Our PicksChina’s New Espionage | Children Coordinating Terror Attacks | Radioactive Materials & Dirty Bombs, and more

Published 25 October 2021

·  A China-Aligned Espionage Group Is Targeting Global Telecoms, Sweeping Up Call Data Dating Back Years

·  The Technical Obstacles to Afghan Drone War

·  Amid the Capitol Riot, Facebook Faced Its Own Insurrection

·  Facebook Dithered in Curbing Divisive User Content in India

·  Twitter Accounts Tied to China Lied That COVID Came from Maine Lobsters

·  Right-Wing Terrorism Suspects Deny 3D-Printed Firearm Charges

·  Anjem Choudary Orchestrating Online Campaigns in Support of Extremists Despite ISIS Conviction

·  Terror Warning: Expert Dismantles ‘Lone Wolf’ Myth– ‘These People Don’t Operate in Vacuum’

·  Children as Young as 13 Helping Coordinate Terror Attacks Via the Internet

·  GAO: National Strategy Needed to Prevent Radioactive Materials from Becoming Dirty Bombs

A China-Aligned Espionage Group Is Targeting Global Telecoms, Sweeping Up Call Data Dating Back Years  (A. J. Vicens, Cyberscoop)
An advanced network of digital spies with a nexus to Chinese interests has successfully compromised parts of the global telecommunications network, in some cases allowing access to subscriber information, call metadata, text messages and other data, according to research released Tuesday by CrowdStrike.
The hacking group, dubbed “LightBasin” by the firm and known publicly as UNC1945, has targeted the telecommunications sector since at least 2016, investigators found. New research has identified 13 telecommunications companies as having been compromised by the network dating back to least 2019. The specific companies were not identified.

The Technical Obstacles to Afghan Drone War  (Sarah Kreps and Paul Lushenko, Brookings)
Following the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, the Biden administration appears to be embracing an “over-the-horizon” strategy of carrying out drone strikes against terrorist targets in Afghanistan. This relies on what one analyst describes as “cooperation with local partners and selective interventions of air power, U.S. special operations forces, and intelligence, economic, and political support from regional bases outside of Afghanistan for the narrow purpose of counterterrorism.” This strategy assumes, however, that the U.S. has the requisite technical infrastructure and intelligence sharing agreements in place to enable the targeting of high-value terrorists in Afghanistan.

Amid the Capitol Riot, Facebook Faced Its Own Insurrection  (Alan Suderman and Joshua Goodman, AP / Techxplore)
As supporters of Donald Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6th, battling police and forcing lawmakers into hiding, an insurrection of a different kind was taking place inside the world’s largest social media company.
Thousands of miles away, in California, Facebook engineers were racing to tweak internal controls to slow the spread of misinformation and inciteful content. Emergency actions—some of which were rolled back after the 2020 election—included banning Trump, freezing comments in groups with a record for hate speech, filtering out the “Stop the Steal” rallying cry and empowering content moderators to act more assertively by labeling the U.S. a “Temporary High Risk Location” for political violence.
At the same time, frustration inside Facebook erupted over what some saw as the company’s halting and often reversed response to rising extremism in the U.S.