• COMBATTING INFLUENCE CAMPAIGNSFighting Foreign Interference

    By Brendan Nicholson

    Many in Europe did not take the foreign interference threat seriously until Russia launched its war against Ukraine on 24 February, even though European nations were already subjected to a form of hybrid warfare from Russia with cyberattacks on hospitals during the Covid-19 pandemic, attacks on public institutions, attempts to corrupt leaders and financing of political parties. China’s emerging interference campaign emulates Russia’s. Their goal is :to ensure the democracies no longer functioned and gave way to authoritarian regimes,” says a European expert.

  • CLOAK & DAGGERNo, Jason Bourne Is Not the Real CIA

    By Christina Pazzanese

    Ex-directors, officers, scholars mark agency’s 75th anniversary with discussion of truth, lies — especially of Hollywood kind.

  • CRITICAL INFRASTRUCTUREThree Iranian Nationals Charged with Cyber Plots Against U.S. Critical Infrastructure Providers

    An indictment was unsealed Wednesday charging three Iranian nationals with allegedly orchestrating a scheme to hack into the computer networks of multiple U.S. victims, including critical infrastructure providers. The defendants’ hacking campaign exploited known vulnerabilities in commonly used network devices and software applications to gain access and exfiltrate data and information from victims’ computer systems.

  • PUTIN’S FUTURENo End in Sight to “Beginning of Putin’s End”

    By Russia Matters staff

    The first predictions that Vladimir Putin’s reign was about to end – the wording often referred to “the beginning of the end” of Vladimir Putin’s regime – were made in 2002, three years after his ascension to power in December 1999. The number and frequency of such predictions have increased since the launch of the botched invasion of Ukraine on 24 February 2022. The staff of Russia Matters examined thirty-eight of these predictions and the context in which they were made.

  • CHINA WATCHChina Intensifying Its Global Push for Media Influence

    The Chinese government’s media influence efforts, turning to more covert and aggressive tactics, have increased since 2019 in most of the 30 countries under study by a new report, but democratic pushback has often curbed their impact.

  • ASSASSINATIONSThe Mysterious Deaths of Russian Oligarchs

    Last week, on 1 September, Ravil Maganov joined a long list of Russian oligarchs and businessmen who died under mysterious circumstances since Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine on 24 February.

  • NORTH KOREARisks of North Korean Chemical, Biological Weapons; EMP; and Cyber Threats

    What WMD and cyber capabilities does North Korea currently have? How does North Korea use or threaten to use these capabilities? What are North Korea’s goals in employing its WMD and cyber capabilities? What impact could this use have? How can the ROK-U.S. rein in and defeat the North’s WMD and cyber capabilities?

  • TRUTH DECAYTruth Decay in Europe

    What is the empirical evidence for the trends, drivers and consequences of Truth Decay in Europe, and how does that compare with what was found for the United States? To what extent does this evidence apply across Europe as a whole, or are there differences within Europe in the empirical evidence of trends, drivers and consequences of Truth Decay? What are the implications of applying the conceptual framework developed for the United States framework of Truth Decay in Europe? Which areas need to be further investigated in order to tackle Truth Decay in Europe?

  • CYBERSECURITYDid Twitter Ignore Basic Security Measures? A Cybersecurity Expert Explains a Whistleblower’s Claims

    By Richard Forno

    Twitter’s former security chief, Peiter “Mudge” Zatko, filed a whistleblower complaint with the Securities and Exchange Commission in July 2022, accusing the microblogging platform company of serious security failings. Zatko’s most damning accusations center around Twitter’s alleged failure to have a solid cybersecurity plan to protect user data, deploy internal controls to guard against insider threats and ensure the company’s systems were current and properly updated.

  • INTELLIGENCEAfter Six Months of War, Russia's Intelligence Agencies Have Adapted

    By Reid Standish

    While the scale of Russia’s battlefield setbacks have taken center stage in recent months, it was Russia’s intelligence agencies — most notably the Federal Security Service (FSB) — that failed to bring down Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s government or incite any form of pro-Russian support as tanks pushed into Ukraine. How did Russia’s intelligence agencies get things so wrong and why did the networks they had cultivated for years in Ukraine fail to yield results?

  • INTELLIGENCEThe Inside Story of the CIA v Russia – from Cold War Conspiracy to “Black” Propaganda in Ukraine

    By Rhodri Jeffreys-Jones

    The CIA was created with two key goals in mind: thwarting Soviet expansionism, and preventing another surprise attack like that carried out by the Japanese on Pearl Harbor during the second world war. In the 198s and early 1990s, some suggested shutting down the CIA, expressing the widespread perception that the agency was no longer fit for purpose and should be curtailed. But how much does Washington trust the CIA these days?

  • CHINA WATCHUK Biobank and China’s Access to Foreign Genetic Information

    A UK research outfit studying the genetic predisposition and environmental exposure of millions of Britons was recently urged to reconsider how it handles information transfers to Chinese researchers for medical research.

  • DISINFORMATIONFighting Against Disinformation with Lessons from Cybersecurity

    By Kylie Foy

    Mary Ellen Zurko pioneered user-centered security in the 1990s. Now she is using those insights to help the nation thwart influence operations.

  • INFORMATION CONFRONTATIONRivalry in the Information Sphere

    How is information confrontation defined in the Russian military-scientific literature and in Russian strategic documents? What are its subtypes, and which Russian organizations contribute to information confrontation efforts? How has information confrontation as an element of Russian military strategy evolved over time, from Imperial Russia to the Putin era? How might the concept and its role in Russian military operations evolve in the future?

  • ARGUMENT: PROPAGANDAHow Unmoderated Platforms Became the Frontline for Russian Propaganda

    The Russian invasion of Ukraine has highlighted the evolving complexities of platform governance challenges in an increasingly decentralized information environment. Samantha Bradshaw, Renee DiResta, and Christopher Giles write that “A comprehensive strategy to combat disinformation campaigns must consider full spectrum operations that incorporate both overt and covert dynamics across a wide range of analog, digital, and alternative media,” adding that “An overfocus on covert networks on Facebook and Twitter misses the full expanse of the propaganda strategies that often reach more users through different communication media on popular local media and social media channels.”