• Israeli Court to Hear Case against Spy-Software Company NSO Behind Closed Doors

    On Thursday, a judge at Tel Aviv’s District Court begin hearing arguments as to why Israel’s Ministry of Defense (MoD) should revoke the export license of NSO Group. The firm’s Pegasus software has been used to target journalists and activists in several countries – including in Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Mexico, and the United Arab Emirates.

  • Why Britain's Spooks Are Wrong to Downplay the Risks of Huawei

    The U.K. wants Huawei’s 5G technology because of what John Hemmings correctly describes as the company’s “laughably cheap prices” (Huawei’s prices are cheap because the company is heavily subsidized by the Chinese government). Hemmings writes that it is this desire for inexpensive technology which leads British decisionmakers – among them Sir Andrew Parker, the outgoing director of MI5, Britain’s spy agency — to ignore the geopolitical context of an increasingly authoritarian China, which is funding Huawei’s expansion across Europe, and also ignore the reason behind China’s promotion of Huawei: The fact that China is the leading source of global cyber espionage.

  • If Russia Hacked Burisma, Brace for the Leaks to Follow

    The Kremlin hackers who helped put Donald Trump in the White House are at it again – this time in an effort to keep him there, and the hacking of the Ukrainian energy company Burisma by hackers of the GRU, Russia’s military intelligence service, is one of the first plays in their new campaign. Andy Greenberg writes that what should worry Americans – both voters and journalists – is the next play: the selective release of documents – some forged, some doctored – by Kremlin disinformation and propaganda specialists, timed to inflict maximum damage on Joe Bide’s campaign and be of maximum help to the Trump campaign. Greenberg asks: “Did the U.S. learn enough from 2016 to ignore” such selective leaks?

  • Latest “Intrusion Truth” Data Dump Peels Back Layers on Chinese Front Companies

    Intrusion Truth, the anonymous group which gained a name for itself by publishing detailed blog posts about suspected nation-state hackers, released new information last Thursday detailing how Chinese technology companies are recruiting attackers working on Beijing’s behalf.

  • Countering Hate Speech by Detecting, Highlighting “Help Speech”

    Researchers have developed a system that leverages artificial intelligence to rapidly analyze hundreds of thousands of comments on social media and identify the fraction that defend or sympathize with disenfranchised minorities such as the Rohingya community. Human social media moderators, who couldn’t possibly manually sift through so many comments, would then have the option to highlight this “help speech” in comment sections.

  • Things Are about to Get a Lot More Confusing for Cybercriminals

    While cyberdeception is not totally new as a way to fend off cybercriminals – researchers have been looking into this technique for a few years now – researchers are now taking a unique approach: using cognitive science to inform how to deceive attackers effectively.

  • Russian Spies Hacked Ukrainian Gas Company at Heart of Trump Impeachment Trial, Company Says

    Operatives of the GRU, the Russian military intelligence service which orchestrated the hacking and social media campaign in 2016 to help Donald Trump win the election, have hacked Burisma Holdings, the Ukrainian gas company which is at the center of the upcoming impeachment trial of Trump. In 2019, Trump withheld congressionally approved military aid to Ukraine in order to pressure Ukraine to help him undermine the candidacy of former vice president Joe Biden by having Volodymyr Zelensky, Ukraine’a president, announce that Ukraine was launching an investigation of Burisma, on whose board Joe Biden’s son served from 2014 to 2019.

  • U.S. in Last-Ditch Effort to Sway U.K.’s Huawei Decision

    The government of Boris Johnson will today (Monday) face last-minute lobbying blitz by the Trump administration to exclude Huawei from the U.K. 5G network. Johnson’s decision is expected before the end of the month, and the U.S. has threatened that intelligence sharing with the U.K. would be restricted if Johnson did not block Huawei. The U.S. intelligence community has evidence that Huawei is using its technological reach to serve as the eyes and ears of the Chinese intelligence services.

  • Cyberspace Is the Next Front in Iran-U.S. Conflict – and Private Companies May Bear the Brunt

    Iran and other nations have waged a stealth cyberwar against the United States for at least the past decade, largely targeting not the government itself but, rather, critical infrastructure companies. This threat to the private sector will get much worse before it gets better and businesses need to be prepared to deal with it.

  • U.S. Monitoring Cyberspace for Signs of Iranian Aggression

    U.S. government officials are watching and waiting, with many believing it is only a matter of time before Iran lashes out in cyberspace for the U.S. drone strike that killed Quds Force commander Qassem Soleimani last week. According to the latest advisory from the Department of Homeland Security, there are still “no specific, credible threats” to the United States. But officials say Iran’s public assurances that it is done retaliating mean little.

  • How Real Is the Threat of Cyberwar Between Iran and the U.S.?

    There are widespread concerns that rising tensions between the United States and Iran might fuel further conflict between the two countries. Considering the importance of information networks and cyberspace for our everyday lives, there is also concern that this conflict might not only take place in the physical world but could take the form of cyber-attacks. These could have serious consequences, particularly since Iran has demonstrated an increase in its cyber-capability in the past decade.

  • Why the Jeffrey Epstein Saga Was the Russian Government-Funded Media’s Top Story of 2019

    In a year featuring a presidential impeachment, Brexit, mass protests in Hong Kong, and widespread geopolitical turmoil, few topics dominated the Russian government-funded media landscape quite like the arrest and subsequent suicide of billionaire financier and serial sex offender Jeffrey Epstein. Given the lack of any notable connection between Epstein and Russian interests, the focus on Epstein highlights the Kremlin’s clear prioritization of content meant to paint a negative image of the West rather than a positive image of Russia.

  • 2020 Conflicts: The Most Likely, and Most Damaging to U.S.

    The Council on Foreign Relations has asked policy experts to rank thirty ongoing or potential conflicts based on how likely they are to occur or escalate in the next year, and their possible impact on U.S. interests. For the second year in a row, a highly disruptive cyberattack on critical infrastructure, including electoral systems, was the top-ranked homeland security–related concern. A mass-casualty terrorist attack was a close second. A confrontation between the United States and Iran, North Korea, or with China in the South China Sea remain the biggest concerns overseas.

  • New AI-Based Tool Flags Fake News for Media Fact-Checkers

    A new artificial intelligence (AI) tool could help social media networks and news organizations weed out false stories. The tool uses deep-learning AI algorithms to determine if claims made in posts or stories are supported by other posts and stories on the same subject.

  • Facebook Takes a Step Forward on Deepfakes—and Stumbles

    The good news is that Facebook is finally taking action against deepfakes. The bad news is that the platform’s new policy does not go far enough. On 7 January Facebook announced a new policy banning deepfakes from its platform. Yet, instead of cheers, the company faced widespread dismay—even anger. What went wrong?