• 2020 Conflicts: The Most Likely, and Most Damaging to U.S.

    The Council on Foreign Relations has asked policy experts to rank thirty ongoing or potential conflicts based on how likely they are to occur or escalate in the next year, and their possible impact on U.S. interests. For the second year in a row, a highly disruptive cyberattack on critical infrastructure, including electoral systems, was the top-ranked homeland security–related concern. A mass-casualty terrorist attack was a close second. A confrontation between the United States and Iran, North Korea, or with China in the South China Sea remain the biggest concerns overseas.

  • 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.

  • If You Think the Millennium Bug Was a Hoax, Here Comes a History Lesson

    It’s not hard to find echoes of the late 1990s in the zeitgeist. Now as then, impeachment is on many peoples’ minds, and films such as The Matrix and The Sixth Sense continue to influence culture. Another feature of the same era that perhaps has a more important, if subtler, influence is the infamous Y2K bug. Y2K was the great glitch in computer systems that looked capable of destroying civilization at the stroke of midnight on the millennium. In the end, however, nothing much went wrong. Y2K is in danger of becoming one of those moments in history from which exactly the wrong lessons have been drawn.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 5. The Ransomware Menace

    Experts say that 2019 should be declared the Year of Ransomware Escalation. The increasing number of attacks and the move by perpetrators to target large companies and public institutions in the United States and abroad is a turning point in the evolution of this digital form of blackmail.

  • State Officials Are Unhappy with Rollout of Election Security Framework

    The federal government has developed a new threat-notification framework, which is meant to give U.S. officials a consistent process for alerting state personnel, the private sector, Congress, and the public of foreign attempts to interfere in U.S. politics through influence operations or cyberactivity. Sean Lyngaas writes that “State officials were only given a generic, one-page summary of the document, which is still restricted to the federal government” and quotes the secretary of state of West Virginia, who said that the document “was “either done without [states’] input or our input was ignored.”

  • GOP Senators: Chinese Drones Pose National Security Threat

    A group of GOP senators called on the administration to restrict the use of Chinese drones by U.S. government agencies. “American taxpayer dollars should not fund state-controlled or state-owned firms that seek to undermine American national security and economic competitiveness,” they write.

  • The United States Should Not Act as If It's the Only Country Facing Foreign Interference

    “Right now, Russia’s security services and their proxies have geared up to repeat their interference in the 2020 election. We are running out of time to stop them.” This stark warning from former National Security Council official Fiona Hill serves as a sharp reminder of the threat to democracy posed by foreign interference and disinformation. Russia’s ongoing interference in U.S. affairs is just a small piece on a big chessboard. A key foreign policy goal of the Kremlin is to discredit, undermine, and embarrass what it sees as a liberal international order intent on keeping Russia down and out. Russia’s systematic attack on U.S. democracy in 2016 was unprecedented, but its playbook is not unique.

  • Resilience Guidebook for State of Idaho

    In times of growing cyber threats and severe weather, resilience – the ability to continue providing emergency services while damaged infrastructure is restored – has emerged as a growing concern among leaders at state and local levels.

  • How New Voting Machines Could Hack Our Democracy

    The United States has a disturbing habit of investing in unvetted new touchscreen voting machines that later prove disastrous. Jennifer Cohn writes that as we barrel toward what is set to be the most important election in a generation, Congress appears poised to fund another generation of risky touchscreen voting machines called universal use Ballot Marking Devices (or BMDs), which function as electronic pens, marking your selections on paper on your behalf. Most leading election security experts instead recommend hand-marked paper ballots as a primary voting system, with an exception for voters with disabilities.

  • Is Your Car Vulnerable to Cyberattacks?

    The emergence of smart cars has opened the door to limitless possibilities for technology and innovation – but also to threats beyond the car itself. New research is the first to apply criminal justice theory to smart vehicles, revealing cracks in the current system leading to potential cyber risks.

  • Can 'Cyber Moonshot' save America?

    It took Pearl Harbor to convince a majority of Americans that the United States that it should enter World War II. It took the Soviets launching its Sputnik satellite into orbit to convince Americans of the need to be in space. It took the bombings of 9/11 to anger and energize the nation into a war on terror. “But can the United States avoid a cyber Pearl Harbor?” Troy Turner asks. “The nation must not wait to find out, and it shouldn’t take such a life-changing event to get the country to understand the need for fast action on cybersecurity,” he writes.