• Tools to Help Fight Disinformation Online

    Today’s information ecosystem brings access to seemingly infinite amounts of information instantaneously. It also contributes to the rapid spread of misinformation and disinformation to millions of people. Researchers at RAND’s Truth Decay initiative worked to identify and characterize the universe of online tools targeted at online disinformation, focusing on those tools created by nonprofit or civil society organizations.

  • Protecting Sensitive Metadata So It Cannot Be Used for Surveillance

    MIT researchers have designed a scalable system that secures the metadata of millions of users in communications networks, to help protect the information against possible state-level surveillance. The system ensures hackers eavesdropping on large networks cannot find out who is communicating and when they’re doing so.

  • Hackers Are Everywhere. Here’s How Scholars Can Find Them.

    The world of cyber operations is full of hard national security choices. Ben Buchanan asks: “How do long-held ideas of counterintelligence, deterrence and deception apply in this new arena of competition? How does escalation work with hacking? Who carried out this intrusion, and what was the intention behind it? Most of all, what does any of this mean for geopolitics in the modern age, and how can scholars communicate that to policymakers?”

  • Digital Threats to Democracy

    A new study surveyed hundreds of technology experts about whether or not digital disruption will help or hurt democracy by 2030. Of the 979 responses, about 49 percent of these respondents said use of technology “will mostly weaken core aspects of democracy and democratic representation in the next decade,” while 33 percent said the use of technology “will mostly strengthen core aspects of democracy.”

  • Spies, Election Meddling, And Disinformation: Past and Present

    Calder Walton writes that following Russia’s “sweeping and systematic” attack on the 2016 U.S. presidential election—which was intended to support Moscow’s favored candidate, Donald J. Trump, and undermine his opponent, Hillary Clinton—the media frequently labeled the operation “unprecedented.” “The social-media technologies that Russia deployed in its cyber-attack on the United States in 2016 were certainly new,” he writes, “but Russia’s strategy was far from unusual. In fact, the Kremlin has a long history of meddling in U.S. and other Western democratic elections and manufacturing disinformation to discredit and divide the West.”

  • Growing Tory Opposition to Boris Johnson’s Huawei Decision

    David Davis, a leading Conservative MP and a former Brexit Secretary, has warned that allowing Chinese technology giant Huawei to build some of the infrastructure for the U.K. 5G communication network could be seen as “the worst decision made by a British prime minister.” The government Huawei move represented the “worst intelligence decision since MI6’s recruitment of Kim Philby,” Davis said, adding that if the government allowed Huawei access to the U.K. 5G infrastructure, then “We are handing the keys to large parts of the country over to China.” Davis was blunt: “This is the ground on which future wars will be fought.”

  • U.S. Officials Link COVID-19 Disinformation Campaign to Russian Proxy Accounts

    Officials in the United States have said that thousands of Russia-linked social media accounts have launched a coordinated effort to spread alarm and misinformation about the COVID-19 crisis. State Department officials involved in countering Russian disinformation said on 22 February that fake accounts are being used on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram and are operating in multiple languages.

  • Senior U.S. Democrats Demand Russia Sanctions Over 2020 Election Interference

    U.S. Senate Democratic leaders have urged the administration to impose sanctions on Russia after U.S. intelligence officials briefed members of Congress that Russia was again trying to interfere in a national election. “We urge you to immediately draw upon the reported conclusions of the Intelligence Community to identify and target for sanctions all those determined to be responsible for ongoing elections interference, including President Putin, the government of the Russian Federation, any Russian actors determined to be directly responsible, and those acting on their behalf or providing material or financial support for their efforts,” the senators write in their letter.

  • How Bad Are Cyberattacks for the Economy? Assessing the Damage

    Anna Scherbina, an associate professor of finance at Brandeis International Business School, served from 2017 to 2019 as a senior economist on the White House Council of Economic Advisers, where, among other things, she wrote the chapter on cybersecurity in the 2018 Economic Report of the President. She drew particular attention to data breaches and concluded with her colleagues that malicious cyber activity cost the U.S. economy between $57 billion and $109 billion in 2016, or upwards of 0.58 percent of gross domestic product.

  • A Human-Machine Collaboration to Defend Against Cyberattacks

    Being a cybersecurity analyst at a large company today is a bit like looking for a needle in a haystack — if that haystack were hurtling toward you at fiber optic speed. PatternEx merges human and machine expertise to spot and respond to hacks.

  • Reports: Trump Ousted Acting Intel Chief After He Warned of Russian 2020 Election Meddling

    President Donald Trump fired Director of National Security Joseph Maguire, the U.S. top intelligence official, after Maguire, in a classified briefing, told lawmakers that the U.S. intelligence community is seeing an intensification of Russia’s covert efforts to help Trump’s reelection campaign. The Kremlin’s campaign, already under way, would combine elements from the Kremlin’s successful 2016 effort to help Trump – hacking of Trump’s rivals and saturating social media with fake postings – with a new emphasis on corrupting voter rolls, hacking voting machines, and disrupting vote tallies. Trump has always rejected the U.S. intelligence community’s unanimous conclusion, based on incontrovertible facts, that Russia heavily interfered on his behalf in the 2016 election, preferring instead to accept Vladimir Putin’s denials that such interference took place.

  • Custom Circuits to Make IoT Systems 14,000 Times Harder to Crack than Current Tech

    The “internet of things” (IoT) allows devices — kitchen appliances, security systems, wearable technologies and many other applications — to communicate with each other through networks. With the world on the verge of adopting them by the billions, the best possible security is paramount. Engineers have one-upped their own technique to increase security for the “internet of things.” In truth, their upping is far greater than one.

  • Enhancing Privacy in Today's Internet of Things

    People navigating the digital landscape of today’s internet are bombarded with notices about how their data is being collected. But in the physical world — where internet of things (IoT) technologies increasingly track our activities — few, if any, notices are provided. A team of researchers has created an app and an entire infrastructure to change that.

  • Mixed-Signal Hardware Security Thwarts Powerful Electromagnetic Attacks

    Security of embedded devices is essential in today’s internet-connected world. Security is typically guaranteed mathematically using a small secret key to encrypt the private messages. When these computationally secure encryption algorithms are implemented on a physical hardware, they leak critical side-channel information in the form of power consumption or electromagnetic radiation. Now, researchers have developed technology to kill the problem at the source itself – tackling physical-layer vulnerabilities with physical-layer solutions.

  • 5G Choices: A Pivotal Moment in World Affairs

    It is disappointing that the Brits are doing the wrong thing on 5G, having not exhausted other possibilities. Instead they have doubled down on a flawed and outdated cybersecurity model to convince themselves that they can manage the risk that Chinese intelligence services could use Huawei’s access to U.K. telco networks to insert bad code. But if your telcos have a 5G operation and maintenance contract with a company beholden to the intelligence agencies of a foreign state, and that state does not share your interests, you need to consider the risk that you are paying a fox to babysit your chickens.