For many, cybersecurity is a technical problem and therefore requires technical solutions. But for policymakers and the national security community, a key takeaway from this year’s RSA Conference is that cybersecurity is simply a digital extension of many of the threats that have been around for a long time: organized ...

If you missed our previous dispatch, I am attending the annual RSA Conference in San Francisco, a global event where private and public sectors come together to hash out the most pressing concerns in cybersecurity today. Prior discussions hit on technical approaches to privacy, the role of government in laying ...

This week I’m attending the annual RSA Conference in San Francisco, where government and industry leaders have come together to discuss the looming challenges and newest tools in cybersecurity. Throughout the week, I’ll be speaking with experts, bringing you insights on the threats emanating from cyberspace, ranging from ransomware and ...

We live in an age where what used to be the figment of science fiction is now a reality, changing the way people go about their daily lives. Advances in artificial intelligence and machine learning are the new frontier, and their inception creates just as many risks as opportunities. In ...

The cybersecurity industry is currently enamored with concepts of autonomous defense, including elements of machine learning, behavioral analytics, and artificial intelligence—and rightly so. Programed to be able to study all vulnerabilities in the public domain, autonomous bots (autbots)—not to be confused with bots simply conducting repetitive tasks like guessing default ...

Many view cybersecurity as passively blocking attempts to breach networks, but security experts have long advocated more active measures in defense of sensitive networks. Advances in artificial intelligence and machine learning could make such efforts scalable to the vast connectivity of the modern age. The Cipher Brief spoke with David ...

Cybersecurity is often discussed in relation to the major global powers: China’s economic espionage, Russian influence operations, and U.S. dragnet global surveillance to thwart terrorism. However, as other countries move to digitize their economies, cybercriminals are zeroing in on these new and lucrative targets while regional players are quickly incorporating ...

Cyber is emerging as Iran’s weapon of choice for dealing with both domestic and foreign opponents. For more than a decade, the Islamic Republic has waged a relentless cyber­spying campaign against Iranian dissidents. Following its discovery of the Stuxnet cyberattacks on its nuclear program in 2010 and the imposition of ...

When the Russian intelligence operation designed to influence our 2016 election is used as a case study to train new Russian intelligence officers, it will be considered the most successful covert action operation in the history of Mother Russia. This operation, known as “Grizzly Steppe,” will be in the annals ...

With news of nation-states allegedly attacking companies, political institutions, and world governments, it is important to know how attribution works in cybersecurity. For the unfamiliar, attribution is the process investigators and intelligence workers use to tie responsibility of an event or action to a person, group, or country. Unless there ...

Let’s agree on one thing, when it comes to Russia’s recent interference with the U.S. presidential election, no one yet has found a way to deter President Vladimir Putin from doing it again – here in this country or elsewhere. At Thursday’s Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on foreign cyber ...

Pundits will pick over the lessons of 2016 for a long time, and as they do, cyber experts are looking at the past year and finding lessons as well, with far-reaching implications for our nation’s security. For most Americans, the 2016 election was the year cybersecurity moved from being an ...

Leaders of three top Senate national security committees are to meet Wednesday to discuss alleged Russian hacking of last month’s elections, and the Senate Foreign Relations committee has set a closed-door briefing on the Obama administration’s response for Thursday, a committee aide told The Cipher Brief late Tuesday. According to ...

Russian President Vladimir Putin said in a statement Friday that he will not expel U.S. diplomats in response to U.S. sanctions imposed on Russia yesterday by President Barack Obama, a move Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov had advocated for. Putin called the “recent unfriendly steps” taken by the outgoing Obama ...

In July, Rob Dannenberg, the former head of security at Goldman Sachs and a 24-year veteran of the CIA, discussed Russia’s cyber strategy of information warfare and the role of proxies in undermining attribution efforts, consequentially stemming victims' political will to respond to provocations. Moving from the disruptive attack on ...

Editor’s Note: Over the coming days, The Cipher Brief presents some of our most incisive coverage on key issues of 2016 and a look ahead at what is yet to come in 2017. From disruptive distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks rendering entire swathes of the Internet including Netflix, Twitter, ...

Back in August, The Cipher Brief sat down with Leo Taddeo, Chief Security Officer for Cryptzone, to discuss the cyber threats posed by Russia and China. While China primarily uses its cyber collection capabilities “to compete on an economic level,” Russia places a greater “emphasis on collecting military and diplomatic ...

President Barack Obama says the U.S. will respond to the Russia’s interference in the 2016 campaign. In an interview with NPR on Friday, Obama said, "I think there is no doubt that when any foreign government tries to impact the integrity of our elections ... we need to take action. ...

When it comes to attribution—especially when foreign intelligence agencies are involved—plausible deniability is easy. However, the public has come to expect courtroom-quality evidence before believing attribution for cyber operations—a difficult task when the kind of cross-border cooperation you need to get to the bottom of the case is not likely ...

Now that the Obama administration has publicly attributed the hacking of the Democratic National Committee and other political entities to “Russia’s senior-most officials,” the question remains, how will the U.S. respond to Russia’s meddling in the coming elections? After all, as James Lewis, Senior Vice President and Director of the ...

After much hand-wringing, the U.S. publicly admitted that the Russian government is interfering with the Presidential election. This was an open secret for weeks, but pious hopes for the bilateral relationship postponed any confirmation. The Russians calculate that they can manipulate the U.S. and take advantage of its spectacularly messy ...

Most political leaders understand that governments that fail to respond to public provocations by foreign states do so at their own risk. In recent years, the U.S. and some of its allies (such as Australia, Estonia, Germany, Lithuania, and the U.K.) have been subjected to repeated, sophisticated, and costly cyber-attacks, emanating ...

The White House is looking to take a “proportional” response to Russia’s alleged hacking of U.S. political party organizations and effort to interfere in the election campaign. "We obviously will ensure that a U.S. response is proportional. It is unlikely that our response would be announced in advance. It’s certainly ...

As U.S.-Russia tensions escalate, the sharply deteriorating bilateral relationship between the former Cold War foes may be at an inflection point. Experts say that in the wake of a flurry of public statements, accusations, and nixed arms control agreements last week, the United States and Russia have hit another low ...

The Cipher Brief spoke with Justin Harvey, CSO of Fidelis Cybersecurity, about the cyber threats posed by both China and Russia. According to Harvey, although last year’s agreement between U.S. President Barack Obama and China’s President Xi Jinping has resulted in a decrease in China’s cyber espionage, “The fight is ...

When it comes to cyber attacks, one of the biggest problems is correctly determining who, exactly, is attacking you. This is called attribution, and it is extremely difficult, since many sophisticated actors are capable of obscuring or destroying evidence as to who they are. The difficulty of attribution is compounded ...

Most analysts have been impressed, and increasingly concerned, with the rapid improvement of Iran’s cyber capabilities. Tehran undoubtedly focuses the bulk of its cyber investment in defending itself from cyberattack, as well as being able to better monitor and manage its own people. That mission is a clear priority in ...

Amid the continuing leitmotif of missile tests, nuclear weapons development, and unwavering anti-South Korean and anti-U.S. rhetoric, North Korea’s cyber activities have once again risen in the order of importance among security and political circles. The latest North Korean cyber-episode was the revelation made by South Korean authorities that North ...

North Korea’s army of 6,000 hackers have been implicated in a multimillion dollar bank heist, the theft of intelligence from finance and defense firms, and the infiltration of infrastructure networks—all in the first six months of 2016. This only adds to the numerous attacks against South Korea – one of ...

If confirmed, North Korea has perpetrated the first state-sponsored digital bank robbery in history.  It shows that North Korea is getting desperate and therefore that sanctions are working but at the same time that the international community must take additional steps to safeguard commerce and trade.  According to the digital ...

The Cipher Brief spoke with Dr. Paulo Shakarian, the author of Introduction to Cyber-Warfare, about the future of cyber war. Dr. Shakarain runs Arizona State University’s Cyber-Socio Intelligent Systems lab, which specializes in cyber security and social media. The Cipher Brief: What are your thoughts on the role of cyber ...

The Cipher Brief spoke with Rob Knake, the former Director for Cyber Security Policy at the National Security Council (2011-2015), about the future of cyber weapons and cyber warfare. The Cipher Brief: What are your thoughts on the role of cyber weapons in war, and what would a cyber war ...

The Cipher spoke with Frank Cilluffo, who runs George Washington University’s Center for Cyber and Homeland Security, to discuss the U.S. government’s cyber security posture. Prior to joining GW, Cilluffo served as Special Assistant to the President for Homeland Security. The Cipher Brief: What’s the role of cyber weapons in ...

Cybercriminals are now using more advanced methods, once the exclusive domain of the state, to steal and profit from personal and proprietary information, blurring the line between cybercrime and cyberespionage. Companies who fail to adapt their cyber defenses to match this upgraded threat will be bringing a knife to a ...