Ukraine: How the Eastern European country became a test bed for Russia cyberweaponry

Ukraine: How the Eastern European country became a test bed for Russia cyberweaponry

To see the warfare of the future, head to the top floor of a nondescript office tower on a potholed street on the scruffy outskirts of Ukraine’s capital. There, next to a darkened conference room, engineers sit at dark gray monitors, waging war with lines of code.

“Attacks are happening every day,” says Oleh Derevianko, founder of the Ukrainian cybersecurity firm that employs them, Information Systems Security Partners. “We never thought we were going to be the front line of cyber and hybrid war.”

There may be no better place to witness cyber conflict in action than Ukraine today. Open warfare with Russia, a highly skilled, computer-literate pool of talent and a uniquely vulnerable political, economic and IT environment have made the country the perfect sandbox for those looking to test new cyberweapons, tactics and tools.

“Ukraine is live-fire space,” says Kenneth Geers, a veteran cybersecurity expert and senior fellow at the Atlantic Council who advises NATO’s Tallinn cyber center and spent time on the ground in Ukraine to study the country’s cyber conflict. Much like global powers fought proxy wars in the Middle East or Africa during the Cold War, Ukraine has become a battleground in a cyberwar arms race for global influence.

Derevianko’s outfit works closely with the Ukrainian government and its U.S. and European allies to fend off onslaughts against the country’s networks. On the other side of the virtual front line: Not just sophisticated Russian-affiliated hacker groups like Fancy Bear, Cozy Bear and Sandworm — the group behind “NotPetya,” the most devastating cyberattack to date — but also hosts of other governmental, nongovernmental and criminal players testing out their capabilities on the country’s networks. Continue reading Ukraine: How the Eastern European country became a test bed for Russia cyberweaponry

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Opinion: Hell, Heaven, Purgatory – and Brexit

Opinion: Hell, Heaven, Purgatory – and Brexit

When you die, you end up in hell, heaven or purgatory. So it is with Brexit. Hell is crashing out of the EU with no deal at all. That’s what Boris Johnson, the former foreign secretary, wants. Heaven would involve Britons changing their minds and staying in the EU, the outcome favoured by pro-Europeans fighting for a new referendum. Purgatory is the half-in half-out option that the prime minister Theresa May has negotiated.

Even pro-Europeans don’t, of course, believe that the EU is literally heavenly. As with any human invention, the EU is imperfect and needs reform. However, it is vastly superior as a mechanism for advancing peace, power and prosperity to the versions of Brexit that Johnson and May are pushing.

To get to “heaven”, MPs first need to reject both “purgatory” and “hell”. They will then conclude that the only sensible option is to ask the people whether they wish to stick to the decision to leave the EU that they took in the 2016 referendum.

We crossed an important milestone on Tuesday when MPs massively rejected the prime minister’s deal. Neither pro-Europeans nor hardline Brexiters like it because it is bad for both our prosperity and our power. We won’t get full access to the EU’s market but we’ll still end up following many rules without a say on them. Continue reading Opinion: Hell, Heaven, Purgatory – and Brexit

Xi Jinping Says Taiwan’s Unification With China Is ‘Inevitable’

Xi Jinping Says Taiwan’s Unification With China Is ‘Inevitable’

Chinese President Xi Jinping said Taiwan’s unification with mainland China is “inevitable,” issuing a stern warning against any separatist or independence attempts on the self-governing island in a firmly-worded speech Wednesday.

“China must and will be united,” said Xi in reference to unification with Taiwan, AFP reports. “We make no promise to give up the use of force and reserve the option of all necessary means,” Xi added, not ruling out the use of military action against separatist efforts in Taiwan. Continue reading Xi Jinping Says Taiwan’s Unification With China Is ‘Inevitable’