The issues related to cybersecurity among utilities companies has a unique twist that sounds like something from a hacker movie made in Hollywood. A cyberattack to compromise a utility provider and demand cash ransom in exchange for access to the networks is possible if security measures aren't improved, according to Dr. Larry Ponemon, Ponemon Institute founder.
Ransomware attacks, made up of custom malware designed to encrypt files and interrupt business operations, is a successful technique that hackers from Eastern Europe and China have deployed. If altered to breach utility networks, the same type of attack might be extremely effective.
"With the increased convergence of cyber and physical world's, attacks are no longer limited to office computers and networks," said Steve Durbin, International Security Forum Managing Director, in a statement. "They can now have physical impact in the real-world."
A new teaser for the latest "Hunger Games" movie was recently released - showing a video broadcast of President Snow, however, it's hacked and the "pirate transmission from District 13," with Beetee proclaiming the Mockingjay lives. The film will be released later this year.
Part 1 is expected to be a platform to help set up most of the action in Part 2, as extending books into multiple movies has become more common in recent years. Although "Mockingjay" is the least bloody book in the series written by Suzanne Collins, it will be curious to see what happens on the big screen.
The German government remains upset that the NSA snooped on German Chancellor Angela Merkel and other government leaders, requesting the top U.S. intelligence official in Germany to leave the country. It was an unexpected move by the German government, as the CIA official works at the U.S. embassy in Berlin - as parliamentary inquiries continue in Germany.
The German government wants to speak with Snowden, but the American turned down an in-person meeting that would have taken place in Russia. Even if German investigators are unable to chat with Snowden in the near future, there are obvious political tensions between Germany and the United States at the moment.
"The representative of the U.S. intelligence services as the Embassy of the United States of America has been requested to leave Germany," said Steffen Seibert, a Germany government spokesperson, in a statement. "The Federal Government takes these incidents very seriously. It remains vital for Germany, in the interest of the security of its citizens and its forces abroad, to cooperate closely and trustfully with western partners, in particular with the USA. To do so, however, mutual trust and openness are necessary. The Federal Government continues to be ready for this and expects the same from its closest partners."
North Korea is so upset about "The Interview" that an official protest has been filed with the United Stations by government officials. The Seth Rogen and James Franco movie features the two popular actors serving as tabloid journalists eventually tasked with trying to assassinate North Korean president Kim Jong Un.
The real North Korean government wants the U.S. government to stop the film from being released, with a scheduled release date of October 14. Instead of simply ignoring the movie, North Korea is helping indirectly promote the film, even though it won't be released for another three months.
"To allow the production and distribution of such a film on the assassination of an incumbent head of a sovereign state should be regarded as the most undisguised sponsoring of terrorism as well as an act of war," said Ja Song Nam, North Korea's U.N. Ambassador, in a statement. "The United States authorities should take immediate and appropriate actions to ban the production and distribution of the aforementioned film; otherwise, it will be fully responsible for encouraging and sponsoring terrorism."
As expected, the United States and China again discussed cyberespionage talks with China, following months of tense negotiations and stalemates from both sides. Washington and Beijing have an extremely fragile political relationship, and both sides have accused one another of organized cyberespionage attacks aimed at stealing information and disrupting network traffic.
Although U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry confirmed Washington raised cyber-related topics with China, though a large amount of dialogue is still necessary. The United States still accuses China of state-led global cyberespionage attacks, while Beijing criticized the NSA for its widespread surveillance activities.
"China is making preparations to adopt greater transparency including on foreign exchange, which will accelerate the move to a more market-based exchange rate," said Jack Lew, U.S. Treasury Secretary, when speaking of the cybercrime-related talks between both sides.
The controversial Cyber Information Sharing Act (CISA) was approved by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, aimed to help the government and private companies better defend against cyberattacks. The bill received a 12-3 vote, and is the latest step forward in an evolving battle to keep networks and users safe on the Internet.
As part of CISA, the director of national intelligence will need to increase classified and unclassified cyberthreat information - and individuals and companies are authorized to roll out countermeasures to keep their own networks and consenting customers secure.
There is a large amount of concern regarding the controversial program, especially following former NSA contractor Edward Snowden disclosed organized federal government spying operations.
If you are using an Android Wear device like a smartwatch, a new update to the official Google Camera app has landed that gives your smartwatch a new feature. The Android Wear platform now has the ability to act as a remote shutter button for your smartphone camera.
With the update applied, users can tap on the watch face to take a picture with their phone. Once the screen is touched, a countdown appears. The image taken can be previewed on the watch face as well.
The update is available via Google Play right now. Users wanting to take a different route can also sideload the update to the Android device.
One of the problems that many women face with birth control today is that it can take a long time after they stop taking pills or using other devices before they can get pregnant. In the future, that problem might be alleviated using an implantable device with a microchip that can be remotely turned on and off.
This implant could be used to deliver all sorts of medications, but the first use of it is expected to be for birth control. The implanted device could be left just under the skin for up to 16 years. Inside the device, the tiny microchip has small reservoirs of drugs gated by a titanium and platinum seal.
That seal will temporarily melt when an electric current is applied allowing the drug inside the seep out into the body. The reservoirs in the small 20mm square device are large enough for a 16-year supply of the contraceptive called levonorgestrel. The device is from a MIT spin off in Massachusetts and the project is backed by the Gates Foundation as well.
Tesla is one of the most successful electric carmakers in the world and the company wants to expand into China. Back in January, Tesla had announced that it had settled a trademark infringement case between it and a Chinese businessman named Zhan Baosheng who had registered the Tesla trademark in China before the automaker entered the market.
Zhan has now sued Tesla in a Chinese court again over trademark infringement. He is demanding that Tesla stop all sales and marketing activities in the country, and shut the doors on its showrooms and charging facilities.
Zhan is also demanding a payment of 23.9 million Yuan, which is about $3.85 million in the US. The case is set to be heard by a Chinese court on August 5. Tesla believes that China will be its biggest market for cars.
Automakers like GM and Ford have been recalling thousands and thousands of vehicles around the world for issues that pose a safety hazard to drivers. Motorcycle maker Harley Davidson has now issued a recall on certain motorcycles in the 2014 model year.
The recall covers 66,421 Touring and CVO Touring motorcycles that have anti-lock brakes. Harley is warning riders of these bikes that the front wheel can lock up without warning. The issue has caused five known accidents with two minor injuries reported.
The front wheel lockup happens when the brake line is pinched between the fuel tank and frame. That pinch increases the pressure of fluid in the lines and locks up the front wheel. The fix Harley will offer is to replace brake lines and add straps to hold the lines in place.