• Reflecting on the past to counter future terrorism

    Warfare in the future will increasingly be about manipulating perceptions, whether by hostile states or non-state actors, according to terrorism expert Brian Michael Jenkins. The creation of fear and anxiety by terrorists, and foreign meddling in U.S. politics, are components of contemporary conflict. A major challenge facing the U.S. is how to get better at countering foes while strengthening national institutions, and U.S. democracy depends on it, Jenkins said.

  • New “deception consistency” method could thwart computer hackers

    Can you deceive a deceiver? That’s the question that computer scientists have recently been exploring. They are looking at how to make cyber deception a more effective tool against malicious hackers. “The main objective of our work is to ensure deception consistency: when the attackers are trapped, they can only make observations that are consistent with what they have seen already so that they cannot recognize the deceptive environment,” the researchers say.

  • Did Manafort meet Assange?

    Donald Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort held secret talks with Julian Assange inside the Ecuadorian embassy in London, and visited around the time he joined Trump’s campaign, the Guardian has been told. Sources have said Manafort went to see Assange in 2013, 2015 and in spring 2016 – during the period when Manafort was made a key figure in Trump’s push for the White House. It is unclear why Manafort wanted to see Assange and what was discussed. But the last meeting is likely to come under scrutiny and could interest Robert Mueller, the special prosecutor who is investigating alleged collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.

  • Trump regularly briefed on Manafort-Muller discussions

    A lawyer for Paul Manafort repeatedly briefed President Donald Trump’s lawyers on his client’s discussions with federal investigators after Manafort agreed to cooperate with the special counsel. This highly unusual arrangement intensified tensions between Trump’s team and the special counsel’s office after prosecutors discovered it. Muller’s office discovered that Manafort’s lawyers were regularly updating the Trump team after Manafort began cooperating with Muller’s office two months ago. Some legal experts speculated that it was an attempt by Manafort to secure a presidential pardon even as he worked with the special counsel in hopes of a lighter sentence.

  • Seven commandments of fake news: Exposing the Kremlin’s methods

    A 3-series multimedia project by the New York Times reveals how current Kremlin disinformation campaigns stem from a long tradition of weaponizing information. Titled Operation Infektion, the series tells the story of a “political virus,” invented decades ago by the KGB to “slowly and methodically destroy its enemies from the inside,” and which the Kremlin continues to deliberately spread to this day.

  • Predicting the impact of hackers, earthquakes -- and squirrels -- on the power grid

    What would it take for an entire American city to lose power? What circumstances and failures in the electrical grid’s infrastructure would lead to a dramatic, long-term blackout? And what weak points could utility companies invest in to help prevent a catastrophic shutdown?

  • Twitter bots played disproportionate role spreading misinformation during 2016 election

    An analysis of information shared on Twitter during the 2016 U.S. presidential election has found that automated accounts — or “bots” — played a disproportionate role in spreading misinformation online. The study analyzed 14 million messages and 400,000 articles shared on Twitter between May 2016 and March 2017 — a period that spans the end of the 2016 presidential primaries and the presidential inauguration on Jan. 20, 2017.

  • $2.5 million to support collaborative cybersecurity R&D

    DHS S&T and its counterparts in the Netherlands jointly announced a total of $2.5 million in collaborative cybersecurity research and development (R&D) across five U.S-Dutch research teams. The five research teams will collaborate to develop solutions for Distributed Denial of Defense Security (DDoSD) and Industrial Controls Systems Security.

  • Using game theory to quantify threats of cyberattacks on power grid

    Threat levels for cyberattacks on the power grid are usually labeled high, medium or low, but engineers say this is not good enough: Such judgements are too qualitative and too subjective. Could engineers incorporate scientific methods? Computer algorithms? And given that there are attackers and defenders – just like in a soccer match – could game theory be applied to help with risk assessment, attack-defense modeling and “what-if” contingency analysis that could help mitigate any attacks?

  • Bannon's Brexit connection

    A recent report in the New Yorker revealed emails show Steve Bannon and Cambridge Analytica played a role in pushing Brexit. Their Leave.EU support may have been an incubator for tactics deployed to propel the Trump presidential campaign.

  • World’s biggest student-led cybersecurity games announce winners of CSAW 2018

    A team of four computer science students from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) once again took home top honors at the 15th anniversary edition of  Cyber Security Awareness Week (CSAW), the world’s largest student-run cyber security event.

  • Iran may launch cyberattacks in retaliation for new U.S. sanctions

    As new U.S. sanctions on Iran’s economy take effect, a desperate Tehran is likely to retaliate with more aggressive cyber attacks on its regional neighbors and expand its global cyber infiltration operations, according to a new study. The report comes as the United States imposed sanctions against Iranian oil imports, the regime’s most important source of hard currency, on 5 November.

  • Russia influence operations taking aim at U.S. military

    With the U.S. midterm elections taking place Tuesday, there are growing fears that Russia’s efforts to undermine U.S. democracy extend far beyond the polls on 6 November or the presidential election in 2020. Defense and security officials worry that as part of Moscow’s plan to sow division and discord, it is trying to conquer the U.S. military — not with bullets or missiles but with tweets and memes. The tactic is an outgrowth of Russia’s overarching strategy to find seams within U.S. society where distrust or anger exist and widen those divisions with targeted messaging.

  • Next-gen cybersecurity solutions for Internet of Things

    Industry experts forecast that more than 20 billion wireless devices of all types—from smart TVs, phones and home appliances to health care monitors and manufacturing process controls—will be connected worldwide via the emerging Internet of Things (IoT) by 2020. Malicious cyber activity, which cost the U.S. economy $57 to $109 billion in 2016 alone, is expected to rise by 22 percent each year, disrupting both consumer and business use of these devices and putting the economy at risk.

  • 30 years ago, the world’s first cyberattack set the stage for modern cybersecurity challenges

    Back in November 1988, Robert Tappan Morris, son of the famous cryptographer Robert Morris Sr., was a 20-something graduate student at Cornell who wanted to know how big the internet was – that is, how many devices were connected to it. So he wrote a program that would travel from computer to computer and ask each machine to send a signal back to a control server, which would keep count. The program worked well – too well, in fact. Morris had known that if it traveled too fast there might be problems, but the limits he built in weren’t enough to keep the program from clogging up large sections of the internet, both copying itself to new machines and sending those pings back. His program became the first of a particular type of cyber attack called “distributed denial of service.”