies.” If nations wish to defend themselves, they will need to understand culture as much as coding.

  • Empowering ISIS opponents on Twitter

    A new RAND report draws on earlier RAND research on how to leverage social-media influencers and tailor messages to design a data-driven, actionable strategy to counter ISIS on Twitter. While social media is still relatively new, many of the best practices for using it are based on well-understood marketing approaches – and countering ISIS on social media should be informed by these best practices.

  • Cybersecurity 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.

  • Malware 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.

  • Internet 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.

  • 2017 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.

  • Big 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.

  • Facebook 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.

  • Phone'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.

  • Stopping 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.

  • Partial 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.

  • Stealing 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.

  • Hack-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.

  • Hackers 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.”