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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.


Voice Assistants Follow Inaudible Commands
From ACM TechNews

Voice Assistants Follow Inaudible Commands

Researchers have developed exploits against voice assistants by encoding inaudible commands in songs and other audio content.

Helping Autonomous Vehicles See Around Corners
From ACM TechNews

Helping Autonomous Vehicles See Around Corners

Massachusetts Institute of Technology engineers have created a system that perceives tiny fluctuations in ground shadows to ascertain whether an unseen object is...

CPDoS Attack Can Poison CDNs to Deliver Error Pages Instead of Legitimate Sites
From ACM TechNews

CPDoS Attack Can Poison CDNs to Deliver Error Pages Instead of Legitimate Sites

Researchers  in Germany discovered a new type of Web attack that can compromise content delivery networks into caching and then serving error pages instead of legitimate...

UTSA Study Warns of Security Gaps in Smart Bulbs
From ACM TechNews

UTSA Study Warns of Security Gaps in Smart Bulbs

Researchers found many popular smart-light brands have security holes and could be prime targets for hackers. 

Silicon Valley Takes On Amazon's Cashierless 'Go' Stores
From ACM TechNews

Silicon Valley Takes On Amazon's Cashierless 'Go' Stores

An area of San Francisco is emerging as a battleground to eliminate the traditional checkout process and reinvent the way consumers shop. 

Security Researchers Warn of Online Voting Risks
From ACM TechNews

Security Researchers Warn of Online Voting Risks

Security researchers warned Australia should not rely on any online voting system that lacks a thorough ballot-verification method, to ensure against fraudulent...

Bug in Python Script May Have Affected Hundreds of Studies
From ACM TechNews

Bug in Python Script May Have Affected Hundreds of Studies

A coding error in a set of Python scripts often used for computational analysis of chemistry data yielded significantly different outcomes, depending on which operating...

App Helps You Learn About China, While China Learns All About You
From ACM TechNews

App Helps You Learn About China, While China Learns All About You

Researchers in Germany and Australia found China is using a widely downloaded mobile app and translation service to siphon billions of pieces of information on...

Cybersecurity Giants to Combat Cyberthreats Under OASIS Umbrella
From ACM TechNews

Cybersecurity Giants to Combat Cyberthreats Under OASIS Umbrella

IBM, McAfee, and 16 more firms have launched an effort to address fragmentation and interoperability problems in cybersecurity.

Microsoft Says Iran Tried Hack of U.S. Presidential Campaign
From ACM TechNews

Microsoft Says Iran Tried Hack of U.S. Presidential Campaign

Microsoft says a hacker group connected to the Iranian government has tried to compromise email accounts of a U.S. presidential campaign, current and former U.S...

Encryption System Protects Data from Quantum Computers
From ACM TechNews

Encryption System Protects Data from Quantum Computers

IBM researchers have demonstrated a quantum-proof encryption method called CRYSTALS that can successfully encrypt a magnetic-tap storage device.  

Academics Find Vulnerabilities in Android's VoIP Components
From ACM TechNews

Academics Find Vulnerabilities in Android's VoIP Components

Scientists at China's OPPO ZIWU Cyber Security Lab, the Chinese University of Hong Kong, and Singapore Management University identified eight flaws in Android's...

Decade of Cybersecurity Data Could Predict Future Malicious Online Activity
From ACM TechNews

Decade of Cybersecurity Data Could Predict Future Malicious Online Activity

Researchers have developed a comprehensive dataset of the global cybersecurity threat landscape from 2007 to 2017, to help cybersecurity specialists derive new...

People Are Overconfident About Identifying Phishing Emails
From ACM TechNews

People Are Overconfident About Identifying Phishing Emails

The results of a new study suggest that people may be overconfident in their ability to identify email phishing scams.

Ransomware Forces Hospitals to Turn Away All but Most Critical Patients
From ACM TechNews

Ransomware Forces Hospitals to Turn Away All but Most Critical Patients

Ransomware has crippled hospitals in Alabama and Australia, blocking admission for all but the most critical new patients.

U.S. Steps Up Scrutiny of Airplane Cybersecurity
From ACM TechNews

U.S. Steps Up Scrutiny of Airplane Cybersecurity

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has revived a program to identify cybersecurity vulnerabilities in aviation, in conjunction with the Pentagon and the U...

Microsoft, MasterCard, Hewlett Foundation Launch Institute to Investigate Cyberattacks
From ACM TechNews

Microsoft, MasterCard, Hewlett Foundation Launch Institute to Investigate Cyberattacks

Microsoft, MasterCard, the Hewlett Foundation, and other organizations have jointly announced the launch of an institute to probe cyberattacks and help their victims...

Lawmakers Warn About Threat of Political Deepfakes by Creating One
From ACM TechNews

Lawmakers Warn About Threat of Political Deepfakes by Creating One

Two U.S. congressmen created an artificial intelligence-doctored political video to demonstrate the threat such disinformation presents.

Decades-Old Code Putting Millions of Critical Devices at Risk
From ACM TechNews

Decades-Old Code Putting Millions of Critical Devices at Risk

Recently discovered vulnerabilities in a nearly 20-year-old industry standard network protocol from Interpeak could potentially make millions of devices exploitable...

PDFex Attack Can Exfiltrate Data from Encrypted PDF Files
From ACM TechNews

PDFex Attack Can Exfiltrate Data from Encrypted PDF Files

Researchers in Germany have developed a new attack that can extract and steal data from encrypted Portable Document Format (PDF)  files, sometimes without user...
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