• If You Think the Millennium Bug Was a Hoax, Here Comes a History Lesson

    It’s not hard to find echoes of the late 1990s in the zeitgeist. Now as then, impeachment is on many peoples’ minds, and films such as The Matrix and The Sixth Sense continue to influence culture. Another feature of the same era that perhaps has a more important, if subtler, influence is the infamous Y2K bug. Y2K was the great glitch in computer systems that looked capable of destroying civilization at the stroke of midnight on the millennium. In the end, however, nothing much went wrong. Y2K is in danger of becoming one of those moments in history from which exactly the wrong lessons have been drawn.

  • Artificial Intelligence: China “Uses Taiwan for Target Practice” as It Perfects Cyber-Warfare Techniques

    China has already deployed its expertise in artificial intelligence to make China into a surveillance state, power its economy, and develop its military. Phil Sherwell writes that now Taiwan’s cybersecurity chiefs have identified signs that Beijing is using AI to interfere in an overseas election for the first time. It is “a laboratory for China for adaptation and improvement on political warfare instruments which can then be unleashed against other targeted democratic societies,” Michael Cole, editor of the Taiwan Sentinel, said

  • Review: Oscar Jonsson’s The Russian Understanding of War: Blurring the Lines between War and Peace

    A new book analyzes the evolution of Russian military thought and how Russia’s current thinking about war is reflected in recent crises. Simon Cocking writes that while other books describe current Russian practice, Oscar Jonsson provides the long view to show how Russian military strategic thinking has developed from the Bolshevik Revolution to the present – especially, how Russian elites see information warfare and political subversion as the most important ways to conduct contemporary war.

  • Enhanced Deepfakes Capabilities for Less-Skilled Threat Actors Mean More Misinformation

    The ability to create manipulated content is not new. But what has changed with the advances in artificial intelligence is you can now build a very convincing deepfake without being an expert in technology. This “democratization” of deepfakes will increase the quantity of misinformation and disinformation aiming to weaken and undermine evidence-based discourse.

  • Cyberattacks and Electronic Voting Errors Threaten 2020 Outcome, Experts Warn

    Potential electronic voting equipment failures and cyberattacks from Russia and other countries pose persistent threats to the 2020 elections, election security analysts and key Democrats warn.

  • 4. Chinese Firms Secretly Own Leading VPNs

    China’s efforts to implement its persistent surveillance approach outside its borders go beyond helping Huawei to make the company’s 5G technology more competitive, and thus more appealing, to Western and non-Western countries. A recent study found that almost a third (30 percent) of the world’s top virtual private network (VPN) providers are secretly owned by six Chinese companies.

  • 5. The Ransomware Menace

    Experts say that 2019 should be declared the Year of Ransomware Escalation. The increasing number of attacks and the move by perpetrators to target large companies and public institutions in the United States and abroad is a turning point in the evolution of this digital form of blackmail.

  • State Officials Are Unhappy with Rollout of Election Security Framework

    The federal government has developed a new threat-notification framework, which is meant to give U.S. officials a consistent process for alerting state personnel, the private sector, Congress, and the public of foreign attempts to interfere in U.S. politics through influence operations or cyberactivity. Sean Lyngaas writes that “State officials were only given a generic, one-page summary of the document, which is still restricted to the federal government” and quotes the secretary of state of West Virginia, who said that the document “was “either done without [states’] input or our input was ignored.”

  • Military Cyber Operations: The New NDAA Tailors the 48-Hour Notification Requirement

    Congress will soon enact the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020 (NDAA fiscal 2020), which includes a provision that will fine-tune the range of military cyberoperations subject to the 48-hour notification requirement associated with “sensitive military cyber operations.”

  • Closing a Critical Gap in Cybersecurity

    Last year, following the rising threats in cyberspace, Congress established the U.S. first civilian cybersecurity agency—the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA). Christopher Krebs, who serves as the first director of the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), writes that “Unfortunately, too often we come across cybersecurity vulnerabilities sitting on the public internet and are unable to act because we cannot identify the owner of the vulnerable system.”

  • GOP Senators: Chinese Drones Pose National Security Threat

    A group of GOP senators called on the administration to restrict the use of Chinese drones by U.S. government agencies. “American taxpayer dollars should not fund state-controlled or state-owned firms that seek to undermine American national security and economic competitiveness,” they write.

  • The United States Should Not Act as If It's the Only Country Facing Foreign Interference

    “Right now, Russia’s security services and their proxies have geared up to repeat their interference in the 2020 election. We are running out of time to stop them.” This stark warning from former National Security Council official Fiona Hill serves as a sharp reminder of the threat to democracy posed by foreign interference and disinformation. Russia’s ongoing interference in U.S. affairs is just a small piece on a big chessboard. A key foreign policy goal of the Kremlin is to discredit, undermine, and embarrass what it sees as a liberal international order intent on keeping Russia down and out. Russia’s systematic attack on U.S. democracy in 2016 was unprecedented, but its playbook is not unique.

  • Containing Online Hate Speech as If It Were a Computer Virus

    Artificial intelligence is being developed which will allow advisory “quarantining” of hate speech in a manner akin to malware filters – offering users a way to control exposure to “hateful content” without resorting to censorship.

  • Resilience Guidebook for State of Idaho

    In times of growing cyber threats and severe weather, resilience – the ability to continue providing emergency services while damaged infrastructure is restored – has emerged as a growing concern among leaders at state and local levels.

  • How New Voting Machines Could Hack Our Democracy

    The United States has a disturbing habit of investing in unvetted new touchscreen voting machines that later prove disastrous. Jennifer Cohn writes that as we barrel toward what is set to be the most important election in a generation, Congress appears poised to fund another generation of risky touchscreen voting machines called universal use Ballot Marking Devices (or BMDs), which function as electronic pens, marking your selections on paper on your behalf. Most leading election security experts instead recommend hand-marked paper ballots as a primary voting system, with an exception for voters with disabilities.