Cyber Security | Wilson Center

Cyber Security

Codex - Safeguards

1. Encryption
a. A method of securing data, either for storage or for communication, that better
protects its confidentiality and integrity
b. Example: Windows’ BitLocker can be used to encrypt hard disks so that the data
cannot be read by unauthorized users.
2. End-to-End Encryption

Codex - A Common Language for Cybersecurity

For many who want to learn more about cybersecurity, knowing where to start can be difficult. Non-technical audiences—especially policymakers—are often separated from experts by a language gap ( just look at

Codex - Building Blocks

1. What is code?
a. Computer language consisting of instructions and information
b. Example: A software developer writes code for a new program in one of a variety of
languages, such as C#. Eventually, all instructions to the computer are converted to
binary machine language, zeros and ones.

2. What makes up a network?

FBI needs to offer Apple an olive branch

When the FBI announced that it had found a way to crack the San Bernardino, California, gunman's phone -- a path forward that wouldn't require conscripting Apple to produce custom software -- the stage seemed set for a thaw.

Cybersecurity & Innovation: It's the States, Stupid

Second term Governor John Hickenlooper will give a special talk about efforts in Colorado to address a rise in cyber threats while also driving innovation and creating jobs. As Federal support for cyber incidents begins to focus on the most high-level targets, leaving states and their businesses and non-profits to fend for themselves in the event of a breach, new solutions are necessary. 

Will They or Won’t They? Understanding the Encryption Debate

In a California court, Apple CEO Tim Cook and FBI Director James Comey are battling over the phone of the San Bernardino gunman - an iPhone that Comey says Apple has a legal obligation to help unlock. Apple, for its part, says that aiding the FBI here would set a precedent that undermines both security and privacy for millions of smartphone users. Similar debates are playing out across the country (two states are now considering legislation to regulate the use of smartphone encryption) and around the world, as governments weigh the policy challenges posed by secure communications.

The Life Cycles of Cyber Threats

Technology isn’t human, but it has stages of life. The period after the conception of a new piece of technology is often marked by significant investments of time and resources, often with little tangible return. If this work is successful, the technology begins to enter use, benefiting from iteration and design improvements. It may then begin to spread, gaining in popularity and begetting virtuous economies of scale. If all continues to progress, the technology will mature in the marketplace. Even if it attains market dominance, however, that position will not be permanent.

How States Drive the Diffusion of Cyber Capabilities

Amid the raging debate on cryptography, Apple CEO Tim Cook insisted, “You can’t have a backdoor that’s only for the good guys.” In other words, security sometimes means denying yourself a capability so that adversaries are less likely to gain it. Some policy options, such as unlocking the phone of a suspect, are blocked in order to preserve a more secure computing ecosystem.

Killing Jihadist Hackers Sets a Flawed Precedent

For much of the early 2000s, the worst job in terrorism was “Al Qaeda’s third-in-command.” During one hot streak, as Timothy Noah reported, the United States killed four of the men in that seat in as many years. Today, in one sign of how much warfare has since evolved, individuals who lead Islamic State hacking efforts have an even shorter life expectancy. With the recent announcement that a U.S.

Milestones in Digital Terrorism

Global terrorism is increasingly characterized by online activity, while counterterrorism requires understanding an adversary’s new media and cyber capabilities. Terror organizations hack and tweet in order to recruit, fundraise, promote ideologies, and coordinate kinetic attacks. With that in mind, the Digital Futures Project is compiling a timeline of milestones in digital terrorism, including the release of encryption programs and OpSec manuals for jihadists, data breaches and doxes, and other incidents. Entries are tagged with keywords and followed by brief summaries.