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  • Author: Nancy Gallagher, Charles Harry
  • Publication Date: 04-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for International and Security Studies at Maryland (CISSM)
  • Abstract: Faced with a rapidly growing volume and range of cyber attacks, policymakers and organizational leaders have had difficulty setting priorities, allocating resources, and responding effectively without a standard way to categorize cyber events and estimate their consequences. Presidential Policy Directive 41 laid out the Obama administration’s principles for executive branch responses to significant cyber incidents in the public or private sector. But it neither drew important distinctions between different types of cyber incidents, nor gave a standard way to determine where a particular incident falls on its 0-5 point severity scale. This policy brief demonstrates how an analytical framework developed at the Center for International and Security Studies at the University of Maryland (CISSM) can help address these problems. It first differentiates between low-level incidents and more significant cyber events that result in either exploitation of information and/or disruption of operations. It categorizes five types of disruptive events and analyzes 2,030 cyber events in a dataset developed from media sources, showing that cyber exploitation remains more common than disruption, and that most disruptive activity fits into two categories: message manipulation and external denial of service attacks. Finally, the brief offers a standard method to assess the severity of different categories of disruptive attacks against different kinds of organizations based on the scope, magnitude, and duration of the event. This Cyber Disruption Index (CDI) is then applied to survey data on Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks in the private sector to assess severity within a common category of disruptive events. Of 3,900 cases reported, only 5 events (less than 1% of the DDoS cases) had a combined scope, magnitude, and duration severe enough to be a priority for prevention and potentially warrant government involvement.
  • Topic: Government, Cybersecurity, Media
  • Political Geography: United States, Washington, D.C.
  • Author: Emily Taylor
  • Publication Date: 04-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: This paper addresses the proposed transfer of Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) oversight away from the US government. The background section explores how the technical architecture of critical Internet resources has certain governance implications, introduces the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) and its relationship with the US government through the IANA function and the Affirmation of Commitments. After discussing why the relationship has caused controversy, the paper describes the work underway within ICANN to find a successor oversight mechanism and provides a short critique of the proposals so far. The majority of the paper is taken up with more general issues relating to ICANN's accountability. It explains how the IANA transition was recognized to be dependent on ICANN's wider accountability, and the trust issues between community and leadership that this exposed. There follows an analysis of ICANN's strengths and weaknesses in relation to accountability and transparency, followed by conclusions and recommendations.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Ming Zhang
  • Publication Date: 03-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: Due to the 2008-2009 global financial crisis, the Chinese government began to promote renminbi (RMB) internationalization in order to raise its international status, decrease reliance on the US dollar (USD) and advance domestic structural reform. RMB internationalization has achieved progress not only in cross-border trade settlement, but also in the offshore RMB markets. However, the rampant cross-border arbitrage and the relatively slow development of RMB invoicing compared to RMB settlement are becoming increasingly problematic. RMB internationalization has exerted significant influence on not only the Chinese economy but also other emerging market economies. RMB internationalization complicates domestic monetary policy, exacerbates the currency mismatch on China's international balance sheet and increases both the scale and volatility of short-term capital flows. It offers emerging economies another alternative for pricing domestic currency and investing foreign exchange reserves. Its overall impact on the international monetary system's stability will depend on how the capital account is liberalized and the consistency and transparency of Chinese monetary policy. This paper concludes with five recommendations for Chinese policy makers to promote RMB internationalization in a sustainable way that is conducive to international stability.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: United States, China
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: We face a critical juncture in Ukraine. There is no real ceasefire; indeed, there was a significant increase in fighting along the line of contact in eastern Ukraine in mid-January, with Russian/separatist forces launching attacks on the Donetsk airport and other areas. Instead of a political settlement, Moscow currently seeks to create a frozen conflict in eastern Ukraine as a means to pressure and destabilize the Ukrainian government. Russians continue to be present in the Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts in substantial numbers and have introduced significant amounts of heavy weapons. This could be preparation for another major Russian/ separatist offensive.
  • Topic: NATO, Government
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Ukraine, Moscow