• CybersecurityBuilding the Cybersecurity Workforce of the Future

    This year marked the third Cybercore Summer Camp for area high school students and teachers, and the first year that cybersecurity was included in the STEM Summer Camp for younger students at the College of Eastern Idaho (CEI). It was also Idaho’s first year as a statewide participant in the national Girls Go CyberStart competition. And 2019 saw two area high school students spend the summer as cybersecurity interns at the laboratory. INL offers a recap of all the ways “INL is building the cybersecurity workforce of the future.”

  • Truth decayOut-of-Context Photos Are a Powerful Low-Tech form of Misinformation

    By Lisa Fazio

    When you think of visual misinformation, maybe you think of deepfakes – videos that appear real but have actually been created using powerful video editing algorithms. The creators edit celebrities into pornographic movies, and they can put words into the mouths of people who never said them. But the majority of visual misinformation that people are exposed to involves much simpler forms of deception. One common technique involves recycling legitimate old photographs and videos and presenting them as evidence of recent events.

  • PerspectiveRussia Knows Just Who to Blame for the Coronavirus: America

    The coronavirus outbreak has been accompanied by an avalanche of conspiracy theories about the outbreak. “But in Russia the misinformation has been particularly pointed. Russia’s spin doctors have capitalized on the fear and confusion of the epidemic to point the blame at the United States,” Amy McKinnong writers. McKinnon notes that the Russian messaging fits a now well-established pattern in that it doesn’t look to persuade audiences of a single alternative truth, because “That would take effort, planning, and persuasion.” Rather, Kremlin propaganda specialists produce “a steady stream of underdeveloped, sometimes contradictory conspiracy theories intended to exhaust and confuse viewers, making them question the very notion of objective truth itself.”

  • Election securityResearchers Identify Security Vulnerabilities in Voting App

    By Abby Abazorius

    In recent years, there has been a growing interest in using internet and mobile technology to increase access to the voting process. At the same time, computer security experts caution that paper ballots are the only secure means of voting. Mobile voting application could allow hackers to alter individual votes and may pose privacy issues for users.

  • CybersecurityHackers Could Shut Down Satellites – or Turn Them into Weapons

    By William Akoto

    The race to put satellites in space is on, with Amazon, U.K.-based OneWeb and other companies chomping at the bit to place thousands of satellites in orbit in the coming months. These new satellites have the potential to revolutionize many aspects of everyday life – from bringing internet access to remote corners of the globe to monitoring the environment and improving global navigation systems. Amid all the fanfare, a critical danger has flown under the radar: the lack of cybersecurity standards and regulations for commercial satellites, in the U.S. and internationally.

  • PerspectiveU.S. Charges Huawei with Conspiracy to Steal Trade Secrets, Racketeering

    Chinese telecommunication giant Huawei and a number of its subsidiaries were charged with conspiracy to steal trade secrets and racketeering in a federal indictment made public Thursday. The charges also accuse the company of flouting U.S. sanctions by operating subsidiaries in North Korea and Iran. The indictment represents the latest U.S. effort to clamp down on a Chinese telecom company that American officials say has plundered the intellectual property of its rivals in a bid for market dominance.

  • PerspectiveSenior Huawei Official Acknowledges Ability to Clandestinely Access Mobile Networks

    A senior Huawei official has conceded that the company can clandestinely access users’ mobile networks. “Huawei itself has provided evidence that it builds backdoors into its products,” Herb Lin writes. “In particular, the [Wall Street] Journal [on 12 February 2012] quoted a senior Huawei official as saying that network access without operator permission ‘is extremely implausible and would be discovered immediately.’ This statement is extremely significant in understanding what Huawei equipment can and cannot do.” Lin adds: “Huawei has not said that network access without operator permission is technically impossible—only that it is implausible and would be discovered immediately. These are very different claims.”

  • HackersHackers: A Psychological Profile

    Whether cracking digital security for good or ill, hackers tend to be people who are manipulative, deceitful, exploitative, cynical and insensitive, according to research. The study analyzed the psychological profiles of college students in computer science and management to see which personality traits led to three different kinds of computer hacking: white hat, gray hat and black hat.

  • ExtremismWhite Supremacist Propaganda Distribution Hit All-Time High in 2019

    White supremacist propaganda distribution more than doubled in 2019 over the previous year, making it the highest year on record for such activity in the United States. The data in a new report shows a substantial increase of incidents both on- and off-campus. A total of 2,713 cases of literature distribution – an average of more than four per day – were reported nationwide, compared to 1,214 in 2018. This is nearly 160 percent increase in U.S. campus propaganda incidents during the fall semester.

  • PerspectiveDigital Authoritarianism: Finding Our Way Out of the Darkness

    From Chinese government surveillance in Hong Kong and Xinjiang to Russia’s sovereign internet law and concerns about foreign operatives hacking the 2020 elections, digital technologies are changing global politics — and the United States is not ready to compete, Naazeen Barma, Brent Durbin, and Andrea Kendall-Taylor write. The United States and like-minded countries must thus develop a new strategic framework to combat the rise of high-tech illiberalism, but “as a first step, U.S. government officials need to understand how authoritarian regimes are using these tools to control their populations and disrupt democratic societies around the world.”

  • PerspectiveElection Security after Iowa

    The Iowa caucus debacle offers an illustration of election security failure in action, and the failure was followed by public anger and the spreading of conspiracy theories. Simon Handler writes that “If the Iowa caucus delay is any indication of how the public may react to an electoral snafu, a great deal more mayhem could arise from a far more serious threat.” In 2015 Russian cyberattacks shutdown power stations in Ukraine, causing blackouts in parts of the country. “Disrupting power distribution at the right moment in the right portions of the U.S. grid, targeting a few select states or counties, could cause just enough disruption to bring on a level of chaos that would dwarf what happened in Iowa,” Handler writes.

  • EncryptionA First: All-Optical Stealth Encryption Technology

    Researchers have unveiled the first all-optical “stealth” encryption technology that will be significantly more secure and private for highly sensitive cloud-computing and data center network transmission.

  • CybercrimeTo Tackle Cybercrime We First Need to Understand It

    What can we do about cybercrime? To answer that, you need to understand it. Oxford University’s Jonathan Lusthaus has spent the last seven years researching the hidden details of cybercrime. His book on the subject, Industry of Anonymity, has just been published.

  • China syndromeU.S.: Chinese Government Hackers Behind Equifax Breach

    Chinse government hackers stole the personal information of nearly 150 million Americans in 2017, when they successfully hacked Equifax. China has been using its vast network of intelligence agencies to conduct a sustained campaign aiming to collect data on the citizens of the United States and other countries, and systematically steal scientific research and innovation, in order to weaken Western economies and accelerate China’s march toward global scientific and economic hegemony.

  • The Russia connectionSenate Intel: Obama Admin “Frozen by ‘Paralysis of Analysis’” in Its Response to Russian Election Interference

    Senate Select Committee on Intelligence on Thursday released the third volume in the Committee’s bipartisan investigation into Russian election interference. The report examines the Obama administration’s reaction to initial reports of election interference and the steps officials took or did not take to deter Russia’s activities. The 2016 Russian interference in the elections on behalf of Donald Trump was unprecedented in the history of the United States, but “Frozen by ‘paralysis of analysis,’ hamstrung by constraints both real and perceived, Obama officials debated courses of action without truly taking one,” said Committee Chairman Richard Burr (R-North Carolina).