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The Future of Tech Is Here. Congress Isn’t Ready for It

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“There are still many senators that don’t even use email—if you don’t even use email how are you going to understand some of these other tools? We need folks that are running for office that understand these things.” That was the call from Will Hurd, former congressperson and author of the upcoming American Reboot: An […]

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Researchers Have a Method to Spot Reddit’s State-Backed Trolls

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The use of such analysis is welcomed by those monitoring disinformation and tech policy. “New online safety regulators and independent auditors should be looking at deploying tech such as TrollMagnifier, to assess existing safety systems, thereby making social media more accountable for online harms,” says Max Beverton-Palmer, director of the internet policy unit at the […]

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How Iran Tried to Undermine the 2020 US Presidential Election

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Less than two weeks before the 2020 US presidential election, tens of thousands of emails purportedly from the far-right group Proud Boys threatened to “come after” Democrats if they didn’t vote for Trump. As officials warned at the time, the messages were part of a broader Iranian disinformation and influence campaign meant to sow division […]

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How Google Geofence Warrants Helped Catch Capitol Rioters

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For multiple suspects, the FBI eventually gathered a wide set of Google data, including recovery numbers and emails, and dates on which the accounts were created and last accessed. Some court filings even note that FBI agents could see a field called “User Deleted Locations,” although its meaning was not explained. It is unclear whether […]

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How the Far Right Exploded on Steam and Discord

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Since the online harassment campaign known as Gamergate, in which sections of the gaming world hounded female journalists with rape, bomb, and death threats, it’s been presumed that gaming culture has an extremism problem. Yet the specifics of this relationship have remained unclear. How widespread is the problem? How do extremists use games? And, of […]

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Phantom Warships Are Courting Chaos in Conflict Zones

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Bergman had noticed fake tracks on an AIS website before, when virtual yachts from an online sail racing game had improbably appeared on AISHub last year. But this was the first time he’d seen real ships impersonated, and warships no less. “At SkyTruth, we’re particularly concerned where fake data is impacting fishing,” said Bergman in […]

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How China’s Hacking Entered a Reckless New Phase

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For years, China seemed to operate at the quieter end of the state-sponsored-hacking spectrum. While Russia and North Korea carried out hack-and-leak operations, launched massively disruptive cyberattacks, and blurred the line between cybercriminals and intelligence agencies, China quietly focused on more traditional—if prolific—espionage and intellectual property theft. But a collective message today from dozens of […]

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Biden’s Cybersecurity Team Gets Crowded at the Top

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(Disclosure: I have worked with nearly everyone mentioned in this article at the Aspen Institute, where most were engaged in the public-private Aspen Cybersecurity Group. I also coauthored a 2018 book on the US government’s approach to cybersecurity with John Carlin.) With the exception of the Justice Department’s team, the key cyber players share a […]

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The Cl0p Bust Shows Exactly Why Ransomware Isn’t Going Away

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On Wednesday, as United States president Joe Biden and Russian president Vladimir Putin prepared to meet in Geneva, Ukrainian law enforcement announced the arrest of six suspects allegedly tied to the notorious Cl0p ransomware group. In collaboration with South Korean and US investigators, Ukrainian authorities searched 21 residences in and around Kyiv, seized computers, smartphones, […]

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The SolarWinds Hackers Aren’t ‘Back.’ They Never Went Away

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The Russian hackers who breached SolarWinds IT management software to compromise a slew of United States government agencies and businesses are back in the limelight. Microsoft said on Thursday that the same “Nobelium” spy group has built out an aggressive phishing campaign since January of this year and ramped it up significantly this week, targeting […]