TOPIC: HOMELAND SECURITY




SOURCE:  homelandsecuritynewswire.com

Cybersecurity experts are leading a new program to develop new data analysis methods better to protect the nation’s power grid. The goal of this project is to develop technologies and methodologies to protect the grid from advanced cyber and threats by developing the means to distinguish between power grid failures caused by cyber attacks and failures caused by other means, including natural disasters, “normal” equipment failures, and even physical attacks.

Cybersecurity experts Jamie Van Randwyk of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory(LLNL) and Sean Peisert of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory(Berkeley Lab) are leading a new program to develop new data analysis methods better to protect the nation’s power grid.

The project, “Threat Detection and Response with Data Analytics,” i  part of a $220 million, three-year Grid Modernization Initiative launched in January 2016 by the Department of Energy to support research and development in power grid modernization.

TOPIC: CYBERSECURITY



 


SOURCE:  securitymagazine.com

Wearable devices can give away your passwords, according to new research.

In the paper "Friend or Foe?: Your Wearable Devices Reveal Your Personal PIN" scientists from the Stevens Institute of Technology and Binghamton University combined data from embedded sensors in wearable technologies, such as smartwatches and fitness trackers, along with a computer algorithm to crack private PINs and passwords with 80-percent accuracy on the first try and more than 90-percent accuracy after three tries.

Yan Wang, assistant professor of computer science within the Thomas J. Watson School of Engineering and Applied Science at Binghamton University is a co-author of the study along with the lead researcher, his advisor Yingying Chen, from the Stevens Institute of Technology.

"Wearable devices can be exploited," said Wang. "Attackers can reproduce the trajectories of the user’s hand then recover secret key entries to ATM cash machines, electronic door locks and keypad-controlled enterprise servers."

"This was surprising, even to those of us already working in this area," says the lead researcher Chen, a multiple time National Science Foundation (NSF) awardee. "It may be easier than we think for criminals to obtain secret information from our wearables by using the right techniques.

TOPIC: HACKERS


 

SOURCE:  cyberdefensemagazine.com

Security experts from ESET security firm have spotted an espionage toolkit dubbed SBDH that was used by threat actors in hacking operations targeting government organizations in Europe.

The research observed infections in many countries, including the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia, and Ukraine.

The SBDH toolkit was designed to steal sensitive data from victim’s machines, experts from ESET have already detected other sample of the toolkit over the past year, hackers exploited it in attacks against government and public institutions.

Threat actors targeted organizations focused that specialize in economic growth and cooperation.

“Over the course of the last year, ESET has detected and analyzed several instances of malware used for targeted espionage – dubbed SBDH toolkit. Using powerful filters, various methods of communication with its operators and an interesting persistence technique, it aims to exfiltrate selected files from governmental and public institutions, which are mostly focused on economic growth and cooperation in Central and Eastern Europe.” reported ESET in a blog post.

TOPIC: OH, SO COOL!

 

 

 

SOURCE:  defenseone.com

Analysts are using what they call a ’tangible landscape' to predict the path of everything from forest fires and floods to movement of adversaries in war games.

The Defense Department is playing around with a shape-shifting, color-changing sandbox to limit the carnage from the next deadly flood, wildfire or other catastrophe. 

That is the promise behind the “Tangible Landscape.” 

Made up of kinetic sand, a toy that feels like the stuff on the beach but has the consistency of Silly Putty, the system’s miniature bridges, lakes and other structures morph—or disappear—when a finger crushes critical infrastructure. 

Our goal is to provide planners with an intuitive, collaborative tool to design more resilient environments, identify and better understand where the critical, high-risk locations are,” said Helena Mitasova, associate director of geovisualization at North Carolina State University.

NC State supplied the Tangible Landscape system that now sits inside the military’s spy mapping agency. The university’s free GRASS computer program combines changes in the playdough with sets of geospatial data, like population density and pipeline locations, to predict a change’s influence on surroundings.