Author: AdamElkus

  • Assumption of Breach and Defense Planning

    Assumption of Breach and Defense Planning

    Given the explosive (and thinly sourced) nature of Bill Gertz’s allegations (China! Carriers! Nukes!) in his latest Free Beacon post it is important to watch the story as it develops. At first glance, the story doesn’t quite seem to match the hype. A spear-phishing attack against an unclassified network is not exactly uncommon. But the […]

  • Japan, China, and the Tech Supply Chain

    My amigo Alex Olesker has a nice roundup at OODA Loop of why China and Japan are feuding over a pile of rocks in the South China Sea. So why, you might ask, is this relevant for technologists? Well, consider this story from August: Chinese tech hub and boom town Shenzhen is set to increase […]

  • Cyber Offense, Defense, and Economics

    The Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments (CSBA)–known for its assessments of the precision-strike revolution and work on Air Sea Battle–is tackling the intellectual challenge of cyber strategy. Its new report, Cyber Warfare: A ‘Nuclear’ Option? has not gotten much play in the blogosphere but has a number of interesting ideas. CSBA challenges dogmas on both sides […]

  • How Cyberpunk Revived Cybersecurity

    This post was cowritten by Adam Elkus and Alex Olesker Our last post looked at the downside of how cyberpunk and digital dualism helped contribute to a distorted understanding of cyberspace and bad policy. Yes, it might seem a bit ridiculous at first glance: would we blame Jules Verne for faults with naval submarine warfare doctrine […]

  • The Strongest Tribe: Issues of power in cyberspace

    Cyberspace is our interconnected information technology. Mikko Hypponen has a mea culpa about Flame that is worth reading. The F-Secure chief believes that antivirus companies, including his own, failed to detect Flame and that this failure has broader implications: The truth is, consumer-grade antivirus products can’t protect against targeted malware created by well-resourced nation-states with […]

  • How Cyberpunk Killed Cybersecurity

    This post is cowritten by AdamElkus and Alex Olesker. Before we begin, please understand just how hard it is for us to write this blog. I’ve read Neuromancer countless times, enthusiastically used Snow Crash in undergrad to talk about the future of international relations, and watched both Ghost in the Shell movies and the Stand Alone Complex […]

  • The Automation of Espionage

    Kapersky Labs has reported a new form of malware dubbed “Flame:” A complex targeted cyber-attack that collected private data from countries such as Israel and Iran has been uncovered, researchers have said. Russian security firm Kaspersky Labs told the BBC they believed the malware, known as Flame, had been operating since August 2010. …This new […]

  • Several Perspectives on Facebook’s Strategy

    Facebook’s recent disappointing IPO has triggered a torrent of quasi-biblical prophets of doom. Michael Wolff  has scribbled the most apocalyptic message on Belshazzar’s Facebook wall. Mene, Mene, Tekel u-Pharsin, Zuckerberg? The daily and stubborn reality for everybody building businesses on the strength of Web advertising is that the value of digital ads decreases every quarter, […]

  • Qualifying a "Cyber Arms Race"

    Several recent pieces have looked at the prospects for a “cyberwarfare arms race” and a “cyber warfare gap” concerning the US, China, Russia, and other nations with an interest in offensive cyber capabilities and doctrines. Beyond the endemic refusal to distinguish between computer network attacks and computer network exploitation, there is a larger problem looming […]

  • Advancing Cyber History at the Atlantic Council

    On 16 May 2012 I attended, with Alex Olesker and defense contractor Robert Caruso the Atlantic Council/Cyber Conflict Studies Association’s event “Lessons From Our Cyber Past: The First Cyber Cops.” Jason Healey of ACUS/CCSA moderated a discussion between the ODNI’s Steven R. Chabinsky, Crowdstrike President Shawn Henry, the State Department’s Christopher Painter. Alex has already written […]