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Archive for the ‘security’ category

Sep 19, 2017

Someone checked and, yup, you can still hijack Gmail, Bitcoin wallets etc via dirty SS7 tricks

Posted by in categories: bitcoin, security

Two-factor authentication by SMS? More like SOS

Once again, it’s been demonstrated that vulnerabilities in cellphone networks can be exploited to intercept one-time two-factor authentication tokens in text messages.

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Sep 4, 2017

VIDEO: San Francisco official pushes robot tax to battle automation

Posted by in categories: robotics/AI, security

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Security guard Eric Leon watches the Knightscope K5 security robot as it glides through the mall, charming shoppers with its blinking blue and white lights. The brawny automaton records video and sounds alerts. According to its maker, it deters mischief just by making the rounds.

Leon, the all-too-human guard, feels pretty sure that the robot will someday take his job.

“He doesn’t complain,” Leon says. “He’s quiet. No lunch break. He’s starting exactly at 10.”

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Aug 28, 2017

TEDGlobal: The computer that can smell explosives

Posted by in categories: robotics/AI, security

Nigerian Oshi Agabi has unveiled a computer based not on silicon but on mice neurons at the TEDGlobal conference in Tanzania.

The system has been trained to recognise the smell of explosives and could be used to replace traditional airport security, he said.

Eventually the modem-sized device — dubbed Koniku Kore — could provide the brain for future robots.

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Aug 27, 2017

Chip implants make humans more efficient

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, computing, food, neuroscience, security, transhumanism

My new Op-Ed for The San Francisco Chronicle: http://www.sfchronicle.com/opinion/openforum/article/Chip-im…003194.php #transhumanism


Wisconsin company Three Square Market recently announced it will become the first U.S. company to offer its employees chip implants that can be scanned at security entrances, carry medical information and even purchase candy in some vending machines. A company in Europe already did this last year.

For many people, it sounds crazy to electively have a piece of technology embedded in their body simply for convenience’s sake. But a growing number of Americans are doing it, including me.

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Aug 24, 2017

The Great US-China Biotechnology and Artificial Intelligence Race

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, economics, health, internet, mobile phones, robotics/AI, security

The risk factor is that iCarbonX is handling more than personal data, but potentially vulnerable data as the company uses a smartphone application, Meum, for customers to consult for health advice. Remember that the Chinese nascent genomics and AI industry relies on cloud computing for genomics data-storage and exchange, creating, in its wake, new vulnerabilities associated with any internet-based technology. This phenomenon has severe implications. How much consideration has been given to privacy and the evolving notion of personal data in this AI-powered health economy? And is our cyberinfrastructure ready to protect such trove of personal health data from hackers and industrial espionage? In this new race, will China and the U.S. have to constantly accelerate their rate of cyber and bio-innovation to be more resilient? Refining our models of genomics data protection will become a critical biosecurity issue.

Why is Chinese access to U.S. genomic data a national security concern?

Genomics and computing research is inherently dual-use, therefore a strategic advantage in a nation’s security arsenal.

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Aug 24, 2017

Private firm puts $500K bounty on Signal, WhatsApp zero-day vulnerabilities

Posted by in categories: business, security

Zero-day vulnerabilities targeting popular secure messenger applications, like Signal, Telegram and WhatsApp, can fetch payments of up to $500,000 from Zerodium, a buyer and seller of zero-day research, based on a newly released list of available awards offered by the U.S. firm.

The market for zero-day vulnerabilities — an undisclosed software security hole that can be exploited by hackers — is notoriously rich and murky. Traders tend to operate away from public scrutiny for a number of reasons that make it difficult to learn about the market.

Although Zerodium isn’t known for the transparency of its business, the company’s listings for vulnerabilities provides a window into the supply and demand behind the vulnerability resale industry.

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Aug 15, 2017

The Government Must Review What Bioresearch Journals Publish

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, government, health, internet, security, terrorism

It’s getting too easy to create dangerous viruses. The upcoming national biodefense strategy should ensure that scientific journals don’t help terrorists learn how.

The news that researchers have recreated an extinct cousin to the smallpox virus using only commercially available technology and items purchased over the Internet renews concerns that bioterrorists could do the same if detailed information about the methods were published. Here’s the problem: scientific journals are geared toward publication, often without sufficient understanding of the public-security risks. We need a better system to ensure that information that could help bad actors stays unpublished.

It took David Evans’ team of scientists at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada, about six months and $100,000 to recreate the horsepox virus, a close relative of the smallpox virus that killed perhaps 300 million people in the 20th century before it was eradicated in 1980. In a summary of the research, the World Health Advisory Committee on Variola Virus Research wrote that “recreation of such viral genomes did not require exceptional biochemical knowledge or skills, significant funds, or significant time.”

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Aug 11, 2017

The current wave of artificial intelligence, driven by machine learning (ML) techniques, is all the rage, and for good reason

Posted by in categories: drones, internet, mobile phones, robotics/AI, security

With sufficient training on digitized writing, spoken words, images, video streams and other digital content, ML has become the basis of voice recognition, self-driving cars, and other previously only-imagined capabilities. As billions of phones, appliances, drones, traffic lights, security systems, environmental sensors, and other radio-connected devices sum into a rapidly growing Internet of Things (IoT), there now is a need to apply ML to the invisible realm of radio frequency (RF) signals, according to program manager Paul Tilghman of DARPA’s Microsystems Technology Office. To further that cause, DARPA today announced its new Radio Frequency Machine Learning Systems (RFMLS) program. Find out more: http://www.darpa.mil/news-events/2017-08-11a

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Aug 7, 2017

Microchipping Humans: First They Traded Freedom for Security, Now It’s Privacy for Convenience

Posted by in categories: computing, security

RFID microchipping is in the news again, this time as employees volunteer for implants — but the chips’ convenience lures before the impact on rights…

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Jul 24, 2017

Cory Doctorow on technological immortality, the transporter problem, and fast-moving futures

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, finance, government, life extension, neuroscience, security, surveillance

Cory Doctorow has made several careers out of thinking about the future, as a journalist and co-editor of Boing Boing, an activist with strong ties to the Creative Commons movement and the right-to-privacy movement, and an author of novels that largely revolve around the ways changing technology changes society. From his debut novel, Down And Out In The Magic Kingdom (about rival groups of Walt Disney World designers in a post-scarcity society where social currency determines personal value), to his most acclaimed, Little Brother (about a teenage gamer fighting the Department of Homeland Security), his books tend to be high-tech and high-concept, but more about how people interface with technologies that feel just a few years into the future.

But they also tend to address current social issues head-on. Doctorow’s latest novel, Walkaway, is largely about people who respond to the financial disparity between the ultra-rich and the 99 percent by walking away and building their own networked micro-societies in abandoned areas. Frightened of losing control over society, the 1 percent wages full-on war against the “walkaways,” especially after they develop a process that can digitize individual human brains, essentially uploading them to machines and making them immortal. When I talked to Doctorow about the book and the technology behind it, we started with how feasible any of this might be someday, but wound up getting deep into the questions of how to change society, whether people are fundamentally good, and the balance between fighting a surveillance state and streaming everything to protect ourselves from government overreach.

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