6 Items

Early voters lining up to vote in Minnesota in 2018

AP Photo/Jim Mone

Analysis & Opinions - The Washington Post

Hackers are using malware to find vulnerabilities in U.S. swing states. Expect cyberattacks.

| Nov. 05, 2018

The Pentagon has launched a preemptive strike against the Russian hackers who may have attacked the 2016 presidential election with social media influence campaigns. Numerous initiatives, including Harvard University’s Defending Digital Democracy Project, have educated officials on how to fortify elections against cyberattacks and encouraged social media companies to take down fake accounts. Despite these efforts, 67 percent of Americans consider that a foreign influence campaign, either by Russia or other governments, during the midterm elections is “very or somewhat” plausible.

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Analysis & Opinions - Council on Foreign Relations

How Ukraine’s Government Has Struggled to Adapt to Russia’s Digital Onslaught

| Aug. 29, 2018

Last month, I went back to Ukraine and heard the same thing again. Why has this problem persisted, despite a drastic change in the country’s cyber threat landscape over the last three years? The country suffered two power disruptions in 2015 and 2016 and was plagued by the NotPetya ransomware attack last year. If these significant incidents can’t motivate state agencies to work together, what can?

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Analysis & Opinions - Lawfare

Evaluating the U.K.'s ‘Active Cyber Defence’ Program

| Feb. 14, 2018

In November 2016, the U.K. government launched its Active Cyber Defence (ACD) program with the intention of tackling “in a relatively automated [and transparent] way, a significant proportion of the cyber attacks that hit the U.K.” True to their word, a little over a year on, last week the U.K.’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) published a full and frank account (over 60 pages long) of their progress to date. The report itself is full of technical implementation details. But it’s useful to cut through the specifics to explain exactly what ACD is and highlight its successes—how the program could benefit the United States as well.

Analysis & Opinions - The Washington Post

Would cyberattacks be likely in a U.S.-North Korea conflict? Here’s what we know.

| Nov. 21, 2017

North Korea’s 3,000 to 6,000 hackers and the 10 to 20 percent of its military budget going toward online operations mean the country’s cyberthreat to the United States stands only behind that of China, Russia and Iran. If the current tensions continue to escalate, could the United States or North Korea use their cyber-capabilities as a “force multiplier” to conventional military systems?

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Journal Article - Journal of Conflict Resolution

Invisible Digital Front

| Nov. 10, 2017

Recent years have seen growing concern over the use of cyber attacks in wartime, but little evidence that these new tools of coercion can change battlefield events. We present the first quantitative analysis of the relationship between cyber activities and physical violence during war. Using new event data from the armed conflict in Ukraine—and additional data from Syria’s civil war—we analyze the dynamics of cyber attacks and find that such activities have had little or no impact on fighting.

Analysis & Opinions - Russia Matters

Hacking Power Grids: New Tactic of War or Wave of the Future?

| Nov. 03, 2017

According to U.S. cybersecurity company Symantec, a hacking campaign dubbed Dragonfly 2.0 successfully infiltrated U.S. power plants over the past two years. The latest spate of incidents has been particularly alarming because the hackers appear to have accessed control systems at a handful of U.S. facilities. Symantec’s report speculates about the hack’s “potential for sabotage” and “disruptive purposes,” but doesn’t identify the hackers’ origins, saying only that they are “clearly an accomplished attack group.” Other researchers believe the culprits are linked to the Russian government, dovetailing with Ukraine’s allegations that Moscow was behind hacks against its power grids in 2015 and again in 2016.