Cybersecurity

Data mining can improve our schools. Will Congress allow it?

In the past, as innovative efforts to use data to improve education began to take shape, those without a clear understanding of the benefits of data mining in education have stopped progress in its tracks, often because of misguided privacy fears. Now, bills introduced in the House and Senate could pave the way for more innovative uses of education data – but the bills simultaneously include provisions that restrict the potential for data-driven improvements to educational outcomes.

U.S. News & World Report Can Hackers Really Target Your Smart Car?

As major automakers continue to roll out cars with Wi-Fi features connecting the vehicles with smartphones and other devices, their innovations are likely to catch the eye of hackers as well as tech-hungry customers, opening up a new asphalt playing field in the arena of cybersecurity. "My concern is where we are heading in the future. As we head toward more automated drive systems, then the possibilities for hacking open up even more," says Akshay Anand, an analyst with automotive research company Kelley Blue Book.

Cyber Security Experts Remotely Hack Into Chrysler Vehicle

Yesterday’s flaws, experts say, are being built directly into tomorrow’s connected world. Among the most vivid examples came this week, when security researchers Charlie Miller and Chris Valasek demonstrated that they could hijack a vehicle over the Internet, without any dealership-installed device to ease access. By hacking into a 2014 Jeep Cherokee, the researchers were able to turn the steering wheel, briefly disable the brakes and shut down the engine.

Top Dem pushes $37M for network security: This is a crisis

Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) plans to offer amendments to a spending bill Thursday that would boost funding to improve federal cybersecurity and protect millions of people whose personal information was exposed in a major breach. The first amendment would provide $37 million more to speed up improvements to network systems and information technology (IT) infrastructure one year ahead of schedule, according to Mikulski’s office.

Cybersecurity, the singularity and the rise of the silicon based life form

The singularity, a term coined by science fiction writer Vernor Vinge and popularized by futurist Ray Kurzweil, strikes fear into some of those familiar with artificial intelligence. Simply put, The singularity will come to pass once artificial intelligence surpasses human intelligence. Those that fear the singularity worry that we will create an artificial life form to do our bidding, which will, in an ironic twist, rise up and enslave us.

McCain raises concerns about possible China bid for Micron Tech

Republican U.S. Senator John McCain on Wednesday raised concerns about the potential national security implications of a proposed bid by China’s Tsinghua Unigroup Ltd’s to acquire U.S. chip maker Micron Technology Inc, and called for a thorough U.S. review. “I am concerned by the potential national security implications of a planned bid by a Chinese state-owned enterprise for Micron Technology, the last major American manufacturer of memory chips,” the head of the Senate Armed Services Committee said in response to a query from Reuters.

Cyber attack on U.S. power grid could cost economy $1 trillion

The report from the University of Cambridge Centre for Risk Studies and the Lloyd's of London insurance market outlines a scenario of an electricity blackout that leaves 93 million people in New York City and Washington DC without power. The total impact to the U.S. economy is estimated at $243 billion, rising to more than $1 trillion in the most extreme version of the scenario," the report said.

US Army Seeks Leap-Ahead Cyber Defense Tech

The US Army is seeking to equip its cyber warriors with cutting-edge networking hardware, and it is going outside the traditional acquisitions system to do it. The easily transportable "fly-away" kit of hardware and software would travel with the Army's cyber protection teams, whose job involves hunting inside the military's networks for intrusions and fighting off cyber attacks.

Is US Defense industry still capable of innovation?

The effort to encourage greater innovation makes sense, up to a point. Unfortunately, there is a growing tendency for Pentagon officials and defense experts alike to view innovation and efficiency as increasingly the domains of commercial companies and to minimize and, on occasion, even disparage the ability of the U.S. defense industry to produce cutting edge capabilities.

No Child Left Un-Mined? Student Privacy at Risk in the Age of Big Data

On Facebook, it’s the season where parents are posting pictures of K-12 graduations, including moppets in tiny mortarboards. But unlike a generation ago, today’s smallest graduates are amassing a big data trail. Just as medical and government files have been digitized — some to be anonymized and sold; all susceptible to breaches — student data has entered the realm of the valuable and the vulnerable.

Biden: US, China must cooperate despite intense differences

Chinese Vice Premier Wang Yang said neither China nor the U.S. can afford a lack of cooperation or "all-out confrontation." He said the two-day dialogue would lay the foundation for a White House visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping, slated for September. Biden acknowledged that there will be intense disagreements, but added: "This relationship is just too important. Not only we depend on it, but the world depends on our mutual success."

Government apathy is the barrier to better cybersecurity

When the federal government announced earlier this month that Chinese hackers had stolen sensitive personnel records of 4.2 million current and former government employees, the biggest surprise was that it had taken so long for this kind of breach to occur. The truth is that it was less an indicator of the Chinese government's technical prowess than it was proof of the U.S. federal government's lackadaisical approach to securing its computer systems.

Why we need a robust national standard for data breach notification

The lack of a uniform federal standard for data breach notification also has created an unnecessarily complex situation for companies, which must now spend more time navigating this murky legal terrain than actually protecting consumer data. Congress should act swiftly to pass a strong federal data breach law that preempts all the conflicting state laws.

When Guarding Student Data Endangers Valuable Research

To my knowledge there has been no large-scale, Target-like theft of private student records — probably because students’ test scores don’t have the market value of consumers’ credit card numbers. Parents’ concerns have mainly centered not on theft, but on the sharing of student data with third parties, including education technology companies. In response to such concerns, some pending legislation would scale back the authority of schools, districts and states to share student data with third parties, including researchers. Perhaps the most stringent of these proposals, sponsored by Senator David Vitter, a Louisiana Republican, would effectively end the analysis of student data by outside social scientists.

China-linked hackers get sensitive U.S. defense and intelligence data

China-linked hackers appear to have gained access to sensitive background information submitted by U.S. intelligence and military personnel for security clearances that could potentially expose them to blackmail, the Associated Press reported on Friday. In a report citing several U.S. officials, the news agency said data on nearly all of the millions of U.S. security-clearance holders, including the Central Intelligence Agency, National Security Agency and military special operations personnel, were potentially exposed in the attack on the Office of Personnel Management.

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