Big, If True Webinar: Beyond Cyberspace: Security in a Networked World

Big, If True Webinar: Beyond Cyberspace: Security in a Networked World

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June 16, 2020, 10:47 am

Friday, June 12, 2020 – In this episode, BIG, If True welcomes Lodrina Cherne, a digital forensics expert and Instructor at the SANS Institute in conversation with Joseph Menn, an investigative reporter on Cybersecurity at Reuters and Josephine Wolff, PhD an assistant professor of cybersecurity policy at The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University.

In this moment of unrest, we are seeing old hacktivist tactics resurface. From kpop fans spamming police tip lines to white nationalist groups posing as antifa, many researchers and cybersecurity experts are struggling to stem the tide of new online media manipulation campaigns and cyberattacks. In this webinar, we will discuss some of the many cybersecurity threats and strategies emerging today, especially in light of the ongoing pandemic, mass protests sweeping across the US, and upcoming presidential election. 

Our host, Joan Donovan, PhD will ask our experts: how secure and reliable is the American cyber ecosystem? How have threats, like opportunistic cybercrime, data breaches, and cyberattacks, changed given that many of us are still working from home? Is the potential for technology to serve as a force for good being usurped by malicious parties bent on oppression and surveillance? In the face of these myriad uncertainties and cosmic shifts, are we witnessing a resurgence of socio-technological hacking?

Lodrina Cherne is a digital forensics expert and instructor at SANS Institute, the global leader in cyber security training and certification. As an instructor, Lodrina’s goal is to help students look at an investigation from multiple angles by using different tools to find as many facts as possible. She became a SANS instructor to help instill solid foundational skills, practices, and techniques in students to advance their understanding of Digital Forensics and Incident Response (DFIR), as well as to advance the overall DFIR profession. Lodrina was named to SC Magazine’s prestigious Women in IT Security 2019 issue, and is among an elite group of luminaries in the Women to Watch category. She is a member of the GIAC Advisory Board, contributes to the Forensics Wiki, and is a two-time Lethal Forensicator Coin Holder. She is also an internationally classed powerlifter.

Joseph Menn is an investigative reporter for Reuters and one of the longest serving and most respected mainstream journalists on cyber security. His latest book, “Cult of the Dead Cow: How the Original Hacking Supergroup Might Just Save the World,” investigates how the hacker underground has shaped contemporary privacy and security debates. Menn has won three Best in Business awards from the Society of American Business Editors & Writers and been a finalist for three Gerald Loeb Awards. He previously worked for The Financial Times, Los Angeles Times and Bloomberg and has spoken at conferences including Def Con, Black Hat and RSA.

Josephine Wolff is an assistant professor of cybersecurity policy at The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University. Her research interests include international Internet governance, cyber-insurance, security responsibilities and liability of online intermediaries, government-funded programs for cybersecurity education and workforce development, and the legal, political, and economic consequences of cybersecurity incidents. Her book “You’ll See This Message When It Is Too Late: The Legal and Economic Aftermath of Cybersecurity Breaches” was published by MIT Press in 2018. Her writing on cybersecurity has also appeared in Slate, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Atlantic, and Wired.

You can find Lodrina’s slides on threat modeling and additional resources here.


Hosted by Joan Donovan, PhDBIG, If True is a seminar series presented by the Technology and Social Change Research Project (TaSC) at the Shorenstein Center.

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Dr. Donovan’s research specializes in Critical Internet Studies, Science and Technology Studies, and the Sociology of Social Movements. Dr. Donovan’s research and expertise has been showcased in a wide array of media outlets including NPR, Washington Post, The New York Times, Rolling Stone, ABC News, NBC News, Columbia Journalism Review, The Atlantic, Nature, and more.

The TaSC Project researches media manipulation, disinformation, political communication, and technology’s relationship to society. The research team is composed of subject matter experts, Brian Friedberg, an investigative ethnographer of online social worlds, Gabrielle Lim, a researcher of sociotechnical systems and information controls, and Rob Faris, co-author of Network Propaganda and researcher of large-scale media ecosystems. The TaSC Project aims to understand how media manipulation is a means to control public conversation, derail democracy, and disrupt society. The project conducts research, develops methods, and facilitates workshops for journalists, policy makers, technologists, and civil society organizations on how to detect, document, and debunk media manipulation campaigns. The project is creating a research platform called the Media Manipulation Case Book, which will include 100 case studies to advance our knowledge of how misinformation travels across the web and platforms.