• “We can't let Putin and his allies succeed”: Sen. Mark Warner

    In one of the more important speeches by a political leader in the last few years, Senator Mark Warner (D-Virginia), the vice chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, offered a sobering assessment of the challenge to U.S. interests and values posed by a resurgent Russia. “[W]hile our gaze shifted away from Russia, which we began to kind of write off and at a certain level dismiss as simply a regional power, Russia really never lost its focus on us,” Warner said. “Its geostrategic aim remains squarely targeted on the Western liberal order and, more specifically, on what its KGB-trained leadership views as the main enemy: The United States,” Warner said. “So Russia diligently honed and updated its toolkit for a different kind of Great Power rivalry. They couldn’t match us in the old Cold War paradigm, so Russia needed a strategy that would allow them to compete with us on a new, emerging battlefield,” Warner noted, adding that that the U.S. response is inadequate. “We need a president who will lead not just a whole-of-government effort, but in a sense a whole-of-society effort to try to take on these challenges. We need someone that will actually unify our nation against this growing asymmetric threat. We can’t let Putin and his allies succeed.”

  • Russia used social media extensively to influence U.S. energy markets: Congressional panel

    The U.S. House Science, Space, and Technology Committee last week released a staff report uncovering Russia’s extensive efforts to influence U.S. energy markets through divisive and inflammatory posts on social media platforms. The report details Russia’s motives in interfering with U.S. energy markets and influencing domestic energy policy and its manipulation of Americans via social media propaganda. The report includes examples of Russian-propagated social media posts.

  • Kremlin hackers infiltrated the most secure German government communication network

    The German government yesterday (Wednesday) confirmed that it had suffered a large cyberattack which infiltrated federal computer networks in search of sensitive information. Anonymous German law enforcement sources said that the Russia hacking group APT28, aka Fancy Bear, had placed malware in a government network and infiltrated both the Foreign Ministry and the Defense Ministry. Fancy Bear, which is one of the hacking groups operated by the GRU (Russia’s military intelligence branch), conducted the 2016 hacking campaign of the DNC and the Hillary Clinton campaign. The Russian government hackers managed to infiltrate the German government’s “Informationsverbund Berlin-Bonn” (IVBB) network, a communication network which was specially designed as a secure communications platform.

  • Basic password guidance can dramatically improve account security

    Technology users should be offered more detailed support and guidance when creating account passwords in order to make them more secure and harder to crack, a new study suggests. found those who receive basic guidance including password meters were up to 40 percent more likely to make their choices secure. However, those given feedback such as how likely it was that hackers could guess their passwords – and therefore access private information held in their accounts – were up to 10 times more likely to change their original choice to something more secure.

  • Putin’s fear of democracy; Fancy Bear targets diplomats; Facebook weak filters, and more

    · What scares Vladimir Putin the most? It’s still democracy.

    · Trump has done nothing to stop Russia from meddling in the 2018 midterms

    · Report: Russia probed at least 7 states’ voter systems before the 2016 election

    · Follow the Russian natural gas

    · State Department targeting Russia with anti-propaganda program

    · Mueller asking if Trump knew about hacked Democratic emails before release

    · Fancy Bear targeting North American, European diplomats

    · Facebook’s ad confirmation process won’t stop the Russians

    · Facebook’s ad confirmation process won’t stop the Russians

  • Trump has not ordered disruption of Russia election meddling: NSA chief Adm. Rogers

    President Donald Trump has not ordered, authorized, or given the U.S. intelligence agencies additional powers to retaliate against Russian meddling and disinformation campaigns, and prevent Russia’s plans to meddle in the 2018 midterm election. Adm. Mike Rogers, director of the NSA and head of the U.S. Cyber Command, said that U.S. weak response to Russian meddling in the 2016 election, and to Russia’s on-going hacking and disinformation campaign, has persuaded Vladimir Putin that there was “little price to pay” for continuing interference in the U.S. political system. “Clearly, what we’ve done hasn’t been enough,” Rogers told members of the Senate Armed Services Committee. “They have not paid a price that is sufficient to change their behavior.”

  • Exploring solutions for the problem of "fake news"

    A new report, titled “Dead Reckoning: Navigating Content Moderation after ‘Fake News’,” analyzes nascent solutions recently proposed by platform corporations, governments, news media industry coalitions, and civil society organizations to the problem of identifying, handling, and mitigating fake news. The report then explores potential approaches to containing fake news including trust and verification, disrupting economic incentives, de-prioritizing content and banning accounts, as well as limited regulatory approaches.

  • Hacker-resistant power plant software in a successful Hawaii tryout

    Johns Hopkins computer security experts recently traveled to Hawaii to see how well their hacker-resistant software would operate within a working but currently offline Honolulu power plant. The successful resilience testing, funded by the U.S. Department of Defense, was triggered in part by growing concerns about the vulnerability of electric power grids after two high-profile cyber-attacks by Russian government hackers turned out the lights in parts of Ukraine during the past two years. Neither outage in Kiev was long or extensive enough to cause serious harm or panic. Yet the attacks served as a wake-up call, putting a spotlight on power grid security in the United States and elsewhere.

  • Global AI experts warn of malicious use of AI in the coming decade

    Twenty-six experts on the security implications of emerging technologies have jointly authored an important new report, sounding the alarm about the potential malicious use of artificial intelligence (AI) by rogue states, criminals, and terrorists. Forecasting rapid growth in cyber-crime and the misuse of drones during the next decade – as well as an unprecedented rise in the use of “bots” to manipulate everything from elections to the news agenda and social media. the report calls for governments and corporations worldwide to address the clear and present danger inherent in the myriad applications of AI.

  • Financier of Russian troll farm supporting Trump funds anti-U.S. paramilitaries in Syria

    Yevgeniy Prigozhin is a close ally of Vladimir Putin and the financial backer of the St. Petersburg-based troll farm known as the Internet Research Agency (IRA). The IRA has been at the center of the Kremlin’s disinformation campaign which was launched in 2014 to sow discord and deepen polarization and conflict in the United States (and other Western democracies) – and which, in 2016, changed focus to help Donald Trump win the Republican nomination and then the White House. According to U.S. intelligence, a Prigozhin-financed paramilitary group of Russian mercenaries attacked U.S. troops and their allies in Syria earlier this month. Prigozhin was in close touch with Putin and senior aides to Assad in the days and weeks before and after the assault.

  • Pentagon says U.S. was told no Russians involved in Syria attack

    The Pentagon says U.S. military commanders were told by their Russian counterparts that there were no Russians in a paramilitary force whose attack on a base in eastern Syria earlier this month led to a massive counterstrike by U.S. forces. Up to a 100 Russians were killed in the attack, which was conducted by the Wagner Group, a paramilitary firm based in southern Russia and financed by Yevgeniy Prigozhin, a close Putin ally who owns the St. Petersburg troll farm Internet Research Agency. Senior U.S. intelligence officials told ABC News that Prigozhin’s connection to the Wagner Group is important, as his private military work offers more evidence that he is pursuing Vladimir Putin’s global ambitions while providing the Russian leader some deniability that the actions are officially sanctioned.

  • National security officials' letter supporting bipartisan Secure Elections Act

    A bipartisan groups of former national security officials and lawmakers sent a letter to all U.S. senators in support of the Secure Elections Act (S. 2261). The legislation, introduced by Senators James Lankford (R-OK), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Kamala Harris (D-CA), Susan Collins (R-ME), and Martin Heinrich (D-NM), would empower states to address rising cybersecurity risks to American elections without undermining their control over the administration of those elections.

  • Dem. leaders want $300 million for FBI, DHS to protect U.S. election from Russia

    The Democratic leaders in the Senate and House on Wednesday sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin), demanding that $300 million be given to the FBI and DHS so they can thwart more meddling by foreign powers. The letter urges state and local governments to bolster their defense against cyberattacks, including the replacement of outdated voter registration and voting systems, after the FBI and DHDS confirmed that Russian government operatives, in 2016, tried to attack these components of the U.S. election system in twenty-one states.

  • Election security a high priority — until it comes to paying for new voting machines

    Local election administrators across the country face new problems and threats. But their budgets for new voting equipment remain inadequate. Analysis of voting machines found that over two-thirds of counties in America used machines for the 2016 election that are over a decade old. In most jurisdictions, the same equipment will be used in the 2018 election. In a recent nationwide survey by the Brennan Center for Justice, election officials in 33 states reported needing to replace their voting equipment by 2020. Officials complain the machines are difficult to maintain and susceptible to crashes and failure, problems that lead to long lines and other impediments in voting and, they fear, a sense among voters that the system itself is untrustworthy.

  • APT37 (Reaper): Overlooked North Korean cyber espionage unit

    An increasingly sophisticated North Korean cyber-espionage unit is using its skills to widen spying operations to aerospace and defense industries, a new study has revealed. Cybersecurity firm FireEye has identified a North Korean group, which it names APT37 (Reaper) and which it says is using malware to infiltrate computer networks. FireEye’s report suggests the group has been active since 2012, but has now graduated to the level of an advanced persistent threat.