Autonomous Robotic Weapons

We already have some highly sophisticated weapons systems that use computer technology and electronics to do things on a battlefield undreamed of even a few decades ago.  This does include robotic weapons systems.  The important ingredient in all this tech is the presence of human control.  At this point in time it still takes a human to drive these war machines.

But we are not the far from being able to create ...

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NIST Warns Against Lack of Security in Critical Infrastructure

NIST (National Institute for Standards and Technology) released Special Publication 800-53 version 4 recently, and it covers the shortcomings in privacy and security in the national power grid, water control systems, dams, oil and gas utilities and similar computer controlled systems.  There are no coherent or enforceable standards for Industrial Control Systems (ICS) and Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems that ...

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Will Artificial Intelligence Beat Real Intelligence?

One of the persistent memes that interest me is the impending event sometimes known as “the singularity.”  This is a probable future where our electronic devices become self-aware and fully autonomous.  We see the beginnings of this happening all around us in devices like Amazon’s Alexa and Echo, The Nest and Google communities of smart devices, self-driving vehicles, and all the Internet of Things (IoT) devices that listen to ...

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Linksys Wireless Routers Have Security Vulnerabilities

Research firm IOActive recently released a an article that revealed some serious security deficiencies on popular Linksys Smart Wi-Fi products.  They have notified Linksys, and Linksys is working on the firmware upgrades that will be necessary to fix these issue, and they have issued a security advisory.

Among the vulnerabilities discovered:

  • Unauthenticated attacker can create a denial-of-service ...
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SCADA Systems Vulnerable Due to Hard Coded Passwords

We have discussed the dangers to what NIST identifies as Critical Infrastructure that exists because SCADA and other industrial control systems are designed to be run on “air-gapped” networks that are not connected to the public Internet.  Unfortunately, many of these systems are being connected to the Internet, if only in a tangential way.

The German security firm OpenSource Security recently found hard coded ...

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Security Standards for the Internet of (Insecure) Things?

Everything you can think of and many things you have never dreamed of are being manufactured with little Linux operating systems and wireless Internet connections. Or in simpler terms, a brain, storage, and communications ability. This is the Internet of Things (IoT).  Lots and lots of “smart” devices talking to each other and phoning home to some data collection or dissemination point.  If only the people who are designing these devices, ...

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Who Needs Skynet? Robots Are Easily Hacked By Humans

We can’t talk about robots without thinking about robots running amok as in the Terminator movies.  But it turns out that most of the robots that are available today can be easily hacked by humans.

Robots are showing up in industrial settings, in hospitals, on our roads as autonomous vehicles, in secure facilities as guards, and in our homes, as carpet cleaners, children’s companions.  Soon they will be everywhere, assisting, working, moving ...

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Top Cyber Threats for 2017

2017 is promising to be another difficult year for cyber-defenders who are protecting company and government networks from attack.  Here are what I think will be the top attack vectors this year.

Business Email Compromise

CEOs and other C suite officers will increasingly be targeted for email account hijacking.  This is an easy exploit to run because high ranking employees and officers often are ...

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FTC Sues D-Link Over Poor Security

We have complained in this blog about the plethora of Internet connected IoT devices that are being sold without anything approaching meaningful security to an unsuspecting public. A notable exploitation of IoT devices was behind the Mirai botnet, which shut down significant parts of the Internet for a couple of days.

But other disasters await, for instance, the easy access of web cams from the Internet ...

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