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Boston Business Journal

Melissa Choi, who has served as assistant director of MIT Lincoln Laboratory since 2019 and has decades of experience working across the lab’s different technical areas, has been named the next director of Lincoln Laboratory, reports Isabel Tehan for the Boston Business Journal. “Under Choi’s leadership, the lab will continue to focus on long-term development of defense systems,” writes Tehan, “as well as quick-moving prototyping, both with the goal of protecting the U.S. from advanced threats.” 


Prof. Stuart Madnick speaks with CNBC reporter Trevor Laurence Jockims about cybersecurity attacks on American water systems. Madnick explains that while a population’s water has not been shut off due to a hack, but “we have demonstrated in our lab how operations, such as a water plant, could be shut down not just for hours or days, but for weeks. It is definitely technically possible,” Madnick explains. 


Prof. Stuart Madnick speaks with CNBC reporter Trevor Laurence Jockims about the importance of embedding cybersecurity into company culture. “Cybersecurity has to be in the culture of the organization,” says Madnick. “Corporate culture prioritizes other things over security and risk management.”

Interesting Engineering

MIT researchers have developed a machine-learning accelerator chip to make health-monitoring apps more secure, reports Aman Tripathi for Interesting Engineering. “The researchers subjected this new chip to intensive testing, simulating real-world hacking attempts, and the results were impressive,” explains Tripathi. “Even after millions of attempts, they were unable to recover any private information. In contrast, stealing data from an unprotected chip took only a few thousand samples.”


In an article for Forbes, Sloan Research Scientist Ranjan Pal and Prof. Bodhibrata Nag of the Indian Institute of Management Calcutta highlight the  risks associated with the rise of Internet of things-driven smart cities and homes. “Unlike traditional catastrophic bond markets, where the (natural) catastrophe does not affect financial stability, a cyber-catastrophe can affect financial stability,” they write. “Hence, more information is needed by bond writing parties to screen cyber-risk exposure to guarantee no threat to financial stability.”

The Wall Street Journal

Writing for The Wall Street Journal, Prof. Stuart Madnick explains the growing risk of cybersecurity attacks and how to address them. “In many cases, companies fall victim to these attacks because they aren’t aware of the risks that they are taking, such as not confirming the quality of a vendor’s security or monitoring whether their outgoing data traffic is being transferred to improper destinations,” writes Madnick. “Organizations can, and must, do these things better to stop the continued rise in data breaches.”

The Wall Street Journal

Writing for The Wall Street Journal, Keri Pearlson, executive director of Cybersecurity at MIT Sloan, and Jeffrey Proudfoot, a research affiliate with Cybersecurity at MIT Sloan, make the case that while board members are increasingly being tasked with a company’s cybersecurity strategy, they are often not prepared to deal with attacks. “With the increasing mandate on boards to serve as the strategic cybersecurity guards of their companies, more needs to be done to guard the guards themselves,” they write.

Government Technology

Senior Lecturer Luis Videgaray speaks with Government Technology reporter Nikki Davidson about concerns facing emerging AI programs and initiatives. Videgaray underscores the importance of finding vendors, "who are willing to protect the data in a way that is appropriate and also provides the state or local government agency with the required degree of transparency about the workings of the model, the data that was used for training and how that data will interact with the data supplied by the customer.”


Prof. Stuart Madnick speaks with CNBC reporter Kevin Williams about how the rise of generative AI technologies could lead to cyberattacks on physical infrastructure. “If you cause a power plant to stop from a typical cyberattack, it will be back up and online pretty quickly,” Madnick explains, “but if hackers cause it to explode or burn down, you are not back online a day or two later; it will be weeks and months because a lot of the parts in these specialized systems are custom made.”

The Boston Globe

A more than $40 million investment to add advanced nano-fabrication equipment and capabilities to MIT.nano will significantly expand the center’s nanofabrication capabilities, reports Jon Chesto for The Boston Globe. The new equipment, which will also be available to scientists outside MIT, will allow “startups and students access to wafer-making equipment used by larger companies. These tools will allow its researchers to make prototypes of an array of microelectronic devices.”


Researchers at MIT have discovered how a new computational imaging algorithm can capture user interactions through ambient light sensors commonly found in smartphones, reports Davey Winder for Forbes. “By combining the smartphone display screen, an active component, with the ambient light sense, which is passive, the researchers realized that capturing images in front of that screen was possible without using the device camera,” explains Winder.


Axios reporter Ina Fried spotlights a new report by Prof. Emeritus Stuart Madnick that finds “2.6 billion personal records have been exposed in data breaches over the past two years and that number continues to grow.” Additionally, Madnick found that” “Data breaches in the US through the first nine months of the year are already 20% higher than for all of 2022.”

The Wall Street Journal

Prof. Stuart Madnick speaks with Wall Street Journal reporter Seán Captain about how AI could make scamming easier and more dangerous. AI “raises the level of skepticism that we must have substantially,” notes Madnick. “Procedures will have to be put in place to validate the authenticity of who you are dealing with.”


Prof. Peter Shor has been named one of the winners of the 2023 Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics, reports Nature. “Shor’s most renowned contribution is the development of quantum algorithms for prime number factorization,” writes Nature.


Cybersecurity at MIT Sloan has launched a cyberattack prevention course for business leaders, reports Sydney Lake for Fortune. “Board members must be knowledgeable participants in cyber leadership,” says Keri Pearlson, executive director of Cybersecurity at MIT Sloan. “Board members need a set of frameworks, a language, some examples, and actionable insights so they have an independent way to interpret and understand what their organization is doing to be cybersecure.”