Redefining cybersecurity; U.S. fails to confront Russia’s cyber assault; Russian behind “NotPetya” attack, and more | Homeland Security Newswire

The Russia watchRedefining cybersecurity; U.S. fails to confront Russia’s cyber assault; Russian behind “NotPetya” attack, and more

Published 15 January 2018

· Cybersecurity: Time for a new definition

· The Steele Dossier: Let transparency trump politics

· Why the president’s FISA fix is bad news for privacy, good news for Russian agents

· Congress tries to cool partisan fever on Russia

· A checklist for protecting our elections from foreign meddling

· Putin’s trolls are targeting Trump’s GOP critics—especially John McCain

· Russian military was behind “NotPetya” cyberattack in Ukraine, CIA concludes

· Countering the growing threat of Russian disinformation in Canada

· U.S. fails to stand up for democracy in face of Russian online assault

· The America Europe needs right now is missing

Cybersecurity: Time for a new definition (Susan Landau, Lawfare)
If there is anything we’ve learned from the Russian cyber activity during the Brexit campaign and the 2016 U.S. and 2017 French presidential campaigns, it’s that our cybersecurity protections are completely unprepared to cope with a disinformation campaign. They, and our policies, were focused on protecting computer systems and their data, not on protecting people’s minds from misinformation planted on networks users relied upon.

The Steele Dossier: Let transparency trump politics(Steven L. Hall, Cipher Brief)
President Donald Trump, concerned that investigations of Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. elections cast doubt over his legitimacy, has consistently dismissed and denigrated such probes. The decision by Dianne Feinstein, as the Senate Judiciary Committee’s top Democrat, to unilaterally release the transcript of closed testimony by Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson adds a measure of much-needed transparency in the still-unfolding investigations. A careful—and apolitical–reading of the more than 300 pages sheds light on the work of the political research firm and the credibility of revelations thus far.

Why the president’s FISA fix is bad news for privacy, good news for Russian agents (Patrick Tucker, Defense One)
Early-morning tweets revealed Trump’s complicated relationship with various spying rules. The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, or FISA law, which was reauthorized last Thursday, will retain a provision that privacy advocates hate. It also means that the intelligence community will find it harder to expose U.S. officials who conduct backroom deals with adversaries because the exposure process will now go through a politically appointed agency head and be saved for five years, possibly allowing political retribution down the line. Had this new “unmasking” policy been in place in December 2016, for example, the Americans probably would not have heard about Michael Flynn’s conversations with Russian officials during the transition period. There would be less public pressure to continue the investigation and Flynn would still probably be Trump’s national security adviser instead of a felon.

Congress tries to cool partisan fever on Russia (Elana Schor, Kyle Cheney, Politico)
After a week of controversy and bitterness, Democrats and Republicans hope to get their investigations into Kremlin meddling on a more collegial track.

A checklist for protecting our elections from foreign meddling(Joshua Geltzer, Just Security)
It’s bigger than Mueller, it’s bigger than collusion, and it’s urgent.

Putin’s trolls are targeting Trump’s GOP critics—especially John McCain (Dennis Clifton, Mother Jones)
Kremlin-linked accounts keep going after the ailing Arizona senator, as well as Mitt Romney, Bob Corker, and others.

Russian military was behind ‘NotPetya’ cyberattack in Ukraine, CIA concludes (Ellen Nakashima, Washington Post)
The CIA has attributed to Russian military hackers a cyberattack that crippled computers in Ukraine last year, an effort to disrupt that country’s financial system amid its ongoing war with separatists loyal to the Kremlin. The June 2017 attack, delivered through a mock ransomware virus dubbed NotPetya, wiped data from the computers of banks, energy firms, senior government officials and an airport.

Countering the growing threat of Russian disinformation in Canada (Marcus Kolga, Toronto Star)
The Russian government is paying off Canada’s largest media companies to expose unsuspecting television subscribers to regime-sponsored disinformation in what amounts to a surreal 24 hour propaganda informercial.

U.S. fails to stand up for democracy in face of Russian online assault (Terri Robinson, SC Magazine)
The Trump administration has failed to take an aggressive stance against Russian interference in democratic processes that have grave implications for the safety and security of the U.S., and thus democracy globally.

The America Europe needs right now is missing (Anne Appelbaum, Washington Post)A new congressional report tells a bleak story of constant, ongoing Russian attempts to disrupt politics and economics in all of the United States’ most important European allies, over many years. The cost to the Russian state is low: The same kinds of conspiratorial material are recycled across the continent, varied slightly to match local tastes, and the costs of purchasing influence and political party funding seem to be borne by private companies…. Very slowly, a part of Europe’s political leadership is beginning to focus on the threat, to allied unity as well as to democracy itself, posed by Russian influence campaigns. But the American leadership that galvanized resistance to fascism and to communism in the past is missing. Not only is there no concentrated, joined-up U.S. policy — the report notes that Rex Tillerson’s State Department has so far stubbornly refused to take this problem seriously, despite congressional demands — there is not even a symbolic push for allied solidarity and democratic values.