Iran quadruples production of low-enriched uranium: reports

The Japan Times

TEHRAN - Iran has quadrupled its production of low-enriched uranium amid tensions with the U.S. over Tehran's unraveling nuclear accord, two semi-official news agencies reported Monday, an announcement just after President Donald Trump warned Iran it would face its "official end" if it threatened America again. While the reports said the production is of uranium enriched only to the 3.67 percent limit set by the 2015 nuclear deal that Tehran reached with world powers, it means that Iran soon will go beyond the stockpile limitations established by the accord. This follows days of heightened tensions sparked by the Trump administration's deployment of bombers and an aircraft carrier to the Persian Gulf over still-unspecified threats from Iran. While Trump's dueling approach of flattery and threats has become a hallmark of his foreign policy, the risks have only grown in dealing with Iran, where mistrust between Tehran and Washington stretch back four decades. So far this month, officials in the United Arab Emirates alleged that four oil tankers sustained damage in a sabotage attack; Yemeni rebels allied with Iran launched a drone attack on an oil pipeline in Saudi Arabia; and U.S. diplomats relayed a warning that commercial airlines could be misidentified by Iran and attacked, something dismissed by Tehran.

Saudis say they don't want war with Iran but will defend themselves

The Japan Times

DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - Saudi Arabia does not want war but will not hesitate to defend itself against Iran, a top Saudi diplomat said Sunday, after the kingdom's energy sector was targeted this past week amid heightened tensions in the Persian Gulf. On Sunday night, a rocket crashed in the Iraqi capital's heavily fortified Green Zone, landing less than a mile from the U.S. Embassy, further stoking tensions. No casualties were reported in the apparent attack. Adel al-Jubeir, the minister of state for foreign affairs, spoke a week after four oil tankers-- two of them Saudi-- were targeted in an alleged act of sabotage off the coast of the United Arab Emirates and days after Iran-allied Yemeni rebels claimed a drone attack on a Saudi oil pipeline. "The kingdom of Saudi Arabia does not want war in the region and does not strive for that … but at the same time, if the other side chooses war, the kingdom will fight this with all force and determination and it will defend itself, its citizens and its interests," al-Jubeir told reporters.

Casualties reported as Saudi-led coalition airstrikes hit Sanaa

The Japan Times

SANAA - The Saudi-led military coalition in Yemen carried out several airstrikes on the Houthi-held capital Sanaa on Thursday after the Iranian-aligned movement claimed responsibility for drone attacks on Saudi oil installations. The Sanaa strikes targeted nine military sites in and around the city, residents said, with humanitarian agencies reporting a number of casualties. Rubble filled a populated street lined by mud-brick houses, a Reuters journalist on the scene said. A crowd of men lifted the body of a women, wrapped in a white shroud, into an ambulance. Houthi-run Masirah television quoted the Houthi health ministry as saying six civilians, including four children, had been killed and 60 wounded, including two Russian women working in the health sector.

U.S. pulls nonessential staffers from Iraq amid Mideast tensions linked to Iran

The Japan Times

BAGHDAD - The U.S. on Wednesday ordered all nonessential government staff to leave Iraq, and Germany and the Netherlands both suspended their military assistance programs in the country in the latest sign of tensions sweeping the Persian Gulf region over still-unspecified threats that the Trump administration says are linked to Iran. Recent days have seen allegations of sabotage targeting oil tankers off the coast of the United Arab Emirates, a drone attack by Yemen's Iranian-allied Houthi rebels, and the dispatch of U.S. warships and bombers to the region. At the root of this appears to be President Donald Trump's decision a year ago to pull the U.S. from Iran's nuclear deal with world powers, embarking on a maximalist sanctions campaign against Tehran. In response, Iran's supreme leader issued a veiled threat Tuesday, saying it wouldn't be difficult for the Islamic Republic to enrich uranium to weapons-grade levels. The movement of diplomatic personnel is often done in times of conflict, but what is driving the decisions from the White House remains unclear.

Iran's foreign minister says US sanctions 'unacceptable'

FOX News

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, right, walks to meet Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at Abe's official residence in Tokyo Thursday, May 16, 2019. Iran's foreign minister has said his country is committed to an international nuclear deal and criticized escalating U.S. sanctions "unacceptable" as he met with Japanese officials in Tokyo amid rising tensions in the Middle East.(AP Saudi Arabia said drones attacked one of its pipeline.; TOKYO – Iran's foreign minister says his country is committed to an international nuclear deal but that the escalating U.S. sanctions are "unacceptable." The remarks come amid rising tensions in the Mideast, with allegations of sabotage targeting oil tankers near the Persian Gulf, a drone attack by Yemen's Iranian-allied rebels and the dispatch of U.S. warships and bombers to the region.

An Argumentation-Based Approach to Assist in the Investigation and Attribution of Cyber-Attacks Artificial Intelligence

We expect an increase in frequency and severity of cyber-attacks that comes along with the need of efficient security countermeasures. The process of attributing a cyber-attack helps in constructing efficient and targeted mitigative and preventive security measures. In this work, we propose an argumentation-based reasoner (ABR) that helps the analyst during the analysis of forensic evidence and the attribution process. Given the evidence collected from the cyber-attack, our reasoner helps the analyst to identify who performed the attack and suggests the analyst where to focus further analyses by giving hints of the missing evidence, or further investigation paths to follow. ABR is the first automatic reasoner that analyzes and attributes cyber-attacks by using technical and social evidence, as well as incomplete and conflicting information. ABR was tested on realistic cyber-attacks cases.

Chinese Surveillance, Facebook Tracking, and More Security News This Week


The US government averted another shutdown when Donald Trump instead opted to declare a national emergency to fund his border wall dreams--a wall which raises huge privacy and security concerns and will cause more problems than it solves. As the country digested the national emergency, cybersecurity workers were still scrambling to clean up the security nightmare wrought by the longest shutdown in history. Amid all the border wall news this week, you'd be forgiven for missing that the president also signed an executive order creating the American AI Initiative. In an op-ed for WIRED, White House deputy assistant to the president for technology policy Michale Kratsios explained why AI strategy is a security issue. Speaking of AI, to combat the growing threat of deep fakes, a new tool uses the blockchain to monitor video for tampering and manipulation.

Huawei: inside the twin indictments unveiled by US authorities

The Guardian

The twin criminal indictments against Huawei unveiled by US authorities on Monday are packed with emails and financial transactions allegedly showing how the Chinese technology giant carried out criminal conspiracies. But the finer points of the 23 charges are less important than the overall shot they deliver across China's bows. The US considers Huawei to be an arm of the Chinese state – and their devices to be potential spying equipment for Beijing. Charges that Huawei illegally violated US sanctions on Iran hold the most symbolic significance. They allowed Kirstjen Nielsen, the homeland security secretary, to stress the company's activities had been "detrimental to the security of the United States".

Iran to use artificial intelligence in legislation


TEHRAN – Yunes Adiani, an official at the research center of the parliament, has said that Iran will use artificial intelligence in legislation. In an interview with IRNA published on Sunday, he said that Iran is the second country that has taken step in applying artificial intelligence in legislation. "It has been six months that we have started this project. In this project we follow the issues of human intelligence and legislation, artificial intelligence and legislation and artificial intelligence and legislation in the world to see what other countries have used by applying artificial intelligence," Adiani stated. Adiani added, "We are considering the kind of intelligence which receives data and helps us solve problems."

This AI can help spot biased websites and false news

Popular Science

Keeping in mind the overall trustworthiness of the website itself--and checking its Wikipedia page, if it has one--is a good step for regular people, too. For example, in August, Facebook and a cybersecurity firm announced they'd uncovered "inauthentic" news coming out of Iran. One of the websites associated with Iran was called the Liberty Front Press; they called themselves "independent" but appeared to actually be pro-Iran. And tellingly, the site does not appear to have a Wikipedia page. Of course, the MIT research group aren't the only ones using AI to analyze language like this: a Google-made AI system called Jigsaw automatically scores the toxicity of reader comments, and Facebook has turned to AI to help augment its efforts to keep hate speech at bay in Myanmar.