• 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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?

  • The Risks Posed by Deepfakes

    This use of a deepfake video is becoming more prevalent. While pornography currently accounts for the vast majority of deepfake videos, the technique can also be used to defraud, to defame, to spread fake news or to steal someone’s identity.

  • Artificial Intelligence: China “Uses Taiwan for Target Practice” as It Perfects Cyber-Warfare Techniques

    China has already deployed its expertise in artificial intelligence to make China into a surveillance state, power its economy, and develop its military. Phil Sherwell writes that now Taiwan’s cybersecurity chiefs have identified signs that Beijing is using AI to interfere in an overseas election for the first time. It is “a laboratory for China for adaptation and improvement on political warfare instruments which can then be unleashed against other targeted democratic societies,” Michael Cole, editor of the Taiwan Sentinel, said

  • Review: Oscar Jonsson’s The Russian Understanding of War: Blurring the Lines between War and Peace

    A new book analyzes the evolution of Russian military thought and how Russia’s current thinking about war is reflected in recent crises. Simon Cocking writes that while other books describe current Russian practice, Oscar Jonsson provides the long view to show how Russian military strategic thinking has developed from the Bolshevik Revolution to the present – especially, how Russian elites see information warfare and political subversion as the most important ways to conduct contemporary war.

  • Enhanced Deepfakes Capabilities for Less-Skilled Threat Actors Mean More Misinformation

    The ability to create manipulated content is not new. But what has changed with the advances in artificial intelligence is you can now build a very convincing deepfake without being an expert in technology. This “democratization” of deepfakes will increase the quantity of misinformation and disinformation aiming to weaken and undermine evidence-based discourse.

  • Cyberattacks and Electronic Voting Errors Threaten 2020 Outcome, Experts Warn

    Potential electronic voting equipment failures and cyberattacks from Russia and other countries pose persistent threats to the 2020 elections, election security analysts and key Democrats warn.

  • 4. Chinese Firms Secretly Own Leading VPNs

    China’s efforts to implement its persistent surveillance approach outside its borders go beyond helping Huawei to make the company’s 5G technology more competitive, and thus more appealing, to Western and non-Western countries. A recent study found that almost a third (30 percent) of the world’s top virtual private network (VPN) providers are secretly owned by six Chinese companies.

  • 7. Putin’s Russia Punching above Its Weight

    In 2014, President Barack Obama said that Russia was a “regional power” capable only of threatening its neighbors “not out of strength but out of weakness.” Yet Russia, with an economy smaller that the economy of Italy, has been able to play a role on the international stage – and in the politics of the United States and more than twenty other countries — out of proportion to its economy and other important metrics.