Science & Technology

Keeping Hackers Out

Jan 14, 2015
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Recent hacking incidents have put Cyber Security on the agenda.  The President will talk about it in his State of the Union Address next week.  So what can you do to promote cyber safety? 

Be unique.  Be secure.  Change your password.  Those and other warnings are plastered on the walls at the Information Technology Office at Virginia Tech. Experts say the biggest challenge is that things change so quickly in cyber space.  But one thing is clear, words like safety and ‘security’ now apply to the virtual world as much as, the physical world.

Managing the Hacks

Jan 12, 2015

Recent cyber attacks have gotten the attention of everyone from the public to the president. Transcending national barriers and international law, hacking was once thought of as a prank – perpetrated by bright students with too much time on their hands.  Experts at Virginia Tech say it’s grown into a chronic problem that will need to be continuously “managed” rather than “solved.”  

I’m visiting the I.T. security office at Virginia Tech in person. But there’s a large screen that shows red dots where virtual visitors are connecting in real time to computers here.

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Although a private company runs it, Wallops Island Flight Facility on Virginia's Eastern Shore will get a fresh start in the New Year and a financial boost from the federal government after a failed launch months ago caused significant damage. October's explosion of a rocket caused an estimated $20-million in damage--and the repairs will be paid for by Congress. 

The Kitchen of the Future

Dec 18, 2014

The future is calling and it’s asking for a new kitchen.  A team at Virginia Tech is answering, with a plan for a ‘smart kitchen’ that makes full use of technology. 

It’s been talked about for decades:  A kitchen of the proverbial future that does the work for you. Here’s the late actor, Burgess Meredith, reading from a short story by the, also late, science fiction writer, Ray Bradbury. It’s called, “And There Will Come Soft Rains,’ and it was published in 1950.

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When Americans think of terrorism, they often envision 9-11-style attacks or some other extreme act of violence. But the nation’s enemies don't just hail from a specific part of the world, and Americans are under attack every day—not by air, land, or sea, but electronically through data breaches and hacking.

That's why the commonwealth’s Cyber Security Commission is focusing on discovering vulnerabilities and strengthening the state's databases.

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