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Archive for the ‘security’ category: Page 120

Aug 31, 2015

Quantum revolution: China set to launch ‘hack proof’ quantum communications network

Posted by in categories: cybercrime/malcode, particle physics, security

China is set to complete the installation of the world’s longest quantum communication network stretching 2,000km (1,240miles) from Beijing to Shanghai by 2016, say scientists leading the project. Quantum communications technology is considered to be “unhackable” and allows data to be transferred at the speed of light.

By 2030, the Chinese network would be extended worldwide, the South China Morning Post reported. It would make the country the first major power to publish a detailed schedule to put the technology into extensive, large-scale use.

The development of quantum communications technology has accelerated in the last five years. The technology works by two people sharing a message which is encrypted by a secret key made up of quantum particles, such as polarized photons. If a third person tries to intercept the photons by copying the secret key as it travels through the network, then the eavesdropper will be revealed by virtue of the laws of quantum mechanics – which dictate that the act of interfering with the network affects the behaviour of the key in an unpredictable manner.

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Aug 30, 2015

AI Dangerous for Economics? The Other Threat Flying Under Radars

Posted by in categories: economics, machine learning, security

Dr. Nils J. Nilsson spent almost a lifetime in the field of Artificial Intelligence (AI) before writing and publishing his book, The Quest for Artificial Intelligence (2009). I recently had the opportunity to speak with the former Stanford computer science professor, now retired at the age of 82, and reflect on the earlier accomplishments that have led to some of the current trends in AI, as well as the serious economic and security considerations that need to be made about AI as society moves ahead in the coming decades.

The Early AI that Powers Today’s Trends

One key contribution of early AI developments included rules-based expert systems, such as MYCIN, which was developed in the mid-1970s by Ted Shortliffe and colleagues at Stanford University. The information built into the diagnostic system was gleaned from medical diagnosticians, and the system would then ask questions based on that information. A person could then type in answers about a patient’s tests, symptoms, etc., and the program would then attempt to diagnose diseases and prescribe therapy.

“Bringing us more up to the future was the occurrence of huge databases (in the 1990s) — sometimes called big data — and the ability of computers to mine that data and find information and make inferences,” remarks Nils. This made possible the new work on face recognition, speech recognition, and language translation. “AI really had what might be called a take off at this time.” Both of these technologies also feed into the launch of IBM’s Watson Healthcare, which combines advanced rules-based systems with big data capabilities and promises to give healthcare providers access to powerful tools in a cloud-based data sharing hub.

Work in neural networks, another catalyst, went through two phases, an earlier phase in the 1950s and 1960s and a latter phase in the 1980s and 1990s. “The second phase (of neural networks) allowed…people to make changes in the connected strength in those networks and multiple layers, and this allowed neural networks that can steer and drive automobiles.” More primitive networks led to the cutting-edge work being done by today’s scientists in the self-driven automobile industry via companies like Tesla and Google.

Continue reading “AI Dangerous for Economics? The Other Threat Flying Under Radars” »

Aug 13, 2015

Dropbox now lets you log in with a USB key for universal 2nd factor authentication

Posted by in category: security

Dropbox today announced that it has started to allow users to log in using USB keys as a universal second factor (U2F) of authentication.

U2F, a protocol promoted by the FIDO Alliance, isn’t the most trendy form of secure authentication for consumer web services. What’s far more common is two-factor authentication that you can sign on with by entering a code that’s sent to your phone. Dropbox already allows its users to do that, but now it’s gone further.

“After typing in your password, just insert your key into a USB port when you’re prompted, instead of typing in a six-digit code,” Dropbox’s Patrick Heim and Jay Patel wrote in a blog post today. “And unlike two-step with a phone, you’ll never have to worry about your battery going dead when you use a security key.”

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Aug 7, 2015

‘Internet of Things’ allows new terrorism threats, experts say — By Ryo Asayama | Nikkei Asian Review

Posted by in category: security

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“Increased Internet connectivity among cars, appliances, major infrastructure and everyday devices has opened the door to new threats of digital terrorism, say experts at the international digital security conference Black Hat.”

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Jul 7, 2015

Toss Your Credit Cards and Other Security Musings – By: Sherri Hammons – CIO, IQ Navigator

Posted by in categories: privacy, security

Toss Your Credit Cards and Other Security Musings – By: Sherri Hammons

“Let’s post our credit card numbers and even those pesky CSV codes on the back. (Better yet, let’s just do away with credit cards altogether because, at the end of that day, it’s just a bank taking on the risk that you’ll pay back a loan.) Let’s post our social security numbers and our driver’s licenses. Let’s post everything. Overnight, the incentives to steal your data are wiped off the face of the earth. The dark databases are worth zero.”

Last year, my personal credit cards and banks were breached five times. Last week, another personal breach. Each time, I was informed by email and snail mail, a new credit card or bank account was issued, and I bought more monitoring for my credit or, in the case of one of the breaches, the company that was breached bought additional monitoring. About the fourth time, I started wondering why our industry doesn’t do something else. The traditional IT security model is dead, but we just keep propping up the body. Hope has become our strategy in the cyber security war. Read more

Jun 23, 2015

Accelerated modern human–induced species losses: Entering the sixth mass extinction | Science Advances

Posted by in categories: education, environmental, ethics, governance, law enforcement, science, security

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“The evidence is incontrovertible that recent extinction rates are unprecedented in human history and highly unusual in Earth’s history. Our analysis emphasizes that our global society has started to destroy species of other organisms at an accelerating rate, initiating a mass extinction episode unparalleled for 65 million years. If the currently elevated extinction pace is allowed to continue, humans will soon (in as little as three human lifetimes) be deprived of many biodiversity benefits.”

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Jun 7, 2015

“Brainprints” Could Be Future Security ID — By Christopher Intagliata Scientific American

Posted by in categories: encryption, neuroscience, security

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Biometric technology was once the stuff of sci-fi—how many movies show someone having their hand or eye scanned to get entry into a secured facility? But today biometric tech can be found in millions of people’s pockets—as the fingerprint scanner on an iPhone.

Of course, fingerprint scanning isn’t foolproof. Hackers have stolen fingerprints from photos, and used fake prints to fool Apple’s touch ID. Plus, there’s always the brute force method, like the time a gang in Malaysia cut off a guy’s fingertip—with a machete—to interface with the fingerprint-recognition system on the victim’s Mercedes. Read more

Jun 3, 2015

How the Tech Behind Bitcoin Could Stop the Next Snowden — Klint Finley Wired

Posted by in categories: bitcoin, encryption, government, hacking, information science, privacy, security

The National Security Agency knows Edward Snowden disclosed many of its innermost secrets when he revealed how aggressive its surveillance tactics are. What it doesn’t know is just how much information the whistleblower took with him when he left.

For all of its ability to track our telecommunications, the NSA seemingly has little clue exactly what documents, or even how many documents, Snowden gave to the media. Like most large organizations, the NSA had tools in place to track who accessed what data and when. But Snowden, a system administrator, apparently was able to cover his tracks by deleting or modifying the log files that tracked that access. Read more

May 16, 2015

So, the NSA Has an Actual Skynet Program — Kim Zet Wired

Posted by in categories: privacy, robotics/AI, security, Skynet, supercomputing, surveillance

We’ve suspected it all along—that Skynet, the massive program that brings about world destruction in the Terminator movies, was just a fictionalization of a real program in the hands of the US government. And now it’s confirmed—at least in name.

As The Intercept reports today, the NSA does have a program called Skynet. But unlike the autonomous, self-aware computerized defense system in Terminator that goes rogue and launches a nuclear attack that destroys most of humanity, this one is a surveillance program that uses phone metadata to track the location and call activities of suspected terrorists. A journalist for Al Jazeera reportedly became one of its targets after he was placed on a terrorist watch list. Read more

Apr 24, 2015

Article: Harnessing “Black Holes”: The Large Hadron Collider – Ultimate Weapon of Mass Destruction

Posted by in categories: astronomy, big data, computing, cosmology, energy, engineering, environmental, ethics, existential risks, futurism, general relativity, governance, government, gravity, information science, innovation, internet, journalism, law, life extension, media & arts, military, nuclear energy, nuclear weapons, open source, particle physics, philosophy, physics, policy, posthumanism, quantum physics, science, security, singularity, space, space travel, supercomputing, sustainability, time travel, transhumanism, transparency, treaties

Harnessing “Black Holes”: The Large Hadron Collider – Ultimate Weapon of Mass Destruction

Why the LHC must be shut down