ADVERTISEMENT
  About the SA Blog Network

Posts Tagged "security"

@ScientificAmerican

Newest Scientific American E-Book Ripped from the Headlines: Cyber Hacking: Wars in Virtual Space

cyber hacking ebook cover

From media and communications to banking, an increasing number of our daily activities is performed online. While this transformation has raised the curtain on exciting new frontiers, it also opens doors to security threats undreamed of by previous generations. In Scientific American’s newest eBook, Cyber Hacking: Wars in Virtual Space, we peer behind the scenes [...]

Keep reading »
Brainwaves

The Year Drones Ruined Christmas

drones

Kylie ran towards her fallen dragonfly and knelt beside it. One of its four wings had snapped nearly in half. She rummaged through a toolbox until she found a small tube of accelerseal, bit off the cap and squeezed a generous amount onto the wing’s fracture, holding the two pieces together. Above her Mark’s velociropter [...]

Keep reading »
Guest Blog

Researchers Discover Hacker-Ready Computer Chips

Computer Chip X-Ray

A pair of security researchers in the U.K. have released a paper [PDF] documenting what they describe as the “first real world detection of a backdoor” in a microchip—an opening that could allow a malicious actor to monitor or change the information on the chip. The researchers, Sergei Skorobogatov of the University of Cambridge and [...]

Keep reading »
Guest Blog

Felt up or blown up? The psychology of the TSA, body scans and risk perception

The choice between felt up or blown up seems like a no-brainer. So does the choice between the low-dose radiation exposure of a backscatter x-ray exam at the airport or getting on the plane and spending a couple hours high enough in a thinner atmosphere that you’ll get far more exposure to cosmic radiation. So [...]

Keep reading »
MIND Guest Blog

How Hard Is It to Catch a Fake Passport?

nightclub entrance

Imagine that you are a bouncer, checking IDs outside a popular bar in a college town. It is somewhat dark outside the door, there are many distractions: loud music is playing and your job requires you to also keep an eye on the crowd for trouble. And because the patrons are dressed for a night [...]

Keep reading »
Observations

Why Lasers Won’t Protect Airliners

A mobile Buk surface-to-air missile launcher, similar to that believed to have been used to shoot down Flight 17. Image courtesy of .:Ajvol:. via Wikimedia Commons.

Questions over the best way to protect civilian aircraft from surface-launched missiles have reemerged in light of the recent Malaysia Airlines tragedy over the Ukraine. On July 17, a medium-range Buk surface-to-air missile fired from the territory controlled by pro-Russia separatists reportedly struck Flight 17 en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The Boeing [...]

Keep reading »
Observations

Squiggly Lines Secure Smartphones

Researchers studied the practicality of using free-form gestures for access authentication on smart phones and tablets. Image courtesy of Michael Sherman, Gradeigh Clark, Yulong Yang, Shridatt Sugrim, Arttu Modig, Janne Lindqvist, Antti Oulasvirta, and Teemu Roos; Rutgers University, Max-Planck Institute for Informatics and University of Helsinki.

To protect your financial and personal data, most mobiles come with PIN-based security, biometrics or number grids that require you to retrace a particular pattern to access your device. But is that good enough in crowded places full of spying eyes? Not necessarily, according to a team of researchers from Rutgers University in New Jersey, [...]

Keep reading »
Observations

The Day the World’s ATMs Stood Still—or Didn’t

Image courtesy of Shaners Becker, via Wikimedia Commons.

You’re probably on tenterhooks wondering what will happen to your reliable, convenient ATM on April 8, the day Microsoft officially sticks a fork in its hugely popular Windows XP operating system. You’re not? Did you know that more than 75 percent of the world’s automated teller machines use XP? And that an outdated operating system [...]

Keep reading »
Observations

How to Reconcile Big Data and Privacy

White House image, courtesy of CC-BY-SA-3.0/Matt H. Wade

In many ways “big data” and “encryption” are antithetical. The former involves harvesting, storing and analyzing information to reveal patterns that researchers, law enforcement and industry can use to their benefit. The goal of the latter is to obscure that data from prying eyes. That tension was at the core of a conference this week [...]

Keep reading »
Observations

How Hackers Take Down Web Sites [Video]

Courtesy of Scientific American

Many of the Web sites we visit every day are under cyber attack by malicious hackers looking to disrupt business transactions, discourage people from using a particular online service or exact payback for some real or perceived slight. One of the most common ways to bring down a site is to flood its computer servers [...]

Keep reading »
Observations

The Super Bowl’s Super Security Boat

super bowl

The Super Bowl poses mammoth security challenges in any given year. This year’s championship game—the first since last April’s Boston Marathon bombing—raises the stakes by bringing the game, which the Department of Homeland Security designates a “Level One” national security event, to New Jersey’s MetLife Stadium. Not only will kickoff take place just miles from [...]

Keep reading »
Observations

A Survey Asks: How Much Does Your Privacy Online Matter?

privacy,security,Web,Internet

Is online anonymity important to you? How far are you willing to go to protect your privacy? These two the key questions are examined in a report released Thursday by the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project. Entitled “Anonymity, Privacy, and Security Online,” the study found that most Internet users take some measures [...]

Keep reading »
Observations

WikiLeaks Defends NSA Whistleblower, Condemns PRISM Digital Surveillance

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange held a press conference Monday to weigh in on Edward Snowden’s actions and comment on his organization’s role in helping the National Security Agency whistleblower seek asylum in Ecuador. Assange, who himself has been holed up in Ecuador’s British embassy for the past year to avoid prosecution for WikiLeaks work, defended [...]

Keep reading »
Observations

Crowd Watching: Video Analytics Could Flag Crimes Before They Happen

Boston marathon, bomb, investigation

Soon after the investigation into Monday’s Boston Marathon bombings began, law enforcement urged the public to e-mail any video, images or other information that might lead them to the guilty party. “No piece of information or detail is too small,” states the F.B.I.’s Web site. Picking through all of this footage in search of clues [...]

Keep reading »
Observations

Cyber Attack Takes Down Computers in South Korea, Motives and Culprit Unclear

The cyber attacks against several South Korean television stations, banks and insurance firms on Wednesday may not have been crippling or widespread, but their timing further fuels concerns over who is launching such attacks, what constitutes “cyber warfare” and how should countries react to such online aggression. The malicious software—or malware—used in the attack interferes [...]

Keep reading »
Octopus Chronicles

What Can an Octopus Teach Us about National Security? A Q&A with Ecologist Rafe Sagarin

learning from the octopus rafe sagarin

Octopuses possess camouflage abilities that put some of our military’s best high-tech efforts to shame. And their flexible, intelligent arms are the envy of roboticists and artificial intelligence engineers worldwide. But these animals, which have evolved over hundreds of millions of years, can teach us even more about security in the 21st century than camo [...]

Keep reading »
Talking back

Who Will Be Behind the Next Wikileaks or PRISM? Let Us Know

The legacy of Wikileaks—the outing of secret government information—is all the vogue. It won’t stop with PRISM and the government contractor who fed The Guardian and The Washington Post the skinny on the U.S. surveillance program. The question is what comes next—and the only given is that there most certainly will be a “next.” This [...]

Keep reading »
Talking back

Crowd Psychology: What Comes After Boston for Mass Public Events?

Will the masses at NFL events do “the wave” only in the watchful sights of a police sharpshooter’s high-powered rifle? Is tailgating before the game all but nostalgic history? Will major marathons be relegated to a dull repetition of 105 or so loops around a stadium track? These are some of the questions that immediately [...]

Keep reading »

More from Scientific American

Scientific American Back To School

Back to School Sale!

12 Digital Issues + 4 Years of Archive Access just $19.99

Order Now >

X

Email this Article

X