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Cyber Espionage: Reducing Tensions Between China and the United States

Cyber Espionage: Reducing Tensions Between China and the United States

I appeared on the talk show “The Fresh Outlook” this weekend to discuss cybersecurity issues and China.  Here is a link to the video. I argued for a more nuanced, less panicky approach when dealing with China on this sensitive subject. Here are some more thoughts: The most recent revelations of the activities of the Chinese […]

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Cybersecurity: Top Challenges and Six Big Policy Action Ideas

Cybersecurity: Top Challenges and Six Big Policy Action Ideas

My colleague Dr. Greg Austin and I wrote a short discussion paper titled “Cybersecurity: Crime Prevention  or Warfare?”  for the 49th Munich Security Conference which took place this February in Munich, Germany. We identified some of the top challenges pertaining to cybersecurity and outlined six policy action ideas. Given the recent revelations about the Chinese […]

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Cybersecurity and U.S. Foreign Policy: Five Questions with Professor Ronald Deibert

Cybersecurity and U.S. Foreign Policy: Five Questions with Professor Ronald Deibert

Ronald Deibert is Professor of Political Science and Director of the Canada Centre for Global Security Studies and the Citizen Lab and the University of Toronto.  He is a cofounder and a principal investigator of the OpenNet Initiative and Information Warfare Monitor.  He is author of the Great Decisions 2012 article Cybersecurity: the new frontier.  He […]

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Has the United States Opened Itself to Cyber Attack?

Has the United States Opened Itself to Cyber Attack?

  At risk of tooting the horn for my former employer, IEEE Spectrum magazine, I want to commend my former colleagues and fellow bloggers for sharply raising the question of whether the U.S. government considered the global consequences when it decided to unleash Stuxnet and, most likely, Flame as well. In a Monday post, Robert […]

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There’s “Flame,” But Where’s the Smoke?

There’s “Flame,” But Where’s the Smoke?

Upon hearing of Flame, the recently discovered computer malware sometimes described as the most insidious and sophisticated ever, one’s first thought is bound to be of Stuxnet. Upon discovery of that virus a year and a half ago, analyses by top cyber-security firms soon yielded smoking-gun proof that Stuxnet was custom-made to knock out uranium […]

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If You Can't Beat 'Em, Beat 'Em

If You Can't Beat 'Em, Beat 'Em

With revolutionary fever fermenting across the Arab world, other long-serving dictators are getting a bit jittery these days. The demonstration effect is a powerful phenomenon- when long-suffering citizens see people in similar situations casting off the shackles of repressive regimes, they’re inclined to as “well, why not us, too?” It isn’t a coincidence that all […]

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Freedom versus Regulation 2.0

Freedom versus Regulation 2.0

The U.S. government, like a parent trying to stay hip, has hired younger staffers and put them in charge of using technology to build diplomacy and democracy. For example, Hilary Clinton in the State Department hired Alec Ross to head up technology and innovation in diplomacy. Terms invented include Gov 2.0, Web 2.0, Statecraft 2.0 […]

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Auntie Steve vs. the Malbots

Auntie Steve vs. the Malbots

Android smartphone owners had a bad week with several pieces of malware emerging in the Android App Store – necessitating the frightening step of remote-nuking the evil apps. I have yet to hear of a significant iPhone Trojan horse or virus. It’s not that the platform is bulletproof- the jailbreakers would be out of business […]

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Organizing for cybersecurity – how fast is fast enough?

Organizing for cybersecurity – how fast is fast enough?

I read yesterday that a private organization had graded the White House on its performance in cybersecurity policy. It seemed to me to be an interesting exercise. (Note: It is not my intention to judge the integrity of the report, as the organization is new to me. If you Google “cyber” “whitehouse” and “grade” you […]

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Keeping Neutral

Keeping Neutral

We’re in that lull after the holiday season where gyms are crowded, but the days still feel short and cold (up north at least). Most everyone probably had an experience where two relatives were arguing about the best way to stuff a turkey, or who should have to sit next to Aunt Marge at the […]

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WikiLeaks: the New Napster

WikiLeaks: the New Napster

Welcome to 21st Century Diplomacy, State Department. WikiLeaks’ massive cache of over a quarter million sensitive State Department cables is a bleak reminder that everything in in our Brave New World is ones and zeros- and ones and zeros are easily copied. Back when Daniel Ellsberg stole the Pentagon Papers, he had to spend long, […]

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Shoehorning Cyber Warfare Capabilities into the Existing System

Shoehorning Cyber Warfare Capabilities into the Existing System

The issue of whether a country should openly sanction offensive use of “cyber attack” by their military is one of touchier issues in the world of cyber warfare. Interestingly, US Cyber Command has openly expressed an interest in developing offensive cyber capabilities. Specifically, they refer to offensive operations to prevent cyber attacks on the US. […]

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The Worm Will Not Turn On North Korea

The Worm Will Not Turn On North Korea

Stuxnet, the worm from Russia America Israel who knows where designed to take out the American power grid Iranian Uranium refinement centrifuges BCS computer something controlled by Siemens machines has gotten a lot of attention. Rightly so, as it’s the closest we’ve actually come to something that looks like a genuine cyber attack. The worm […]

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Cyber Isn't Just for Geeks

Saying “I’m writing my master’s thesis on cybersecurity” is akin to saying “I’m writing my thesis about the United States.” It is often quoted that the internet was developed more for interoperability than to address security concerns. The silver lining? Russia is still expanding its tech industry. The field is still growing and evolving. New technological developments, such as the adoption of iPv6 have yet to take hold. This means that there is still room (to a certain extent) to get in at the ground level.

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The Firesheep Are Coming! Quick, to the SSL Tunnels!

The Firesheep Are Coming! Quick, to the SSL Tunnels!

Amazing how demonstrations of appalling, imminent disaster tend to clarify the thinking. Eric Butler has developed a brilliant piece of software called Firesheep that makes web site identity hijacking easy and fun for all. (Ed: First the iCow, now the Firesheep? CD: Agreed, it would behoof them to switch it up a bit.) The concern […]

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