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What the Public Knows About Cybersecurity

A Pew Research Center survey was conducted on June 17–27, 2016, among 1,055 adult Internet users living in the United States.  The survey consisted of 13 questions and was designed to test Americans’ knowledge of a number of cybersecurity issues and terms.  The results of the survey found that many Americans are unclear about some key cybersecurity topics, terms, and concepts. 

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Search Earth With AI Eyes Via a Powerful New Satellite Image Tool

On March 7, a New Mexico startup that provides artificial intelligence (AI)-driven analysis of satellite images to governments, academics, and industry released a public demo of its GeoVisual Search, a new type of search engine that combines satellite images of Earth with machine learning on a massive scale.  Users can pick an object anywhere on Earth that can be seen from space, and the system returns a list of similar-looking objects and their locations on the planet.  GeoVisual Search operates on top of an intelligent machine-learning platform that can be trained and will improve over time.  This technology could potentially be used in various way by law enforcement, such as helping identify critical infrastructure and assets in an area.

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Threat Hunting Becoming Top-of-Mind Issue for SOCs

The use of threat-hunting techniques to combat cyberattacks is increasing, according to a new report.  Threat hunting appears to have become a top-of-mind issue for security executives at many organizations.  But a relative lack of security staff and technology tools is limiting their ability to fully build out such programs.  The Information Security Community on LinkedIn recently polled its members on the state of threat hunting in their security operations centers.  The poll, sponsored by several security firms, elicited responses from 330 members.  The majority of respondents indicated that threat hunting either should or will be their top security initiative in 2017.  “Threat hunting” is a term that is generally used to describe the practice among security organizations to proactively search for and weed out threats on their network instead of waiting to discover them after an attack has materialized.  Organizations that have implemented successful threat-hunting programs have often pointed to the emphasis on human skills as a major contributory factor.

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Most Hackers Can Access Systems and Steal Valuable Data Within 24 Hours: Nuix Black Report

Most Hackers Can Access Systems and Steal Valuable Data Within 24 Hours: Nuix Black Report

The Nuix Black Report—the results of a confidential survey of 70 professional hackers and penetration testers at DEFCON, the world’s largest hacking and security conference—will overturn many conventional understandings and customs of the cybersecurity industry.  By examining the security landscape from the hacker’s perspective, the report has revealed results that are contrary to the conventional understanding of cybersecurity. For example:

  • Respondents said traditional countermeasures such as firewalls and antivirus almost never slowed them down, but endpoint security technologies were more effective at stopping attacks.
  • More than half of respondents changed their methodologies with every target, severely limiting the effectiveness of security defenses based on known files and attacks.
  • Around one-third of attackers said their target organizations never detected their activities.
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Massive Indiana IoT Lab Brings Innovation Space to the Midwest

The Internet of Things (IoT) ecosystem in Indiana is about to get a big boost.  The Indiana IoT Lab-Fishers recently announced it will act as a space for businesses to research, innovate, and collaborate on projects in the expanding field.  It will aim to help businesses investigate and improve the four main parts of IoT solutions:  ideation, cloud data, edge software, and development.  Connected devices are prevalent in our daily lives, from wearable fitness bands to self-driving cars, and it is important to understand the potential security risks involved.  Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb said the initiative falls in line with his “Next Level Legislative Agenda,” which proposes investing $1 billion over the next ten years in innovation and entrepreneurship.

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The Intelligence-Driven Prosecution Model: A Case Study in the New York County District Attorney’s Office

The Intelligence-Driven Prosecution Model (IDPM), designed and implemented by the New York County District Attorney’s Office (DANY), is a prosecutorial strategy rooted in the rigorous collection of background information about the people, places, and problems driving crime in specific neighborhoods.  Through enhanced information gathering—including close coordination with local law enforcement and robust community outreach—the IDPM intends to facilitate improved prosecutorial decision making.  Technology-centered intelligence collection that focuses on specific people and places driving crime adds a unique dimension to data analysis.  With funding from the U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance, a study was conducted to document how the IDPM operates and explore the model’s implementation and effects in New York County, known more widely as the borough of Manhattan.

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Law Enforcement Near Miss Database

The Police Foundation has developed a voluntary, nondisciplinary reporting system that allows law enforcement personnel to read about and anonymously share “close calls” or “near misses,” to help protect others from similar incidents.  The database is designed to capture reports of incidents in which law enforcement officers narrowly avoided serious injury, fatalities, significant property damage, or other significant crisis, so that these events can be learned from to improve safety for officers and civilians.

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Press Release: SAVER Program Reports Now Available for Download

On February 6, 2017, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) announced that reports produced by the System Assessment and Validation for Emergency Responders (SAVER) Program are now available for download on the S&T Web site, a one-stop shop for resources to help responders make better purchasing decisions.  The goal of the SAVER Program is to provide cost and time savings to federal, state, and local responders as they decide which equipment to purchase.

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New FBI Wanted App: Making It Easier to Find Fugitives and Missing Persons

The just-released FBI Wanted mobile app allows the public to view, search, sort, filter, and bookmark the full range of information issued by the FBI, including pictures and descriptions of wanted fugitives, missing persons, crime suspects, deceased victims, and others the Bureau is seeking to locate or identify. The free app works on Apple and Android devices, including smartphones, iPads, and iPods. The FBI hopes that the public will use the information in the app to help solve cases and return missing persons to their homes.

 

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House Passes Bill Requiring Warrants for E-Mail Searches

On February 6, 2017, the House passed a bill aimed at modernizing the United States’ aging law covering law enforcement access to e-mails and other stored files.  The current law, known as the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, allows law enforcement to access any stored files without a warrant if such material is left on a third-party server for more than 180 days.  But that law was passed in 1986—three years before the invention of the Internet—when computer owners did not have the same systems as modern users, such as cloud hosting, Webmail, and online photo galleries.  The Email Privacy Act alters the previous rule to universally require warrants for such information. The same bill cleared the House in 2016 on an overwhelming 419-0 vote, but it stalled in the Senate.  

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