• DeepfakesDeepfake myths: Common misconceptions about synthetic media

    By Aviv Ovadya

    There is finally some momentum to “do something” about deepfakes, but crucial misconceptions about deepfakes and their effect on our society may complicate efforts to develop a strategic approach to mitigating their negative impacts.

  • Water securityWith floods and droughts increasing, communities take a new look at storing water underground

    By Erica Gies

    Groundwater recharging – that is, actively moving water underground, a practice known as managed aquifer recharge (MAR) — is the latest wave in water security. There are about 1,200 managed aquifer recharge projects in 62 countries. MAR can be used to restore depleted aquifers, rehabilitate ecosystems and cleanse polluted water. But there are challenges as well.

  • PerspectiveLawmakers grapple with deepfake threat at hearing

    The House Intelligence Committee heard alarming testimony Thursday that deepfake videos could be weaponized by foreign adversaries to sow divisions in the United States. Olivia Beavers and Maggie Miller write in The Hill that Clint Watts, a former FBI special agent and senior fellow for Alliance for Securing Democracy at the German Marshall Fund, warned lawmakers that Russia and China will likely both work to develop “synthetic media capabilities” for use against the U.S. and other adversaries. “China’s artificial intelligence capabilities rival the U.S., are powered by enormous data troves to include vast amounts of information stolen from the U.S., and the country has already shown a propensity to employ synthetic media in television broadcast journalism,” he said.

  • RainstormsMore frequent downpours of torrential rain with global warming

    The frequency of downpours of heavy rain—which can lead to flash floods, devastation, and outbreaks of waterborne disease—has increased across the globe in the past 50 years, a period when global warming also intensified

  • HurricanesClimate change is destroying a barrier that protects the U.S. East Coast from hurricanes

    By Nicole deRoberts

    Severe hurricanes can cost up to hundreds of billions of dollars in damages. The destruction left in the wake of Atlantic hurricanes has been increasing over time in recent decades. A new study suggests that climate change could soon eliminate an atmospheric barrier that protects much of the U.S. East Coast from powerful hurricanes.

  • PerspectiveHow China could shut down America’s defenses

    Advanced U.S. weapons are almost entirely reliant on rare-earth materials only made in China—and they could be a casualty of the trade war. Keith Johnson and Lara Seligman write in Foreign Policy that President Donald Trump has often argued that China has much more to lose than the United States in a trade war, but critics say his administration has failed to address a major U.S. vulnerability: Beijing maintains powerful leverage over the war-making capability of its main strategic rival through its control of critical materials.

  • CybersecurityEliminating infamous security threats

    By Steinar Brandslet

    Meltdown and Spectre are speculative side-channel attacks exploit a fundamental functionality in microprocessors to expose security vulnerabilities. No efficient protection against such attacks has been found. Until now.

  • DronesHawk’s pursuit technique can help counter-drone defenses

    Hawks steer their pursuit of evasive prey using a feedback system that differs fundamentally from the missile-like interception system of falcons.

  • Earthquake-proofingDream of ideal “invisibility” cloaks for stress waves dashed

    Whether Harry Potter’s invisibility cloak, which perfectly steers light waves around objects to make them invisible, will ever become reality remains to be seen, but perfecting a more crucial cloak is impossible, a new study says. It would have perfectly steered stress waves in the ground, like those emanating from a blast, around objects like buildings to make them “untouchable.”

  • Infrastructure protectionFinding and fixing natural gas leaks quickly, economically

    From production to consumption, natural gas leaks claim lives, damage the climate and waste money. Researchers are working on better ways to find and fix gas leaks quickly and inexpensively from one end of the system to the other.

  • AliensNarrowing the search for advanced life in the universe

    Scientists may need to rethink their estimates for how many planets outside our solar system could host a rich diversity of life. Toxic gases limit the types of life we could find on habitable worlds.

  • Election securitySecure multiparty computation protecting privacy at the ballot box

    Shortly after the start of the new year, Americans around the nation will start returning to polling stations to vote in presidential primaries. How confident they feel in the voting process could depend on this thing called secure multiparty computation.

  • CybersecurityNew computer attack mimics user's keystroke characteristics, evading detection

    Researchers have developed a new attack called “Malboard,” which evades several detection products that are intended to continuously verify the user’s identity based on personalized keystroke characteristics. 

  • First respondersShowing emergency responders the fastest, safest path to incident scenes

    Getting to your destination has never been easier, thanks to a number of popular global positioning systems (GPS) -based navigation apps available for download on smart devices. For first responders, there can be drawbacks to using the same apps and following the same routes as everyone else. When every second counts getting to an emergency scene, good enough just won’t cut it.

  • PerspectiveThe U.S. needs an industrial policy for cybersecurity

    Industrial policies are appropriate when market failures have led to the under-provision of a good or service. The cybersecurity industry’s growth has been held back for several reasons, including intractable labor shortages. Vinod K. Aggarwal and Andrew W. Reddie write in Defense One that both the United States and United Kingdom suffer from a documented shortage of skilled programmers and computer scientists working on cybersecurity issues, and the U.S. alone is projected to have a shortage of 1.2 million professionals by 2022, according to the Center for Strategic and International Studies. The market has also been hindered by so-called “information problems,” as firms are often not aware of their own vulnerabilities and avoid sharing information about data breaches given the reputation costs associated with disclosure. So what can the government do about it?