Entries Tagged "UK"
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Someone is flying a drone over Gatwick Airport in order to disrupt service:
Chris Woodroofe, Gatwick’s chief operating officer, said on Thursday afternoon there had been another drone sighting which meant it was impossible to say when the airport would reopen.
He told BBC News: “There are 110,000 passengers due to fly today, and the vast majority of those will see cancellations and disruption. We have had within the last hour another drone sighting so at this stage we are not open and I cannot tell you what time we will open.
“It was on the airport, seen by the police and corroborated. So having seen that drone that close to the runway it was unsafe to reopen.”
The economics of this kind of thing isn’t in our favor. A drone is cheap. Closing an airport for a day is very expensive.
I don’t think we’re going to solve this by jammers, or GPS-enabled drones that won’t fly over restricted areas. I’ve seen some technologies that will safely disable drones in flight, but I’m not optimistic about those in the near term. The best defense is probably punitive penalties for anyone doing something like this — enough to discourage others.
There are a lot of similar security situations, in which the cost to attack is vastly cheaper than 1) the damage caused by the attack, and 2) the cost to defend. I have long believed that this sort of thing represents an existential threat to our society.
EDITED TO ADD (12/23): The airport has deployed some anti-drone technology and reopened.
EDITED TO ADD (1/2): Maybe there was never a drone.
The Guardian is reporting that “every NHS trust assessed for cyber security vulnerabilities has failed to meet the standard required.”
This is the same NHS that was debilitated by WannaCry.
EDITED TO ADD (2/13): More news.
And don’t think that US hospitals are much better.
Ross Anderson gave a talk on the history of the Crypto Wars in the UK. I am intimately familiar with the US story, but didn’t know as much about Britain’s version.
Really good article about the women who worked at Bletchley Park during World War II, breaking German Enigma-encrypted messages.
EDITED TO ADD (7/13): There’s also a book: The Debs of Blechley Park and Other Stories, by Michael Smith.
Susan Landau has an excellent essay on why it’s more important than ever to have backdoor-free encryption on our computer and communications systems.
Protecting the privacy of speech is crucial for preserving our democracy. We live at a time when tracking an individual — a journalist, a member of the political opposition, a citizen engaged in peaceful protest — or listening to their communications is far easier than at any time in human history. Political leaders on both sides now have a responsibility to work for securing communications and devices. This means supporting not only the laws protecting free speech and the accompanying communications, but also the technologies to do so: end-to-end encryption and secured devices; it also means soundly rejecting all proposals for front-door exceptional access. Prior to the election there were strong, sound security arguments for rejecting such proposals. The privacy arguments have now, suddenly, become critically important as well. Threatened authoritarianism means that we need technological protections for our private communications every bit as much as we need the legal ones we presently have.
Unfortunately, the trend is moving in the other direction. The UK just passed the Investigatory Powers Act, giving police and intelligence agencies incredibly broad surveillance powers with very little oversight. And Bits of Freedom just reported that “Croatia, Italy, Latvia, Poland and Hungary all want an EU law to be created to help their law enforcement authorities access encrypted information and share data with investigators in other countries.”
Sidebar photo of Bruce Schneier by Joe MacInnis.