Amazon boss hacked by Saudi crown prince | Cyber Command's mission against ISIS | Trade war tensions between the US and China
The Amazon billionaire Jeff Bezos had his mobile phone “hacked” in 2018 after receiving a WhatsApp message that had apparently been sent from the personal account of the crown prince of Saudi Arabia. The Guardian
U.S. government documents made public Tuesday show that while a U.S. Cyber Command operation that disrupted ISIS computer networks was largely successful, there were significant shortcomings, including operators having trouble collecting data, interagency deconfliction issues, difficulty vetting targets, and, in at least one case, a close call with the operation being discovered by the adversary. Cyber Scoop
The climate of suspicion has ramped up considerably in recent years, fuelled by trade war tensions between the US and China, the controversy over telecoms equipment supplier Huawei, and a string of cases involving Chinese nationals being accused in the US of stealing trade secrets. FT
Chinese surveillance cameras removed due to security concerns
Danielle Cave, deputy head of the International Cyber Policy Centre at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, said state governments and businesses should be cautious about which companies they work with when it comes to surveillance systems. “One of the challenges of working with Chinese companies like Hikvision and Dahua is that these companies are not independent from the Chinese state,” she said. “Hikvision’s controlling shareholder, for example, is a Chinese government-owned military conglomerate and both companies have internal communist party branches, so these are not private and independent companies.”
Australia's Bushfires Are the Worst Ever. So Is the Disinformation Campaign
Right-wingers in Australia and elsewhere are blaming environmentalists and arsonists while trying to avoid a conversation about climate change. "What appears to have happened is that Australia's bushfire crisis—like other crises, including the burning of the Amazon rainforest in 2019—has been sucked into multiple overlapping fringe right-wing and conspiracy narratives which are generating and amplifying disinformation in support of their own political and ideological positions," wrote Elise Thomas, a researcher at Australia's Strategic Policy Institute's International Cyber Policy Centre.
U.S. Turns Up the Spotlight on Chinese Universities
China’s research institutes are broadening their links to the country’s defense sector, according to a report funded by the U.S. State Department. A key finding was the increased number of agreements linking Chinese universities to China’s State Administration for Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense and its predecessor agency, said Alex Joske, the project’s lead researcher. Of 101 total agreements dating back to 1999, 57 were signed in the past five years, said Mr. Joske, an analyst at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, a nonpartisan think tank created by the Australian government. The agreements involve China’s most elite universities, such as Tsinghua and Peking Universities, as well as provincial institutes.
Google chief calls for AI regulation
In an FT opinion piece, Alphabet chief Sundar Pichai says there is no question in his mind that artificial intelligence needs to be regulated. “It is too important not to. The only question is how to approach it,” he says. As well as Google publishing its own AI principles, he feels Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation can serve as a strong foundation for future regulation (In Brussels today, he also supported calls for a moratorium on facial recognition technology.)
How China Played Huawei Against Trump: Critical New Security Victory Now In Sight
Forget future 5G networks—the national security threat to the west from the ongoing Huawei situation is here and now.
Chinese City Uses Facial Recognition to Shame Pajama Wearers
Local officials apologized, but the crackdown on a common — and comfortable — practice has raised a rare outcry over privacy in a country accustomed to surveillance.
US-China tech dispute: suspicion in Silicon Valley
The climate of suspicion has ramped up considerably in recent years, fuelled by trade war tensions between the US and China, the controversy over telecoms equipment supplier Huawei, and a string of cases involving Chinese nationals being accused in the US of stealing trade secrets. One proposal from the commerce department is particularly chilling for Chinese nationals in the Valley since many believe it could lay the legal basis for US tech companies to segregate them or even fire them. The US commerce department has said it wants to expand existing export controls on so-called “dual-use technologies”, which have both civilian and military applications, to what it calls “emerging” and “foundational” technologies. The agency is now looking into categories such as artificial intelligence and microprocessor chips.
US concern at Huawei isn’t bluff or bluster
Yet when it comes to updating telecommunication networks to 5G, some countries are considering doing effectively that with Huawei, a Chinese state-directed company with a history of alleged intellectual property theft and enabling the spread of digital authoritarianism. Despite warnings from its own experts, I am alarmed to see the UK framing its decision on 5G as a false choice between Huawei today or lagging behind forever. Compelling market alternatives to Huawei exist, despite Beijing’s best efforts to tilt the market toward Huawei through subsidies and political pressure.
USCYBERCOM After Action Assessments of Operation GLOWING SYMPHONY
National Security Archive
Operation to counter ISIS internet and media operations considered “most complex offensive cyberspace operation USCYBERCOM has conducted to date”.
U.S. Turns Up the Spotlight on Chinese Universities
The Trump administration fears Chinese universities are exploiting ties to U.S. businesses and universities to promote Beijing’s economic and military goals. Chinese intelligence services are seeking specific pieces of technology that fill gaps in research.
Top Secret documents show Cyber Command's growing pains in its mission against ISIS
U.S. government documents made public Tuesday shows that while a U.S. Cyber Command operation that disrupted ISIS computer networks was largely successful, there were significant shortcomings, including operators having trouble collecting data, interagency deconfliction issues, difficulty vetting targets, and, in at least one case, a close call with the operation being discovered by the adversary.
Apple dropped plan for encrypting backups after FBI complained
Apple Inc (AAPL.O) dropped plans to let iPhone users fully encrypt backups of their devices in the company’s iCloud service after the FBI complained that the move would harm investigations.
The Killer Algorithms Nobody’s Talking About
The formal debate over lethal autonomous weapons systems—machines that can select and fire at targets on their own—began in earnest about half a decade ago under the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons, the international community’s principal mechanism for banning systems and devices deemed too hellish for use in war. But despite yearly meetings, the CCW has yet to agree what “lethal autonomous weapons” even are, let alone set a blueprint for how to rein them in.Meanwhile, the technology is advancing ferociously; militaries aren’t going to wait for delegates to pin down the exact meaning of slippery terms such as “meaningful human control” before sending advanced warbots to battle.
Meet The 26-Year-Old Socialist Trucker Running For Congress On Tiktok
Joshua Collins looks like just about every other young person on TikTok. But where many young people use the app for clout or entertainment, Collins’ TikTok has become the centrepiece for a new kind of political campaign — one he hopes will carry him all the way to Congress.
Want to Criticize Singapore? Expect a ‘Correction Notice’
When the ruling People’s Action Party (P.A.P.) passed a new law against “fake news” last year, it claimed to want to protect both free speech and national security. Falsehoods, the government said, “have been weaponized, to attack the infrastructure of fact, destroy trust and attack societies.”
Merkel seeks to delay German Huawei position until after March EU summit
Chancellor Angela Merkel has asked her conservative lawmakers to wait until after a March EU summit before taking a position on whether China's Huawei can take part in the rollout of Germany's 5G network, sources involved in their talks said. Merkel believes European Union coordination on the issue is important and she has been unable to bridge differences within her CDU/CSU bloc, the sources said on Monday. Merkel's conservatives are divided on whether to support a proposal by their Social Democrat (SPD) junior coalition partners that, if approved, would effectively shut out the Chinese technology giant from the network.
Putin Seeks to Plug Gaps in Russia’s State-Driven Tech Efforts
In his speech to the Russian parliament, Putin urged the Russian legislature to pass a “technological legislative package” intended to “launch a flexible mechanism of experimental legal regimes for the development and implementation of new technologies in Russia, such as artificial intelligence, to establish modern regulation of big data turnover based on the best world standards, as well as establish mechanisms for state support and instruments of direct and venture financing.”
Huawei CFO extradition trial begins as China protests ‘political’ treatment of tech champion exec
The first stage of an extradition hearing for a senior executive of Chinese telecom giant Huawei begins Monday in a Vancouver courtroom, a case that has infuriated Beijing, caused a diplomatic uproar and added to tensions between China and the United States.
Glenn Greenwald Charged With Cybercrimes in Brazil
Federal prosecutors in Brazil on Tuesday charged the American journalist Glenn Greenwald with cybercrimes for his role in bringing to light cellphone messages that have embarrassed prosecutors and tarnished the image of an anti-corruption task force.
Amazon boss Jeff Bezos's phone 'hacked by Saudi crown prince'
The Amazon billionaire Jeff Bezos had his mobile phone “hacked” in 2018 after receiving a WhatsApp message that had apparently been sent from the personal account of the crown prince of Saudi Arabia.
Turk Telekom says internet access restored after cyber attack
Turk Telekom has restored internet access after a cyber attack caused connectivity problems, the company said on Monday, adding that it was working to limit any ongoing impact of the issue on users. Turkey's largest telecoms group said earlier on Monday it had been hit by a cyber attack that led to problems with internet access, but did not specify who was carrying out the attack. It said the strike had targeted its DNS addresses.
Google wants to kill third-party cookies. Here's why that could be messy
When you go online, Google probably knows. The company's web browser Chrome dominates the market, and that's why Google got a lot of attention last week when it announced it intended to change the way ads are targeted online. Google's goal of making third-party cookies "obsolete" by 2022 will be a significant shift for the online advertising industry, which relies on the technology to serve personalised content.