Cybersecurity | Homeland Security Newswire

  • Mapping DHS’s new cybersecurity strategy, highlighting S&T’s R&D support

    Last month at a cybersecurity conference, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen previewed the May unveiling of DHS’s new cybersecurity strategy and issued a stern warning to cybercriminals. The new DHS Cybersecurity Strategy was released 15 May. Nielsen said: “I have a news flash for America’s adversaries: Complacency is being replaced by consequences. We will not stand on the sidelines while our networks are compromised. We will not abide the theft of our data, our innovation and our resources. And we will not tolerate cyber meddling aimed at the heart of our democracy.”

  • World Cup 2018: British intelligence briefs players, staff on Russian cyberthreats

    The U.K. Football Association (FA) said it was taking cybersecurity seriously this summer – the Soccer World Cup tournament will be held in Russia from 15 June to 15 July — and will be taking advice from the National Cyber Security Center (NCSC) at the GCHQ (the British equivalent of the U.S. NSA). The England team will be briefed by GCHQ staff before flying out to the World Cup to help them stay safe from Russian hackers.

  • The era of fake video begins

    “Deepfake” videos produced by Russian-linked trolls are the latest weapon in the ongoing fake news war. The Kremlin-backed trolls are already experimenting with new video manipulation techniques which use artificial intelligence to create convincing doctored videos. Franklin Foer writes the internet has always contained the seeds of postmodern hell, and that mass manipulation, from clickbait to Russian bots to the addictive trickery that governs Facebook’s News Feed, is the currency of the medium. In this respect, the rise of deepfakes is the culmination of the internet’s history to date—and probably only a low-grade version of what’s to come. Fake-but-realistic video clips are not the end point of the flight from reality that technologists would have us take. The apotheosis of this vision is virtual reality.The ability to manipulate consumers will grow because VR definitionally creates confusion about what is real,” Foer writes. “Several decades ago, after giving the nascent technology a try, the psychedelic pamphleteer Timothy Leary reportedly called it ‘the new LSD’.”

  • Regulation or research? Searching for solutions to reduce Truth Decay in the media

    What is social media’s role in the decline of trust in the media? Is government intervention needed to help stop the spread of misinformation on these platforms? These questions were the focus of a recent RAND Corporation event on the connection between the media and Truth Decay.

  • Mobile security messages 20 percent more effective if warnings vary in appearance

    Using brain data, eye-tracking data and field-study data, researchers have confirmed something about our interaction with security warnings on computers and phones: the more we see them, the more we tune them out. But the major study also finds that slight changes to the appearance of warnings help users pay attention to and adhere to warnings 20 percent more of the time.

  • Hacker accused of aiding Russian spies in massive breach gets prison

    A Kazakh-born computer hacker who U.S. prosecutors say unwittingly worked with a Russian spy agency in a massive Yahoo data breach has been sentenced to five years in prison. Karim Baratov was named in an indictment last year that charged two Russian spies with orchestrating the 2014 Yahoo breach involving 500 million users — one of the largest breaches at any Internet company.

  • Russia asks Apple to help it enforce ban on Telegram

    Russia’s communications regulator says it has asked U.S. technology giant Apple to help it block the popular messaging service Telegram in Russia. The regulator sent a letter to Apple asking it to block push notifications for Telegram users in Russia, ensuring that Apple phone and tablet users do not receive alerts about new messages and rendering the application less useful.

  • Internet of Things: when objects threaten national security

    We all know personal devices can be hacked, but a whole country’s security could be at risk too. With the rise of the so-called Internet of Things (IoT), and against the backdrop of cyberwarfare, digital surveillance and digital subversion, the risk to national security is increasing. Earlier this year the head of the UK National Cyber Security Centre publicly stated that a major cyber-attack on the country’s essential services was a question of “when, not if.”

  • Cyber and international law in the 21st century

    “Cyber space is not – and must never be – a lawless world. It is the U.K.’s view that when states and individuals engage in hostile cyber operations, they are governed by law just like activities in any other domain,” said the U.K. Attorney General Jeremy Wright, QC MP, on 23 May 2018, setting out, for the first time, the U.K.’s position on applying international law to cyberspace. “What this means is that hostile actors cannot take action by cyber means without consequence, both in peacetime and in times of conflict. States that are targeted by hostile cyber operations have the right to respond to those operations in accordance with the options lawfully available to them and that in this as in all things, all states are equal before the law.”

  • Failing to keep pace: The cyber threat and its implications for our privacy laws

    “The time has come — indeed, if it has not already passed — to think seriously about some fundamental questions with respect to our reliance on cyber technologies: How much connected technology do we really want in our daily lives? Do we want the adoption of new connected technologies to be driven purely by innovation and market forces, or should we impose some regulatory constraints?” asked NSA General Counsel Glenn Gerstell in a Wednesday presentation at Georgetown University. “Although we continue to forge ahead in the development of new connected technologies, it is clear that the legal framework underpinning those technologies has not kept pace. Despite our reliance on the internet and connected technologies, we simply haven’t confronted, as a U.S. society, what it means to have privacy in a digital age.”

  • Russia’s active measures architecture: Task and purpose

    Russia’s latest iteration of the Soviet-era tactic of “active measures” has mesmerized Western audiences and become the topic de jour for national security analysts. In my last post, I focused on the Kremlin’s campaign to influence the U.S. elections from 2014 to 2016 through the integration of offensive cyber hacking, overt propaganda, and covert social media personas In this post, I focus on the elements of Russia’s national power that execute active measures abroad.

  • 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.