New cyberattack can trick scientists into making toxins or viruses — Ben-Gurion University researchers

EurekAlert  November 30, 2020 According to the researchers in Israel a malware could easily replace a short sub-string of the DNA on a bioengineer’s computer so that they unintentionally create a toxin producing sequence. To regulate both intentional and unintentional generation of dangerous substances, most synthetic gene providers screen DNA orders which is currently the most effective line of defense against such attacks. Unfortunately, the screening guidelines have not been adapted to reflect recent developments in synthetic biology and cyberwarfare. Screening protocols can be circumvented using a generic obfuscation procedure which makes it difficult for the screening software to detect […]

Hackers could use connected cars to gridlock whole cities

EurekAlert  July 28, 2019 A team of researchers in the US (Georgia Institute of Technology, industry) studied a scenario envisioned by cybersecurity experts leading to a large number of internet-connected vehicles being suddenly and simultaneously disabled. To investigate the aftermath of the post hack they used an agent-based simulation and discovered the critical relevance of percolation for probabilistically predicting the outcomes on a multilane road in the immediate aftermath of a vehicle-targeted cyberattack. They developed an analytic percolation-based model to rapidly assess road conditions given the density of disabled vehicles and applied it to study the street network of Manhattan […]