While the West was settling down to the Christmas holidays and looking forward to a quiet turn-of-the-year, a group of researchers uploaded a paper to arxiv.org, an open-access repository with over 2 million scholarly articles. The paper’s title “factoring integers with sublinear resources on a superconducting quantum processor” is again nothing that would necessarily draw the attention of non-specialist outlets. However...
Technical indicators, standards, and criteria do not set peer review apart from other review mechanisms. Rather, it is the political authority of a state-led process as opposed to an evaluation by, say, a technical secretariat of an UN treaty body. One benefit of such political salience is the visibility of the process.
Peer review mechanisms are widely used to facilitate the implementation of regulations and guidelines in various policy areas, including for example cybersecurity certification or ICT risk assessment. However, such mechanisms might also offer a new approach to the challenges of implementing the UN norms of responsible state behaviour in cyberspace.
Politically motivated individuals and hacker collectives have not been the only ones participating in the cyber confrontation between Russia and Ukraine. Conti, one of the most notorious ransomware gangs, declared their solidarity with the Russian government and threatened retaliation against any Western action within days of the invasion. While Russian state agencies have been suspected of coordinating with cybercriminals for years, such an explicit statement of political allegiance was unprecedented.
Vulnerabilities in hardware and software products are a gateway for cyber criminals, and state actors should thus be interested in promoting responsible disclosure and timely remediation. However, intelligence and security agencies also exploit vulnerabilities, sometimes holding vulnerabilities back or even actively seeking to acquire them. Thus, the role of state actors within the global vulnerability economy remains ambivalent. ICS conducted an event discussing this matter with international experts.
ICS conducted a workshop in cooperation with the Federal Foreign Office on the cyber security aspect of the German National Security Strategy as part of the dialogue processes.
The hybrid event centred on four thematic blocks: security trends and constellations; tasks, goals, and instruments; civil society and business partnerships; as well as regional and international cooperation.
The UN member states embarked on a new negotiation process with the goal of creating a global convention against the criminal misuse of information and communication technology.
André Dornbusch (German Federal Criminal Police Office), Louise Marie Hurel (Igarapé Institute), and Nnenna Ifeanyi-Ajufo (Swansea University) discussed these and related questions at the third interdisciplinary workshop organised by IFSH’s "International Cybersecurity" team in cooperation with the German Federal Foreign Office.
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