rogue_actors   13

Pentagon Turns to High-Speed Traders to Fortify Markets Against Cyberattack
Oct. 15, 2017 7| WSJ | By Alexander Osipovich.

"What it would be like if a malicious actor wanted to cause havoc on U.S. financial markets?".....Dozens of high-speed traders and others from Wall Street are helping the Pentagon study how hackers could unleash chaos in the U.S. financial system. The Department of Defense’s research arm, DARPA, over the past year and a half has consulted executives at high-frequency trading firms and quantitative hedge funds, and people from exchanges and other financial companies, participants in the discussions said. Officials described the effort, the Financial Markets Vulnerabilities Project, as an early-stage pilot project aimed at identifying market vulnerabilities.

Among the potential scenarios: Hackers could cripple a widely used payroll system; they could inject false information into stock-data feeds, sending trading algorithms out of whack; or they could flood the stock market with fake sell orders and trigger a market crash......Among potential targets that could appeal to hackers given their broad reach are credit-card companies, payment processors and payroll companies such as ADP, which handles the paychecks for one in six U.S. workers, participants said.....The goal of Darpa’s project is to develop a simulation of U.S. markets, which could be used to test scenarios, Such software would need to model complex, interrelated markets—not just stocks but also markets such as futures—as well as the behavior of automated trading systems operating within them....Many quantitative trading firms already do something similar.......
In 2009, military experts took part in a two-day war game exploring a “global financial war” involving China and Russia, according to “Currency Wars: The Making of the Next Global Crisis,” a 2011 book by James Rickards. ....“Our charge at Darpa is to think far out,” he said. “It’s not ‘What is the attack today?’ but ‘What are the vectors of attack 20 years from now?’”
Pentagon  financial_markets  financial_system  vulnerabilities  high-frequency_trading  DARPA  traders  hedge_funds  Wall_Street  hackers  books  rogue_actors  scenario-planning  scenario  cyber_security  cyber_warfare  cyberattacks 
8 days ago by jerryking
Hacks Raise Fear Over N.S.A.’s Hold on Cyberweapons - The New York Times
By NICOLE PERLROTH and DAVID E. SANGER JUNE 28, 2017

The Petya ransomware attack....was built on cyberweapons (i.e. hacking tools that exploited vulnerabilities in Microsoft software) stolen from the NSA in 2016 by Shadow Brokers and made public in April 2017. Now those weapons are being deployed against various U.S. partners include the United Kingdom and Ukraine.....there is growing concern that United States intelligence agencies have rushed to create digital weapons that they cannot keep safe from adversaries or disable once they fall into the wrong hands..... the government “employs a disciplined, high-level interagency decision-making process for disclosure of known vulnerabilities” in software, “unlike any other country in the world.”....Officials fret that the potential damage from the Shadow Brokers leaks could go much further, and the agency’s own weaponry could be used to destroy critical infrastructure in allied nations or in the United States.

“Whether it’s North Korea, Russia, China, Iran or ISIS, almost all of the flash points out there now involve a cyber element,” Leon E. Panetta, the former defense secretary and Central Intelligence Agency chief.....viruses can suddenly mutate into other areas you didn’t intend, more and more,” Mr. Panetta said. “That’s the threat we’re going to face in the near future.”..... ransomware that recently gained the most attention in the Ukraine attack is believed to have been a smoke screen for a deeper assault aimed at destroying victims’ computers entirely. .....Mr. Panetta was among the officials warning years ago of a “cyber Pearl Harbor” that could bring down the American power grid. But he and others never imagined that those same enemies might use the N.S.A.’s own cyberweapons.....rogue actors actors, like North Korea and segments of the Islamic State, who have access to N.S.A. tools who don’t care about economic and other ties between nation states,”.....So long as flaws in computer code exist to create openings for digital weapons and spy tools, security experts say, the N.S.A. is not likely to stop hoarding software vulnerabilities any time soon.
vulnerabilities  exploits  NSA  cyberweapons  security_&_intelligence  malware  rogue_actors  Leon_Panetta  cyberthreats  computer_viruses  hackers  North_Korea  ransomware 
june 2017 by jerryking
Russia Looks to Exploit White House ‘Turbulence,’ Analysts Say - The New York Times
FEB. 27, 2017 | The New York Times | By NEIL MacFARQUHAR.

The Kremlin, increasingly convinced that President Trump will not fundamentally change relations with Russia, is instead seeking to bolster its global influence by exploiting what it considers weakness in Washington, according to political advisers, diplomats, journalists and other analysts.

Russia has continued to test the United States on the military front, with fighter jets flying close to an American warship in the Black Sea this month and a Russian naval vessel steaming conspicuously in the Atlantic off the coast of Delaware.....“They are all telling each other that this is great, he created this turbulence inside, as we wanted, and now he is focused on his domestic problems and we have more freedom to maneuver,” Mr. Venediktov said. “Let them deal with their own problems. There, not in Ukraine. There, not in the Middle East. There, not in NATO. This is the state of mind right now.”...“The main hope is that the U.S. will be preoccupied with itself and will stop pressuring Russia.”....Any turbulence that Russia foments also gives the Kremlin leverage that it can try to trade in the global arena at a time when it does not have much that others want....Analysts say the Kremlin is keenly aware that the tactic of creating and exploiting disarray can become self-defeating, in that prolonged instability in the world order could allow threats like the extremist group Islamic State to flourish.....The Middle East provides examples of both vectors, analysts say, a moment of chaos to exploit and concerns about achieving stability for the long-term future.
Russia  White_House  Kremlin  Vladimir_Putin  chaos  power  influence  statecraft  rogue_actors  geopolitics  Ukraine  improvisation 
february 2017 by jerryking
Review: ‘Winter is Coming’, by Garry Kasparov
NOVEMBER 8, 2015 | FT | Review by John Thornhill

‘Winter is Coming: Why Vladimir Putin and the Enemies of the Free World Must be Stopped’, by Garry Kasparov, Atlantic Books, £16.99; Public Affairs, $26.99

"The price of deterrence always goes up"

the real power of Kasparov’s book lies in his argument that the west must pursue a more assertive and moral foreign policy, something that has faded out of fashion. In his view, the most moral foreign policy is also the most effective. It enhances international security by insisting on observance of law....one of the most important aspects of any moral foreign policy is its consistency. Western leaders should keep talking about human rights issues in good times as well as bad. Otherwise, these issues become just another chip on the “geopolitical gaming table”. Those leaders should also insist on raising these subjects with strong autocracies, such as China, as well as the weak.

in Kasparov’s view, US President Bill Clinton squandered the chance to advance the international human rights agenda in the 1990s, as the west took a holiday from history. And today the west is too “uninformed, callous, or apathetic” to assert its influence and values.

He, rightly, argues that one of the most important aspects of any moral foreign policy is its consistency. Western leaders should keep talking about human rights issues in good times as well as bad. Otherwise, these issues become just another chip on the “geopolitical gaming table”. Those leaders should also insist on raising these subjects with strong autocracies, such as China, as well as the weak.
books  Russia  Vladimir_Putin  book_reviews  authors  consistency  writers  dictators  dictatorships  deterrence  dissidents  Ukraine  human_rights  strategic_thinking  exiles  autocracies  chess  authoritarianism  foreign_policy  geopolitics  liberal_pluralism  rogue_actors  Garry_Kasparov 
january 2017 by jerryking
The promise and peril of digital diplomacy - The Globe and Mail
TAYLOR OWEN
Contributed to The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, Jan. 09 2015

the same governments that are seeking to enable free speech in countries like Iran are at the same time rapidly expanding the surveillance state. Thanks to the revelations of Edward Snowden we now know how the state has chosen to respond to this new space of digital empowerment. Like a traditional battlefield, they are seeking to control it. To, as they themselves claim, “know it all.”

And herein lies the central tension in the digital diplomacy initiative. By seeking to control, monitor and undermine the actions of perceived negative actors, the state risks breaking the very system that positively empowers so many. And this will ultimately harm those living under autocratic and democratic regimes alike.

The answer, unfortunately, is not as simple as many critics of digital diplomacy assert. Simply returning to traditional in-person diplomacy ignores the global shift to decentralized digital power. Digital diplomacy is a well-intentioned attempt to participate in this new space. However, it is one that is both ill-suited to the capabilities of the state, and is negated by other digital foreign policy programs.

We are at the start of a reconfiguration of power. Navigating this terrain is one of the principal foreign policy challenges of the 21st century.
diplomacy  risks  Communicating_&_Connecting  social_media  foreign_policy  digital_diplomacy  uToronto  public_diplomacy  Outsourcing  Edward_Snowden  challenges  21st._century  rogue_actors 
february 2015 by jerryking
The Revolt of the Weak - NYTimes.com
SEPT. 1, 2014 | NYT | By DAVID BROOKS.

there are certain unconscious habits and norms of restraint that undergird civilization. These habits and norms are now being challenged by a coalition of the unsuccessful.

What we’re seeing around the world is a revolt of the weak. There are certain weak movements and nations, beset by internal contradictions, that can’t compete if they play by the normal rules of civilization. Therefore, they are conspiring to blow up the rule book.....People who conduct foreign policy live today under the shadow of the postwar era. People instinctively understand that just after World War II, Harry Truman, George Marshall, Dean Acheson and others did something remarkable. They stepped outside the immediate crush of events and constructed a context in which people would live for the next several decades.

Some of the problems they faced did not seem gigantic: how to prevent a Communist insurgency from taking over a semi-failed government in Greece. But they understood that by projecting American power into Greece, they would be establishing certain norms and creating a framework for civilization.
Vladimir_Putin  Henry_Kissinger  George_Marshall  Harry_Truman  David_Brooks  ISIS  rogue_actors  U.S.foreign_policy  post-WWII  Dean_Acheson  diplomacy  asymmetrical  APNSA 
september 2014 by jerryking
Aiming Financial Weapons From Treasury War Room - NYTimes.com
By ANNIE LOWREYJUNE 3, 2014

“The United States needs to remain involved in the world, but does not necessarily need to remain involved just through military power,” said David S. Cohen, Treasury’s under secretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, who is sometimes described within the administration as President Obama’s favorite combatant commander. “There are other ways of projecting U.S. power that are consequential.”

Mr. Cohen oversees the obscure Office of Foreign Assets Control, the engine that creates and administers the steadily increasing number of financial sanctions. They are a policy tool once considered largely ineffectual but are now used against a wide range of actors, from Iran’s revolutionary guard to Mexican drug traffickers to cronies of President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia....Sanctions have also become a central policy lever with Iran, Syria, South Sudan and North Korea — as well as drug cartels, arms traders and terrorists. In no small part, their swelling number is because of their improved potency, analysts said: Today’s sanctions tend to be “smart,” narrow rather than broad, and designed to pressure elites rather than squeezing average citizens....Legal changes during the Bill Clinton and George W. Bush administrations bolstered the tool. Analysts started focusing on travel bans and asset freezes, rather than whole-country or whole-industry sanctions. The interconnectedness of the global economy has also made sanctions stronger.

“We’re very nuanced about how to use the tool and, I think, very thoughtful about it,”
Iran  geopolitics  U.S.Treasury_Department  statecraft  21st._century  travel_bans  asset_freezes  sanctions  North_Korea  interconnections  economic_warfare  economic_policy  specificity  hard_power  rogue_actors  policy_tools  potency 
june 2014 by jerryking
Saving the System - NYTimes.com
APRIL 28, 2014 | NYT | David Brooks.

“The ‘category error’ of our experts is to tell us that our system is doing just fine and proceeding on its eternal course toward ever-greater progress and global goodness. This is whistling past the graveyard.

“The lesson-category within grand strategic history is that when an established international system enters its phase of deterioration, many leaders nonetheless respond with insouciance, obliviousness, and self-congratulation. When the wolves of the world sense this, they, of course, will begin to make their moves to probe the ambiguities of the aging system and pick off choice pieces to devour at their leisure.

“This is what Putin is doing; this is what China has been moving toward doing in the maritime waters of Asia; this is what in the largest sense the upheavals of the Middle East are all about: i.e., who and what politico-ideological force will emerge as hegemon over the region in the new order to come. ....Today that system is under assault not by a single empire but by a hundred big and little foes. As Walter Russell Mead argues in a superb article in Foreign Affairs, geopolitics is back with a vengeance. Whether it’s Russia seizing Crimea or China asserting itself, old-fashioned power plays are back in vogue. Meanwhile, pre-modern movements and people try to eliminate ethnic and religious diversity in Egypt, Ukraine and beyond.

China, Russia and Iran have different values, but all oppose this system of liberal pluralism. The U.S. faces a death by a thousand cuts dilemma. No individual problem is worth devoting giant resources to. It’s not worth it to spend huge amounts of treasure to establish stability in Syria or defend a Western-oriented Ukraine. But, collectively, all the little problems can undermine the modern system. No individual ailment is worth the expense of treating it, but, collectively, they can kill you.
Colleges_&_Universities  strategy  strategic_thinking  China  Russia  Iran  diplomacy  geopolitics  curriculum  Yale  David_Brooks  Walter_Russell_Mead  grand_strategy  liberal_pluralism  rogue_actors  international_system  autocracies  authoritarianism 
april 2014 by jerryking
Josef Joffe: Dear Vladimir: Congratulations. You Read My Book - WSJ.com
By
Josef Joffe
March 6, 2014 | WSJ |

Be both ruthless and prudent—just what I prescribed in "The Prince." You Russians have distilled my wisdom into a pithy phrase: Kto kovo—who dominates whom? And you have beautifully executed my central idea. I never preached violence to the max, but the "economy of force"—how to get more with less. The Crimean caper was a masterpiece of smart power politics.

Grab opportunities when you saw them. First, you calculated the "correlation of forces," to use a Soviet term....Then, you assessed political geography correctly. The rule is never to take on a superior enemy like the West on his own turf. You test his mettle on his periphery...Next, factor in geography proper. Globally, the West is far superior to Russia, but regionally, you were the Man. You had the "interior lines," as the great Prussian strategist Carl von Clausewitz put it; the West was a thousand miles away. And your troops were already in place in Crimea—tanks, planes and all....Now to the balance of interests, a more subtle concept. The EU has been contesting you over Ukraine, but more as a confused afterthought. Your country had more compelling fish to fry: Ukraine as former Russian heartland plus an ethnic majority in Crimea, a strategic gem that Khrushchev had absentmindedly given away to Ukraine 60 years ago.

So you also held the psychological advantage that comes with having more skin in the game. Khrushchev blithely ignored the balance of interests in the Caribbean. Otherwise he would not have moved his missiles into Cuba in 1962, 90 miles off the U.S. coast.....Best of all, you are a true Machiavellian when it comes to the economy of violence. Just enough, never too much, and with minimal risks. So you didn't grab eastern Ukraine, which might have really riled the West and triggered a costly insurgency. You merely harvested the low-hanging fruit of Crimea, and with a fabulous profit. ....Here, my pupil, beckons the biggest payoff. You need not fear the democratic contagion of the Maidan spilling over into your own country. Not for a long time.

What a boost to your "street cred" in the rivalry of nations! With a small investment, you have amassed what Mr. Obama no longer has and what the Europeans lost long ago: a reputation for ruthlessness and the readiness to use force.

Power is when you don't have to wield it—when you don't have to threaten, let alone execute, to get your way.....We live in a split world. In Asia and Africa, mayhem is as present or possible as ever. Call this the "Damascus-Pyongyang Belt." Yet in the "Berlin-Berkeley Belt," force as a tool of statecraft has virtually disappeared....the U.S.—is now loath to resort to the ultima ratio. And that offers you wondrous opportunities. When the supply of force contracts, even a little bit goes a long way, as you have proved in Crimea.
Niccolò_Machiavelli  Vladimir_Putin  Crimea  Russia  hard_power  power  influence  statecraft  geopolitics  Ukraine  improvisation  rogue_actors  skin_in_the_game  political_geography  ruthlessness  large_payoffs  Carl_von_Clausewitz  strategic_geography 
march 2014 by jerryking
The Gates Farewell Warning
MAY 28, 2011 |- WSJ.com |..As Reagan knew, America's global
power begins at home, with a strong economy able to generate wealth. The
push for defense cuts reflects the reality of a weak recovery and a
national debt that has doubled in the last two years. But the Obama
Administration made a conscious decision to squeeze defense while
pouring money on everything else.
***"More perhaps than any other Secretary of Defense, I have been a
strong advocate of soft power—of the critical importance of diplomacy
and development as fundamental components of our foreign policy and
national security," Mr. Gates said at Notre Dame. "But make no mistake,
the ultimate guarantee against the success of aggressors, dictators and
terrorists in the 21st century, as in the 20th, is hard power—the size,
strength and global reach of the United States military."
Robert_Gates  speeches  Pentagon  soft_power  editorials  rogue_actors  U.S._military  hard_power 
may 2011 by jerryking
Zakaria: Rising Powers Aren't Acting Like It -
Sept. 25, 2010 | Newsweek | by Fareed Zakaria. The newly
rising powers—China, India, Brazil—rightly insist that they be more
centrally involved in the structures of power & global decision
making. But when given the opportunity, do they step up to the plate
& act as great powers with broad interests? On trade? Energy use?
Climate change? No. Many of these countries seek deference on matters of
regional peace & stability while pursuing their national interests
even more zealously. Perhaps the most egregious e.g. is South Africa,
which has insists that it is Africa’s natural leader. Yet S. Africa has
been shamefully absent in the efforts to rescue the people of Zimbabwe
and Sudan from the tragedies unfolding in their lands. Says Shimon
Peres, “You can call yourself a decision maker, but if you are not ready
to donate, to sacrifice life, to take risks—not because your country is
being attacked but because peace is being put into danger—then it’s
more of a perception than reality.”
Fareed_Zakaria  BRIC  Iran  Ahmadinejad  rogue_actors  Turkey  South_Africa  Shimon_Peres  leadership  Zimbabwe  Sudan 
september 2010 by jerryking
Technology Is Central To CIA's Strategic Plan - WSJ.com
APRIL 26, 2010 | Wall Street Journal | By SIOBHAN GORMAN.
The CIA announced a five-year strategic plan that would invest heavily
in new technologies to combat non-traditional threats like cyber attacks
from overseas and gain better intelligence on rogue states like Iran.
... Mr. Panetta released his five-year plan in remarks to agency
employees. "We govern either by leadership or by crisis," he said.
"That's why we're taking a hard look at future challenges, and what we
want our agency to look like five years from now."
threats  adaptability  instability  unpredictability  rogue_actors  security_&_intelligence  CIA  strategic_planning  cyber_warfare  asymmetrical  Iran  Africa  Pakistan  innovation  Pentagon  forward_looking  leadership  strategic_thinking  decentralization  non-traditional  technology  Leon_Panetta 
may 2010 by jerryking
Hezbollah as 'a hot cell for innovation'Why our intentions 'don't just fail, they backfire'
Apr 19, 2009 | Toronto Star | Lynda Hurst.

we're still using anachronistic ideas to hold together a global order that no longer exists. A revolution is in progress where the unthinkable all too readily becomes the inevitable.

The result? More – and more dangerous – reversals of intent and outcome.

"What's happening today is that our intentions don't just fail, they backfire on us," says the Beijing-based geo-strategy analyst. "We deliver the opposite of what we intend because we so misunderstand the way the system now works."

The "war on terrorism" creates even more terrorists. The attempt to build a risk-proof financial system produces more risks than anyone is able to foresee. The bid to spread capitalism across the globe widens the chasm between rich and poor. The effort to contain nuclear proliferation leads to rogue states such as North Korea and Iran playing gimme-gimme games (or maybe not) with the final option.

Think Mikhail Gorbachev setting out only to reform the Soviet Union, but instead triggering its downfall, which in turn leads the U.S. to conclude its values have won the Cold War. Not so, Ramo says. Or George W. Bush reckoning he can inject democracy into Iraq and, presto, out comes peace: "Absurd in the extreme."

The new rules are
still being formed. They will be based on one central premise: countless
variations in the scheme of things will continue to occur at warp
speed, and adapting to them equally as quickly will be crucial. The
unpredictable demands of constant newness can immobilize institutions,
however, not just individuals. It can blind them to unsprung traps,
freeze once-honed navigation skills. The structure of the U.S. State
Department has barely changed since the end of World War II.

Governments can't prepare for everything in the future, but they can
build resilience into their systems. Real power will be the ability to
come back strong after an unexpected shock. That will mean persistently
assessing the big picture, not just its component pieces.
uncertainty  Joshua_Cooper_Ramo  geopolitics  unpredictability  warp_speed  resilience  21st._century  adaptability  managing_uncertainty  Hezbollah  unintended_consequences  unexpected  political_power  accelerated_lifecycles  U.S._State_Department  immobilize  paralyze  constant_change  revenge_effects  rogue_actors  unthinkable  misunderstandings  Cambrian_explosion  iterations  Octothorpe_Software  Mikhail_Gorbachev  the_big_picture 
may 2009 by jerryking

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