Operational Design, Taming Wicked Problems, and Lawfare


This paper examines operational design as one aspect of a larger design-thinking domain. Design and designing are firmly established within the literature and describe those actions and endeavours associated with creating form and/or function—the object at the centre of the writers’ attention has a purpose and its purposefulness can be measured objectively. Operational design, on the other hand, is a relatively new term and is used within a military context to describe a form of operational planning that is more attentive to the inner subtleties of an area of interest and necessarily postpones the development of courses of action until after the subject has been thoroughly and comprehensively appreciated. It acknowledges the key characteristics of wickedness and messiness that also frustrate efforts to achieve outcomes in heavily contested social contexts—conflict. In these contexts, there is a rich presence of those who oppose, those who are neutral, and those who support—all must be attended to. Ultimately, all conflict is a clash of wills and a search for asymmetry; operational design and growing the practise of lawfare, therefore, aids the development, sequencing, and execution of least effort activities to achieve specified outcomes. The method presented does not seek to replace current military planning process; it does, however, offer a valuable companion method for situations of great complexity and ambiguity, where imaginative thinking, including the use of lawfare, may be appropriate.

Understanding Cyber Terrorism from Motivational Perspectives


There is no universally accepted definition of cyber terrorism, the lack of which is both an issue and a challenge in countering cyber-terrorism threats. To better understand why cyber- terrorism acts are committed, this study examines cyber terrorism from motivational perspectives. Motivational forces behind cyber terrorism can be social, political, ideological, and economic.

Lone-Operator Cyberterrorism


This paper describes lone-operator cyberterrorism, a topic that is nearly absent in the literature. The paper will present a working definition of the base terms—terrorism, lone operator, and cyberterrorism—in order to start the conversation, and will compare and contrast the motivation, expectations, and characteristics of the lone-operator terrorist and lone-operator cyberterrorist.

Belief Systems, Information Warfare, and Counter Terrorism


This paper defines Counter Terrorism within a risk management and information warfare framework, using risk analyses based upon an understanding of Belief Systems.  An understanding of how people make crucial (life threatening) ethical decisions is important to reducing the likelihood and the impact of terrorist acts.  This understanding can come from analyzing and modeling the complex systems that make up the Belief Systems of terrorists and of the targets of terrorists. Counter Terrorism analysts can use these Belief Systems Models to identify key influences or relationships in Belief Networks and apply information warfare strategies to exploit or prevent events arising from crucial ethical decisions made by terrorist organizations, creating immunity in targeted societies.

The Myth of Cyberterrorism


Media and emerging experts often misapply the term ‘cyberterrorism’ portraying cyber attacks as a separate form of terrorism or a new terrorism. It is simply the terrorists’ use of Computer Network Operations (CNO) as a tactic in their operations. It is important to understand the psychology of terrorism in order to evaluate the plausibility of cyberterrorism. Terrorists exercise cyber related capabilities, which are generally related in the media as extreme and exaggerated vignettes of cyberterrorism. These incidents include the popular Digital Pearl Harbor, the U.S. stock market crash, utilities infrastructure attack, and crashing airliners. Is there a likely and logical application of cyber related activities by a terrorists group in pursuit of their goals, or is simply hype by media, business, and self anointed experts?

Terrorist Use of Information Operations


It is the authors’ contention that many terrorist organizations have a profound understanding of the information environment and have the ability to manipulate information to achieve their objectives, inherently viewing operations through an IO lens. To provide insight into how terrorist organizations use Information Operations, to exploit the information environment, the authors evaluate tactical and strategic examples of terrorist operations using an IO lens based on US Department of Defense (DoD) IO doctrine. This analysis illustrates that terrorists use IO, and that terrorist organizations are naturally linked to the information environment.

Using Data Mining Techniques for Detecting Terror-Related Activities on the Web


An innovative knowledge-based methodology for terrorist detection by using Web traffic content as the audit information is presented. The proposed methodology learns the typical behavior (‘profile’) of terrorists by applying a data mining algorithm to the textual content of terror-related Web sites. The resulting profile is used by the system to perform real-time detection of users suspected of being engaged in terrorist activities. The Receiver-Operator Characteristic (ROC) analysis shows that this methodology can outperform a command- based intrusion detection system.

Is NATO in need of a renewed Security Concept?


The necessity of a renewed concept of security for NATO policy and actions is a fact. Since NATO’s last security concept of 1999, security policy has evolved largely in part to the well-known security instability variable. Accordingly, this has produced an unstable changing security environment. The key component of focus is the necessity of a renewed security concept: the threat of asymmetries. NATO needs to face these new challenges. As such, this paper addresses these challenges and provides the reason and need of NATO’s continuity but also calls for an increased request for swifter transformation than the already existing one, which should be led by the creation of pro-active movements for a renewed concept to face all current and future threats.

NIDH - Network Intrusion Detection Hierarchy A Model for Gathering Attack Intelligence


Internet proxy systems such as Squid exchange intelligence relevant to their function as caching proxy servers via a distributed and trusted hierarchy of machines. The required intelligence is broadcast based along the network based upon established trust relationships throughout the connected network via specific port and protocols of exchange. An intrusion detection system that incorporates this functionality for gathering attack intelligence could be a formidable foe even for the wiliest attacker.

The Terrorism/Mass Media Symbiosis


With the advancement of communications technologies the media has evolved in parallel, reaching wider audiences with rapidly decreasing times to air the latest breaking story. The modern mass media has become a primary source of information for the public; consequently they turn to the media when disaster strikes. Likewise, terrorism has evolved, aiming their messages at more global audiences, resulting in far more audacious and spectacular incidents to grab the attention of the media, which provide a means to spread their message and gain recognition. This paper investigates the relationship between terrorism and the media, and establishes a Terrorism/Mass Media Symbiosis.

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.















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