• Energy Weapon Only 'Plausible' Explanation for Some Cases of Havana Syndrome

    U.S. intelligence agencies may have ruled out the idea that a rash of mysterious illnesses plaguing American diplomats and other officials is part of a sustained campaign by one of Washington’s adversaries, but they now say that in a small number of cases the only likely explanation is the use of some sort of weapon.

  • Experts Suggest U.S. Embassies Were Hit with High-Power Microwaves – Here’s How the Weapons Work

    The technology behind the suspected weapons is well understood and dates back to the Cold War arms race between the U.S. and the Soviet Union. High-power microwave weapons are generally designed to disable electronic equipment. But as the Havana syndrome reports show, these pulses of energy can harm people, as well.

  • Are Russia and China Teaming Up Against America in a Global Information War? Yes and No.

    Are Russia and China coordinating information campaigns, or is their symbiotic relationship merely reflective of messaging opportunism and interest alignment? The Kremlin is the unquestioned leader in the dissemination of global propaganda and disinformation, both on traditional and social media channels. Much of Moscow’s approach has been adopted by Beijing, China is authoring its own authoritarian influence playbook backed by financial and technological resources that Russia simply cannot match.

  • Cyber Activists Confront Russian Information Operations

    Russian information operations against the Western democracies will grow in number, scale, and sophistication in the coming years. A new study examines the role of cyber activists in Western societies in fighting back against the growing problem of Russian disinformation.

  • Two Things to Know about the U.S.-China Competition

    A debate about China’s “inexorable” rise has been occupying the op-ed pages of leading newspapers and the conference rooms of leading think tanks for some time now. China’s rise is real, but the U.S. has the means to keep it in check. The U.S. boasts 24 percent of global GDP and almost half of business worldwide. It is already the leading power by these metrics alone. Two more data points demonstrate the United States has an opportunity to keep its competitive advantage provided Congress is willing to reduce defense procurement regulations.  

  • Russia Could Unleash Disruptive Cyberattacks Against the U.S. – but Efforts to Sow Confusion and Division Are More Likely

    As tensions mount between Russia and the West over Ukraine, the threat of Russian cyberattacks against the U.S. increases. Cybersecurity experts are concerned that in the wake of recent cyberattacks by hackers affiliated with Russia, the Russian government has the capability to carry out disruptive and destructive attacks against targets in the U.S. the Russian government is likely to think twice before unleashing highly disruptive attacks against the U.S., because the U.S. government could interpret such attacks, particularly those targeting critical infrastructure, as acts of war.

  • Israeli Police: From Warrantless Cellphone Searches to Controversial Misuse of Spyware

    Israel’s rules governing privacy and related laws have experienced a dramatic past few weeks, capped by an explosive journalistic expose revealing that Israeli police have been using NSO Group spyware allegedly without warrants or explicit statutory authorization.

  • Ukraine: Russian Hand Behind Spate of Bomb Scares at Schools Nationwide

    As tensions mount between Ukraine and Russia amid an alarming buildup of Russian forces near the border, Ukraine’s schoolchildren, their families, and their communities have already found themselves on the front line of what Kyiv’s intelligence service, the SBU, describes as a “hybrid war.”

  • 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.”