• To 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.

  • U.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.

  • Senate 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).

  • Bioweapons, Secret Labs, and the CIA: Pro-Kremlin Actors Blame the U.S. for Coronavirus Outbreak

    The Russia (earlier: Soviet) practice of spreading disinformation about public health threats is nothing new. During the Cold War, for example, a Soviet disinformation campaign blamed the United States for the AIDS virus. While epidemiologists work to identify the exact source of the Wuhan2019-nCov outbreak, pro-Kremlin actors are already blaming the United States for supposedly using bioweapons to disseminate the virus.

  • Organized Cybercrime: Not Your Grandfather’s Mafia

    Does the common stereotype for “organized crime” hold up for organizations of hackers? New research is one of the first to identify common attributes of cybercrime networks, revealing how these groups function and work together to cause an estimated $445-600 billion of harm globally per year.

  • Thwarting Hacks by Thinking As the Humans Behind Them

    If we understood the humans behind hacking incidents – and their intent – could we stop them? Research reveals the importance of factoring in a hacker’s motive for predicting, identifying and preventing cyberattacks.

  • Russia Unleashes New Weapons in Its “Cyber Attack Testing Ground”: Report

    “Ukraine is, by and large, a Russian cyberattack testing ground,” Vitali Kremez told Forbes’s Zak Doffman. “One of the inherent cyber dangers with Russia, China, Iran and North Korea, but particularly with Russia, is the potential for state actors to sharpen their tools and techniques on neighboring countries,” Doffman writes. And Russia “doesn’t have Ukraine in its sights with this costly approach, it is looking much further west.”

  • Britain Knows It’s Selling Out Its National Security to Huawei

    Allowing Chinese telecom company Huawei access to a country’s 5G infrastructure makes that country vulnerable to espionage, sabotage, and blackmail. Yet, last Tuesday, in defiance of sustained U.S. pressure, Britain said it would allow Huawei to be involved in rolling out the U.K. 5G mobile network. “Upon closer inspection, the British government’s reasoning, and the basic assumptions underlying it, are eerily lightweight and sometimes openly self-contradictory.” Thorsten Benner writes. “London’s justification for cooperating with the Chinese telecommunications company is riddled with obvious contradictions.”

  • Huawei and 5G: U.K. Had Little Choice but Say Yes to Chinese – Here’s Why

    For the time being, the British government can hardly be enjoying the fallout from its Huawei decision. To date, much focus has been on the confidentiality of communications over mobile networks, and risks of spying. A bigger issue is the need to keep the mobile phone network running. We are in an era where everything from Uber and Deliveroo to most credit card machines cannot function without it. The nightmare scenario is a hostile state-affiliated actor shutting down or damaging the mobile networks. It may have effectively been impossible for the U.K. to say no to Huawei, but the current compromise is far from ideal.

  • USC Kicks Off 50-State Election Cybersecurity Trainings

    Today, 28 January, the University of Southern California is kicking off its nonpartisan, independent, 50-state election cybersecurity training initiative in Maryland. Attendees will learn how to best protect their campaigns against misinformation and disinformation, hacking threats, and how to prepare and manage a potential crisis.

  • QAnon-ers’ Magic Cure for Coronavirus: Just Drink Bleach!

    QAnon, a fervently pro-Trump conspiracy theory which started with a series of online posts in October 2017 from an anonymous figure called “Q,” imagines a world where Donald Trump is engaged in a secret and noble war with a cabal of pedophile-cannibals in the Democratic Party, the finance industry, Hollywood, and the “deep state.” Will Sommer writes as the global death toll from an alarming new coronavirus surged this week, promoters of the QAnon conspiracy theory were urging their fans to ward off the illness by purchasing and drinking dangerous bleach.

  • U.S.: “Serious consequences” If U.K. Allows Huawei Access to Britain’s 5G Network

    President Donald Trump has warned British Prime Minister Boris Johnson of “serious consequences” if he allows the Chinese telecom giant Huawei a role in building Britain’s 5G phone network, according to officials on both sides of the Atlantic. Supporters of allowing Huawei access to U.K. communication infrastructure say that the espionage and disruption risk Huawei poses can be mitigated  by limiting Huawei’s access to “non-core” segments of Britain’s communication system, but U.S. intelligence officials and their counterparts at Britain’s GCHQ, the eavesdropping spy agency and the country’s largest intelligence service, say restricting Huawei to the non-core “edges” of the new network would make little difference to the security risk.

  • Lawmakers Raising Alarm over Huawei’s Risk to National Security – in the U.S. and Abroad

    Huawei is heavily subsidized by the Chinese government, so its products are much cheaper than the equipment produced by the company’s Western competitors – thus allowing the Chinese company to insinuate itself into a the communication infrastructure of countries where the Chinese intelligence agencies are interested in augmenting their information-gathering capabilities. U.S. lawmakers are angry at the Pentagon’s objections to Commerce Department regulations which would have made it more difficult for U.S. companies to sell to Huawei. “Huawei is an arm of the Chinese Communist Party and should be treated as such,” the senators write to the secretary of defense. “It is difficult to imagine that, at the height of the Cold War, the Department of Defense would condone American companies contracting with KGB subsidiaries because Moscow offered a discount.”

  • Is There a Targeted Troll Campaign Against Lisa Page? A Bot Sentinel Investigation

    “Homewrecker.” “Traitor.” “Tramp.” These are just some of the insults flung at Lisa Page—the former FBI lawyer whom President Trump has targeted for her text messages critical of him during the 2016 election—in the almost 4,000 responses to a tweet she posted on 18 January. “Public figures often receive online abuse, after all. “But the replies to Page’s tweet stand out. They likely represent a targeted trollbot attack—one that nobody has reported on until now,” Christopher Bouzy, the founder and CEO of Bot Sentinel, writes. The troll attack on Page “looks a lot like the coordinated campaigns we witnessed during the 2016 election, when a swarm of accounts would suddenly begin tweeting the same toxic messaging. All this raises a question: Who is behind the apparent trollbot activity against Page?”

  • It Is Now 100 Seconds to Midnight

    The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists’ Doomsday Clock is now closer to midnight than ever in its history. The Bulletin cites worsening nuclear threat, lack of climate action, and rise of “cyber-enabled disinformation campaigns” in moving the clock hand. December 2020 marks the 75th anniversary of the first edition of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, initially a six-page, black-and-white bulletin and later a magazine, created in anticipation that the atom bomb would be “only the first of many dangerous presents from the Pandora’s Box of modern science.”