• Deterring cyberwar, police gear and the law, guarding the guardians

    Gen. James Cartwright, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, described the current U.S. cyberdefense policy as “too predictable”; he added that “[the current policy is] purely defensive. There is no penalty for attacking us now. We have to figure out a way to change that”; he said the new U.S. cyberdefense policy is the first step toward correcting current deficiencies; a Massachusetts company is selling local police forces a new iPhone app that scans a suspect’s iris and matches it to a national database of felons; there are questions about whether or not this app — which costs $3,000 — violates the Constitutional prohibition of unreasonable searches; the former mayor, the police chief, and member of the city council of a New Mexico border town have been charged with smuggling guns to the Mexican cartels; some of these guns have been linked to at least eight murders in Mexico

  • Combating counterfeit microchips // by Dr. James Hayward, Ph.D, Sc.D.

    Dr. James Hayward, the chairman, president, and CEO of Applied DNA Sciences, argues that the U.S. government needs to do more to prevent corrupted microchips from entering U.S. computers that make it easier for hackers and foreign governments to infiltrate networks

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  • Malware imported into U.S. on foreign-made components

    A high level DHS official acknowledged that malware built into imported electronic components sold in the United States poses a serious threat to U.S. economy and security; he also said it was a complex threat which the federal government has been trying to address in different ways; Greg Schaffer, acting deputy undersecretary for the National Protection and Programs Directorate at DHS, said the threat is “one of the most complicated and difficult challenges we have”

  • AntiSec hacks IRC Federal, posts passwords online

    Last Friday, AntiSec, a prominent hacking group, announced that it had successfully infiltrated the servers of IRC Federal; the company has contracts with several major government agencies including the Department of Justice, the Army, Navy, and NASA; in an announcement on their website, AntiSec wrote, “We laid nuclear waste to their systems, owning their pathetic Windows box, dropping their databases and private emails, and defaced their professional looking website”

  • Creating genetic replacement for oil

    Scientists previously established that oil and coal have their roots in the organisms that lived on the planet over 500 million years ago, but researchers only are sure of one organism that directly contributed to these natural resources — that organism is the algae Botryococcus braunii; this algae is very slow growing, so it is not necessarily a good source for biofuels; scientists offer an alternative

  • Critical vulnerability found in Apple iPhones and iPads

    Apple is scrambling to develop a fix for a software vulnerability that leaves its iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch devices susceptible to hackers; according to Germany’s Federal Office for Information Security, which discovered the critical software vulnerability, hackers can steal confidential data from the devices without the user even suspecting it by exploiting a flaw in the program that allows users to “jail-break” their devices and run non-Apple software

  • Foreign made chips could be allowing hackers into U.S. networks

    Foreign-made computer parts could be manufactured with flaws or viruses that make it easier for hackers to later infiltrate U.S. computer networks; last week before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, Greg Schaffer, DHS’s acting deputy undersecretary national protection and programs director, admitted that some foreign chips are being made with security vulnerabilities

  • Top hackers to teach children at DEFCON Kids

    At an upcoming gathering of some of the world’s most talented hackers, children will have the opportunity to learn hacking skills from the best;DEFCON, the infamous annual gathering of hackers, will hold DEFCON Kids for the first time; the decision to teach children hacking skills is controversial and is even drawing criticism from members within the DEFCON community

  • Apple latest victim of Anonymous cyberattacks

    Apple appears to be the latest victim of the mysterious group of international hackers known as Anonymous; the data breach appears to be relatively minor as the hackers only infiltrated a survey used to process technical support follow-up surveys and obtained twenty-seven internal Apple user names and passwords

  • Better than SecurID?

    The man who invented the two-factor authentication SecurID token has just unveiled a more secure authentication system using voice biometrics; Kenneth Weiss, the founder of Universal Secure Registry, says his latest invention is more flexible and secure than SecurID tokens as they can be used to authenticate individuals on mobile phones, payments, and cloud computing; by adding a voice biometric component, the new device offers three-factor authentication

  • Cybercrime statistics wildly inaccurate, says researcher

    A cybersecurity researcher is questioning the various statistics that government officials and IT companies use as evidence of the rampant and deleterious effects of hackers; Cormac Herley, a principal researcher at Microsoft Research, argues that the existing data on the estimated losses from cyberattacks is wildly inaccurate to the point that analysts have no idea what the problem’s economic impacts are; one expert, noting that estimates of the annual cost of cybercrime range from $560 million to $100 billion to $1 trillion, asks: “How can this be? How can you have estimates of the same problem ranging across three orders of magnitude?”

  • Are cryptographic systems secure?

    Cryptography is widely used to hide information and applications include cash machines, computer passwords, and Internet communications; a new research project, using a 2 million Euro grant, will examine the various methods to show cryptographic protocols

  • Cyberattacks spark cyber insurance boom

    The recent spate of high profile cyberattacks on major corporations has sparked a rush for cyber security insurance; with companies and even local governments seeking financial protection from costly cyberattacks, insurance companies and analysts say demand has increased dramatically of late; some large companies have even taken out insurance policies worth as much as $200 million; local governments like Flathead County, Montana have also purchased cyber insurance

  • Active cyber-defense strategy best deterrent against cyber-attacks

    With the threats of cybercrime, cyberterrorism, and cyberwarfare looming over a hyper-connected world, the best defense for the United States might be a good offense; experts argue that an active self-defense regime, which they term “mitigative counterstriking” — is a necessity in cyberspace, especially to protect critical infrastructure such as banking, utilities, and emergency services

  • International hacking group calls it quits

    After a series of high-profile cyberattacks including attacks on Sony, the U.S. Senate, and the Arizona State Police’s websites, the international hacking group known as LulzSec has announced that they are officially disbanding; the group’s announcement comes shortly after British authorities working in conjunction with the FBI arrested a U.K. teenager for his affiliation with LulzSec; the group maintains that its decision was unrelated