• Attacks against elections are inevitable – Estonia shows what can be done

    Kremlin-backed attackers are working to influence the upcoming European Parliament elections, according to cybersecurity firm FireEye. These new reports highlight rising fears of digital attacks on democracy around the world, including on the U.S. presidential elections in 2020. Russian interference in the West is not new. The experiences of Estonia – the first country ever victim to a clearly coordinated and politically motivated cyber operation – can inform American and European defenses to these complex threats.

  • Bigger than Huawei: U.S. broadens scrutiny of Chinese technology

    A flurry of seemingly disconnected actions by the U.S. government to curb the involvement of Chinese technology firms in the U.S. economy over the past year reflects the Trump administration’s intensifying concern that those firms could — now or in the future — abet espionage by Beijing’s intelligence services.

  • April Fools hoax stories may offer clues to help identify “fake news”

    Studying April Fools hoax news stories could offer clues to spotting ‘fake news’ articles, new research reveals. Researchers interested in deception have compared the language used within written April Fools hoaxes and fake news stories.

  • British oversight body: Security flaws in Huawei 5G networks

    A British oversight board has slammed the Chinese telecom giant Huawei for software security flaws. The report, however, stopped short of blaming Chinese intelligence agencies for the engineering defects. The United States is concerned that Huawei is a front for the Chinese intelligence services, and that rolling out Huawei’s 5G system in Europe would open the door for Chinese spying or sabotage.

  • AG: Muller did not find that Trump’s campaign “conspired with the Russian government” 2016 election interference effort

    On Saturday afternoon, Attorney General William Barr sent Congress his “principal conclusions” of the Mueller report. Barr quotes the Mueller report to say that “[T]he investigation did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.” The Mueller report does not take a position on whether or not Trump engaged in obstruction of justice. Barr writes: “The Special Counsel… did not draw a conclusion — one way or the other — as to whether the examined conduct constituted obstruction.” The AG quotes the report to say that “while this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.”

  • U.S. to Germany: Huawei deal could harm intelligence sharing

    The United States on Monday warned Germany about future “information sharing” if it uses “untrusted vendors” in its 5G telecom infrastructure amid debate over whether Chinese IT giant Huawei is an espionage risk.

  • Another Steel Dossier detail appears true

    On the final page of his 35-page dossier, former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele refers to a company, whose name is redacted, that allegedly was used to hack the Democratic party. Today, the New York Times identifies the company and its owner, Aleksej Gubarev, and says that according to a newly revealed report, the allegations against the Russian technology entrepreneur’s operations check out.

  • Russia attempted 2018 interference, gearing up to infiltrate election systems in 2020

    Defense Department and Homeland Security officials warn Russia did try to interfere in the 2018 election, and the United States is not prepared for what foreign adversaries likely will launch in 2020. One official told lawmakers on the House Appropriations Homeland Security Subcommittee that “what keeps him up at night” is thinking about the new ways adversaries will attempt to infiltrate US election systems in 2020.

  • Trapdoor found in SwissVote election system

    Researchers have examined the source code published as part of the SwissPost e-voting system, provided by Scytl, and discovered a cryptographic trapdoor. If exploited, researchers say this could allow insiders who ran or implemented the election system to modify votes undetected.

  • Deterrence in the cyber age: U.K. Foreign Secretary's speech

    U.K. foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt last Thursday spoke at Glasgow University on cybersecurity and the U.K. government’s approach to deterring cybercrime. “In the cyber age, an authoritarian regime armed with nothing more ambitious than a laptop computer could try to manipulate our democracy, Hunt said. “For every example of publicly attributed interference [by Russia], there have been others that never saw the light of day.” He added: “The material fact is that the Russian state has tried to subvert democracy,” concluding: “We can no longer afford to wait until an authoritarian regime demonstrably succeeds in changing the outcome of an election and weakening trust in the integrity of democracy itself. The risk is that after just a few cases, a pall of suspicion would descend over a democratic process – and once that happens, the damage would be difficult, perhaps impossible, to repair.”

  • China's Huawei sues U.S. government over ban

    Chinese tech giant Huawei has sued the U.S. government, arguing that legislation Congress passed last year that restricts its business in the United States is “unconstitutional.” The case, which analysts see more as a public relations move, is but the latest in an intensifying effort by the telecommunications company to fight U.S. security concerns, which Huawei argues are unfair and unfounded.

  • Canada must not be naive when dealing with China’s authoritarian regime

    A new book on Canada-China relations offers lessons for the United States. The book “is in many ways a primer on the central challenge of our era – the question of how democracies address the scope and depth of an authoritarian wave now picking up momentum,” writes Hugh Segal, a Canadian foreign policy expert. “Our engagement with China must set aside the temptations of presuming fair minded universal intent on the part of Chinese state-controlled instruments, economic, diplomatic or military. We must be more focused on the protection of our own security and freedoms from Chinese subversion. Countries that wish access to our resources, technology and investment on normative terms do not get to launch cyberattacks against us, from military and intelligence units controlled by the state.”

  • New approach needed to arrest democratic decline

    A new Brookings report examines the emergence and diffusion of the illiberal toolkit from Turkey to Central Europe. It assesses how illiberal political actors have eroded checks and balances in several countries within the European Union and NATO and proposes concrete policy options for responding to democratic decline.

  • U.S. Cyber Command cut Russian troll factory’s access to the internet

    The U.S. Cyber Command blocked the internet access of the St. Petersburg’s-based Internet Research Agency (IRA), a Russian disinformation and propaganda outfit which was contracted by the Kremlin to orchestrate the social media disinformation campaign to help Donald Trump win the 2016 presidential election. The IRA’s access to the internet was blocked on midterms Election Day, and for a few days following the election.

  • Report finds that Corbyn aide, Seumas Milne, has ties to Hamas

    An explosive investigative report by a British newspaper has unearthed long-standing ties between Seumas Milne, a senior aide to the Labour Party’s leader Jeremy Corbyn, and terrorist organizations committed to the destruction of Israel. The investigation also revealed Milne’s extensive ties to organizations linked to the Kremlin. Sir Richard Dearlove, who led the Secret Intelligence Service MI6 from 1999 to 2004, said: “Anyone with his sort of background could not be let anywhere near classified information. It would be out of the question. That means Corbyn could not make the judgments and decisions a PM has to make unless he stopped consulting him.”