The Cyber Defense Review


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Disinformation – Дезинформация (Dezinformatsiya)

December 20, 2018 — Disinformation is defined by Merriam-Webster as “false information deliberately and often covertly spread (as by the planting of rumors) in order to influence public opinion or obscure the truth.” [1] The word disinformation did not appear in English dictionaries until the 1980s. Its origins, however, can be traced back as early as the 1920s when Russia began using the word in connection with a special disinformation office whose purpose was to disseminate “false information with the intention to deceive public opinion.” [2] MORE

Operationalizing the Information Environment: Lessons Learned from Cyber Integration in the USCENTCOM AOR

December 20, 2018 — From Joint Publication (JP) 3-13, the Information Environment (IE) is defined as “an aggregate of individuals, organizations, and systems that collect, process, disseminate, or act on information.” It is within this environment that our adversaries have engaged us persistently below a threshold that could trigger a kinetic response. Within the IE, MORE

Book Review: On Cyber: Towards an Operational Art for Cyber Conflict

December 18, 2018 — The core of Conti and Raymond’s On Cyber: Towards an Operational Art for Cyber Conflict is found in the preface under the self-explanatory title, “Why this book?” and embedded in the following sentence: “The lack of an operational art for cyberspace operations is the inspiration for this book.” Conti and Raymond have identified a wide and open gap in the cyber literature, found not in the cyber hinterlands, but in the pivotal question of, “how do you do cyber operations?” We are now about 20 years into cyber – 20 years ago, cyber defense and cyber operations were all but unknown, and had less than a few references in the now-defunct Alta Vista search engine – and, discussions within the cyber community still occur mainly at the strategic and conceptual level, or at the purely tactical level. The larger policy debate is driven by a non-technical community, and the tactical level quickly becomes highly technical as a subset of computer science. MORE

Supremacy by Accelerated Warfare through the Comprehension Barrier and Beyond: Reaching the Zero Domain and Cyberspace Singularity

December 18, 2018 — “In The Land Of The Blind, The One-Eyed Man Is King.” Erasmus Of Rotterdam, 16TH Century INTRODUCTION It is questionable and even unlikely that cyber supremacy could be reached by overwhelming capabilities manifested by stacking more technical capacity and adding attack vectors. The alternative is to use time as the vehicle to supremacy by accelerating the engagements’ velocity beyond the enemy’s ability to target and precisely execute and comprehend the events as they unfold. The space created beyond the adversary’s comprehension is called the Zero Domain. Military strategists traditionally see the battle space as land, sea, air, space, and cyber domains. When fighting a battle beyond the adversary’s comprehension, the conflict occurs in the Zero Domain, not in a traditional warfighting domain. MORE

Cultivating Technology Innovation for Cyberspace Operations

December 18, 2018 — Pursuit of innovation need not require big bets on uncertain futures….[Organizations] can succeed … by harnessing the past in powerful ways” [1].Our Nation and our allies are fighting a Cyber Cold War against multiple capable adversaries. [2] Like the original Cold War, we have lost ground in the first decade by failing to acknowledge the breadth and sophistication of our adversaries’ actions. While recent hacks of financial and political institutions have drawn significant attention, some of the most disturbing intrusions have been directed at military and nuclear industries.Sadly, these cyber-attacks have been met with general inaction. Widespread Russian cyber-attacks in Ukraine [3] set the conditions for an invasion that was generally described as a separatist movement. [4] The most recent National Security Strategy emphasizes the gravity of China and Russia’s information operations. [5] Unfortunately, disinformations own about and through cyberspace attacks has resulted in domestic squabbling that has limited our ability to govern effectively, let alone mount an effective response. MORE

Offensive Digital Countermeasures: Exploring the Implications for Governments

December 18, 2018 — The theft of intellectual property and classified data within the cyber domain poses a threat to the global economy and national security. In this paper, we discuss the concept of digital offensive countermeasures that the United States can use to defend its sensitive data and intellectual property, even after stolen data leaves U.S. Government networks. We analyze the plethora of legal and ethical issues involving the various degrees of invasiveness posed by such defenses against both foreign and domestic targets. The lack of established norms surrounding digital offensive countermeasures presents a unique duality in which such defenses may present a viable cyber deterrent for the United States but may also spark our next conflict. MORE

Culture in a Murky World: Hijab Trends in Jihadi Popular Culture

December 18, 2018 — Although at times subtle, the female Muslim community influences and shapes the international security environment and constitutes a rough median of 49 percent over the estimated 1.6 billion global Muslim population. [1], [2] At the nexus of security and culture, themes like hijab trends highlight cultural shifts and social undercurrents impacting women that have powerful effects on the International Community. Across Eurasia, state-actors ban hijab-styles domestically to counter radicalization, while jihadi-extremists target women with hijab-themed content to bolster recruitment. Considering that women are susceptible to extremist recruitment,how can we expand the perspective on issues affecting Eurasian Muslim women by understanding the jihadi popular culture? MORE

AI in Cyberspace: Beyond the Hype

December 18, 2018 — Artificial intelligence (AI) is quickly becoming ubiquitous, particularly as part of solutions to defense problems in cyberspace. It seems like few companies want to risk marketing products that cannot be described using this term,perhaps for fear of losing ground to competitors who can. But what exactly is meant by AI? Is it all just marketing hype? The answer, of course, is far from simple. To move beyond the hype, we need to look at what AI is, what it is not and how the technology needs to mature to live up to its promise. MORE

Intelligent Autonomous Agents are Key to Cyber Defense of the Future Army Networks

December 18, 2018 — Intelligent autonomous agents will be widely present on the battlefield of the future.The proliferation of intelligent agents is the emerging reality of warfare, and they will form an ever-growing fraction of total military assets. By necessity, intelligent autonomous cyber defense agents are likely to become primary cyber fighters on the future battlefield. Initial explorations have identified the key functions, components and their interactions for a potential reference architecture of such an agent. However, it is beyond the current state of Artificial Intelligence (AI) to support an agent that could operate intelligently in an environment as complex as the real battlefield. A number of difficult challenges are yet to be resolved. At the same time, a growing body of research in Government and academia demonstrates promising steps towards overcoming some of the challenges.The industry is beginning to embrace approaches that may contribute to technologies of autonomous intelligent agents for the cyber defense of the Army networks. MORE

A Conceptual Review of Cyber-Operations for the Royal Navy

December 18, 2018 — Cyberspace is a malleable and seemingly ubiquitous environment through which information flows. Armed forces use this information to make decisions and take action. The fundamental importance of cyberspace to modern military operations leads threat actors to desire access to and control over its components.In response, organizations like the Royal Navy conduct defensive Cyber-Operations(CO) to protect their information networks and platforms. At the same time,offensive CO allow armed forces to take advantage of the reach of cyberspace to weaken the position of their adversaries. This paper discusses the nature of the threats faced by national-security institutions, and the doctrinal factors that policy-makers must consider.The paper reviews the approach to CO of several countries and evaluates the work done by the Royal Navy in developing cyber capabilities. MORE

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