Archive for June 2014

The Senate’s New Cybersecurity Bill Threatens Net Neutrality

Cybersecurity bills are normally looked at as being terrible for privacy. But a new one being considered by the Senate has a bonus—it’s still bad for privacy, but it could also kill whatever is left of net neutrality.

Portions of the cybersecurity bill that the Senate is considering, which is modeled on CISPA, could be construed to subvert net neutrality, according to a coalition of civil liberties groups.

The Cybersecurity Act of 2012—the last cybersecurity bill considered by the Senate—had a clause that said nothing in the bill could be “construed to authorize or limit liability for actions that would violate the regulations adopted by the Federal Communications Commission on preserving the open Internet, or any successor regulations thereto, nor to modify or alter the obligations of private entities under such regulations.”

CISA has no such clause. The group notes that terms popular throughout CISA, such as “cybersecurity threat” and “countermeasure” are poorly defined and could be used by service providers to harm the free and open internet.

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The NSA’s New Look at Cybersecurity

Cybersecurity threats are a vital issue for the nation, and like the Defense Department, Rogers_picbusinesses must own the problem to successfully carry out their missions, DOD’s top cybersecurity expert told a forum of businesspeople.
Navy Adm. Michael S. Rogers, commander of U.S. Cyber Command, director of the National Security Agency and chief of the Central Security Service, at Bloomberg Government’s Cybersecurity Summit in Washington.

Corporations must successfully deal with cybersecurity threats, because such threats can have direct impacts on business and reputation, Rogers told the business audience. “You have to consider cybersecurity threats every bit as foundational as we do in our ability to maneuver forces as a military construct,” he said.

“When I look at the problem set, I’m struck by a couple things that I highlight with my business counterparts,” Rogers said. “Traditionally, we’ve largely been focused on attempts to prevent intrusions. I’ve increasingly come to the opinion that we must spend more time focused on detection.

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The global cost of cyber-crime

Cyber crime is a growth industry that’s stripping the global economy of billions of dollars each year. The total losses have been the subject of debate, but a study released this week says cyber crime could cost the global economy as much as $575 billion a year.

The report by the Center for Strategic and International Studies estimates the likely annual cost to the global economy is more than $445 billion, a figure that includes both the gains to criminals and the costs to companies for recovery and defense. The maximum annual losses could be as high as $575 billion, according to the report sponsored by security software company McAfee.

The cost to individuals whose personal information was stolen is estimated at $160 billion a year. Forty million people in the U.S., roughly 15 percent of the population, have had their personal information stolen by hackers, according to the study.

G20 nations tend to bear the burnt of the losses, according to the study. The four largest economies in the world–U.S., China, Japan and Germany–lost $200 billion due to cyber crime in 2013, according to the report.

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Computer program passes the ‘Turing Test’ for the first time in history

A computer program has successfully passed the “Turing Test.” Alan Turing, the famous mathematician and computer programmer who worked on cracking the Enigma code during the Second World War proposed his test in a 1950 paper. In the paper he suggested a practical way in which you could test whether a machine could think. His original proposal involved taking three people, a man, a woman and an interrogator and had the interrogator ask unrestricted questions to one of the subjects chosen at random and try and determine whether they were talking to either the man or the woman. The interrogator was separated from the test subjects and conversed with them via text through a computer. The subject was then replaced with a computer and the interrogator went through the same process. The machine would win if the interrogator guessed the answer wrongly as many times as they had done when a human was answering.
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The Automation of CyberSecurity

If only computers themselves were smart enough to fight off malevolent hackers.

That is the premise of an ambitious two-year contest with a $2 million first prize, posed to the world’s computer programmers by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, better known by its acronym, Darpa. It is the blue-sky, big-think organization within the Defense Department that created a precursor of the Internet in the late 1960s and more recently held a contest that spurred development of self-driving cars.

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