Weizmann in Focus, Episode 6: Toward a More Secure (Online) World

Weizmann in Focus, Episode 6: Toward a More Secure (Online) World


Hi, I’m Dave Doneson. Welcome to Weizmann in Focus. Let’s talk about cybersecurity, a topic
that often makes headlines. Technology connects us and makes our lives
easier, but it also leaves us vulnerable to digital thieves or hackers. We are all understandably worried about keeping
our private information safe. The Weizmann Institute has long been a pioneer
in online security and encryption. In fact, more than 40 years ago, Weizmann
Professor Adi Shamir and two colleagues at MIT developed the RSA algorithm, now used
worldwide to secure Internet, banking, and credit card transactions. In 2002, Professor Shamir received the Turing
Award, considered the Nobel Prize in the field of computing. Recently, Professor Shamir exposed a major
weakness in the “Internet of Things,” the growing world of smart devices – such
as microwaves, thermostats, and appliances – that connect online. Using a drone to hack into smart light bulbs
from a distance, Professor Shamir and his team showed how a flaw in wireless technology
can infect smart home devices with a malicious code. This code would enable cybercriminals to steal
information … or even shut down a city’s electrical grid. Professor Shamir’s study captured headlines
around the world because of its dramatic implications. As a result, scientists and industry leaders
are seeking more sophisticated methods for keeping us safe. We’ll keep you posted as the Weizmann Institute
leads us toward a more secure world — both on- and offline.

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