Influence Operations

Understanding Influence Operations in Social Media: A Cyber Kill Chain Approach


Discussions about recent state-run influence operations in social media often focus only on quantitative elements—the number of people interacting with fake news or how many tweets were sent by bots. This article suggests that understanding how influence operations in social media may affect individuals and groups requires a socio-technical approach to examine what is unique about the social media information environment and people’s interactions in and through these media. A socio-technical understanding emerges through the development of a model based on the Cyber Kill Chain that conceptualises the influence operation process as interlinked stages seeking alternate actions from a target audience.

How Do You Define a Poblem Like Influence


While increasing media coverage is dedicated to how information is used to influencetarget audiences, a common terminology for describing these activities is lacking. This paper offers a literature review of terms currently used by industry, government, and media related to in-fluence  operations;  analyses  the  challenges posed by many of these definitions for use in practical policy development; and ultimately argues for a broader definition of such.

Reflexive Control and Cognitive Vulnerability in the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election


This research seeks to uncover the mechanisms of Russian reflexivecontrol by examining its function during 2016 US presidential elections. Security analysts and US government officialhave asserted that Russia used reflexive control to influencethis election; however, there is little discussion on how this technique cognitively interacted with the American public.

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.

New Technologies: Dissonance, Influence and Radical Behaviours


Increasingly in cyberspace, the targets of influence and propaganda are becoming active participants in the process, as such phenomena such as social web sites allow arguments to be started, reinforced and added to be others within the group. This dynamic multi-channel process of indoctrination enabled by Web 2 tools has brought a new dimension to the development of influence. This speculative paper argues that although conventional access to messages on the Internet will reinforce, and possibly change attitudes, any dissonance caused by the ideas presented will not necessarily end in changing behaviours.

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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