• A new world for hackers: Acoustic side-channel attack

    During the DNA synthesis process in a laboratory, recordings can be made of the subtle, telltale noises made by synthesis machines. And those captured sounds can be used to reverse-engineer valuable, custom-designed genetic materials used in pharmaceuticals, agriculture and other bioengineering fields.

  • Deterrence in the cyber age: U.K. Foreign Secretary's speech

    U.K. foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt last Thursday spoke at Glasgow University on cybersecurity and the U.K. government’s approach to deterring cybercrime. “In the cyber age, an authoritarian regime armed with nothing more ambitious than a laptop computer could try to manipulate our democracy, Hunt said. “For every example of publicly attributed interference [by Russia], there have been others that never saw the light of day.” He added: “The material fact is that the Russian state has tried to subvert democracy,” concluding: “We can no longer afford to wait until an authoritarian regime demonstrably succeeds in changing the outcome of an election and weakening trust in the integrity of democracy itself. The risk is that after just a few cases, a pall of suspicion would descend over a democratic process – and once that happens, the damage would be difficult, perhaps impossible, to repair.”

  • Securing the “internet of things” in the quantum age

    Quantum computers can in principle execute calculations that today are practically impossible for classical computers. Bringing quantum computers online and to market could one day enable advances in medical research, drug discovery, and other applications. But there’s a catch: If hackers also have access to quantum computers, they could potentially break through the powerful encryption schemes that currently protect data exchanged between devices.

  • Flaws in 4G, 5G networks could allow hackers intercept calls, track location

    Newly discovered vulnerabilities in 4G and 5G networks could be used to intercept phone calls and track users’ locations, according to researchers. Not only has 5G promised to be faster than previous generations, but it should also be more secure. That such serious vulnerabilities have been found in the new networks is hardly reassuring, as the 5G standard was specifically developed to better protect against these kind of attacks.

  • Protect confidential information from cyberattacks

    The NSF is funding research aiming to develop new guidelines for sharing secret information through wireless communication that would improve security for users and minimizes cost.

  • Secure 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.

  • U.S. Cyber Command cut Russian troll factory’s access to the internet

    The U.S. Cyber Command blocked the internet access of the St. Petersburg’s-based Internet Research Agency (IRA), a Russian disinformation and propaganda outfit which was contracted by the Kremlin to orchestrate the social media disinformation campaign to help Donald Trump win the 2016 presidential election. The IRA’s access to the internet was blocked on midterms Election Day, and for a few days following the election.

  • Most laptops vulnerable to attacks via peripheral devices

    Many modern laptops and an increasing number of desktop computers are much more vulnerable to hacking through common plug-in devices than previously thought, according to new research. The research shows that attackers can compromise an unattended machine in a matter of seconds through devices such as chargers and docking stations.

  • Top password managers have fundamental flaws

    Top password managers have fundamental flaws that expose user credentials in computer memory while locked, according to new research. Sixty Million users and 93,000 businesses worldwide rely on 1Password, Dashlane, KeePass, and LastPass to protect data.

  • Expanding cybersecurity education to fill job market shortfall

    Experts say that the U.S. cyber workforce shortfall is growing. By the 2022, the shortage of cybersecurity professionals is predicted to be 1.8 million. Colleges and universities expand their cybersecurity education offerings.

  • Next-generation grid security tech

    Researchers will demonstrate the effectiveness of metro-scale quantum key distribution (QKD) as a means of secure communication for the nation’s electricity suppliers. This initial milestone is part of the team’s three-year project focused on next-generation grid security.

  • How far should organizations be able to go to defend against cyberattacks?

    Organizations can and should be encouraged to take passive defense measures, like gathering intelligence on potential attackers and reporting intrusions. But in my view they should be discouraged – if not prevented – from acting aggressively, because of the risk of destabilizing corporate and international relations. If the quest for cyber peace degenerates into a tit-for-tat battle of digital vigilantism, global insecurity will be greater, not less.

  • Artificial Intelligence to make life harder for hackers

    As the volume of digital information in corporate networks continues to grow, so grows the number of cyberattacks, and their cost. One cybersecurity vendor, Juniper Networks, estimates that the cost of data breaches worldwide will reach $2.1 trillion in 2019, roughly four times the cost of breaches in 2015. Now, computer scientists have developed a tool that could make it harder for hackers to find their way into networks where they don’t belong.

  • Is your VPN secure?

    About a quarter of internet users use a virtual private network, a software setup that creates a secure, encrypted data connection between their own computer and another one elsewhere on the internet. Many people use them to protect their privacy when using Wi-Fi hotspots, or to connect securely to workplace networks while traveling. Other users are concerned about surveillance from governments and internet providers. However, most people – including VPN customers – don’t have the skills to double-check that they’re getting what they paid for. A group of researchers I was part of do have those skills, and our examination of the services provided by 200 VPN companies found that many of them mislead customers about key aspects of their user protections.

  • Improving security for Internet of Things with “big-thinking” research

    Every day, more and more people interact with the Internet of Things (IoT) in daily life. The IoT includes the devices and appliances in our homes — such as smart TVs, virtual assistants like Amazon’s Alexa or learning thermostats like Nest — that connect to the internet. The IoT also includes wearables such as the Apple Watch or Bluetooth chips that keep track of car keys. Our cars themselves, if equipped with sensors and computers, are also part of the IoT. In an age where data theft and cyberattacks are increasingly routine, the IoT has security vulnerabilities that must be addressed as the popularity of IoT devices grows.