Cybersecurity

AI Accidents: An Emerging Threat

Zachary Arnold Helen Toner
| July 2021

As modern machine learning systems become more widely used, the potential costs of malfunctions grow. This policy brief describes how trends we already see today—both in newly deployed artificial intelligence systems and in older technologies—show how damaging the AI accidents of the future could be. It describes a wide range of hypothetical but realistic scenarios to illustrate the risks of AI accidents and offers concrete policy suggestions to reduce these risks.

National Cybersecurity Center Map

Dakota Cary Jennifer Melot
| July 2021

China wants to be a “cyber powerhouse” (网络强国). At the heart of this mission is the sprawling 40 km2 campus of the National Cybersecurity Center. Formally called the National Cybersecurity Talent and Innovation Base (国家网络安全人才与创新基地), the NCC is being built in Wuhan. The campus, which China began constructing in 2017 and is still building, includes seven centers for research, talent cultivation, and entrepreneurship; two government-focused laboratories; and a National Cybersecurity School.

Poison in the Well

Andrew Lohn
| June 2021

Modern machine learning often relies on open-source datasets, pretrained models, and machine learning libraries from across the internet, but are those resources safe to use? Previously successful digital supply chain attacks against cyber infrastructure suggest the answer may be no. This report introduces policymakers to these emerging threats and provides recommendations for how to secure the machine learning supply chain.

A new CSET report by Micah Musser and Ashton Garriott explores the use of machine learning in cyber defense.

Machine Learning and Cybersecurity

Micah Musser Ashton Garriott
| June 2021

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.

CSET Senior Fellow Andrew Lohn weighs the strengths and weakness of AI used in cybersecurity.

Does Big Tech Hurt U.S. National Security?

Foreign Affairs
| April 20, 2021

How does big tech affect national security? CSET experts Ben Buchanan, Katerina Sedova, and Lorand Laskai give their input in this Foreign Affairs survey.

CSET Research Analyst Dakota Cary discusses the differences in work culture between cybersecurity workers in China and the United States.

Academics, AI, and APTs

Dakota Cary
| March 2021

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.

Cyber AI Director Ben Buchanan sat down with Scientific American to discuss the cyberattack on an Oldsmar, Florida water supply facility and how to protect public facilities in the future.