Mendeley Brainstorm – Hacking – We Have a Winner!

As our world is ever more networked, so too is it ever more vulnerable
As our world is ever more networked, so too is it ever more vulnerable

Many thanks to all those who entered the Mendeley Brainstorm related to Hacking; picking a winner given the well thought out answers was not easy, however in the end, we selected Dr. Frances Buontempo’s post.

Dr Frances Buontempo is a post-doc at City, University of London in the Centre for Software Reliability, http://www.city.ac.uk/centre-for-software-reliability working as a consortium on a H2020 project using diversity enhancements for security information and event management : http://disiem.lasige.di.fc.ul.pt/ She wrote:

We are increasingly see IoT devices (including toothbrushes?!) which a little investigation reveals is just using the default user name and password. Many problems are announced on https://cve.mitre.org/ and people reporting vulnerabilities they observe is vital. You then need a way to automatically monitor your machines; not everyone will have a home network set up to keep an eye on their fridge or kettle or toothbrush. I found the recent “nematode” (anti-worm worm) amusing; http://www.theregister.co.uk/2016/10/31/this_antiworm_patch_bot_could_silence_epic_mirai_ddos_attack_army/ though it suggests a way to use offense as defence. A combination of proactively looking for problems, being aware of sensible measures like not using default or crack-able passwords, and also being more pro-active will help. In the long run, whatever you do to secure machines will be insufficient; in some ways it’s an arms race between sides. The trick is to catch problems early before any damage is done.

A sound prognosis. She also told us:

I am using Mendeley for my research, and have previously used it for a few personal projects. It’s a really easy tool to use, and visually much nicer than some other tools I’ve previously used.

Thank you, Frances!

Those who didn’t win this time are encouraged to respond to the latest Mendeley Brainstorm, regarding Open Data. Thanks again to all our participants.

Mendeley Brainstorm: Hacking – How Secure Are We?

Our lives are more networked than ever before; does that make them more vulnerable?
Our lives are more networked than ever before; how vulnerable are we?

Recently, a nuclear power plant was hacked. According to Reuters, the director of the International Atomic Energy Agency said the attack “caused some problems” and the plant had to “take some precautionary measures.”  Given the increased prevalence of internet-enabled applications, how vulnerable are we to cyber-attacks and what can be done to prevent them? We are looking for the most well thought out answer to this question in up to 150 words: use the comment feature below the blog and please feel free to promote your research!  The winner will receive an Amazon gift certificate worth £50 and a bag full of Mendeley items; competition closes November 23.

Hacking – Not Just for PCs Anymore

The arrival of the Internet of Things has meant that our lives are more networked than ever before; the internet isn’t merely on a computer stuck in the corner, it’s connected to our phones (which track our every movement), it’s embedded into our appliances and vehicles, it’s wired up to security cameras and to life support machines.  However, this widespread connectivity also is indicative of a just as widespread vulnerability: our personal data, our public services, and even our cars could be hacked.

New Dangers

The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency said a nuclear plant had been hacked. While he didn’t fully spell out the risks, he noted that the security breach had “caused some problems” and “some precautionary measures” were required.

And Continuing Vulnerabilities

On October 11, Symantec revealed that hackers had attacked users of the SWIFT financial transfer network.  The goal was to use “malware to hide customers’ own records of Swift messages relating to fraudulent transactions”.

What Can Be Done?

It’s been projected that “$1 trillion will be spent globally on cybersecurity from 2017 to 2021”; but is this expenditure in vain?  Can our data, our banks, and our public services be truly protected? What can be done enhance security?  Tell us!

About Mendeley Brainstorms

Our Brainstorms are challenges so we can engage with you, our users, on the hottest topics in the world of research.  We look for the most in-depth and well thought through responses; the best response as judged by the Mendeley team will earn a prize.

References

Cybersecurity Ventures. (2016). The Cybersecurity Market Report covers the business of cybersecurity, including market sizing and industry forecasts, spending, notable M&A and IPO activity, and more. [online] Available at: http://cybersecurityventures.com/cybersecurity-market-report/ [Accessed 11 Oct. 2016].

PEYTON, A. (2016). Symantec reveals more hack attempts on Swift network.  Banking Technology. [online] Available at: http://www.bankingtech.com/606802/symantec-reveals-more-hack-attempts-on-swift-network/ [Accessed 13 Oct. 2016].

SHARWOOD, S. (2016). Nuke plant has been hacked, says Atomic Energy Agency director The Register. [online] Available at: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2016/10/11/nuke_plant_has_been_hacked_says_atomic_energy_agency_director/ [Accessed 11 Oct. 2016].

A Mendeley data mashup wins at Data In Sight hacker competition.

Two weekends ago, a group of developers and designers gathered at the Adobe offices in downtown San Francisco to work on data visualization projects taking open data sets and fusing them in creative ways to yield new insights. swissnex San Francisco and Creative Commons organized the event and datasets were provided by Infochimps and Factual and judges were brought in from some of the top design firms and startups in SF and Europe, such as Stamen, LUST, Color, and Square. About a hundred developers and designers showed up for the event, and 20 teams competed in the event. Given such strong competition and high standards, I was really thrilled when my team was chosen as the best data mashup! Here’s what we did…Read More »

Hack4Knowledge @ Mendeley: living bibliographies, visual search and more #h4k

This weekend saw dozens of hackers converge on the Mendeley offices in New York and London for a weekend of fun, games, and changing how research is done. Hack4Knowledge arose from internal Mendeley hackdays, where our developers are released from the tyranny of Trac tickets and given free rein to build whatever crazy idea comes to mind. Some of our best ideas have come out of these events, so it only made sense to open our doors and invite in the broader developer community. On Saturday the 11th, the offices in London and New York were opened; food, beer, and entertainment were secured; and a few dozen hackers sat down for a weekend of code and camaraderie. There were 10 teams that presented their work at the end of the weekend. Some of the projects are live and linked so you can check them out, for the others I’ve included screenshots or links to the code repository.
Read More »

Think beyond the consumer internet: Hack for Knowledge!

Knowledge keeper by RuiPereira, on Flickr

Photo by Rui Pereira

Do you dream of creating the Blippy for BriteKite, or the Gowalla for GetGlue? No? Well, maybe you’re thinking beyond better ways to sell stuff to people and wanting to try something a little bigger. You wouldn’t be alone. Universities, governmental bodies, and companies have increasingly begun to make their data available to the public and they want it to be used! All we need now is for smart developers to realize there’s as much money and considerably more fame to be had in helping people find the next cure for cancer or spotting public health issues than in spotting buy-one-get-one deals at the local store. Please join us on June 11th and 12th for Hack4Knowledge.Read More »

Everyone's a winner with free AWS credits for Mendeley's $10001 Binary Battle API contest.

HackUS 2011, 5211

Photo by Rémi Menegon

As the summer arrives, you may be thinking about taking some time off, maybe going to the beach to do something about that unhealthy pallor you acquired poring over the literature this past semester. Forget all that. Go buy some Vitamin D and come back inside, because I know exactly how you should spend the summer months. Geeking out with the Mendeley research data, that’s how! Mendeley has data on 85M research papers including who’s writing about what, who’s reading them, and where they’re being published. We want to give you $10001 for doing something really cool with all that data. The big announcement was back in March, applications have been rolling in, and now Amazon has chipped in free AWS credits for everyone taking part, with a big pot of credits for the winner.
Read More »

The Top 10 research papers in computer science by Mendeley readership.

Since we recently announced our $10001 Binary Battle to promote applications built on the Mendeley API (now including PLoS as well), I decided to take a look at the data to see what people have to work with. My analysis focused on our second largest discipline, Computer Science. Biological Sciences (my discipline) is the largest, but I started with this one so that I could look at the data with fresh eyes, and also because it’s got some really cool papers to talk about. Here’s what I found:Read More »