In-brief: The FBI seized equipment from noted security researcher Chris Roberts on Wednesday, alleging that Roberts may have tampered with the systems aboard a United flight to Chicago. Roberts denies the claim.
In-brief: A report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) warns that the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration may be failing to address cyber security vulnerabilities that could allow remote attacks on avionics systems needed to keep the plane airborne.
U.S. Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) used his final days in office to warn that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is struggling to fulfill its mission to protect the nation from cyber attack. The report, “A Review of the Department of Homeland Security’s Missions and Performance,” (PDF) was released on Saturday, as the retiring Senator from Oklahoma was leaving office. In it, the outgoing Senator said that DHS’s strategy and programs “are unlikely to protect us from the adversaries that pose the greatest cybersecurity threat.” The warnings on DHS cyber operations were part of a larger critique of the Department in the report, in which Coburn called on reforms of Homeland Security focused on accountability and streamlining. Despite spending $700 million annually on a range of cybersecurity programs, Coburn said it is hard to know whether the Department’s efforts to assist the private sector in identifying, mitigating or remediating cyber […]
Your car is a lot more than just a car these days. Forget about the in-car entertainment system with the USB port and the iPhone jack. If you drive a late-model vehicle, it has been tricked out with hundreds of wireless sensors to monitor everything from tire pressure to braking and acceleration. These sensors communicate over a VAN – or Vehicle Area Network – that’s not all that different from the LAN that connects the computers, servers, printers and other peripheral devices in your office. Beyond that, automakers are taking their cue from mobile device makers- and for good reason. Apple booked $10 billion in sales through its AppStore in 2013 alone. That’s not too shabby, when you consider that much of that revenue came in $.99 increments! But, as Jessica Naziri (@jessicanaziri) noted in yesterday’s Los Angeles Times, cars are the new gadgets. After all, the Detroit Auto Show is still […]
The virtual currency Bitcoin has soared in value against the U.S. dollar in recent months, topping out a staggering $913 USD to 1 Bitcoin (or BTC) as of late Tuesday. The currency had many ups and downs since it was launched in January 2009. But its main attraction, all along, has been anonymity. Unlike any other online payment system, Bitcoin transactions – like cash transactions – cannot be traced back to specific individuals. Also like cash, they cannot be reversed. Both those factors give Bitcoin users the confidence that their online purchasing activity – whether computer hardware or contraband will remain private. But a group of researchers at two U.S. universities have released a paper that suggests reports of Bitcoin’s anonymity may (to paraphrase Twain) “be greatly exaggerated.” Specifically: the researchers found that, by culling a variety of open source data using public data from the Bitcoin Peer to Peer network and from […]