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Stories by John Villasenor12 articles archived since 1845

A Hacker-Ready Chip

Researchers discover a dangerous weakness in computer hardware

July 20, 2012 — John Villasenor

Researchers Discover Hacker-Ready Computer Chips

A pair of security researchers in the U.K. have released a paper [PDF] documenting what they describe as the “first real world detection of a backdoor” in a microchip—an opening that could allow a malicious actor to monitor or change the information on the chip.

May 29, 2012 — John Villasenor

What Is a Drone, Anyway?

Soldier launching a Puma drone At a time when drone aircraft have become a daily feature of the news and are about to proliferate in U.S. airspace, it’s a good idea to take a step back and examine a very basic and very important question: What, exactly, is a drone?The answer turns out to be more complex than might be expected.

April 12, 2012 — John Villasenor
Here Come the Drones

Here Come the Drones

These popular, unmanned aircraft will eventually fall into the hands of hostile nations and terrorists

January 10, 2012 — John Villasenor

The Drone Threat to Privacy

In a world in which nearly anyone can purchase a device capable of photographing locations behind walls, gates and fences, will anyone be able to keep a secret?

November 14, 2011 — John Villasenor

Supreme Court Considers GPS Cases and the Future of Privacy

If, in the early 1980s, the U.S. government had proposed a new crime-solving program requiring every adult to carry a small device that not only performed location tracking but also recorded the phone numbers of all recent contacts, opposition would have been swift and indignant.

November 8, 2011 — John Villasenor
The Hacker in Your Hardware: The Next Security Threat

The Hacker in Your Hardware: The Next Security Threat

As if software viruses weren't bad enough, the microchips that power every aspect of our digital world are vulnerable to tampering in the factory. The consequences could be dire

August 4, 2010 — John Villasenor

Configurable Computing

Computers that modify their hardware circuits as they operate are opening a new era in computer design. Because they can filter data rapidly, they excel at pattern recognition, image processing and encryption

June 1, 1997 — John Villasenor and William H. Mangione-Smith