9 Facts About Computer Security That Experts Wish You Knew

Every day, you hear about security flaws, viruses, and evil hacker gangs that could leave you destitute — or, worse, bring your country to its knees. But what's the truth about these digital dangers? We asked computer security experts to separate the myths from the facts. Here's what they said. » 3/04/15 2:11pm 3/04/15 2:11pm

Lenovo Joins the Malevolent Side of the Online Advertising Industry

On Wednesday evening, the news began to break on Twitter. Computer security analysts had discovered something nefarious about a piece of advertising software called Superfish, which comes pre-installed on cheap Lenovo laptops like the Yoga 2. Superfish was leaving the laptops wide open to takeover by malicious… » 2/20/15 2:33pm 2/20/15 2:33pm

Saudi Arabia Is Building a 600-Mile Wall Along the Iraq Border

Saudi Arabia is building great wall — or rather, a great chainlink fence with razor wire — to "protect against ISIS" in Iraq. And it's not the only country investing in very expensive walls right now, even though they probably won't work. Why? Because walls aren't just about security. They're also powerful symbols. » 2/11/15 2:19pm 2/11/15 2:19pm

Everybody Needs To Read PW Singer's Book On Cybersecurity And Cyberwar

The recent Sony hacking scandal just proved what's already been clear to a lot of people for years: cyberattacks are an ever-increasing threat, and we're not ready. Luckily, a book released last year provides an excellent primer on this sort of situation: P.W. Singer and Allan Friedman's Cybersecurity and Cyberwar:… » 1/14/15 4:00pm 1/14/15 4:00pm

Hackers Reproduce A German Politician's Fingerprint From Photos

A member of the Chaos Computer Club has shown how you can use photos to reconstruct a person's fingerprint — and to prove his point, he replicated the thumbprint of the German defense minister, Ursula von der Leyen. » 12/29/14 2:00pm 12/29/14 2:00pm

How to Automatically Back Up and Purge Your Gmail Every 30 Days

If the Sony hack has taught us anything, it's that keeping incriminating emails in your inbox is a terrible idea. Even if you aren't doing anything particularly bad, if someone gets into you email, everything you've ever said could be out in the open. Here's how to make sure that doesn't happen by automatically… » 12/19/14 2:04am 12/19/14 2:04am

America's nukes are in a shocking state of neglect. A recent Pentagon review found outdated equipment, weak leadership, and abysmal morale among the people responsible for maintaining and launching these massively destructive weapons. Billions of dollars will be required over the next five years to ensure its security… » 11/14/14 4:40pm 11/14/14 4:40pm

Five Fear Mongering Stories That Are True (But Overblown)

The media loves blowing little things up into huge stories. Whether it's something in your refrigerator that's out to kill you or a the filthiness of a jacuzzi, most of this stuff is meant to grab your attention long enough to scare you without actually explaining anything. But some of this stuff is worth paying… » 10/31/14 2:05am 10/31/14 2:05am

From AIDS to Ebola, Why Is Global Health Security Failing?

Amid news that the number of Ebola cases had reached more than 6,000 in West Africa, public health and international security experts from around the world gathered in Washington, DC last week for a candid discussion of how the global community failed to contain the disease—and what lessons still needed to be learned. » 10/07/14 12:10pm 10/07/14 12:10pm

NASA Wants An Astronomer With "Top Secret" Clearance For Webb Telescope

NASA declares that its orbiting James Webb Space Telescope will be "the premier observatory of the next decade," studying "every phase in the history of our universe." But the job description for the director of the project has some wondering if that history includes current events on Earth. » 9/15/14 9:45am 9/15/14 9:45am

Airport Screenings Won't Prevent Ebola From Spreading

Nigerian authorities have just confirmed a second case of Ebola, prompting the government to announce that it is increasing health screenings at airports to contain the disease. Unfortunately, the likelihood of detecting whether someone is infected is quite small. » 8/04/14 1:40pm 8/04/14 1:40pm

Federal Employee Gets Fired After Writing An Article Criticizing Nukes

For 17 years, James Doyle was a nuclear policy specialist at the Los Alamos National Laboratory. Then he wrote an article that made the case for getting rid of nuclear weapons. After that, his computer was seized, he was accused of releasing classified information, and then he was fired. What happened? » 8/01/14 12:00pm 8/01/14 12:00pm

Smallpox Virus Samples Found In Unprotected Government Fridge

While preparing for move to a new location, researchers at the US National Institutes of Health discovered a cardboard box inside a storage room refrigerator. To their horror, the vials inside were labeled "variola" — the name of the virus that causes smallpox. » 7/09/14 2:20pm 7/09/14 2:20pm

Can Embassies Be Secure Without Looking Like Scary Bunkers?

Over the last 15 years, every embassy that the U.S. has built around the world looks like a fortress—an eyesore in cities and a not-so-friendly message to foreigners. So, architects who are building our new London embassy hope to prove that aesthetics and security can co-exist. It's an idea that's sparked some… » 6/27/14 5:00pm 6/27/14 5:00pm

Could Clicking On Familiar Faces Eventually Replace Passwords?

Passwords and PINs are notoriously difficult to remember. But it just so happens that we're exceptionally good at remembering distinct faces — a psychological quirk that security experts now say could be the next big thing in authentication. » 6/24/14 8:40am 6/24/14 8:40am

An Interactive Map Showing Global Cyberattacks In Real Time

Security firm Kaspersky Lab has launched an interactive cyberthreat map that visualizes cyber security incidents occurring worldwide in real time. A quick glance shows that the world is a pretty scary place. » 4/11/14 4:00pm 4/11/14 4:00pm

Athlete Struck By Potentially Hacked Aerial Drone

An athlete competing at an Australian triathlon was sent to hospital after an aerial camera drone suddenly swooped down and smashed into her. The operator of the UAV claims someone nearby "channel hopped" the device — wresting control away from him. » 4/08/14 8:40am 4/08/14 8:40am

Our National Security Is Threatened By Computers That Can't Spell

A report published two weeks ago by the House Homeland Security Committee revealed that Boston Marathon bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev could have been detained before the attack — if he had spelled his name differently. » 4/08/14 7:20am 4/08/14 7:20am

Senior U.S. spies warn of future security threats

A senior American spy chief has released his assessment of the most troubling threats facing the US — a list that includes terrorism, hackers, WMD proliferation, pandemics, extreme weather events — and the militarization of space. » 1/30/14 4:00pm 1/30/14 4:00pm

Safe Airports Are a Myth

Shotguns are not allowed through airport security. But what does that matter if you can build one from items purchased in an airport gift shop? The break-action shotgun pictured above was made from Red Bull cans, a hair dryer, batteries and a can of Axe body spray – and it can blast a handful of pocket change through… » 12/03/13 9:50am 12/03/13 9:50am