Monthly Archives: October 2013

Troubles with TOR

The Onion Router has long been thought to be one of the best methods for maintaining anonymity of internet traffic, and has even been assailed by the NSA as a hard problem, leading them to use workarounds to circumvent the network … Continue reading

The Malware of Things

A pair of dueling intelligence exploitation revelations have given the ongoing Snowden releases a run for their money. The first is the allegation that Russia provided poisoned gifts to delegates at the G20 summit. The complementary USB sticks and telephone … Continue reading

Google Rolls Out New “Digital Attack Map” Tool

Google has unveiled a new tool that allows real-time and historical display of digital attack traffic. Foreign Policy has done an excellent write-up on the new tool here. The tool gives you the ability to see ongoing DDOS and scanning … Continue reading

Admiral Stavridis Advocates for a Leadership Separation of the NSA and Cyber Command

Admiral (USN ret.) Stavridis has written an article in Foreign Affairs assailing the current leadership structure for US Cyber Command. Under the current regime, General Keith Alexander is the head of both the NSA and the DoD’s Cyber Command. Stavridis … Continue reading

Novel Fingerprinting Technique Identifies Phones Using Accelerometer Data.

Hristo Bojinov and other researchers at Stanford have discovered a new way of digitally fingerprinting mobile devices. The method works off the fact that the accelerometers used in  smart phones all have unique measurement errors after rolling off the assembly … Continue reading

Greek Foreign Ministry’s Email Server Hacked by Anonymous

More than 3700 documents, ranging from press releases to restricted intelligence assessments have been leaked online by hackers operating under the banner of Anonymous. The documents were obtained through hacking the email servers of the Greek Foreign Ministry and the … Continue reading

“Paunch” Punches Out, Blackhole Kit Hits the Rocks

The Blackhole Exploit Kit, one of the more popular methods of delivering criminal malware to unsuspecting users, has run into a number of difficulties in the last few days. The leading crimeware kit, which has usually been updated as often … Continue reading

Middle Eastern Banks Hit by Crimeware, Trying to Find Solutions

An article in the Financial Times by Abigail Fielding-Smith describes the recent attacks by criminal networks and others on the banking and industrial networks in the Middle East. The damage caused by the various attacks, from the theft operations against banks … Continue reading

Taiwan’s Citizen Smart Card Plan Compromised by Bad RNGs

In a recent paper compiling a few years of ongoing research, an international team has described the methods they used to find the cryptographic keys of 184 out of 2 million smart card certificates issued to the Taiwanese public by … Continue reading

Adm. Stavridis Advocates for US Cyber Force

Former Commander of NATO (and current Dean of the Fletcher School) Admiral (USN Ret.) James Stavridis has published an Op-Ed in the Boston Globe advocating for the creation of a US Military “Cyber Force” in parallel to the Army, Navy, Air Force … Continue reading

Use With Caution: The Value and Limits of Deterrence Against Asymmetric Threats

MIIS’s own Professor Jeffrey Knopf has published an analysis of the possibilities of deterrence theory against the primary security threats of the age, namely; terrorism, WMD use by “Rogue States”, and cyber attacks. He comes down against the application of … Continue reading


Bruce Schneier has recently published a series of articles on the ways that the users of the TOR network and others have been targeted with exploits by the NSA’s Tailored Access Operations group. He has also posted a full explanation … Continue reading Plot Thickens

Brian Krebs’ investigation into the botnet which was being employed to steal background check data (see previous summary) has taken a darker turn as of late. Apparently, he has found the source code for a number of Adobe products on … Continue reading

Anonymous Unmasked

Gabriella Coleman, one of the preeminent researchers of “Hacker” culture and of the nebulous group known as “Anonymous” has published an excellent paper describing the history, origins and and elements of the group. She correctly places the seminal nexus of … Continue reading

Intel’s Resident Anthropologist Questions Society’s Readiness for Pervasive Wearable Computing

In an excellent interview posted on MIT’s Technology Review, Anthropologist Genevieve Bell questions if society is ready for the new wearable computing devices such as Google’s Glass and Samsung’s Galaxy Gear. Her arguments focus on the intersection of the functional … Continue reading

China’s Great Firewall Comes Down for New Shanghai Free Trade Zone

Chinese officials are reportedly considering easing restrictions on visiting foreign social media sites. Inside the newly establish 20 square mile zone in Shanghai websites that have banned in the rest of the country since 2009, such as Twitter and Facebook, … Continue reading

Google Celebrates 15 Years

In the Menlo Park garage where it all began, Google executives celebrate the 15th anniversary of the company’s founding. Hard to believe Google is only 15, isn’t it?

NASA to Use a 3D Printer on the International Space Station

NASA will be sending a 3D printer to the ISS in the Fall of 2014, according to an article in the LA Times by Shan Li. The printer will allow astronauts to print new tools as needed, and to fabricate … Continue reading

AP and Google Fund Six 20k Scholarships in Digital and New Media

The Associated Press and Google announced the winners of six scholarships for journalism students studying at the intersection of journalism, computer science and new media. The scholarship program had a deadline for entry in February this year, and the program is likely to continue … Continue reading

Furloughed Gov Workers Experience a Digital Separation

The Washington Post reports that many US Government employees will have to turn in their government issued Blackberrys during the government shutdown. This is to prevent them from doing work or conducting official business such as sending emails while the non-essential … Continue reading