TOPIC:  CYBER DEFENSE




Source:  Nathan Braschi for Wired.com

THE NEXT AMERICAN president will be tasked with deterring foreign government-sponsored cyber attacks against US citizens and companies. And under the current system, that task will be next to impossible. Cyber war is on the rise, from Russian cyber soldiers knocking out the power grid in Ukraine to Iranian hackers compromising American dams to Chinese agents stealing trade secrets from U.S. defense, technology, and pharmaceutical companies (to say nothing of the theft of millions of records from the Office of Personnel Management).

President Obama has threatened to retaliate against egregious cyber attacks with bombs and missiles, but as a former military man myself, I don’t think even a President Trump would have the gall to actually push the button.

Right now the government’s options for responding to cyber attacks are retaliation, sanctions, or, in very rare cases, individual indictments. These are insufficient for deterrence and ill-suited to the speed and reality of cyber warfare. Deterrence requires a credible threat. In the middle ages, kingdoms ensured the enforcement of peace treaties by exchanging their princes as hostages. In the Cold War, we had the doctrine of mutually assured destruction. Now we need something new. What if there was a way to deter cyber attacks by automatically hitting countries that launch them right where it hurts—in the wallet? What if Wall Street could solve a challenge that has confounded Silicon Valley and the NSA for years? Enter our unlikely hero: sophisticated financial instruments. Specifically, a kind of securitized cyber insurance that I will call Cyber Bonds.

The Idea

Securitized insurance began with catastrophe bonds engineered in the wake of Hurricane Andrew in 1992. Hurricanes, like cyber attacks, are expensive to insure conventionally given that claims are not independent and often catastrophic. Catastrophe bonds solve this problem by securitizing the risk and passing it on to a wide pool of investors. The bonds pay handsome coupons to investors in seasons when natural disasters don’t happen, and liquidate the investment principal to pay for damages in seasons when they do.

TOPIC:  HACKING/MALWARE



Source:  Pierluigi Paganani for Cyberdefense Magazine

Experts at the BAE security firms collected evidence that demonstrates the malware used in the recent cyberheists is linked to 2014 Sony Pictures hack.

A second bank was a victim of a malware-based attack, the news was recently confirmed by the SWIFT. The investigation conducted by the security researchers at BAE Systems are making the situation very intriguing because according to experts the cyberheist at the Bangladesh Bank, and at an unnamed commercial bank in Vietnam are linked could be linked to the clamorous Sony Pictures hack.

At the time of the Sony hack, the US authorities blamed the North Korea for the attack, the Obama administration decided to exacerbate the economic sanctions against 10 senior North Korean officials and three entities of the country.

At this point we have two options, the North Korea is targeting the global financial or we are in front of a false flag operation conducted by someone that is conducting a diversionary operation relying on the code used in the Sony hack.

Security experts Sergei Shevchenko and Adrian Nish from BAE Systems have collected evidence of the link between the malware used in the recent cyber attacks against the financial institutions and the malicious code used to compromise Sony Pictures systems in 2014.

The security duo has demonstrated that the malware used in the attacks against the banks relies on the same wiper component.

“The implementation of this function is very unique – it involves complete filling of the file with the random data in order to occupy all associated disk sectors, before the file is deleted. The file-delete function itself is also unique – the file is first renamed into a temporary file with a random name, and that temporary file is also deleted.” states the analysis published by the experts.

Topic:  TECHNOLOGIES




Source:  Lance Ulanoff for Mashable.com

People fear robots are becoming too human, but, in reality, robots are becoming a little more bug-like every day.

A team of Harvard University researchers proved this axiom when they found the solution to extending tiny robot flight is by mimicking the way small bugs alight on walls and ceilings.

The applications for such a robot are wide-ranging, from small spying devices that can conduct surveillance missions while suspended from a ceiling to research drones that can allow scientists to take measurements where no other sensors can physically go.

For the typical drone, hovering can take just as much energy as flying. As long as the robot is in the air, it’s expending energy and running down its small battery capacity. 

What researchers discovered, as reported in a new study published Thursday in the journal Science, is that tiny robots could save considerable energy if they simply landed and perched between jaunts, the way a bee or butterfly might land on the ceiling before taking off again.

While the scientists toyed with a number of different surface adhesion possibilities, the team finally settled on a unique combination of electrostatic material and foam to create a new kind of built-in robot landing pad. 

A bee-inspired robot

The team built a bee-inspired micro aerial vehicle (MAV) robot and attached an electrostatic patch consisting of a carbon-fiber base, copper electrodes and a polyamide coating. It sits on a small foam cylinder. 

When charged, the electrostatic plate can attach itself to almost any surface (wood, glass, organic material) that responds to static electricity (yes, the same stuff you build up when you rub a balloon on a wall or your feet on the carpet).  

Topic:  TECHNOLOGIES 

 



SOURCE:  Paul Szoldra for Techinsider.io

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency has been tasked with building breakthrough technologies for the US military since 1958, and plenty were on full display at the Pentagon last week.

Tech Insider went to DARPA's "Demo Day" on May 11 where more than 60 projects were shown to reporters, senior military leaders, and government contractors. We saw everything from underwater drones that autonomously search for enemy submarines to a game-changing prosthetic hand that looks like it's straight out of "Terminator 2."

There was a ton for us to see in the Pentagon's courtyard, but these are the ones we thought were most interesting.

Here's a rundown of DARPA's "Demo Day"

DARPA Demo Day provided the DoD community with an up-close look at the Agency's diverse portfolio of innovative technologies and military systems at various stages of development and readiness, spanning every military domain from undersea to outer space and across all of DARPA's strategic focus areas, from sensors and microsystems to cyber and spectrum to biological technologies and counterterrorism.

The event was open to Pentagon badge holders, visiting U.S. Government‎ civilian/military CAC holders, and Intelligence Community badge‎ holders.