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When Hackers Were Heroes

What was exceptional about MIT was not that it had a computer or that unkempt programmers were devising impressive tricks. It was that MIT had enough computers that a couple of surplus machines could be left out for members of the community to play with.

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Implementing Insider Defenses

Classical approaches to cyber-security—isolation, monitoring, and the like—are a good starting point for defending against attacks, regardless of perpetrator. But implementations of those approaches in hardware and/or software can invariably be circumvented by insiders, individuals who abuse privileges and access their trusted status affords.

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Battery Day

Batteries are a part of everyday life; without them, the world would be a much different place. Your cellphone, flashlight, tablet, laptops, drones, cars, and other devices would not be portable and operational without batteries.

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Better Security Through Obfuscation

Last year, three mathematicians published a viable method for hiding the inner workings of software. The paper was a culmination of close to two decades of work by multiple teams around the world to show that concept could work. The quest now is to find a way to make indistinguishability obfuscation (iO) efficient enough to become a practical reality.

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Fixing the Internet

Aftab Siddiqui, senior manager of Internet technology at the Internet Society, says the initial BGP protocol was conceived by experts at research institutions, defense organizations, and equipment vendors. “When they designed [BGP], it was based on the premise that everybody trusts each other,” Siddiqui says. “Fast-forward 30 years, I’m pretty sure we cannot claim that anymore.”

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