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.
SIGNAL Online Exclusives
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 toward a strengthened cyber defense and cyber deterrence posture—and plans to hold in its arsenal offensive cyber capabilities.
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.
The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) reviewed the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA's) transition to the Next Generation Air Transportation System (NexGen) and pointed out in a 56-page report several cybersecurity challenges, including protecting air-traffic control information systems, protecting aircraft avionics used to operate and guide the aircraft, and clarifying cybersecurity roles and responsibilities.
The U.S. intelligence community's (IC's) leading edge in the information-age technology race, particularly in the intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) 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, a former general says.
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.
The amplification could be worrisome because cybersecurity experts already cannot keep up with, much less get ahead of, the cyber activities that pose a national threat and have risen to the level of a national emergency.
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.
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. Few improvements have been developed to protect implanted insulin pumps, for example, from hackers who can then dispense lethal doses or to safeguard pacemakers from breaches delivering deadly shocks.
“This could be a new wave of terrorism that we see,” U.S. Rep. Diana DeGette (D-CO), whose daughter wears an implanted insulin pump, said this week at a panel discussion hosted by the Atlantic Council on the issue.
It will not be long before adversaries narrow the superiority gap the United States holds over others in satellite technology—rivals who are unencumbered by bureaucratic stagnation and who can rapidly leverage commercial technology for military use, according to one panelist speaking at the Satellite 2015 symposium in Washington D.C.
The European Union faces the same formidable increase in cyber attacks perpetrated by adversaries with improved scope and sophistication as the United States—but comes up against issues compounded by disparate national laws and cybersecurity expertise, experts say.
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. The structured guideline, presented by the Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), is proving a successful advent toward a better understanding of cyber risks and organizations’ vulnerabilities, and the development of security programs to protect networks.
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has unveiled a drone and a mini bomb-detecting bot that operate on secure software that officials say make them hack-proof. The High-Assurance Cyber Military Systems (HACMS) is protective software built into operating systems from inception to negate security vulnerabilities to just about anything that works on network computers.
“The technology that we are developing here is to make it so those kinds of systems are not easily hackable. In fact, they are provably invulnerable to large classes of attacks,” says Program Manager Kathleen Fisher.
Contrary to popular belief, illegal crossings along the southern border of the United States are at their lowest levels since the 1970s, according to Jeh Johnson, secretary of the Homeland Security Department (DHS), who is calling on Congress to pass a 2015 appropriations bill to fund additional security measures for border protection and homeland security.
The United States is falling behind potential adversaries, such as China and Russia, in key technological areas, including electronic warfare, warned Frank Kendall, undersecretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics, while testifying before the House Armed Services Committee on Wednesday, January 28.
What if inexpensive, lightweight, easy-to-use drones could deliver food and medicine to war-ravaged refugees?
Maj. Mark Jacobsen, USAF, intends to answer that.
Update: As of January 14, the Twitter and YouTube accounts for CENTCOM are back online.
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 Monday 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.
CENTCOM’s Twitter feed included an ominous post that read: “AMERICAN SOLDIERS, WE ARE COMING, WATCH YOUR BACK. ISIS.”
The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) became the first intelligence agency to host an operational capability within Amazon Web Services’ Commercial Cloud Services (C2S) environment after Lockheed Martin deployed NGA’s interactive Map of the World to C2S. With the Map of the World viewer, which could be compared to Google Maps or similar applications, now resting in the cloud, NGA officials intend to add more data and capabilities.
The National Security Agency (NSA) is poised to deliver an initial cloud computing capability for the entire intelligence community (IC) that will significantly enhance cybersecurity and mission performance, and unleash the power of innovation for intelligence agencies, Lonny Anderson, NSA chief information officer, says.
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 unveiled details Tuesday for new laws toward better cybersecurity, which include a heavy focus on increased information sharing between government and industry. Some experts have said cybersecurity lacks a robust information-sharing plan between the private sector and government and the related safeguards to protect companies that share from prosecution. It's a good start, but not quite enough, some experts say.
Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology are investigating so-called side channel signals, low-level emissions from a computer that could allow savvy cyber attackers to illegally access information. By learning more about the signals, researchers may be one day be able to help mitigate the threat.
The Georgia Tech team has developed an algorithm for measuring the strength of the leaks, which will help prioritize security efforts. They now are studying smartphone emissions, which they say may be even more vulnerable. So far, they have looked only at Android devices.
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 (MDA).
Recently, China reportedly has conducted at least three flight tests of a hypersonic maneuverable glide vehicle that skims the Earth’s atmosphere—technology that adversaries pursue to “find a seam” in U.S. missile defenses, said Mike Trotsky, vice president of air and missile defense business development, Missiles and Fire Control, Lockheed Martin.