• The Russia connectionThe Russian “Dark State” and the Russian Interference in the 2016 U.S. Election

    How do we understand Russia’s multi-layered interference in the 2016 elections? Elizabeth Wood, an MIT Russia expert and professor of history, analyzes Russia’s motives, noting that in his televised speech on May 29, Robert Mueller left no room for doubt about Russian interference in the 2016 election, when he said: “I will close by reiterating the central allegation of our indictments, that there were multiple, systematic efforts to interfere in our election. And that allegation deserves the attention of every American.” Wood says: “These tactics have been researched by excellent scholars, and they are worth considering in the larger context of Russian statecraft. After all, what I would call the Russian ‘dark state’ — i.e., that part of the state that operates abroad for nefarious purposes, including most recently interference in Ukraine, in Western European elections, and in the poisonings and beatings of both Russians and foreign nationals around the world — has been around for a long time; it is not an invention of Russian President Vladimir Putin, though he has certainly expanded its reach.”

  • CybersecurityThwarting Cybersecurity Attacks Depends on Strategic, Third-Party Investments

    Companies interested in protecting themselves and their customers from cyber-attacks need to invest in themselves and the vendors that handle their data, according to new research. To mitigate risks, the researchers recommend companies that are typically competitors become allies in strengthening cyber security supply chains.

  • PerspectiveClinton’s Email Practices Were Risky but Not Malicious, State Department Finds

    A multi-year State Department investigation into the private email server that haunted Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign is complete. During the 2016 election, Donald Trump called Clinton’s use of the server “one of the great crimes” of our time, repeating this wild accusation as late as last month, during a press conference at the UN. But after reviewing 33,000 emails sent to or from Clinton, investigators found that the former secretary of state’s practice of using a private email server for official work presented a security risk, but said there was no “systemic, deliberate mishandling of classified information” by Clinton or her associates, according to a State Department report presented to Congress last week. This is the second time a federal agency has come to this conclusion: The FBI began an investigation into Clinton’s email use in 2015. It found Clinton and her staff didn’t intend to mishandle classified information and declined to bring charges.

  • CybersecurityInterdisciplinary Cyberengineering Team Wins $6M Grant to Combat Cyberattacks

    A team of Northern Arizona University researchers won a three-year, $6.3 million grant from the U.S. Air Force to develop nontraditional solutions to the increasing danger of cyberattacks and cyber warfare.

    The research will examine the practicality of outsmarting hackers by using new hardware technologies. The researchers say the impact of this work reaches all corners of modern life, helping to protect the computers that control factories, power plants, transportation systems, drones, personal medical devices and more.

  • CybersecurityHow to Protect Smart Machines from Smart Attacks

    Machines’ ability to learn by processing data gleaned from sensors underlies automated vehicles, medical devices and a host of other emerging technologies. But that learning ability leaves systems vulnerable to hackers in unexpected ways, researchers have found.

  • The Russia connectionEU to Take Action against Fake News and Foreign Electoral Interference

    Russian government-backed cyber aggression against democratic societies is heightening concerns in the West following a series of high-profile incidents. Russia’s electoral interference seriously threatens European democratic societies by promoting anti-EU, populist, far-right, ethnonationalist, xenophobic, and anti-American extremist forces.

  • Perspective: CybersecurityA Hacker’s Paradise? 5G and Cybersecurity

    The rollout of fifth-generation mobile networks — which offer the potential for downloads speeds of up to 10 times faster than today’s — will change how we communicate, work and stream video. However, the faster speeds are also likely to present an opportunity for hackers to target more devices and launch bigger cyberattacks, experts say. The problem is unlikely to be the security of 5G technology itself. The weak link in 5G’s security is likely to be communication between devices connected to the internet.

  • Perspective: Election securityCampaign Finance Enforcement Is an Essential Component of National Security

    Russia is at it again, so this week’s campaign finance enforcement action – in which two Russian-born associates of Rudy Giuliani have been indicted and arrested for violating campaign finance laws, including allegedly funneling Russian money into the main pro-Trump political action committee (PAC) — could not have come at a more important time for defending American democracy from foreign interference. The 2016 presidential election was subject to “sweeping and systematic” interference, and the next presidential election is just a year away with the FBI warning that “the Russians are absolutely intent on trying to interfere with our elections.”

  • DronesAerial Threat: Why Drone Hacking Could Be Bad News for the Military

    By Mohiuddin Ahmed and Paul Haskell-Dowland

    Unmanned aerial vehicles, more commonly called drones, are now a fundamental part of defense force capability, from intelligence gathering to unmanned engagement in military operations. But what happens if our own technology is turned against us? As with all IT technology, manufacturers and users may leave the digital doors unlocked. This potentially leaves opportunities for cyber-criminals and perhaps even cyber-warfare.

  • CybersecurityUsing Machine Learning to Hunt Down Cybercriminals

    An increasingly popular form of cyber-attack is to hijack IP addresses for a range of goals, from sending spam and malware to stealing Bitcoin. It’s estimated that in 2017 alone, routing incidents such as IP hijacks affected more than 10 percent of all the world’s routing domains. Existing efforts to detect IP hijacks tend to look at specific cases only when they’re already in process. But what if we could predict these incidents in advance by tracing things back to the actual hijackers themselves? 

  • PerspectiveSenate Intel Committee: Russia Is Already Trying to Influence the 2020 Election

    In recent months, President Donald Trump has intensified his efforts to advance the lies spread by the Kremlin and undermine the U.S. intelligence community consensus that Russia meddled in the 2016 presidential election. On July 25, Trump asked his Ukrainian counterpart to help push a Russian and far-right conspiracy theory that the U.S. cybersecurity company Crowdstrike worked with Ukranians and Democrats to frame Russia for election meddling. Patrick Tucker writes in Defense One that one important contribution of the second report on Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election, issued by the Republican-led Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, is that the committee, chaired by Sen. Richard Burr (R-North Carolina), is decisively refuting Trump and his conspiracy theory.

  • Election securityIranian Government Hackers Target U.S. Presidential Campaign: Microsoft

    Microsoft announced on Friday that a hacking group linked to the Iranian government has carried out a campaign against a U.S. presidential candidate. The group, which the tech giant named Phosphorous, made more than 2,700 attempts during a 30-day period between August and September to identify customer e-mail accounts. The hackers managed to hack into 241 of them. On Thursday, DHS and the FBI circulated a memo to state election officials warning that Russia will likely seek to interfere in the 2020 elections by discouraging voters or utilizing voter suppression tactics.

  • CybersecurityNew Institute to Lead Government, Industry Effort to Make 5G More Secure

    5G wireless technology promises to deliver a technology revolution in wireless communication. Already, wireless carriers and equipment manufacturers are incorporating 5G capabilities in their devices and working to construct national 5G networks. As the 5G revolution moves forward, a national challenge will emerge to develop and validate 5G security protocols and data protection technologies. To respond to this challenge, Idaho National Laboratory (INL) has established the INL Wireless Security Institute to lead and coordinate government, academic, and private industry research efforts fostering more secure and reliable 5G wireless technology.

  • PerspectiveDemocrats Must Act Now to Deter Foreign Interference in the 2020 Election

    Parts of the U.S. government, such as the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI, as well as state authorities, are working to prevent foreign interference in American elections, “but even with a Herculean effort, the country’s defenses against political warfare, especially in the cyber domain, are weak and porous. Such attacks are easy to execute, but difficult and expensive to thwart. The threat is evolving and will be different than it was in 2016. There are many targets,” Thomas Wright writes. “When defense is difficult, deterrence becomes important. One way to deal with election interference is to convince foreign adversaries that the cost might outweigh the gains, thus persuading them not to attack. This is where Trump’s position is so damaging, seeking to punish interference against him, but openly welcoming interference on his behalf.”

  • Election securityU.S. Officials Taking Putin Election Comments Seriously

    U.S. security officials are not laughing at the latest comments by Russian President Vladimir Putin about the Kremlin’s attempts to interfere in U.S. elections. Putin, speaking at an economic forum in Moscow Wednesday, dismissed U.S. allegations that Russia meddled in both the 2016 U.S. presidential election and the 2018 mid-term election as “ridiculous.” Despite Putin’s comments, U.S. security and intelligence officials have said, consistently, that they have seen indications Russia will try to interfere with the upcoming 2020 presidential elections.