"The first IBM Q systems available online to clients will have a 20 qubit processor, featuring improvements in superconducting qubit design, connectivity and packaging. Coherence times (the amount of time available to perform quantum computations) lead the field with an average value of 90 microseconds, and allow high-fidelity quantum operations. IBM has also successfully built and measured an operational prototype 50 qubit processor with similar performance metrics. This new processor expands upon the 20 qubit architecture and will be made available in the next generation IBM Q systems." - via
Constructed by Dr. Piers Plummer and Team (Dr. Doron Swade, Professor Adrian Johnstone and Professor Elizabeth Scott), direct from the Department of Computer Science at Royal Holloway University of London comes this superlative steam driven compute device... Eagle-eyed readers may note the brass bits dropping onto the floor plate of the device (due to the gear-teeth grinding against the opposing gear's cog-teeth). H/T
Ed Catmull, Ph.D. proudly displaying the Pixar animation render farm in 1995. It is rather important to note the farm - as depicted - can now be calculated to be the equivalent to 1/2 of a iPhone 6's computational capability.
NIST's Computer Security Division and the Information Technology Laboratory (ITL) along with the NIST Cloud Computing Program has announced hosting of the 8th Cloud Computing Forum and Workshop. Registration Information, etc. can be viewed here. Included with the announcement is the Call for Abstracts, noted below:
- Abstract Submission Deadline: May 15, 2015
- Abstracts Review Deadline: June 1, 2015
- Presentation Submission Deadline: July 1, 2015
Often, the distance bits traverse may enlighten us as to the occurence of the proverbial bulwarks breached, don't you know... Interesting, yet perhaps singularly helpful to determine the resultant effect, rather than the exact path taken.
The Federal Communications Commission has issued the codified order targeting Net Neutrality. Entitled FCC 15-24*, for GN Docket Number 14-28, In the Matter of Protecting and Promoting the Open Internet, Report and Order on Remand, Declaratory Ruling, and Order. At over *Four hundred pages long*, this document will (likely) become one of the most highly contentious Orders emerging this year (or the weapon of choice for conspiracy theorists due to it's weight*) from the Commission.
The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has announced a new internal report detailing a framework targeting Smart Meter Upgradability (NIST Internal Report NISTIR 7823), Advanced Metering Infrastructure Smart Meter Upgradeability Test Framework). Authored by Michaela Iorga (a member of the Computer Security Division, in the Information Technology Laboratory (ITL) at NIST) and Scott Shorter (of Electrosoft Services, Inc. in Reston, Virgina), the document is also available at the International DOI System under NIST.IR.7823.
I reckon the document's abstract sums it up quite nicely:
"As electric utilities turn to Advanced Metering Infrastructures (AMIs) to promote the development and deployment of the Smart Grid, one aspect that can benefit from standardization is the upgradeability of Smart Meters. The National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) standard SG-AMI 1-2009, “Requirements for Smart Meter Upgradeability,” describes functional and security requirements for the secure upgrade—both local and remote—of Smart Meters. This report describes conformance test requirements that may be used voluntarily by testers and/or test laboratories to determine whether Smart Meters and Upgrade Management Systems conform to the requirements of NEMA SG-AMI 1-2009. For each relevant requirement in NEMA SG-AMI 1-2009, the document identifies the information to be provided by the vendor to facilitate testing, and the high-level test procedures to be conducted by the tester/laboratory to determine conformance." - via NIST IR 7823
Meanwhile, you can also track, examine and attempt to contain your surprise at the latest, recognized industiral control systems & supervisory control and data acquisition systems vulnerabilities from our colleagues st US-CERT, here.
News, via The Washington Post's Ashley Halsey III of significant information security issues at the Federal Aviation Agency. In this case, the Government Accountability Office has published a new report entitled "FAA Needs to Address Weaknesses in Air Traffic Control Systems", detailing significant shortcomings in the agency's capability to fend off electronic attacks.
The GAO report facts speak volumes: The FAA has failed to fully implement the planned, 'agency-wide' information security program. The failure to implement and deploy is a tell-tale of questionable competency within the Agency's information security management, whose duty and primary task is protecting the National Airspace System (aka NAS), of which, should be the core competency of the FAA.
Time for a change at the FAA? Probably, however, the issue of foot-dragging is deeply systemic at the Agency, witness the multi-year effort to implement the FAA's Next Generation Air Transportation System (aka NextGen). Any change will most likely be accomplished over decades, rather than single digit years... After all, thirteen years post-FISMA and the Agency has not yet implemented and deployed the mandated FISMA requirements, is, in a word - astonishing.
Now, focusing on the issues, we turn to the GAO discovered chllanges the FAA faces (of which, a statement from the GAO appears below, and is a direct excerpt from the published report. Read it, my fellow citizens, and weep.
"While the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has taken steps to protect its air traffic control systems from cyber-based and other threats, significant security control weaknesses remain, threatening the agency's ability to ensure the safe and uninterrupted operation of the national airspace system (NAS). These include weaknesses in controls intended to prevent, limit, and detect unauthorized access to computer resources, such as controls for protecting system boundaries, identifying and authenticating users, authorizing users to access systems, encrypting sensitive data, and auditing and monitoring activity on FAA's systems. Additionally, shortcomings in boundary protection controls between less-secure systems and the operational NAS environment increase the risk from these weaknesses.
FAA also did not fully implement its agency-wide information security program. As required by the Federal Information Security Management Act of 2002, federal agencies should implement a security program that provides a framework for implementing controls at the agency. However, FAA's implementation of its security program was incomplete. For example, it did not always sufficiently test security controls to determine that they were operating as intended; resolve identified security weaknesses in a timely fashion; or complete or adequately test plans for restoring system operations in the event of a disruption or disaster. Additionally, the group responsible for incident detection and response for NAS systems did not have sufficient access to security logs or network sensors on the operational network, limiting FAA's ability to detect and respond to security incidents affecting its mission-critical systems.
The weaknesses in FAA's security controls and implementation of its security program existed, in part, because FAA had not fully established an integrated, organization-wide approach to managing information security risk that is aligned with its mission. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance calls for agencies to establish and implement a security governance structure, an executive-level risk management function, and a risk management strategy in order to manage risk to their systems and information. FAA has established a Cyber Security Steering Committee to provide an agency-wide risk management function. However, it has not fully established the governance structure and practices to ensure that its information security decisions are aligned with its mission. For example, it has not (1) clearly established roles and responsibilities for information security for the NAS or (2) updated its information security strategic plan to reflect significant changes in the NAS environment, such as increased reliance on computer networks.
Until FAA effectively implements security controls, establishes stronger agency-wide information security risk management processes, fully implements its NAS information security program, and ensures that remedial actions are addressed in a timely manner, the weaknesses GAO identified are likely to continue, placing the safe and uninterrupted operation of the nation's air traffic control system at increased and unnecessary risk." via the United States Government Accountablity Office Report "FAA Needs to Address Weaknesses in Air Traffic Control Systems"
News, via Wired's Robert McMillan, of trouble in paradise. In this case, an error prone computational quantum platform the search leviathan Google Inc. (NasdqGS: GOOG) is running, down yonder in Mountain View...
"The crux of the problem is a phenomenon called bit-flipping. This happens when some kind of interference—cosmic rays, for example—causes the bits stored in memory to “switch state”—to jump from a 0 to a 1 or vice versa. On a PC or a server, error correction is relatively easy." - via Wired's Robert McMillan
- Image depicts a D-WAVE branded quantum computational device
This Shmoocon presentation by Will Schroeder is a classic. Today's' MustSee security video.
Well now, this is good news [of coursepurely dependent upon where your place is within the transaction, and future issues of both key management and governance related challenges] as Box has commenced with provisioning customers with their encryption keys. Gotta admire the transfer of risk in this action, all under the guide of enterprise key management...
'Today, Box says it has a new product that gets the job done. Called “Enterprise Key Management (EKM),” the service puts encryption keys inside a customer’s own data center and in a special security module stored in an Amazon data center. The Box service still must access customer’s data in order to enable sharing and collaboration, but EKM makes sure that only happens when the customer wants it to, Box says.' ArsTechnica's Jon Brodkin
Astoundingly, myths still arise in this epoch of science, strangely so, when dealing with new technologies [Read: new means new in the final two years of the last century as IPv4 was originally codified by the IETF in 1981, with the acceptance of RFC 791] - in this case the vaunted move to IPv6. Now, arising from the ashes of IPv4 exhaustion hysteria, comes a current popular myth surrounds the utilization NATs in IPv4 and the lack of a counterpart construct in IPv6.