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Archive for the ‘security’ category

Oct 10, 2021

The Security Challenge Of Protecting Smart Cities

Posted by in categories: government, security

Creating and building a “Secure Smart City” requires strong Private Public Partnerships that incorporate people, policies, processes and technology from both government and industry into the overall strategy process.

Oct 9, 2021

AI Weekly: EU facial recognition ban highlights need for U.S. legislation

Posted by in categories: food, government, information science, law enforcement, privacy, robotics/AI, security, terrorism

This week, The European Parliament, the body responsible for adopting European Union (EU) legislation, passed a non-binding resolution calling for a ban on law enforcement use of facial recognition technology in public places. The resolution, which also proposes a moratorium on the deployment of predictive policing software, would restrict the use of remote biometric identification unless it’s to fight “serious” crime, such as kidnapping and terrorism.

The approach stands in contrast to that of U.S. agencies, which continue to embrace facial recognition even in light of studies showing the potential for ethnic, racial, and gender bias. A recent report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office found that 10 branches including the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, and Homeland Security plan to expand their use of facial recognition between 2020 and 2023 as they implement as many as 17 different facial recognition systems.

Commercial face-analyzing systems have been critiqued by scholars and activists alike throughout the past decade, if not longer. The technology and techniques — everything from sepia-tinged film to low-contrast digital cameras — often favor lighter skin, encoding racial bias in algorithms. Indeed, independent benchmarks of vendors’ systems by the Gender Shades project and others have revealed that facial recognition technologies are susceptible to a range of prejudices exacerbated by misuse in the field. For example, a report from Georgetown Law’s Center on Privacy and Technology details how police feed facial recognition software flawed data, including composite sketches and pictures of celebrities who share physical features with suspects.

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Oct 4, 2021

Quenching the world’s thirst with off-grid water desalination

Posted by in categories: security, sustainability

Desalination is the answer to long-term water security, but it’s also expensive and energy-intensive. The good news is that scientists are developing some viable solutions.

The first plant in Europe was built in Spain nearly a half century ago. Since then, facilities have sprung up in water-stressed regions throughout Europe. Just a few years ago, the residents of the small Greek island of Ikaria finally got access to an abundant source of clean drinking water—all thanks to a new desalination plant.

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Oct 1, 2021

Chinese espionage group deploys new rootkit compatible with Windows 10 systems

Posted by in categories: computing, security

At the SAS 2021 security conference today, analysts from security firm Kaspersky Lab have published details about a new Chinese cyber-espionage group that has been targeting high-profile entities across South East Asia since at least July 2020.

Named GhostEmperor, Kaspersky said the group uses highly sophisticated tools and is often focused on gaining and keeping long-term access to its victims through the use of a powerful rootkit that can even work on the latest versions of Windows 10 operating systems.

“We observed that the underlying actor managed to remain under the radar for months,” Kaspersky researchers explained today.

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Sep 22, 2021

The U.S. Is Losing the Global Race to Decide the Future of Money —and It Could Doom the Almighty Dollar

Posted by in categories: cryptocurrencies, economics, security

What must the US do Eric Klien?


Read More: How China’s Digital Currency Could Challenge the Almighty Dollar

China has already largely moved away from coin and paper currency; Chinese consumers have racked up more than $41 trillion in mobile transactions, according to a recent research paper from the Brookings Institution, with the lion’s share (92%) going through digital payment processors WeChat Pay and Alipay.

Continue reading “The U.S. Is Losing the Global Race to Decide the Future of Money —and It Could Doom the Almighty Dollar” »

Sep 20, 2021

AI-powered supply chain visibility platform Altana nabs $15M

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, robotics/AI, security, sustainability, transportation

Altana AI, a startup building a database for global supply chain networks, today announced that it raised $15 million in a series A funding round led by GV with participation from Floating Point, Ridgeline Partners, Amadeus Capital Partners, and Schematic Ventures. The proceeds, which bring the company’s total raised to $22 million to date, will be used to further develop Altana’s data and AI systems and launch new machine learning and network analysis tools, according to CEO Evan Smith.

Trade wars, the rise of ecommerce, pandemic supply chain shocks, and sustainability concerns are driving fundamental changes to supply chain networks and global trade flows. Nearly 75% of companies report supply chain disruptions in some capacity due to pandemic-related transportation restrictions. And in a recent IBM survey, 40% of executives stressed the need for spare capacity to weather future crises.

Altana’s product aims to solve these challenges with a platform that connects and learns from billions of supply chain data points. It answers questions about products, shipments, companies, and networks, filtering out illicit trade and targeting bad actors and security threats across global commerce networks.

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Sep 17, 2021

We created holograms you can touch: You could soon shake a virtual colleague’s hand

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, education, holograms, security

The TV show “Star Trek: The Next Generation” introduced millions of people to the idea of a holodeck: an immersive, realistic 3D holographic projection of a complete environment that you could interact with and even touch.

In the 21st century, holograms are already being used in a variety of ways such as medical systems, education, art, security and defense. Scientists are still developing ways to use lasers, modern digital processors, and motion-sensing technologies to create several different types of holograms which could change the way we interact.

My colleagues and I working in the University of Glasgow’s bendable electronics and sensing technologies research group have now developed a system of holograms of people using “aerohaptics,” creating feelings of touch with jets of air. Those jets of air deliver a sensation of touch on people’s fingers, hands and wrists.

Sep 17, 2021

US Government’s New Chevy Suburbans Cost $3.6 Million Each

Posted by in categories: government, law enforcement, security, transportation

GM Defense, a subsidiary of General Motors, was recently awarded a contract to develop next-generation SUVs for the government’s fleet.

This specific contract was awarded by the US Department of State, and the vehicles will be built to support the Diplomatic Security Service. Diplomatic Security is a federal law enforcement agency charged with securing diplomatic assets and personnel. In 2,020 GM Defense also got the contract to build the army’s new infantry squad vehicle based on the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2. That particular contract was more extensive and, at the time of writing, valued at $213.4 million. The eventual goal was 2,065 vehicles.

Sep 16, 2021

You Can Now Sign-in to Your Microsoft Accounts Without a Password

Posted by in categories: security, transportation

Microsoft on Wednesday announced a new passwordless mechanism that allows users to access their accounts without a password by using Microsoft Authenticator, Windows Hello, a security key, or a verification code sent via SMS or email.

The change is expected to be rolled out in the coming weeks.

“Except for auto-generated passwords that are nearly impossible to remember, we largely create our own passwords,” said Vasu Jakkal, Microsoft’s corporate vice president for Security, Compliance, and Identity. “But, given the vulnerability of passwords, requirements for them have gotten increasingly complex in recent years, including multiple symbols, numbers, case sensitivity, and disallowing previous passwords.”

Sep 15, 2021

Critical Flaws Discovered in Azure App That Microsoft Secretly Installed on Linux VMs

Posted by in categories: computing, security

“With a single packet, an attacker can become root on a remote machine by simply removing the authentication header.” ‘ Unfortunately, Microsoft can’t fix it for you. Users affected by these vulnerabilities must manually update the OMI agent to the patched versions.

Microsoft on Tuesday addressed a quartet of security flaws as part of its Patch Tuesday updates that could be abused by adversaries to target Azure cloud customers and elevate privileges as well as allow for remote takeover of vulnerable systems.

The list of flaws, collectively called OMIGOD by researchers from Wiz, affect a little-known software agent called Open Management Infrastructure that’s automatically deployed in many Azure services

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