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Archive for the ‘security’ category

Oct 14, 2019

3D integrated metasurfaces stacking up for impressive holography

Posted by in categories: computing, encryption, engineering, holograms, nanotechnology, physics, security, transportation

Physicists and materials scientists have developed a compact optical device containing vertically stacked metasurfaces that can generate microscopic text and full-color holograms for encrypted data storage and color displays. Yueqiang Hu and a research team in Advanced Design and Manufacturing for Vehicle Body in the College of Mechanical and Vehicle Engineering in China implemented a 3D integrated metasurface device to facilitate miniaturization of the optical device. Using metasurfaces with ultrathin and compact characteristics, the research team designed optical elements by engineering the wavefront of light at the subwavelength scale. The metasurfaces possessed great potential to integrate multiple functions into the miniaturized optoelectronic systems. The work is now published on Light: Science & Applications.

Since existing research on multiplexing in the 2-D plane remains to fully incorporate capabilities of metasurfaces for multi-tasking, in the present work, the team demonstrated a 3D integrated metasurface device. For this, they stacked a hologram metasurface on a monolithic Fabry-Pérot (FP) cavity-based color filter microarray to achieve simultaneous cross-talk, polarization-independent and highly efficient full-color holography and microprint functions. The dual function of the device outlined a new scheme for data recording, security, encryption and information processing applications. The work on 3D integration can be extended to establish flat multi-tasking optical systems that include a variety of functional metasurface layers.

Metasurfaces open a new direction in optoelectronics, allowing researchers to design optical elements by shaping the wavefront of electromagnetic waves relative to size, shape and arrangement of structures at the subwavelength. Physicists have engineered a variety of metasurface-based devices including lenses, polarization converters, holograms and orbital angular momentum generators (OAM). They have demonstrated the performance of metasurface-based devices to even surpass conventional refractive elements to construct compact optical devices with multiple functions. Such devices are, however, withheld by shortcomings due to a reduced efficiency of plasmonic nanostructures, polarization requirements, large crosstalk and complexity of the readout for multiwavelength and broadband optical devices. Research teams can therefore stack 3D metasurface-based devices with different functions in the vertical direction to combine the advantages of each device.

Oct 12, 2019

These clothes use outlandish designs to trick facial recognition software into thinking you’re not a human

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

Smile! You’re on camera — or you were at some point in the past few years — and now your face is public domain.

Facial recognition technology is everywhere, and only becoming more pervasive. It’s marketed as a security feature by companies like Apple and Google to prevent strangers from unlocking your iPhone or front door.

It’s also used by government agencies like police departments. More than half of adult Americans’ faces are logged in police databases, according to a study by Georgetown researchers. Facial recognition technology is used by governments across the globe to identify and track dissidents, and has been deployed by police against Hong Kong protesters.

Oct 12, 2019

We went inside Alibaba’s global headquarters | CNBC Reports

Posted by in categories: robotics/AI, security, transportation

From facial recognition security to unmanned vehicles, Alibaba’s corporate campus is the office of the future. CNBC’s Uptin Saiidi gets a rare look inside the company’s headquarters in Hangzhou, China, where more than 20,000 employees are based.

Continue reading “We went inside Alibaba’s global headquarters | CNBC Reports” »

Oct 10, 2019

France Set to Roll Out Nationwide Facial Recognition ID Program

Posted by in categories: finance, government, robotics/AI, security

With the move, France will join states around the world rushing to create “digital identities” to give citizens secure access to everything from their taxes and banks to social security and utility bills. Singapore uses facial recognition and has signed an accord to help the U.K. prepare its own ID system. India uses iris scans.


France is poised to become the first European country to use facial recognition technology to give citizens a secure digital identity — whether they want it or not.

Saying it wants to make the state more efficient, President Emmanuel Macron’s government is pushing through plans to roll out an ID program, dubbed Alicem, in November, earlier than an initial Christmas target. The country’s data regulator says the program breaches the European rule of consent and a privacy group is challenging it in France’s highest administrative court. It took a hacker just over an hour to break into a “secure” government messaging app this year, raising concerns about the state’s security standards.

Continue reading “France Set to Roll Out Nationwide Facial Recognition ID Program” »

Oct 1, 2019

Here’s how blockchain could stop corrupt officials from stealing school lunches

Posted by in categories: bitcoin, computing, economics, governance, security

The World Economic Forum has partnered with the Inter-American Development Bank and the Colombian Inspector General’s Office to explore how distributed ledger technology can improve public transparency and integrity in school meal procurement.

The project, which is taking place this year, is multi-faceted and includes a software implementation with blockchain technology for the selection of school food vendors. It is co-designed with several partners from academia, the IT industry, and the non-profit world, including economists and computer scientists from the blockchain economics and governance consulting firm Prysm Group, the National University of Colombia, U.C. Berkeley, and the blockchain security firm Quantstamp.

Oct 1, 2019

Researchers’ new method enables identifying a person through walls from candidate video footage, using only WiFi

Posted by in categories: habitats, internet, law enforcement, security, surveillance

Researchers in the lab of UC Santa Barbara professor Yasamin Mostofi have enabled, for the first time, determining whether the person behind a wall is the same individual who appears in given video footage, using only a pair of WiFi transceivers outside.

This novel video-WiFi cross-modal gait-based person identification system, which they refer to as XModal-ID (pronounced Cross-Modal-ID), could have a variety of applications, from surveillance and security to smart homes. For instance, consider a scenario in which law enforcement has a of a robbery. They suspect that the robber is hiding inside a house. Can a pair of WiFi transceivers outside the house determine if the person inside the house is the same as the one in the robbery video? Questions such as this have motivated this new technology.

Continue reading “Researchers’ new method enables identifying a person through walls from candidate video footage, using only WiFi” »

Sep 30, 2019

Researchers invent low-cost alternative to Bitcoin

Posted by in categories: bitcoin, computing, cryptocurrencies, law, security

The cryptocurrency Bitcoin is limited by its astronomical electricity consumption and outsized carbon footprint. A nearly zero-energy alternative sounds too good to be true, but as School of Computer and Communication Sciences (IC) Professor Rachid Guerraoui explains, it all comes down to our understanding of what makes transactions secure.

To explain why the system developed in his Distributed Computing Lab (DCL) represents a paradigm shift in how we think about cryptocurrencies—and about digital trust in general—Professor Rachid Guerraoui uses a legal metaphor: all players in this new system are “innocent until proven guilty.”

Continue reading “Researchers invent low-cost alternative to Bitcoin” »

Sep 27, 2019

Unfixable Exploit Is the Latest Apple Security Upheaval

Posted by in categories: mobile phones, security

Security researcher Axi0mX published the exploit, called “checkm8,” Friday on Github. It affects every Apple device with an A5 through A11 chipset, meaning every iPhone model from 4S to X. Though it isn’t an all-in-one jailbreak on its own, the exploit provides an extensive foundation for researchers to build off of in customizing jailbreaks for every vulnerable model of device that would allow them to totally take over the unit, run software far beyond what Apple normally allows, and program apps to interact and share data in ways that Apple’s protections usually preclude.


Any iPhone device from 2011 to 2017 could soon be jailbroken, thanks to an underlying flaw that there’s no way to patch.

Sep 27, 2019

Jumping the gap may make electronics faster

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, computing, mobile phones, security, transportation

A quasi-particle that travels along the interface of a metal and dielectric material may be the solution to problems caused by shrinking electronic components, according to an international team of engineers.

“Microelectronic chips are ubiquitous today,” said Akhlesh Lakhtakia, Evan Pugh University Professor and Charles Godfrey Binder Professor of Engineering Science and Mechanics, Penn State. “Delay time for signal propagation in metal-wire interconnects, electrical loss in metals leading to temperature rise, and cross-talk between neighboring interconnects arising from miniaturization and densification limits the speed of these chips.”

These are in our smartphones, tablets, computers and and they are used in hospital equipment, defense installations and our transportation infrastructure.

Sep 25, 2019

Algorithms could stop an ‘internet of things’ attack from bringing down the power grid

Posted by in categories: engineering, information science, internet, security

Last year, Princeton researchers identified a disturbing security flaw in which hackers could someday exploit internet-connected appliances to wreak havoc on the electrical grid. Now, the same research team has released algorithms to make the grid more resilient to such attacks.

In a paper published online in the journal IEEE Transactions on Network Science and Engineering, a team from Princeton’s Department of Electrical Engineering presented algorithms to protect against potential attacks that would spike demand from high-wattage devices such as air conditioners—all part of the “internet of things”—in an effort to overload the power grid.

“The cyberphysical nature of the grid makes this threat very important to counter, because a large-scale blackout can have very critical consequences,” said study author Prateek Mittal, an associate professor of electrical engineering.

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