Science & Technology

463 Items

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

Bruce Schneier on Office Hours Podcast

| Feb. 11, 2019

Cybersecurity expert Bruce Schneier, author of the “Schneier on Security” blog and a Research Fellow with the Belfer Center’s Cyber Security Project, sits down with with Aroop Mukharji to talk about cybersecurity and tech, his book "Click Here to Kill Everybody," and the hacker mentality.

Army Lieutenant General Paul Nakasone waits at the witness table in the U.S. Senate

AP Photo/Cliff Owen

Analysis & Opinions - The Washington Post

The U.S. Military is Quietly Launching Efforts to Deter Russian Meddling

| Feb. 07, 2019

With little public fanfare, U.S. Cyber Command, the military’s new center for combating electronic attacks against the United States, has launched operations to deter and disrupt Russians who have been interfering with the U.S. political system.

The U.S. Capitol is seen at sunrise, in Washington, October 10, 2017

AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

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

Protecting Democracy in an Era of Cyber Information War

| February 2019

Citizens voluntarily carry Big Brother and his relatives in their pockets. Along with big data and artificial intelligence, technology has made the problem of defending democracy from information warfare far more complicated than foreseen two decades ago. And while rule of law, trust, truth and openness make democracies asymmetrically vulnerable, they are also critical values to defend.  Any policy to defend against cyber information war must start with the Hippocratic oath: first, do no harm.

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

Ending the Cybersecurity Arms Race

| February 2018

Network security has always been something of balancing act between maximizing sharing and ease of use, and erecting barriers.

When computer networks first emerged, there were few limitations on what could be transmitted over them. However, after the world’s first major network computer security incident—the Morris Worm of 1988—organizations began to retreat behind network-level firewalls and anti-virus software. Some defenders even tried to completely disconnect their networks from the outside world via “air gaps.”

This paper argues that it is time to move beyond the security paradigm of separating networks, as epitomized by the air gap. Instead, network defenders should embrace an approach which allows sharing and connectedness, anticipates that adversaries will penetrate the network, and is able to detect, and ultimately eject those adversaries before they can do harm.

Photo of Idaho election officials and D3P team members.

Courtesy of D3P

Observing the Midterms to Fortify Election Security

| Fall/Winter 2018-2019

As millions of Americans voted in the midterm elections on November 6, 25 students working with the Center’s Defending Digital Democracy Project (D3P) observed the elections unfolding in five states across the country. The team, comprised of students from Harvard Kennedy School, MIT, and Tufts, spent the last three months learning about election systems and processes in the United States. Armed with information from D3P’s “State and Local Election Playbook” and its Tabletop Exercise (TTX) training for 120 election officials from 38 different states in early 2018, this year’s student team was eager to engage with election officials and continue providing support to the men and women who are at the frontlines of protecting our democracy.

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

Election Officials Discuss Midterm Interference and Security Plans for 2020

| Dec. 18, 2018

“It was too quiet.”

That was the sentiment expressed by a number of the 45 election officials from 23 states who gathered earlier this month at Harvard for a Belfer Center Defending Digital Democracy (D3P) Midterm After-Action Conference to discuss problems around their November midterm elections.  Most said they experienced significant but mostly unintended misinformation – and some disinformation – along with a number of other challenges to their electoral processes, but not the extensive foreign cyber and other attacks that took place during the 2016 presidential election.

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

A Framework for Cybersecurity

| December 2018

In this paper, we propose a way of thinking about cybersecurity that unifies the various forms of attack. The framework is two-dimensional, looking at both the goal of the attack and the mechanism for launching the attack. The first dimension looks at the goal of the attack by using the common “CIA” triad to categorize the target—that is, whether the attack affects a system’s confidentiality, integrity, or availability (CIA). The second dimension is unique to our knowledge and differentiates attacks based on how the attacks obtain a thread of control.

The U.S. Capitol Building in Washington is shrouded in fog early in the morning Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018 on Election Day in the U.S. (AP Photo/J. David Ake)

AP Photo/J. David Ake

Magazine Article - Politico Magazine

How A Divided Congress Could Unite Around Tech

| Dec. 06, 2018

Beyond tougher oversight hearings, somber observers expect so little from our newly divided Congress that we all ought to be on the lookout for nonpartisan opportunities.

There is one important area where members could defy partisan gridlock to help Washington better meet a critical challenge of 21st century governance: assessing the public impact of today’s disruptive technologies.

I have firsthand experience with a model that worked. It’s one that could work again for members and their staffs, who understandably struggle to grapple with the sheer complexity of today’s highly disruptive and socially consequential technologies.