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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 […]

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An Ambitious Plan to Tackle Ransomware Faces Long Odds

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Schools, hospitals, the City of Atlanta. Garmin, Acer, the Washington, DC, police. At this point no one is safe from the scourge of ransomware. Over the past few years, skyrocketing ransom demands and indiscriminate targeting have escalated, with no relief in sight. Today a recently formed public-private partnership is taking the first steps toward a […]

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US Sanctions on Russia Rewrite Cyberespionage’s Rules

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Some cyberpolicy critics see Biden’s sanctions for SolarWinds spying in more cynical terms: an incoherent, knee-jerk response designed to satisfy anyone who’d accuse the administration of being soft on Russia. “This is not an attempt to correct Russia’s behavior,” says Dmitri Alperovitch, former CTO of security firm CrowdStrike and the founder of the cybersecurity-focused Silverado […]

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The Biggest Security Threats to the US Are the Hardest to Define

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It’s been two years since the heads of the top US intelligence agencies last came to Congress for an update on global threats; they skipped 2020 amid tensions with former president Donald Trump. In the Biden administration, though, the public hearing was back on Wednesday. Their message: With sprawling crises like the Covid-19 pandemic and […]

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Extremist Charged With Plot to Blow Up Amazon Data Centers

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In the days after the January 6 riot on Capitol Hill, one man struck an alarming note on the MyMilitia.com message board. “I’m not a dumbass suicide bomber,” he posted under the handle Dionysus. But he would “happily die a young man knowing that I didn’t allow the evils in this world to continue unjustly […]