Volume 22, Issue 2

Volume 22, Issue 2 Editorial

Styled image of the word Editorial

Spring 2023

Welcome to the latest edition of the Journal of Information Warfare (JIW). This is a very interesting set of papers that we have selected to publish as it demonstrates the breadth and depth of academic intellect of our community. These articles range from very technical cyber attack methodologies, to social media, proposed military reorganizations, as well as awareness tactics to understand the threat. This is done on purpose, as we want to expose how broad this research publication is, and how incredibly exciting this field is becoming. Specifically includes this publication the following papers:

The Army’s First Information Warfighting Function: The Need for an Information Warfighting Function—Defeating Our Adversaries in Modern-Day Warfare


Competing with today’s adversaries requires that the United States Army create a seventh warfighting function—information—to synchronize and optimize existing Information-Related Capabilities (IRC). This assertion is based on the author’s analysis of exercises and deployments that demonstrated the need for a new enterprise capable of providing command and control, delegation of authorities, systematic planning of current and future non-kinetic operations, and intelligence support. This Information Warfighting Function (IWfF) would shape the contested space, protect U.S. force, engage with U.S. partners, and enhance sound decisions through an information lens.

Closing the (National Security) Gap


Foreign interference operations are shaping Australian domestic policy, but the target audiences have never been identified by intelligence organisations. This paper seeks to highlight one of the major risks to Australian society—the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians. Although an internal issue, vulnerabilities and gaps in social groups have been exploited in other jurisdictions. It merits then to look critically at Australia, a continent and country that has limited modern experience in domestic insurrections and conflict. It does, however, have a long history of colonial conflict, which has shaped health and social outcomes for its Indigenous population. Through a legal-medical perspective, this paper addresses first the national security risks that have shaped Australian legal thinking with respect to First Nations, and then how modern information war practices can target so-called ‘useful idiots’ and ‘fellow travellers’ in the Closing the Gap police.

The Space of Influence: Developing a New Method to Conceptualise Foreign Information Manipulation and Interference on Social Media


Foreign information manipulation and interference (FIMI) on social media is a fast- evolving threat to democracies. However, there is a growing need to systematically conceptualise the phenomenon. General Morphological Analysis seeks to explore the totalities of a complex problem, but is restricted by simplification. Using and modifying the method expands the morphological space. This expansion and relying on statistical calculation expose internal interdependencies of the phenomenon. Operation design is largely dependent on five parameters: ‘spread strategy’, ‘information channelling’, ‘market targeting’, ‘presented source’, and ‘operational openness’. These parameters are more likely to affect other parameters and thereby define significant aspects of a FIMI operation.

Destabilizing a Regime to Support a Military Campaign, and Vice Versa


This essay aims to identify vulnerabilities and exploitation means necessary to use destabilization to support a military, and ultimately political, objective in a potential conflict between China and the governments supporting a liberal rules-based order. Japanese efforts during the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-1905 showed destabilizing a regime as a credible way to support military objectives during a conflict and provided some key insights by which destabilization efforts function. Based on the historical case and contemporary analysis of China, this essay makes recommendations to decision makers in a conflict on how to best execute and support destabilization efforts.

Phishing in the Wild: An Ecologically Valid Study of the Phishing Tactics and Human Factors that Predict Susceptibility to a Phishing Attack


In this research, 153 employees at a National Laboratory received one of four different phishing emails. All of the emails were similar in content, but systematically varied according to the number and combination of phishing tactics in the message. Participants were unaware they would be receiving the email, which was sent during regular business hours. After receiving the emails, participants completed online questionnaires designed to measure possible predictors of phishing attack susceptibility. The significant predictors included how suspicious participants were of the email and their reported level of distress related to their work prior to completing the study.

The Caesar Cipher and Stacking the Deck in New York State Voter Rolls


Voters in New York State are identified by two identification numbers. This study has discovered strong evidence that both numbers have been algorithmically manipulated to produce steganographically concealed record attribute information. One of the several algorithms discovered has been solved. It first utilizes a mechanism nearly identical to the simple ‘Caesar Cipher’ to change the order of a group of ID numbers. Then, it interlaces them the way a deck of cards is arranged to create a ‘stacked deck’. The algorithmic modifications create hidden structure within voter ID numbers. The structure can be used to covertly tag fraudulent records for later use.

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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  • Journal of Information Warfare
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  • Dr Leigh Armistead, President
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