• U.S. Still Searching for “Havana Syndrome” Answers

    The CIA has concluded a mysterious illness plaguing American diplomats and other officials around the world is not nearly as widespread as initially feared and is most likely not the work of a foreign adversary. But the agency also cautioned that a smaller number of cases continue to defy explanation.

  • How the U.S. Is Making Gains in an Uphill Battle Against Russian Hackers

    U.S. policy and actions in response to cyberattacks connected to Russia have changed distinctly since the Biden administration took office. The Biden administration has taken unprecedented steps to impose costs on Russian cyber criminals and frustrate their efforts, but we should be realistic about what national cyber defense can and can’t do.

  • China’s Long-Arm Policing Overseas

    Just around Christmas last year, China’s global hunt for “fugitives” hit a new milestone. Since its launch in 2014 as part of Xi Jinping’s anti-corruption campaign, 10,000 are claimed to have been successfully returned from over 120 countries around the globe under Sky Net (and junior partner Fox Hunt) operations.

  • How to Support a Globally Connected Counter-Disinformation Network

    From undermining democracy to inciting genocide, the global dangers of disinformation on social media are now well known. Kevin Sheives writes that despite countless calls for better legal regulation or intensified content moderation, the efforts of governments and social media companies to combat this threat have proven either woefully inadequate or dangerous to democratic practice. “Civil society, not governments or social media companies, can best diminish disinformation,” he writes.

  • Security Flaws in China’s Mandatory Olympics App for Athletes

    Athletes arriving at the Winter Olympics in China will have to install a Chinese-made app, called MY2022, on their smartphones, and fill in detailed information about themselves. China says that app, which the athletes will have to carry with them and periodically update, will be used to report health and travel data when they are in China. Athletes who fail to install the app, or who fail to fill in and update the information, will be sent home. Cyber analysts have found serious security and privacy flaws in the app.

  • Envisioning the Overthrow of China’s Xi Jinping

    On 14 October 1964, Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev was deposed. Members of the Politburo, led by Leonid Breshnev and Alexei Kosygin, informed Khrushchev that he was being replaced, and he was escorted to a villa in a secluded area on the shores of the Black Sea, where he lived comfortably, if modestly, until he died on 11 September 1971. Is this scenario possible in today’s China? Could the fate of Chinese president Xi Jinping be similar to that of Khrushchev? One expert says the answer is “Yes” to both questions.

     

  • Home for the Holidays? The Global Implications of a State-Level Cyberattack

    The 4 December 2021 cyberattack on the Maryland Department of Health (MDH) appeared, at first blush to be a local-to-Maryland problem. Maggie Smith writes, however, that “the MDH hack points to a concerning development at the nexus of cybercrime and data supply chains,” as it “shows how fragile data supply chains can be and signals how easy it is to disrupt even the most critical data flows by stopping the upstream flow of data that provides the insights and statistics on which the nations’ decision-makers rely.”  

  • Massive Cyberattack Targeting Ukraine’s Government Websites

    Several Ukrainian government websites have been targeted in a massive cyberattack amid heightened tensions between the West and Russia, which has massed troops and military equipment near the border with Ukraine.

  • British Intelligence Shines Light on Chinese Spy 'Hiding in Plain Sight'

    Pressure is mounting on Britain’s domestic intelligence agency, MI5, to explain why it did not alert lawmakers sooner about the activities of a suspected Chinese spy, who the security service now say was “knowingly engaged in political interference in the U.K.”

  • Extradited Kremlin-Linked Russian Businessman Charged with Cybercrimes, along with Four Other Russian Suspects

    Russian businessman Vladislav Klyushin was extradited from Switzerland to the United States last week over his involvement in a global scheme to trade on hacked confidential information. One of Klyushin’s codefendants, Ivan Ermakov, a former officer in Russia’s GRU military intelligence, was charged in court in 2018 for his role in hacking and disinformation operations the GRU conducted in 2016 as part of Russia’s interference in the U.S. presidential elections.

  • Foreign Disinformation Effort Raises Fears of Violence in U.S.

    Foreign intelligence services and global terrorist organizations are engaged in a broad effort to seed the United States with disinformation, and this effort appears to be working, raising new fears of a terrorist attack in the coming weeks, according to a senior DHS official.

  • Information Disorder: A Crisis That Exacerbates All Other Crises

    The Aspen Institute has issued a report analyzing the dangers of truth decay – the report’s authors prefer the term “information disorder” — and making a number of recommendations. In their introductory remarks, the authors write that “Information disorder is a crisis that exacerbates all other crises. When bad information becomes as prevalent, persuasive, and persistent as good information, it creates a chain reaction of harm.”

  • Jabbed in the Back: Russian, Chinese COVID-19 Disinformation Campaigns

    The public health and economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic have also become a battle about the nature of truth itself. From the emergence of the first reports of a virus in Wuhan, China, in December 2019, opportunistic leaders in China, Russia, and elsewhere have used the virus as a pretext to further erode democracy and wage information warfare. They have inundated an already polluted information environment with disinformation and propaganda about the virus’s origins and cures, and, most recently, vaccines.

  • Even on U.S. Campuses, China Cracks Down on Students Who Speak Out

    Students and scholars from China who criticize the regime in Beijing can face quick retaliation from fellow students and Chinese officials who harass their families back home. U.S. universities rarely intervene.

  • China Expands Military-Political Education Programs In Developing Countries

    China has vastly expanded its military training programs for military officers from developing countries. In these programs, in which military officers from more than 100 countries have participated, Beijing combines military training with ideological education to promote authoritarian governance, especially its “Party-Army model” with the army subordinate to the ruling party. A new report says that these efforts are “an increasingly important component of China’s engagement. These efforts include training programs aimed at future military and political leaders.”