Cyber espionage operations and leaks of sensitive government and corporate data are a regular occurrence these days. In our eagerness to learn hidden truths it is also imperative that we ask ourselves whether we can trust the accuracy of information offered up by unknown actors whose intentions are obscured. Is this information real, or has it been tampered with to further some powerful entity's shadowy agenda? Should our default position be to treat leaks with the strictest suspicion — perhaps even as the calculated product of digital disinformation — until proven otherwise?
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This won't come as a surprise. Last week, the day after the president fired James Comey, the tangerine nightmare that is now the leader of the free world met with the Russian foreign minister and ambassador. Then he reportedly revealed some highly classified information, putting not only our continued access to an important source in jeopardy, but also America's efforts to fight ISIS at risk.
US President Donald Trump has rotated between saying that a "major, major" conflict with North Korea is possible and that he "would be honored" to meet North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un. On Sunday, North Korea did what it usually does when it's unsure of what's going on and tested another missile. The launch went pretty well.
Trump thumbed his nose at the American people today by meeting with Russian officials as suspicions about his campaign ties to the country are at their peak. Adding insult to injury, the White House didn't allow any U.S. press to be present. But Russian press got a front row seat in the Oval Office and former intelligence officials worry that they may have smuggled in surveillance equipment.
On Saturday morning, the front pages of American news outlets were plastered with photos of North Korean "Frankenmissiles" being paraded through the streets of Pyongyang. Less than 24 hours later, the tin-pot dictatorship tested a ballistic missile that reportedly fizzled in a matter of seconds. Now, U.S. authorities are showing signs that a conflict can be averted.
You've all seen Dr. Strangelove, which means I'm pretty sure you understand the general idea behind a doomsday device: if you destroy us, we destroy you, no matter what. The concept of an automatic system that guarantees nuclear retaliation if a country is subjected to a nuclear attack has been part of the collective nuclear nightmare for decades. It's not just a concept, though. Such a doomsday device exists, and it goes by the chilling name Dead Hand.
LiveJournal, a blog community that's hosted a lot of science fiction authors and fans (including George RR Martin), has officially banned "political solicitation" — which can mean anything that criticises the Russian government, as well as pro-LGBTQ discussions. There are also concerns users can be subject to Russian spying.
Today, the US Department of Justice announced charges against two members of the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) and two hackers-for-hire for allegedly breaching Yahoo's servers. Mary McCord, the acting Assistant Attorney General for National Security, said that prosecutors believe the FSB agents carried out the hack in their capacity as Russian government officials. We knew that the intrusion was pretty bad — the Justice Department called it the largest data breach in US history — but the indictment offers new details on how the hackers allegedly exploited their access to Yahoo's servers for sweet, sweet cash.
The US Department of Justice announced today the indictment of four people for their alleged roles in the 2014 Yahoo cyberattack that compromised an estimated 500 million accounts.
The northwest Chinese city of Lanzhou has a serious water shortage problem. To address the issue, its urban planners have sketched out an ambitious plan to deliver water from Siberia's Lake Baikal to the city along a 1000km-long pipeline. Getting approval for the project will be a monumental challenge, but it may be a sign of things to come for other water-poor regions of the world.
Late last year, top cybersecurity investigators from a private firm and Russian intelligence were arrested in dramatic fashion. One was dragged out of a meeting with a bag over his head. All were disappeared. Details were scarce at the time, but revelations from a new Reuters report now only complicate what we know.
According to reports, Russia has deployed a secret cruise missile system that violates a treaty between the United States and the former Soviet Union. Known as the SSC-X-8, the Obama administration previously warned Russia about developing the land-based system, but the country went ahead and built it anyway. Now that Trump is in office, there's speculation about what the new administration will do about it.