Security

Pentagon Discloses Network Breach By Russian Hackers 63

Posted by Soulskill
from the digital-diplomatic-incident dept.
An anonymous reader writes: The Pentagon has disclosed that Russian hackers were able to breach one of its secure networks earlier this year, and referred to the attack as a "worrisome" incident. "Earlier this year, the sensors that guard DOD's unclassified networks detected Russian hackers accessing one of our networks," said defense secretary Ash Carter yesterday during a speech at Stanford University. Carter warned Russia that the U.S. Department of Defense would retaliate with cyber campaigns should it see fit. "Adversaries should know that our preference for deterrence and our defensive posture don't diminish our willingness to use cyber options if necessary," said Carter. He added in a prepared statement that the Russian hackers had been able to gain access to an "unclassified network" but had been "quickly identified" by a team of cyberattack experts who managed to block the hackers "within 24 hours." The cybersecurity response team had quickly analyzed the hack patterns and code and identified the intruders as Russian, before "kicking them off the network."
Crime

Gen. Petraeus To Be Sentenced To Two Years Probation and Fine 94

Posted by samzenpus
from the standing-tall-before-the-man dept.
An anonymous reader writes: Petraeus, a now-retired U.S. Army General, has already agreed to plead guilty to a criminal misdemeanor charge of unauthorized removal and retention of classified material. As part of the agreement with prosecutors filed in March, the government will not seek any prison time. Instead, Petraeus will agree to pay a $40,000 fine and receive two years of probation, according to court documents. The recommendations are not binding on the federal judge who will preside at the hearing Thursday afternoon in Charlotte.
United States

Drone Killed Hostages From U.S. and Italy, Drawing Obama Apology 332

Posted by timothy
from the tragic-events dept.
HughPickens.com writes: The NYT reports that President Obama has offered an emotional apology for the accidental killing of two hostages held by Al Qaeda, one of them American, in a United States government counterterrorism operation in January, saying he takes "full responsibility" for their deaths. "As president and as commander in chief, I take full responsibility for all our counterterrorism operations," including the one that inadvertently took the lives of the two captives, a grim-faced Obama said in a statement to reporters in the White House briefing room. The White House earlier released an extraordinary statement revealing that intelligence officials had confirmed that Warren Weinstein, an American held by Al Qaeda since 2011, and Giovanni Lo Porto, an Italian held since 2012, died during the operation. Gunmen abducted Warren Weinstein in 2011 from his home in Lahore, Pakistan. They posed as neighbors, offered food and then pistol-whipped the American aid worker and tied up his guards, according to his daughter Alisa Weinstein.

The White House did not explain why it has taken three months to disclose the episode. Obama said that the operation was conducted after hundreds of hours of surveillance had convinced American officials that they were targeting an Al Qaeda compound where no civilians were present, and that "capturing these terrorists was not possible." The White House said the operation that killed the two hostages "was lawful and conducted consistent with our counterterrorism policies" but nonetheless the government is conducting a "thorough independent review" to determine what happened and how such casualties could be avoided in the future.
Security

Tor Is Building the Next Generation Dark Net With Funding From DARPA 67

Posted by Soulskill
from the seek-and-go-hide dept.
Patrick O'Neill writes: After years of relative neglect, Tor has been able to dedicate increasing time and resources to its hidden services thanks to funding in part by DARPA, as well as an upcoming crowdfunding campaign. DARPA's funding lasts 1-3 years and covers several projects including security and usability upgrades that close the gap between hidden services and the everyday Internet. "Next-generation hidden services may be run from multiple hosts to better deal with denial of service attacks and high traffic in general, a potentially big power boost that further closes the gap between the Dark Net and normal websites. ... Hidden services, which make up about 4 percent of the entire Tor network, have until recently been relatively neglected when it comes to funding and developing."
The Military

US Military To Recruit Civilian Cybersecurity Experts 67

Posted by timothy
from the which-masters-would-you-prefer? dept.
An anonymous reader writes The U.S. Army is to create a new cybersecurity division, Cyber Branch 17, and is also considering launching a cyber career track for civilians, according to an announcement made this week by Lt. Gen. Edward C. Cardon. Cardon, who currently heads the U.S. Army's cyber command, ARCYBER, spoke to the Senate Armed Services subcommittee on Tuesday about the growing threats and capabilities used in cyber warfare. He argued that creating a cyber career management field for civilians would result in an easier recruitment process, as opposed to recruiting internally and trying to retain the talent, he said. Cardon maintains that recruiting and retaining talent in the field is often challenging, given internal employment constraints surrounding compensation and slow hiring processes.
The Military

Scientists Locate Sunken, Radioactive Aircraft Carrier Off California Coast 192

Posted by Soulskill
from the what-you-leave-behind dept.
HughPickens.com writes: Aaron Kinney reports in the San Jose Mercury News that scientists have captured the first clear images of the USS Independence, a radioactivity-polluted World War II aircraft carrier that rests on the ocean floor 30 miles off the coast of Half Moon Bay. The Independence saw combat at Wake Island and other decisive battles against Japan in 1944 and 1945 and was later blasted with radiation in two South Pacific nuclear tests. Assigned as a target vessel for the Operation Crossroads atomic bomb tests, she was placed within one-half-mile of ground zero and was engulfed in a fireball and heavily damaged during the 1946 nuclear weapons tests at Bikini Atoll. The veteran ship did not sink, however (though her funnels and island were crumpled by the blast), and after taking part in another explosion on 25 July, the highly radioactive hull was later taken to Pearl Harbor and San Francisco for further tests and was finally scuttled off the coast of San Francisco, California, on 29 January 1951. "This ship is an evocative artifact of the dawn of the atomic age, when we began to learn the nature of the genie we'd uncorked from the bottle," says James Delgado. "It speaks to the 'Greatest Generation' — people's fathers, grandfathers, uncles and brothers who served on these ships, who flew off those decks and what they did to turn the tide in the Pacific war."

Delgado says he doesn't know how many drums of radioactive material are buried within the ship — perhaps a few hundred. But he is doubtful that they pose any health or environmental risk. The barrels were filled with concrete and sealed in the ship's engine and boiler rooms, which were protected by thick walls of steel. The carrier itself was clearly "hot" when it went down and and it was packed full of fresh fission products and other radiological waste at the time it sank. The Independence was scuttled in what is now the Gulf of the Farallones sanctuary, a haven for wildlife, from white sharks to elephant seals and whales. Despite its history as a dumping ground Richard Charter says the radioactive waste is a relic of a dark age before the enviornmental movement took hold. "It's just one of those things that humans rather stupidly did in the past that we can't retroactively fix.""

Amazing bug-sized robots developed in DARPA project

Posted by Slashdot Staff
Researchers in Silicon Valley have developed insect-size robots that can manufacture microstructures that are too small and complex to be built by current machinery or by hand. The robots are part of work by SRI International into next-generation manufacturing technology funded by the Defense Advanced Projects Agency (DARPA), the U.S. military's research and development arm.
The Military

US Navy Researchers Get Drones To Swarm On Target 99

Posted by Soulskill
from the teaching-skynet-how-to-kill-us dept.
coondoggie writes: The Office of Naval Research today said it had successfully demonstrated a system that lets small-unmanned aircraft swarm and act together over a particular target. The system, called Low-Cost UAV Swarming Technology (LOCUST) features a tube-based launcher that can send multiple drones into the air in rapid succession. The systems then use information sharing between the drones, allowing autonomous collaborative behavior in either defensive or offensive missions, the Navy said.
Encryption

Turing Manuscript Sells For $1 Million 44

Posted by samzenpus
from the compensation-game dept.
itwbennett writes A 56-page notebook manuscript by Alan Turing, the English mathematician considered to be the father of modern computer science, was sold at auction Monday for $1.025 million. Turing apparently wrote in the notebook in 1942 when he was working in Bletchley Park, England, trying to break German military code. “It gives us insight into how Alan Turing tackles problems. Sadly it shows us what he never got to finish,” said Cassandra Hatton, senior specialist at Bonhams.
Robotics

Killer Robots In Plato's Cave 91

Posted by samzenpus
from the what's-in-a-name? dept.
Lasrick writes Mark Gubrud writes about the fuzzy definitions used to differentiate autonomous lethal weapons from those classified as semi-autonomous: "After all, if the only criterion is that a human nominates the target, then even The Terminator...might qualify as semi-autonomous." Gubrud wants a ban against autonomous hunter-killer weapons like the Long-Range Anti-Ship Missile and the canceled Low-Cost Autonomous Attack System, and vague definitions surrounding autonomous and semi-autonomous weapons that will allow weapons that should be classified as autonomous but aren't. Existing definitions draw a "distinction without a difference" and "will not hold against the advance of technology." Gubrud prefers a definition that reduces autonomy to a simple operational fact, an approach he calls "autonomy without mystery." In the end, Gubrud writes, "Where one draws the line is less important than that it is drawn somewhere. If the international community can agree on this, then the remaining details become a matter of common interest and old-fashioned horse trading."
Crime

Watch DARPA Artificial Intelligence Search For Crime On the "Dark Web" 35

Posted by samzenpus
from the seek-it-out dept.
An anonymous reader shares this bit of news from DARPA. "Of late, DARPA has shown a growing interest in open sourcing its technology, even if its most terrifying creations, like army robot wildcats designed to reach speeds of 50Mph, are understandably kept private. In a week’s time, the wider world will be able to tinker with components of the military research body’s in-development search tool for the dark web. The Memex technology, named after an mechanical mnemonic dreamt up just as the Second World War was coming to a close, has already been put to use by a number of law enforcement agencies, who are looking to counter crime taking place on networks like Tor, where Hidden Services are protected by the privacy-enhancing, encrypted hosting, often for good, often for bad. In its first year, the focus at Memex has been on tracking human trafficking, but the project's scope stretches considerably wider."
The Military

UN To Debate Lethal Autonomous Weapons 166

Posted by Soulskill
from the smart-money-is-on-the-lethal-autonomous-weapons dept.
Hallie Siegel writes: Should robots be allowed to make life and death decisions? This will be the topic of heated debate at the United Nations (UN) Palais des Nations in Geneva next week (April 13-17th, 2015). As part of the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW), experts from all over the world will gather to discuss 'questions related to emerging technologies in the area of lethal autonomous weapons systems.' The Open Roboethics Research Initiative will be presenting public views at the debate. Human rights groups are urging the UN to ban such weapons. A new report titled "Mind the Gap" details the accountability issues that need to be solved before going any further. "A key concern with fully autonomous weapons is that they would be prone to cause civilian casualties in violation of international humanitarian law and international human rights law. The lack of meaningful human control that characterizes the weapons would make it difficult to hold anyone criminally liable for such unlawful actions."
Crime

Would-Be Bomber Arrested In Kansas; Planned Suicide Attack on Ft. Riley 297

Posted by timothy
from the well-that's-not-nice dept.
The Associated Press (as carried by the Boston Herald) reports that a 20-year old Topeka man has been arrested as he attempted to arm what he believed to be a thousand-pound bomb outside Ft. Riley, Kansas. John T. Booker Jr. is alleged to have planned an attack in conspiracy with others who were actually FBI agents; Booker's postings to Facebook in March 2014 about his desire to die as a martyr brought him to the FBI's attention, and the FBI sting operation which ended in his arrest began after these posts. Booker had been recruited by the U.S. Army in February of last year, but his enlistment was cancelled shortly thereafter.
China

China's 'Great Cannon' -- a Cyber-weapon to Accompany the Great Firewall 81

Posted by Soulskill
from the speak-softly-and-carry-a-bunch-of-packets dept.
An anonymous reader writes: A new report from The Citizen Lab identifies a distinct new technology entity sitting next to the Great Firewall of China. Dubbed the 'Great Cannon', the multi-process cluster revealed itself quite openly in the recent attacks on Greatfire.org and its two Github pages. The DDoS attack was so sustained that CL was able to study the new technology in depth, determining architectural similarities and unearthing many strong indications that it is a product of the Chinese authorities.
The Military

How the Pentagon Wasted $10 Billion On Military Projects 370

Posted by Soulskill
from the and-not-a-single-lightsaber-to-show-for-it dept.
schwit1 writes: In the past decade, the Pentagon's Missile Defense Agency has wasted $10 billion on defense projects that were either impractical and impossible. It's hard to choose a single quote showing the absurd stupidity of these projects — the article is filled with too many to choose from. Read it all and weep. However, here's one quote that typifies the attitude:

"Henry A. Obering III, a retired director of the Missile Defense Agency, said any unfulfilled expectations for SBX and the other projects were the fault of the Obama administration and Congress — for not doubling down with more spending. 'If we can stop one missile from destroying one American city,' said Obering, a former Air Force lieutenant general, 'we have justified the entire program many times over from its initiation in terms of cost.'"

We get the government we deserve. Until we stop electing candidates (from either party) who promise pork, we will continue to get pork, and waste, and a society that is steadily going bankrupt.
The Military

Thousands Visit Trinity Test Site For 70th Anniversary of First Atomic Blast 167

Posted by samzenpus
from the big-boom-and-fun dept.
HughPickens.com writes The NYT reports that thousands of visitors converged Saturday on the Trinity Test Site in New Mexico where the first nuclear bomb was detonated nearly 70 years ago. Many posed for pictures near an obelisk marking the exact location where the bomb went off and were also able to see a steel shell that was created as a backup plan to keep plutonium from spreading during the explosion. "It brought a quick end to World War II, and it ushered in the atomic age," Erin Dorrance said. "So out here in the middle of nowhere New Mexico changed the world 70 years ago." Pete Rosada, a Marine Corps veteran, drove with another military veteran from San Diego to make the tour. Rosada said he previously visited Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the Japanese targets of atomic bombs during World War II after the test at the Trinity Site. "This completes the loop," said Rosado.

Tourists who joined a vehicle caravan out to the site at a school in Tularosa were greeted by demonstrators from the Tularosa Basin Downwinders who came to protest the 70th anniversary tour. The Downwinders is a grass-roots group that has set out to bring public awareness about the negative impacts of the detonation of the bomb. Henry Herrera was 11 years old when he got up to help his father with the car on that fateful July morning in 1945 and says the dust from the blast scattered all over Tularosa, remembering how his mother had to wash clothes twice that day due to the fallout dusting the family's clothes line. "I stop to think I'm one lucky, fortunate guy because I'm here and so many are dead," says Herrera. "Gobs of people from around here died and nobody knew what they died of, they just went to bed and never woke up." Albuquerque resident Gene Glasgow, 69, visited the Trinity Site for the first time with relatives from Arizona. Born and raised in New Mexico, he said he'd grown curious through talking to people who witnessed the explosion, including one man who was laying trap line in the mountains at the time. "He thought the end of the world had come."
Open Source

US NAVY Sonar/Lidar Editing Software Released To the World 56

Posted by timothy
from the public-domain-makes-registration-a-temporary-annoyance dept.
New submitter PFMABE writes The Naval Oceanographic Office (NAVO) has spent 16 years developing the Pure File Magic Area Based Editor (PFMABE) software suite to edit the huge volumes of lidar and sonar data they collect every year. In accordance with 17 USC 105, copyright protection is not available to any work of the US government. Originally developed to run on RedHat OS with network distributed storage, it has been migrated to Windows 7. This software, and accompanying source code (Win & Linux), has been released to the public domain at pfmabe.software, free for download with registration.
China

Outside Beijing, a Military-style Bootcamp For "Internet Addiction" 91

Posted by timothy
from the just-got-caught-up-in-it dept.
Press2ToContinue writes Last year, China recognized internet addiction as an official disorder. Since then, over 6,000 patients have submitted themselves for treatment, after some spent up to 14 hours a day online. And as these amazing pictures show, dealing with it is serious. The Daxing Internet Addiction Treatment Centre (IATC) is a military-style bootcamp nestled in the suburbs of Bejing. The young men that enter its doors are subjected to a strict military regime of exercise, medication and solitary confinement. Any kind of electronic gadgetry is completely banned. Additionally, patients are frequently subjected to psychiatric assessments and brain scans to make sure they stay on the straight and narrow. And the concept is gaining steam; the first Internet Congress on Internet Addiction Disorders was held in Milan in early 2014. Despite its recent official classification, Is internet addiction a real disorder? Or is it a red herring masking depression and escapism? And to make things more indeterminate, Isn't more and more time online the inevitable future?
The Military

Why the Framework Nuclear Agreement With Iran Is Good For Both Sides 383

Posted by Soulskill
from the no-sending-nukes-via-uber dept.
Lasrick writes: Ariane Tabatabai breaks down the details of the framework agreement between Iran and the P5+1 that was announced Thursday. It appears to be better than most analysts expected, with positive outcomes for both sides. It truly seems historic: "A number of these steps will, in effect, be irreversible. They will not just limit Iran's nuclear capability for 10 to 15 years, but will reshape it entirely and indefinitely. ... [B]oth sides stand to gain from the framework agreement, which should also be considered a victory for the global nonproliferation regime. Ahead of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference that begins in late April, where no major achievements in nonproliferation are likely to be announced, the framework agreement is a very important success."
NASA

Costs Soar on NASA Communications Upgrade Program 47

Posted by samzenpus
from the more-money dept.
schwit1 writes A new GAO report has found that NASA's effort to upgrade the ground-based portion of its satellite communications system, used by both military satellites and manned spacecraft, is more than 30 percent over budget, with its completion now delayed two years to 2019. Worse, the GAO found that this problem program was actually one of three that have had budget problems. And that doesn't include the disastrously overbudget James Webb Space Telescope. "In its latest assessment of NASA's biggest programs, the U.S. Government Accountability Office identified the Space Network Ground Segment Sustainment (SGSS) as one of three — not counting the notoriously overbudget James Webb Space Telescope — that account for most of the projected cumulative cost growth this year. The others are the Magnetospheric Multiscale Mission, which launched March 12, and the Ice, Cloud, and Land Elevation Satellite-2, or ICESat-2, mission, the congressional watchdog agency said."