• U.S. disrupted major Russian cyberattack, possibly on Ukraine

    The U.S. Justice Department has seized an Internet domain controlled by a hacking group tied to Russian military intelligence that was planning a major cyberattack, possibly in Ukraine. The U.S. move late on 23 May was aimed at breaking up what the department said was a dangerous botnet of a half-million infected computer network routers that could have allowed the hackers to take control of computers and stage destructive attacks, as well as steal valuable information.

  • Moral rhetoric in social media posts tied to protests becoming violent

    Moral rhetoric on Twitter may signal whether a protest will turn violent. Researchers also found that people are more likely to endorse violence when they moralize the issue that they are protesting — that is, when they see it as an issue of right and wrong. That holds true when they believe that others in their social network moralize the issue, too.

  • FBI: The number of unhackable devices lower than that reported to Congress

    The FBI has been telling lawmakers that it was facing a serious problem in accessing the encrypted devices seized from criminals and terrorists. For months, the Bureau has claimed that encryption prevented the bureau from legally searching the contents of nearly 7,800 devices in 2017, but on Monday the Washington Post reported that the actual number is far lower due to “programming errors” by the FBI.

  • Russia’s corruption, influence “a matter of national security”: U.K. Parliamentary panel

    “Dirty” Russian money is undermining Britain’s efforts to stand up to the Kremlin and supports President Vladimir Putin’s campaign “to subvert the international rules-based system,” a British parliamentary report says. “The scale of damage that this ‘dirty money’ can do to U.K. foreign-policy interests dwarfs the benefit of Russian transactions in the City,” Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Tom Tugendhat said today (21 May) ahead of the release of the report. “Over the years, Moscow has turned from being a corrupt state to an exporter of instability. Russian corruption and influence has become a matter of national security,” he added.

  • Read this before you invest in cryptocurrency

    We’ve all heard the headline stories about cryptocurrencies – they’re millionaire-makers and dream-destroyers. They’re part of a decentralized market that supports criminal activity, yada yada yada. But how do you separate facts from fiction? Here are six cryptocurrency myths you need to get on top of.

  • Students win Alabama hackathon with cryptocurrency prototype app

    Two University of Arkansas at Little Rock students are looking to make a name for themselves in the world of hackathons. The two won the hackathon for their project, Tweety Wallet, a multicurrency cryptocoin wallet which can hold any type of cryptocurrency, but which is configured for Bitcoin, Zcash, Ethereum, and Litecoin.

  • The top three trends we miss when discussing Russian ads

    Last week, the Democrats of the House Intelligence Committee released the trove of over 3,500 Facebook ads purchased by the St. Petersburg-based Internet Research Agency (IRA) from 2015 to 2017. For the most part, the release confirms what we already knew: Accounts based in Russia exploited America’s societal fissures to sow chaos in the United States in order to weaken our democratic structures, force us to turn inward, and thereby increase Russia’s standing in the world. But taken holistically, three trends emerge that are not evident when only highlighting the most divisive content.

  • What's trending in fake news?

    Researchers have launched upgrades to two tools playing a major role in countering the spread of misinformation online. The improvements to Hoaxy and Botometer aim to address concerns about the spread of misinformation and to build trust in quality journalism. A third tool — which goes by the name Fakey — is an educational game designed to make people smarter news consumers, was also launched with the upgrades.

  • Putin’s doctrine blends “bare-face lying,” “social media disinformation,” and “criminal thuggery”: MI5 Director

    In a speech on Wednesday, MI5 Director General Andrew Parker discussed the security challenges the West is facing, chief among them the threat from Russia. Parker said the threat from Russia is a “hybrid threat,” as Russia is a practitioner of a doctrine “blending media manipulation, social media disinformation and distortion with new and old forms of espionage, high levels of cyberattacks, military force, and criminal thuggery.” Parker added: “Our democracies, our societies and our bonds of partnership are strong. But we must not be complacent about the longer-term potential impact of this [Russian] activity on the international rules-based order that supports our security and prosperity.”

  • Bolstering government vehicle telematics cybersecurity

    Vehicle telematics refers to embedded systems on a vehicle that tracks the vehicle and combines wireless and internet communications to send, receive and store vehicle information. As the use of vehicle telematics technologies rapidly grow, so do the cybersecurity security vulnerabilities and the need to safeguard the vehicle telematics data from cyberattack.

  • White House eliminates Cyber Coordinator position

    Rob Joyce, the White House Cyber Coordinator, left his position Friday to return to the National Security Agency (NSA), and the White House, instead of replacing him, has decided to eliminate the position. Gary Kasparov, Russian chess champion and critic of President Vladimir Putin, said that doing away with that job as the United States is still trying to cope with the impact of Russia’s 2016 election interference, and as it faces ongoing and mounting cyberthreats and attacks, is “[l]ike eliminating the Navy after Pearl Harbor.”

  • Kaspersky to move data center from Russia to Switzerland

    Kaspersky Lab, the Moscow-based anti-virus maker will open a Swiss data center after allegations that Russian hackers exploited the company’s software to spy on customers. The said the new location would help it “rebuild trust.”

  • The Facebook ad dump shows the true sophistication of Russia’s influence operation

    The massive trove of Facebook ads House Intelligence Committee Democrats released last Tuesday offers a breathtaking view of the true sophistication of the Russian government’s digital operations during the 2016 presidential election. Many stories have already been written about the U.S. intelligence community’s investigation of the hacking operation Russian intelligence services carried out to influence the election in favor of then-candidate Donald Trump. Derek Hawkins writes that the more than 3,000 “incredibly specific and inflammatory” Russian ads released last week allow us for the first time to “have a swath of empirical and visual evidence of Russia’s disinformation campaign.”

  • War on fake news could be won with the help of behavioral science

    Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg recently acknowledged his company’s responsibility in helping create the enormous amount of fake news that plagued the 2016 election – after earlier denials. Yet he offered no concrete details on what Facebook could do about it. Fortunately, there’s a way to fight fake news that already exists and has behavioral science on its side: the Pro-Truth Pledge project. I was part of a team of behavioral scientists that came up with the idea of a pledge as a way to limit the spread of misinformation online. Two studies that tried to evaluate its effectiveness suggest it actually works.

  • Vulnerabilities found in PGP-encrypted emails, users urged to take immediate action

    A group of European security researchers have released a warning about a set of vulnerabilities affecting users of PGP and S/MIME. These vulnerabilities pose an immediate risk to those using these tools for email communication, including the potential exposure of the contents of past messages.