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In the News


This section features topical, current news items of interest to the international security community. These articles and highlights are selected from various popular science and security magazines, newspapers, and online sources.

US News     


“How the Candidates View Cybersecurity, from Total Indifference to Mild Indifference,” Wired, 15 March 2016. [Online].
With the presidential election creeping up and the amount of security news we hear about on a near daily basis, it is quite shocking we do not hear the presidential candidates speaking about their plans for the nation’s cybersecurity a bit more. This article outlines what we have heard so far from the five remaining presidential hopefuls (plus Senator Rubio).


“Number of U.S. Government ‘Cyber Incidents’ Jumps in 2015,” Reuters, 21 March 2016. [Online].
According to a White House audit, the U.S. government was bombarded by 77,000 “cyber incidents” in 2015. That number represents a 10% jump over the previous year’s total. “Cyber incidents” were defined as “a violation or imminent threat of violation of computer security policies, acceptable use policies, or standard computer security practices.” Last month, President Obama asked Congress to give an additional $5 Billion to help improve U.S. cybersecurity.


“Feds Drop Case After Hacking iPhone Without Apple’s Help,” The Hill, 28 March 2016. [Online].
The Department of Justice is no longer going after Apple. This news comes as a result of the FBI successfully cracking one of the San Bernardino shooter's iPhones. The FBI said that they were able to pull all the information from the device and are now reviewing it.


“FBI Seeks Cybersecurity Help as Ransomware Epidemic Deemed an ‘Emergency,’ ” CBC News, 28 March 2016. [Online].
The FBI asked security experts for their assistance in researching a new piece of ransomware known as “MSIL/Samas.” The virus is especially malicious because it infects data on entire networks rather than the usual “one machine at a time” basis that is expected of typical ransomware. One of the founders of cyber security firm, Carbon Black, said that it is becoming “a national cyber emergency.”


International News 


“Some Android Phones Are Once Again Susceptible to the Stagefright Hack,” Forbes, 20 March 2016. [Online].
A variation of the Stagefright flaw found in Android’s media player has been discovered by researchers from Northbit. The new version, called Metaphor, works by first feeling out the security level of a device before attempting to infect it. Reportedly, the entire process can be completed in as little as 20 seconds.


“Wireless Mice Leave Billions at Risk of Computer Hack: Cyber Security Firm,” Reuters, 23 March 2016. [Online].
A pair of researchers from cyber security company, Bastille, were able to uncover a flaw in wireless mice from major companies including HP, Lenovo and Dell. The dongles used to register the mouse activity do not encrypt the data they send. Marc Newlin and Balint Seeber say that using a few lines of code they can trick the dongle into accepting keyboard input from as far as 180 meters away. After that they can simply pump the victim’s computer with input and gain access to nearly anything on that device. Some of the manufacturers of the affected wireless mice have already started pushing out updates to correct the issue.


“Qatar National Bank Investigating Alleged Data Hack,” Reuters, 27 April 2016. [Online].
A large number of customers at Qatar National Bank may have had sensitive information leaked. One and a half gigabytes of data including names, bank information, phone numbers, and even some photographs pulled from social media sites, appeared online. The bank said that they are investigating the speculation but assured that all of their clients’ finances were safe. However, the bank did not verify whether the leaked information was real or not.


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Articles listed on these pages have been found on publicly available internet pages and are cited with links to those pages. Some of the information included herein has been reprinted with permission from the authors or data repositories. Direct any requests via Email to for removal of the links or modifications to specific citations. Please include the ID# of the specific citation in your correspondence.