DOE’s secret weapon: Supercomputers, Developers Scramble to Build NSA-Proof Email and more

September 5, 2013
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DOEHere are the top cyber news and stories of the day.

  • DOE’s secret weapon: Supercomputers – ‘”The supercomputing facilities at the National Labs enable science of scale — that is, they provide resources for tackling complex science and engineering challenges that require massive calculations or involve the modeling of very large data sets,” Ben Dotson, project coordinator for digital reform for office of public affairs, said in a blog post. “Many of the department’s supercomputing resources are devoted only to the highest impact, breakthrough research.” Via FedScoop, more here.
  • What happens when hackers take control of your car? “In recent demonstrations, hackers have shown they can slam a car’s brakes at freeway speeds, jerk the steering wheel and even shut down the engine — all from their laptop computers.” Clearly our cars are vulnerable, and this is something that we’ll all have to watch out for (and Detroit will have to guard against) in the near future. Via Tennessean, more here.
  • Developers Scramble to Build NSA-Proof Email – “Edward Snowden’s revelations about the NSA’s mass internet surveillance is driving development of a slew of new email tools aimed at providing end-to-end encryption to users, and it has boosted interest in existing privacy tools too.” In the PRISM-aftermath, many are attempting to create products that are NSA-proof. While we should certainly see a jump in encryption capabilities in the next year or so, and this will be interesting to track. Via Wired, more here.
  • US likely to wage cyber attacks against Syria – ‘The United States is likely to make cyberattacks part of any military action against Syria, experts say. “I think that’s a certainty,” said Jim Lewis, a senior fellow with the Center for Strategic and International Studies and the director of the Technology and Public Policy Program.’ The Syria issue is certainly far larger than just cyber, but cyber attacks might be the most effective way to deal with this threat. Via The Hill, more here.
  • 61% of IT pros don’t report security risks to executives – “A new Ponemon Institute study examined the disconnect between an organization’s commitments to risk-based security management and its ability to develop the collaboration, communication styles and culture necessary to security programs effective across the organization.” The lack of communication between IT and executives might be to blame for this, but it cannot stop there. Via Net Security, more here.
  • White House looks to public for ideas on open gov – “The first National Action Plan on Open Government was released in September 2011 and laid out 26 steps to promote increased transparency, public participation in government and more efficient management of public resources.” Via FedScoop, more here.
  • APT malware NetTraveler learning new tricks – “An Advanced Persistent Threat (APT) called NetTraveler has been spotted making mischief again, but it appears to have learned a few new tricks since it was last spotted in June. The malware is now attacking a known Java vulnerability, CVE-2013-2465, and added water holing to its propagation strategy, according to new research from Kaspersky Lab.” Via ComputerWorld, more here.
  • Why Industry is Losing the Battle Against State-Sponsored Attacks – “A survey of nearly 200 security professionals at Black Hat 2013 shows a lack of confidence in the profession’s ability to defend against state-sponsored cyber-attacks: 58% believe we are losing the battle, and 96% believe it will get worse.” Via InfoSecurity, more here.