Krypt3ia

(Greek: κρυπτεία / krupteía, from κρυπτός / kruptós, “hidden, secret things”)

The CYBER Wars

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We met in an old, drab, and odd Russian eatery cum bar this year. A matronly Russian woman made us order things from the menu as a young girl sang Russian kulturny songs on a cheap sound system in the back corner. I had come to talk to someone in the IC about “Cyber War” and hoped that our mutual experiences could give me an insight or direction for this post. After sitting with this person for about an hour I had to go but in that time I had several revelations from our discourse. This post is the culmination of that conversation and my further ruminations about the current state of “cyber warfare”

Firstly, the conversation that we had was very roundabout, going back to the dawn of the ARPANET and other systems but all the while with a bent on economics. This kind of threw me for a bit but I listened further and within that long and winding road two things became clear from this IC warriors career. All cyber war is really Information Warfare, and second that all information warfare has an economic component. These things had not really occurred to me in the past but the revelation made me think differently about all of it. Thinking about the economics certainly easily led to all the Chinese hacking and theft of IP surely, but on a macro scale all warfare has its economic drivers right? Someone wants the things you have or they want to stop you from getting those things to others. So the motivation is always there in some way on a nation state level and all of the techniques used in information war or hacking can be used to great effect on these problems.

Once I had some time to think about all that I had heard I started to contemplate everything that had taken place over the last election and what is still happening today. It became clear to me today that my convictions on “cyber” war were the same as they always had been but with some caveats. Primarily for me is the notion that “cyber” war is really just information warfare. It is even still information warfare when something physically is caused to blow up or eat itself like the centrifuges in Natanz back in 2011. Information warfare since then though has been escalated with the active measures by the GRU and SVR (KGB) that took place in our last election cycle. Clearly it was information being used to manipulate the populace and their opinions. The hacking or “cyber” as many like to call it was just a component, an element of this and it was the information that was a key to this. The net effect here is that once again I put it to you all, the “cyber” war doesn’t exist, it is all just information war using hacking and code as a force multiplier.

What you all need to worry about now is the use of technology to manipulate just like the active measures campaign did in 2016. The revelations on Facebook’s being used by Russia to manipulate public opinion is just one instance and a more nuanced approach needs to be applied to information warfare henceforth. I see articles every day now asking how do we fight this kind of warfare and honestly I see no easy way to do so. People are easily led and much more so now that the electronic media is so prevalent and easily manipulated by ad buy’s, hacks, and open source troll accounts. That people now have their digital bubbles cum echo chambers makes it even worse with their cognitive dissonance at eleven. Honestly, much of the time lately I feel like Joshua and have decided not to play the game at all and go dark.

Maybe you should too.

K.

Written by Krypt3ia

2017/09/14 at 13:02

Posted in CyberWar

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