Volume 6, Issue 1

Volume 6, Issue 1 Editorial

Stylized Image of the Word Editorial

MARCH 2007

Welcome to the first issue in the sixth year of JIW. As in previous issues, there are a variety of issues examined. The first paper by Hutchinson, Huhtinen and Rantapelkonen explores the idea that the perspective taken of a particular problem or conflict fundamentally effects the tactics and strategies used in it, and so the consequent outputs. Gray and Martin explain the consequences of actions in terms of an interesting concept ‘backfires’ and their relationships to types of propaganda.

The Impact of Perspective on the Effects and Outcomes of Conflict


Conflicts in the contemporary world are manifold and have various characteristics. They range from primitive wars fought with ‘stone-age’ weapons to post-modern conflicts fought with competing arguments over the world wide digital network. In conventional thinking, the conflict is classified as being such as ’conventional war’, or ‘counter-terrorism’, or ‘low intensity conflict’ and a myriad of other types. This paper suggests that the way a conflict is viewed will determine the outcomes or effects produced rather than a conflict being intrinsically of a particular type. The perspective taken of the conflict will determine the methods to combat it and thus the subsequent effects. In the contemporary world, this is especially of concern with the practice of counter-terrorist activities.

Backfires: White, Black and Grey


Sometimes the use of force can backfire on perpetrators, generating increased support for the opponent. Perpetrators may try to turn this process against their targets, by attributing their actions to the targets, as in black operations, or by using an ambiguous event as a pretext for action. These techniques can be understood as different uses of backfire dynamics, by analogy to white, black and grey propaganda. Various examples are used to illustrate this framework.

An Assessment of End-user Vulnerability to Phishing Attacks


Phishing has grown to become a significant threat to unsuspecting Internet users. This paper investigates user susceptibility to such attacks by assessing the degree to which they can differentiate between phishing messages and those that are genuine. A web-based survey was used to present a mix of 20 legitimate and illegitimate emails, and participants were asked to classify them and explain the rationale for their decisions. A total of 179 participants were involved in the study, and results reveal that they were 36% successful in identifying legitimate emails and 45% successful in spotting illegitimate ones.  Additionally, in many cases, the participants who identified illegitimate emails correctly could not provide convincing reasons for their selections.  

Identifying Usolicited Bulk E-mail Messages with Header Field Comparisons


The ever-increasing unsolicited bulk e-mail (UBE) flood threatens the resources of individuals and organisations. The usual protection method is filtering out the UBE messages. This paper presents fifteen header field analysis criteria, which were able to distinguish between legitimate and UBE messages in two legitimate and two UBE corpora. Eight of the identified criteria were strong and seven moderate indicators of either a UBE or a legitimate message. These results enable useful additions to existing UBE filtering techniques and pave way for special applications combining header field based indicators to detect UBE messages without analysing the message payload.

Modelling Critical Infrastructure Systems


This paper examines the basis of what constitutes a system/s and discusses the commonalities in relation to critical infrastructure systems. It focuses on identifying, and discussing system characteristics, complexity, inter-relationships, dynamics and the importance of modelling as applied to critical infrastructure systems. It then considers four differing system-modelling styles with the view to assess and discuss their potential to model critical infrastructure systems, ahead of selecting the most promising and suitable for adoption to critical infrastructure system modelling.

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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