3-D Printed Gun Blueprints Have Been Taken Offline—For Now

A belated legal scramble to stop public access to 3-D printed gun blueprints has succeeded, at least for now. Late Tuesday, a federal judge granted a temporary nationwide injunction against Defense Distributed from making its designs available online. Several hours after the ruling, Defense Distributed founder Cody Wilson has finally complied.

The suit, filed Monday by the attorneys general of eight states and the District of Columbia, is just one of several last-ditch legal efforts to prevent the spread of 3-D printed gun plans. Last month, the State Department settled a long-standing Wilson lawsuit, opening the door for Defense Distributed to put blueprints and CAD models for most guns online. At that point, all someone would need to create an unregulated, lethal weapon is a 3-D printer and an internet connection.

‘The law is clear. My settlement and license are not judicially reviewable.’

Cody Wilson, Defense Distributed

The challenges to the State Department read more

The National Risk Management Center Will Combat Critical Infrastructure Hacks

As the threat of cyberattacks on the United States launched by foreign adversaries grows, the federal government has been slow to respond. But changes announced Tuesday at the Department of Homeland Security, along with a new bipartisan bill aimed at shoring up DHS cybersecurity initiatives, could give newfound purpose to defenses against critical infrastructure hacking.

At a cybersecurity summit Tuesday, Homeland Security secretary Kirstjen Nielsen announced the creation of the National Risk Management Center, which will focus on evaluating threats and defending US critical infrastructure against hacking. The center will focus on the energy, finance, and telecommunications sectors to start, and DHS will conduct a number of 90-day “sprints” throughout 2018 in an attempt to rapidly build out the center’s processes and capabilities.

“We are reorganizing ourselves for a new fight,” Nielsen said on Tuesday, who described the new center as a “focal point” read more

Facebook Uncovers New Fake Accounts Ahead of Midterm Elections

Facebook has taken down 32 fake pages and accounts that it says were involved in coordinated campaigns on both Facebook and Instagram. Though the company has not yet attributed the accounts to any group, it says the campaign does bear some resemblance to the propaganda campaign run by Russia’s Internet Research Agency (IRA) in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election. Facebook is now working with law enforcement to determine where the campaign originated.


“We’re still in the very early stages of the investigation, and we don’t know all the facts, including who might be behind it,” Facebook’s chief operating officer said on a call with reporters Tuesday.

According to Facebook, some 290,000 Facebook users followed at least one of these pages. The most popular ones were called Aztlan Warriors, Black Elevation, Mindful Being, and Resisters. Across the phony accounts and pages, Facebook found politically divisive content about, among other read more

The Last-Ditch Legal Fight to Stop 3-D Printed Guns

For the last half decade, 3-D printed pistols and metal-milled “ghost guns” have only rarely caught the attention of lawmakers, and have barely registered in the mainstream of America’s gun control debate. But now, a controversial legal settlement may have unlocked a new era of digitally fabricated, DIY guns. It’s also unleashed a political backlash unlike anything seen in the five years since the first 3-D printable firearm appeared online.

Earlier this month, WIRED broke the news that gun access group Defense Distributed had obtained a key settlement in its lawsuit against the State Department, winning the right to publish the blueprints and CAD models for practically any commercially available gun, files ready to be downloaded from the web and fed into a 3-D printer or computer-controlled milling machine to produce a lethal weapon in the unregulated privacy of anyone’s garage.

In the weeks since, the reaction has snowballed: A growing coalition read more

How Cloudflare Uses Lava Lamps to Guard Against Hackers

Edward Craven Walker lived to see his greatest invention, the lava lamp, make its late-’90s cultural comeback. But the British tinkerer (and famed nudist, incidentally) died before he could witness the 21st-­century digital potential of his analog creation. Inside the San Francisco office of the web security company Cloudflare, 100 units of Craven Walker’s groovy hardware help protect wide swaths of the internet from infiltration.

Here’s how it works. Every time you log in to any website, you’re assigned a unique identification number. It should be random, because if hackers can predict the number, they’ll impersonate you. Computers, relying as they do on human-coded patterns, can’t generate true randomness—but nobody can predict the goopy mesmeric swirlings of oil, water, and wax. Cloudflare films the lamps 24/7 and uses the ever-changing arrangement of pixels to help create a superpowered cryptographic key. “Anything that the camera captures gets incorporated into the randomness,” says Nick Sullivan, the company’s head of cryptography, and that includes visitors milling about and light streaming through the windows. (Any change in heat subtly affects the undulations of those glistening globules.)

Sure, theoretically, bad guys could sneak their own camera into Cloudflare’s lobby to capture the same scene, but the company’s prepared for such trickery. It films the movements read more

Russian Hackers, a Bluetooth Flaw, and More Security News This Week

This week marks the one-year anniversary of Equifax’s very terrible, no good data breach that impacted 147 million Americans. We took an inside look at all the steps the company has taken since then to shore up its defenses—and whether it could possibly be enough, given the scope of the damage. And speaking of damage, we explained how to minimize yours by setting up better two-factor authentication on all of your online accounts.

What else, you ask? Plenty! Google finally implemented its name-and-shame strategy for Chrome, labeling all sites that use unencrypted HTTP connections—instead of secure HTTPS—as “Not Secure.” Twitter instituted a cleanup of its own, banning scores of malicious apps from its platform.

There was some news from Donald Trump’s orbit as well, no surprise. We took a look at why the president talks about former campaign aide Carter Page so often—and why the read more

How A Group of Imprisoned Hackers Introduced JPay to the World

Until yesterday, unless you had a family member or friend inside prison, you most likely had never heard of JPay. That’s because all of its services are directed towards people inside the nation’s prisons—and their family members.

Since 2002, JPay has been quietly moving into prisons across the country, first by providing quicker (though pricier) ways for family members to send money to incarcerated loved ones and, since 2004, by providing limited email systems in prisons across the country—systems which are often touted as an innovation that keeps incarcerated people connected with their families and prisons operating in the 21st century. In keeping up with the rapidly-progressing technological times, JPay also offers prison-specific tablets allowing incarcerated users to access their e-messages as well as to buy music and play electronic games.

But this week, Idaho prison officials announced that these tablets became the means for 363 people, incarcerated across read more

Amazon’s Facial Recognition System Mistakes Members of Congress for Mugshots

Amazon touts its Rekognition facial recognition system as “simple and easy to use,” encouraging customers to “detect, analyze, and compare faces for a wide variety of user verification, people counting, and public safety use cases.” And yet, in a study released Thursday by the American Civil Liberties Union, the technology managed to confuse photos of 28 members of Congress with publicly available mug shots. Given that Amazon actively markets Rekognition to law enforcement agencies across the US, that’s simply not good enough.

The ACLU study also illustrated the racial bias that plagues facial recognition today. “Nearly 40 percent of Rekognition’s false matches in our test were of people of color, even though they make up only 20 percent of Congress,” wrote ACLU attorney Jacob Snow. “People of color are already disproportionately harmed by police practices, and it’s easy to see how Rekognition could exacerbate that.”

Facial recognition read more

Google Chrome Now Labels HTTP Sites as ‘Not Secure’

Nearly two years ago, Google made a pledge: It would name and shame websites with unencrypted connections, a strategy designed to spur web developers to embrace HTTPS encryption. On Tuesday, it finally follows through.

With the launch of Chrome 68, Google will now call out sites with unencrypted connections as “Not Secure” in the URL bar. The move flips the convention of how Chrome displays the security of sites on its head. Previously, pages that deployed HTTPS-enabled encrypted connections were preceded by a green lock icon and the word “Secure” in the URL bar. HTTP sites had a small icon that you could click for more information; if you did, it read, “Your connection to this site is not secure. You should not enter any sensitive information on this site (for example, passwords or credit cards), because it could be stolen by attackers.”

It’s a warning worth heeding. Under an unencrypted HTTP connection, any information that you send across the web can be read more

Why Trump Won’t Stop Talking About the Carter Page Wiretap

On Saturday, in response to Freedom of Information Act lawsuits filed by several news outlets and conservative group Judicial Watch, the Justice Department took the unprecedented step of releasing the (heavily redacted) application to wiretap former Trump campaign advisor Carter Page. In a series of eight tweets fired off over the next two days, Trump reveled in the document, declaring it evidence of “an illegal scam,” and further proof of the “witch hunt” against him.

It is none of those things. It never has been. But the secretive nature of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, and the court that authorizes warrants under it, has for months provided Trump and boosters like House Intelligence Committee chairman Devin Nunes an opportunity to confuse and outright mislead the public.

As we’ve written for well over a year at this point, the fact that read more