Digital technology, the defining innovation of the last half century, has deep and unaddressed insecurities at its core. This paper, authored by two prominent technologists and strategic thinkers, argues that a new form of “digital environmentalism”—marked by a re-evaluation of our relationship to technology, growth, and innovation—is the only way to fix such insecurities, and to bring meaningful change to the digital world.
Funding and priorities for technology development today determine the terrain for digital battles tomorrow, and they provide the arsenals for both attackers and defenders. Unfortunately, researchers and strategists disagree on which technologies will ultimately be most beneficial and which cause more harm than good. This report provides three examples showing that, while the future of technology is impossible to predict with certainty, there is enough empirical data and mathematical theory to have these debates with more rigor.
CSET Senior Fellow Andrew Lohn testified before the House of Representatives Homeland Security Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection, and Innovation at a hearing on "Securing the Future: Harnessing the Potential of Emerging Technologies While Mitigating Security Risks." Lohn discussed the application of AI systems in cybersecurity and AI’s vulnerabilities.
CSET Senior Fellow Andrew Lohn testified before the House of Representatives Science, Space and Technology Subcommittee on Investigations and Oversight and Subcommittee on Research and Technology at a hearing on "Securing the Digital Commons: Open-Source Software Cybersecurity." Lohn discussed how the United States can maximize sharing within the artificial intelligence community while reducing risks to the AI supply chain.
CSET Senior Fellow Andrew Lohn testified before the U.S. Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Cybersecurity hearing on artificial intelligence applications to operations in cyberspace. Lohn discussed AI's capabilities and vulnerabilities in cyber defenses and offenses.
Artificial intelligence will play an increasingly important role in cyber defense, but vulnerabilities in AI systems call into question their reliability in the face of evolving offensive campaigns. Because securing AI systems can require trade-offs based on the types of threats, defenders are often caught in a constant balancing act. This report explores the challenges in AI security and their implications for deploying AI-enabled cyber defenses at scale.
Cybersecurity operators have increasingly relied on machine learning to address a rising number of threats. But will machine learning give them a decisive advantage or just help them keep pace with attackers? This report explores the history of machine learning in cybersecurity and the potential it has for transforming cyber defense in the near future.
Six Chinese universities have relationships with Advanced Persistent Threat (APT) hacking teams. Their activities range from recruitment to running cyber operations. These partnerships, themselves a case study in military-civil fusion, allow state-sponsored hackers to quickly move research from the lab to the field. This report examines these universities’ relationships with known APTs and analyzes the schools’ AI/ML research that may translate to future operational capabilities.
As states turn to AI to gain an edge in cyber competition, it will change the cat-and-mouse game between cyber attackers and defenders. Embracing machine learning systems for cyber defense could drive more aggressive and destabilizing engagements between states. Wyatt Hoffman writes that cyber competition already has the ingredients needed for escalation to real-world violence, even if these ingredients have yet to come together in the right conditions.
Ben BuchananJohn BansemerDakota CaryJack LucasMicah Musser
| November 2020
Based on an in-depth analysis of artificial intelligence and machine learning systems, the authors consider the future of applying such systems to cyber attacks, and what strategies attackers are likely or less likely to use. As nuanced, complex, and overhyped as machine learning is, they argue, it remains too important to ignore.
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