The FBI and the Department of Homeland Security are increasingly aware of the threats that law enforcement officers and officials face at a federal, state, and local level by using older versions of the Android mobile operating system, according to a document obtained by Public Intelligence, a group focused on releasing government information to the masses.
According to the document (PDF) -- marked as unclassified but "for official use only," and designed for police, fire, emergency medical services, and security personnel -- upwards of 44 percent of Android users worldwide are still using Android versions 2.3.3 to 2.3.7, which still contain security vulnerabilities fixed in later versions.
Android continues to be a "primary target for malware attacks due to its market share and open source architecture," the document states, and an uptick in mobile device use by government staffers "makes it more important than ever to keep mobile [operating systems] patched and up-to-da Some highlights from the report:
79 percent of mobile malware threats affect Android, while 19 percent target Symbian. Windows Mobile, BlackBerry, iOS, and others all peg in at less than 1 percent each. (The source of the figures is not known.)
SMS text messages represent "nearly half" of the malicious applications circulating today on older Android operating systems. Users can mitigate by installing Android security suites on their devices.
Rootkits also pose a massive threat. The DHS/FBI document notes that in late 2011, popular rootkit Carrier IQ was installed on millions of devices, including Apple iPhones (though Apple later removed the software) and dozens of different types of Android devices. These rootkits often go undetected and can log user names, passwords, and traffic without the user's knowledge -- a serious security risk in a government setting.
Fake Google Play domains are sites created by cybercriminals, the document notes, which replicate the Android application store to trick users into installing fake or malicious apps. DHS/FBI note that only IT-approved updates should be allowed, hinting that IT department should ensure secure IT policies from back-end mobile device management services.
IEEE CLOUD 2012 brought together industry professionals, researchers, academics, and government workers to explore the challenges and opportunities of cloud computing, the so-called "fourth wave" of computing. This video showcases some of the key concepts and activities from the conference and points to the ongoing efforts to turn cloud computing into the successful leap that so many computing leaders believe it will be.
Fake tech gear has infiltrated the U.S. government:
this counterfeit microchip for military use was seized by U.S. Customs and Border Protection. It's one of a growing number of fake tech products inadvertently bought by the government.
NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- A record number of tech products used by the U.S. military and dozens of other federal agencies are fake. That opens up a myriad of national security risks, from dud missiles to short-circuiting airplane parts to cyberespionage.
Despite laws designed to crack down on counterfeiters, suppliers labeled by the U.S. government as "high risk" are increasing their sales to federal agencies. Their presence in government's supply chain soared 63% over the past decade, according to a new study released by IHS, a supply chain management consultancy.
There's a 5-in-10 million chance that this is a fluke. That was enough for physicists to declare that the Higgs boson – the world's most-wanted particle – has been discovered. Rapturous applause, whistles and cheers filled the auditorium at CERN, near Geneva, Switzerland. Almost 50 years after its existence was first predicted, the breakthrough means that the standard model of particle physics, which explains all known particles and the forces that act upon them, is now complete.