China bans people with bad “social credit” from planes and trains

China bans people with bad “social credit” from planes and trains

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Technology is a tool, it’s down to governments and individuals how they use and deploy it, and as such it can be used to do great good, or great harm.   In another nod to Black Mirror, and to show it isn’t just a sci-fi...

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Blackberry’s AI Robo-hacker gets to work finding bugs in connected cars code

Blackberry’s AI Robo-hacker gets to work finding bugs in connected cars code

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF As more products become reliant on software to function, and as  programs get increasingly complex, human developers are finding it increasingly difficult to find and patch all the bugs and vulnerabilities.   As cars, especially self-driving ones, become more reliant on software it’s critical automakers...

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Baidu’s AI can clone anyone’s voice in under a minute

Baidu’s AI can clone anyone’s voice in under a minute

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Being able to clone people’s voices, and mimic them, opens up a range of well meaning opportunities, but it also paves the way for fake news chaos and everything in between…   In the near future, just as it is today, fake news will become...

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MIT’s new secure, low power chip helps create the “Internet of Secure Things”

MIT’s new secure, low power chip helps create the “Internet of Secure Things”

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF More cyber criminals are choosing to target Internet of Things devices than ever before because they are easy to gain access to and exploit at scale, MIT’s new chip hopes to reverse that trend.   From data breaches to weaponised devices, the Internet of Things...

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Ingenious new bot discovers hacks companies haven’t told their users about

Ingenious new bot discovers hacks companies haven’t told their users about

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Many of your online accounts have already likely been compromised but very few companies own up to the fact, putting you and your data at risk,but now a bot can tell you which companies have been hacked – even if they don’t want you to...

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DARPA drops $4m to build the world’s first unhackable ‘self-reconfiguring’ computer system

DARPA drops $4m to build the world’s first unhackable ‘self-reconfiguring’ computer system

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Cyber attacks are becoming the pandemic of the 21st Century, and as the number of AI fuelled cyber attacks increase matters will only get worse, but now DARPA hopes a new reconfiguring “Rubik’s Cube” computing system will stop hackers in their tracks.   This week...

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China’s surveillance network found a BBC reporter in under 7 minutes

China’s surveillance network found a BBC reporter in under 7 minutes

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF As nation states roll out increasingly advanced and sophisticated surveillance networks, how we use them and the agenda of those who control them become increasingly important to understand.   It took Chinese authorities just seven minutes to locate and apprehend BBC reporter John Sudworth using its...

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Researchers claim new ultrasonic fingerprint scanner is unhackable

Researchers claim new ultrasonic fingerprint scanner is unhackable

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Biometric security systems are an improvement on passwords but they’re easy to hack, now a new ultrasonic fingerprint scanner hopes to make them even more secure.   As many of you have probably figured out by now the fingerprint recognition system on your phones, laptops...

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DARPA wants to genetically engineer smart plants to act as surveillance devices

DARPA wants to genetically engineer smart plants to act as surveillance devices

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Noone would suspect a plant of watching or surveilling them, but thanks to DARPA that’s all about to change.   This week Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, DARPA, the bleeding US research arm of the US Department of Defense, announced it’s working on a new...

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Microsoft calls for a “Digital Geneva convention” to defang cyber attacks

Microsoft calls for a “Digital Geneva convention” to defang cyber attacks

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF In some respects we are starting to see the advent of open cyber warfare between competing sovereign nations and unless someone steps in the problem is only going to escalate.   Last year cyber the rise of warfare prompted the US Government to implement a...

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First of a kind AI malware learns and mimics its target systems behaviours to prevent detection

First of a kind AI malware learns and mimics its target systems behaviours to prevent detection

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Powered and fuelled by AI cyber attacks are about to go full auto and noone is prepared for what’s coming. Every second of every day cyber security experts around the world are engaged in a virtual war with criminals, hackers and wayward foreign governments, and...

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Self-destructing algorithms could usher in a new era of cyber security

Self-destructing algorithms could usher in a new era of cyber security

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF One time programs perform obfuscated calculations within a “true black box” that then self-destructs keeping all the details of that calculation a secret forever, it has applications for encryption and software protection.   Imagine two millionaires, you and your better half, or alternatively two random...

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AI can now listen to individuals in a crowd

AI can now listen to individuals in a crowd

WHY THIS MATTERS This new breakthrough will let our Connected Home devices hear us better, but on the other it also gives organisations the ability to eavesdrop on everyone.   Devices like Amazon’s Echo and Google Home can normally deal with requests from a single person, but like us they often still...

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Researchers have developed an AI that can identify masked individuals

Researchers have developed an AI that can identify masked individuals

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Technology is increasingly helping governments and multi-nationals strip away our anonymity and privacy, and the pros and cons depend on which side of the fence you sit, but one thing is certain, in the future there will be no such thing as privacy – online...

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ARM CEO challenges the tech industry to build an immune system to prevent a cyber pandemic

ARM CEO challenges the tech industry to build an immune system to prevent a cyber pandemic

WHY IT MATTERS Over the coming decades trillions of devices will become smart and connected and, unless companies and individuals come together to tackle the issue, we could be heading for a cyber security armageddon   Cyber security today is bad, very bad, and as we all buy more devices,...

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Researchers are trying to create a rating system for cybersecurity software

Researchers are trying to create a rating system for cybersecurity software

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF With cybersecurity at the top of most people’s minds how do you know just how good the cybersecurity product you just bought to protect your company or home devices really is?   Cybersecurity is obviously front of mind for a lot of people, which is...

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There’s something fishy about Dubai Airports new security technology

There’s something fishy about Dubai Airports new security technology

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Airports are finally moving away from Photo ID’s and passports and embracing new biometric and facial recognition technologies in order to speed up the flow of people and improve the customer experience, but some are worried about the privacy implications   Hot on the heels...

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Blockchain entrepreneurs are helping utilities re-invent the powergrid

Blockchain entrepreneurs are helping utilities re-invent the powergrid

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF The power grids used by most countries were born in a different era, but now, thanks to new technologies like blockchain, grid scale storage and renewables, they’re about to get upgraded.   Imagine the scene, a power pole collapses at 8PM on a hot night...

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South China Airlines swaps boarding cards for facial recognition

South China Airlines swaps boarding cards for facial recognition

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Biometrics is quickly becoming the security tool of choice for a vast number of governments and organisations, and increasingly I’m seeing them being used to create new “contactless” borders and “frictionless” customer experiences   Earlier this year I reported that Australia had decided to do...

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World’s first GPS Spoofing attack puts 20 ships 32km inland at an airport

World’s first GPS Spoofing attack puts 20 ships 32km inland at an airport

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF New technology keeps lowering the bar for criminals and nation states that want to cause mischief and harm, and now the makers of autonomous vehicles have something new to worry about.   Recently there have been reports of satellite navigation problems in the Black Sea...

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