• Ways to stop a rogue drone

    The mounting threat of drone users not following aviation regulation or committing crimes means police need effective ways to stop and capture rogue devices. One of the key challenges for any anti-drone counter-measure is that the typical small size of most drones makes them difficult to detect and target. One novel and widely reported idea being explored by the Dutch National Police is the training of bald eagles to down drones. A perfect solution has yet to be found, but interest and investment in drone countermeasures is increasing, giving authorities a growing number of options for tackling rogue drones.

  • More drone sightings at London's Gatwick airport

    New drone sightings Friday caused more chaos for holiday travelers at London’s Gatwick Airport, which reopened in the morning after a 36-hour shutdown only to hastily suspend flights for more than an hour in the late afternoon on one of the busiest travel days of the year. The on-going chaos raised a host of questions for British officials, including how safe is it to fly with drones around and why can’t the country’s police, military and aviation experts catch those responsible since they have been investigating the drone invasions since Wednesday night.

  • Gatwick drone drama shows how even unarmed UAVs can cause economic chaos and risk to life

    One of the amazing things about the recent drone incident at London Gatwick is that the appearance of two unmanned aerial vehicles flying into operational runway space prompted the closure of Britain’s second-busiest airport for more than a day. This is by no means the first incident of drones causing problems at airports, but the event at Gatwick is unusual in both the length of its duration and the presence and repeated use of multiple drones. The growing availability and affordability of consumer drones means that risks to airports, and other secure spaces will rise – and the counter-measures currently deployed against them leave room for improvement and need to be more widely adopted.

  • U.K.’s Gatwick Airport closed after drones fly over runways

    Several sightings of unmanned aerial vehicles over the airport’s runway grounded and rerouted flights overnight. Gatwick is Britain’s second-busiest airport after Heathrow. The police said the drone flights were a “deliberate act to disrupt the airport,” but that there were “absolutely no indications to suggest this is terror-related.” In July 2018, the United Kingdom made it illegal to fly a drone within one kilometer (0.6 miles) of an airport, in an effort to tackle the issue.

  • Airport security screening without queues

    Researchers have invented a device that could be developed into ultra-sensitive cameras for security screening which would not require people to queue at airports. Other applications could include smaller and safer sensors for driverless vehicles.

  • TSA’s roadmap for airport surveillance moves in a dangerous direction

    The Transportation Security Administration has set out an alarming vision of pervasive biometric surveillance at airports, which cuts against the right to privacy, the “right to travel,” and the right to anonymous association with others.

  • Mitigating cyberthreats in vehicles

    In acts of terrorism, vehicles have been deployed as killing machines. These incidents involved human operators, but another sinister possibility looms: a vehicle cyber hack intended to cause human harm. While this kind of terrorist attack has not yet occurred, in the realm of security research, it’s been demonstrated how hackers could gain control over car systems like the brakes, steering and engine.

  • Revisiting federal safety regulations for liquid petroleum gas distribution systems

    Current federal safety regulations for small distribution systems used for propane and other liquefied petroleum gases (LPGs) should be improved for clarity, efficiency, enforceability, and applicability to risk, says a new report from the National Academies of Sciences.

  • Improving speed, accuracy of biometric scanning at security checkpoints

    Balancing speed and security at checkpoints, like airports, is essential to ensuring safe, reliable travel. Many of these checkpoints are increasingly using biometric technology to improve speed and reliability. While recent improvements in biometrics have lowered failure to match rates, many systems fail to quickly acquire biometric information in the first place. DHS S&T is working on designing a standard security checkpoint process to test the ability of biometric identity systems to acquire and match images from a diverse volunteer population within a realistic time constraint.

  • Winners announced in $1.5 million Passenger Screening Algorithm Challenge

    DHS S&T and TSA the other day announced the eight winners of the Passenger Screening Algorithm Challenge. The prize competition solicited new automated detection algorithms from individuals and entities that can improve the speed and accuracy of detecting small threat objects and other prohibited items during the airport passenger screening process.

  • Driverless ferries to replace footbridges

    As towns grow, the need arises for more river and canal crossings. But bridges are expensive and hinder the flow of boat traffic. An autonomous and self-propelled passenger ferry that can “see” kayakers and boats, and that shows up right when you need it, could be an ingenious substitute for footbridges. Soon the prototype for the world’s first driverless electric passenger ferry will be ready to launch in Trondheim, Norway.

  • Connected cars vulnerable to cyberthreats

    Connected cars could be as vulnerable to cyberattack as the smartphone in your hand or the personal computer on your desktop, according to a new study from the U.K.“Connected cars are no different from other nodes on the internet of things and face many of the same generic cybersecurity threats,” the team reports.

  • Why 50,000 ships are so vulnerable to cyberattacks

    The 50,000 ships sailing the sea at any one time have joined an ever-expanding list of objects that can be hacked. Cybersecurity experts recently displayed how easy it was to break into a ship’s navigational equipment. This comes only a few years after researchers showed that they could fool the GPS of a superyacht into altering course. Once upon a time objects such as cars, toasters and tugboats only did what they were originally designed to do. Today the problem is that they all also talk to the internet. The maritime industry is undoubtedly behind other transportation sectors, such as aerospace, in cybersecurity terms. There also seems to be a lack of urgency to get the house in order. So the maritime industry seems particularly ill-equipped to deal with future challenges, such as the cybersecurity of fully autonomous vessels.

  • Public transit agencies should not have to disclose safety planning records in court: Experts

    To enable public transit agencies to engage in more rigorous and effective safety planning, their safety planning records should not be admissible as evidence in civil litigation, says a new report from the National Academies of Sciences. State highway agencies and commuter railroads have been granted such “evidentiary protections,” and the report found no compelling reason to advise Congress against current practice by treating transit agencies differently.

  • Data science improves lie detection

    Someone is fidgeting in a long line at an airport security gate. Is that person simply nervous about the wait? Or is this a passenger who has something sinister to hide? Even highly trained Transportation Security Administration (TSA) airport security officers still have a hard time telling whether someone is lying or telling the truth – despite the billions of dollars and years of study that have been devoted to the subject. Researchers are using data science and an online crowdsourcing framework called ADDR (Automated Dyadic Data Recorder) to further our understanding of deception based on facial and verbal cues.