US power grid faces escalating cyber threats, infrastructure experts warn

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The power grid is experiencing heightened threats from foreign adversaries and domestic extremist groups that can pose devastating consequences for the nation’s supply of electricity, experts told a House subcommittee. 


Energy infrastructure experts testified that the U.S. power grid is facing a myriad of escalating cybersecurity risks and emerging threats from both foreign adversaries and domestic extremists amid an ongoing critical modernization journey.

The latest annual threat assessment out of the Intelligence Community identifies Chinese cyber operations against the U.S. homeland as a major national security threat and warns that Beijing is “almost certainly capable of launching cyber attacks that could disrupt critical infrastructure services” nationwide, including the power grid. 

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Pro-China influence campaign infiltrates U.S. news websites

source: washington post, courtesy of FAN, Bill Amshey  |  image:

  • Haixun is a private company but has links to Chinese government actors, according to its own publicity and government media coverage of the firm. 
  • It’s not clear whether the content published on U.S. news websites is paid for by Chinese state actors. However, much of it is directly reproduced from Chinese state media reports or state-funded think tanks. 
The articles — which have appeared in financial news subdomains of at least 32 websites including the Arizona Republic and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette — include Chinese state media stories and scathing critiques of U.S. policymakers, academics and others critical of Beijing. 

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Destroying Just 250 Satellites Would Make Orbit ‘Totally Useless’ in 40 Years:  STUDY

source:, contributed by Artemus Founder, Bob Wallace  |  image:

So far human conflicts haven’t spilled into attacking each others’ satellites with missiles, but the technology exists

Should countries begin blowing each others satellites up in a war, it would spell doom for almost all of the technology orbiting the Earth, according to calculations published in a new study.

So far human conflicts haven’t spilled into attacking each others’ satellites with missiles, but the technology exists: In November, 2021, the Russian military tested out its Nudol missile by blowing up a defunct satellite. The explosion created a cloud of thousands of fragments, many of them not trackable due to their size, traveling at thousands of miles per hour around the globe. 

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Scientists get $600,000 grant to merge more AI

with human brain cells

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  • The funds came via Australia’s Defense Dept. and Office of National Intelligence
  • The researchers hope their ‘beautiful’ interfaces between computer chips and brain cells will soon be ‘giving Australia a significant strategic advantage’

A team of Australian scientists collaborating across academia and private industry have just received a three-year grant to weaponize their work growing brain cell cultures that are capable of communicating with machines.  

Over the past two years, the team has already succeeded in teaching a brain cell culture of approximately 800,000 neurons how to successfully play the 1970s video game Pong from its Petri dish. 

The $600,000 grant was awarded by the Australian government’s military and intelligence communities and will be managed by the Australian Research Council. 

‘The beautiful and pioneering aspect of this work rests on equipping the neurons with sensations: the feedback,’ as one of the Pong project’s co-researchers, theoretical neuroscientist Karl Friston, put it last October. 

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Threads overtakes ChatGPT as fastest growing app ever

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Threads, an Instagram app, has signed up 100 million users in less than five days since launch, a feat that took ChatGPT two months to achieve.

Meta’s Twitter rival hit the 100 million mark in the early hours of Monday (July 10th), according to the data platform Quiver Quantitative, beating an earlier record set by OpenAI’s ChatGPT app.

ChatGPT made history in January when it added 100 million active users in just two months after its launch. It took TikTok nine months and Instagram two and a half years to hit this milestone.

The user estimate for Threads is based on the account numbers shown on Instagram pages. It is too early to say how many of those will use the app regularly.

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Russia-Linked RomCom Hackers Targeting NATO Summit Guests

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A recent RomCom cyber operation has been targeting NATO Summit guests and other entities supporting Ukraine.

As part of a recently identified cyber operation, a Russia-linked threat actor known as RomCom has been targeting entities supporting Ukraine, including guests at the 2023 NATO Summit taking place July 11-12, the cybersecurity unit at BlackBerry reports.

Taking place in Vilnius, Lithuania, the NATO Summit has on the agenda talks focusing on the war in Ukraine, as well as new memberships in the organization, including Sweden and Ukraine itself.

Taking advantage of the event, RomCom has created malicious documents likely to be distributed to supporters of Ukraine, and appears to have dry-tested its delivery on June 22 and a few days before the command-and-control (C&C) domain used in the campaign went live,BlackBerry explains.

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MacOS vs Windows: Which Desktop OS Is Safest?

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Still think Macs can’t get viruses? That outdated thinking puts you and your data at risk.


It’s a tale as old as computing itself: Macs can’t get viruses. It’s not true, but a new survey by security site All About Cookies(Opens in a new window) seems to indicate that far too many macOS users believe their systems are immune, even though they’re security-conscious about other aspects of computing—at least, compared with Windows users.

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How Your Real Flight Reservation Can Be Used to Scam You

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Scammers use a booking technicality, traveler confusion, and promises of dirt-cheap tickets to offer hot deals that are anything but.

HOW DO YOU tell that your plane ticket is real? If it checks out on the airline’s website, you’re good to go, right? Don’t be sure. Fraudsters are abusing a little-known but decades-old technicality in how airline reservations work to con people out of their cash.

Mevonnie Ferguson, who lives in Kent in the UK, says she was scammed out of £994 ($1,267) by someone claiming to work at a travel agency called Infinity Global Travel. A single working mother of two daughters, Ferguson says she was sold what appeared to be a valid British Airways ticket from London to Kingston, Jamaica. When she looked up the reservation on BA’s website using the confirmation number and her last name, it showed up valid and fine. But about two weeks after purchasing this ticket from Infinity Global Travel, and just days before her scheduled departure date, the reservation disappeared from BA’s website without a trace.

Ferguson, who also relayed her story to the UK’s Channel 5, contacted the airline and explained her situation, but she was told there were no flights booked in her name. BA would not release information to Ferguson, as she was not the party who had directly booked the reservation with the airline, she says. After some persuasion, the BA representative ultimately told Ferguson that while the reservation code she provided was correct, there was no record of an e-ticket number.

Ferguson has since tried to get a refund from the supposed travel agent, who has neither returned her money nor responded to subsequent calls and emails. A BA spokesperson asked WIRED for additional details so they could investigate but did not otherwise respond to a request for comment.

This problem isn’t unique to British Airways or any one airline in particular. In fact, it’s an intentional part of the air travel industry’s reservation process that scammers can abuse. 

Hold Up

Like many travelers, Ferguson did not understand the difference between a “confirmed” and a “ticketed” reservation, travel industry jargon terms that are not synonymous. The system makes it possible to create what appears to be a valid flight reservation, but which is actually a mere temporary reservation “hold.” 

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