Small Wars Journal

cyber threat

Cyberwar to Kinetic War: 2020 Election and the Possibility of Cyber-Attack on Critical Infrastructure on the United States

The current possibility of the United States walking into a trap of a kinetic war is exceptionally likely, given the conditions that will be enumerated here, and the historical pattern of the US reacting to surprise attacks with the force of a giant rudely awakened from a deep slumber is not ahistorical. The Election of 2016 was a sure indicator of one phase of election manipulation.

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Challenging Snowden: Spycraft, Ethics, and Amendments

Is it ethical for the country’s intelligence agencies to exploit nearly every known wireless communication modality in favor of U.S. policies and interests even though it could potentially involve spying on countless American citizens in violation of the Fourth Amendment? Edward Snowden utilized principles of ethical decision making, but faulty logic resulted in a treasonous act with longstanding damage to U.S. intelligence operations and foreign diplomacy.

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Controlling Cognitive Domains

What is now categorized as the “cognitive domain” includes areas of influence in all sectors of society. Cognitive domain(s) should not be restricted to influence and information operations, social engineering and ‘winning hearts and minds’ approaches, but expanded to include all areas where ideological attacks are possible.

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Destination Atlanta: Ransomware Lessons for Municipalities and Law Enforcement

The rise of ransomware as an attack vector has continued to thrive and appears focused on those municipalities and law enforcement agencies with limited resources and unchecked system vulnerabilities. Of major concern are the evidentiary losses and reduction in consumer confidence within these governmental organizations requiring a new focus and financial expenditures to mitigate these attacks from occurring in the future.

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The Advent of the “Digital Mercenaries”

Modern day “condottieri”, a new type of modern “soldiers of fortune”, is emerging center stage. Namely, the ascent of a new breed, one that could be best described as “digital mercenaries”. The advent of these new professionals is of no less importance than their “traditional” counterparts who provide muscle and boots on the ground in distant and difficult environments.

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Cyber Offensive Operations: Is There a Digital Delta Force?

As cyber-attacks become more frequent and cause more damage, the US government and the vast majority of private and commercial companies dig deeper into a defensive posture. Offensive cyber operations do not happen, except for maybe a few confidential US military or government (NSA) operations that cannot be confirmed or denied. Over 90 percent of the internet, including the massive amounts of data the travel through it; belong to non-government entities that so far are unable to punch back against their attackers.

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OODA Loops in Cyberspace: How Cyber Awareness Training Helps Threat Actors

Cybersecurity’s human adversarial engagement is often lost in discussions of cybersecurity. We discuss how defenders’ focus on technology unintentionally creates vulnerabilities which can be exploited by threat actors. In particular, we discuss how the convergence of cyber awareness training and defensive technologies is exploited by threat actors with devastating consequences.

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