Scientists at America’s top nuclear lab were recruited by China to design missiles and drones, report says

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“China is playing a game that we are not prepared for, and we need to really begin to mobilize,” said Greg Levesque, the lead author of the report by Strider Technologies.

At least 154 Chinese scientists who worked on government-sponsored research at the U.S.’s foremost national security laboratory over the last two decades have been recruited to do scientific work in China — some of which helped advance military technology that threatens American national security — according to a new private intelligence report obtained by NBC News.

The report, by Strider Technologies, describes what it calls a systemic effort by the government of China to place Chinese scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory, where nuclear weapons were first developed.  

Many of the scientists were later lured back to China to help make advances in such technologies as deep-earth-penetrating warheads, hypersonic missiles, quiet submarines and drones, according to the report.

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A new satellite brighter than any star could ruin the night sky

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Another space internet provider is going to defile our skies with a satellite that looks to be brighter than everything but the moon.

How critical US sectors are coping with rising cyberattacks

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The rise in cyberattacks this year has forced many companies in critical sectors to make improvements to their cyber defenses in an effort to secure their networks from hacks.

Such companies are increasing their investments in cybersecurity and seeking to hire more cyber professionals — a task proving to be challenging amid a shortage of cyber workers across industries. 

The Hill spoke to several security experts and industry leaders in the financial, health care and energy sectors to gauge how those critical industries are seeking to keep their networks secure amid the growing number of cyberattacks.

In the health care sector, which has seen a spike in ransomware this year targeting hospitals and other health care facilities, Christopher Plummer, a senior cybersecurity architect at Dartmouth Health, said having a cybersecurity program is crucial for hospitals, as they hold sensitive information — including patient data. 

But he estimated that only about 10 to 20 percent of the nation’s hospitals have a dedicated cybersecurity program.

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How will the moon’s resources be managed?

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The 2020s will be recognized as the decade humans transitioned into a truly space-faring species that utilizes space resources to survive and thrive both in space and on Earth.

It’s been 50 years since humans last visited the moon, and even robotic missions have been few and far between. But the Earth’s only natural satellite is about to get crowded.

At least six countries and a flurry of private companies have publicly announced more than 250 missions to the moon to occur within the next decade. Many of these missions include plans for permanent lunar bases and are motivated in large part by ambitions to assess and begin utilizing the moon’s natural resources. In the short term, resources would be used to support lunar missions; but in the long term, the moon and its resources will be a critical gateway for missions to the broader riches of the solar system.

But these lofty ambitions collide with a looming legal question. On Earth, possession and ownership of natural resources are based on territorial sovereignty. Conversely, Article II of the Outer Space Treaty—the 60-year-old agreement that guides human activity in space—forbids nations from claiming territory in space. This limitation includes the moon, planets, and asteroids. So how will space resources be managed?

I am a lawyer who focuses on the peaceful and sustainable use of space to benefit all humanity. I believe the 2020s will be recognized as the decade humans transitioned into a truly space-faring species that utilizes space resources to survive and thrive both in space and on Earth. To support this future, the international community is working through several channels to develop a framework for space resource management, starting with Earth’s closest neighbor, the moon. Continue reading “How will the moon’s resources be managed?”

IP Cameras, VoIP and Video Conferencing Revealed as Riskiest IoT Devices

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IoT devices from video conferencing systems to IP cameras are among the five riskiest IoT devices connected to networks, according to research highlighted by Forescout’s cybersecurity research arm, Vedere Labs.

The company identified recurring themes in their recent research, highlighting the growing attack surface due to more devices being connected to enterprise networks, and how threat actors are able to leverage these devices to achieve their goals.

“IP cameras, VoIP and video-conferencing systems are the riskiest IoT devices because they are commonly exposed on the internet, and there is a long history of threat actor activity targeting them,” The Forescout report said.

The attack surface now encompasses IT, IoT and OT in almost every organization, with the addition of IoMT in healthcare. Organizations must be aware of risky devices across all categories. Forescout recommends that automated controls are implement and that companies do not rely on siloed security in the IT network, OT network or for specific types of IoT devices.

This latest research provides an update to the company’s findings from 2020 in which networking equipment, VoIP, IP cameras and programmable logic controllers (PLCs) were listed and remain among the riskiest devices across IT, IoT, OT and IoMT in 2022.

However, new entries such as hypervisors and human machine interfaces (HMIs) are representative of trends including critical vulnerabilities and increased OT connectivity.

Vedere Labs analyzed device data between January 1 and April 30 in Forescout’s Device Cloud. The anonymized data comes from Forescout customer deployments and contains information about almost 19 million devices – a number that grows daily, according to the company.

The overall risk of a device was calculated based on three factors: configuration, function and behavior.

After measuring the risk of each individual device, Vedered Labs calculated averages per device type to understand which are the riskiest.


Caltech’s New Ultrafast Camera Captures Signals Traveling Through Nerve Cells

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Reach out right now and touch anything around you. Whether it was the wood of your desk, a key on your keyboard, or the fur of your dog, you felt it the instant your finger contacted it.

Or did you?

In actuality, takes a bit of time for your brain to register the sensation from your fingertip. However, it does still happen extremely fast, with the touch signal traveling through your nerves at over 100 miles per hour. In fact, some nerve signals are even faster, approaching speeds of 300 miles per hour.

Scientists at Caltech have just developed a new ultrafast camera that can record footage of these impulses as they travel through nerve cells. Not only that, but the camera can also capture video of other incredibly fast phenomena, such as the propagation of electromagnetic pulses in electronics.

Known as differentially enhanced compressed ultrafast photography (Diff-CUP), the camera technology was developed in the lab of Lihong Wang. He is the Bren Professor of Medical Engineering and Electrical Engineering, Andrew and Peggy Cherng Medical Engineering Leadership Chair, and executive officer for medical engineering.

Diff-CUP operates in a similar manner to Wang’s other CUP systems, which have been shown capable of capturing images of laser pulses as they travel at the speed of light and recording video at 70 trillion frames per second.

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‘Watched The Whole Time’: China’s Surveillance State Grows Under Xi

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When Chen picked up his phone to vent his anger at getting a parking ticket, his message on WeChat was a drop in the ocean of daily posts on China’s biggest social network.

But soon after his tirade against “simple-minded” traffic cops in June, he found himself in the tentacles of the communist country’s omniscient surveillance apparatus.

Chen quickly deleted the post, but officers tracked him down and detained him within hours, accusing him of “insulting the police”.

He was locked up for five days for “inappropriate speech”.

His case — one of the thousands logged by a dissident and reported by local media — laid bare the pervasive monitoring that characterises life in China today.

Its leaders have long taken an authoritarian approach to social control.

But since President Xi Jinping took power in 2012, he has reined in the relatively freewheeling social currents of the turn of the century, using a combination of technology, law and ideology to squeeze dissent and preempt threats to his rule.

Ostensibly targeting criminals and aimed at protecting order, social controls have been turned against dissidents, activists and religious minorities, as well as ordinary people — such as Chen — judged to have crossed the line.

The average Chinese citizen today spends nearly every waking moment under the watchful eye of the state.

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Teen cyber cartels: when world’s most prolific cybercriminals are minors

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As the announcement of two teenagers charged in relation to the Lapsus$ extortion group broke, we began to wonder: how do youngsters join the world’s biggest cyber gangs in the first place?

“Youth of cybercrime” is a relatively new yet quickly spreading phenomenon. It’s becoming increasingly less uncommon to discover that children were behind notorious hacks. Elliott Gunton, for example, was only 16 when he breached the UK telecoms operator TalkTalk, compromising the details of hundreds of thousands of customers. Another “self-proclaimed Apple fan” from Australia (who cannot be identified for legal reasons) was 13 when he first hacked into Apple’s private networks and stole 90GB worth of data. Both of these teenagers received jail time related to various cybercrimes.

Of course, such cases are not limited to hacking into big tech corporations. Jonathan James, a 15-year-old from Florida, managed to install a backdoor in US military servers and access the source code of the International Space Station (ISS). Other kids simply use malware to pull pranks on each other without fully recognizing that it’s still illegal.

“These kids grew up in an online world, and some become proficient in programming and cyber skills well before they reach their teens,” John Gunn, CEO of Token, told Cybernews.

What attracts teenagers to cybercrime?

In many ways, teenagers find themselves as attracted to cybercrime as they are to most unknowns of the big and yet so unfamiliar world. That’s why Kent Landfield, Chief Standards and Technology Policy Strategist at Trellix, considers the boom in “youth-led cybercrime” to be a cultural issue as much as a public policy one.

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