Volume 22, Issue 4

Volume 22, Issue 4 Editorial

Styled word of the word Editoral

Fall 2023

This new edition of the Journal of Information Warfare (JIW) offers a global view, with authors from around the world analyzing their research into cutting edge topics on Information Warfare and Cyber Security. These academics have laid out in these eight papers their theses and concepts as shown here:

  • A Systemic View of Surprise Attacks: Why It Matters
  • A No Limits Partnership on Propaganda
  • Analysis of the Next Evolution of Security Audit Criteria
  • Desperately Seeking Strategic Alignment: Australia’s Response to the Informatic Environment as a Global Security Disrupter
  • The Cybersecurity Framework’s Most Vulnerable User: Small Business
  • How China Uses Social Media in Grey Zone Operations toward Taiwan
  • Information Operations Do not worry me
  • Effects-Based Ideas: An Opinion-Based Examination

A Systemic View of Surprise Attacks: Why It Matters


This paper examines the concept of a Surprise Attack from a systemic perspective. It looks at the approaches that can be assumed about the system when using intelligence methods to explore the environment of the system at hand. Assuming all system models are a creation of humans who often try to ascertain is that they are real, it is important that the implied complexity in terms of the system’s elements and the relationships between them are considered. The amount of reliability in the concepts that make up the system model as well as the desired outputs are also important. The boundary of the system showing the element in the system and those that are outside are also critical. A caveat is introduced to show that reality is chaos and probably no boundary around physical and conceptual system entities will truly capture everything that is relevant, so will ultimately fail in terms of surprises. The argument continues with the examination of the Known/Unknown elements within an intelligence problem, further confounding the elimination of surprise in the system. A final point adding to the production of the intelligence product is Cognitive Rigidity. Here, the use of imagination rather than just deduction of established facts and cognitive assumptions could better prepare an organization for a surprise attack.

A No Limits Partnership on Propaganda?


The Russian Federation and the People’s Republic of China signed a formal agreement to cooperate on the creation and dissemination of a jointly constructed propaganda narrative for a global audience. There is some anecdotal evidence and some very basic research to suggest this cooperation might be happening. However, this study aims to use scientific research methods from the Agenda Setting Theory to prove or disprove this alleged propaganda cooperation. The author assessed a N = 600 sample of articles from English language versions of Russian Sputnik and the Chinese Global Times and People’s Daily. The evidence indicates a low level of propaganda cooperation. Russia and China appear to be pursuing their own strategic goals with propaganda. This finding has important implications for information warriors’ and strategic communication professionals’ task and counterpropaganda.

Analysis of the Next Evolution of Security Audit Criteria


Security assessments are performed for multiple reasons, including compliance with the information security regulation. Amongst other objectives, regulatory requirements are created to increase the resilience of national infrastructure and protect against information and cybersecurity threats. When the regulatory requirements are revised, the security audit criteria also need to be updated and validated. This was also the case with the Julkri, criteria developed for the conformance assessments of the renewed Finnish information security regulation. In this article, a comparative evaluation based on Design Science Research is performed to determine whether the new Julkri criteria improve existing criteria and control catalogues.

Desperately Seeking Strategic Alignment: Australia’s Response to the Informatic Environment as a Global Security Disruptor


Since the end of the Cold War, Australia has experienced strategic misalignment between government defence policy, military deployment to wars of choice, and slow adaptation to major power security challenges. This situation has been underscored by the geopolitical realities of an increasingly assertive People’s Republic of China as well as the Russian Federation’s 2022 invasion of Ukraine. This ‘strategic disconnect’ has resulted in the Australian government dealing with the risks from of a resultant, much-reduced strategic warning time. The challenge for the state is its rapid readying for possible military participation alongside the United States in a major power war. Strategic assessments are now addressing involvement in a war that will be characterised by multi-domain, kinetic warfighting. In the period preceding and during any such major power confrontation will be the increased significance of Information Operations (IO) as an important non-kinetic element in ‘the management of war’. Malicious state actors and authoritarian powers will increasingly deploy non-kinetic disruptive technologies, such as Artificial Intelligence and deepfakes, to drive global disruptors, such as the informatic environment. This will expose any strategic misalignment that remains between Australia’s strategic approaches and its security threats.

The Cybersecurity Framework’s Most Vulnerable User: Small Business


The broad applicability of the National Institute for Standards and Technology’s (NIST) Framework for Improving Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity, commonly known as the Cybersecurity Framework (CSF), creates a utility gap for small and medium businesses (SMB) to apply and implement the framework effectively within their organizations. The purpose of this research is to explore and interpret the CSF in the context of small and medium businesses with implications of bridging the utility gap for this significant, yet vulnerable, population; specifically, this paper contributes detailed interpretations and actions of the NIST CSF that can be implemented by SMBs to help improve their cybersecurity stance.

How China Uses Social Media in Grey Zone Operations toward Taiwan


The term ‘grey zone’ indicates a state actor’s actions up to the point of armed conflict and is increasingly associated with China’s foreign policy. China has harnessed Western social media to defend its national interests, drawing international attention to its discourse of war and its often-hostile rhetoric. This paper analyses Chinese state-sponsored tweets about Taiwan, a focal point for Chinese grey zone activity. Empirical topic modelling techniques to aggregate narratives in large-scale social media data were leveraged to interpret them from a doctrinal understanding of Chinese influence operations. Additionally, the authors used statistical methods to examine the relationship between China’s information and military operations toward Taiwan. This paper finds that China uses its state-sponsored accounts to coordinate and amplify social media messaging around military campaigns with strategic importance. Additionally, the presence of a multipronged approach using social media to support military campaigns may indicate an escalation in conflict.

“Information operations do not worry me” – The Role of Credible Information on Digital Platforms


The results of the qualitative, multidisciplinary, and explorative research show that young people use various digital platforms to shape their understanding of facts and fiction. This research asks: 1) To what degree do young people between 16-29 years old use digital platforms as sources of information or news? and 2) To what degree are young people between 16-29 years old aware of disinformation campaigns on social media platforms? Out of all the n=362 young, anonymous, and volunteer research participants, everyone used various digital platforms as a source for credible information and news. Fake news or information operations did not concern young people directly, and they did not perceive themselves as targets of information operations. However, the power of AI,

Effects-Based Ideas: An Opinion-Based Examination


This is an opinion paper of an examination of effects-based ideas. It examines the idea from its fundamental concept. This is developed to examine its broader application to more than air force operations to almost any project concerning military, social, political, and business. In fact, this approach can be used wherever effects of project development have external implications outside systems boundaries and where unforeseen internal implications can affect society.

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.

Quick Links

View the latest issue of JIW.

Latest Edition

Purchase a subscription to JIW.
















Quill Logo

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.


Get in touch

Registered Agent and Mailing Address

  • Journal of Information Warfare
  •  ArmisteadTEC
  • Dr Leigh Armistead, President
  • 1624 Wakefield Drive
  • Virginia Beach, VA 23455