Last week, The Cipher Brief told you how and why the U.S. has been working to convince its allies to ban Chinese vendors from contributing to the development of 5G networks as well as offering some basics about what 5G actually is, and what we should be most focused on as ...

Bottom Line: In the digital age, determining the origins of cyberattacks is already difficult, but cyber actors can further muddy attribution by diverting blame for attacks to others. The intention is not necessarily to trick intelligence services – who are able to access information beyond technical forensics of the hack ...

Secretary of Defense Ash Carter on Wednesday announced shakeups to the Pentagon’s tech-sector outreach, with a new outpost in Boston and major changes for the original Silicon Valley office. The Department of Defense’s Silicon Valley hub, known as the Defense Innovation Unit-Experimental (DIUx), will be joined by a sister office ...

Cyber-crime and cybersecurity are locked in a perpetual competition – whenever one advances, the other changes to counter it. With every iteration of this contest, both sides become more nuanced, more complex, and begin to exploit more novel ways of gaining advantage. One of the more interesting types of malware ...

Social media use has skyrocketed in recent years and connected the world in ways unimaginable in the past. Families, friends, professionals, political movements, and corporations all use social media to maintain contact around the globe, share ideas, unite against oppressive regimes, or enhance a company’s brand recognition. Facebook's billion and ...

It seems that wherever opportunities for innovation and technological developments arise, cyber attacks are not far behind.  Latin American countries are certainly seeing this trend emerge in their markets.  Latin America may not be the first region that comes to mind when one thinks of technology and innovation.  Indeed, Latin ...

With the growing threat of cyber attacks in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC), the Organization of American States (OAS) has been a crucial component in analyzing the threats’ origins and methods for defending against them.  Belisario Contreras, the Cyber Security Program Manager at the OAS, spoke with The Cipher ...

Aligned with the global trend, Latin America has experienced colossal growth in access to information, facilitated through the Internet and information communication technology (ICT). Because ICT enables efficiencies across all disciplines, gains realized through advancements in ICT have a compounding effect on many aspects of life—sometimes for good and sometimes ...

Last fall brought news that the victims of the OPM fingerprint breach expanded to over five million prints. It’s for this reason that the safety of biometric data should be questioned and discounted as a viable means for authentication. Multiple techniques are available for using this type of information to ...

Estonia packs a punch in the cyber domain. The country is a world leader in cyber-related innovation, and it has charted that course without compromising security. Estonia initially gained global attention as a cyber-target, seeking to overcome a series of organized attacks in 2007 widely attributed to Russian groups.  Estonia ...

In 2016, the gap between threat actors and the cybersecurity industry will continue to expand. The security industry continues to fight the cyber battles with strategies that are 10 years old, while threat actors change their strategies on a monthly basis. This situation isn’t given the attention it desperately requires. ...

After the United States emerged from the Vietnam War, it witnessed the events of the 1973 Yom Kippur War—a state-level conflict fought against Israel by a coalition of Arab states led by Egypt and Syria. That war underscored how far potential enemies had advanced in terms of weapons and tactics. ...

Thomas Mahnken is the Jerome E. Levy Chair of Economic Geography and National Security at the U.S. Naval War College and served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Policy Planning, giving him a unique perspective into changes in naval warfare. He shared this insight, along with his expectations for ...

Before Chinese President Xi Jinping made it to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue for his meeting with President Obama this fall, his Boeing 747-400 had a layover in Redmond, Washington, where he met with chief executives from the top American technology companies. Western tech firms have come into conflict with the Chinese ...

The increased tempo of commercial partnerships between American and Chinese technology companies has begun to raise eyebrows in Washington. National security circles worry that such partnerships are degrading the American military’s technological superiority, because American technologies are being transferred to Chinese partners tied to the military. Such concerns are valid.   ...

Robert Atkinson, founder and president of the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, discussed implications for western technology firms operating in China as the Chinese government begins to demand access to encryption keys. Atkinson views this move as an attempt by the Chinese government to push its own protectionist policies, under ...

The debate about “Going Dark” has reignited following the tragic attacks in Paris last week. There have been claims the terrorists used encrypted communications to coordinate their attack and avoid detection by intelligence services– creating what is, essentially, the worst case scenario envisioned by advocates for government access to encrypted ...

Last month, The Cipher Brief explored the rise of mobile technology in Africa.  To continue the conversation, TCB spoke with Tomi Ahonen, a leading consultant in mobile and former Nokia executive, to discuss his impressions of the African mobile industry.  The Cipher Brief: How would you assess the growth of ...

The Cipher Brief interviewed Robin Miller, who advises firms on strategy and policy dedicated to global innovation as an Associate Partner at Dalberg Global Development Advisors.  Miller explained what conditions in Sub-Saharan Africa have allowed for the rapid growth in information and communications technology, and what the outlook is for ...

If we begin with the idea that African societies themselves are mobile, it is not a real surprise that mobile communications technologies have been easily adopted. The question is not if Africans can afford a telephone, but why everyone does not have one. Communication is of crucial importance in societies ...

Africa faces some unique challenges pertaining to the security of mobile communications. A common misconception is that African networks and Africans themselves are not high value targets, and that they’re not on the radar of any of the major Advanced Persistent Threats (APTs) or crime rings.   This is unfortunately not ...

The Cipher Brief spoke with Laurent Elder, leader of the Information and Networks program at the Canadian International Development Research Centre (IDRC), about opportunities and challenges for Western businesses looking to enter the mobile technology industry in Africa.  Elder advises harnessing and scaling the already existing creativity and skills in ...

The private sector perspective on encryption technology is critical to understanding the crux of the debate.  Amid news that Dell had agreed to buy RSA’s parent company, EMC, in the largest deal in the IT industry's history, RSA President Amit Yoran sat down with The Cipher Brief to talk about ...

Michael Chertoff, the former Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, sat down with The Cipher Brief to explain why he believes a secure communications infrastructure protected by strong encryption is for the greater public good. The Cipher Brief: U.S. law enforcement has publicly expressed its concern that bad actors ...

When the Clinton Administration decontrolled encryption in the late 1990s after a long and acrimonious debate, it did so because it had decided that the benefits of making strong encryption available to internet users, and the benefits to U.S. companies operating in a global market, outweighed the cost to law ...

“Are we so mistrustful of government—and of law enforcement—that we are willing to let bad guys walk away...willing to leave victims in search of justice?”  – FBI Director James Comey, Brookings, October 16, 2014 Strong encryption appears to be safe – for now. In Congressional testimony on Thursday, FBI Director James ...

According to press reports, the White House has considered and rejected four options to address the so-called “going dark” problem where the growing ubiquity of encryption is making it harder for law enforcement agencies to collect evidence and investigate crimes. Options considered include adding an encrypted port to devices, using ...

Mike Rogers is a former Congressman who served as the chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. In a discussion with The Cipher Brief, Rogers said it is critical for the government and private sector to find a solution to the encryption dilemma that satisfies the needs of ...

There may be water on Mars, but there’s definitely liquor in orbit. Over the last couple of years, there have been a number of people and businesses working hard to blend the grandeur of space with the simple joy of a well-made drink. There are basically three groups pursuing this ...

China’s exploitation of national security concerns to shield its technology companies from foreign competition has shifted the global competitive landscape. American companies, hindered by China’s Great Firewall and restrictive trade policies, are limited in their ability to compete fairly in the market. Behind this protection, Chinese Internet and technology giants ...