Cybersecurity

  • U.S. financial industry pushes Congress to pass cybersecurity bill

    Three financial-industry trade groups have issued a letter to senior members of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligenceto re-energize a campaign for moving forward with cybersecurity legislation. The trade groups, representing the U.S. largest financial institutions, said their ability to prevent cyberattacks will be hindered unless Congress acts.

  • Cyberdeviance, cybercrime start and peak in the teen years

    A snapshot survey indicates that cyberdeviance and cybercrime start among teens at about age 15 and peak at about age 18. This is in line with the traditional onset and peak ages for other types of misdemeanor and criminal offenses.

  • Inkblots bolster security of online passwords

    Computer scientists have developed a new password system that incorporates inkblots to provide an extra measure of protection when, as so often occurs, lists of passwords get stolen from websites. This new type of password, dubbed a GOTCHA (Generating panOptic Turing Tests to Tell Computers and Humans Apart), could foil growing problem of automated brute force attacks, and would be suitable for protecting high-value accounts, such as bank accounts, medical records, and other sensitive information.

  • Coordinating responses to cloud, infrastructure vulnerabilities

    Cybercrime presents a significant threat to individual privacy, commerce, and national security. In order to tackle this cross-border threat properly, agents involved in managing and monitoring cyber-risk-critical assets need to be able to cooperate and co-ordinate their prevention strategies. Platforms enabling coordinated cross-border responses already work well for handling malicious activity on the traditional Internet. The advent of cloud computing, however, has created a new set of challenges for security professionals in securing the platforms that deliver the cloud.

  • National grid in mock power emergency drill today and tomorrow

    North American power companies will participate in a mock power emergency scenario today and tomorrow (13-14 November) to test their ability to respond to physical or cyberattacks that may lead to widespread power outages and long term blackouts. The exercise, known as GridEx II, is the second emergency response exercise conducted by North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) intended to task North American electric utility companies with reviewing their security and crisis response strategies.

  • Weakening cybersecurity to facilitate NSA surveillance is dangerous: experts

    In the wake of revelations about the NSA surveillance programs, an expert on surveillance and cybersecurity recommended a re-evaluation of those surveillance practices that weaken commercial products and services. These practices include weakening standards and placing “back doors” into products that are accessible to U.S. government agencies. The expert – Jon Peha, former chief technology officer of the FCC and assistant director of the White House’s Office of Science and Technology — said deliberately weakening commercial products and services may make it easier for U.S. intelligence agencies to conduct surveillance, but “this strategy also inevitably makes it easier for criminals, terrorists and foreign powers to infiltrate these systems for their own purposes.”

  • DHS struggling to respond to cybersecurity threats: IG

    A recent reportby DHS inspector general (IG) has documented the agency’s struggle to respond to cybersecurity threats and its inability to disseminate information about threats because of technical, funding, and staffing challenges.

  • Making cybersecurity a political issue

    U.S. federal agencies have reported a dramatic rise in the number of cyberattacks over the past few years, with reported cyber incidents rising from 5,503 in 2006 to 48,562 in 2012. Since cyber incidents pose such a threat to national security and infrastructure, could cybersecurity become a political campaign issue? Experts say that if politicians were to focus their attention, and their constituents’ attention, on cybersecurity, the United States could be made safer from cyberattacks before a “cyber Pearl Harbor” – or a “cyber 9/11” – occurs.

  • U.S. tech companies could go “dark” to regain trust

    With each new revelation of the scope of the American National Security Agency’s spying, perceptions of the importance of privacy are hardening around the world. There is thus a motivation for major technology companies to provide a verifiably secure means of allowing users to communicate securely without an ability for the companies to provide access to security agencies, even if requested to. Two companies, Silent Circle and Lavabit, have come together to form the Dark Mail alliance in an attempt to do exactly this.

  • IID raises $8 million to scale shared cyberintelligence offering

    Despite the growing danger posed by cybercrime, information vital to stemming the tide is fragmented across the Internet today. Pockets of data about threat activity are siloed within the repositories of individual enterprises, government organizations, vendor networks, and research institutions. IID’s ActiveTrust enables enterprises and government agencies to combat the rising frequency and sophistication of cyberattacks by sharing cyber incident data in real time. IID has raised $8 million in Series A funding from Bessemer Venture Partners (BVP), and said it will use the investment to accommodate growing demand for ActiveTrust.

  • Many Android vulnerabilities result from manufacturer modifications

    Computer security researchers have found that Android smartphone manufacturers are inadvertently incorporating new vulnerabilities into their products when they customize the phones before sale, according to a recent study. On average, the researchers found that 60 percent of the vulnerabilities found in the smartphone models they evaluated were due to such “vendor customizations.”

  • Flickr photos reflect Hurricane Sandy's impact

    A new study has discovered a striking connection between the number of pictures of Hurricane Sandy posted on Flickr and the atmospheric pressure in New Jersey as the hurricane crashed through the U.S. state in 2012.

  • Resources on disaster preparedness, resilience

    One year after Superstorm Sandy hit the eastern United States, local, state, and federal agencies as well as community groups and businesses are working to strengthen the U.S.s resilience to future disasters. A National Research Council (NRC) has issues a series of studies and reports, and has put together workshops and study groups, which should advance the national conversation on preparedness and resilience.

  • Bill bolsters DHS’s cybersecurity workforce

    A House panel recently approved HR 3107, a bill aiming to bolster DHS’s cybersecurity workforce. The House Homeland Security Committeeamended the Homeland Security Cybersecurity Boots-on-the-Ground Actto expand DHS’ outreach to candidates for IT security jobs by creating a tuition-for-work fellowship and a program to recruit military veterans and unemployed IT specialists for DHS employment.

  • Trustev closes $3 million seed funding round

    According to research by eMarketer, global e-commerce sales are expected to reach nearly $1.3 trillion in 2013, making online fraud prevention an urgent and important requirement for every merchant. Trustev addresses this requirement by using multiple dynamic data sources to independently verify a user’s identity on e-commerce sites. The company has just closed a $3 million seed funding round to finance the further development of its e-commerce security and online fraud protection technology.