October 5, 2015

October is “Cybersecurity Awareness Month”

President Obama has once again designated October as “Cybersecurity Awareness Month,” which, according to the Department of Homeland Security’s website, is “designed to engage and educate public and private sector partners through events and initiatives with the goal of raising awareness about cybersecurity and increasing the resiliency of the nation…

September 29, 2015

Potential Blowback for Imposing Sanctions on China for Cyberattacks

Cybersecurity was a major point of discussion during a summit between President Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping, with the U.S. leader calling on his counterpart to curtail government-sponsored cyberattacks on American organizations. As reported in the Guardian, President Obama announced in a speech that he “did indicate to President…

September 23, 2015

NYTimes, WSJ Report on Growth in the Field of “Threat Intelligence”

In the article, “Intelligence Start-Up Goes Behind Enemy Lines to Get Ahead of Hackers,” Nicole Perlroth of the New York Times described the work of iSight Partners, a company that “provides intelligence about threats to computer security in much the same way military scouts provide intelligence about enemy troops.” She…

September 21, 2015

Intelligence Officials Make Case for “Backdoor” Access to Encrypted Communications

In hearings last week, the House Intelligence Committee heard testimony from several government officials—including heads of the FBI, CIA, and National Security Agency—who argued that the Government needed to maintain “backdoor” access to encrypted data. Elias Groll of Foreign Policy summed up the argument by James Clapper, Director of National…

September 15, 2015

Dr. Chris Demchak of U.S. Naval War College Speaks at CLTC

On September 3, 2015, UC Berkeley’s Center for Long-Term Cybersecurity hosted Dr. Chris C. Demchak, Grace M. Hopper Chair of Cyber Security and Director of the Center for Cyber Conflict Studies in the Strategic Research Department of the U.S. Naval War College. In a presentation entitled “Political and Economic Coercion…

September 11, 2015

Russian Hackers Using Satellites to “Siphon Sensitive Data”

Multiple media outlets have reported that a group of Russian-speaking hackers are “exploiting commercial satellites to siphon sensitive data from diplomatic and military agencies in the United States and in Europe as well as to mask their location.” In covering the story in the Washington Post, Ellen Nakashima noted that…

September 11, 2015

Vast Data Troves At Risk: Web is “Most Perfect Surveillance System”

In a front-page story in the Wall Street Journal, “The Hacked Data Broker? Be Very Afraid,“ Christopher Mims reports on the potential for a massive exposure of data that would “make the hack of infidelity site Ashley Madison look like a footnote by comparison.” “Even more daunting,” he writes, “it…

August 24, 2015

Quantum Computing Advances: Is the Crypto-Apocalypse Coming?

Writing in Network World, Patrick Nelson reports on recent advances in quantum computing that could represent a step toward the so-called “cybersecurity Armageddon,” in which encryption is rendered useless in the face of staggeringly fast computers. “The number crunching behind cryptographic keys could one day become as painless to untangle…

August 24, 2015

Ripples of Ashley Madison Hack Include Blackmail Risk

Citing the “fraud, deceit, and stupidity” of its target, the self-described “Impact Team” posted 10 gigabytes worth of personal data—including names, passwords, and credit card numbers—for 37 million customers of Toronto-based Ashley Madison, a website set up to facilitate extramarital affairs. The Guardian reported on one of the many ripples…

August 1, 2015

NY Times Shows Breadth of Hacks—and Questions Impacts

The New York Times recently published a jaw-dropping visualization to depict how much of Americans’ private information is already in the hands of hackers. The questionnaire asks first whether you have “applied for a job with or worked for the federal government since 2000? (following the wake of the hack…

July 31, 2015

White House Seeks Deterrence Strategy Following China Hack on OPM

The Congressional Research Service has published “Cyber Intrusion into U.S. Office of Personnel Management: In Brief,” a report on the cyberattack on the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) that was estimated to have compromised sensitive information of 21.5 million individuals. The breach, the report notes, was was detected “partly…

July 30, 2015

Feature Phone Can Hack Air-Gapped Computer

A team of researchers in Israel showed they could use a feature phone (i.e. predecessor to the smart phone) to capture data through the electromagnetic waves generated from a desktop computer. As reported in by Kim Zetter in Wired, the implication is that “air-gapping”— the separation of networks from the…

July 30, 2015

Demonstration of Jeep Hack Spurs Calls for Regulation

The recent news that Fiat Chrysler cars were vulnerable to takeover through remote hacking was unnerving enough. Now it seems the issue could be more far-reaching. Fiat Chrysler recalled approximately 1.4 million vehicles after cybersecurity researchers demonstrated they could use a wireless connection to turn off a Jeep Cherokee’s engine…

July 26, 2015

Keystroke Analysis Can Unmask Anonymous Users

“Behavioral biometrics”—the use of individual behavioral traits, such as how someone swipes the mouse or uses a keyboard—represents a significant new frontier in online security. As reported by Dan Goodin on Ars Technica, researchers recently demonstrated they could identify Internet users based on how they type, even when using anonymization…

June 30, 2015

NIST Releases Report on Securing Medical Records

The National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence (NCCoE), an agency established by the established in 2012 by the U.S. Commerce Department’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), the state of Maryland, and Montgomery County, Md, has published a report detailing the risks of using mobile devices for maintaining electronic health…

June 5, 2015

UC Berkeley School of Information Releases Data on Synchronized Brain Waves

Participants from a Fall 2014 class at the UC Berkeley School of Information have published a first-of-its-kind dataset collected using consumer-grade brainwave-sensing headsets during an in-class group exercise, along with the software code and visual stimulus used to collect the data. The dataset and documentation are available at https://bit.ly/synchronized-brain-recordings. The group…