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An edited collection of advanced computing news from Communications of the ACM, ACM TechNews, other ACM resources, and news sites around the Web.


This 'demonically Clever' Backdoor Hides In a Tiny Slice of a Computer Chip
From ACM News

This 'demonically Clever' Backdoor Hides In a Tiny Slice of a Computer Chip

Security flaws in software can be tough to find. Purposefully planted ones—hidden backdoors created by spies or saboteurs—are often even stealthier.

The White House Is Finally Prepping For an AI-Powered Future
From ACM TechNews

The White House Is Finally Prepping For an AI-Powered Future

The White House is adamant the government must determine how to regulate and utilize artificial intelligence technology before it gets out of control. 

Ibm's Watson Has a New Project: Fighting Cybercrime
From ACM News

Ibm's Watson Has a New Project: Fighting Cybercrime

IBM's Watson supercomputer hardly needs any more resumé-padding. It’s already wonJeopardy, written a cookbook, and dabbled in revolutionizing healthcare. 

Stingrays, the Spy Tool the Government Tried, and Failed, to Hide
From ACM News

Stingrays, the Spy Tool the Government Tried, and Failed, to Hide

Stingrays, a secretive law enforcement surveillance tool, are one of the most controversial technologies in the government’s spy kit.

The Critical Hole at the Heart of Our Cell Phone Networks
From ACM News

The Critical Hole at the Heart of Our Cell Phone Networks

In February 2014, the US ambassador to Ukraine suffered an embarrassing leak.

Two Tips to Keep Your Phone's Encrypted Messages Encrypted
From ACM News

Two Tips to Keep Your Phone's Encrypted Messages Encrypted

End-to-end encryption by default is quickly becoming the new standard for any communications app that claims to care about the privacy of those who use it.

Mit's Teaching AI How to Help Stop Cyberattacks
From ACM News

Mit's Teaching AI How to Help Stop Cyberattacks

Finding evidence that someone compromised your cyber defenses is a grind.

Researchers Crack Microsoft and Google's Shortened ­rls to Spy on People
From ACM TechNews

Researchers Crack Microsoft and Google's Shortened ­rls to Spy on People

Cornell Tech researchers have shown brute-force attacks against shortened uniform resource locators can enable hackers to spread malware on victims' computers.

A Scheme to Encrypt the Entire Web Is Actually Working
From ACM News

A Scheme to Encrypt the Entire Web Is Actually Working

Apple's move to encrypt your iPhone and WhatsApp's rollout of end-to-end encrypted messaging have generated plenty of privacy applause and law enforcement controversy...

Forget Apple vs. the Fbi: Whatsapp Just Switched on Encryption For a Billion People
From ACM News

Forget Apple vs. the Fbi: Whatsapp Just Switched on Encryption For a Billion People

For most of the past six weeks, the biggest story out of Silicon Valley was Apple's battle with the FBI over a federal order to unlock the iPhone of a mass shooter...

Why Do the Feds ­sually Try to ­nlock Phones? It's Drugs, Not Terrorism
From ACM News

Why Do the Feds ­sually Try to ­nlock Phones? It's Drugs, Not Terrorism

Until the FBI backed down from its battle with Apple over accessing the iPhone 5c of San Bernardino shooter Syed Rizwan Farook, it seemed the agency had chosen...

The Apple-Fbi Battle Is Over, But the New Crypto Wars Have Just Begun
From ACM News

The Apple-Fbi Battle Is Over, But the New Crypto Wars Have Just Begun

Apple's standoff with the FBI unfolded over the course of several weeks, but ended in a matter of days.

­tah's Online Caucus Gives Security Experts Heart Attacks
From ACM News

­tah's Online Caucus Gives Security Experts Heart Attacks

Security researchers pretty much uniformly agree that letting people vote online is a very bad idea, one that is fraught with risks and vulnerabilities that could...

Long Before the Apple-Fbi Battle, Lavabit Sounded a Warning
From ACM News

Long Before the Apple-Fbi Battle, Lavabit Sounded a Warning

Three years ago, Ladar Levison, the founder of the now-defunct secure email service known as Lavabit, was in the same position Apple finds itself today: facing...

The Fbi Warns That Car Hacking Is a Real Risk
From ACM News

The Fbi Warns That Car Hacking Is a Real Risk

It's been eight months since a pair of security researchers proved beyond any doubt that car hacking is more than an action movie plot device when they remotely ...

Biometrics Are Coming, Along With Serious Security Concerns
From ACM News

Biometrics Are Coming, Along With Serious Security Concerns

You're buying a pair of jeans. At the register, instead of reaching for your wallet or phone, you pull back your hair.

Inside the Cunning, Unprecedented Hack of Ukraine's Power Grid
From ACM News

Inside the Cunning, Unprecedented Hack of Ukraine's Power Grid

It was 3:30 p.m. last December 23, and residents of the Ivano-Frankivsk region of Western Ukraine were preparing to end their workday and head home through the...

How the Feds Could Get Into Iphones Without Apple's Help
From ACM News

How the Feds Could Get Into Iphones Without Apple's Help

It's a showdown that has the country mesmerized.

Flaws in Wireless Mice and Keyboards Let Hackers Type on Your Pc
From ACM TechNews

Flaws in Wireless Mice and Keyboards Let Hackers Type on Your Pc

Bastille researchers warn of a new hacking technique in which malefactors armed with antennas can hijack wireless keyboards and mice from seven companies.

Apple's Fbi Battle Is Complicated. Here's What's Really Going On
From ACM News

Apple's Fbi Battle Is Complicated. Here's What's Really Going On

The news this week that a magistrate ordered Apple to help the FBI hack an iPhone used by one of the San Bernardino shooter suspects has polarized the nation—and...
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