• Lawmakers request additional documents from DHS re: Kaspersky investigation

    U.S. House Science, Space, and Technology Committee chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) sent a letter Tuesday to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) requesting documents and information related to the DHS directive to all government agencies to identify and remove Kaspersky Lab software from their computer systems.

  • U.K. government agencies told to remove Kaspersky software from their systems

    In another example of a Western government taking decisive action to limit the ability of Russian government hackers to steal sensitive information, The U.K. cyber security agency on Friday has advised U.K. government agencies to remove Kaspersky Lab’s products from their systems.

  • Federal agencies complete second phase of Kaspersky product removal

    The U.S. federal government has completed the first two phases of a three-part plan to remove all Kaspersky Lab’s products from government computer systems. The U.S. intelligence community said that the Russian cybersecurity company’s anti-virus software was used to collect sensitive information from the systems on which it was installed, and deliver that information to Russia’s intelligence agencies.

  • Russia increasingly uses hacker mercenaries for cyberattacks: FBI

    FBI director Christopher Wray told lawmakers Thursday that state-actors such as Russia are increasingly relying on hacker mercenaries, blurring the lines between government-backed hackers and cyber criminals. Wray told lawmakers that increasingly, such hybrid government-criminal breaches are becoming a reality. “You have the blend of a nation-state actor, in that case, the Russian intelligence service, using the assistance of criminal hackers, which you think of almost like mercenaries, being used to commit cyberattacks,” the FBI director said.

  • Antivirus but not anti-spy

    The late senator William Proxmire of Wisconsin (he died in 1989) made a name for himself for his Golden Fleece Awards — awards given each year to the most wasteful U.S. government programs. Senator James Lankford (R-Oklahoma), continuing in Proxmire’s tradition, has just released the third volume of his annual of his Federal Fumbles: 100 Ways the Government Dropped the Ball. One of the U.S. federal government’s major fumbles has been the way it has dealt with Russian cybersecurity firm Kaspersky Lab. The U.S. intelligence community has long suspected that Kaspersky Lab was using its popular antivirus software – used not only by individuals and corporations, but also by U.S. government agencies – to collect sensitive information from the computer systems on which the software was installed, and deliver that information to the GRU and the FSB, the KGB’s successor agency.

  • “We know” Russia hacked election, and such cyberattacks can happen again: Sen. Angus King

    Though President Trump says he is not convinced that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election, U.S. Sen. Angus King of Maine said that he and his colleagues on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, which is probing the matter, have “no doubt whatsoever” of Moscow’s involvement. “We know they did it, we know it was sophisticated, we know it was serious, and we know they’re coming back!” said King during a discussion at the Harvard Kennedy School.

  • The time to hack-proof the 2018 election is expiring — and Congress is way behind

    Lawmakers are scrambling to push something — anything — through Congress which would help secure the U.S. voting systems ahead of the 2018 elections. It might, however, already be too late for some critical targets. By this point during the 2016 election cycle, Russian government hackers had already breached the Democratic National Committee’s networks for at least three months.

  • Shining more light every day on Russia’s political interference

    “Despite this clear threat to American democracy, and the unanimous assessment of the intelligence community that Russia interfered in the election in an operation ordered by Vladimir Putin, real discussion of how to halt these activities and prevent them in the future is only beginning now. This is partly driven by a continued partisan divide on the issue — which is being fueled by the Kremlin’s ongoing influence efforts and Putin’s own denials to President Donald Trump. Trump’s repeated statements casting doubt on his own intelligence community’s assessment and the unwillingness of many Republican leaders to defend the truth continue to fan these partisan flames.  Allowing Russian interference to become a partisan issue plays right into Russia’s hands and achieves Putin’s goals,” Laura Rosenberger and Jamie Fly write. “This is not about relitigating who won the election. Trump is the president. This is about defending American democracy from attacks by foreign enemies.”

  • Russia sees U.S.-led international order as a threat to its security, interests: Report

    Russia seeks to undermine elements of the current international order because its leaders and analysts see the current international order as dominated by the United States and a threat to their country’s security and interests, according to a new RAND report. U.S. officials have repeatedly described the development of a U.S.-led “rules-based international order,” composed of international economic institutions, bilateral and regional security organizations and liberal political norms, as a core U.S. national interest.

  • Russian government’s fission know-how hard at work in Europe

    The objective of Russia’s broad, systematic disinformation and cyberattacks campaign against Western democracies is ambitious. Moscow has made fragmenting Europe into one of its primary strategic objectives. Dividing European populations from within and turning them against one another via targeted influence operations is a central component of this overarching strategic objective.


  • Russian-operated bots posted millions of social media posts, fake stories during Brexit referendum

    More than 156,000 Twitter accounts, operated by Russian government disinformation specialists, posted nearly 45,000 messages in support of the “Leave” campaign, urging British voters to vote for Brexit – that is, for Britain to leave the European Union. Researchers compared 28.6 million Russian tweets in support of Brexit to ~181.6 million Russian tweets in support of the Trump campaign, and found close similarity in tone and tactics in the Russian government’s U.K. and U.S. efforts. In both cases, the Russian accounts posted divisive, polarizing messages and fake stories aiming to raise fears about Muslims and immigrants. The goal was to sow discord; intensify rancor and animosity along racial, ethnic, and religious lines; and deepen political polarization — not only to help create a public climate more receptive to the populist, protectionist, nationalist, and anti-Muslim thrust of both Brexit and the Trump campaigns, but also to deepen societal and cultural fault lines and fractures in the United Kingdom and the United States, thus contributing to the weakening of both societies from within.

  • Russia “weaponized information” to sow discord in West, destroy post-WWII international order: Theresa May

    U.K. prime minister Theresa May, in an extraordinary attack on Russia’s broad cyber-campaign against Western countries, has accused Russia of meddling in the elections of Western democracies and planting fake stories in other countries’ media in a sustained effort to “weaponize information” in order to sow discord and deepen internal conflicts Western democracies. May, speaking at the Lord Mayor’s Banquet on 13 November 2017, said that Russia’s goal was to destabilize, if not destroy, the post-Second World Order rules-based international order.

  • Russia has been cyber-attacking “U.K. media, telecommunications, and energy sectors”: U.K. cybersecurity chief

    Ciaran Martin, CEO of the U.K. National Cyber Security Center (NCSC): “I can confirm that Russian interference, seen by the National Cyber Security Center, has included attacks on the U.K. media, telecommunications and energy sectors. That is clearly a cause for concern — Russia is seeking to undermine the international system.”

  • "Kompromat": Russian agents offered to send women to Trump's hotel room in 2013

    Keith Schiller, who had served for many years as Donald Trump’s personal body guard and who later became director of Oval Office relations – a post he left last month – told a congressional panel that when Trump was in Moscow to attend the Miss Universe Pageant, Russian operatives offered to send five attractive women to his hotel room to spend the night. Christopher Steele, a respected former MI6 agent in Russia who put together the memos which came to be known as the Steele Dossier, quoted Russian sources referring to secretly recorded tapes which captured Trump and some of the women engaged in unorthodox sexual activities. The U.S. intelligence community has confirmed most of the contents in the dossier, but the existence of the tapes is one of the few topics in the dossier which remains shrouded in mystery.

  • Extremist content and Russian disinformation online: Working with tech to find solutions

    “It’s been more than a year since my colleagues and I described in writing how the Russian disinformation system attacked our American democracy. We’ve all learned considerably more since then about the Kremlin’s campaigns, witnessed their move to France and Germany and now watch as the world worst regimes duplicate their methods. Yet our country remains stalled in observation, halted by deliberation and with each day more divided by manipulative forces coming from afar. The U.S. government, social media companies, and democracies around the world don’t have any more time to wait. In conclusion, civil wars don’t start with gunshots, they start with words. America’s war with itself has already begun. We all must act now on the social media battlefield to quell information rebellions that can quickly lead to violent confrontations and easily transform us into the Divided States of America.”