Sign in to your account.

Status Brief

Developmental Milestones/Developments to Date:

Current Assessment/State of the Field:




Henderson, D., A., “Bioterrorism as a Public Health Threat,Emerging Infectious Diseases, vol. 4, No. 3, July-sept 1998.

  1. Admonition & historical accounts.

Russia, Japan, Ebola, Marburg, Hemorrhagic Fever, Smallpox, Germany, Yugoslavia, Vaccination, Iraq


Vogel, Kathleen M., “Pathogen Proliferation:  Threats from the Former Soviet Bioweapons Complex“,  Politics and the Life Sciences, March 2000, pages 3-16.

  1. “Former Soviet bioweapons facilities possess significant collections of the most virulent strains of dangerous pathogens, some of which have been genetically engineered to be environmentally hardy and resistant to medical treatment.”  p 3
  2. “The former Soviet BW program consisted of a number of military and nominally civilian research, development, production, and weaponization sites spread across what is now Russia, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan.”  p 5
  3. “Under the MOD (Ministry of Defense), there were four main R&D laboratories in Russia: (1) Scientific Research Institute of Microbiology, Kirov;(2)Center for Virology, Sergiev Posad; (3)Center of Military – Technical Problems of Biological Defense, Yekaterinburg (formerly Sverdlovsk); and (4)Scientific Research Institute of Military Medicine, St. Petersburg.” p 5
  4. “To date, all MOD facilities remain closed to international visits.” p 5
  5. “In 1973, following accession to the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC), the former Soviet Union established a clandestine BW program under the Main Administration of the Microbiology Industry, composed of a collection of biotech facilities known as Biopreparat.”  p 5
  6. “The main pathogen repository at Vector houses over 10,000 viral specimens, to include 109 different samples of the smallpox virus.” p 5

RussiaNonproliferation, Smallpox


Atlas, Ronald, “Bioterrorism before and after September 11,” CRITICAL REVIEWS IN MICROBIOLOGY, 27(4):355-379 (2001.)

  1. History of bioterrorism, anthrax, 1979 Russian release from military plant pre-open science debate rhetoric.

Russia, Open Science, Bioterrorism, Anthrax


Fauci, Anthony, S., NEJM, Editorial, “Smallpox Vaccination Policy—The Need for Dialogue,” Vol. 346, No.17, pg. 1319. 

Anthrax, Smallpox, Russia


Netesov, Sergey V., Sandakhchiev, Lev S.The Need for Creation of the International Center in Novosibirsk, Russia for Combating Infections Diseases and Bioterrorism Threat in Asia.”  STATE RESEARCH CENTER OF VIROLOGY AND BIOTECHNOLOGY NOVOSIBIRSK (RUSSIA), Sep. 2001 pp 349-357.

  1. “In 1992, an International Science and Technology Center (ISTC)was established as a nonproliferation-targeted program for the Newly Independent States.”  p 350
  2. “VECTOR employees have attended dozens of international conferences and workshops using ISTC Support.  Hundreds of our scientists have wisited their foreign counterparts on site.  It made it possible to create an atmosphere of openness and transparency at VECTOR, which is critical to science and scientists.”  p 350
  3. “…with BTEP it is the study of infections representing serious public health problems such as HIV/AIDS, multi-drug-resistant tuberculosis, hepatitis, measles, ect.  And these investigations are being started with establishing the international ethical standards at VECTOR in accordance with international GCP regulations. p 350
  4. “Two very perspective projects will be started soon in the field of development of fast and very sensitive PCR-microchip detection of dangerous pathogen genomes in blood and other biological samples.” p 350
  5. “Very focused are also the efforts that are being planned and implemented under U.S.A.  Cooperative Threat Reduction (CTR) program that relate to upgrade the physical security and biosafety systems at the maximum biocontainment facilities at VECTOR up to the highest modern standards.”  p 351
  6. “Continuous involvement of foreign scientists in work at this ”Center”would be a powerful instrument of confidence building.  It is critical, therefore, that all high containment capabilities and necessary supporting facilities be incorporated into the ”Center” to alleviate concerns over possible prohibited activity.”  p 351
  7. “The geographical location of the Center – near the geographical center of Russia – is very suitable for the most effective collection of natural viral and bacterial strains and diagnostic procedures for the study of specimens from Asian Russia, Central Asia FSU republics, Mongolia and other neighbor countries, if needed because Novosibirsk is the largest in the area transportation hub.  this location of the proposed ”International Center” would also allow us to join international efforts to control and deter potential bioterrorists.”  p 352
  8. “The Collection of Cultures of Microorganisms available in the Center comprises over 10,000 deposit entries: various viral strains, including the national collection of variola virus strains and strains of viral BSL-4 pathogens.”  p 352
  9. VECTOR houses one of the two WHO Collaborating Centers (WHO Collaborating Center for orthopoxvirus diagnosis and repository for variola virus strains and DNA), supplied with all required conditions for work with human highly pathogenic viruses including variola virus.”  pp 352-353
  10. “As a result of this research, the proposed ”International Center” can have one of its strategic scientific goals such as making prognosis, based on the data of global monitoring, of what new infections might emerge in the future.  It should be noticed that the most of these infectious agents are considered to be possible bioterrorism agents, and therefore the proposed ICERID could develop the preventive research in anti-bioterrorism direction.”  p 353
  11. “The special attention would be paid to the investigation of the unusual outbreaks of infectious diseases in the region (Asian part of Russia, Central Asian republics – members of C.I.S., possibly – another countries of the region).  This investigation may be conducted using molecular epidemiology approach, which allows to determine the sero- and genotypes of infectious agents, the source of primary infection and even to help distinguishing whether it is intentional or natural outbreak … Such investigations may be made on a regular basis for a wide list of pathogens.  This type of research would be extremely useful both for monitoring of the evolution and spread of infectious agents and for the investigation of possible bioterrorism cases.”  pp 353-354

Russia, Bioterrorism, Biodefense, Biodetection, Lab Safety, Mongolia, Scientist, WHO


Roffey, R.; Lantorp, K.; Tegnell, A.; Elgh, F.  “Biological Weapons and Bioterrorism Preparedness: Importance of Public-Health Awareness and International CooperationClinical Microbiology and Infection, Volume 8 Number 8, 2002

  1. “In Sweden, every county (population approximately 400 000) has an infectious disease clinic with containment facilities. In order to treat patients with highly contagious serious infectious diseases, Sweden has a special containment unit at the university hospitals in Linko¨ping and Stockholm.  Sweden also has a special field epidemiologic group that can be called upon to investigate outbreaks of disease of different types, on both a
    national and an international level.”  p525
  2. “The Swedish Defence Research Agency Division of NBC Defense analyzes the international developments and threats concerning biological weapons and bioterrorism. The research is, among other things, focused on the development of methods and technology for detection/identification of and protection against biological warfare agents. The Swedish Defense Research Agency cooperates with the Swedish Institute for Infectious Disease Control with regard to identification of specific biological warfare agents.” p525
  3. “There is a themselves, temptation for these scientists to immigrate to countries that want to acquire biological weapons.  In order to meet this threat, several initiatives have been taken by the world community. An example of this the Department of Defense Cooperative Threat Reduction Program (DOD CTR) in the USA, as well as other US agencies. Economic support is also given through the International Science and Technology Center (ISTC) in Moscow and the Science and Technology Center Ukraine (STCU) in Kiev, which are financed by the USA, the European Union (EU), Japan, and others.” p526
  4. “In Sweden, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs has supported research cooperation between the Swedish Defense Research Agency (FOI), the Swedish Institute for Disease Control (SMI) and the Scientific Research Institute Vector in Novosibirsk, Russia in the areas of biosafety and diagnostics.”  p526

Public Health, Sweden, Russia


Inglesby, Thomas, V., et. al., “Anthrax as a Biological Weapon, 2002: Updated Recommendations for Management,” JAMA, May 1, 2002. vol. 287, No. 17, p. 2236.

BiodefenseBioterrorism, Russia, Vaccination, Anthrax


Barry, John et. al, “Assessing the Threat“, Newsweek, Vol. 140 Issue 16, p52, 14 October 2002.

  1. “Labs in the United States and Russia keep samples under lock and key; whether anyone else has it is the crucial question.”
  2. “No longer found in nature, smallpox can’t be made in a lab and would probably require a suicidal carrier to deliver it.”
  3. “The notion of a black market in smallpox keeps the Bush administration up at night. Homeland Security czar Tom Ridge points to “credible information within the international community at large that some of our enemies have smallpox.” Vice President Dick Cheney thinks so, too.”
  4. “When bioweapons inspectors visited Iraq in the mid-1990s they found no smoking gun, but they did find a disturbing sliver of evidence. They saw the word “smallpox” written in Arabic on a freeze-dryer that could have been used to weaponize the virus; Iraq claimed the dryer was used to make vaccines.”
  5. “When Hussein Kamel, Saddam’s son-in-law and his bioweapons director, defected temporarily to Jordan in 1995, he disclosed much about Iraq’s bioweapons, but he denied any effort to weaponize smallpox.”
  6. “The simplest delivery vehicle would be an infected soldier or terrorist with a hacking cough riding the crowded subways or buses of an American city. Whereas that might initially infect dozens of people, an aerosol bomb that sprayed a virus-laden mist would reach hundreds.
  7. “Iraq and several other countries have the capability of making aerosols.”
  8. “…last month started vaccinating frontline health-care workers. Some Israeli bioweapons experts are convinced that Iraq poses a smallpox threat and advocate vaccinating the entire population. Britain and Australia have been buying vaccines.”

Russia, Iraq, Smallpox, Biosecurity, Vaccination


Roffey, Roger et alSupport to Threat Reduction of the Russian Biological Weapons Legacy – Conversion, Biodefence and the Role of Biopreparat.”  FOI – Swedish Defense Research Agency, April, 2003 pp 2-136.

  1. “In many international fora, however, nuclear and chemical weapons have been given the highest priority, whereas initiatives relating to threat reduction support and conversion of the biological weapons complex have been given a much lower priority. Although no exact aggregate figures on how the international threat reduction support has been distributed, a qualified guess is that about 85-90% has gone to the nuclear and chemical sectors and the remaining 10-15% has gone to the biological sector.” p 9
  2. “The Russian government recently identified biotechnology as a target industry for the 21st century. This could provide a commercial platform for former BW facilities that could help to address the critical gaps in healthcare, and support the development of innovative medical techniques.” p 11



Christian Science Monitor, “Russia’s Mountain of WMD” 18 February 2004, Vol. 96, Issue 57

  1. “‘Nunn-Lugar’ program to dismantle, destroy, and secure weapons of mass destruction in the former Soviet Union.”
  2. “Since 1991, all of the nuclear weapons from Ukraine, Kazakhstan, and Belarus  have been removed; 6,252 nuclear warheads have been deactivated; and more  than 20,000 scientists employed in WMD have found peaceful work.”
  3. “But it leaves more than 7,000 warheads to go, and hundreds of metric tons of highly enriched uranium and plutonium to properly secure.”
  4. “Most of the 40,000 tons of chemical weapons – much of it in suitcase-size shells – has yet to be destroyed.”
  5. “Some critics, noting the administration’s decreased budget request for 2005, argue that more funding would speed things up.”
  6. “Serious bureaucratic delays are stalling efforts, preventing allocated money from being spent.”

Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, WMD


Collier, Stephen, Andrew Lakoff and Paul Rainbow, “Biosecurity: Towards an Anthropology of the Contemporary.”  Anthropology Today, 20:5, p. 3 (Oct 2004).

  1. Bioseciruty as a discpline in and of itself emerged from two world events: “the break-up of the Soviet Union and the birth of genomics;” 9/11 is also mentioned.  These instances invoked “a loss of familiarity,” via Foucalt, that led policy makers and researchers to codify terrorism threats and risks.
  2. “The end of the cold War also meant a shift in the focus of security planners from superpower confrontations to polymorphous new threats which are yet to be fully defined.  On the other hand, developments over the past 20 years in genetic manipulation and, more recently, in genomics, have made the production of biological weapons less technically challenging and less capital-intensive.”
  3. Collier, et al, propose that this codification is incomplete, and policy makers instead operate on archaic foundations about conflicts of civilization that, in reality, do little to protect the public or predict acts of terrorism.  They propose a research model that will search for commonalities among the world events that catalyzed the study of biosecurity as a means to understand how and why instances of bioterrorism occur.
  4. “…There is currently limited capacity to respond to known agents, and still less to respond to unknown agents.”
  5. “At this initial phase experts and officials seem to be mobilizing and grouping already available responses…But they have no reliable means of evaluating the adequacy of these measures.”
  6. “The interest in these sites is that they are areas of dynamic activity in an emerging apparatus where the threat of bioterrorism and the need for biosecurity is being defined.”

Academia, Russia, Biosecurity, Bioterrorism


DAVID E. SANGER, “U.S. and Russia Will Police Nuclear Terrorists,”  NY, July 15, 2006

  1. “Within months, the officials said, they expect China, Japan, the major European powers, Kazakhstan, and Australia to form the initial group of nations under what the two leaders are calling “The Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism.” The informal organization of countries is based on the American-led “Proliferation Security Initiative,” a group of more than 70 countries that have pledged to help seize illicit weapons as they move across oceans or are transported by air. Some countries in that group now hold regular drills to share intelligence and practice seizures.”

PSI, China, Kazakhstan, Australia, Russia


Fuhrmann, Matthew, “Making 1540 Work:  Achieving Universal Compliance with Nonproliferation Export Control Standards“,  World Affairs (Washington, D.C), Win 2007, Volume 169, No.3, pages 143-52.

  1. “An effective nonproliferation export control system must license or approve the export, re-export, transit, and transhipment of proliferation-sensitive commodities.” p 144
  2. “For an export control system to be effective, frontline personnel must enforce regulations at border crossings and governemnts must punish those who intentionally or inadvertently corcumvent the system.” p 144
  3. “Governments with little experience in [restricting trade] often perceive that export control directly conflicts with one of their primary objectives — to augment national wealth by promoting exports and imposing few restrictions.” p 145
  4. “The most glaring points of nonconvergence remain India’s failure to join the export control regimes, which it has historically viewed as discriminatory.” p 146
  5. “New Delhi has harmonized its nuclear and missile control lists with those of the NSG and the MTCR and is currently working to harmonize those lists pertaining to chemical, biological, and conventional dual-use secorts with the relevant export control regimes.”  pp. 147-148
  6. “Russia is not a member of the AG, though its control lists closely match the AG’s lists of controlled items, and it is a signatory of the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BTWC).”  p 148



Wald, Matthew, L., “Hiring of Soviet Scientists Has Strayed From Aim, Audit Says,” NYT, Jan. 24, 2008, pg. A4.

  1. biosecurity program-program to hire former weapons scientists in Russia
  2. some weren’t weapons scientists
  3. unintended effect of indirectly supplying Iran with nuclear technology
  4. concern over helping Russia surpass us in science

Biosecurity, Department of Energy, Russia, Iran, Nuclear, State Department, GAO, WMD, Global Nuclear Energy Partnership


Wald, Matthew, L., “U.S.-Backed Russian Institutes Help Iran Build Reactor,” A3, Feb 7, 2008, NYT.

  1. Proliferation Prevention Program: “set up in 1994, after the collapse of the Soviet Union .  The program was intended to prevent newly impoverished scientists and their institutes from selling expertise to states or terrorists groups that want nuclear weapons.”
  2. Rep. Dingell: “We’ve got U.S. money providing assistance to help develop a reactor that we’re busy denouncing.”

Russia, Nuclear


Kaliadin, Aleksandr, “In Search of an Effective Coercive Strategy to Deter Weapons of Mass Destruction,” Russian Social Science Review, Vol. 49, no. 2, March-April 2008, pp. 77-93.

  1. “The PSI (Proliferation Security Initiative) aims at keeping proliferators away from the materials necessary for developing WMDs and their delivery systems by monitoring the trade routes used for proliferation and intercepting suspicious cargoes.”
  2. “Mohamed ElBaradei, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), believes that the ‘black market’ in nuclear technologies and materials has become a reality and exists outside the effective control of either the IAEA or the leading special services.”
  3. “(NPT) does not impose sanctions on member states …(BWC) also has no statement on sanctions …(CWC) were not designed to curb proliferation among nonstate structures.”
  4. “An essential flaw of the nonproliferation treaties is that they stipulate no mechanisms for the physical prevention of the activities they ban.”
  5. “The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced its decision to support the PSI on 31 May 2004, on its first anniversary.”
  6. “(UNSCR) Resolution 1540, …helps establish the necessary legal foundations for PSI-related activities. …its key statements and its messages are in line with PSI’s principles.”
  7. “During the first half of the year (2004) PSI participants conducted ten exercises: five at sea, three in the air, and two on the ground.”
  8. “The highly sensitive information on which PSI operations must be based will demand a qualitatively new (and unprecedented) level of cooperation between Russian and U.S. state agencies.”
  9. “Russian … first greeted the initiative (PSI) with restraint, even with skepticism and distrust.” {further discussion on Russian perspective excluded}
  10. “Russia faces complex challenges in balancing the requirements to promote WMD nonproliferation against the need to develop the nuclear and other branches of industry that manufacture and export dual-use goods and technologies and to reassess its regional geopolitical interests.”
  11. “It is vital to Russia’s interests that its strategic stability not be undermined by its neighbors acquiring nuclear arms while Russia is reducing its own strategic offensive weapons–for economic and technical reasons, among others.”

PSI, NPT, BWC, CWC, UNSCR 1540, Dual Use, WMD, Russia


Barry, Ellen, “Some Russian Professors Chafe at Order to Screen Scholarly Exports,” NYT, A6, Oct. 28, 2009.

  1. “a document signed Oct. 1 … [states that] professors must provide their academic department with copies of texts to be made public outside Russia, so that they can be reviewed for violation of intellectual property laws or potential danger to national security.”
  2. “Administrators say they are simply bringing the university into line with Russia’s 1999 law on export control, passed after a decade in which some impoverished scientists sold strategic technology to foreign customers.”
  3. “The St. Petersburg order applies to the humanities as well.”
  4. “Several St. petersburg professors said they worried that the rule would be applied selectively to penalize specific faculty members.”
  5. “compliance [with export controls] remains weak , a particular danger in an era in which civilian laboratories produce ‘dual-use technologies’ that can be used in weapon manufacture said Igor Khripunov.”

Open Science, Export Control, RussiaAcademia


Barry, Ellen, “Major university In Russia Eases Fears on Rules,” NYT, A7, Nov. 2, 2009.

  1. “The authorities at St. Petersburg State University issued a statement last week announcing that researchers in the humanities and social sciences would not be required to submit to an export-control screening before publishing their work overseas, easing fears that new procedures would constrain academic freedom.”
  2. “A statement released by the university on Friday explained that the export-control procedures applied only to research involving ‘dual-use technology,’ nonmilitary techniques that could have military applications.”

Open Science, Export Control, RussiaAcademia


Schwirtz, Michael, Cowell, Alan, “Suspect in Russian’s Poisoning Isn’t Charged,” NYT, A6, Nov. 13, 2009.

  1. “German prosecutors have abandonded investigations into one of the main figures suspected of involvement in the killing of former K.G.B. officer in London 3 years ago without bringing charges.”
  2. “Dmitiri V. Kovtun, … was initially suspected by German prosecutors of illegally transportting a rare radioactive isotope, Polnium 210, through Germany and then to London, where investigators say it was used to poison Alexander V. Litvinenko, a former K.G.B. officer and whistleblower.”
  3. “The Litvinenko case deeply strained relations between Britain and Russia.”

Jurisdiction, Russia, U.K., Germany


MacFarquhar, Neil, “U.S. Circulates new Iran Sanctions Draft,” NYT, A9, March 4, 2010.

  1. “The proposed sanctions would both broaden the scope and intensify three previous rounds of sanctions enacted since 2006 in an effort to persuade Iran to halt uranium enrichment and negotiate the future of its nuclear development program.”
  2. “The focus is on the Islamic Revolutionary Corps, which runs a vast array of Iranian businesses, while the oil industry is not included diplomats said.”
  3. “The new sanctions would also expand the list of individuals facing a travel ban and assets freeze for their work in the nuclear program.  Sanctions to date, which run to about six pages, have singled out companies and individuals involved in the nuclear and missle development programs or in efforts to help to finance them.  They include a ban on arms exports.”
  4. “One diplomat, expressing frustration with the level of proof demanded by China and Russia, said their negotiators went down the list as if they were expecting to get ‘a picture of each guy building the bomb.’”

Nuclear, Nonproliferation, Scientific Restrictions, Iran, China, Russia, U.S. Foreign Policy


Sanger, David, E., Baker, Peter, “Obama to Adopt Narrowed Stand on Nuclear Arms,” NYT, A1, April 6, 2010.

  1. “Mr. Obama described his policy as part of a broader effort to edge the world toward making nuclear weapons obsolete, and to create incentives for countries to give up any nuclear ambitions.”
  2. “[Obama] seekes to reshape the nation’s nuclear posture for a new age in which rogue states and terrorist organizations are greater threats than tradition al powers like Russia and China.”
  3. “For the first time, the United States is explicitly committing not to use nuclear weapons against nonnuclear states that are in compliance with the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, even if they attacked the United States with biological or chemical weapons or launched a crippling cyberattack.”
  4. “White House officials said the new strategy would include the option of reconsidering the use of nuclear retaliation against a biological attack, if development of such weapons reached a level that made the United States vulnerable to a devastating strike.”
  5. “But the President said in an interview that he was carving out an exception for ‘outliers like Iran and North Korea’ that have violated or renounced the main treaty to halt nuclear proliferation.”

Nuclear, Bioterrorism, UNSCR 1540, Nonproliferation, Iran, North Korea, Russia, China, NPT


Norris, Robert. “Global nuclear weapons inventories, 1945–2010“. The Bulletin Of Atomic Scientists. July 2010.

  1. “Nuclear weapon states shield details about their arsenals and generally have only imprecise knowledge about the size and composition of other countries’ inventories; this creates uncertainty, mistrust, and misunderstandings.” (Page 1)
  2. “We estimate that the world’s nine nuclear weapon states possess nearly 22,400 intact nuclear warheads. The vast majority of these weapons—approximately 95 percent—are in the U.S. and Russian arsenals. Nearly 8,000 warheads—nearly one-third of the worldwide total—are operational to some degree (not necessarily fully operational) and ready to launch on relatively short notice.” (Page 1)
  3. “India and Pakistan have a combined total of approximately 150 nuclear warheads, just a few more than what is carried on a single U.S. Trident submarine.” (Page 1)
  4. “We calculate that more than 128,000 nuclear warheads were built since 1945, all but 2 percent by the United States (55 percent) and the Soviet Union/Russia (43 percent).” (Page 2)
  5. “Of the more than 70,000 warheads that the United States has produced since 1945, more than 60,000 have been disassembled—more than 13,000 of these since 1990. However, the United States has retained nearly 14,000 plutonium cores (pits) from its dismantled warheads, storing them at the Pantex Plant.” (Page 3)
  6. “Russia has been decreasing its deployed/operational forces, and at the same time it has been reducing its number of intact warheads via an ongoing dismantlement effort.” (Page 3)
  7. “The majority of India’s and Pakistan’s warheads are not yet operationally deployed. Both countries are believed to be increasing their stockpiles.” (Page 4)
  8. “Despite two nuclear tests and production of enough plutonium for 8–12 nuclear bombs, North Korea has yet to demonstrate that it has operationalized any weapons.” (Page 4-6)
  9. “Yet eight of the nine nuclear weapon states continue to produce new or modernized nuclear weapons, and all nine insist that nuclear weapons are essential for their national security.” (Page 6)

Nuclear, Russia, Pakistan, North Korea, China


Editors, “War in the fifth domain”, 3 July 2010 Economist Last checked March 8, 2011.

  1. “After land, sea, air and space, warfare has entered the fifth domain: cyberspace.”
  2. “Mandate is to conduct ‘“full-spectrum”’ operations—to defend American military networks and attack other countries’ systems.”
  3. “Britain, too, has set up a cyber-security policy outfit, and an “operations centre” based in GCHQ, the British equivalent of the NSA.”
  4. “Many other countries are organizing for cyberwar, among them Russia, Israel, and North Korea.”
  5. “Cyber-security, envisages a catastrophic breakdown within 15 minutes.”
  6. “The effects of full-blown cyberwar are much like nuclear attack.”
  7. “Growing dependence on computers increases the harm they can cause.”
  8. “Weakly governed swathes of Africa are being connected up to fibre-optic cables, potentially creating new havens for cyber-criminals.”
  9. “Mr Obama has quoted a figure of $1 trillion lost last year to cybercrime–a bigger underworld than the drugs trade…”
  10. “The ostentatious hackers and virus-writers who once wrecked computers for fun are all but gone, replaced by criminal gangs seeking to harvest data.”
  11. ‘“given enough time, motivation and funding, a determined adversary will always–always–be able to penetrate a targeted system.”’
  12. “China,… wholesale espionage, attacking the computers of… Western defence contractors … taking classified details of the F-35 fighter, …”
  13. “Western spooks think China deploys the most assiduous, and most shameless, cyberspies, but Russian ones are probably more skilled and subtle.”
  14. “Deterrence in cyber-warfare is more uncertain than, say, in nuclear strategy: there is no mutually assured destruction, the dividing line between criminality and war is blurred…”

Cybersecurity, China, Africa, Russia, North Korea, Israel


Editors, “Emergency declared in south Russian village over Anthrax outbreak,” RIA Novosti, Kransodar, Russia, September 29, 2010.

  1. “A state of emergency has been declared in a village in south Russia’s Krasnodar Territory over an anthrax outbreak.”
  2. “Anthrax was detected in cows at a local dairy farm, and the region’s emergencies service reported earlier in the day that at least two employees had contracted the potentially lethal disease. “
  3. “‘A state of local-scale emergency was declared on the territory of the Uspenskaya Village. The outbreak was localized and the disease was prevented from spreading,’ Alyona Vnukova said.”
  4. “The farm has been placed under quarantine, and vets are checking to see if privately kept cows contracted the infection.”

Anthrax, Russia


Editors, “Lawmakers Back Nuclear Weapons Budget BoostGlobal Security Newswire, 4 October 2010,, Last Checked 4 October 2010.

  1. “A continuing budget resolution to keep the U.S. government operating through early December provides a $624 million boost in nuclear weapons funding for the new budget year beyond the amount appropriated in fiscal 2010.”
  2. “The resolution enables a significant boost in spending for work on the Chemistry and Metallurgy Research Replacement building at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico.”
  3. “‘This bill is very good for Sandia and Los Alamos national labs because it strongly supports the key stockpile stewardship work they do,’ Senator Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.) said in a press release. ‘It is a sign of how important the labs are and will remain to our national security.'”
  4. “The NNSA spending increase would ‘lend strong support’ to maintenance of the U.S. nuclear arsenal as lawmakers prepare to consider ratification of a new nuclear arms control treaty with Russia.”

Homeland Security, Nuclear, Russia


Hersh, Seymour M., “The Online ThreatNew Yorker. 1 November 2010  Last Checked March 9, 2011.

  1. “If China had reverse-engineered the EP-3E’s operating system, all such systems in the Navy would have to be replaced, at a cost of hundreds of millions of dollars.”
  2. “The Chinese penetration as a warning about present and future vulnerabilities–…that China, or some other nation, could use… cyber skills to attack America’s civilian infrastructure and military complex.”
  3. “After years of planning, the U.S. Cyber Command was officially activated, and took operational control of disparate cyber-security and attack units… among the four military services.”
  4. “Its commander, Army General Keith Alexander… wants more access to e-mail, social networks, and internet to protect America and fight in… a new warfare domain—cyberspace.”
  5. “President Obama, who has publicly pledged that his Administration will protect openness and privacy on the Internet, will have to make choices that will have enormous consequences for the future…”
  6. “Will cyber security be treated as a kind of war?”
  7. ‘“Cyber war” was emerging as one of the nation’s most widely publicized national-security concerns.”
  8. “The federal government currently spends between six and seven billion dollars annually for unclassified cyber-security work, and, it is estimated, an equal amount on the classified portion.”
  9. “Fourteen million dollars to build a bunker for the Pentagon’s new Cyber Command.”
  10. “Cyber espionage is… capturing e-mail traffic, text messages, other electronic communications, and corporate data for the purpose of gathering national-security or commercial intelligence.”
  11. “Cyber war involves the penetration of foreign networks for the purpose of disrupting or dismantling those networks, and making them inoperable.”
  12. “Blurring the distinction between cyber war and cyber espionage has been profitable for defense contractors–and dispiriting for privacy advocates.”
  13. “The most common cyber-war scare scenarios involve America’s electrical grid.”
  14. “Many long-standing allies of the United States have been deeply engaged in cyber espionage for decades.”
  15. “A retired four-star Navy admiral, who spent much of his career in signals intelligence, said that Russia, France, Israel, and Taiwan conduct the most cyber espionage against the U.S. …”

Cybersecurity, Military, China, Russia, France, Israel


Editors”’, “Russia, U.S. to Resist Eliminating Smallpox Strains,” Global Security Newswire, January 18, 2011,[] Last checked Jan. 28, 2011
*”The United States and Russia are expected to argue to the international community this week that bioterrorism fears justify their continued retention of smallpox strains for countermeasure research purposes, the Wall Street Journal reported today (see GSN, Jan. 13).”
*”Envoys from 34 member governments to the World Health Organization, including Moscow and Washington, are slated tomorrow to debate whether adequate study has been conducted on producing smallpox countermeasures so that a cutoff date could be established for eliminating the Russian and U.S. strains. The WHO Executive Board would then turn the matter over to the entire World Health Assembly for a verdict in May.”
*”Washington has said it must retain its smallpox samples to prepare new medical treatments and vaccines that would be used in the event of a biological weapons strike or the unintended release of the deadly virus from a third party (see GSN, Jan. 14).”
*”Moscow also thinks its smallpox cache must be retained for study and is anticipated to agree with Washington’s argument on the matter, said Vladimir Starodubov, a member of the Kremlin’s delegation to the WHO Executive Board.”
*”Foreign states and public health specialists, however, worry that U.S. and Russian smallpox stocks could be misappropriated or accidentally released.”
*”Hundreds of millions of people are thought to have died following exposure to the virus — approximately one-third of the total number contaminated. A worldwide public health effort resulted in smallpox officially being eliminated from nature in 1980.”
*”The debate over eliminating the last known smallpox stocks has been highly contentious. Some argue the virus could be created in a laboratory using synthetic biology technology, leaving complete elimination unachievable. That possibility makes it even more important to destroy the Russian and U.S. stockpiles, others counter (see GSN, Sept. 10, 2010).”
*”The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention today stores 451 specimens of the smallpox virus, while Russia keeps 120 different strains at its Vector laboratory in Siberia, biological weapons expert Jonathan Tucker stated in a recent report.”
*”Developing states are likely to make the main push to eliminate the smallpox remnants, according to the Journal.”
*”A 2010 assessment by a WHO advisory board said that smallpox strains were still necessary for the preparation of antiviral medicines in addition to a safer vaccine. Laboratories in the United States and Russia do both kinds of work. U.S. officials say work on antiviral medicines is especially needed as no post-infection medications for are presently licensed.”
*”There are scientifically valid reasons to continue to study the virus in safe and secure circumstances,” CDC pox and rabies branch chief Inger Damon said. Fewer than 10 CDC scientists, including Damon, have access to the centers’ smallpox strains (Betsy McKay, Wall Street Journal, Jan. 18).”
”’Landler, Mark”’, “U.S. Policy to Address Internet Freedom.” 14 February 2011 New York Times [] Last checked February 14, 2011.
*“On Tuesday … a new policy on Internet Freedom, intended to help people get around barriers in cyberspace while making it harder for autocratic governments to use the same technology to repress dissent.”
*“The new policy, a year in the making, had been bogged down by fierce debates… whether to view the Internet primarily as a weapon to topple repressive regimes or as a tool that autocrats can use to root out and crush dissent.”
*’“We support multiple tools, so if repressive governments figure out how to target one, others are available. And we invest in cutting edge…’”
*“Thought the new policy was on the drawing board for months, it has new urgency in light of turmoil in the Arab world…. Part of a larger debate over how the United States weighs its alliances…”
*“Reflects their view that technology can be a force that leads to democratic change, but cannot by itself bring down repressive regimes.”
*“Critics say the administration has held back $30 million in Congressional financing that could have gone to circumvention technology, a proven method that allows Internet users to evade government firewalls…”
*“They need much more to install networks capable of handling millions of users in China, Iran and other countries.”
*“The State Department has received 68 proposals for nearly six times the $30 million in available funds.”
*“On Jan. 27, the day before the Egyptian government cut off access to the Internet, he said there were more than 7.8 million page views by Egyptians on UltraSurf,… That was a huge increase from only 76,000 on Jan. 22.”
*“UltraSurf and its sister service, Freegate, do not have enough capacity to handle sudden sharp increases in use during political crises. That causes the speed to slow to a crawl…”
*“The number of global Internet users could swell by 5 billion within 20 years.”
*[[Cybersecurity]], [[China]], [[Russia]], [[Iran]]


”’Waterman, Shaun,”’ “China open to cyber-attack” 17 March 2011 The Washington Times [] Last Checked 28 March 2011.
*“Dams, oil and gas pipelines, factories and other computer-controlled infrastructure are more vulnerable to cyber-attacks in China than in other countries, security specialists say.”
*“The effectiveness of such an attack was demonstrated last year when the Stuxnet computer worm slowed Iran’s nuclear program by taking control of and disabling hundreds of uranium-enriching centrifuges.”
*“A cyber-attack on China’s computer-controlled infrastructure would imperil the world’s second-largest economy,…”
*“China is widely viewed as an aggressor in cyberspace.”
* “The U.S. and other Western nations have identified Beijing as being behind cyber-espionage attempts against their infrastructure computer systems.”
*“China’s vulnerability lies in its fledgling domestic software industry, which Beijing nurtures and promtes, and in the lack of transparebcy in its computer-defense organizations,…”
*“Malicious computer programs such as the Stuxnet worm allow hackers to hijack SCADA controls.”
*“Mr. Beresford, who looks for flaws in Chinese software as a hobby… said he identified the vulnerability last year and immediately notified both the company and China’s Computer Emergency Response Team, CN-CERT.”
*“Neither ever acknowledged his communication nor moved to deal with the flaw for 3 ½ months.”
*“By putting proof-of-concept data on the Web, Mr. Beresford raised the stakes significantly. He made the vulnerability public…”
*“CN-CERT posted a fix for the vulnerability within a few days.”
*‘“When it comes to vulnerabilities in software produced by domestic manufactures, they’re not exactly transparent or open,”’
*“That lack of transparency is a problem because, in order to patch a vulnerability effectively, it must be done publicly so that everyone who owns the software knows they need to download and apply the patch.”
*‘“China’s infrastructure is just as vulnerable [as anyone else’s] and probably more because of the lack of transparency,”’
*“Several surveys show that the great majority of computers used in China run pirated software…”
*‘“If you use pirated software, you have no idea where it comes from,… adding that much of China’s has come from the Russian mafia.”’
*“Pirated software cannot be patched or updated and might have flaws…”
*[[Cybersecurity]], [[China]], [[Russia]]


*”To put it bluntly, it is the same logic by which the superpowers continue the possession of the nuclear weapons; they wish to hold o to the smallpox virus as a super bioweapon,” said Indian virologist Kalyan Banerjee, who served on the WHO advisory panel on smallpox research.”
*”Eliminating smallpox is “not good public policy,” argued Kenneth Bernard, a health security specialist for the Clinton and Bush administrations. Varieties of the virus could be present in addition to the U.S. and Russian caches, creating a public danger, he said.”
*”If the sanctioned stocks are eradicated, ‘any lab, scientist or country found to have the virus after the date of destruction is de facto guilty of very serious crimes against humanity,’ WHO smallpox eradication campaign chief D.A. Henderson said.”
*”The World Health Assembly in 1996 called for the disposal of all smallpox stores, but bioterror concerns have helped keep the material in existence.”
*[[Smallpox]], [[Russia]], [[WHO]], [[CDC]], [[Bioterrorism]]


”’National Journal Group,”’ “Trial Cyber Attack Suggests Widespread U.S. Vulnerabilities” 30 March 2011 Global Security Newswire [] Last Checked 30 March 30, 2011.
*“The water supplier’s computer system had permitted outside access by staffers — a key vulnerability exploited by the specialists.”
*“Al-Qaeda and other extremist organizations have yet to acquire means of carrying out computer-based assaults.”
*“Governments including China and Russia could conduct such attacks, and independent entities might carry out electronic strikes on behalf of terrorists…”
*“Weak points identified by the group also exist at critical sites throughout the United States, according to U.S. government sources and independent analysts.”
*‘“ If a sector of the country’s power grid were taken down, it’s not only going to be damaging to our economy, but people are going to die…”’
*“President Obama established a federal “czar” position to address computer-based vulnerabilities, but the post remained vacant for seven months and has little power, according to the Times.”
*“The United States cannot compel companies to safeguard their computer systems, and the private sector has no strong cause to do so,…”
*‘“The odds are we’ll wait for a catastrophic event, and then overreact…”’
*[[Cybersecurity]], [[Russia]], [[China]], [[al-Qaeda]]


”’Behr, Peter,”’ “A ‘Smart’ Grid Will Expose Utilities to Smart Computer Hackers”, 19 April 2011, New York Times, []
*“A year ago, an unidentified computer intruder tried to penetrate the Lower Colorado River Authority’s power generation network with 4,800 high-speed log-in attempts that originated at an Internet address in China…”
*“And that was probably just an amateur’s work, says David Bonvillain…”
*“Far greater challenges lie ahead as smart grid technologies proliferate in the nation’s transmission network and utility control centers…”
*“The risk that a hacker could disrupt a closely managed grid control system is considerably lower than for an intrusion into a financial or industrial network, but the consequences could be far graver…”
*“And the scope of the threat is expanding faster than the utility sector’s response…”
*‘“”The smart grid increases the complexity of the system…”’
*‘“You’re deploying technology that is no longer in a building you control, and you are deploying it over the air, right up to the home.”’
*‘“There is more technology, and more networks highly interconnected to share information. You’ve increased the overall attack surface.”’
*‘“The smart grid is one of the best things to ever happen to security in the utility space.”’
*“The GAO report also cited a dramatic increase in cyber attacks on federal agencies, as reported to the U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team…”
*“Cyber incidents totaled 41,776 in fiscal 2010, a 650 percent increase in five years.”
*“Congress set up the process for creating cybersecurity standards for the electric power industry in the 2005 Energy Policy Act, it put the agency into a reactive stance…”
*“FERC can approve or reject cyber standards developed through NERC’s industry consensus process, but it cannot do more.”
*“After years of disjointed efforts since the 2005 act passed, the cyber issue has begun to move on some fronts…”
*“Companies are to follow in identifying critical parts of their systems that will be subject to cyber protection regulation.”
*“The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has agreed to take oversight responsibility for cybersecurity of all systems at nuclear power plants, not just the reactors…”
*“But a new Senate initiative is likely to reignite the federal-state jurisdictional quarrel over cyber standards.”
*“Committee and ranking Republican Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) circulated a draft bill on cyber protection policy that would give FERC the authority over critical distribution networks that it has been seeking.”
*“But even the successful completion of standards and rules for cyber protection for the power sector won’t be enough if the technical competency of the industry’s cyber managers is not upgraded…”
*“The case study Assante cites is the Stuxnet computer worm, which industry experts believe penetrated a part of Iran’s nuclear power infrastructure in mid-2009, damaging some of its critical uranium enrichment centrifuges.”
*“The code for the Stuxnet cyber weapon, whose authors remain unidentified publicly and are the subject of intense speculation, was identified by a Russian security firm that found it on a USB flash drive…”
*“Assante said there is still too wide a gap dividing power companies that are serious about raising cyber threat barriers and training people to use them, and other companies whose awareness and preparations are not adequate.”
*[[Cybersecurity]], [[Iran]], [[Russia]]


”’National Journal Group,”’ “Iran Reports New Computer Strike”, 25 April 2011, Global Security Newswire. []
*“Iran is facing a new computer-based attack by hostile powers, a high-level Iranian military officer told the nation’s Mehr News Agency…”
*‘“The virus is congruous and harmonious with the (computer) system and in the initial phase it does minor damage and might be mistaken for some executive files of government organizations,…”’
*“Iran this month attributed the worm’s development to Israel and the United States, which both suspect the Middle Eastern state’s uranium enrichment program is geared toward weapons development.”
*“Specialists have suggested the malware targeted the Iranian enrichment program, which is capable of generating nuclear-weapon material.”
*“Tehran, which has maintained its atomic ambitions are strictly peaceful, last September confirmed that Stuxnet had infected laptops of Bushehr nuclear power plant personnel while denying the worm affected operations at the Russian-built facility.”
*“Meanwhile, Iran on June 18 intends to convene a two-day multilateral meeting on eliminating and preventing the spread of nuclear armaments and other weapons of mass destruction,…”
*‘“Perhaps the Foreign Ministry had overlooked the options to legally pursue the case, and it seems our diplomatic apparatus should pay more attention to follow up the cyber wars staged against Iran,” he said (Mostafavi, Reuters).”’
*[[Cybersecurity]], [[Russia]], [[Iran]]




Help support the information project and gain access to the newer half of each protected page by subscribing for 6 months at the rate of $5.00. 

6 Month All Access