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Homeland & Cybersecurity

The latest coverage of the Department of Homeland Security and cyber threats around the globe.

Putin developing fake videos to foment 2020 election chaos: 'It's going to destroy lives'

By Ben Wolfgang - The Washington Times

U.S. leaders say Vladimir Putin used a familiar cyber playbook to "muck around" in the midterm elections last month, but intelligence officials and key lawmakers believe a much more sinister, potentially devastating threat lies just down the road -- one that represents an attack on reality itself. Published December 2, 2018

Recent Stories

Iran hackers hunt nuclear workers, U.S. targets

- Associated Press

As U.S. President Donald Trump re-imposed harsh economic sanctions on Iran last month, hackers scrambled to break into personal emails of American officials tasked with enforcing them, The Associated Press has found -- another sign of how deeply cyberespionage is embedded into the fabric of US-Iranian relations.

Russian President Vladimir Putin looks at a monument to the Nobel Prize-winning author Alexander Solzhenitsyn in Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2018. Solzhenitsyn, whose books exposed the horrors of Soviet prison camps, died in 2008. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko, Pool)

Secretive State Dept. offensive targets propaganda, 'deep fakes'

- The Washington Times

The State Department is ramping up a secretive counter-propaganda center to fight Russian disinformation efforts in nearly two dozen nations as part of what Trump administration officials say is an expanding push to crush Moscow's "fake news" influence operations around the world.

In this April 10, 2018, file photo Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg pauses while testifying before a joint hearing of the Commerce and Judiciary Committees on Capitol Hill in Washington about the use of Facebook data to target American voters in the 2016 election. The British Parliament has released some 250 pages worth of documents that show Facebook considered charging developers for data access. The documents show internal discussions about linking data to revenue. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)

Facebook emails show how it sought to leverage user data

- Associated Press

A U.K. Parliament committee accused Facebook on Wednesday of cutting special deals with some advertisers to give them more access to data as it released 250 pages worth of documents on the tech giant's internal discussions about the value of users' personal information.

In this Dec. 4, 2017, file photo, Houthi Shiite fighters guard a street leading to the residence of former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh, in Sanaa, Yemen. (AP Photo/Hani Mohammed, File)

Iran helps Houthis fight Yemen war in cyberspace

- The Washington Times

Iranian operatives are helping Houthi rebels control cyberspace in Yemen's brutal civil war, allowing the militia to command the country's main internet service provider, censor online comment, alter government websites and make money from cryptocurrencies, according to a report.

A computer screen shows the online impact on Dolce & Gabbana products displayed in Beijing, China, Thursday, Nov. 22, 2018. Dolce & Gabbana goods have disappeared from Chinese e-commerce sites after insulting remarks about China it allegedly made in exchanges on Instagram sparked outrage. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)

Dolce & Gabbana goods pulled in China over alleged insults

- Associated Press

Dolce & Gabbana goods disappeared Thursday from Chinese e-commerce sites as the fallout grew over remarks insulting to China that were apparently made by two of its Instagram accounts. The company has blamed hackers.

Chinese President Xi Jinping waves before he departs Manila's International Airport in Philippines during rain Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2018. Xi ended his two-day visit in the Philippines, his first visit to the U.S. treaty ally, with offers of infrastructure loans and new accords to prevent clashes and possibly explore for oil and gas in the disputed South China Sea. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)

U.S. says China hacking increasing ahead of Trump-Xi meeting

- Associated Press

A U.S. government report ahead of a meeting between Presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping accuses China of stepping up hacking aimed at stealing American technology as a tariff dispute escalated.

Backlash at Chinese university shows limits to surveillance

- Associated Press

A Chinese university's plan to conduct a blanket search of student and staff electronic devices has come under fire, illustrating the limits of the population's tolerance for surveillance and raising the prospect that tactics used on Muslim minorities may be creeping into the rest of the country.

Illustration on border defense by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

Deterring illegal immigrants

President Trump's action in dispatching troops to the southern border is meant to deter the caravan of illegal immigrants approaching from Mexico. Whether or not this works remains to be seen. However, the past use of the use of federal troops on Mexican border has largely been a paper tiger. Without some significant changes, this deployment will be no different. The problem is Posse Comitatus legislation, which forbids the use of Army — and later Air Force personnel — from arresting civilians in this country.

In this May 20, 2018, file photo, Georgia Republican gubernatorial candidate Brian Kemp participates in a debate in Atlanta. (Associated Press)

Brian Kemp opens 'cyber crimes' probe of Georgia Democrats

- The Washington Times

Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp, a Republican locked in a tough race for governor, has opened an investigation into the Democratic Party of Georgia, citing "possible cyber crimes" after it detected a failed attempt to hack voter-registration systems.

In this April 11, 2018, file photo, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testifies before a House Energy and Commerce hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington about the use of Facebook data to target American voters in the 2016 election and data privacy. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)

Top Senate Dems blast Facebook for political ad loopholes

- The Washington Times

Facebook's latest effort to improve online political ad transparency has fallen short, and the embattled social media giant must adhere to the same requirements as those sold for TV and radio, leading Senate Democrats said Friday, just days before the midterm elections.

Chinese Spy Chips Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

Convertibles and cyber war

Years ago, I bought a two-seat convertible — it was a great car, and a ton of fun to drive. But after I'd had it about a year it started turning off — just out of the blue. After making certain it was mechanically as close to perfect as it could be, I focused on the electronics and managed to identify a faulty fuel-pump relay, a small electronic circuit. I replaced it and the car ran beautifully.

Illustration on Democrats' destructive attitude towards America by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

America under siege from within

I have never seen people fight for their own demise, to erase their very existence, as I have in recent weeks with Democrats, their left-leaning supporters and the mainstream media outlets. The radical left has reached a pathological level of self-loathing, willing to sacrifice everything to gain a few votes or a couple of seats in Congress, even if it means burning down our nation, founded by the blood, sweat and tears of generations of patriots.

Vice President Mike Pence, speaking Oct. 4 at the Hudson Institute in Washington, said China was using its power in "more proactive and coercive ways to interfere in the domestic policies and politics of the United States." (Associated Press)

New details on Chinese election meddling

Vice President Mike Pence announced earlier this month that China is working to unseat President Trump and meddle in U.S. elections, revealing what he said was Beijing's plan as outlined in an internal government propaganda directive.

In this July 4, 2017, file photo, Russian businessman Yevgeny Prigozhin is shown prior to a meeting of Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping in the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia. (Sergei Ilnitsky/Pool Photo via AP, File)

Russian paper: Indicted Yevgeny Prigozhin ordered beatings, killing

Associated Press

A security aide to businessman Yevgeny Prigozhin, who has been indicted by American investigators for allegedly trying to interfere with the 2016 U.S. election, says the Russian mogul has been involved in attacks on several people and at least one killing, an independent Russian newspaper reported Monday.

Illustration on cyber vulnerabilities in U.S. weapons systems by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

Defanging America's weapons

In July 2015, Wired magazine published a report of a test in which a team of computer "hackers," using a wireless connection to the car's computers, controlled the car's computers. They turned the air conditioning and radio on, shut off the engine and the brakes. At one point, they cut off operation of the car's transmission.

Recent Opinion Columns

Post Leak Helps Terrorists Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

When the media acts irresponsibly

When White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said media reports compromised the fact that the U.S. government was intercepting Osama bin Laden's satellite phone calls, the media clobbered her.

Caitlin Sanger, of Franklin Park, N.J., pauses to cry outside the Supreme Court in Washington, Tuesday, June 26, 2018, as she speaks about her father being detained by ICE and protests immigrant families being split up. Naomi Liem, 10, of Franklin Park, N.J., cries lower right and Jocelyn Pangemanan of Highland Park, N.J., stands right. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

A needed tutorial in the law

The U.S. Supreme Court had a lesson Tuesday for the good-hearted folk who would apply feelings instead of the Constitution to the interpretation of the law. By the familiar 5 to 4 vote on constitutional issues, the High Court upheld the clear language of Congress in support of President Trump's order limiting the entry of risky foreign nationals to the United States.

Illustration on Federal contracting by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

Protecting the Pentagon's cloud data

Alexa, how do we get competition? When Democrats rule D.C., you have to hand it to them. They know how to take care of their fellow Democrats. When Republicans rule D.C., they take care of the Democrats, too.

Removing Obama Net Neutrality Regulations Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

Restoring a light touch to Internet regulations

Over the last two weeks, there has been a vigorous debate about internet regulation. Under the plan I recently proposed, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) would restore internet freedom by rolling back heavy-handed government regulations imposed during the Obama administration. Some have tried to whip Americans into a frenzy by making outlandish claims. Feeding the hysteria are silly accusations that the plan will "end the internet as we know it" or threaten American democracy itself.

Erasing Radical Ideology Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

A Marshall Plan to defeat global terrorism

Global terrorism is spreading like a dangerous cancer that knows no borders. It cannot be defeated by the military alone. As the Islamic State's grip on Mosul is faltering today, so must its grip on the young minds of Iraq through instruction in religious freedom and reconciliation.

Cyber Warfare Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

Warfare goes digital in the 21st century

Russia's intelligence service hacks Democratic Party computer networks and puts out stolen emails in a bid to influence the 2016 election. China says it owns 90 percent of the South China Sea and begins building military bases under a vague historical claim to the strategic waterway. Iranian hackers break into American banks and a water control computer network at an upstate New York dam. Welcome to the new form of conflict in the 21st century: information warfare.

Trump Claims of Eavesdropping of His Campaign Illustration by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

Tweets and trials

Two of the government's highest ranking intelligence officials will go before a House committee next week to testify about President Trump's bombastic claim that his predecessor "tapped" his phones during the 2016 election.

President Donald Trump arrives for a St. Patrick's Day reception in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Thursday, March 16, 2017. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Mr. Trump's travel ban

President Trump and the lower federal courts are playing a dangerous game of ping-pong, and the nation's security is paying for it. The president, who is responsible for the nation's safety, proposes and certain federal judges, who have no such responsibility dispose. The president proposes again, and again a judge or two dispose.

From The Vault

China cyber spy chief revealed

The activities of one of China's cyber spymasters has been revealed for the first time in a government report on Beijing's unfair trade practices made public last week.

Huma Abedin, one of Hillary Clinton's top aides from her time in the State Department and again on the campaign trail, had shared the laptop with now-estranged husband Anthony Weiner. (Associated Press)

FBI feared Huma Abedin's laptop had been hacked, contained secret emails

- The Washington Times

The FBI believed Huma Abedin's laptop computer did have evidence she and her boss, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, mishandled classified information, according to a search warrant released Tuesday that shows the basis agents had for upending the presidential election with their controversial election-season probe.