Science & Technology

487 Items


The Coming AI Hackers

| April 2021

Hacking is generally thought of as something done to computer systems, but this conceptualization can be extended to any system of rules. The tax code, financial markets, and any system of laws can be hacked. This essay considers a world where AIs can be hackers. This is a generalization of specification gaming, where vulnerabilities and exploits of our social, economic, and political systems are discovered and exploited at computer speeds and scale.

Solarwinds Chairman & CEO Kevin Thompson, left, and CFO Bart Kalsu celebrate

AP/Richard Drew

Analysis & Opinions - The New York Times

Why Was SolarWinds So Vulnerable to a Hack?

| Feb. 23, 2021

Bruce Schneier explains how the modern market economy, which aggressively rewards corporations for short-term profits and aggressive cost-cutting, is also part of the problem: Its incentive structure all but ensures that successful tech companies will end up selling unsecure products and services.

Press Release - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

#ShareTheMicInCyber Campaign Highlights Black Women in Cyber

| Feb. 23, 2021

The #ShareTheMicInCyber campaign will highlight Black women in the Security & Privacy sector throughout March 2021 in celebration of Women's History Month. Cybersecurity experts Camille Stewart of Google and Lauren Zabierek of Harvard Kennedy School's Belfer Center Cyber Project lead the call for prominent voices and cyber allies to share their social media platforms in an effort to amplify Black female voices and achievements in the cybersecurity sector.

Voters mark their ballots during early voting at the Park Slope Armory in Brooklyn, Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020.

AP Photo/Mary Altaffer

Report - Defending Digital Democracy

Beyond 2020: Policy Recommendations for the Future of Election Security

February 2021

The 2020 election presents a paradox. Despite dramatic changes to the election process due to the COVID-19 pandemic and increasingly complex threats since the 2016 election, 2020 is widely regarded as “the most secure [election] in American history.” Operationally, it was also one of the smoothest. State and local election officials overcame unprecedented challenges and scarce resources to administer an election with fewer incidents of cyber compromises, technical failures or long lines than anticipated. After Election Day, recount procedures functioned as designed. Yet, amidst these successes, officials from both parties faced a barrage of mis- and disinformation about the election process that served to undermine confidence in the result.

Though the election security ecosystem survived the triple threat of cybersecurity, physical security, and mis- and disinformation in 2020, this success will prove to be hard to replicate in future election cycles without proper investment and reinforcement.