Jul 24, 2019

Russian contractor tied to 2016 election interference unleashes mobile phone spyware

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Senate Intel releases 1st volume of report on 2016 Russian interference

Sens. Mark Warner and Richard Burr. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call

The Senate Intelligence Committee on Thursday released the first part of its redacted report on Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, focusing on "Russian efforts against election infrastructure."

Driving the news: The release of the report comes one day after former special counsel Robert Mueller testified before the House Judiciary and Intelligence Committees, warning that Russia would continue its interference efforts in the future. Despite his statement, Republican senators this week blocked a package of election security measures designed to protect election systems in 2020.

Go deeperArrowJul 25, 2019

Why the deepfakes threat is shallow

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Despite the sharp alarms being sounded over deepfakes — uncannily realistic AI-generated videos showing real people doing and saying fictional things —security experts believe that the videos ultimately don't offer propagandists much advantage compared to the simpler forms of disinformation they are likely to use.

Why it matters: It’s easy to see how a viral video that appears to show, say, the U.S. president declaring war would cause panic — until, of course, the video was debunked. But deepfakes are not an efficient form of a long-term disinformation campaign.

Go deeperArrowAug 15, 2019

Inside election security's biggest event

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

The DEF CON hacker conference's Voting Village event has become a testing ground for our national debate over voting security, referenced by Senate reports, several congressmen and even a presidential candidate (albeit incorrectly, see below). This year's version, happening next week, comes with some upgrades.

The big picture: Now in its third year, the event is traditionally one of the only places where many security researchers get a chance to audit the security of election systems.

Go deeperArrowAug 1, 2019