Tag: Disrupt

Microsoft takes down hacking network with potential to disrupt election

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Microsoft obtained a court order to disrupt the largest botnet in the world.


Angela Lang/CNET

This story is part of Elections 2020, CNET’s coverage of the run-up to voting in November.

A group of tech companies dismantled a powerful hacking tool used by Russian attackers just three weeks before the US presidential election. On Monday, Microsoft announced actions against Trickbot, a Russian botnet that’s infected more than a million computers since 2016 and that’s behind scores of ransomware attacks. 

Cybersecurity experts have raised concerns about ransomware attacks casting doubt on election results. While a ransomware attack wouldn’t change votes and could only lock up machines, the chaos stirred by a cyberattack could create uncertainty about the outcome of the results. 

Election officials in most states have offline backup measures in the event of a ransomware attack, but have a harder time tackling the disinformation that comes with getting hacked.

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Cyber Command has sought to disrupt the world’s largest botnet, hoping to reduce its potential impact on the election

The effort is part of what Gen. Paul Nakasone, the head of Cyber Command, calls “persistent engagement,” or the imposition of cumulative costs on an adversary by keeping them constantly engaged. And that is a key feature of CyberCom’s activities to help protect the election against foreign threats, officials said.

“Right now, my top priority is for a safe, secure, and legitimate 2020 election,” Nakasone said in August in a set of written responses to Washington Post questions. “The Department of Defense, and Cyber Command specifically, are supporting a broader ‘whole-of-government’ approach to secure our elections.”

Trickbot is malware that can steal financial data and drop other malicious software onto infected systems. Cyber criminals have used it to install ransomware, a particularly nasty form of malware that encrypts users’ data and for which the criminals then demand payment — usually in cryptocurrency — to unlock.

Brian Krebs, who writes the

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AeroVironment Aims To Disrupt Industry With New Loitering Missile

Californian company AeroVironment
AVAV
aims to disrupt the multibillion-dollar tactical missile industry with its new SwitchBlade 600 loitering missile. Such missiles, sometimes termed kamikaze drones, are propeller-driven, and fly slower but with greater endurance than traditional missiles. Unlike traditional missiles, they can cruise over the battlefield for an extended period looking for targets; if a target proves to be invalid when seen at close range, they can be waved off and go hunting for another. AeronVironment’s small SwitchBlade has proved highly effective in Syria, Afghanistan and elsewhere. Now the company is upsizing with a bigger, faster, and more powerful version able to take on a wider set of targets at longer range.

AeroVironment’s existing SwitchBlade loitering missile is one of the U.S. military’s best-kept secrets. It’s a

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The tech sector can — and must — disrupt social inequity

As scores of headlines expose systemic racial injustice and COVID-19 thrusts organizations even deeper into digital transformation, it’s clear that we’ve arrived at the corner where technology and social equity meet. But it’s a far cry from a friendly encounter – more like a bad collision. Recently, we’ve seen news of Facebook’s unacceptably imbalanced workforce and some organizations are even rolling back longstanding inclusion programs, including Google.

There’s just no way around it: Tech is still playing an active role in perpetuating some of the challenges we face around social equity. If we don’t make changes from the top down, the industry will not only miss the mark on recruiting diversified talent but will also continue to function like an exclusive club, playing an adverse role in our society and reinforcing system inequities. Eventually, products and services will fail to meet the greater needs of society. Innovation will be stunted.

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A German rocket startup seeks to disrupt the European launch industry

Some space entrepreneurs in Germany believe that the European launch industry—which principally consists of the state-backed Arianespace corporation—is ripe for disruption.

The industry, they say, mirrors that of the United States more than a decade ago, before SpaceX emerged onto the scene and began to disrupt the near-monopoly held by United Launch Alliance. SpaceX successfully launched its first Falcon 1 rocket in 2008, and the company followed that with the Falcon 9 booster less than two years later. Since then, it has forced competitors to innovate and put downward pressure on launch prices.

“Europe is where the US launch industry was 15 years ago,” said Daniel Metzler, co-founder and chief executive of the Munich-based Isar Aerospace rocket company, in

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Waterloo-made tech used to block and disrupt web traffic after controversial elections that sparked widespread riots

WATERLOO REGION — Federal regulators must take action against Sandvine after the company’s tech helped the authoritarian president in Belarus cling to power following his controversial re-election last month, says a University of Toronto researcher.

Christopher Parsons, a senior researcher at The Citizen Lab, said it is not enough for the federal government to say they expect Canadian companies to reflect Canadian values when doing business overseas.

“You actually need to do something,” said Parsons, who has spent years researching the use of Sandvine technology that monitors and manages internet traffic.

Parsons made his comments as widespread protests continue in Belarus following Alexander Lukashenko’s fifth re-election as president Aug. 12 with more than 80 per cent of the vote. Amid allegations of torture and the deaths of more than a hundred demonstrators at the hands police, security forces are on high alert.

As the election results became public, and the

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Tech Shows Are Becoming The Best Entertainment Not On Netflix. Here’s How To Watch Apple, Facebook And Disrupt This Week

It could have easily been called “This Pandemic Life,” a post-apocalyptic series featuring billionaire founders, celebrity investors and the Canadian prime minister in their respective bunkers casually chatting with viewers about end times. 

But rather it was Collision From Home, one of the first major tech events to go online after SXSW was cancelled earlier this year due to coronavirus concerns. From June 23-25, 32,000 attendees, 634 high profile speakers, 850 investors, 1,008 startups and 1,143 journalists from 140 countries huddled together to enjoy five action-packed channels of content with a dozen breakout rooms featuring robotic demos, startup masterclasses and whisky mixers.

Dozens of investors with big bets on AI presented including Vinod Khosla and Felicis Ventures’ Wes Chan as well as celebrity investors Paris Hilton, Shaq, LL Cool J, and Steve Aoki. A hotbed of valuable insights were shared

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Fauci Warns Coronavirus Could Disrupt Life Well Into New Year

The United States should not expect a return to normal until “well into 2021, maybe even towards the end of 2021,” Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, the nation’s top infectious diseases expert, said on Friday.

In an interview with “Andrea Mitchell Reports” on MSNBC, Dr. Fauci addressed when people would most likely be able to do things again that they had done before the pandemic, such as going to an indoor movie theater “with impunity.” While a vaccine may be available by the end of the year, he said, “by the time you mobilize the distribution of the vaccinations, and you get the majority or more of the population vaccinated and protected, that’s likely not going to happen till the mid or end of 2021.”

Dr. Fauci was also asked about comments he

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X-Ray Startup Enlists SK Hynix to Disrupt Century-Old Market

(Bloomberg) — Nano-X Imaging Ltd., a startup founded by Israeli investor Ran Poliakine, is joining forces with South Korean chipmaker SK Hynix Inc. to build a machine that could disrupt a century-old X-ray industry.

Valued at about $2 billion after listing on Nasdaq last month, Nano-X is seeking to transform a multi-billion-dollar industry that has essentially relied on the same technology since Nobel prize winner Wilhelm Roentgen discovered X-rays in the late-19th century. Nano-X’s device uses semiconductors instead of metal filaments to generate X-rays.

The backing of SK Hynix, the world’s second largest maker of memory chips, is a boost for an eight-year-old outfit that hasn’t quite established its tech bona fides yet. It also reflects growing technology cooperation between Israel and South Korea, two nations that have helped shape the global economy by advancing innovations and taking big risks.

Nano-X stock has more than doubled in the weeks since

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Technical glitches disrupt classes as students take classes online

  • As many students went back to school online on Tuesday, they were met with technical glitches that disrupted their learning. 
  • The online learning platform Blackboard, which serves more than 20 million US students reported that websites for one of its learning products were failing to load or were loading slowly, and users were unable to register on the first day of school.
  • Other sites like Google Drive also crashed. 
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

HOUSTON (AP) — Students across the US ran into computer glitches Tuesday as they began the school year with online instruction at home because of the coronavirus, adding to the list of problems that have thrust many a harried parent into the role of teacher’s aide and tech support person.

The online learning platform Blackboard, which provides technology for 70 of the nation’s 100 biggest districts and serves more than 20 million US students

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