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The Conversation, on Technological Innovation in Defence

The Conversation, on Technological Innovation in Defence

Militaries plunder science fiction for technology ideas, but turn a blind eye to the genre’s social commentary Pavel Chagochkin/Shutterstock Will Slocombe, University of Liverpool Military planning is a complicated endeavour, calling upon experts in logistics and infrastructure to predict resource availability and technological advancements. Long-range military planning, deciding what to invest in now to prepare armed forces for the world in thirty years’ time, is even more difficult. One of the most interesting tools for thinking about future defence technology isn’t

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The Conversation, on Responding to Cyber Warfare

Should cyberwar be met with physical force? Moral philosophy can help us decide seaonweb/Shutterstock Christopher J. Finlay, Durham University In conventional warfare, it’s accepted that if a state finds itself under attack, it’s entitled to respond – either with defensive force, or with a counterattack. But it’s less clear how countries should respond to cyber-attacks: state-backed hacks which often have dangerous real-world implications. The 2020 SolarWinds hack, attributed to state-backed Russian hackers, breached security at around 100 private companies. But it

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The Conversation, on Spyware

Spyware: why the booming surveillance tech industry is vulnerable to corruption and abuse Zoomik/Shutterstock Christian Kemp, Anglia Ruskin University The world’s most sophisticated commercially available spyware may be being abused, according to an investigation by 17 media organisations in ten countries. Intelligence leaks and forensic phone analysis suggests the surveillance software, called Pegasus, has been used to target and spy on the phones of human rights activists, investigative journalists, politicians, researchers and academics. NSO Group, the Israeli cyber intelligence firm behind

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The Conversation, on Cyber Warfare

Cyber-attacks: what is hybrid warfare and why is it such a threat? Novikov Aleksey via Shutterstock Ethem Ilbiz, University of South Wales and Christian Kaunert, University of South Wales Washington and Moscow are engaged in a war of words over a spate of ransomware attacks against organisations and businesses in the US and other countries. These increasingly sophisticated cyber-attacks represent a new type of warfare aimed at disorganising and even destroying a nation’s economy. This has been called “hybrid warfare”. It’s

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Where do you store your Intellectual Property?

The why and how of ensuring Intellectual Property is stored securely on your systems Recent developments in the software sphere demonstrate how your organisation’s intellectual property is undermined through the use of SaaS solutions such as GitHub. This piece by FOSSA explores how the GitHub Co-Pilot development tools are able to draw on your own projects to ‘share’ the expertise with other GitHub customers. This demonstrates the need for secure storage for commercially sensitive data to be stored on your own

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The Conversation, on Fastly’s internet meltdown

Fastly’s global internet meltdown could be a sign of things to come David S. Wall, University of Leeds For an hour on the morning of June 8, dozens of the world’s most-visited websites went offline. Among those affected were Amazon, Reddit, PayPal and Spotify, as well as the Guardian, the New York Times and the UK government website, gov.uk. Together, these websites handle hundreds of millions of users. You can listen to more articles from The Conversation, narrated by Noa,

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The Conversation, on a decade hacktivism

A decade since ‘the year of the hacktivist’, online protests look set to return NeydtStock/Shutterstock Vasileios Karagiannopoulos, University of Portsmouth Many of us vaguely remember the word “hacktivism” from a decade ago. This was a time before serious ransomware attacks dominated current cybersecurity concerns, when certain hacking techniques were being used to send political messages to governmental and corporate entities. Hacktivism has since retreated as a form of protest, in part due to the prosecution of prominent hacktivists, sometimes with

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Endpoint Security Explained

First we’ll start with a definition of what an Endpoint actually is: a network-connected computing device. Quite broad, yes: practically this can be (among other things); Servers (including virtual machines) Network infrastructure (firewalls, switches, etc.) Laptop(s) Desktop(s) Smart Phone(s) Smart Device(s), be it a Fish-Tank or a Fridge We often use the analogy of a Castle, as do the National Cyber Security Centre: if a single door (or back-door) is left unwatched and unguarded, who’s to say our castle won’t

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The Conversation, on Data Sovereignty

Tim Berners-Lee’s plan to save the internet: give us back control of our data Pieter Verdegem, University of Westminster Releasing his creation for free 30 years ago, the inventor of the world wide web, Tim Berners-Lee, famously declared: “this is for everyone”. Today, his invention is used by billions – but it also hosts the authoritarian crackdowns of antidemocratic governments, and supports the infrastructure of the most wealthy and powerful companies on Earth. Now, in an effort to return the

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The Conversation, on Ransomware

Ransomware gangs are running riot – paying them off doesn’t help Jaruwan Jaiyangyuen/Shutterstock Jan Lemnitzer, Copenhagen Business School In the past five years, ransomware attacks have evolved from rare misfortunes into common and disruptive threats. Hijacking the IT systems of organisations and forcing them to pay a ransom in order to reclaim them, cybercriminals are freely extorting millions of pounds from companies – and they’re enjoying a remarkably low risk of arrest as they do it. At the moment, there

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