Information Operations

The Geopolitics of Disinformation in a Continued Cold War: A Study of Russia’s Cyber Information Operations Strategy (2022-2023)


This study seeks to explore patterns in Russia’s disinformation operations strategy during the war in Ukraine and discuss them in the context of its geopolitical interests across the world. The data for this research spans from the beginning of the invasion in February 2022 to July 2023 and is collected from the EUvsDisinfo database in the form of articles where disinformation was discovered (N=1906).

ClausewitzGPT Framework: A New Frontier in Theoretical Large Language Model- Enhanced Information Operations


In an epoch where cyberspace is the emerging nexus of geopolitical contention, the juncture of Information Operations and Large Language Models (LLMs) heralds a paradigm shift, replete with immense opportunities and difficult challenges. This paper puts forth a framework for navigating this brave new world using the “ClausewitzGPT” set of equations for framing measurement of AI-augmented information operations. By breaking down the parts of a typical digital information operation into variables, these novel formulae not only seek to quantify the risks inherent in machine-speed LLM-augmented operations but also highlight the vital role of autonomous AI agents in addressing the technical shortcomings and architectural issues of LLMs. These agents, embodying ethical considerations, emerge as indispensable components, ensuring that, as the human race goes forward, it does not lose sight of its moral compasses and societal imperatives.

‘No-one Likes a Cry-Baby’: The Effectiveness of Victimization Narratives in External Information Operations


This study investigates the extent to which victimization narratives in state information campaigns are an effective way to influence targeted external audiences. It focuses on two prolific users of information operations in opposition to the West, namely Russia and the People’s Republic of China. In order to test whether the use of a victimization narrative increases the effectiveness of messaging in disinformation campaigns, the authors conducted dual experimental simulations on two samples of proxy target audiences. The experiment did not reveal any clear advantages in the use of a victimization narrative; rather there were indications (some of them statistically significant), that a victimization narrative could backfire.

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.

“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,

The Evolution of Chinese Cyber Offensive Operations and Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)


The increasing level of confrontation evident in global affairs and competition between different political philosophies are being fought across a broad spectrum of diplomatic, informational, military, and economic areas. Russia, China, and Iran are just three examples of nations which represent alternative forms of government and governance that have employed both kinetic and non-kinetic tools to achieve influence and to compete with the interests of other nations and political ideologies. This paper focuses on the employment of Chinese cyber offensive operations to achieve strategic objectives in the Southeast Asian region, aligned to the Made in China 2025 and 14th Five Year Plans. It examines the structure and nature of Chinese cyber operations as they have evolved over the past seven years.

Cyber Offensive Operations in Hybrid Warfare: Observations from the Russo-Ukrainian Conflict


The role of cyber offensive operations has been under increasing attention in the recent Russo-Ukrainian conflict. The interaction between Russia and Ukraine provides many important insights to the future of hybrid conflict, incorporating cyber offensive operations. There are contextual factors related to the Russo-Ukrainian conflict which require assessment before enduring lessons can be developed. The technical nature of cybersecurity and the constant evolution of both technology and geopolitical affairs mean that each conflict is likely to require an assessment against specific criteria before a stable theory of cyber offensive operations can be captured in the context of hybrid and kinetic warfare. The seven factors presented within this paper are intended to assist future researchers to build a theory of cyber offensive operations, when more data comes to light in future hybrid conflicts.

Information Warfare: Leveraging the DMMI Matrix Cube for Risk Assessment


This paper presents the DMMI Matrix Cube and demonstrates its use in assessing risk in the context of information warfare. By delineating and ordinating the concepts of disinformation, misinformation, malinformation, and information, its purpose is to gauge a communication’s intention to cause harm, and its likelihood of success; these, together, define the severity of weaponised information, such as those employed within sophisticated information operations. The chance or probability of the (information) risk is determined by the intention to harm, the apparent veracity of the information, and the probability of its occurrence. As an exemplar, COVID-19 anti-vaccine campaigns are mapped to the DMMI Matrix Cube, and recommendations are offered based on stakeholder needs, interests, and objectives.

Do Hostile Information Operations Really Have the Intended Effects? A Literature Review


The purpose of this paper is to review the scientific basis for claiming any effect of foreign information operations. The literature on information operations is reviewed, as well as other kinds of persuasive communication (advertising, risk and health communication) that aims to change attitudes or behaviour. Most research indicates that persuasive communication in general has little effect on receiver attitudes and/or behaviour. Some hypothetical strategies that may increase the effect are formulated, such as hiding the sender’s intent, sending messages not too distant from the receiver’s present views, or using the emotional, rather than the rational, route.

Cyber Warfare Evolution and Role in Modern Conflict


With the advent of powered flight came a shift in military tactics. This shift was not sudden or spectacular but evolved slowly over decades. Similarly, the development of the cyber domain and its impact on the information domain is creating a shift in warfare that nation states are adapting to as it evolves. This shift appears to be not only affecting the way international actors interact within the cyber realm but is also having a strong impact on conflict within the information domain. 

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. 

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.

Information Influence in Society’s Information Environment: An Empirical Analysis Using the Grounded Theory


This paper investigates information influence in society’s Information Environment. The Grounded Theory approach was used to collect and to analyse the data. A conceptual framework of the thematic categories and item categories was developed on the basis of empirical evidence and past studies that reflect the findings of the field. The most fundamental components in this conceptual framework were six thematic categories (information influence, information operations, cyber operations, psychological operations, kinetic operations, and deception), their item categories, the items themselves, and the interrelationships between the thematic categories. 

The Persuasion Game: Serious Gaming Information Warfare and Influence


In an age of hybrid, asymmetric, and non-linear conflict, the role of Information Operations has become increasingly important. This paper presents a research project examining ways of better enabling stakeholders to respond to the increasing use of influence in warfare, in hybrid conflict, in competition, and in the realms of hard and soft politics. The project consisted of an international, cross-sector research group that drew on military, government, academic, and industry expertise in order to understand the best way to employ wargame influence. The use of wargaming as a training/research tool is familiar in military and civil contexts; the project discussed presents a truly innovative approach to influence studies, and shows the benefits of an interdisciplinary, cross-domain research team.

An Argument for Establishing a National Security Council Interagency Information Warfare Directorate - Part I


The following three articles examine three causal mechanisms prompting U.S. adversarial nation states to shift preference from conventional warfare (CW) to Non-Conventional Warfare (NCW): (1) the expansion of the information environment; (2) the globalisation, diffusion, and weaponisation of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs); and (3) their acknowledgment that NCW provides a broader menu of indirect approaches not previously afforded through traditional CW. It cautions U.S. decision makers to recognise this shift and to counter it by establishing an interagency Information Warfare Directorate in the National Security Council (NSC). The NSC IWD should draft practical policies that result in the integration of the various aspects of domestic and foreign departments and agencies to cross-coordinate NCW activities. This will require remediating national policy and authority gaps as well as addressing any shortcomings in the budget allocation process.

An Argument for Establishing a National Security Council Interagency Information Warfare Directorate - Part II


This article expands upon the previous article by examining the efficacy of Conventional Warfare (CW in a Non-Conventional Warfare (NCW environment. In particular, it attempts to characterise the relationship between globalisation and diffusion of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT, in relation to its antifragility in NCW settings. More broadly, it argues that in an information-rich environment, characterised by advanced ICTs, adversaries now have the means to circumvent CW superiority and to influence policy asymmetrically. This article concludes that ICTs may align more appropriately with an NCW paradigm rather than the ostensible CW paradigm embraced by the West.

An Argument for Establishing a National Security Council Interagency Information Warfare Directorate - Part III


This concluding article briefly returns to the key themes identified in the first two articles in relation to the three causal mechanisms that prompted U.S. adversarial nation states to shift preference from Conventional Warfare (CW) to Non-Conventional Warfare (NCW). The article argues that by attaching an overt degree of salience to the integration of ICT in CW, analysts have overlooked its potential in NCW. 

A Cyber Counterintelligence Matrix for Outsmarting Your Adversaries


While Cyber CounterIntelligence (CCI) has been a distinctive specialisation field for state security structures internationally for well over a decade, recently there has been growing recognition of CCI’s significance to non-state actors. CCI is central to proactively mitigating cyber risk and exploiting opportunities. With the growing recognition of CCI’s significance comes an appreciation of its complexity. CCI is all about outthinking and outwitting adversaries. This article advances a conceptual matrix that can serve both as a high-level ‘pocket guide’ for outsmarting adversaries and as an aid to academic research.

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.

International Humanitarian Law and Cyber-Influence Operation


Cyber-influenc and ‘fake news’ have become common terms due to high profle inci-dents such as alleged tampering in the 2016 US elections.

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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