The new book by Financial Times reporter Joseph Menn tells the story of a young, brilliant security researcher who infiltrates a gang of Russian hackers. The hackers launched denial of service attacks against business Web sites, then demanded money to stop the attacks.

In Fatal System Error: The Hunt for the New Crime Lords Who Are Bringing Down the Internet, we learn about a deep connection between mob-controlled Russian hackers and the government.

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The Associated Press reports that some in-flight security rules imposed after last week’s attempted terror attack aboard a Northwest Airlines flight have been eased.

At the captain’s discretion, passengers can once again fill their laps with laptops and other gadgetry, as well as books, blankets and other items, during the tail end of a flight.

This news probably sounds like an uncommon bit of common sense to security expert Bruce Schneier.

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Scientists at NASA’s Ames Research Center have developed a prototype device designed to plug into an iPhone, for the purpose of detecting harmful chemicals in the air. The gadget, which will be retrofitted for other smart phones, contains sensors for sniffing ammonia, chloride, hydrazine, formaldehyde and other potentially harmful substances. The long-term goal is to turn cell phone users into a vast threat detection network.

Guest: Jing Li, NASA

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