Our guest for the first podcast of 2015 is Jim Lewis, a senior fellow and director of the Strategic Technologies Program at CSIS, where he writes on technology, security, and the international economy.

We try a new, slightly shorter format for 2015, with quick takes on a batch of headlines:

We dig a little deeper into other stories.

  • FBI investigates banks for revenge hacking of Iran:  Stewart, Jason, and Jim Lewis debate the wisdom of taking down DDOS command and control servers without waiting for the government.  And Israel’s role as a haven for private hacking back.
  • And, of course, all things Sony:  We discuss the weird “grassy knoll” determination to blame someone other than North Korea.  Turns out many of those challenging the FBI’s attribution have questionable credentials or are outspoken Snowden supporters, calling into question their judgment.  We deprecate US financial sanctions on North Korea as a deterrent and the South Korean who is taking seriously Stewart’s suggestion that The Interview be dropped on the North from balloons.
  • Finally, Jim Lewis offers his insider’s view of China’s approach to cyber conflict – the norms that apply in cyberwar, where cyberweapons fit into China’s warfighting doctrine, and a possible split between China’s leadership and its PLA on when and whether to carry out cyberespionage for Chinese companies.  

Later this year we will be joined by Becky Richards of the NSA Privacy office.

Download the forty-eighth episode (mp3).