USIP's Science, Technology & Peacebuilding Roundup

United States Institute of Peace


Center of Innovation: Science, Technology and Peacebuilding

Weekly News Roundup, October 27 - November 2, 2011

Table of Contents

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which includes a special section on Internet and social media.**

Same Authors Created Malware that Infected Nuclear Facilities?
Security experts have dug deeper into the Duqu Trojan and discovered a scary shared characteristic between the newly discovered piece of malware and last year's infamous Stuxnet worm, supporting the theory that the same authors are behind both. The Hungarian security firm CrySyS, which discovered Duqu in October, found that it hides in a Microsoft Word document and contains something astonishing: a zero-day exploit of a vulnerability in the Windows kernel, the very heart of the operating system.
See the full article (MSNBC, Matt Liebowitz, 11/2/11)
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Printable Sensors Detect Bombs
If there's a suspicious package on the doorstep and you want to know if it's a bomb, you may soon be able to print out a sensor that can do just that. The technology to do this is under development at the Georgia Institute of Technology, where researchers have created a sensor that communicates its findings wirelessly. The ability to make bomb-detecting sensors with inkjet printer technology could also benefit soldiers on the lookout for roadside bombs and aid agencies working in war-torn countries.
See the full article (MSNBC, John Roach, 11/1/11)
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'Hackers' Cut Palestinian Phone and Internet Systems
The main phone network in the West Bank and Gaza has suffered a sustained attack by computer hackers, the Palestinian Authority (PA) says. The PA says the crash has been caused by computer hackers sabotaging the Paltel telephone network. He said he did not know if the hacking was linked to the Palestinian leadership's successful bid to get membership of UNESCO on Monday.
See the full article (BBC, Jon Donnison, 11/1/11)
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After a Kidnapping, Hackers Take On a Ruthless Mexican Crime Syndicate
The hackers' message, delivered via YouTube by a man wearing a red tie and a Guy Fawkes mask, was as bold and risky as anything produced by the Zetas, Mexico's most ruthless crime syndicate. But this time, the Zetas were the target. They had kidnapped a geek with backup - a respected member of the hackers collective known as Anonymous. [Some hackers said] it was time for Netizens to fight back in a country where the news media have been cowed into submission, and where the justice system is often complicit in heinous crimes that regularly go unpunished.
See the full article (New York Times, Damien Cave, 10/31/11) *NYT sign-up may be required to view the full article
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For Friedrich Kittler, Both Technology and Education Should be Open and Free
The German media theorist Friedrich Kittler, who died this month, got a farewell that one rarely sees heaped upon academics. Kittler did not just write histories of media and computing, but argued that we need to understand old media in order to understand contemporary digital culture. For Kittler, it was Bletchley Park and Alan Turing who pioneered the kind of "early warning systems" that have become a standard of modern media, namely, computers. War, he argued, was always a test ground for new media technologies.
See the full article (The Guardian, Jussi Parikka, 10/29/11)
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which includes a special section on Internet and social media.

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