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Archive for the ‘security’ category

Feb 13, 2018

Decentralized Digital Identities and Blockchain – The Future as We See It

Posted by in categories: bitcoin, food, neuroscience, security

Howdy folks.

I hope you’ll find today’s post as interesting as I do. It’s a bit of brain candy and outlines an exciting vision for the future of digital identities.

Over the last 12 months we’ve invested in incubating a set of ideas for using Blockchain (and other distributed ledger technologies) to create new types of digital identities, identities designed from the ground up to enhance personal privacy, security and control. We’re pretty excited by what we’ve learned and by the new partnerships we’ve formed in the process. Today we’re taking the opportunity to share our thinking and direction with you. This blog is part of a series and follows on Peggy Johnson’s blog post announcing that Microsoft has joined the ID2020 initiative. If you haven’t already Peggy’s post, I would recommend reading it first.

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Feb 5, 2018

Former Intel president launches new chip company with backing from Carlyle Group — By Ron Miller | TechCrunch

Posted by in categories: business, computing, security

Ampere, a new chip company run by former Intel president Renee James, came out of stealth today with a brand-new highly efficient Arm-based server chip targeted at hyperscale data centers.”

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Jan 21, 2018

In Space and Cyber, China is Closing In on the United States

Posted by in categories: encryption, robotics/AI, satellites, security

WASHINGTON — It should be no surprise that China is moving to challenge the United States for dominance in space, cyber, artificial intelligence and other key technologies that have wide national security applications. But the question that is still being debated is whether the United States is taking this threat seriously.

This may not be a Sputnik moment, but the United States could soon be unpleasantly surprised as China continues to shore up its domestic capacity to produce high-end weapons, satellites and encryption technologies, a panel of analysts told the House Armed Services emerging threats and capabilities subcommittee.

At the Tuesday hearing, Subcommittee Chairman Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., said lawmakers are not entirely convinced that China’s dominance in many technology sectors is a “foregone conclusion.” But the committee does believe that China’s technological accomplishments should inform U.S. policies and defense investments. [The Most Dangerous Space Weapons Concepts Ever].

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Jan 20, 2018

Bitcoin Wallet Maker Ledger Raises $75 Million for Security Push

Posted by in categories: bitcoin, cryptocurrencies, security

Ledger SAS, a startup that makes electronic wallets for Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, has raised 61 million euros ($75 million) from investors including Draper Esprit Plc.

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Jan 19, 2018

Real-world intercontinental quantum communications enabled by the Micius satellite

Posted by in categories: encryption, internet, mathematics, quantum physics, security, space

A joint China-Austria team has performed quantum key distribution between the quantum-science satellite Micius and multiple ground stations located in Xinglong (near Beijing), Nanshan (near Urumqi), and Graz (near Vienna). Such experiments demonstrate the secure satellite-to-ground exchange of cryptographic keys during the passage of the satellite Micius over a ground station. Using Micius as a trusted relay, a secret key was created between China and Europe at locations separated up to 7,600 km on the Earth.

Private and secure communications are fundamental for Internet use and e-commerce, and it is important to establish a secure network with global protection of data. Traditional public key cryptography usually relies on the computational intractability of certain mathematical functions. In contrast, quantum key distribution (QKD) uses individual light quanta (single photons) in quantum superposition states to guarantee unconditional security between distant parties. Previously, the quantum communication distance has been limited to a few hundred kilometers due to optical channel losses of fibers or terrestrial free space. A promising solution to this problem exploits satellite and space-based links, which can conveniently connect two remote points on the Earth with greatly reduced channel loss, as most of the photons’ propagation path is through empty space with negligible loss and decoherence.

A cross-disciplinary multi-institutional team of scientists from the Chinese Academy of Sciences, led by Professor Jian-Wei Pan, has spent more than 10 years developing a sophisticated satellite, Micius, dedicated to quantum science experiments, which was launched on August 2016 and orbits at an altitude of ~500 km. Five ground stations in China coordinate with the Micius satellite. These are located in Xinglong (near Beijing), Nanshan (near Urumqi), Delingha (37°22’44.43’‘N, 97°43’37.01” E), Lijiang (26°41’38.15’‘N, 100°1’45.55’‘E), and Ngari in Tibet (32°19’30.07’‘N, 80°1’34.18’‘E).

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Jan 16, 2018

Segway’s autonomous security robots

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

Segway’s autonomous security robots may soon be roaming stores near you.

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Jan 11, 2018

Tougher WiFi security will keep you safe at the coffee shop

Posted by in categories: encryption, habitats, internet, security, wearables

WiFi security hasn’t changed much since WPA2 came to be in 2004, and that’s becoming increasingly apparent when public hotspots are frequently risky and glaring exploits are all too common. It’s about to get a long-due upgrade, though: the Wi-Fi Alliance plans to roll out a WPA3 standard that addresses a number of weak points. For many, the highlight will be individualized data encryption. Even if you’re on an open public network, you won’t have to worry quite so much about someone snooping on your data.

You’ll also see safeguards even when people have terrible passwords, and a simplified security process for devices that have either a tiny display or none at all (say, wearable devices or smart home gadgets). And companies or governments that need stricter security will have access to a 192-bit security suite.

WPA3 should arrive sometime in 2018, and comes on the back of other improvements like more thorough testing to catch potential vulnerabilities before they require emergency patches. These initiatives aren’t going to guarantee airtight security when you’re at the coffee shop, but they could at least eliminate some of WiFi’s more worrying flaws.

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Jan 6, 2018

Quantum ‘spooky action at a distance’ becoming practical

Posted by in categories: computing, particle physics, quantum physics, security

A team from Griffith’s Centre for Quantum Dynamics in Australia have demonstrated how to rigorously test if pairs of photons — particles of light — display Einstein’s “spooky action at a distance”, even under adverse conditions that mimic those outside the lab.

They demonstrated that the effect, also known as , can still be verified even when many of the photons are lost by absorption or scattering as they travel from source to destination through an optical fiber channel. The experimental study and techniques are published in the journal Science Advances.

Quantum nonlocality is important in the development of new global information networks, which will have transmission security guaranteed by the laws of physics. These are the networks where powerful quantum computers can be linked.

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Jan 4, 2018

Nanoscale cryptography method gains robustness from stiction

Posted by in categories: encryption, internet, nanotechnology, security

Most of the cryptographic methods that keep important data secure use complex encryption software, and as a result, consume large amounts of power. As more and more electronic devices are being connected to the internet, there is a growing need for alternative low-power security methods, and this is often done by basing the security on hardware rather than software.

One of the most promising approaches to hardware-based, low-power security is to derive cryptographic keys from the randomness that inherently and uncontrollably emerges during the of nanoscale devices. These methods, called “physical unclonable functions” (PUFs), convert the random variations in the physical devices into the binary states of “0” and “1” to create unique, random cryptographic keys. These keys can then be used to encrypt data into cipher text, as well as decrypt it back into plain text, in a process that remains secure as long as the key remains private.

However, one of the biggest challenges facing PUF technology is its vulnerability to harsh environments. Since the physical randomness that forms the basis of the key usually arises from variations in electrical characteristics, and electrical characteristics are affected by external factors such as high temperatures and radiation, these devices often do not preserve their states when exposed to such conditions.

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Dec 1, 2017

Canada tests ‘basic income’ effect on poverty amid lost jobs

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, economics, employment, finance, food, government, security

Ontario intends to provide a basic income to 4,000 people in three different communities as part of an experiment that seeks to evaluate whether providing more money to people on public assistance or low incomes will make a significant material difference in their lives. How people like Button respond over the next three years is being closely watched by social scientists, economists and policymakers in Canada and around the world.


Former security guard Tim Button considers how a sudden increase in his income from an unusual social experiment has changed his life in this Canadian industrial city along the shore of Lake Ontario.

Sipping coffee in a Tim Horton’s doughnut shop, Button says he has been unable to work because of a fall from a roof, and the financial boost from Ontario Province’s new “basic income” program has enabled him to make plans to visit distant family for Christmas for the first time in years. It has also prompted him to eat healthier, schedule a long-postponed trip to the dentist and mull taking a course to help him get back to work.

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