• Many Android vulnerabilities result from manufacturer modifications

    Computer security researchers have found that Android smartphone manufacturers are inadvertently incorporating new vulnerabilities into their products when they customize the phones before sale, according to a recent study. On average, the researchers found that 60 percent of the vulnerabilities found in the smartphone models they evaluated were due to such “vendor customizations.”

  • Resources on disaster preparedness, resilience

    One year after Superstorm Sandy hit the eastern United States, local, state, and federal agencies as well as community groups and businesses are working to strengthen the U.S.s resilience to future disasters. A National Research Council (NRC) has issues a series of studies and reports, and has put together workshops and study groups, which should advance the national conversation on preparedness and resilience.

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  • Bill bolsters DHS’s cybersecurity workforce

    A House panel recently approved HR 3107, a bill aiming to bolster DHS’s cybersecurity workforce. The House Homeland Security Committeeamended the Homeland Security Cybersecurity Boots-on-the-Ground Actto expand DHS’ outreach to candidates for IT security jobs by creating a tuition-for-work fellowship and a program to recruit military veterans and unemployed IT specialists for DHS employment.

  • DDoS protection specialist Black Lotus raises $3.5 million

    San Francisco-based Black Lotus, a DDoS protection specialist, last week announced the completion of its first institutional financing in the amount of $3.5 million. The round was led by San Francisco-based Industry Capital. The strategic investment will fund entry into new markets, where Black Lotus will deploy additional capacity and improve quality of service through peering and closer proximity to global partner networks.

  • Cyber Grand Challenge for automated network security-correcting systems

    What if computers had a “check engine” light that could indicate new, novel security problems? What if computers could go one step further and heal security problems before they happen? To find out, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) intends to hold the Cyber Grand Challenge (CGC) — the first-ever tournament for fully automatic network defense systems. The Challenge will see teams creating automated systems that would compete against each other to evaluate software, test for vulnerabilities, generate security patches, and apply them to protected computers on a network. The winning team in the CGC finals would receive a cash prize of $2 million, with second place earning $1 million and third place taking home $750,000.

  • McAfee executive to fill DHS cybersecurity post

    DHS has will announce the appointment of a top McAfee executive to head the department’s cybersecurity division, according to knowledgeable sources. Phyllis Schneck, McAfee vice president and the company’s CTO for the public sector, is slated to fill a post that has been characterized by instability and lack of clarity about scope and responsibilities.

  • Consolidation expected among large cybersecurrity contractors

    Europe’s largest defense company, BAE Systems, says the number of military contractors selling data protection services to governments will decrease as clients demands for ever-more-sophisticated products  increase.

  • Government-developed standards not an effective cybersecurity approach: analyst

    DHS said the department has “recently learned of a vulnerability that existed in the software used by a DHS vendor to process personnel security investigations.” analyst says that it is bad enough that hackers gained access to the personal information of thousands, but what is even more worrisome is the fact that DHS, with it spotty cyber security record, has been placed in charge of regulating the cybersecurity efforts of critical infrastructure industries.

  • Increasing the efficiency of wireless networks

    A “spectrum crunch” is quickly being accelerated as customers convert from traditional cell phones to smartphones and tablets; new method, which doubles the efficiency of wireless networks, was developed by researchers; it could have broad impacts on the mobile Internet and wireless industries

  • Obama, Romney differ on major homeland security issues

    Tomorrow, Tuesday 6 November, American voters will choose between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney as the next president of the United States; the state of the U.S. economy and the best ways to reduce unemployment and increase the pace of economic growth were at the center of the campaign, leaving little room for other issues. Homeland security issues, in particular, played little, if any, role in the campaign or in the three debates between the presidential candidates and the debate between the vice-presidential candidates; still, if we examine the policy proposals each candidate has made, and also examine the details of policies posted on his Web sites, the differences between the candidates’ approaches on three major homeland security issues – immigration, cybersecurity, and infrastructure – are considerable

  • NIST awards $9 million to promote online security and privacy

    The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) last month announced more than $9 million in grant awards to support the National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace (NSTIC); five U.S. organizations will pilot identity solutions which increase confidence in online transactions, prevent identity theft, and provide individuals with more control over how they share their personal information

  • Cloud OS for the U.S. intelligence community

    Cloud management specialist Adaptive Computingis partnering with the investment arm of the CIA, In-Q-Tel, to develop a cloud operating system for use by U.S. intelligence agency

  • #WeGotBinLaden: how Twitter broke its biggest story

    A new study confirms the widely held belief that Keith Urbahn (@keithurbahn), an aide to former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, was the first person to break the news regarding the killing of Osama bin Laden on Twitter; his tweet was sent at 10:24 p.m.

  • HPDC to publish best grid computing cybersecurity papers

    In the late 1990s, as science was pushing new limits in terms of levels of computation and data and in the collaboration between scientists across universities, countries, and the globe, grid computing emerged as the model to support such large scientific collaborations by providing their computational resources and the structure behind them

  • Growing unease over illegal cell phone jammers

    For less than $40 nearly anyone can purchase a cell phone jamming device to prevent those nearby from making calls, which has law enforcement agencies uneasy