Fraunhofer researcher wins German IT Security Award

Dr. Haya Shulman wins first place in the 8th German IT Security Award, securing prize money of 100,000 euros. The prize is awarded by the Horst Görtz Foundation and is considered the most prestigious and highest endowed prize for IT security in Germany.

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AI helps to detect illegal cultural assets

A key challenge in combating the illegal trade in stolen cultural goods is that illegally traded objects are difficult to identify. The KIKu project – a German acronym for Artificial Intelligence for Cultural Property Protection – aims to facilitate the work of the responsible authorities, especially customs and police, and is funded by the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media. To this end, the Fraunhofer Institute for Secure Information Technology SIT and cosee GmbH are developing an app that can use artificial intelligence to provide automated information on whether, for example, an antique vase or statue could have come from a looted dig or was otherwise illegally acquired. The project was presented on November 4th, 2020 to numerous relevant actors in the field of cultural property protection from Germany and the EU, who met at the invitation of the Minister of State for Culture Monika Grütters for the 7th EU CULTNET meeting in the context of the German EU Council Presidency.

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Conference radar for cybersecurity

Starting immediately, the National Research Center for Applied Cybersecurity ATHENE offers a wide-ranging overview of the most important scientific conferences in the fields of cybersecurity and data protection at https://www.athene-center.de/cfp. Currently, the list includes more than 100 events and it can be filtered by event dates and submission deadlines. Additional filtering options allow for quickly finding suitable publication opportunities of various research topics, while taking into account the scientific reputation of each event listed.

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Color barcode becomes ISO standard

JAB-Code, the color barcode of the Fraunhofer Institute for Secure Information Technology SIT, is on the way to becoming an international ISO standard. JAB-Code – Just Another Barcode – is to be brought to a full ISO standard by 2022. The globally uniform rules for data formats and their use in practice provide both device manufacturers and user companies with planning security for innovative developments – an important prerequisite for the successful dissemination of JAB-Code in industry. The advantage of the color code compared to the common black and white barcodes is that it can store much more data in the same space. Besides securing job certificates, training certificates and last wills, JAB-Code can also provide proof of authenticity for products. JAB-Code is not subject to licensing. It is open source and ready to be put into practice. To test the color barcode, go to www.jabcode.org.

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New code scanner finds software vulnerabilities without source code

Errors and vulnerabilities in software cause damage running into billions, can ruin a company's reputation and, in the worst case, endanger the safety of people. That's why the Fraunhofer Institute for Secure Information Technology SIT in Darmstadt developed VUSC – the code scanner. VUSC (for VUlnerability SCanner) helps companies and developers to detect vulnerabilities in code within minutes. VUSC does not require any source code for this. The code scanner works on premises in a data protection-friendly manner.

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Fraunhofer SIT Finds Serious Security Flaws in TwitterKit for iOS

The Fraunhofer Institute for Secure Information Technology SIT in Darmstadt has discovered serious flaws in the TwitterKit for iOS 3.4.2 that can result in account abuse and data loss. The TwitterKit is an end-of-life software library that is no longer updated but is still used in apps. The Fraunhofer researchers urge app developers to stop using the TwitterKit for iOS app developments and to replace it in existing apps. Technical details about the vulnerability can be found here: www.sit.fraunhofer.de/cve.

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Danger over the phone

Hackers can access sensitive data and services also via telephone devices: Most companies use VoIP telephones that are integrated into the company network. Security researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Secure Information Technology have found a total of 40 partly serious vulnerabilities in these VoIP telephones. Attackers can misuse these gaps to intercept calls, deactivate the telephone or gain further access to the company network via weak points in the device. The VoIP telephones producers have by now closed these vulnerabilities. Users are strongly recommended to install the appropriate updates of the device’s firmware. Further technical details on the vulnerabilities can be found at www.sit.fraunhofer.de/cve . The researchers presented the results of their investigations at DEFCON, one of the world’s largest hacker conferences.

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Innovations for more Cyber Security

The second round of the Hessian-Israeli Partnership Accelerator (HIPA) was concluded with a final event on the panorama floor of the Commerzbank headquarters in Frankfurt/Main. Three German-Israeli teams presented their research results to around 80 guests from international politics and the financial and cyber security sectors, including Sandra Simovich, Consul General of the State of Israel, Dr. Stefan Heck, State Secretary in the Hessian Ministry of the Interior, and Jörg Hessenmüller, COO and member of the Board of Managing Directors of Commerzbank AG.

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Two Fraunhofer Project Centers opened in Israel

The Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft is collaborating globally with excellent partners to create synergies for research and to build bridges to regional markets. With this in mind, two new Project Centers were opened in Israel on May 21 during a ceremony at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem: The “Fraunhofer Project Center for Cybersecurity at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem” and the “Fraunhofer Project Center for Drug Discovery and Delivery at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem”. The two Project Centers combine the expertise of the Israeli partners from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (HUJI) with the competencies of the Fraunhofer Institute for Secure Information Technology SIT and the Fraunhofer Institute for Interfacial Engineering and Biotechnology IGB and are the first project centers of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft in Israel.

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Fraunhofer research team demonstrates how to subvert the most popular method for issuing web certificates

A research team at the Fraunhofer Institute for Secure Information Technology SIT in Darmstadt, Germany, has found a way to issue fraudulent website certificates that are used to ensure trustworthiness of Internet domains. The team lead by Dr. Haya Shulman has shown that the weakness in the domain validation can be exploited in real life and that the security of Internet infrastructures needs to be improved. To do so the researchers have informed Web CAs (Certificate Authorities) and suggest a new implementation that Web CAs may use to mitigate the attack. Further information at https://www.sit.fraunhofer.de/en/dvpp/

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