• Perspective: CybersecurityFour Ways Blockchain Could Make the Internet Safer, Fairer, and More Creative

    The internet is unique in that it has no central control, administration or authority, but in recent years internet services such as search engines and social media platforms have increasingly been provided by a small number of very large tech firms. The internet is slowly turning into something like the current financial system, which centrally monitors all transactions and uses that data to predict what people will buy in future. Bitcoin, which surfaced on the internet in 2008, sought to break the influence that large, private bodies have over what we do online. The researchers had finally solved one of the biggest concerns with digital currencies – that they need central control by the companies that operate them, in the same way traditional currencies are controlled by a bank. People researching Bitcoin – and blockchains which undergird it — may have overlooked one of its most useful applications – making the internet better for everyone who uses it.

  • CryptographyQuantum – a double-edged sword for cryptography

    By Jon Cartwright

    Quantum computers pose a big threat to the security of modern communications, deciphering cryptographic codes that would take regular computers forever to crack. But drawing on the properties of quantum behavior could also provide a route to truly secure cryptography.

  • TerrorismIS’s English-speaking fighters use Telegram to reinforce faith in the caliphate

    English-speaking Islamic State supporters are refusing to give up on the terror group’s ability to remain a force in Syria and Iraq. Even as the terror group was losing ground in Syria and Iraq to U.S.-backed forces, and even as IS leadership was encouraging followers to start looking to progress in IS provinces elsewhere, English-speaking supporters turned to Telegram to reinforce their faith in the caliphate.

  • CybersecurityMore than security: Passwords serve a personal purpose

    A study has shown that people build their passwords from personal information for a variety of reasons including to invoke important memories or achieve future goals. The study found around half of the respondents infused their passwords with autobiographical memories.

  • CybersecuritySecure information exchange: Quantum communication over fiber-optic networks

    Searching for better security during data transmission, governments and other organizations around the world have been investing in and developing technologies related to quantum communication and related encryption methods. Researchers are looking at how these new systems—which, in theory, would provide unhackable communication channels—can be integrated into existing and future fiber-optic networks.

  • EncryptionQuantifying how much quantum information can be eavesdropped

    The most basic type of quantum information processing is quantum entanglement. In a new study, researchers have provided a much finer characterization of the distributions of entanglement in multi-qubit systems than previously available. These findings can be used in quantum cryptography to estimate the quantity of information an eavesdropper can capture regarding the secret encryption key.

  • EncryptionBetter safeguards for sensitive information

    Despite being the most advanced quantum technology, secure encryption of information units based on a method called quantum key distribution (QKD) is currently limited by the channel’s capacity to send or share secret bits. Researchers show how to better approach the secret key capacity by improving the channel’s lower boundary.

  • Data securityNew computing architectures to deliver verifiable data assurances

    Whether a piece of information is private, proprietary, or sensitive to national security, systems owners and users have little guarantees about where their information resides or of its movements between systems. As is the case with consumers, the national defense and security communities similarly have only few options when it comes to ensuring that sensitive information is appropriately isolated, particularly when it’s loaded to an internet-connected system. A new program seeks to create new software and hardware architectures that provide physically provable assurances around data security and privacy.

  • EncryptionAchieving better security with randomly generating biological encryption keys

    Data breaches, hacked systems and hostage malware are frequently topics of evening news casts — including stories of department store, hospital, government and bank data leaking into unsavory hands — but now a team of engineers has an encryption key approach that is unclonable and not reverse-engineerable, protecting information even as computers become faster and nimbler.

  • EncryptionFrom encrypting the web to encrypting the net: 2018 year in review

    By Sydney Li and Alexis Hancock

    We saw 2017 tip the scales for HTTPS. In 2018, web encryption continues to improve. The focus has begun to shift toward email security, and the security community is shifting its focus toward further hardening TLS, the protocol that drives encryption on the Internet.

  • EncryptionNew cryptography must be developed and deployed now, even if quantum threats are a decade away

    Given the current state of quantum computing and the significant challenges that still need to be overcome, it is highly unlikely that a quantum computer that can compromise public-key cryptography – a basis for the security of most of today’s computers and networks – will be built within the next decade, says a new report by the National Academies of Sciences. However, because replacing an established internet protocol generally takes over a decade, work to develop and deploy algorithms that are resilient against an attack by a quantum computer is critical now.

  • CybersecurityRevolutionizing cybersecurity through quantum research

    Scientists have found a novel way to safeguard quantum information during transmission, opening the door for more secure and reliable communication for warfighters on the battlefield. Recent advancements of cutting-edge technologies in lasers and nanophysics, quantum optics and photonics have given researchers the necessary tools to control and manipulate miniature quantum systems, such as individual atoms or photons - the smallest particles of light.

  • CybersecurityUnhackable communication: Single particles of light could bring the “quantum internet”

    Hacker attacks on everything from social media accounts to government files could be largely prevented by the advent of quantum communication, which would use particles of light called “photons” to secure information rather than a crackable code. The problem is that quantum communication is currently limited by how much information single photons can help send securely, called a “secret bit rate.” Researchers created a new technique that would increase the secret bit rate 100-fold, to over 35 million photons per second.

  • CybersecurityOpen-source hardware could defend against the next generation of hacking

    By Joshua M. Pearce

    Imagine you had a secret document you had to store away from prying eyes. And you have a choice: You could buy a safe made by a company that kept the workings of its locks secret. Or you could buy a safe whose manufacturer openly published the designs, letting everyone – including thieves – see how they’re made. Which would you choose? It might seem unexpected, but as an engineering professor, I’d pick the second option.

  • EncryptionEconomic benefit of NIST’s encryption standard at least $250 billion

    NIST has released a study that estimates a $250 billion economic impact from the development of its Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) over the past twenty years. AES is a cryptographic algorithm used to encrypt and decrypt electronic information. It was approved for use by the federal government in November 2001 and has since been widely adopted by private industry. Today, AES protects everything from classified data and bank transactions to online shopping and social media apps.