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View the most recent mentions of CCHS in the media.

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Senate cyber panel makes public debut

May 03, 2017

Russia's information warfare during the 2016 election is the new normal, said witnesses at a Senate hearing, and they argued that the U.S. needs to develop the strategy, authorities and systems to combat cyber-enabled information operations.Members of the Senate Armed Services Committee's recently formed Cybersecurity Subcommittee agreed in its first public, unclassified hearing that the U.S. is effectively fighting information warfare with one cyber arm tied behind its back. "Disinformation and 'fake news' pose a unique national security challenge for any society that values freedom of speech and a free press," said subcommittee chair Mike Rounds (R-S.D.). Dr. Rand Waltzman, senior information scientist with the RAND Corporation, framed the problem as "cognitive hacking," where Russia and other actors use cyberspace to rapidly spread disinformation to a population "predisposed to accept because it appeals to existing fears or anxieties."

DHS conducting internal cyber assessment ahead of legislative reorg

May 01, 2017

As Rep. Mike McCaul (R-Texas), chairman of the Homeland Security Committee, gets closer to introducing a bill to begin a major organization at the Homeland Security Department, the agency is undertaking an internal review.McCaul said at the CTIA Cybersecurity Summit on April 27 in Washington, D.C. that he received comments on the draft bill from the White House and is about ready to introduce the legislation to create a new cyber agency within DHS. “It was a technical response. Generally, they were very supportive,” McCaul said after his speech. “It was more of the tweaks, which was a good sign that they are generally supportive of developing that mission within DHS.” In the meantime, DHS has just begun an effort to look at its current set of capabilities and what it will need in the future.

Russia's risky strategy for recruiting hackers is also incredibly effective — and the US is lagging behind

April 28, 2017

The US needs to change how it hires hackers and other tech talent if it wants to stay competitive in the cyber arena, former FBI special agent Clint Watts told the Senate Armed Services Committee during a Thursday hearing on "cyber-enabled information operations." Watts, now a senior fellow at George Washington University's Center for Cyber and Homeland Security, argued that Russia's ability to hack into US political organizations last year and launch a sustained disinformation campaign — which it now appears to be replicating ahead of the French and German elections — stemmed not from its "employment of sophisticated technology, but through the employment of top talent."

French social media awash with fake news stories from sources ‘exposed to Russian influence’ ahead of presidential election

April 22, 2017

French voters have been deluged with fake news stories on their social media feeds ahead of the country's presidential election, many from sources "exposed to Russian influence", new research has found. Researchers from Oxford University found up to a quarter of the political links shared on Twitter in France were based on misinformation. They were identified as deliberately false and expressed “ideologically extreme, hyper-partisan or conspiratorial" views with logical flaws and opinions presented as facts.

John Kelly: DHS Partners With Industry to Protect Federal Networks from Cyber Attacks

April 21, 2017

John Kelly, secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, has said DHS has collaborated with industry to update outdated information technology systems as part of efforts to safeguard the federal government’s data infrastructure from cyber attacks. Kelly said in a speech delivered Tuesday at George Washington University’s Center for Cyber and Homeland Security such a partnership with the commercial sector seeks to build up cyber resilience in the country’s physical and digital infrastructure.

US Intelligence Agencies Fear Rogue Insiders as Much as Spies

April 19, 2017

Forget about spies. It's rogue insiders that cause heartburn at U.S. intelligence agencies these days. Few spy cases have broken in the past decade and a half. In contrast, a proliferation of U.S. intelligence and military insiders have gone rogue and spilled secrets to journalists or WikiLeaks, the anti-secrecy group. The leaks are as damaging as any major spy case, perhaps more so. And they have underscored the ease of stealing secrets in the modern age, sometimes with a single stroke of a keyboard.

Understanding Cybersecurity, Beyond the Russian Hacking Scandal

April 12, 2017

It's difficult for anything to cross international borders faster than digital information. But the convenience of technology that allows more than 2.6 million emails, nearly 60,000 Google searches and 8,000 tweets to be sent each second inevitably puts the estimated 3.6 billion global internet users at risk of hacking. "Our lives are powered by the technology we use. It's how we communicate with the world and interact with the world," says Gadi Evron, an influential cybersecurity thought leader and founder of the cyberdeception start-up, Cymmetria. "Whatever motive you have to use a tool do something, someone else has the opposite."

Manhunt underway for suspect in Sweden truck attack

April 07, 2017

A manhunt is underway for the attacker in Sweden who plowed through a Stockholm shopping district in a truck. Frank Cilluffo of the Center for Cyber and Homeland Security joins CBSN to discuss the latest terror attacks around the world.

The role social media companies play in combating terrorism online is evolving

April 06, 2017

It’s no secret the internet has become one of the most sacred battlefields for terrorists. Not only have groups like ISIS fought their messaging war online; It’s also where they’ve rallied and recruited tens of thousands of troops as well. Two years ago, a report by The Middle East Research Institute (MEMRI) pointed the finger squarely at social media companies role in attracting a “new Jihadi generation.”

Today’s Russia hearings actually revealed something new and important

March 30, 2017

A blockbuster scoop in today’s New York Times reports that two White House officials helped House Intelligence Committee Chair Devin Nunes access intelligence reports showing that President Donald Trump and his associates were subject to “incidental collection” as U.S. intelligence agencies conducted routine foreign surveillance. This is significant, because it shows Nunes may have had White House help in his ham-handed efforts to buttress (sort of) Trump’s false claim that former President Obama wiretapped his phones, and later, after admitting that didn’t happen, that Trump and associates were subject to U.S. surveillance. Nunes apparently cited the info he’d been given to suggest that Trump may have been wiretapped, though he later backed off of that assertion. If the White House provided that info, it adds to the case that Nunes is functioning as a defender of Trump rather than exercising oversight, by running his committee’s probe into Russian meddling and possible collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign.

Russians took Trump’s side in GOP primary, too, expert tells Senate panel

March 30, 2017

Before Russian propaganda and fake news targeted Hillary Clinton, it went after Republican opponents of Donald Trump, including Sen. Marco Rubio and Sen. Lindsey Graham, as well as former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, according to a cyber security expert who testified before the Senate Thursday. Clint Watts, of George Washington University’s Center for Cyber and Homeland Security, said during a break in a rare Senate Intelligence Committee public hearing that the one constant of the Russian campaign was “pumping up Trump.” Watts was one of six experts brought before the committee Thursday as Congress’ efforts to investigate Russian election meddling moved to the Senate after 10 days of drama and chaos in the House Intelligence Committee’s probe that appeared to freeze that investigation.

US, UK Electronics Ban al-Qaeda, IS bombs are on focus: experts

March 24, 2017

The prohibition on carry-on electronics for certain flights to the US and Britain shows both the Islamic State group and al-Qaeda remain able to mount potent threats to civil aviation despite tighter airport security, experts say. On Tuesday, US authorities ordered a ban on laptop computers, tablets, cameras and other items larger than cell phones in passenger cabins of direct US-bound flights from certain airports in the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Morocco, Qatar, Egypt, Turkey, and Jordan. Britain imposed similar restrictions on flights from six countries, while France and Canada said they were considering their own measures.

Tech and terrorism experts question Trump's airline electronics ban: It 'makes absolutely no sense'

March 21, 2017

After the Trump administration announced a ban on carrying electronic devices larger than a cellphone in the cabins of US-bound airplanes coming from eight Middle Eastern and African countries, experts were left questioning whether such a ban would actually be effective in preventing terrorist attacks. The US Department of Homeland Security announced the ban, which applies to nonstop flights originating from 10 airports in Jordan, Egypt, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Morocco, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates, on Monday evening. Passengers will have to place all electronic items larger than a cellphone in their checked luggage so the devices cannot be accessed in-flight.

Bill proposes letting victims of cybercrime hack the hackers

March 13, 2017

When investigating hacked networks, FBI agents have long told company executives that they can’t share information on what was stolen and who took it. “Sorry, that’s classified,” was all the victims got. And for years, this has frustrated companies and victims that wanted to hack back. That could entail, for example, identifying and crippling computers behind a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack (a service some security firms have in fact marketed), or perhaps launching an attack from servers situated offshore (the FBI has investigated banks for such activities). Hack backs aren’t exactly what you’d call legal, regardless of such actions being justified as defensive maneuvers. In fact, such actions run afoul of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA), the US law that criminalizes unauthorized access to a computer.

Who and why, twin mysteries behind leak of CIA’s cybertools

March 12, 2017

It’s not just who did it, but why. WikiLeaks’ release of nearly 8,000 documents that purportedly reveal secrets about the CIA’s tools for breaking into targeted computers, cellphones and even smart TVs has given rise to multiple theories about who stole the documents and for what reason. Perhaps it was a U.S. spy or contractor who felt jilted. Maybe the CIA was exposed by a foreign country that wanted to embarrass U.S. intelligence. Could it have been a CIA insider worried about Americans’ privacy rights?

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