Headlines 

How the LAPD Uses Data to Predict Crime

If you’ve ever been incarcerated, it’s never easy to escape your past. In Los Angeles, it may be even harder. The Los Angeles Police Department is one of dozens of cities across the country that’s trying to predict where crime will happen—and who those future criminals will be—based on past crime and arrest data. One effort, known as Operation LASER, which began in 2011, crunches information about past offenders over a two-year period, using technology developed by the shadowy data analysis firm Palantir, and scores individuals based on their rap…

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Headlines 

A Location-Sharing Disaster Shows How Exposed You Really Are

There are plenty of guides available on how to protect your data, how to secure yourself online, and how to stop digital snoops from tracking you across the web and then profiting from that intrusion. (Sorry, “monetization”.) You should do these things. But if a cascading series of revelations this past week has taught us anything, it's that all of those steps amount to triage. The things you can control add up to very little next to the things you can’t. It’s an obvious point, especially if you follow the…

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Headlines 

4 Key Takeaways From Muellers First Yearand Whats Next

Today marks the one-year anniversary of Robert Mueller’s appointment as special counsel in the investigation of the Trump campaign’s contact and relationships with Russia. For all the talk of the president’s lawyers and the vice president about how it’s time to “wrap it up,” the truth is that for a federal investigation, Mueller’s probe has moved with impressive rapidity—and, contrary to the president’s repeated assertions of a “witch hunt,” the validity of the investigation has gotten more solid with every passing month. Today, the first person sentenced to prison in…

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Headlines 

The Untold Story of Robert Mueller’s Time in Combat

One day in the summer of 1969, a young Marine lieutenant named Bob Mueller arrived in Hawaii for a rendezvous with his wife, Ann. She was flying in from the East Coast with the couple’s infant daughter, Cynthia, a child Mueller had never met. Mueller had taken a plane from Vietnam. After nine months at war, he was finally due for a few short days of R&R outside the battle zone. Mueller had seen intense combat since he last said goodbye to his wife. He’d received the Bronze Star with…

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Headlines 

The Iran Nuclear Deal’s Unraveling Raises Fears of Cyberattacks

When the US last tightened its sanctions against Iran in 2012, then-president Barack Obama boasted that they were "virtually grinding the Iranian economy to a halt." Iran fired back with one of the broadest series of cyberattacks ever to target the US, bombarding practically every major American bank with months of intermittent distributed denial of service attacks that pummeled their websites with junk traffic, knocking them offline. Three years later, the Obama administration lifted many of those sanctions in exchange for Iran's promise to halt its nuclear development; Tehran has…

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Headlines 

A Georgia Hacking Bill Gets Cybersecurity All Wrong

In March, the Georgia State General Assembly passed a bill that would make it illegal to access a computer or network "without authority." Georgia Governor Nathan Deal has until Tuesday to decide whether to sign it into law or veto it. The 40-day limbo has morphed from a bureaucratic formality, though, into a heated debate with national implications. In just 43 lines, the bill raises fundamental questions about how to establish boundaries in cyberspace without hindering vital security research and, crucially, the ethics of "hacking back," in which institutions that…

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Headlines 

Security News This Week: The Biggest DDoS For Hire Site Goes Down

WIRED tackled the big questions in security this week, starting with maybe the biggest: Why do so many people use "dragon" as their password? The answer actually says a lot about the psychology of passwords, and how those popular password lists are made in the first place. And there's a whole lot more. Another surprising discovery? Why it makes at least some sense that Atlanta paid $2.6 million to recover from a ransomware attack that had demanded only $52,000. A less surprising one? That MSNBC host Joy Reid is far…

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Headlines 

Why So Many People Make Their Password ‘Dragon’

Each year since 2011, the security firm SplashData has released a list of the most commonly used passwords, based on caches of leaked account credentials. The annual list, intended as a reminder of humanity’s poor password practices, always includes predictable entries like “abc123,” “123456,” and “letmein.” But one entry, finishing in the top 20 every year, has stood out since the beginning: "dragon." But why? Is it because of the popularity of the television adaption of Game of Thrones, which first premiered the same year as the popular passwords list?…

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Odds and Ends 

Microsoft built its own custom Linux kernel for its new IoT service

At a small press event in San Francisco, Microsoft today announced the launch of a secure end-to-end IoT product that focuses on microcontroller-based devices — the kind of devices that use tiny and relatively low-powered microcontrollers (MCUs) for basic control or connectivity features. Typically, these kinds of devices, which could be anything from a toy to a household gadget or an industrial application, don’t often get updated and hence, security often suffers. At the core of Azure Sphere is a new class of certified MCUs. As Microsoft president and chief…

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Headlines 

The Young and the Reckless

I. The Bumper The trip to Delaware was only supposed to last a day. David Pokora, a bespectacled University of Toronto senior with scraggly blond hair down to his shoulders, needed to travel south to fetch a bumper that he’d bought for his souped-up Volks­wagen Golf R. The American seller had balked at shipping to Canada, so Pokora arranged to have the part sent to a buddy, Justin May, who lived in Wilmington. The young men, both ardent gamers, shared a fascination with the inner workings of the Xbox; though…

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Headlines 

The White House Loses Its Cybersecurity Brain Trust

Today, the White House confirmed that cybersecurity coordinator Rob Joyce will head back to the National Security Agency, where he previously ran the nation’s top hacking team. His departure comes just a week after Tom Bossert, Trump’s cybersecurity czar and Joyce’s boss, was forced out—and leaves the administration without two trusted voices on one of the most important challenges the US faces going forward. While Bossert’s exit appears to have been engineered by recently installed national security advisor John Bolton, Reuters reports that Joyce will leave of his own accord.…

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Headlines 

A Long-Awaited IoT Crisis Is Here, and Many Devices Aren’t Ready

You know by now that Internet of Things devices like your router are often vulnerable to attack, the industry-wide lack of investment in security leaving the door open to a host of abuses. Worse still, known weaknesses and flaws can hang around for years after their initial discovery. Even decades. And Monday, the content and web services firm Akamai published new findings that it has observed attackers actively exploiting a flaw in devices like routers and video game consoles that was originally exposed in 2006. Over the last decade, reports…

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Headlines 

Security News This Week: Julian Assange Has Lost His Internet Privileges

After weeks of unrelenting chaos, the cybersecurity world took a little bit of a breather. Well, relatively, anyway. There was still one of the bigger data breaches in recent memory, compliments of UnderArmour. The sportswear company's MyFitnessPal apps suffered a breach of 150 million users' data, including names and passwords. And while Under Armour says "the majority" of the latter were protected by powerful hashing, some were barely protected at all, making the potential impact of the hack that much worse. But hey, everyone makes mistakes, including the world’s most…

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Headlines 

Army of 01101111: The Making of a Cyber Battalion

Satellite dishes mark the main gate of Fort Gordon, eggshell white and lasering up at the moon. It’s a modest shrine, as these things go. Many military bases put machines of might on the front porch—tanks or helos or jumbo artillery guns—but the dishes fit Fort Gordon just fine. They’re subtle. They’re quiet. Inside the gates it’s more of the same. Fort Gordon sits in a soft Georgian basin, the traditional home of the US Army Signal Corps. Signal has been around since the Civil War and has long been…

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Headlines 

Yes, Even Elite Hackers Make Dumb Mistakes

On Thursday, a report from the Daily Beast alleged that the Guccifer 2.0 hacking persona—famous for leaking data stolen from the Democratic National Committee in 2016—has been linked to a GRU Russian intelligence agent. What appears to have given Guccifer away: The hacker once failed activate a VPN before logging into a social media account. This slip eventually allowed US investigators to link the persona to a Moscow IP address. In fact, they traced it directly to GRU headquarters. Guccifer 2.0 took careful precautions to remain anonymous for months, yet…

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