Volume 20, Issue 3

Volume 20, Issue 3 Editorial

Styled image of the word JIW

Summer 2021

For the past year, COVID 19 has cast a long, dark shadow across the globe. It has proven itself to be a powerful and agile enemy capable of overcoming countless obstacles to spread, mutate, and destroy human lives and livelihoods. Today, it is undeniably the case that COVID 19 continues to shape our world and our future, but it is also undeniably the case that we are not helpless anymore.

We have armed ourselves and are continuing to arm ourselves with the one thing that will surely help us in this fight—information. We have learned how the virus spreads, to whom it is most easily transmitted, what mitigating measures we can take to protect ourselves and each other. We know what type of vaccine it will respond to. We know enough about its spread that we can anticipate surges and exercise some control over their severity. We know that variants are bound to occur, and we can move to address those mutations with hitherto unimagined speed.

Beyond Kinetic Harm and towards a Dynamic Conceptualization of Cyberterrorism


After more than two decades of discussion, the concept of cyberterrorism remains plagued by confusion. This article presents the result of an integrative review which maps the development of the term and which situates the epistemic communities that have shaped the debate. After critically assessing existing accounts and highlighting the key ethical, social, and legal dimensions at stake in preventing cyberterrorist attacks, it calls for a more dynamic conceptualization that views cyberterrorism as more abstract, difficult to predict, and hard to isolate; and which embraces a different conception of sufficient harm. In concluding, it proposes a novel definition of cyberterrorism, intended to catalyse a new research program, and sketches a roadmap for further research.

Social Cybersecurity: A Policy Framework for Addressing Computational Propaganda


After decades of Internet diffusion, geopolitical and information threats posed by cyberspace have never been greater. While distributed denial-of-service (DDOS) attacks, email hacks, and malware are concerns, nuanced online strategies for psychological influence, including state-sponsored disinformation campaigns and computational propaganda, pose threats that democracies struggle to respond to. Indeed, Western cybersecurity is failing to address the perspective of Russia’s ‘information security,’—manipulation of the user as much as of the network. Based in computational social science, this paper argues for cybersecurity to adopt more proactive social and cognitive (non-kinetic) approaches to cyber and information defense. This protects the cognitive, attitudinal, and behavioral capacities required for a democracy to function by preventing psychological apparatuses, such as confirmation bias and affective polarization, that trigger selective exposure, echo chambers, in-group tribalization, and out-group threat labelling.

Literature Review of Scientific Articles about Cyber Information Sharing


This literature review presents a review of cyber information sharing based on systematic queries in four scientific databases. Hundreds of articles were handled and clustered. Relevant publications concerning cyber information sharing are succinctly described in the paper. The findings are discussed from the perspective of how to develop a cybersecurity information sharing system and what possible features might be included in the system. The literature review will comprise a new database for the Echo Early Warning System (E-EWS) concept. E-EWS aims at delivering a security operations support tool, enabling the members of the ECHO network to coordinate and share information in near real-time.

Framing the Awareness Required for Maritime Information Warfare Using Historic Information Science Literature


Defining Maritime Information Warfare (MIW) as truly a warfare domain implies a need for awareness of friendly and adversarial activities within the domain, with such awareness typically referred to as situational awareness (SA). Here, the components of SA in the MIW domain are clarified through a study of the historical information science literature. This study identified a conceptual model of information and its use. This model was then juxtaposed with the Royal Canadian Navy’s view of MIW. A cyber example illustrates that an extremely broad set of inputs are required for SA in MIW.

Operational Design, Taming Wicked Problems, and Lawfare


This paper examines operational design as one aspect of a larger design-thinking domain. Design and designing are firmly established within the literature and describe those actions and endeavours associated with creating form and/or function—the object at the centre of the writers’ attention has a purpose and its purposefulness can be measured objectively. Operational design, on the other hand, is a relatively new term and is used within a military context to describe a form of operational planning that is more attentive to the inner subtleties of an area of interest and necessarily postpones the development of courses of action until after the subject has been thoroughly and comprehensively appreciated. It acknowledges the key characteristics of wickedness and messiness that also frustrate efforts to achieve outcomes in heavily contested social contexts—conflict. In these contexts, there is a rich presence of those who oppose, those who are neutral, and those who support—all must be attended to. Ultimately, all conflict is a clash of wills and a search for asymmetry; operational design and growing the practise of lawfare, therefore, aids the development, sequencing, and execution of least effort activities to achieve specified outcomes. The method presented does not seek to replace current military planning process; it does, however, offer a valuable companion method for situations of great complexity and ambiguity, where imaginative thinking, including the use of lawfare, may be appropriate.

Modelling Information Warfare: Visualising Definitions, Fundamental Characteristics, and Foundational Theories of Contemporary Information Warfare


Increasingly, the term ‘Information Warfare’ (IW) encompasses the full gamut of techniques whereby information is employed to gain a competitive advantage in conflict or strategic competition. Research reveals commonalities in the underlying rationale, strategies, and means of historical and contemporary IW despite the evolution of the scale and scope of it. 

Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance and Electromagnetic Warfare Methods for Cyber Signature Production: A Conceptual Model


The purpose of this paper is to offer a methodology using the already mature signature production capabilities offered within the intelligence and electromagnetic warfare fields to develop a similar capability for cyber operators. Not only will the tools and TTPs assist in target and signature production, but they will also make attribution much easier by capturing the common location, profile, and parametric data necessary to identify and to verify adversary identities. In the information related capability (IRC) disciplines of intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) and electromagnetic warfare (EW), signature production based on parametric data, adversary tactics, techniques, procedures (TTPs), and methodologies have long been the operational answer to the attribution and targeting malaise. 

Military Deception and Strategic Culture: The Soviet Union and Russian Federation


Strategic culture shapes political-military organizational activity through a process of socialization, yet little is known about strategic culture’s impact on information operations. This paper explores the influence of Russian-Soviet strategic culture on military deception operations during World War II, the Soviet Afghan War, and the conflict in Ukraine. It finds that the hierarchical characteristic of Russian-Soviet strategic culture contributes to the centralization of deception operations. This work shows that, in the context of foreign policy toward Russia, not only does one need to consider technological innovations for traditional military use, but also advances below the threshold of declared war.

Propaganda or Not: Examining the Claims of Extensive Russian Information Operations within the United States


This paper scientifically examines the claims of an extensive Russian propaganda targeting the population of the United States made by an organization called Prop or Not. Using the Agenda Setting Theory, it examined the intermedia agenda setting effects between the Russian State Media outlet Sputnik and four weblogs listed by Prop or Not. The results of the study found a strong positive correlation between Sputnik and Zero Hedge, New Cold War, Global Research, and the Daily Sheeple in terms of very favorable coverage of Russia and its allies. A positive but weaker correlation was found between these media sources and their coverage of the United States and its allies.

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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