Volume 15, Issue 4

Volume 15, Issue 4 Editorial

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Fall 2016

Post-Truth. Conspiracy Theories. Influence Campaigns. The last few months have been incredibly interesting (and perhaps, terrifying) from an information warfare perspective because all of the issues that have been researched, written about, and published by so many authors and in so many forums are now being played out on the world stage. It is also clear that the shift from the Industrial Age to the Information Environment may not mean that the U.S. will forever remain the dominant player in the political arena.

Rhizomatic Target Audiences of the Cyber Domain


Target Audience Analysis (TAA) is a process of finding suitable target audiences for psychological operations (PSYOPS). Typically, a TAA is a one-way process with some kind of a feedback system. The cyber domain presents a challenge to this type of sequential, linear process by refusing to stay still while the process is being executed, possibly leading to results from yesterday’s data in an environment that no longer exists today. 

Exploring the Complexity of Cyberspace Governance: State Sovereignty, Multi-stakeholderism, and Power Politics


Cyberspace is a socio-political and technological domain with unique characteristics. Its decentralized nature and the fact that it is mostly owned and managed by the private sector raise a number of questions regarding the most effective model of governance. Viewing cyberspace as a global commons, balancing between state sovereignty and the fragmentation of cyberspace, and debating between multilateralism and multi-stakeholderism makes discussions of cyberspace governance quite complex. The cases of ITU, ICANN, IGF, UN GGE, and NETmundial raise issues of legitimacy and accountability and offer a pragmatic insight into the power politics of cyberspace

Applying Principles of Reflexive Control in Information and Cyber Operations


According to Russian methodologies, the theory of Reflexive Control (RC) allows an initiator to induce an adversary to take a decision advantageous to the initiator through information manipulation. The RC theory encompasses a methodology where specifically prepared information is conveyed to an adversary, which would lead that adversary to make a decision desired by the initiator. The methodology is generally understood by Russian planners to be applicable in a wide variety of situations, and is deeply rooted within Russian Information Warfare concepts. Because theory envelops the Russian understanding of information as both technical data and cognitive content, ‘information resources’ are understood as technological as well as human.

Utilising Journey Mapping and Crime Scripting to Combat Cybercrime and Cyber Warfare Attacks


This paper discusses ways in which utilising methods from typically non-cyber disciplines, business and criminology, can successfully be applied to the cyber domain to aid the fight  against  and  the  prevention  of  cyber-attacks,  including  those  used  in  cyber  warfare. Through the provision of a visual representation, this paper clarifies how journey mapping and crime scripting can help build an understanding of the steps criminals or adversaries in general undertake during the execution of a cybercrime or cyber-warfare attack.

Disinformation in Hybrid Warfare: The Rhizomatic Speed of Social Media in the Spamosphere


In this paper, two case studies are analysed, namely Finland’s Rapid Reaction Force and the arrest of a Russian citizen in Finland at the request of U.S. officials. A so-called rhizomatic focus (Deleuze and Guattari 1983) is adopted to assess social networking spam and the implications that this phenomenon has for interaction in security cases. In both case studies, the respective timeline of events and the social media impacts on the rhizomatic ‘spam’ information context are analysed.

Security-Information Flow in the South African Public Sector


Information-security management programs are becoming increasingly important in enabling organisations to promote a high level of accountability and good governance. Organisations need accurate and relevant real-time information to make effective and efficient decisions pertaining to cyber threats and attacks. Based on a qualitative study, this article introduces and discusses the components of an information-security management program.

South Korea’s Options in Responding to North Korean Cyberattacks


North Korea has increasingly mounted cyberattacks against South Korea. This paper first examines the dramatic differences between North and South Korea in cyberspace and the history of North Korean cyberattacks. Most of these attacks are easy to attribute for three reasons: they often come from addresses known to be used by North Korea; they often occur on Korean anniversaries; and they often use similar methods and attack code. In this article, the authors discuss possible responses by South Korea. Responses to these attacks begin with invoking  international  law  and  imposing  sanctions.  Next,  South  Korea  can  strengthen  its defences by improving coordination between the government and the private sector. Finally, South Korea could, justifiably, launch counterattacks.

Understanding the Trolling Phenomenon: The Automated Detection of Bots and Cyborgs in the Social Media


Social media has become a place for discussion and debate on controversial topics and, thus, provides an opportunity to influence public opinion. This possibility has given rise to a specific  behaviour  known  as  trolling,  which  can  be  found  in  almost  every  discussion  that includes emotionally appealing topics. Trolling is a useful tool for any organisation willing to force a discussion off-track when one has no proper facts to back one’s arguments. Previous research has indicated that social media analytics tools can be utilised for automated detection of trolling. This paper provides tools for detecting message automation utilized in trolling.

Journal of Information Warfare

The definitive publication for the best and latest research and analysis on information warfare, information operations, and cyber crime. Available in traditional hard copy or online.

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The definitive publication for the best and latest research and analysis on information warfare, information operations, and cyber crime. Available in traditional hard copy or online.


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