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Communications of the ACM

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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.


How the Internet Kept Humming During 2 Hurricanes
From ACM News

How the Internet Kept Humming During 2 Hurricanes

At one node of the industrial backbone that keeps the internet running, employees sheltered from the worst of Hurricane Irma in a stairwell of a seven-story building...

Infrared Signals in Surveillance Cameras Let Malware Jump Network Air Gaps
From ACM News

Infrared Signals in Surveillance Cameras Let Malware Jump Network Air Gaps

Researchers have devised malware that can jump airgaps by using the infrared capabilities of an infected network's surveillance cameras to transmit data to and...

Chips Off the Old Block: Computers Are Taking Design Cues From Human Brains
From ACM News

Chips Off the Old Block: Computers Are Taking Design Cues From Human Brains

We expect a lot from our computers these days. They should talk to us, recognize everything from faces to flowers, and maybe soon do the driving.

Conservatives, Liberals Unite Against Silicon Valley
From ACM Careers

Conservatives, Liberals Unite Against Silicon Valley

The days of unqualified praise from Washington are over for the country's biggest tech companies, whose size and power are increasingly drawing attacks from both...

Congressional Redistricting Less Contentious When Resolved Using Computer Algorithm
From ACM TechNews

Congressional Redistricting Less Contentious When Resolved Using Computer Algorithm

Researchers at the University of Illinois have proposed a computer algorithm that could ease congressional districting and make the process fairer for constituents...

Inside the Equifax Hack
From ACM TechNews

Inside the Equifax Hack

The Equifax breach, attributed to a server flaw disclosed by Cisco researchers that went unpatched, has potentially exposed an estimated 143 million Americans'...

Wanna Stop Distracted Driving? Make Cars That Watch Their Humans
From ACM News

Wanna Stop Distracted Driving? Make Cars That Watch Their Humans

Everyone knows that distracted driving is a problem, but it tends to fall in the "other people/not me" category of personal risk assessment among drivers.

Treating Cancer, Stopping Violence . . .  How AI Protects Us
From ACM News

Treating Cancer, Stopping Violence . . . How AI Protects Us

For some, the spread of artificial intelligence and robotics poses a threat to our privacy, our jobs – even our safety, as more and more tasks are handed over to...

Fitness Trackers Could Benefit From Better Security
From ACM TechNews

Fitness Trackers Could Benefit From Better Security

A security analysis of two wearable fitness trackers revealed a technique for intercepting messages transmitted between the trackers and cloud servers.

To Improve Smartphone Privacy, Control Access to Third-Party Libraries
From ACM TechNews

To Improve Smartphone Privacy, Control Access to Third-Party Libraries

Researchers suggest controlling access to third-party libraries will help limit the undesired exposure of personal information by smartphone applications.

U.S. Moves to Ban Kaspersky Software in Federal Agencies Amid Concerns of Russian Espionage
From ACM News

U.S. Moves to Ban Kaspersky Software in Federal Agencies Amid Concerns of Russian Espionage

The U.S. government on Wednesday moved to ban the use of a Russian brand of security software by federal agencies amid concerns the company has ties to state-sponsored...

Researchers Devise Hopeful Defense Against Credential Spear-Phishing Attacks
From ACM TechNews

Researchers Devise Hopeful Defense Against Credential Spear-Phishing Attacks

Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley and collaborators have proposed a method for detecting credential spear-phishing attacks.

How Apple Is Bringing Us Into the Age of Facial Recognition Whether We're Ready or Not
From ACM News

How Apple Is Bringing Us Into the Age of Facial Recognition Whether We're Ready or Not

A whiff of dystopian creepiness has long wafted in the air whenever facial recognition has come up. Books, movies and television shows have portrayed the technology...

Pacemaker Recall Exposes National Need for Research and Education in Embedded Security
From ACM TechNews

Pacemaker Recall Exposes National Need for Research and Education in Embedded Security

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration's first major recall of pacemakers due to a cybersecurity risk highlights a national need for research and education on embedded...

Voting-Roll Vulnerability
From ACM TechNews

Voting-Roll Vulnerability

It is relatively easy for hackers to buy enough personal information to potentially rig online voter registration information in as many as 35 states and Washington...

Operational Limits Played Key Role in Tesla Crash on Autopilot: NTSB
From ACM News

Operational Limits Played Key Role in Tesla Crash on Autopilot: NTSB

The chairman of the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) said on Tuesday "operational limitations" in the Tesla Model S played a "major role" in a May...

Will Quantum Computers Surpass Encryption?
From ACM News

Will Quantum Computers Surpass Encryption?

The fundamentally different paradigm of quantum computation will require fundamentally different security.

As Amazon Pushes Forward With Robots, Workers Find New Roles
From ACM News

As Amazon Pushes Forward With Robots, Workers Find New Roles

Nissa Scott started working at the cavernous Amazon warehouse in southern New Jersey late last year, stacking plastic bins the size of small ottomans.

When Strangers Can Control Our Lights
From ACM TechNews

When Strangers Can Control Our Lights

Researchers have discovered security problems in smart lighting systems developed by GE, IKEA, Phillips, and Osram.
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