SIGNAL Online Exclusives

May 14, 2015
By Sandra Jontz

The U.S. government is just as vulnerable to cyberthreats—if not more so—compared to two years ago, according to a new survey of federal information security professionals. Nearly half of approximately 1,800 respondents indicated that security has not improved in the federal space, while another 17 percent stated their organization’s security posture is actually worse off.

May 7, 2015
By George I. Seffers
A prototype device known as FINDER detected heartbeats in the rubble of Nepal, leading to the rescue of four men.

The Finding Individuals for Disaster and Emergency Response device lived up to its name in Nepal, detecting signs of life that led to the rescue of four men trapped under as much as 10 feet of bricks, mud and other debris following the devastating April 25 earthquake in the area.

April 30, 2015
By Sandra Jontz
Before and after illustration of Lockheed Martin's GeoMI software to piece together a number of aerial photographs into one image. Without the software, the images fail to line up seamlessly.

Imagery captured from UAVs can be up to 10 times less expensive than from manned aircraft or satellites, prompting government agencies and private farmers alike to investigate using the economical method. But piecing the puzzle hasn't always produced a workable solution.

 

April 24, 2015
By Sandra Jontz
Sandia National Laboratories researchers Jon Ihlefeld (l) and David Scrymgeour use an atomic-force microscope to examine changes in a material’s phonon-scattering internal walls, before and after applying a voltage.

Government and academia researchers made a revolutionary breakthrough in the field of thermal energy, placing scientists on a path toward the development of technology that can both harness and store energy from heat.

April 23, 2015
By Sandra Jontz
Defense Secretary Ash Carter delivers a lecture, "Rewiring the Pentagon: Charting a New Path on Innovation and Cybersecurity," at Stanford University in California on Thursday. The lecture highlights the Pentagon's new cyber strategy and innovation initiatives.

The Pentagon’s new cybersecurity strategy for the first time publicly addresses the department’s option to resort to offensive cyberwarfare tactics as a means to safeguard the military’s information networks. The Department of Defense Cyber Strategy, the second in four years, guides the development of the military’s cyber forces.

April 15, 2015
By Sandra Jontz
Image courtesy of nokhoog_buchachon at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Modern commercial airliners could be at risk of in-flight cybersecurity attacks through a vulnerability posed by passengers using planes’ wireless systems, warns a federal watchdog agency.

April 14, 2015
By Sandra Jontz
DARPA's N-ZERO program aims to develop wireless, event-driven sensors that would remain dormant until triggered by physical, electromagnetic and other activity. The technology could increase mission life, reduce battery size and reduce the maintenance costs of unattended wireless sensors.

The U.S. intelligence community's leading edge in the information-age technology race, particularly in the intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance domain, has put the Defense Department at a self-imposed disadvantage, marked by some warfighters behind the curve when it comes time to process and analyze the vast amount of information collected. 

April 8, 2015
By Sandra Jontz

On the same day that news headlines implicated Russian hackers in a significant cyber attack and breach on the White House, officials attending a cybersecurity summit Tuesday in the nation’s capital warned of the uptick in the number of nation state-sponsored cyber attacks against the U.S. government and businesses. 

March 26, 2015
By Sandra Jontz
An example of neutron imaging: On the left, lilies photographed through an open cask. On the right, a neutron imaging system used to photograph the lilies through the lead walls of the cask. This image demonstrates the power of neutrons to easily pass through otherwise impenetrable materials.

The notion of nefarious scientists re-engineering the genetics of living organisms to then weaponize their new specimens has some researchers jostling for the upper hand, including those at the U.S. Defense Department’s main research agency. 

March 19, 2015
By Sandra Jontz
From left to right, Jason Healey, Suzanne Schwartz, Joshua Corman and Pat Calhoun discuss the impact of lack cybersecurity on the Internet of Things and health care.

Experts today trumpet the very same warnings voiced two years ago, when then Vice President Dick Cheney’s heart implant drew public attention and fervor to the mounting warnings of lax cybersecurity on wireless medical devices, some worn and some implanted inside the body. 

March 18, 2015
By Sandra Jontz
Photo courtesy of NASA

It will not be long before adversaries narrow the superiority gap the United States holds over others in satellite technology. Rivals are unencumbered by bureaucratic stagnation and can rapidly leverage commercial technology for military use, according to one panelist speaking at the Satellite 2015 symposium in Washington D.C.

February 25, 2015
By Sandra Jontz
Example of McAfee phishing quiz, determined to be among the most successful phishing email sample to compromise victims' computers through a malicious URL.

The European Union faces the same formidable increase in cyber attacks as the United States—but comes up against issues compounded by disparate national laws and cybersecurity expertise, experts say. While technology might lead to some of the security lapses, humans certainly contribute to the problem.

February 12, 2015
By Sandra Jontz
NIST's Cybersecurity Framework of protective guidelines was released February 12, 2014.

The U.S. government-backed cybersecurity framework for the nation’s federal agencies and critical infrastructure sector—released one year ago today—has received a general thumbs up of approval from industry experts, who say the NIST guideline is proving a successful advent toward a better understanding of cyber risks and organizations’ vulnerabilities. 

January 29, 2014
By George I. Seffers
Smugglers used a makeshift ramp to attempt to drive over a border fence in 2012 but fled when the truck didn’t make it over. Jeh Johnson, secretary of the Homeland Security Department, is calling for a 2015 appropriations bill to fund more technology to help secure the southern border.

Jeh Johnson, secretary of the Homeland Security Department, is calling on Congress to pass a 2015 appropriations bill to fund additional security measures for border protection and homeland security.

January 29, 2015
By George I. Seffers
An EA-18G Growler (top) and EA-6B Prowler (bottom) fly together. The Navy is developing a next-generation jammer to be integrated onto the EA-18G, but Frank Kendall warns the United States is falling behind potential adversaries on electronic warfare systems.

The U.S. is falling behind potential adversaries, such as China and Russia, in key technological areas, warned Frank Kendall, undersecretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics, while testifying before the House Armed Services Committee.

January 14, 2015
By Sandra Jontz

President Barack Obama has put the cybersecurity ball into Congress’ court, seeking legislation that pushes what some industry experts have clamored for in the quest to better protect the nation’s information network. The president has unveiled details for new laws toward better cybersecurity, which includes a heavy focus on increased information sharing between government and industry. Some experts have said better protections lacking a robust information-sharing plan—and the related safeguards—between the private sector and government. It's a good start, but not quite enough. 

January 12, 2015
By Sandra Jontz
Screen shot of CENTCOM's Twitter page, which had been hacked January 12, 2015.

The Twitter and YouTube accounts for the U.S. Central Command, the Defense Department branch responsible for operations in the Middle East and Afghanistan, were hacked by sympathizers of the Islamic State militant group, prompting U.S. officials to suspend the accounts and launch yet another round of investigations into a cybersecurity breach.

January 9, 2015
By George I. Seffers

Georgia Tech researchers work toward a scanner—similar to a virus scan—for side channel emissions.

January 7, 2015
By Sandra Jontz

As China, Russia and Iran continue to develop capabilities that could circumvent U.S. missile defenses, technology under development by one defense industry contracting giant has piqued the interest of the U.S. Missile Defense Agency.

December 29, 2014
By Sandra Jontz

The U.S. military can get a bird's-eye view of a battlefield or humanitarian mission via use of unmanned aerial vehicles. Now, DARPA is asking for technology that would let the military get into buildings without having troops actually step foot inside.

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