• Senate Intel: Obama Admin “Frozen by ‘Paralysis of Analysis’” in Its Response to Russian Election Interference

    Senate Select Committee on Intelligence on Thursday released the third volume in the Committee’s bipartisan investigation into Russian election interference. The report examines the Obama administration’s reaction to initial reports of election interference and the steps officials took or did not take to deter Russia’s activities. The 2016 Russian interference in the elections on behalf of Donald Trump was unprecedented in the history of the United States, but “Frozen by ‘paralysis of analysis,’ hamstrung by constraints both real and perceived, Obama officials debated courses of action without truly taking one,” said Committee Chairman Richard Burr (R-North Carolina).

  • Thwarting Hacks by Thinking As the Humans Behind Them

    If we understood the humans behind hacking incidents – and their intent – could we stop them? Research reveals the importance of factoring in a hacker’s motive for predicting, identifying and preventing cyberattacks.

  • Russia Unleashes New Weapons in Its “Cyber Attack Testing Ground”: Report

    “Ukraine is, by and large, a Russian cyberattack testing ground,” Vitali Kremez told Forbes’s Zak Doffman. “One of the inherent cyber dangers with Russia, China, Iran and North Korea, but particularly with Russia, is the potential for state actors to sharpen their tools and techniques on neighboring countries,” Doffman writes. And Russia “doesn’t have Ukraine in its sights with this costly approach, it is looking much further west.”

  • USC Kicks Off 50-State Election Cybersecurity Trainings

    Today, 28 January, the University of Southern California is kicking off its nonpartisan, independent, 50-state election cybersecurity training initiative in Maryland. Attendees will learn how to best protect their campaigns against misinformation and disinformation, hacking threats, and how to prepare and manage a potential crisis.

  • U.S.: “Serious consequences” If U.K. Allows Huawei Access to Britain’s 5G Network

    President Donald Trump has warned British Prime Minister Boris Johnson of “serious consequences” if he allows the Chinese telecom giant Huawei a role in building Britain’s 5G phone network, according to officials on both sides of the Atlantic. Supporters of allowing Huawei access to U.K. communication infrastructure say that the espionage and disruption risk Huawei poses can be mitigated  by limiting Huawei’s access to “non-core” segments of Britain’s communication system, but U.S. intelligence officials and their counterparts at Britain’s GCHQ, the eavesdropping spy agency and the country’s largest intelligence service, say restricting Huawei to the non-core “edges” of the new network would make little difference to the security risk.

  • It Is Now 100 Seconds to Midnight

    The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists’ Doomsday Clock is now closer to midnight than ever in its history. The Bulletin cites worsening nuclear threat, lack of climate action, and rise of “cyber-enabled disinformation campaigns” in moving the clock hand. December 2020 marks the 75th anniversary of the first edition of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, initially a six-page, black-and-white bulletin and later a magazine, created in anticipation that the atom bomb would be “only the first of many dangerous presents from the Pandora’s Box of modern science.”

  • Encryption “Backdoors” Would Weaken Election Security: Election Protection Coalition

    A coalition working on improving elections security sent a letter to Attorney General William Barr Wednesday, criticizing the AG for recent comments he made in he called on tech companies to create a “backdoor” in their devices. The backdoor would allow law enforcement to examine the communications of individuals arrested on suspicion of committing crimes or engaging in terrorism.

  • Letting “A Fox Loose in A Chicken Coop”: U.K. Intel Anxious about Huawei Deal

    High-level officials at the U.K. Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), the British equivalent of the U.S. NSA (and Britain’s largest intelligence agency), said they were concerned about the imminent decision by the government of Boris Johnson to allow Huawei access to the U.K.  new telecoms network infrastructure. A high-level GCHQ source told The Times that handing Huawei access the U.K. telecom networks would be akin to “letting a fox loose in a chicken coop.”

  • Israeli Court to Hear Case against Spy-Software Company NSO Behind Closed Doors

    On Thursday, a judge at Tel Aviv’s District Court begin hearing arguments as to why Israel’s Ministry of Defense (MoD) should revoke the export license of NSO Group. The firm’s Pegasus software has been used to target journalists and activists in several countries – including in Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Mexico, and the United Arab Emirates.

  • 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.

  • Things Are about to Get a Lot More Confusing for Cybercriminals

    While cyberdeception is not totally new as a way to fend off cybercriminals – researchers have been looking into this technique for a few years now – researchers are now taking a unique approach: using cognitive science to inform how to deceive attackers effectively.

  • 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.