• FBI Director: China No. 1 Counter-Intelligence Threat to the U.S.

    The FBI has more than 1,000 investigations of U.S. intellectual property theft in all 50 states with nearly all leading back to China, FBI Director Christopher Wray said, calling China the No. 1 counter-intelligence threat to the United States. Wray described the threat as “more deep, more diverse, more vexing, more challenging, more comprehensive and more concerning than any counter-intelligence threat that I can think of.”

  • 40 U.S. Diplomats in Cuba Have Suffered Brain Damage: Medical Report

    Brain imaging of 40 U.S. government personnel who served at the U.S. embassy in Havana in 2016, and who experienced a host of neurological symptoms after possible exposure of an unknown source, revealed significant differences in brain tissue and connectivity when compared to healthy individuals, according to a new report. Images reveal key brain differences, particularly in the cerebellum, between impacted patients and healthy individuals, which may underlie clinical findings previously reported by brain experts.

  • Bolstering Democracy in the Digital Age

    The Knight Foundation announced a commitment of nearly $50 million in research to better understand how technology is transforming our democracy and the way we receive and engage with information. “Amidst a growing debate over technology’s role in our democracy, these investments will help ensure society is equipped to make evidence-based decisions on how to govern and manage the now-digital public square, Knight said.

  • Huawei Secretly Built North Korea’s Wireless Network

    On Monday, the Washington Post reported that Huawei had been secretly working in North Korea on various communication projects, including building and maintaining the country’s wireless network. Huawei’s work has been in direct violation of the sanctions imposed on North Korea because of its nuclear weapons activity. The revelations are going to increase worries in the West about the trustworthiness of the Chinese communication giant, and would provide more evidence to support the conclusions of Western intelligence services that Huawei serves the interests of the Chinese government and China’s intelligence services.

  • “A High Risk to Their Users”: An Analysis of Huawei Devices’ Security Vulnerabilities

    Western intelligence services have long suspected that the Chinese communication giant Huawei was a tool of China’s powerful intelligence services. An analysis of the state of security of Huawei’s gear and equipment has found serious security flaws and vulnerabilities. This is important, because even if we take Huawei’s implausible denials of any relationship to Chinese government at face value, the low quality of security of Huawei’s equipment would allow the Chinese government, and other state actors, to compromise the vulnerabilities of networks built with Huawei’s components. Our “analysis shows that Huawei devices quantitatively pose a high risk to their users,” the report says.

  • Trump’s New Favorite Channel Employs Kremlin-Paid Journalist

    If the stories broadcast by the Trump-endorsed One America News Network sometimes look like outtakes from a Kremlin trolling operation, there may be a reason. One of the on-air reporters at the 24-hour network is a Russian national on the payroll of the Kremlin’s official propaganda outlet, Sputnik.

  • FaceApp Makes Today’s Privacy Laws Look Antiquated

    Cameras are everywhere, and data brokers are vacuuming up information on individuals. But regulations have not kept pace. You should stop using FaceApp, because there are few controls on how your data, including your face data, will be used. But the problems that FaceApp poses aren’t unique. Walking around anywhere can get your face included in facial-recognition databases. How that information can be mined, manipulated, bought, or sold is minimally regulated—in the United States and elsewhere.

  • Managing and Mitigating Foreign Election Interference

    President Donald Trump has repeatedly shown that he does not take the issue of Russian interference in elections seriously, most recently at the G-20 summit in Japan when he issued a “wink-wink” warning to Russian President Vladimir Putin when pressed on the issue by reporters. This is no laughing matter. While much of the media coverage has focused on Russian interference in U.S. elections, this is not just an American problem. As our new report on online foreign influence efforts (FIEs) demonstrates, this is a global problem. Since 2013, Russia has conducted at least 38 distinct influence campaigns targeting 19 different countries—and Russia isn’t alone: 53 distinct online FIEs were launched by Russia and other countries between 2013 and the end of 2018, and several remain ongoing today. Russia is by far the most active state conducting FIEs. About 72 percent of the campaigns were conducted solely by Russia, which had 29 distinct operations ongoing in 2017.

  • DHS Warns of Russian Efforts to Divide America over Pineapple Pizza -- Sort of

    The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is warning that Russian agents could seek to further divide Americans by exploiting U.S. passions over whether pineapple belongs on pizza. It’s a cheesy, playful warning — but it’s trying to deliver a serious message. Posted online Wednesday by the department’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, the tongue-in-cheek warning aims to help Americans identify and protect against propaganda campaigns from Russia and other foreign adversaries.

  • Dear Dems: Make Mueller’s Testimony About 2020, Not 2016

    If Congressional Democrats focus their questions of Robert Mueller on the past would be a big mistake. Democrats should make the 2020 election, not the 2016 election, the emphasis of their questions to Mueller and thus of his testimony. Democrats should focus in particular on two sets of questions that remain unaddressed by Mueller’s written report—and remain urgently important. First is the possible counterintelligence threat that Donald Trump represents. Mueller’s work addressed only one aspect of Trump’s Russia connection: possible criminal activity. But his report notes that his “investigation could identify foreign intelligence and counterintelligence information relevant to the FBI’s broader national security mission,” and further indicates that Mueller in fact uncovered such “information derived from the investigation, not all of which is contained in this Volume.” The second set of questions revolves around the threat to America’s 2020 election. Mueller’s investigation and assessment of a wide range of election-related issues surely yielded for him a detailed sense of the gaps in U.S. law and policy that were exploited by the Russians in 2016 and that remain ripe for exploitation by Moscow—and other hostile foreign actors—in the run-up to 2020.

  • China Cyber Attacks on AFSPC Contractors ‘Stealing Us Blind’

    “Cyber keeps me up at night,” says Brig. Gen. DeAnna Burt, director of Air Force Space Command (AFSPC) operations and communications, because China’s cyber warriors are routinely breaching defense and space contractor networks and stealing data on a regular basis. “For every defense contractor in this room, the thing that keeps me up at night is how we manage data on your systems or your sub’s systems,” she warned. “We have had breaches … the Chinese and others stealing things from cleared defense contractors.”

  • A New Red Scare Is Reshaping Washington

    The Committee on the Present Danger, a long-defunct group that campaigned against the dangers of the Soviet Union in the 1970s and 1980s, has recently been revived with the help of Stephen K. Bannon, the president’s former chief strategist, to warn against the dangers of China. “These are two systems that are incompatible,” says Bannon. “One side is going to win, and one side is going to lose.”

  • Caught Red Handed: Russian Financing Scheme in Italy Highlights Europe’s Vulnerabilities

    In February 2019, two Italian investigative journalists made an explosive revelation: Matteo Salvini, leader of the far-right party La Lega and Italian interior minister, had sought financing from the Kremlin to the tune of millions of euros. That claim has now been given a new lease on life by the release of the audio recording of a meeting in Moscow that corroborates the February story.

  • Tackling Emerging Cyber-Social Threats

    DoD has awarded a $2.4 million grant to researchers to support the development of research infrastructure to assess social media and blogs in real time and respond to the growing weaponization of online discourse in influencing peacekeeping, and tactical, operational, and strategic operations.

  • FBI, FTC asked to examine whether FaceApp is a Kremlin’s data-collection tool

    FaceApp is a selfie app designed by a Russian programmer, which uses AI-like techniques to apply various changes to faces, making them look older or younger, adding accessories and even changing their race. On Wednesday, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York) sent a letter to the FBI and Federal Trade Commission to investigate the data-collecting and data-retention mechanisms of the Russia-based app — and whether the “personal data uploaded by millions of Americans onto FaceApp may be finding its way into the hands of the Russian government.”