China implanted tiny spy chips in servers used by Amazon, Apple

A new report from Bloomberg describes how Chinese subcontractors secretly inserted microchips into servers that wound up in data centers used by nearly 30 American companies.

  • A 2015 security test of a server sold by an American company found that someone in the supply chain had successfully embedded a tiny microchip on a motherboard.
  • The company that manufactured the compromised motherboard provides servers to hundreds of international clients, including NASA and the Department of Homeland Security.
  • U.S. officials linked the hardware attack to a People's Liberation Army unit, though it's unclear what, if anything, hackers have done or to what they have access.
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Politics & Current Affairs

Don’t trust elections? How Blockchain can protect your vote

Getting your vote to where it matters can be harder and more corrupt than it should be. Could blockchain technology build a better system and rebuild people's trust?

Anyone who's walked into a voting booth and scratched their preference onto a piece of paper knows the same thing: the voting process suffers from a dire lack of technology. We put a man on the moon in 1969--why are we still voting on paper? Going digital isn't just a matter of convenience, but one of accountability—citizens the world over are increasingly losing trust in the democratic system, from miscounted votes, to denying eligible people the right to vote at all. So just how much can we digitize the act of voting? Perhaps blockchain—a public ledger technology where information is irreversibly recorded—can build a better system. Here, Internet pioneer Brian Behlendorf considers two aspects where blockchain can help, and one where it absolutely can't. Better tech can end voter discrimination at polling stations, and falsely reported totals at the state and national levels, but will we ever be able to vote on our mobile devices from the comfort of a blanket fort? Behlendorf delivers the bad news. Brian Behlendorf is the executive director of Hyperledger; for more info, visit hyperledger.org.

Technology & Innovation

The Primer on Russia's "Active Measures," Its Information Warfare Strategy

KGB-era "active measures" are still being used by Russian intelligence agencies today, according to experts.

Russian President Vladimir Putin salutes officers 18 February, 2004 in Plesetsk, where he came to watch the launch of spacecraft Molnia. (Photo credit: MAXIM MARMUR/AFP

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Culture & Religion

The Most Dangerous Philosopher in the World

The work of Kremlin-approved philosopher Alexander Dugin provides key insights on the longterm strategy behind Russian hacks of the American elections. 

The revelations about Russian involvement in the hacking of the Democratic Party officials, intending to vault Trump over Clinton, have added more fuel to an already-explosive and exhausting election cycle. Why would Russia do this, especially as it's been revealed that Russian President Vladimir Putin was likely personally directing the operation? Enter Alexander Dugin, the political scientist known as “Putin’s Rasputin” or “Putin’s Brain”, as well as an occult fascist. He is also a sociology professor at the highly prestigious Moscow State University, a prolific writer, an advisor to key political and military figures and an articulator of a Kremlin-approved nationalist philosophy.

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Culture & Religion