Showing posts with label ICTEC. Show all posts
Showing posts with label ICTEC. Show all posts

6 December 2019

License to kill: Era of the cyber warrior dawns


In the darkness of night, the cyborg warrior excels … it can see beyond what you can see, sense beyond what you can sense, and make determinations instantly, not to mention, fire its weapon accurately … but is it friend or foe? And, can it be trusted.

Let’s face it, it’s isn’t a question of whether cyborg killers will be launched on the battlefield … it’s is a question of when … and, how much leeway they will be given. That much we know, from recent discussions by the US Army at the AUSA conference in Washington, D.C., in October.

According to a study released this month by the US Army’s Combat Capabilities Development Command, ear, eye, brain and muscular enhancement is “technically feasible by 2050 or earlier, ” the Army Times reported.

The demand for cyborg-style capabilities will be driven in part by the civilian healthcare market, which will acclimate people to an industry fraught with ethical, legal and social challenges, according to Defense Department researchers.

Small Contractors Struggle to Meet Cyber Security Standards, Pentagon Finds

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Even large companies aren’t doing as well as they think they are, the assistant acquisition chief said Monday.

Small companies are struggling to meet the Pentagon’s newish network security rules, and even larger contractors aren’t doing as well as they think they are, a recent department study has found.

“For the most part, the big companies do very well,” Kevin Fahey, assistant defense secretary for acquisition, told reporters at the Pentagon on Monday. “But in no case do they meet everything that they thought they met.”

For one thing, big companies tend to give their smaller subcontractors a lot of data they don’t need, which then becomes vulnerable to foreign hackers. 

“The biggest part of our training and the problem is that our adversaries don’t try to come in through the big companies, they come in through the fifth-, sixth-tier,” Fahey said. “If you’re flowing down information they don’t need, then that’s bad. That’s where we’re seeing our biggest problem.”

iPhones As a Drug? Are Your Kids Addicted to Technology?

by Ben Carter Nicola Kalk

We conducted the first ever systematic review investigating what we called “problematic smartphone usage” in children and young people. We defined problematic smartphone usage as behaviours linked to smartphone use that resemble features of addiction – such as feeling panicky when the phone isn’t available, or spending too much time using the smartphone, often to the detriment of others. Based on our findings, we estimate that a quarter children and young people show signs of problematic smartphone usage.

While numerous large-scale studies have found there’s no link between the amount you use your smartphone and harm to your mental health, the popular perception that smartphones are addictive still persists. Previous studies investigating their harm often had contradictory conclusions.

This is partly because many studies lumped all technology use together under the umbrella term “screen time”. This overlooks the fact that harm often comes from the way we interact with technology, not from screens themselves. For example, watching TV is very different to experiencing cyberbullying on Facebook. Other studies often only measured the total length of time spent in front of a screen, instead of perhaps looking at what effect engaging with certain apps or websites had on people.

Did No One Audit the Apple Card Algorithm?

by Osonde A. Osoba
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In the world of social media, tech executive David Heinemeier Hansson's thread of outrage about Apple Card has been categorized as viral Twitterstorm.

Data scientists would call it a rather tidy example of an algorithm audit.

Here's what happened: Jamie Heinemeier Hansson, Hansson's wife, asked to increase the line of credit on her Apple Card, a credit card Apple created in partnership with Goldman Sachs. The increase was denied. At the same time, her husband—with whom she shares all assets as a married couple in a community property state—had a credit line 20 times higher. Apple reps' reply: “It's the algorithm.”

So in this mini-audit, does the algorithm produce the same results (credit limits) for the same relevant inputs (reported personal assets)? Not so much.

5 December 2019

Artificial Intelligence and the Future of War

BY Michael T. Klare, TomDispatch
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There could be no more consequential decision than launching atomic weapons and possibly triggering a nuclear holocaust. President John F. Kennedy faced just such a moment during the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962 and, after envisioning the catastrophic outcome of a US-Soviet nuclear exchange, he came to the conclusion that the atomic powers should impose tough barriers on the precipitous use of such weaponry. Among the measures he and other global leaders adopted were guidelines requiring that senior officials, not just military personnel, have a role in any nuclear-launch decision.

That was then, of course, and this is now. And what a now it is! With artificial intelligence, or AI, soon to play an ever-increasing role in military affairs, as in virtually everything else in our lives, the role of humans, even in nuclear decision-making, is likely to be progressively diminished. In fact, in some future AI-saturated world, it could disappear entirely, leaving machines to determine humanity’s fate.

Pegasus: Surveilling journalists from inside their phones

Here is an offer many governments cannot refuse: do you want to hack into the phones of journalists, gather every bit of data and trace every call, message and keystroke?

Those governments are in luck, as there is some malware - malicious software - designed specifically for that purpose.

This story starts with an Israeli company called the NSO Group. It says it is in the business of "cyber-intelligence for global security and stability".

The company's primary product is known as Pegasus - a programme so sophisticated that it can embed into your mobile phone through just a phone call - even if you do not take the call.

The governments that use Pegasus - from Saudi Arabia to Mexico to India - say they are out to stop "security threats" but it is also used against civil society, including human rights activists.

And in October, WhatsApp sent the NSO Group a clear message: it is suing the company for developing Pegasus to specifically hack people's devices through that messaging app.

Cybersecurity in 2020: More targeted attacks, AI not a prevention panacea

by James Sanders

Given the proliferation of high-profile attacks in 2019, the security outlook for next year—and the next decade—is filled with potential pitfalls, as challenges persist in maintaining the security profile in enterprises, particularly as security operations teams are spread thinner as attack surfaces widen. 

McAfee CTO Steve Grobman and Director of Engineering Liz Maida--who joined the company through their acquisition of Uplevel Security, a firm that applied graph theory and machine learning to security data--spoke to TechRepublic about the security forecast for 2020. Hackers are increasingly seeking out high-value targets

In contrast to spray-and-pray attacks, relying on port scanning to uncover low-hanging vulnerabilities, an increase in attacks targeting specific industries are anticipated to continue their rise in popularity. "We've seen a good number of ransomware campaigns where the adversaries have done reconnaissance to really understand the critical assets [and] the defenses, and then tailor the attack in order to get into that environment, to demand a higher payment from the victim," Grobman said.

Let's get phygital: Most disruptive tech of 2020

by Macy Bayern

Tech service provider NTT released a report on Monday outlining the top digital disruption predictions for 2020. In the report, NTT CTO Ettienne Reinecke highlighted five specific disruptive technologies expected to impact 2020.

After gathering global insights on intelligent tech solutions from clients, NTT experts determined the future's most impactful disruptive technologies. Gartner's IT glossary defines digital disruption as "an effect that changes the fundamental expectations and behaviors in a culture, market, industry or process that is caused by, or expressed through, digital capabilities, channels or assets." 

While the word disruption may have a negative connotation, digital disruption is a positive movement for the tech world.

"Disruption is actually a good thing, it's not a bad thing at all," Reinecke said. "Disruption could improve and transform a business model, giving professionals the opportunity to re-engineer their organization in a much needed manner.

Reinecke offered predictions on the technologies that will result in the most digital disruptionAt the heart of all digital disruption is data, which fuels operational and digital transformation. The disruptive technologies listed are all related to how data is collected, what data is used for, what platforms manage data, and how data is made available, he explained. 

The 5 disruptive technologies 

How the Defense Digital Service revamped Army cyber training

By: Mark Pomerleau
Source Link

Earlier this year, the Defense Digital Service — the Pentagon’s cadre of coders and hackers performing a short stint in government — finished the second phase of a pilot program to streamline cyber training for the Army.

The Army wanted to streamline two phases of cyber training: the Joint Cyber Analytics Course, or JCAC, which takes 27 weeks in Pensacola, Florida, and provides basic cyber training for joint forces that have no prior experience in cyber; and the more tactical training that happens at Fort Gordon in Georgia. Combined, the two phases take a minimum of 36 weeks.

To accomplish this, the Defense Digital Service, working with the Army Cyber Center of Excellence and a private vendor, built a course to conduct training in three months — everything a cyberwarrior needed to know from JCAC, said Clair Koroma, a bureaucracy hacker at DDS.

4 December 2019

The Nomos of Cyberspace

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In 1543 Copernicus first published his theory of a heliocentric universe, a theologically controversial idea that would play out in the early 1600s when the Catholic Church placed Galileo on trial for supporting such views. The Church, in 1616, banned books that supported a Copernican map of the solar system and only recently recanted its position in the Galileo matter.[1] Scientifically, the work of these two scholars cannot be overstated as the heliocentric model is fundamental to human understanding of the solar system, but it is the Church’s reaction to the Copernican map that shows the true impact of Copernican thinking. The Catholic Church at the time was trying to maintain dominance in Western Europe, and its claim to legitimacy and power was rooted in the space of Christendom. This sphere of Christ, oriented towards the central divine authority of the Pope, was experiencing growing pains as kings and princes made claims to similar authority. In the wake of the English Reformation and on the eve of Westphalia, the Copernican map literally changed Western human orientation within the geography of the universe.[2] The map presented by the Catholic Church was one that depended on the Church being at the center of the Universe making it the natural focal point for the heavenly gaze. The legitimating principle of divine right depended on the centralization of that right to a single point importance.[3] Copernican thinking destroyed “a world in which the spatial structure embodied a hierarchy of values” and replaced it with “a universe of indefinite proportions.”[4] This fragmented the map of Christendom by diminishing the importance of its chief spatial indicators: Rome was no longer the literal center of the Universe. Indeed, the human society was displaced to the periphery.

The Incredibly True Story of Fake Headlines

By: Chi Luu
Source Link

Fake news is back in the news again (thanks to Mark Zuckerberg). But did it ever really leave? For some people, legitimate news from traditional media has become unreliable, no longer to be trusted. Is this at all fair?

Keeping the news in a state of good health, in the age of social media, has become more urgent than ever. The way we talk about things, in debates over the defining issues of our time, ends up determining what we do about them. Fake news can be deliberately manipulated by those with vested interests to shape and frame and control public opinions, which result in the problematic actions (and inactions) on existential issues, such as climate change or human rights.

Many, like Zuckerberg, may not be motivated to see these little words on a page as a major problem. Cynics among us might point out that this is really nothing new, and newsflash, fake news is just a kind of propaganda, which has long lived on the dark side of the printed word. Zuckerberg’s strange reluctance to ban or fact-check certain paid political propaganda that employs the long, global reach of Facebook to intentionally broadcast lies to an unsuspecting public is yet another facet of how powerfully language in the information age can be weaponized by those with the means to do so.

How the inventor of the web plans to make it safe and accessible for everyone

Today, half the world is online. And while that access brings tremendous benefits, it also fosters some of society's worst behaviour.

South Africa tops the list of countries where the most abrasive digital encounters take place – but there are no geographic boundaries when it comes to incivility and deception.
Tim Berners-Lee wants the internet to be safer and more accessible for all.
Image: World Economic Forum

“While the web has created opportunity, given marginalized groups a voice, and made our daily lives easier, it has also created opportunity for scammers, given a voice to those who spread hatred and made all kinds of crimes easier to commit,” says Berners-Lee.

His solution? A Contract for the Web, a plan to make online activity safe and accessible for everyone. Berners-Lee compares the contract to the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which enshrines dignity and freedom for all people.

3 December 2019

A decade of hacking: The most notable cyber-security events of the 2010s

By Catalin Cimpanu 
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The 2010s decade is drawing to a close and ZDNet is looking back at the most important cyber-security events that have taken place during the past ten years.

Over the past decade, we've seen it all. We've had monstrous data breaches, years of prolific hacktivism, plenty of nation-state cyber-espionage operations, almost non-stop financially-motivated cybercrime, and destructive malware that has rendered systems unusable.

Below is a summary of the most important events of the 2010s, ordered by year. We didn't necessarily look at the biggest breaches or the most extensive hacking operations but instead focused on hacks and techniques that gave birth to a new cyber-security trend or were a paradigm shift in how experts looked at the entire field of cyber-security.

From the Stuxnet attacks of 2010 to China's extensive mass-surveillance of the Uyghur minority, we selected the most relevant events and explained why they were important.


How the Defense Digital Service revamped Army cyber training

By: Mark Pomerleau

Earlier this year, the Defense Digital Service — the Pentagon’s cadre of coders and hackers performing a short stint in government — finished the second phase of a pilot program to streamline cyber training for the Army.

The Army wanted to streamline two phases of cyber training: the Joint Cyber Analytics Course, or JCAC, which takes 27 weeks in Pensacola, Florida, and provides basic cyber training for joint forces that have no prior experience in cyber; and the more tactical training that happens at Fort Gordon in Georgia. Combined, the two phases take a minimum of 36 weeks.

To accomplish this, the Defense Digital Service, working with the Army Cyber Center of Excellence and a private vendor, built a course to conduct training in three months — everything a cyberwarrior needed to know from JCAC, said Clair Koroma, a bureaucracy hacker at DDS.

L3Harris wins contract for handheld tactical radios for SOF operators

US defence contractor and information technology services provider L3Harris Technologies has secured an $86m order from the US Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) for handheld tactical radios that will improve the communications capabilities of Special Operations Forces (SOF) operators.

Under the order, L3Harris will provide Falcon IV AN/PRC-163 two-channel handheld tactical radios to USSOCOM, reinforcing the company’s position as a major provider of software-defined radios to the US Department of Defense.

In 2015, USSOCOM awarded a $390m indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity contract under the Next Generation Tactical Communications (NGTC) programme to deliver an advanced two-channel radio for SOF operators, and the order won by L3Harris Technologies is part of the contract.

The company has also secured an NGTC contract from USSOCOM to deliver multichannel next-generation manpack radios, which form a crucial part of the ecosystem of SOF-focused solutions that L3Harris is providing to USSOCOM.

2 December 2019

DR Congo crowd burns UN base and Beni town hall

Media captionThe torched buildings, and protesters confronting peacekeeping troops

Protesters have torched a UN military base and the town hall in Beni in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.

The protesters were furious that UN and government troops had failed to prevent an attack by an Islamist militia.

The Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) had killed eight people during a raid on the town on Sunday night.

The UN has an 18,000-strong force in DR Congo, but its troops and those of the government have battled to curb instability in the mostly lawless east.

The ADF is one of many militia groups operating in eastern DR Congo, a mineral-rich area which borders Uganda and Rwanda.

Here are the problems offensive cyber poses for NATO

By: Mark Pomerleau 

NATO has declared cyberspace a domain of warfare it must operate in and called on the integration of cyber alongside operations. However, as a defensive alliance, it has declared it won’t seek offensive cyber capabilities itself, instead relying on the capabilities of voluntary member states.

This approach, while not insurmountable, poses significant challenges to operations, experts claim.

The head of the alliance has said NATO members must be willing to use cyber capabilities.

“The idea of sovereign cyber effects provided voluntarily by allies is good. But … that will not fall under the command and control of the actual NATO commander,” David Bailey, senior national security law advisor for Army Cyber Command, said Nov. 19 at the 2019 International Conference on Cyber Conflict U.S. (CyCon U.S.) in Arlington. “It will still fall under the command and control of the country that contributes. In my mind, it’s going to be difficult to achieve that level of coordination that we’re used to in military operations, even in a NATO context.”

Can a tweet be a lawful order? Yes, but not always…


The case of Navy Chief Eddie Gallagher took another twist when the Navy’s announced that it intended to initiate an administrative personnel process for a “forced conversion” of Gallagher’s occupational rating. Translation: this could remove him from the Navy’s elite SEAL organization. If that happened it would mean Gallagher could no longer wear the SEAL’s coveted Trident badge. However, in a tweet the President said “The Navy will NOT be taking away Warfighter and Navy Seal Eddie Gallagher’s Trident Pin. This case was handled very badly from the beginning. Get back to business!” Was that an order to halt the effort?

The AP reported that former Navy Secretary Richard Spencer “did not consider a tweet by Trump an order and would need a formal order to stop the Navy review board, scheduled to begin Dec. 2, that would determine whether Gallagher is allowed to remain in the SEALs.” Was he right?

Corps issues new IED detectors more capable of identifying buried command wires

By: Philip Athey   

Marines with Combat Logistics Battalion 2, Combat Logistics Regiment 2, 2nd Marine Logistics Group use compact metal detectors to clear a road during urban motor transportation operations lane training as part of integrated training exercise 5-19 on Marine Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms, Aug. 5. (Lance Cpl. Scott Jenkins/Marine Corps)

During the nearly two decades of war in Iraq and Afghanistan improvised explosive devices have been one of the main threats U.S. troops have faced.

The devices were easily hidden along roads and routes frequented by deployed forces who had limited means of identifying them, often left to look for disturbed earth or other markers giving away the hidden devices or wires.

As of September, all explosive ordnance disposal Marines have been supplied with the Buried Command Wire Detector, designed to locate command detonation wires, the Marine Corps said in a news release on DVIDS.

One way for the Pentagon to prove it’s serious about artificial intelligence

By: Mark Pomerleau
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Department of Defense officials routinely talk about the need to more fully embrace machine learning and artificial intelligence, but one leader in the Marine Corps said those efforts are falling short.

“We’re not serious about AI. If we were serious about AI we would put all of our stuff into one location,” Lt. Gen. Eric Smith, commander of the Marine Corps Combat Development Command and the Deputy Commandant for Combat Development and Integration, said at an AFCEA Northern Virginia chapter lunch Nov. 15.

Smith was broadly discussing the ability to provide technologies and data that’s collected in large quantities and pushed to the battlefield and tactical edge. Smith said leaders want the ability to send data to a 50-60 Marine cell in the Philippines that might be surrounded by the Chinese. That means being able to manage the bandwidth and signature so that those forces aren’t digitally targeted. That ability doesn’t currently doesn’t exist, he said.