• 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.

  • Voting-Machine Parts Made by Foreign Suppliers Stir Security Concerns

    Voting machines which are widely used across the United States contain parts made by companies with ties to China and Russia, researchers found, raising anxious questions about the security of voting machines which use overseas suppliers. Several government agencies are now looking into the issue. Alexa Corse writes that a report issued Monday by Interos Inc., an Arlington, Virginia-based supply-chain monitoring company, says that voting-machine vendors could be at risk of using insecure components from overseas suppliers which generally are difficult to vet and monitor.

  • Unlawful Metadata Access Is Easy When We’re Flogging a Dead Law

    After watching this year’s media raids and the prosecution of lawyers and whistleblowers, it’s not hard to see why Australians wonder about excessive police power and dwindling journalistic freedom. But these problems are compounded by another, less known issue: police, and other bodies not even involved in law enforcement, have broad powers to access metadata. Each year, police alone access metadata in excess of 300,000 times.

  • U.K. Intelligence Probing Russian Election Meddling

    Britain’s cybersecurity agency is investigating whether state-sponsored Russian hackers were behind the leaks of British government documents used by opposition politicians to embarrass Boris Johnson’s ruling Conservative Party ahead of Thursday’s general election.

  • The New Kind of Warfare Reshaping Global Politics

    The list is long: Russian internet trolls interfering in the 2016 U.S. election; Russian operatives murdering Putin’s opponents abroad; Chinese spies manipulating Australian politics while the country’s coast guard ships harass Japanese fishing fleets, and much more. Simon Clark writes that these are not random acts of autocratic aggression. Rather, they are examples of a new form of warfare which is becoming a bigger challenge for the United States and its western allies: gray-zone conflict.

  • Going After the Good Guys: The Government’s Ransomware Identity Crisis

    Government agencies find it difficult to keep pace with the rapidly evolving cybercrime – especially when it comes to ransomware and malware. Ryan Blanch, a criminal defense attorney who has been involved in myriad cybercrime cases, writes that “sometimes, the government seems to be going after the good guys instead of the bad guys.”

  • A Quantum Computing Future Is Unlikely, Due to Random Hardware Errors

    Earlier this fall Google announced that it had demonstrated “quantum supremacy” – that is, that it performed a specific quantum computation far faster than the best classical computers could achieve. IBM promptly criticized the claim, saying that its own classical supercomputer could perform the computation at nearly the same speed with far greater fidelity. “So how can you make sense of what is going on?” Subhash Kak, a professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, asks. “As someone who has worked on quantum computing for many years, I believe that due to the inevitability of random errors in the hardware, useful quantum computers are unlikely to ever be built.”

  • The Drums of Cyberwar

    A recent study found that if hackers were to take down the electric grid in just fifteen states and Washington, D.C., 93 million people would be without power, quickly leading to a “rise in mortality rates as health and safety systems fail; a decline in trade as ports shut down; disruption to water supplies as electric pumps fail and chaos to transport networks as infrastructure collapses.” The cost to the economy, the study reported, would be astronomical: anywhere from $243 billion to $1 trillion. “Sabotaging critical infrastructure may not be as great an existential threat as climate change or nuclear war, but it has imperiled entire populations already and remains a persistent probability,” Sue Halperin writes.

  • Mobile Devices Blur Work and Personal Privacy Increasing Cyber Risks

    Organizations aren’t moving quickly enough to identify cyber security threats linked to the drive toward using personal mobile devices in the workplace, cybersecurity researchers warn. “The breakneck speed of digital transformation brought with it opportunities as well as threats,” one researcher said. “Organizations don’t appear to be keeping up with the pace of change, deliberately putting the brakes on digital transformation because it comes with security challenges.”

  • Former Envoy Huntsman: Putin Likely ‘Joyful’ About Ukraine Theory

    President Donald Trump’s former ambassador to Russia said Vladimir Putin is likely “joyful” about the renewed prominence of a debunked conspiracy theory that Ukraine was responsible for meddling in the 2016 election, which experts consider Russian disinformation.

  • Russian Hackers Source of Labour Party’s “NHS for Sale” Document

    In a press conference last week, Jeremy Corbin, the leader of the Labour Party, showed the attendees a hefty document – 451 pages! — which, he claimed, was a classified government document detailing secret U.K-U.S. negotiations between the Conservative Party-led government and the United States to sell parts of the U.K. National Health Service (NHS) to American investors. Experts say Russian government hackers stole the document and handed it to Labour in order to discredit the government and deepen polarization ahead of the 12 December parliamentary election.