U.S. researchers duped by China

The Chinese government’s apparent success in recruiting U.S.-based scientists and researchers to work indirectly for Beijing has prompted the Senate to press the FBI to work with universities and federal research bodies which dole out billions in grant money. A bipartisan subcommittee has found that research results have been co-opted for China’s benefit since the early 2000s. [node:read-more:link]

Too many cooks in cyberbroth?

The U.S. government’s ability to defend against continuously evolving digital threats evidently is being compromised by excessive bureaucracy, according to a senior Department of Homeland Security official. He understands the bureaucrats’ role but suggests that conflicting guidance and opinions contribute to organizational stagnation, a weakness exploited by adversaries. [node:read-more:link]

Three-way spy swap

Russia, Norway and Lithuania have swapped convicted spies in a deal which also required a change in Lithuanian law. The handover, which followed weeks of negotiations, involved two Russians, a Norwegian and two Lithuanians. [node:read-more:link]

Fadden laments “dysfunctional” West

Richard Fadden — a former former National Security Advisor to the Prime Minister, former Deputy Minister of National Defence and former director of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service — has received the 29th Vimy Award from the Conference of Defence Associations. He used his acceptance speech to say, among other things, that perhaps one of the greatest threats faced by a “dysfunctional” West is a lack of a common threat assessment. Fadden also said China and Russia are strategic adversaries, not just aggressive competitors. [node:read-more:link]

Second-tier cyber threats

Russia and China are generally considered the most significant threats in the cyber domain, but one expert worries that “minor or middle powers” might be a more immediate concern. Brandon Valeriano, chair of Armed Politics at the Marine Corps University and a member of the U.S. Cyberspace Solarium Commission, was part of a panel at CyberCon 2019. [node:read-more:link]

Russian court rejects appeal

A former U.S. Marine who holds Canadian, British and Irish passports in addition to his U.S. documentation, remains in custody in Russia on espionage charges. A court has rejected Paul Whelan’s appeal of the extension of his detention until late December. Detained 11 months, he says he was set up for political reasons. [node:read-more:link]

Quantum a jump too far?

Dr. Deborah Frincke, the U.S. National Security Agency’s director of research, says the race to develop a true quantum computer could create more security threats by its potential for cracking the odes which secure digital information. Accordingly, she says, it’s time for the U.S. government to begin adapting its security protocols to deal with a threat which could be less than two decades away. [node:read-more:link]

Cameron Ortis returning to custody

Bail has been revoked for Cameron Ortis, the senior RCMP official accused of preparing to leak sensitive information. He was granted bail Oct. 22 but an Ontario Superior Court judge has ordered him back into custody until his trial. The reasons for Justice Marc Labrosse’s Nov. 8 decision are under a publication ban, as are details of the Crown’s review application. [node:read-more:link]

Bipartisan approach to cybersecurity

U.S. legislators are proposing legislation they say will enhance science education and cybersecurity programs within federal agencies and eventually cyber defence in general. The bipartisan measure also would include new incentives to drive the recruitment of cybersecurity educators. [node:read-more:link]

Nextgen security lacking

Senior government officials say the U.S. is seriously lagging on how it can deal with threats to next-generation 5G and supply chain networks. Among other things, they told the Senate Homeland Security Committee that there is neither a comprehensive national plan nor a fully coordinated interagency response. [node:read-more:link]

Automating cybersecurity

Machine learning technologies could become the U.S. military’s first line of defence against cyberattacks and other suspicious activities. The Defense Information Systems Agency has begun seeking out commercial cybersecurity tools that could detect and respond to incidents across the agency’s numerous networks without direct input from humans. Automation and machine learning are seen as a way to free Department of Defense personnel to concentrate on other threats. [node:read-more:link]

Cyberexodus reports prompt questions

The White House is being asked to explain reports that senior cybersecurity officials are being forced out because their tenure dates to the previous administration. Pressing for answers, California Democrat Representative Ted Lieu says the potential loss of institutional knowledge leaves the government vulnerable. [node:read-more:link]

Minor election meddling attempts

The Privy Council Office has confirmed that there were some online attempts to disseminate disinformation and misinformation during Canada's latest general election campaign, but nothing of a nature to justify public alert notices. Meanwhile, Democratic Institutions Minister Karina Gould says there still is a sense that more need to be done to contain this use of social media. [node:read-more:link]

RuNet a censorship machine?

Wanting to find out whether it can function without the global Internet, Russia plans to begin testing its internal RuNet, starting Nov. 1 and recurring at least annually. It’s seen as the latest move in a series of technical and policy steps to cut citizens off from the rest of the world. The announcement follows approval last April of a Sovereign Internet Law which require all traffic to pass through official channels. [node:read-more:link]

JEDI contract goes to Microsoft

Microsoft Corp. has secured a $10-billion Department of Defense contract for the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) cloud data storage program. Amazon Web Services, sole host for the U.S. intelligence community’s cloud storage for six years, had been considered the front-runner in the often litigious bidding process. [node:read-more:link]


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