Iran’s Navy Threatens the Security of the Persian Gulf

Tehran’s New Plan to Dominate its Region — and Beyond. The possibility of Tehran developing a nuclear weapon at some point poses a potential future threat to the international order. A real threat, however, has already materialized: Iran’s fast-growing navy. W. Jonathan Rue While much of the world’s attention focuses on Iran’s nuclear program, Tehran … Continue reading

South Korea’s clone dog army

Thomas E. Ricks By Rebecca Frankel Best Defense chief canine correspondent Chase was South Korea’s best sniffer dog — making headlines as a record-holding service dog until he retired in 2007. Now, Chase’s descendants are in the spotlight for their remarkably keen noses. Which, genetically speaking, are exact replicas of their "father’s" because South Korea … Continue reading

Impressed by FBI trojan, Germans write their own—and national scandal ensues

Matthew Lasar It has been pretty chaotic in German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s cabinet ever since the Chaos Computer Club dumped some alarming technology news in her lap. Turns out that the German government’s "lawful interception" application, supposedly designed only to monitor IP telephone calls, is just a little more powerful than the police let on. … Continue reading

U.S.-Pakistan relations

Is this the end of the affair? Dan Twining A senior U.S. official — Admiral Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff — has publicly fingered the Haqqani network as a tool of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence agency. What’s surprising is that this is particularly newsworthy: ISI’s relationship with the Haqqanis has been an … Continue reading

Kidnap Capital

Why Mexico’s snatching epidemic is worse than anything we’ve seen before. BY ELIZABETH DICKINSON MEXICO CITY — On a quiet November day nearly two years ago, Luis Ángel León Rodriguez called his mother, Araceli, to tell her he would be leaving town for a while. The 24-year-old federal police officer was being sent on a … Continue reading

African Village Uses Tech to Fight Off a Rape Cult

avid Axe An old woman had died. Before burying the her, the residents of the village of Obo — in southern Central African Republic, just north of the Congolese border — gathered around a campfire to eat, drink, cry and sing in celebration of the woman’s long life. It was a night in March 2008, … Continue reading

Crowded China Sea

The superpower battle for regional supremacy in the South China Sea is heating up once again. Abraham M. Denmark For the last two years, a quiet showdown has played out over the South China Sea, the body of water bordered by China, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Brunei, the Philippines, and Taiwan. This little-known body of … Continue reading

Russian Roulette in South Asia

Bruce Riedel The conflict between India and Pakistan has produced four wars, endless terrorism and is a core cause of the political instability that wracks Pakistan and destabilizes its civil-military balance. The two countries every few years go to the brink of war because of Pakistani sponsored terror, like playing Russian roulette only with nuclear … Continue reading

Google Disrupts Chinese Spear-Phishing Attack

Kevin Poulsen Google says it’s shut down a well-crafted social engineering attack on Gmail users that targeted the personal accounts of “senior U.S. government officials, Chinese political activists, officials in several Asian countries (predominantly South Korea), military personnel and journalists.” The attackers spoofed e-mail to their targets that appeared to come from a friend or … Continue reading

Second Defense Contractor L-3 ‘Actively Targeted’ With RSA SecurID Hacks

Kevin Poulsen An executive at defense giant L-3 Communications warned employees last month that hackers were targeting the company using inside information on the SecurID keyfob system freshly stolen from an acknowledged breach at RSA Security. The L-3 attack makes the company the second hacker target linked to the RSA breach — both defense contractors. … Continue reading

There’s a Secret Patriot Act

Spencer Ackerman You think you understand how the Patriot Act allows the government to spy on its citizens. Sen. Ron Wyden says it’s worse than you know. Congress is set to reauthorize three controversial provisions of the surveillance law as early as Thursday. Wyden (D-Oregon) says that powers they grant the government on their face, … Continue reading

PC rental store accused of using webcams, keyloggers on customers

By Jacqui Cheng Built-in webcams are becoming more and more common in computers these days, and in turn, they are becoming more and more of a liability. A Wyoming couple is now accusing national rent-to-own chain Aaron’s Inc. of spying on them at home using their rented computer’s webcam without their knowledge. Aaron’s also allegedly … Continue reading

Cxjlrp Zfmebop

Translation: "Famous Ciphers." A photo gallery. By Elizabeth Weingarten When Ricky McCormick’s body was discovered in a Missouri cornfield in 1999, police officers discovered something unusual in his pockets: Two curious notes that appeared to be written in code. If McCormick had been murdered, as investigators suspected, they figured these cryptic clues might lead them … Continue reading

Taiwan still matters

By Will Inboden I’ve been in Taiwan this week with a small delegation sponsored by the estimable Project 2049. Our visit comes at what would appear to be an auspicious time in cross-strait relations, as Taiwan and mainland China have made concrete steps over the past two years to reduce tensions and improve their economic … Continue reading

Nuclear power to go underground?

Phil McKenna, contributor Nuclear power is going to be a tough sell going forward given the ongoing radiation leaking from Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi power plant, but what if future reactors were buried underground? It may sound like a crazy idea, but Singapore, a tiny island country whose population would have no place to go in … Continue reading

HTTPS is more secure, so why isn’t the Web using it?

By Scott Gilbertson, You wouldn’t write your username and passwords on a postcard and mail it for the world to see, so why are you doing it online? Every time you log in to Twitter, Facebook or any other service that uses a plain HTTP connection that’s essentially what you’re doing. There is a … Continue reading

From the Blockage on Huawei

By HaoJun Tan Chinese corporations need to strengthen core competencies and strengthen competitiveness in foreign markets. Translated By Alice Cwern March 1 2011 Edited by Patricia Simoni China – Xinhua – Original Article (Chinese) Recently, Huawei offered to spend £50 million to equip London’s subway system with mobile phone reception, as a congratulatory gift for … Continue reading

Drones Set to Invade U.S. National Parks

By Richard Wheeler When I was a kid going to summer camp in New York’s Adirondack Mountains, I counted myself lucky if I saw a black bear once or twice in a season. But campers may soon be able to regularly see something bigger—and badder—when they are climbing the High Peaks: Reaper drones flown by … Continue reading

How Aaron Barr revealed himself to Anonymous

By Nate Anderson Stian Elkeland Aaron Barr, CEO of security company HBGary Federal, spent the month of January trying to uncover the real identifies of the hacker collective Anonymous—only to end with his company website knocked offline, his e-mails stolen, 1TB of backups deleted, and his personal iPad wiped when Anonymous found out. Our lengthy … Continue reading

A New York tale

Jessica de Grazia  The city’s “policing miracle” does not mean Britain should also elect police chiefs Since 2000, a steady stream of British politicians has travelled to New York to learn how it transformed itself from America’s murder capital to its safest big city. The lesson the Conservatives took from their “grand tour” was that … Continue reading

Kremlin Chops Top Terror-Hunters

By Adam Rawnsley Here in the U.S., top security officials get to keep their jobs, even after terrorists sneak onto airplanes and fly them into skyscrapers. In Russia, they’re not so forgiving. After last month’s deadly bombing at the Moscow airport, the Kremlin is responding with two simple words: you’re fired. Two officials from Russia’s … Continue reading

Anonymous Hacks Security Firm Investigating It; Releases E-mail

By Kim Zetter A U.S. security firm that claimed to have uncovered the real identity of Anonymous members responsible for a recent spate of web site attacks became a victim of Anonymous itself, when members of the online vigilante group breached the company’s network and stole more than 60,000 internal e-mails. The group posted the … Continue reading

Internet ‘Kill Switch’ Legislation Back in Play

By David Kravets Legislation granting the president internet-killing powers is to be re-introduced soon to a Senate committee, the proposal’s chief sponsor told on Friday. The resurgence of the so-called “kill switch” legislation came the same day Egyptians faced an internet blackout designed to counter massive demonstrations in that country. The bill, which has … Continue reading

What’s in all that tear gas we’ve been selling Egypt?

By Nate Anderson A protestor holds a used tear gas canister Atlantic If you’ve been watching any coverage of the Egyptian protests, you’ve no doubt seen the tear gas plumes as canisters are shot at protestors—often to be picked up and hurled back moments later. Many of those tear gas containers falling on the bridges … Continue reading

Grow Your Own Security: Prof Breeds Bomb-Spotting Plants

By Spencer Ackerman The next hydrangea you grow could literally save your life. With the help of the Department of Defense, a biologist at the University of Colorado has taught plant proteins how to detect explosives. Never let it be said that horticulture can’t fight terrorism. Picture this at an airport, perhaps in as soon … Continue reading

Security Researcher, CyberCrime Foe Goes Missing

By Kim Zetter A well-known security researcher and cybercrime foe appears to have gone missing in Bulgaria and is feared harmed, according to a news organization that hosts a blog the researcher co-writes. Bulgarian researcher Dancho Danchev, who writes for ZDNet’s Zero Day blog, is an independent security consultant who’s garnered the enmity of cybercriminals … Continue reading

U.S. Had Helo Deal With Ousted Tunisian Dictator

By Spencer Ackerman Check out the #sidibouzid Twitter hashtag and you’ll see real-time updates from a popular coup in Tunisia that’s ousted the kleptocratic dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali. Months of unrest over unemployment and rising food prices — pushed along by WikiLeaked disclosures — forced Ben Ali to flee to Paris. As it … Continue reading

The Definition of Insanity

Nine years of engaging and bribing Pakistan haven’t succeeded in getting Islamabad to reform its ways. So why does Biden think that this trip will produce different results? BY SUMIT GANGULY, DAVID P. FIDLER Vice President Joseph Biden was in Islamabad Wednesday in yet another attempt to make U.S. and Pakistani strategic interests align. He … Continue reading

Point a laser at a police helicopter, go to prison

By Matthew Lasar A United States District Court in Massachusetts has sentenced a 52-year-old resident of the Boston area to three years imprisonment for pointing a laser at a police helicopter. He was found guilty of one count of "willfully interfering with an aircraft operator with reckless disregard for human life" and another of making … Continue reading

Israeli vulture cleared of spying charges

By Joshua Keating R65 — the Griffon vulture arrested last week on suspicion of spying for Israel because of the Hebrew lettering on its GPS tag — will soon be released according to Saudi Prince Bandar bin Saud al-Saud:  "These systems are fitted to birds and animals, including marine animals. Most countries use these system, … Continue reading

Despite Denials, Blackwater Still Working for U.S.

By Spencer Ackerman Reports that Blackwater is out of the government’s private-security game have been greatly exaggerated. A consigliere to the company’s new owners tells Danger Room that not only does the controversial firm still hold security contracts with the State Department, it has every intention of seeking more. … Read More>>

The attack on our system in Arizona

By Thomas E. Ricks I have nothing greatly illuminating to add about the shootings on Saturday, except that killing a little girl and a federal judge and shooting a member of Congress who is meeting with constituents feels to me like an attack on our system. They say the guy is crazy, as if that … Continue reading

Imaging specialists: TSA scanners can miss underwear bombs

By John Timmer Never mind the health issues—are the backscatter scanners being used at US airports actually effective? According to two imaging specialists who were once faculty at the University of California, San Francisco, the answer is no. Based on their modeling of the scanners’ performance, they conclude that an appropriately shaped piece of plastic … Continue reading

Please don’t touch my turban

By Colum Lynch The Indian foreign ministry has once again expressed concern about what it views as inappropriate airport searches of its senior U.S.-based diplomats after its envoy to the U.N., Hardeep Singh Puri, was briefly detained at an airport in Austin, Texas, for refusing to remove his turban, U.N.-based diplomats told Turtle Bay. This … Continue reading

Plastic iPad Case Adds Security Slot, Cable

By Charlie Sorrel Ever get scared that somebody will nab your iPad from the coffee-shop table when you quickly run off to the bathroom? Then stop leaving the iPad unattended, you fool! Just take it with you. If you just must leave it lying around, though, maybe you could try this iPad lock, from Maclocks. … Continue reading

Don’t Be an Ass About Airport Security

The enemy is inventive and imaginative. Our response is neither. By Christopher Hitchens A TSA agent conducts a pat-down In the more recent instances, the explosive substance involved was a fairly simple one known as PETN. Now consider again: Late last August, the Saudi Arabian deputy minister of the interior, Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, was … Continue reading

Frisking the Founding Fathers

Michael Scheuer  In Promised Land, Crusader State, perhaps the most brilliant, erudite, and lastingly relevant book on U.S. foreign policy, professor Walter A. McDougall writes: American Exceptionalism as our founders conceived it was defined by what America was, at home. Foreign policy existed to defend, not define, what America was. In given circumstances all sorts … Continue reading

Air Travelers Opting Out of Opting Out

Kim Zetter A grassroots opt-out protest planned at airports around the country appears to have fizzled, as early reports indicate that most travelers on Wednesday were opting out of opting out of fully body scans. The protest, called by groups such as, encouraged airline passengers to opt out of X-ray scanners and to register … Continue reading

Death by a Thousand Cuts

See all those security lines? Just because al Qaeda’s recent attacks haven’t succeeded doesn’t mean the terrorist group’s overall strategy is failing. BY DAVEED GARTENSTEIN-ROSS "Two Nokia phones, $150 each, two HP printers, $300 each, plus shipping, transportation and other miscellaneous expenses add up to a total bill of $4,200. That is all what Operation … Continue reading

TSA Chief Apologizes to Airline Passenger Soaked in Urine After Pat-Down

Kim Zetter An airline passenger outfitted with a urine bag for medical reasons had to sit through his flight soaked in urine after a TSA agent dislodged his bag during an aggressive security pat-down. Nearly a month later, he finally received an apology from TSA chief John Pistole. Tom Sawyer, who wears a urostomy bag … Continue reading

The tragic tale of a dog who saved soldiers

Thomas E. Ricks By Rebecca Frankel Best Defense Chief Canine Correspondent Target, one of three stray dogs who battled a suicide bomber, keeping him from entering an Army barracks in Afghanistan and ultimately saving the lives of the 50 soldiers inside, met an unjust and sad end this week. The heroic Target, who got her … Continue reading

TSA boss: Our pat-downs turn up "artfully concealed objects"

Nate Anderson At a Senate oversight hearing today, Transportation Security Administration head John Pistole explained that TSA agents really do need to encounter testicular resistance when performing their newly enhanced airport pat-downs. Since switching to the new pat-downs in the last few weeks, "We have detected dozens and dozens of, let’s say, ‘artfully concealed objects’" … Continue reading

Echoes of the Drug War

Even in Mexico’s most elite locales, it’s impossible to escape the reverberations of cartel violence.    BY CHRISTINA LARSON About 90 percent of the violence has taken place in a handful of northern counties, far away from the swimming pools and gated villas of Puebla. Yet, these two Mexicos — the privileged and the desperate — … Continue reading

TSA Screener Cited "Torture" In Scanner Case

Arrestee’s genitalia was exposed by "full body" device The airport screener arrested for assaulting a coworker who taunted him about the size of his penis after his genitalia was exposed by a full-body scanner told police that he snapped after being subjected to “psychological torture” by fellow Transportation Security Administration employees who repeatedly asked him, … Continue reading

Junk Security: ‘Naked Scanners’ Won’t Keep Us Safe

Noah Shachtman In May, Transportation Security Administration screener Rolando Negrin pummeled a co-worker with his government-issued baton. The feud began, according to a Miami-Dade Police Department report, after Mr. Negrin’s training session with one of the agency’s whole-body imagers. The scan “revealed [Mr. Negrin] had a small penis,” the disgruntled co-worker told police. After a … Continue reading

The Privateers of Yemen

Starved for revenue and riddled with corruption, the Yemeni navy and coast guard have adopted a novel fundraising strategy: guns for hire. BY ELLEN KNICKMEYER BEIRUT—Yemen’s leaders are pushing the United States to increase its military aid roughly 40-fold for their country to fight al Qaeda — but Yemen isn’t just relying on aid to … Continue reading

100 Naked Citizens: 100 Leaked Body Scans

Joel Johnson Gizmodo  At the heart of the controversy over “body scanners” is a promise: The images of our naked bodies will never be public. U.S. Marshals in a Florida Federal courthouse saved 35,000 images on their scanner. These are those images. A Gizmodo investigation has revealed 100 of the photographs saved by the Gen … Continue reading

Best way to battle botnets: before or after the infection?

By Matthew Lasar Botnets have penetrated most Fortune 500 companies, and the United States leads the world in PCs infected with bots. And Mac users beware—a new Trojan variant attacks Mac OS systems via social networking sites. If you see a message on a social network like Facebook that says "Is this you in the … Continue reading

Pilots told to avoid new airport scanners, "demeaning" pat-downs

By Nate Anderson Just over a week ago, we learned that the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) was stepping up its efforts to get Americans in front of its new clothes-piercing "backscatter" and "millimeter wave" scanners at airports. The devices have raised all sorts of concerns about privacy (they can see through clothes) and radiation, but … Continue reading

In Africa, bottling up danger

By David E. Hoffman When it was first approved by Congress, the Nunn-Lugar legislation was aimed at securing the weapons of the collapsing Soviet Union — nuclear, chemical and biological materials left over from the Cold War. Much work has been done over the last two decades, and now the program is expanding its horizons, … Continue reading