• CybersecurityCyber Vulnerabilities Affecting Bluetooth-Based Medical Devices

    Internet-of-Things (IoT) such as smart home locks and medical devices, depend largely on Bluetooth low energy (BLE) technology to function and connect across other devices with reduced energy consumption. The Greyhound framework, named after the breed of dogs known for their hunting abilities, was designed to systematically sniff out security lapses in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth enabled devices.

  • Election securityForeign Actors Will Likely Spread Disinformation about 2020 Election Results: FBI, CISA

    In a testimony before Congress last week, FBI Director Christopher Wray warned lawmakers that Russia is not letting up in its efforts to sway the outcome of the November presidential election. He said that what worried him the most was “the steady drumbeat of misinformation and amplification” of false claims about the integrity on the American voting system and the spreading of lies about mail-in voting. The purpose is to sow doubt and confusion about the election results, thus readying the ground for a challenge to, or even a rejection of, the results. On Tuesday, the FBI and CISA issued a public service announcement about foreign actors and cybercriminals spreading disinformation about election results.

  • Cybersecurity educationNSA Awards $6 Million for Cybersecurity Workforce Development

    The Purdue University Northwest (PNW) College of Technology has been awarded a grant of $5,971,053 for Cybersecurity Workforce Development from the National Security Agency (NSA). PNW says that with the funded projects, PNW will be able to contribute significantly to national workforce development in the field of AI and cybersecurity. The U.S. Department of Labor reports that the need for IT and cybersecurity professionals is projected to grow 12 percent from 2018 to 2028 with multi-million shortages.

  • Election securityThwarting the Biggest Cybersecurity Threat to Voting in the 2020 Election

    While the controversy over the integrity of mail-in votes continues, in-person voting this time around faces potential security risks that could alter the outcome. As was the case in the 2016, Russia’s social media campaign to help its preferred candidate is already underway. For November 2020, however, Russia is planning to add another, more insidious and more threatening layer of election interference, which raises this question: Who protects the voting machines that most Americans use to submit their ballots on election day? According to Tulane University’s William “Bill” Rials, local governments, which oversee the protection of these machines and their respective databases, should be acting now to prevent cybersecurity attacks that can disrupt electronic voting.

  • Election securityFBI Director Warns of “Drumbeat” of Russian Disinformation

    By Jeff Seldin

    FBI Director Christopher Wray on Thursday warned lawmakers that Russia is not letting up in its efforts to sway the outcome of the November presidential election by trying to hurt the campaign of Democratic candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden. Wray, testifying before the House Homeland Security Committee, described the Kremlin’s influence operations as “very, very active” on social media, on its own state-run media and through various proxies. “What concerns me the most is the steady drumbeat of misinformation and amplification of smaller cyber intrusions,” Wray said. “I worry they will contribute over time to a lack of confidence of (among) American voters.” “That would be a perception, not reality. I think Americans can and should have confidence in our election system and certainly in our democracy,” he added.

  • ExtremismNetwork-Enabled Anarchy: Excerpts from the Report

    The Network Contagion Research Institute (NCRI), a non-partisan organization, developed a tool to analyze extremist discourse on social media, and earlier this year used it to analyze the growing threat posed by the far-right, anti-government Boogaloo Bois movement. NCRI has now released a study of the increasingly more extreme social media discourse by leftist extremists.

  • ExtremismPortland and Kenosha Violence Was Predictable – and Preventable

    By Cynthia Miller-Idriss

    The U.S. reached a deadly moment in protests over racial injustice, as back-to-back shootings in Kenosha, Wisconsin, and Portland, Oregon, on 25 August and 29 took the lives of three people and seriously injured another. It was tragic – but not surprising. The shooters and victims in Kenosha and Portland reflect an escalating risk of spontaneous violence as heavily armed citizen vigilantes and individuals mobilize at demonstrations and protests.

  • Brief Takes // By Ben FrankelWords and Deeds: Increasingly Militant Social Media Discourse by Far-Left Extremists

    The increasingly militant social media discourse by anarcho-socialist extremists is worrisome, even if far-left extremists are not viewed by security experts inside and outside government as posing as much of a domestic terrorism threat as do far-right extremists and Islamist jihadists — at least not yet. A new report by the Network Contagion Research Institute (NCRI) – a sequel to an earlier report on Boogaloo Bois — analyzes the increasingly militant languages of social media postings by anarcho-socialists, noting that on the far-right violent words preceded violent actions. It may be the case on the far-left as well.

  • CybersecurityThe Phish Scale: NIST’s New Tool Lets IT Staff See Why Users Click on Fraudulent Emails

    Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have developed a new tool called the Phish Scale that could help organizations better train their employees to avoid a particularly dangerous form of cyberattack known as phishing.

  • China syndromeTikTok and WeChat: Curating and Controlling Global Information Flows

    By Fergus Ryan, Audrey Fritz, and Daria Impiombato

    “The Chinese state has demonstrated a propensity for controlling and shaping the information environment of the Chinese diaspora—including via WeChat,” three researchers at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) in a new report. “The meteoric growth of TikTok has now put the CCP in a position from which it can shape the information environment on a largely non-Chinese-speaking platform—with the help of the highest valued start-up in the world and its opaque advanced AI-powered algorithm”: Excerpts from the report.

  • PERSPECTIVE: Russia’s U.S. helpersRussia Is Back, Wilier Than Ever — and It’s Not Alone

    Moscow’s hacking and disinformation tactics have evolved since 2016, while Americans help spread doubts about the November election. Russian operatives are using a sneakier, more sophisticated version of their 2016 playbook to undermine the November election — and this time, Mark Scott writes, groups inside and outside the U.S. are furthering their goal of sowing chaos.

  • Election securityDefending the 2020 Election against Hacking: 5 Questions Answered

    By Douglas W. Jones

    Journalist Bob Woodward reports in his new book, Rage, that the NSA and CIA have classified evidence that the Russian intelligence services placed malware in the election registration systems of at least two Florida counties in 2016, and that the malware was sophisticated and could erase voters. This appears to confirm earlier reports. Meanwhile, Russian intelligence agents and other foreign players are already at work interfering in the 2020 presidential election. Douglas W. Jones, a computer science professor and author of Broken Ballots: Will Your Vote Count?, writes that the list of things keeping him awake at night about the November election is long – violence; refusal to accept results if the in-person and mail-in votes differ; machine malfunction; human error, and more – but when you “add in the possibility of hacked central tabulating software in key counties, and there’s plenty to lose sleep over.”

  • CybersecuritySecurity Solution Traps Cybercriminals in a Virtual Network

    Researchers are developing a new cyber-security deception solution that uses artificial intelligence to lure hackers away and prevent breaches of network systems. The “Lupovis” solution under development by the team at the University of Strathclyde’s Center for Intelligent and Dynamic Communications makes the hunter become the hunted.

  • Cybersecurity educationNew Cybersecurity Degree Offered at UH West O’ahu

    The University of Hawaiʻi–West O’ahu has unveiled a new slate of academic offerings—including another STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) degree—to address the state’s workforce needs, in time for the start of the fall 2020 semester.

  • China syndromeHow China Ramped Up Disinformation Efforts During the Pandemic

    By Joshua Kurlantzick

    China once shied away from the aggressive, conspiratorial type of disinformation favored by Russia, but Beijing has increased its manipulation of information as well as disinformation efforts around COVID-19. The goal of manipulating factual information and spreading disinformation—or willfully false information— is to distract from the origins of the virus, highlight the failures of the United States, damage democracies, and promote China as a global leader. But its strategies have had mixed results.