Sales of drones—small flying machines equipped with cameras—are soaring. But new research by a Johns Hopkins computer security team has raised concerns about how easily hackers could cause these robotic devices to ignore their human controllers and land or, more drastically, crash.
Recent news from The Johns Hopkins University
This section contains regularly updated highlights of the news from around The Johns Hopkins University. Links to the complete news reports from the nine schools, the Applied Physics Laboratory and other centers and institutes are to the left, as are links to help news media contact the Johns Hopkins communications offices.
In its efforts to curb criminal activity, should the government be allowed to see confidential consumer data collected by businesses? Or does the right to privacy trump such intrusions? These complex questions will be the focus of the second annual Senior Executive Cyber Security Conference, to be held Thursday, Sept. 10, at Johns Hopkins University. Registration for the daylong event is under way.
Johns Hopkins computer scientists have found a flaw in the way that secure cloud storage companies protect their customers’ data. The scientists say this weakness jeopardizes the privacy protection these digital warehouses claim to offer. Whenever customers share their confidential files with a trusted friend or colleague, the researchers say, the storage provider could exploit the security flaw to secretly view this private data.
MEDIA ADVISORY: How Secure is Personal Data on HealthCare.gov? Johns Hopkins Expert Available for Interviews
Avi Rubin, a Johns Hopkins professor of computer science and director of the university’s Health and Medical Security Lab, testified Nov. 19 before the U.S. House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology at a hearing titled, “Is Your Data on Healthcare.gov Secure?” In a prepared statement submitted to the panel, Rubin said, “HealthCare.gov does not collect nor store Electronic Medical Records, but it does collect whatever personal information is needed for enrollment. This information, in the wrong hands, could potentially be used for identity theft attacks.”
Recent news reports stated that the National Security Agency has pursued new methods that have allowed the agency to monitor telephone and online communication, encrypted information that was thought to be virtually immune to eavesdropping. What steps can and should computer scientists take in response to this privacy threat? How will the recent revelations affect the future of cryptography—the field of encoding and decoding electronic communication and transmissions for the purposes of privacy, reliability and efficiency?
To address these questions, the Johns Hopkins University Information Security Institute will host an hour-long roundtable discussion Wednesday, Sept. 18, at the university’s Homewood campus.
MEDIA ADVISORY: Johns Hopkins Computer Security Expert Available for Interviews on Hacker Attacks Targeting The New York Times
Following the disclosure by the New York Times, the publishers of the Wall Street Journal reported that the Journal’s computer systems also had been infiltrated by Chinese hackers, apparently to monitor its China coverage. Available for interviews on this topic is Avi Rubin, a professor of computer science in The Johns Hopkins University’s Whiting School of Engineering and technical director of the university’s Information Security Institute.