• Sen. Marco Rubio: “Vladimir Putin chose to interfere in U.S. elections”

    “[W]hat is abundantly clear is that Vladimir Putin chose to interfere in the U.S. elections — in my opinion, not so much to favor one candidate over another, but to sow instability”; “[H]is ultimate goal was to ensure that whoever was elected the next U.S. president, they did so with their credibility damaged. I also think that he wanted to exploit the already existing divisions in American society for the purpose of forcing us to go through what we’re going through right now — investigations, divisive debates, talk about impeachment, and the like.”

  • The “Russia Story”; Russia’s meddling was U.S. “intelligence failure”; cyber forensics, and more

    · What is the “Russia Story”?

    · Defending the West from Russian disinformation: The role of institutions

    · What Putin really wants

    · Russian bots manipulate online conversation about Olympics, sexual harassment

    · WikiLeaks faces four U.S. probes into its 2016 election role and CIA leaks

    · Rep. Eric Swalwell breaks down how Russia infected the U.S. election

    · As Russia subverts missile treaty, U.S. looking at new weapons

    · Exposing Russian interference – the value of real-time forensics

    · Ex-spy chief: Russia’s election hacking was an “intelligence failure”

    · Company that used Russian coders for Pentagon project strikes deal

  • Cybersecurity expert: Iranian hacking is a “coordinated, probably military, endeavor”

    On the heels of a report this week documenting Iran’s increasingly aggressive hacking attacks around the globe, a cybersecurity expert assessed that the advanced nature of the attacks suggests a “coordinated, probably military, endeavor.” A report released this week, by FireEye, a cybersecurity firm, noticed increased and increasingly advanced cyber-espionage efforts by groups that have been tied to Iran, and to the nation’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).

  • Lawmakers request additional documents from DHS re: Kaspersky investigation

    U.S. House Science, Space, and Technology Committee chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) sent a letter Tuesday to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) requesting documents and information related to the DHS directive to all government agencies to identify and remove Kaspersky Lab software from their computer systems.

  • U.K. government agencies told to remove Kaspersky software from their systems

    In another example of a Western government taking decisive action to limit the ability of Russian government hackers to steal sensitive information, The U.K. cyber security agency on Friday has advised U.K. government agencies to remove Kaspersky Lab’s products from their systems.

  • Federal agencies complete second phase of Kaspersky product removal

    The U.S. federal government has completed the first two phases of a three-part plan to remove all Kaspersky Lab’s products from government computer systems. The U.S. intelligence community said that the Russian cybersecurity company’s anti-virus software was used to collect sensitive information from the systems on which it was installed, and deliver that information to Russia’s intelligence agencies.

  • Russia increasingly uses hacker mercenaries for cyberattacks: FBI

    FBI director Christopher Wray told lawmakers Thursday that state-actors such as Russia are increasingly relying on hacker mercenaries, blurring the lines between government-backed hackers and cyber criminals. Wray told lawmakers that increasingly, such hybrid government-criminal breaches are becoming a reality. “You have the blend of a nation-state actor, in that case, the Russian intelligence service, using the assistance of criminal hackers, which you think of almost like mercenaries, being used to commit cyberattacks,” the FBI director said.

  • Antivirus but not anti-spy

    The late senator William Proxmire of Wisconsin (he died in 1989) made a name for himself for his Golden Fleece Awards — awards given each year to the most wasteful U.S. government programs. Senator James Lankford (R-Oklahoma), continuing in Proxmire’s tradition, has just released the third volume of his annual of his Federal Fumbles: 100 Ways the Government Dropped the Ball. One of the U.S. federal government’s major fumbles has been the way it has dealt with Russian cybersecurity firm Kaspersky Lab. The U.S. intelligence community has long suspected that Kaspersky Lab was using its popular antivirus software – used not only by individuals and corporations, but also by U.S. government agencies – to collect sensitive information from the computer systems on which the software was installed, and deliver that information to the GRU and the FSB, the KGB’s successor agency.

  • “We know” Russia hacked election, and such cyberattacks can happen again: Sen. Angus King

    Though President Trump says he is not convinced that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election, U.S. Sen. Angus King of Maine said that he and his colleagues on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, which is probing the matter, have “no doubt whatsoever” of Moscow’s involvement. “We know they did it, we know it was sophisticated, we know it was serious, and we know they’re coming back!” said King during a discussion at the Harvard Kennedy School.

  • The time to hack-proof the 2018 election is expiring — and Congress is way behind

    Lawmakers are scrambling to push something — anything — through Congress which would help secure the U.S. voting systems ahead of the 2018 elections. It might, however, already be too late for some critical targets. By this point during the 2016 election cycle, Russian government hackers had already breached the Democratic National Committee’s networks for at least three months.

  • Shining more light every day on Russia’s political interference

    “Despite this clear threat to American democracy, and the unanimous assessment of the intelligence community that Russia interfered in the election in an operation ordered by Vladimir Putin, real discussion of how to halt these activities and prevent them in the future is only beginning now. This is partly driven by a continued partisan divide on the issue — which is being fueled by the Kremlin’s ongoing influence efforts and Putin’s own denials to President Donald Trump. Trump’s repeated statements casting doubt on his own intelligence community’s assessment and the unwillingness of many Republican leaders to defend the truth continue to fan these partisan flames.  Allowing Russian interference to become a partisan issue plays right into Russia’s hands and achieves Putin’s goals,” Laura Rosenberger and Jamie Fly write. “This is not about relitigating who won the election. Trump is the president. This is about defending American democracy from attacks by foreign enemies.”

  • Russia sees U.S.-led international order as a threat to its security, interests: Report

    Russia seeks to undermine elements of the current international order because its leaders and analysts see the current international order as dominated by the United States and a threat to their country’s security and interests, according to a new RAND report. U.S. officials have repeatedly described the development of a U.S.-led “rules-based international order,” composed of international economic institutions, bilateral and regional security organizations and liberal political norms, as a core U.S. national interest.

  • Russian government’s fission know-how hard at work in Europe

    The objective of Russia’s broad, systematic disinformation and cyberattacks campaign against Western democracies is ambitious. Moscow has made fragmenting Europe into one of its primary strategic objectives. Dividing European populations from within and turning them against one another via targeted influence operations is a central component of this overarching strategic objective.

     

  • Russian-operated bots posted millions of social media posts, fake stories during Brexit referendum

    More than 156,000 Twitter accounts, operated by Russian government disinformation specialists, posted nearly 45,000 messages in support of the “Leave” campaign, urging British voters to vote for Brexit – that is, for Britain to leave the European Union. Researchers compared 28.6 million Russian tweets in support of Brexit to ~181.6 million Russian tweets in support of the Trump campaign, and found close similarity in tone and tactics in the Russian government’s U.K. and U.S. efforts. In both cases, the Russian accounts posted divisive, polarizing messages and fake stories aiming to raise fears about Muslims and immigrants. The goal was to sow discord; intensify rancor and animosity along racial, ethnic, and religious lines; and deepen political polarization — not only to help create a public climate more receptive to the populist, protectionist, nationalist, and anti-Muslim thrust of both Brexit and the Trump campaigns, but also to deepen societal and cultural fault lines and fractures in the United Kingdom and the United States, thus contributing to the weakening of both societies from within.

  • Russia “weaponized information” to sow discord in West, destroy post-WWII international order: Theresa May

    U.K. prime minister Theresa May, in an extraordinary attack on Russia’s broad cyber-campaign against Western countries, has accused Russia of meddling in the elections of Western democracies and planting fake stories in other countries’ media in a sustained effort to “weaponize information” in order to sow discord and deepen internal conflicts Western democracies. May, speaking at the Lord Mayor’s Banquet on 13 November 2017, said that Russia’s goal was to destabilize, if not destroy, the post-Second World Order rules-based international order.