New Threat Can Auto-Brick Apple Devices

If you use an Apple iPhone, iPad or other iDevice, now would be an excellent time to ensure that the machine is running the latest version of Apple’s mobile operating system — version 9.3.1. Failing to do so could expose your devices to automated threats capable of rendering them unresponsive and perhaps forever useless.

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The FBI paid “white hats” to unlock the iPhone of the San Bernardino terrorists

The FBI paid hackers to unlock the so-called iPhone of the San Bernardino terrorists. The task was achieved using a hardware tool able to jump over the four-digit personal password, without erasing the data of the phone. The bureau is now deciding if it should notify Apple about the software flaw.

According to sources who talked to the Washington Post, hackers received a one-time payment by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. In the world of technology, there are researchers who dedicate to discover bugs and vulnerabilities in software, to sell them to companies or to the U.S. government.

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Is your ISP hijacking your DNS traffic?

The answer to above question used to be difficult. You had to be an expert to find out the answer. In fact, most people don’t even care.

Playing with dnstraceroute tool (see on GitHub), I noticed it is a common practice for service providers to hijack and redirect DNS traffic to their local DNS servers. So If you thought you are using Google’s Public DNS Server orVerisign’s, you may want to think twice.

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EFF to Copyright Office: Improper Content Takedowns Hurt Online Free Expression

Washington, D.C. – Content takedowns based on unfounded copyright claims are hurting online free expression, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) told the U.S. Copyright Office Friday, arguing that any reform of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) should focus on protecting Internet speech and creativity.

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Aurora Flight Science: Unmanned Aircraft Flight World Record 2014

Homeland Security Today Magazine – July 2015 Assignment

Kana M. Kennedy

Title: Unmanned Aircraft Flight World Record 2014

Aurora Flight Science (a leading manufacturer for unmanned aerial vehicles), announced Tuesday, July 14th, 2015 that the Orion medium-altitude aircraft had set the world record as the longest flight for an unmanned aircraft since the 2001 record holder, the Global Hawk.

Per the official announcement from Aurora Flight Science, “Aurora Flight Sciences announced today that on July 1, 2015 the company received official notification from the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI) that its Orion aircraft set the world record for duration of flight for a remotely controlled UAV. The record was awarded based on the aircraft’s 80 – hour, 2 – minute and 52- second flight that took place December 5 – 8, 2014. The previous record for the same class of unmanned aircraft was just over 30 hours, set by a Global Hawk in 2001.”

In addition to the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI) record holder award, the National Aeronautic Association (NAA) would be formally recognizing the flight as an aviation milestone for 2014. The flight also placed Orion as a finalist for the prestigious Collier Trophy aviation award.

The Aurora Flight Science was quoted,
“We’re thrilled to receive notification that FAI and NAA have officially recognized this groundbreaking development in unmanned flight,” said Dr. John Langford, chairman and CEO of Aurora Flight Sciences. “The U.S. military put the challenge to Aurora to develop a long-endurance unmanned system that far exceeded the capabilities of existing technologies. Obviously, when taxpayer dollars are invested,the goal is not only to see if a long -endurance flight can be achieved, but to ultimately deploy the system in support of the American warfighter. We met and exceeded our customer’s requirements for the aircraft. The most important recognition for Orion will come whenthe aircraft is put to work meeting exactly what U.S. warfighter is calling for –unmanned, persistent surveillance of our enemies. We stand ready to meet this growing demand.”

The Orion aircraft uses standard aviation military fuels, unlike liquid hydrogen that has been used in high-altitude aircraft tests. The Orion also uses two Austro engines, per Flight International.

Per Aurora Flight Science, “In recent months,demand from U.S. national security leaders for long-endurance, or “persistent,” intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities in an unmanned aircraft has been on the rise. Speaking on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives on June 10, 2015, House Defense Appropriations subcommittee chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen said “w

e believe that a strong intelligence,surveillance and reconnaissance capability is a critical component of the Global War on Terrorism. And yet, a succession of combatant commanders have testified that only a fraction of their ISR requirements are being met, in essence, leaving them blind to the enemy’s activities, movements and intentions.”

The Aurora Flight Science CEO, Dr. Langford ended with, “The global threat environment and related ISR requirements are evolving rapidly, and doing so in the context of deep budget cuts,” said Dr. John S. Langford, chairman and CEO of Aurora. “Our go -to -market strategy is grounded in the basic notion of a customer-driven contracting approach. We’re doing traditional sale and lease agreements, as well as company-owned and operated deals that allow the government customer to focus more on the acquisition of information, as opposed to airplanes.”

Northrop Grumman Global Hawk:

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Flight Global Orion:
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One Creepy Street: The Spider on the Web by Lee Jordan

51CKT5WXm9LOne Creepy Street: The Spider on the Web by Lee Jordan

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Disclaimer: I am in the Info Security field and was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Spider on the Web is a second installment in a children series books that specializes in teaching children proper use of electronics and technology. I had not read the first book but I definitely will be picking it up and watching this series as it progresses. This is set as a short but instructive book to give children a view of the potential dangers of using the internet.

I went into this a little hesitant, as I’ve seen other books approach the topic as something to be feared and avoided until children reach a certain-older age. I personally feel that technology has a lot of potential and is a huge benefit to society and education, but has to be approached (by children and adults) with some personal safety. But that’s to be said of so many things, it isn’t a reason to avoid it entirely. And I was happy to find this book feels the same way. Showing the potential risks and dangers and how to spot them, but still be able to utilize the internet as the great tool that it is. It’s wonderful to teach everyone how to use this tool properly, especially from the beginning so that our children will grow up with the safety lessons they’ve learned, ingrained. They won’t even have to think about it because it’s second nature to them. That’s my goal and I like that this book is a nice companion book to teaching your children how to be safe online.

I did find one thing I might have changed, myself. I know it’s a difficult topic to tackle and I found the analogy of a spider and town setting with a Halloween theme to make that natural. It’s hard to decide what sort of information to put into a book like this when your audience is potentially so young -on top of trying to make it rhythm. But there was one sentence I might change, if it were up to me. When the police officer is talking with the mother witch, there’s a line that says ‘Reading emails that Annica forgot to delete’. The undeleted emails were the only thing that allowed the police officer to save the day. But the sentence implies Annica would have known what she was doing was wrong and needed to hide it and simply forgot. Which may be the case, but I don’t think we need to remind the kids to remember to delete their email history before taking it to the next step and meeting their online friends without a guardian. I think the sentence could have said something similar, ‘They found Annica’s open chat history.’ and left it at that. It gives the same information without the reminder that she could have deleted it. We know she could, but it doesn’t have to be said for the story to work and you don’t risk that unintentional reminder to the child that they can do that.

But please, keep in mind this is one single sentence of an entire book and I am probably over analyzing it and being picky on word choice. (Which happens often in this field.) I think the rest of the book outweighs it by showing that the spider was in fact a bad person and that part of the story will stay with the child -because it is in fact the point of the story.

There are a few technology safety books out there but very few are geared towards the children, most of them are directed at parents. Which is fine, but it leaves the conversation of internet safety as ‘a talk’ that the parent has to give. This book allows the message to be given in a fun and natural way, through a child’s storybook. It’s a nice option for those parents who want to reinforce the talk they may have already had or be a starter to open up that talk later. I think this book (and potentially the series) are a great asset for any parent or guardian.

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