The Cyber Defense Review


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Extension of the machine’s realm: a brief insight into Artificial Intelligence and Cyberspace

June 19, 2019 — “Study the past if you would define the future” ~Confucius     Somewhere during the Pleistocene Era, an Australopithecus picks up a humerus and discovers it can use it for a decisive advantage over its rivals in conquering a waterhole. It then proceeds on celebrating its triumph, raising its newfound weapon to thrust upwards into space where it transforms into a space station. This famous scene from the film “2001: A Space Odyssey” by Stanley Kubrick magisterially captures how the story of humanity is intimately linked to technical progress, and with warfare as its primary driver. MORE

Four Reasons eSports is a Strategic Opportunity for Service Academies

June 11, 2019 — In Martin Scorsese’s 1986 film, The Color of Money, pool hustler Fast Eddie Felson (Paul Newman) asks Vincent Lauria (Tom Cruise) if he can make money playing a video game called Stalker. Vincent smirks and replies, “I’ll tell you what I can do off Stalker. Years from now, I can go to West Point. It’s all coming down to video-game reflexes. Computerized tanks. Star Wars. In years, a heavy score on Stalker is a shoo-in at the Point.” Today, more than 3,000 student-athletes from over 130 schools across the nation participate at the collegiate level in organized video game competitions known as eSports. These institutions are at the tip of the spear in an exciting new environment that provides opportunities for learning, external collaboration, and research. MORE

The Challenge and Opportunities of Standing on Cloud – Finding our Warfighting Advantage

April 30, 2019 — The Navy is dealing with the challenges of a world where exponentially accelerating and converging technologies impact the way we operate at unprecedented speeds. We must quickly leverage the operational advantages emerging technologies bring to warfighting and be forward-leaning in disrupting their use by adversaries. Similarly to how cloud technologies and Smartphones have fundamentally changed the way we live by accessing and using information in revolutionary ways, victory in warfighting will go to those forces with similar information supremacy. Cloud technologies provide an opportunity to achieve that supremacy, enabling extraordinary benefits through scalable services which support Big Data analytics, Artificial Intelligence (AI), and machine learning. Transition away from stove-piped capabilities and sources of data to a cloud environment where authoritative data can be exposed, discovered, and shared for improved situational awareness and decision making is the future. However, the move to the cloud does not come without risks and challenges. MORE

Tactical Employment Considerations of HF Radios in the Cavalry Squadron

April 30, 2019 — There are a few misconceptions about the use of High Frequency (HF) communications in the U.S. Army today, especially in a Decisive Action Training Environment (DATE). Based on the US military’s experiences in Iraq and Afghanistan with theater provided equipment, leaders assume that HF will provide the means to conduct a one-for-one exchange of a unit’s typical slate of FM nets to include Command, O&I, A&L and Fires that are each operated on a separate radio. Others assume that since putting an HF radio into operation is relatively easy, units should be able to put an HF network into operation with ease. The truth is that units only have enough HF radios to establish communications between key leaders. To put them into operation in an effective HF network requires a higher level of training and understanding than units currently have. The network is what is needed for effective Mission Command. This article records the observations of Cavalry Squadron’s HF use at the Joint Readiness Training Center (JRTC), illuminate why units struggle, and convey recommendations and resources for HF training at home station so units can take maximize their HF capabilities for employment in a DATE scenario and prepare for potential large-scale combat operations. MORE

Tackling Disinformation, Online Terrorism, and Cyber Risks into the 2020s

April 30, 2019 — Over the past decade, social media has become an abusive component of the general media that we consume daily. In many cases, social media precedes and precludes traditional news mediums, by getting information out early or by providing detailed accounts of what is happening on the ground across the world. What started out as social media users, influencers, and netizens capturing everyday happenings and reporting them in real-time (from 2007 to the present), evolved to include complex and organized propaganda systems by 2009. [1] Early propaganda systems involved state-sponsored propaganda sites presented as independent social media handles. State-sponsored disinformation began with Russian troll activism in Finland in the early 2000s. Infowar expert Dr. Saara Jantunen’s book “Infosota”, published in 2015, details the complicated networks of troll houses and blogs that constitute the concerted Russian infowar effort. [2] MORE

The Concept of a “Campaign of Experimentation” for Cyber Operations

April 30, 2019 — A Campaign of Experimentation is necessary for the United States to achieve a robust capability in cyber defensive and offensive operations, that is effectively and efficiently integrated with operations in cyber-kinetic domains. The article describes challenges for such a Campaign, regarding experimental design, logistics, measurement, and methodology. The campaign concept In a report titled “Code of Best Practice: Experimentation,” David Alberts and Richard Hayes [1] asserted: Experimentation is the lynch pin in the DoD’s strategy for transformation. Without a properly focused, well-balanced, rigorously designed, and expertly conducted program of experimentation, the DoD will not be able to take full advantage of the opportunities that Information Age concepts and technologies offer. MORE

Every Soldier a Cyber Warrior: The Case for Cyber Education in the United States Army

April 30, 2019 — Cyberspace represents a new domain of warfare unlike any other in military history. Cyberwarfare practitioners be they state actors, non-state actors or individual hackers, are capable of tremendous–and readily deniable–damage to an opponent’s civil or military infrastructure. While recent events have focused upon the Islamic State’s ability to use the Internet for recruiting purposes, the real danger to the West comes from its two primary competitors. The Russian and Chinese governments are suspected of using the entire spectrum of cyber warfare as both a standalone capability as well as effectively incorporating it into the more traditional domains of war. MORE

Seeing is Believing: Quantifying and Visualizing Offensive Cyber Operations Risk

April 30, 2019 — This paper presents an integration of decision-maker preferences, quantitative risk analysis, and simulation modeling to aid commanders in choosing a course of action (COA) for conducting offensive cyber operations (OCO). It incorporates information from subject matter experts (SMEs) to parameterize a simulation model which provides decision support to mission planners when evaluating different COAs. The methodology is exercised and evaluated by cyberwarfare practitioners. MORE

Cyber Attribution: Can a New Institution Achieve Transnational Credibility?

April 30, 2019 — After the United States blamed China for the Office of Personnel Management intrusion in 2015, China called speculation on their involvement neither “responsible nor scientific.” [1] They subsequently suggested it was “imperative to stop groundless accusations, [and] step up consultations to formulate an international code of conduct...” [2] The US-China exchange raises a critical question: what qualifies as “groundless accusations,” and what would “responsible and scientific” attribution of nation-state sponsored attacks look like? The incident raises another question as well: what is the current US process for attribution, and is it achieving its aims? This paper argues that authoritative attribution of cyberattacks to nation-state actors requires more than purely technical solutions. MORE

Reshaping Intelligence Operations in the Cyberspace Domain

April 30, 2019 — Cyberspace has become the most active, contested, and congested of the warfighting domains. Both the new National Cyber Strategy and recent Department of Defense (DoD) Cyber Strategy describe an environment wrought with adversaries attempting to gain a military, political, and economic advantage over the United States (US). [1] Given the pace of operations and the rate of change in the environment, new ways of operating develop at a rapid pace. Although DoD has published Joint Publication (JP) 3-12 (Cyberspace Operations) that provides a foundation for understanding cyberspace and operations therein, the Army and Joint Force have a great opportunity (and requirement) to reflect the complexity and fluidity in this new domain and to more fully describe the level of conceptual and practical convergence between the land (physical), human, and cyberspace domains. The Army and Joint Force have the capacity to understand and detail these changes in the land and cyber domains and have the innovative leadership we need to integrate this convergence into our discussions, debates, concepts, and doctrine. The changes involved with the technology and the extent to which cyberspace is impacting the land and human terrain are significant even today. DoD must be bold and innovative to stay ahead of the threat and to take advantage of the potential that exists. MORE

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