• Clear tactics, if only few easy solutions, for hospitals tackling ransomware

    Hospitals facing the prospect of ransomware attacks like the one that afflicted British hospitals in May can take many concrete steps to better protect themselves, but some of the most important measures — such as a national policy not to pay ransoms — may be tougher to formulate.

  • Using infrared light to hack security cameras

    Researchers have demonstrated that security cameras infected with malware can receive covert signals and leak sensitive information from the very same surveillance devices used to protect facilities. The method, according to researchers, will work on both professional and home security cameras, and even LED doorbells, which can detect infrared light (IR) that is not visible to the human eye.

  • Strengthening the cybersecurity of the grid

    As the U.S. electricity grid continues to modernize, it will mean things like better reliability and resilience, lower environmental impacts, greater integration of renewable energy, as well as new computing and communications technologies to monitor and manage the increasing number of devices that connect to the grid. However, that enhanced connectivity for grid operators and consumers also opens the door to potential cyber intrusions. New project aims to mitigate vulnerabilities introduced by rooftop solar panels integrated with the grid.

  • Voting-roll vulnerability

    For as little as a few thousand dollars, online attackers can purchase enough personal information to perhaps alter voter registration information in as many as thirty-five states and the District of Columbia, according to a new study. The vulnerability could be exploited by internet attackers attempting to disenfranchise many voters where registration information can be changed online. Armed with personal information obtained through legitimate or illegitimate sources, hackers could learn enough to impersonate voters and change key information using the online registration systems.

  • Using game theory to predict cyberattacks on elections and voting machines

    A Vanderbilt University game theory expert has been researching how and why someone would want to tamper with an election and then developing an algorithm to protect against those efforts. “With increased use of electronic voting machines, it’s more important to consider why someone would attack them, what it would accomplish and how to address that,” the expert says.

  • Forget login, fingerprint, or retinal scan: Your heart is the new identifier.

    Forget fingerprint computer identification or retinal scanning. Researchers have developed a computer security system using the dimensions of your heart as your identifier. The system uses low-level Doppler radar to measure your heart, and then continually monitors your heart to make sure no one else has stepped in to run your computer. This new non-contact, remote biometric tool could be the next advance in computer security.

  • How does your cellphone know whether your finger is real or a fake?

    Do you know how safe it is to use your finger as a security login? And have you wondered how your cell phone knows if your finger is real or a fake? Researchers are working to answer these questions and solve the biggest problems facing fingerprint recognition systems today: how secure they are and how to determine whether the finger being used is actually a human finger.

  • Breaking nuclear deal could bring hacking onslaught from Iran

    If the Trump administration discarded the nuclear deal with Iran, Tehran could retaliate quickly – and inflict considerable damage – by unleashing its increasingly aggressive Iranian hacker army. Cyber-experts who track Tehran’s hackers warn that the attacks might target U.S. power plants, hospitals, airports, and other components of the country’s critical infrastructure. Iran’s current hacking against Western targets is limited almost entirely to commercial espionage and dissident surveillance, but Teheran could quickly redirect its efforts in the event of a rupture of the nuclear pact.

  • Election systems of 21 states targeted by Russian government hackers ahead of 2016 election: DHS

    More revelations about the scope of the Russian government’s cyber-campaign on behalf of Donald Trump in the November 2016 presidential election came to light Friday afternoon, when DHS officials called election officials in twenty-one states to inform them that their states’ election systems had been targeted by Russian government hackers trying to influence the U.S. presidential election. Among the states whose election systems were targeted by Russian government operatives: Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, Minnesota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin.

  • Equifax breach is a reminder of society’s larger cybersecurity problems

    The Equifax data breach was yet another cybersecurity incident involving the theft of significant personal data from a large company. Moreover, it is another reminder that the modern world depends on critical systems, networks and data repositories that are not as secure as they should be. And it signals that these data breaches will continue until society as a whole (industry, government and individual users) is able to objectively assess and improve cybersecurity procedures. We all must take a realistic look at the state of cybersecurity, admit the mistakes that have happened and change our thinking for the better. Only then can anyone – much less everyone – take on the task of devoting time, money and personnel to making the necessary changes for meaningful security improvements. It will take a long time, and will require inconvenience and hard work. But it’s the only way forward.

  • The security of fitness trackers could – and should – be improved

    The security of wearable fitness trackers could be improved to better protect users’ personal data, a new study suggests. Vulnerabilities in the devices – which track heart rate, steps taken and calories burned – could threaten the privacy and security of the data they record, scientists say.

  • Circuit simulation methods protect the power grid

    In December 2015, Russian hackers pummeled Ukraine’s power grid, disrupting the flow of electricity for nearly a quarter-million Ukrainians. Then, in December 2016, roughly a year after the first attack, the hackers struck again. But this time, they targeted an electric transmission station in Kiev, the capital of Ukraine. Each cyberattack lasted no more than six hours, but security experts were still alarmed: hackers had just demonstrated their ability to infiltrate the grid and drastically alter the flow of society. Americans began to worry. If hackers could target Ukraine, then what would stop them from targeting other countries in western Europe or even the United States?

  • Using AI to prevent, minimize electric grid failures

    A project led by the Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory will combine artificial intelligence with massive amounts of data and industry experience from a dozen U.S. partners to identify places where the electric grid is vulnerable to disruption, reinforce those spots in advance, and recover faster when failures do occur. It is the first project to employ AI to help the grid manage power fluctuations, resist damage and bounce back faster from storms, solar eclipses, cyberattacks, and other disruptions.

  • RT, Sputnik and Russia’s new theory of war

    The 2016 Russian government’s disinformation campaign helped Donald Trump win the November election, and key to that effective campaign were lies expertly manufactured by Russian disinformation specialists and spread through two Russian government propaganda outlets, RT and Sputnik, and on social media. The U.S. intelligence community says that RT and the rest of the Russian information machine were working with “covert intelligence operations” to do no less than “undermine the U.S.-led liberal democratic order.” The U.S. intelligence assessment warned ominously, “Moscow will apply lessons learned from its Putin-ordered campaign aimed at the U.S. presidential election to future influence efforts worldwide, including against U.S. allies and their election processes.”

  • Safety of controlling critical infrastructures via mobile phone networks questioned

    Critical infrastructures such as wind power stations are partially controlled via mobile phone networks. Using state-of-the-art tests, researchers are investigating how well protected that form of communication is from external attacks.