This post recaps Citizen Lab’s major research reports for 2016, which span issues surrounding censorship, surveillance, privacy, and cybersecurity as they relate to fitness trackers, political dissidents, social media users, and more.
Tag Archives: Cybersecurity
February 9 – Stanford, CA
The second post in this series examines a Chinese mobile payment app feature increasingly covered in foreign media: testing of what may one day be a nationwide official social credit system to replace its traditional analog counterpart. Our exploration of potential security, privacy, and other issues of such a system is meant to raise questions that can inform discussions about how it will evolve.
This research series presents an in-depth examination of mobile payment systems, a rapidly evolving form of financial technology. We will provide an overview of how they are used in China–where they are taking off faster than anywhere else in the world–and what implications their security and data protection practices may have for millions of users, by presenting a case study on Alipay.
A New York Times article describing the growth of email spyware as a political weapon, titled “Cyberwar for Sale,” cited Citizen Lab research into Hacking Team, an Italian team that creates spyware for sale to governments. In particular, the article cites Citizen Lab’s work in exposing the use of Hacking Team software on the devices of Moroccan, UAE, and Ethiopian activists.
In an op-ed for CNN, security technologist Bruce Schneier explores the difficulty of attributing the cyberattack to Russia. In doing so, Schneier makes reference to Citizen Lab’s work in identifying the source of cyberattacks against activists and dissidents, including the United Arab Emirates targeting of human right’s activist Ahmed Mansour.
Citizen Lab Director Ron Deibert has authored a piece in JustSecurity on the FBI’s report on the Russian hacking of the Democratic National Convention (DNC). In the article, titled “The DHS/FBI Report on Russian Hacking was a Predictable Failure,” Deibert assesses the report itself, as well as the Obama administration’s response to the hacking, and its public handling.
This report describes a malware operation against the Syrian Opposition. We name the operator Group5, and suspect they have not been previously-reported. Group5 used “just enough” technical sophistication, combined with social engineering, to target computers and mobile phones with malware.
In an internal report obtained by the Toronto Star, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) states that the spy agency cannot keep up with threats from state-sponsored hackers. Citizen Lab Postdoctoral Fellow Christopher Parsons told the Toronto Star the report, along with cases like the cyber attack of the NRC by Chinese sponsored hackers, point to the militarization of the Internet.
Citizen Lab Senior Legal Researcher Sarah McKune explores the link between the United Nations’ human rights mechanisms and cybersecurity. The post also features an interview with UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of opinion and expression David Kaye.