Foreign Policy Blogs

Cybersecurity

James Fallows on China and Cyberwar

Over at The Atlantic, James Fallows has a great piece on China’s military and their cyberwar chops. The first segment is an excellent overview of the state of play on the US-China military rivalry in the real world. (Synopsis: USA! USA!) Fallows then dives into his main point: that on a virtual battlefield, China has some real […]

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25 Poisonous Bugs

25 Poisonous Bugs

With abstract metaphors of cybersecurity involving foreign invaders or hacker burglaries, it is easy to forget that almost all security breaches come about because of actual human mistakes made while programming software or web sites. It’s almost as if your architect, working in a slapdash manner, designed your house such that anyone could easily get […]

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Roses are Red, Violets are Blue, the Internet's Scary and China's a Target, Too.

Roses are Red, Violets are Blue, the Internet's Scary and China's a Target, Too.

The NYT decided to count the ways in which China is threatened by the Intertubes these days. The piece  combines the two major aspects of the Web’s foreign policy impact: online organizing as threat to authoritarian control, and cybersecurity data compromises. … While much of the rest of the world frets about Chinese cyberspying abroad, […]

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Word of the Day: Spearphishing

Word of the Day: Spearphishing

Spearphishing (v):  To catch or try to catch one particular VIP target in a cyberscam in an attempt to gain access to their (presumably high-value) networks and information. E.g., a cleverly-crafted Trojan Horse PDF regarding an actual event using zero-day exploits to hand over the keys to the kingdom to a nefarious agent.

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Sure Sign of a New Bubble

USA Today reports that cybersecurity stocks look hot in 2010.

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Bad Metaphors Are Dump Trucks Full of Slime Mold

Bad Metaphors Are Dump Trucks Full of Slime Mold

Back to the NYT article on Cyberwar. William J. Lynn III was quoted as saying that modern cybersecurity is like the French Maginot Line “A fortress mentality will not work in cyber,” he said. “We cannot retreat behind a Maginot Line of firewalls. We must also keep maneuvering. If we stand still for a minute, […]

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Clean Your Computer or Vlad Putin Will Take It

Clean Your Computer or Vlad Putin Will Take It

Russia does not do the overt Internet censorship that China does. That’s good. They still do plenty of stuff to interfere with the Freedom to Connect. That’s bad. The heroic Russian paper Novaya Gazeta* was just subjected to a massive DDOS that knocked their main web site off the air. Here’s their Livejournal parallel site […]

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Chinese Human Rights Orgs DDOS'd

I hate to keep poking at China but… OK, that’s a lie. Their government acts like thuggish authoritarians online, and so I like poking them. Unlike equally nasty but more impoverished countries like, say, Turkmenistan, they have the cash to actually make bad stuff happen.* The government – or “patriotic” hackers – DDOSed a bunch […]

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Cybersecurity Bad Guy: America

Jack Goldsmith wrote a provocative op-ed in the Washington Post from Monday suggesting that if Hillary wants to stop cyberattacks across the Internet, she needs to look a bit closer to home. As in, America is a leading cyberbully. The bulk of the piece is a ridiculous attempt at creating a moral equivalence between America and […]

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Carl Bildt Invented Email

Carl Bildt, Swedish Foreign Minister, sometimes PM, and general foreign-policy badass, has a rather self-aggrandizing and content-free editorial calling for Internet Freedom in the WaPo recently. There’s not a lot on which to comment. Dictators on the wrong side of history, etc. The main significance, I think, is that it riffs on Hillary’s Internet Freedom speech. The […]

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Fearmongering in a Scary Cyberworld

Fearmongering in a Scary Cyberworld

Ars Technica, one of my favorite geeky news sites, has a great scare piece on the Hobbsian state of nature in cybersecurity. (No, not this Hobbes. This one.) Go read it, and after deciding that eArmageddon 2.0 is on the way come back before you start building your disaster preparedness kit. The report comes from […]

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Elsewhere in FPBland – Mark Dillen on Google vs. China

Over in his blog on Public Diplomacy, fellow FPA minion Mark Dillen has an excellent piece on the Great Google-China Grudge Match. He remarks how similar the rhetoric is to the Bad Old Days: Among the fascinating and disturbing aspects to this commentary is the way it resembles the rhetoric of the Cold War era, […]

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Do Not Leave Your Key Under the Welcome Mat.

Do Not Leave Your Key Under the Welcome Mat.

Google installed backdoors in Gmail to aid the Feds – and unwittingly enabled their recent hackers, according to Bruce Schneier, writing at CNN. Schneier is one of the best thinkers out there on security in all its forms; he got his start literally writing the book on computer cryptography. There’s an important lesson there. The most common threat in the […]

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Google's Logic for Entering – and Leaving – China

Google's Logic for Entering – and Leaving – China

In researching the current kerfluffle with the attacks on Google, I came across some interesting testimony from company reps before the House International Relations Committee in 2006 regarding their entry into the Middle Kingdom. There was copious amounts of angsty hand-wringing there and in other public fora before the “Don’t Be Evil” team opened a […]

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Twitter Tweaks the Tyrants

Twitter Tweaks the Tyrants

Once attendees out at Davos for the World Economic Forum finish ooing over the gift bag they face the thorny problem of picking between sessions. Life on Other Planets vs. The Year of the Flood: Speculative Fiction or the Edge of Reality? Should one work on Rethinking the Economic and Social Impact of Fitness or attend the […]

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