• Overseas Climate Change Could Devastate U.K.

    The effects of climate change overseas could have a potentially devastating impact on the economy here in the UK. The UK economy is particularly exposed to risks because of London’s prominent role at the center of the global insurance market. Climate change will lead to rising sea levels and wildfires, as well as an increase in the frequency of extreme weather events such as droughts, floods, and severe storms.

  • White House Launches Broader Scrutiny of Foreign Tech

    An executive order signed by President Joe Biden earlier this month dropped a Trump-era measure that barred Americans from downloading TikTok and several other Chinese smartphone apps. But analysts say the order also broadens the scrutiny of foreign-controlled technology.

  • New Federal Agency Needed to Help U.S. Compete with China in Advanced Industries, Technologies: Report

    To compete effectively with China, the United States must develop and implement a national advanced industry and technology strategy that is explicitly focused on the commercial competitiveness of select sectors that are most critical to the economy—and the U.S. government needs a new, free-standing agency that is solely dedicated to carrying out that mission.

  • Rare Earth Metals at the Heart of China’s Rivalry with U.S., Europe

    What if China were to cut off the United States and Europe from access to Rare Earth Elements (REEs), 17 minerals with unique characteristics which are essential to electric vehicles, wind turbines, drones, batteries, sophisticated military gear, and much more? This is a time of growing geopolitical friction among these three, and the United States and Europe want to change the current dependence on China, where, today, these minerals are largely extracted and refined.

  • The Geopolitics of Rare Earth Elements

    The Covid-19 pandemic has exposed fragility in the global supply chains for not only pharmaceuticals and crucial medical supplies but also some critical minerals. Chief among them are rare Earth elements (REEs), which are necessary for clean energy equipment, advanced military gear, and consumer goods. About 80 percent of the world’s REEs are produced and refined in China.

  • Cyber Regulation Could Be Coming Following Spate of Hacks, Ransomware Attacks

    The United States may soon look to regulate private companies, mandating higher standards for cybersecurity following a series of damaging hacks and ransomware attacks against key firms and critical infrastructure. Cybersecurity experts say that malign actors are currently operating with impunity and that too many private sector organizations have, so far, failed to take the necessary precautions. “Enlightened self-interest, that’s apparently not working,” Chris Inglis, tapped to be the country’s first national cyber director, told members of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. “Market forces, that’s apparently not working.”

  • U.S. Attorney General Warns Ransomware “Getting Worse and Worse”

    U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland warned Wednesday that ransom-motivated cyberattacks are “getting worse and worse,” echoing other top Biden administration officials who have sounded the alarm about the problem in recent weeks.  “We have to do everything we possibly can here,” Garland told lawmakers. “This is a very, very serious threat.” 

  • Fastly’s Global Internet Meltdown Could Be a Sign of Things to Come

    For an hour on the morning of June, dozens of the world’s most-visited websites went offline. Together, these websites handle hundreds of millions of users. This case illustrates the fragility of an internet that’s being routed through fewer and fewer channels. When one of those major channels fails, in what is called a “single point of failure”, the results are dramatic, disruptive and incredibly costly. It’s urgent we address this significant vulnerability if we’re to avoid another global internet meltdown – but this time caused by criminals, not code.

  • Broad Swath of the Web Knocked Offline by Outage

    A broad swath of the World Wide Web has been knocked offline by an outage at edge cloud CDN specialist Fastly. The company runs an “edge cloud,” which is designed to speed up loading times for websites, protect them from denial-of-service attacks, and help them deal with bursts of traffic. The technology requires Fastly to sit between most of its clients and their users. That means that if the service suffers a catastrophic failure, it can prevent those companies from operating on the net at all.

  • Fastly Global Internet Outage: Why Did So Many Sites Go Down — and What Is a CDN, Anyway?

    If you were having difficulty accessing your favorite website on Tuesday time, you’re not alone. A jaw-dropping number of major websites around the globe suddenly became unavailable with no immediately obvious explanation — before reappearing an hour later. To understand why it happened, you need to know what a CDN (content delivery network) is and how crucial they are to the smooth running of the internet.

  • Americans Bought 1.6 Million Guns Last Month. Who Were the Buyers?

    Americans bought 1.6 million guns last month – an impressive number, but only the 14th highest on record, and still down 18 percent from May 2020. What has remained far more opaque is who exactly was doing the buying last year. This week, we started to have a more definitive answer.

  • White House Urges US Companies to Protect Against Ransomware

    The White House on Thursday urged American businesses to take new precautions to combat disruptive ransomware attacks that have increasingly hobbled companies throughout Western economies. Anne Neuberger, a White House cybersecurity official, said in a statement that the “most important takeaway” from the recent attacks, including those affecting a key gasoline pipeline and a meat production company in the U.S., is that “companies that view ransomware as a threat to their core business operations rather than a simple risk of data theft will react and recover more effectively.”

  • China’s Determined Effort to Build an S&T Infrastructure

    For half a century, China, with dogged determination, has pursued its effort to build an S&T infrastructure. A new report from the Center for Security and Emerging Technology (CSET) notes that foreign technology acquisition continues to play a large role in this effort, with commercial technology products becoming increasingly attractive targets. Beijing’s “hybrid innovation system” blends forms of academic collaboration, industry partnerships, cyber espionage, direct investment, and influence operations to enhance China’s comprehensive national power.

  • Cyber Attacks Can Shut Down Critical Infrastructure. It’s Time to Make Cyber Security Compulsory

    The 7 May attack on the Colonial Pipeline highlights how vulnerable critical infrastructure such as fuel pipelines are in an era of growing cyber security threats. In Australia, we believe the time has come to make it compulsory for critical infrastructure companies to implement serious cyber security measures.

  • It’s Time to Surge Resources into Prosecuting Ransomware Gangs

    In the popular imagination, hacking is committed by lone wolves with exceptional computer skills. But in reality, the vast majority of hackers do not have the technical sophistication to create the malicious tools that are essential to their trade. Kellen Dwyer writes that hacking has exploded in recent years because criminals have specialized and subspecialized so that each one can concentrate on facilitating just a single phase of a successful data breach. This is known as cybercrime-as-a-service and it is a massive business. This intricate cybercrime ecosystem offers the key to fighting it: “While organization and specialization are strengths of cybercriminals, they are also weaknesses. That means there are organizations that can be infiltrated and exploited.”