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    A wild, weird clime that lieth sublime
    Out of Space, Out of Time
    --- Edgar Allen Poe

    Information is no longer a staff function but an operational one. It is deadly as well as useful.
    --- Executive Summary, Air Force 2025 report

    Reality has always been too small for human imagination.
    --- Brenda Laurel

    "...with electricity and automation, the technology of fragmented processes suddenly fused with the human dialogue and the need for over-all considerations of human unity. Men are suddenly nomadic gatherers of knowledge, nomadic as never before, informed as never before, free from fragmentary specialization as never before - but also involved in the total social process as never before, since with electricity we extend our central nervous system globally, instantly interrelating every human experience."
    --- Marshall McLuhan, in Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man, 1964

    Cyberspace. A consensual hallucination experienced daily by billions of legitimate operators, in every nation, by children being taught mathematical concepts... A graphic representation of data abstracted from banks of every computer in the human system. Unthinkable complexity. Lines of light ranged in the nonspace of the mind, clusters and constellations of data. Like city lights, receding...
    --- William Gibson, in Neuromancer, 1984

    Unrestricted Warfare, by Qiao Liang and Wang Xiangsui, Beijing: PLA Literature and Arts Publishing House, February 1999 [bold emphasis is ours]

    • "In terms of beyond-limits warfare, there is no longer any distinction between what is or is not the battlefield. Spaces in nature including the ground, the seas, the air, and outer space are battlefields, but social spaces such as the military, politics, economics, culture, and the psyche are also battlefields. And the technological space linking these two great spaces is even more so the battlefield over which all antagonists spare no effort in contending. [3] Warfare can be military, or it can be quasi-military, or it can be non-military. It can use violence, or it can be nonviolent. It can be a confrontation between professional soldiers, or one between newly emerging forces consisting primarily of ordinary people or experts. These characteristics of beyond-limits war are the watershed between it and traditional warfare, as well as the starting line for new types of warfare."

StrategyBack to Top

InteragencyBack to Top

U.S. Cyber Command (USCYBERCOM)Back to Top

  • U.S. Cyber Command (USCYBERCOM) - [from USSTRATCOM Fact Sheet]

    • Mission :
      USCYBERCOM plans, coordinates, integrates, synchronizes, and conducts activities to: direct the operations and defense of specified Department of Defense information networks and; prepare to, and when directed, conduct full-spectrum military cyberspace operations in order to enable actions in all domains, ensure US/Allied freedom of action in cyberspace and deny the same to our adversaries.

    • Forces :
      USCYBERCOM is a sub-unified command subordinate to USSTRATCOM. Service Elements include:

  • U.S. Cyber Command - on Wikipedia

U.S. Air Force & CyberspaceBack to Top

  • see also USAF resources

  • 24th Air Force

  • Air Force Announces Decision On Location Of 24th Air Force, 12 Aug 2009, Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Public Affairs)
    • The U.S. Air Force announced today that Lackland Air Force Base, Texas, has been selected as the permanent location of the 24th Air Force headquarters, a numbered air force (NAF) designed to conduct cyber operations activities for the Air Force.
    • "The standup of this NAF will provide clear lines of authority and responsibility dedicated to cyber operations," said, Maj. Gen. Richard Webber, who will assume command of 24th Air Force later this month.

  • Air Force Network Integration Center (AFNIC), formerly Air Force Communications Agency

  • Air Force Command and Control Integration Center (AFC2IC)
    • The AFC2IC mission is to enable decision superiority through command and control (C2) innovation, integration, and standardization of systems across air, space, and cyberspace domains.

  • Air Force Cyber Operations Command - Mission: Warfighting (local copy, PDF), 5 Jan 07 briefing slides, by LtGen Bob Elder, Commander 8th AF
    (local copy, original PPT, with notes to some of the pages)

  • Cyberspace Defined, by Fahrenkrug, in The Wright Stuff, Air University, 17 May 07

  • Flying and Fighting in Cyberspace, by Convertino, DeMattei, and Knierim, Maxwell Paper No. 40, July 2007

  • Cyber Warriors, by Munro, in GovernmentExecutive.com, 29 Oct 07

  • Network Warfare integrated at RED FLAG, story by 67 OSS Staff, 67th Network Warfare Wing, 21 Feb 2007

  • Fighting in cyberspace means cyber domain dominance, AF Print News, 28 Feb 2007
    • The Air Force's operational Cyberspace Command, also known as 8th Air Force, is commanded by Lt. Gen. Robert J. "Bob" Elder. He said as part of an effort to develop better understanding of the cyberspace domain, elements of the command recently engaged in mock battle with aggressors and tactical experts from the Air Warfare Center at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev.
    • The National Military Strategy for Cyberspace Operations defines cyberspace as "domain characterized by the use of electronics and the electromagnetic spectrum to store, modify, and exchange date via networked systems and associated physical infrastructures."
    • The general said the Air Force has had to develop a more concrete idea of what it means to fly and fight in cyberspace. He said the command has been focusing on four key areas that help define its role as laid out in the Air Force's mission statement.
      • "First, we must control the domain," he said. "This is about operational freedom of action. We have to be able to protect the electromagnetic spectrum we use to communicate with each other, for example. We have to protect the electronics that we use to establish that domain and we have to protect those networks. Conversely we want to have the capability to deny those things to our adversaries."
      • Secondly, the Air Force will use cyberspace to integrate operations across the other warfighting domains.
      • Thirdly, the Air Force will conduct offensive operations in cyberspace in much the same way as its adversaries.
      • Finally, he said, the cyberspace will be used as an enabling operation to support its ability to do intelligence or influence operations."

  • Cyberspace: A Warfighting Domain (local copy), briefing by Kass, 26 Sep 2006, HQ USAF, AF Cyberspace Task Force

  • USAF AIM Points, 2 Nov 2006
    • "Secretary of the Air Force Michael W. Wynne announced today that the 8th Air Force is now the service's lead command for cyberspace.

      "The command's new responsibility is a potential step to becoming an Air Force major command. The move accompanies the service's ever-increasing reliance on operations within the cyberspace domain.

      "The 8th Air Force will be responsible for training, organizing and equipping the service for cyberspace operations and managing career planning to grow cyberspace professionals from among the active duty, guard, reserve, and civilian ranks.

      "In December 2005, the Air Force mission statement was amended to include cyberspace as an opera! tional domain along with air and space. The service stood up the Cyberspace Task Force in January, led by military strategist Dr. Lani Kass. The task force, composed of Airmen from across the Air Force, has spent the past ten months gathering data and exploring how the service operates effectively in cyberspace.

      "The traditional principles of war as taught to young officers apply fully in cyberspace, and cyberspace operations can include far more than computer network attack and defense. The use of improvised explosive devices in Iraq, terrorist use of Global Positioning Satellites and satellite communications, internet financial transactions by adversaries, radar and navigational jamming, and attacking American servers as just a few examples of operations that involve the cyberspace domain."

Cyberspace InnovationBack to Top
  • see also innovation adoption at the Center for Strategy and Technology

  • Air Force Command and Control Integration Center (AFC2IC)
    • The AFC2IC mission is to enable decision superiority through command and control (C2) innovation, integration, and standardization of systems across air, space, and cyberspace domains.

  • Center for Cyberspace Research (CCR) (formerly known as Center for Information Security Education and Research), Air Force Institute of Technology

  • National Science Foundation (NSF)

  • Web 3.0 and beyond: the next 20 years of the internet, London Times Online, 24 Oct 2007
    • Silicon Valley has painted a picture of the web in 2030, and it is very powerful – and very smart – indeed

  • Imagining the Internet: a History and Forecast, Elon University & Pew Internet Project - surveys of social and technology leaders about their thoughts on the impact and future of the internet

  • National Intelligence Estimate On Infectious And Chronic Disease - a wiki project for the National Intelligence Council (NIC)
    • The Mercyhurst wiki, completed in the 10-weeks duration of the Strategic Analysis course, contains over 1,000 individual pages. It assesses the strategic impact of disease in almost every corner of the globe, employs a rigorous methodology to define both "U.S. National Interests" and "Impacts of Disease," and is based on a wide range of research materials including U.S. government publications, World Health Organization reports, think-tank and NGO studies, and press reporting. Although the Mercyhurst "NIE" should not be construed as an official U.S. government publication, we consider this product an invaluable contribution to the NIC's global disease project: not only in terms of content, but also for the insights it provides into methodological approaches. The Mercyhurst experience was also an important lesson in how wikis can be successfully deployed to facilitate such a multifaceted and participatory research project.

  • Stanford University Persuasive Technology Lab
    • The Stanford Persuasive Technology Lab creates insight into how computing products — from websites to mobile phone software — can be designed to change what people believe and what they do.

  • Teaching in Second Life: One instructor's perspective, by Lamont, posted at Terra Nova, May 2007

Blogs about CyberspaceBack to Top Virtual WorldsBack to Top Virtual Worlds - Research and EducationBack to Top Internet StatsBack to Top DefinitionsBack to Top Air Force 2025 Definitions and ViewsBack to Top
  • From essays/papers from Air Force 2025 project
    • “...Or Go Down In Flame”? An Airpower Manifesto for the 21st Century
      • The second discontinuity involves the “how” of military power in the enveloping onrush of information technology. Simply put, being digital, to use Nicholas Negroponte’s meaning of the new ontology, means the high ground is no longer aerospace, in and of itself, but cyberspace. Understood in its broadest sense, cyberspace is the great confluence of all the various bits and information streams which, together, generate the strategic topsight prerequisite for victory.
        By history, predilection, and structure, topsight is the natural (but not automatic) domain of the Air Force. But prior to staking its claim to tomorrow's high ground, the Air Force needs to redefine itself as an infospheric institution rather than an atmospheric one.
      • What then of the Air Force? Habituated to being the willful, rebellious little sibling of the Army, the Air Force found it difficult to change without clinging to the instrument that won it independence. Then came ballistic missiles and the shotgun wedding of aero and space. Will the even greater evolution to cyberspace—it is really nothing more than that—create a fuss, even though it is absolutely faithful to the vision of airpower's founders? Of course. The combat airman is the last and emotional vestige of knighthood, the product of the warriors’ quest for one-on-one combat. We breed cranky individualism because we believe, when all is said and done, that warfare really is about LeMay being superior to Khrushchev, or Horner being superior to Saddam.
      • The Air Force apex always will be defined as the masters of the medium, but in an infospheric Air Force, the medium of air can yield a bit to the various space media. The notion of the cyber-jock grappling with the dynamic exigencies of the metasystem in real time is not yet here; those who stare into the screen rarely have to react in real time with “TekWar” tempo. Yet, as the metasystem becomes increasing integrated with sensors and weapons, such real-time control will become increasingly possible, and no one who has spent any time with any masters of the game can doubt their acuity.
    • Information Attack: Information Warfare In 2025
      • Global awareness in 2025 will require, additionally, detection and understanding in the inforealm or cyberspace. In the info-realm, global awareness must provide the information-in-war essential for information attack on the strategic, operational, or tactical centers of gravity of an adversary’s military, political, social, and economic infrastructure.
    • Information Operations: A New War-Fighting Capability
      • Airpower in 2025 must make optimum use of information technology to operate inside an opponent’s decision cycle. This requires unequivocal dominance of cyberspace. In addition to enabling all military pursuits, information-related activities will transcend all air and space operations.
    • An Operational Analysis for Air Force 2025: An Application of Value-Focused Thinking to Future Air and Space Capabilities
      • The four possible media were defined to be air, space, cyberspace, and surface/subsurface; therefore, under the task detect, there are four subtasks: detect (things) in the air, detect in space, detect in cyberspace, and detect on the surface (and subsurface). This same logic applied to the engage, survive, deploy, maintain, and replenish tasks. Note that the medium is where the target (the thing being detected or engaged) is located, not where the system doing the detecting or engaging is located.
      • In this paper, cyberspace is defined as “the virtual [emphasis added] space of computer memory and networks, telecommunications, and digital media.” Because cyberspace is a virtual space, there is no need to move or deploy. The Internet is a good example; being on-line means being engaged. [definition in quotes is taken from The Cyberspace Lexicon: An Illustrated Dictionary of Terms From Multimedia to Virtual Reality, by Bob Cotton -(London: Phaedon, 1994]
Education in CyberspaceBack to Top
  • On Learning: The Future of Air Force Education and Training (local copy), AETC White Paper, 30 Jan 08 - includes vignettes of future scenarios, such as avatar-based educational experiences
    • from the news release:
        "At the cornerstone of the new learning organization is a virtual delivery platform known as "MyBase." MyBase will provide an environment for lifelong learning, from educating the general public, to entry into the service, and throughout Airmen's careers and post-career years."

Cyberspace General InfoBack to Top
  • see also definitions above

  • Cyberspace and National Security bibliography by Air University Library

  • Cyberspace and the “First Battle” in 21st-century War (local copy), by Miller and Kuehl, Defense Horizons, Number 68, Sep 2009
    • Coordinated cyber attacks designed to shape the larger battlespace and influence a wide range of forces and levers of power may become the key feature of the next war. Early forms of this may have already been seen in Estonia and Georgia. Control of cyberspace may thus be as decisive in the network-dependent early 21st century as control of the air was for most of the 20th century.

  • Cyber Influence and International Security (local copy), by Kramer and Wentz, Defense Horizons, Number 61, Jan 2008

  • I-Power: The Information Revolution and Stability Operations (local copy), by Kramer et al, Defense Horizons, Number 55, Feb 2007

  • National Science Foundation (NSF)

  • spiffy War 2.0, by Rid, Hoover Institute, Feb 2007
    • War’s true transformation has a face very different from the one originally envisioned by the Pentagon’s civil and military leadership, in which the force with the more expensive cutting-edge equipment would prevail. Yet let there be no misguided enthusiasm: new means of communication neither “annihilate space” nor disperse the fog of war; on the contrary, the web makes warfare even more chaotic, messy, and deadly. Just as the telegraph once did.
    • ...ordinary users must be treated as co-developers who can come up with a new product or add a competitive edge to it, not merely as consumers. Tactical battle guidelines and lessons-learned essays benefit from user-developed suggestions and improvements in a way that is analogous to the “patches” of open-source applications or Wikipedia’s articles, called peer-production in the industry’s jargon.
    • The information environment does not stay external to the organization any longer, neither for the U.S. Army nor for its enemies. It is flooding the hierarchy from the bottom up, and enabling new forms of networked organizations.

  • Open-Source Spying, by Clive Thompson, New York Times, 3 Dec 2006 - discusses need for intelligence community to use open sources and the communication techniques used on the global internet (such as instant mail and wikis and blogs)

  • Domain Integration (local copy), executive summary of the summer 2005 study by USAF Scientific Advisory Board (SAB)

  • Imagining the Internet, surveys and predictions from 90's to now - from Elon University and the Pew Internet Project

  • The Future of the Internet III, 14 Dec 2008 report from Pew Internet & American Life Project
    • A survey of internet leaders, activists and analysts shows they expect major tech advances as the phone becomes a primary device for online access, voice-recognition improves, artificial and virtual reality become more embedded in everyday life, and the architecture of the internet itself improves.
    • They disagree about whether this will lead to more social tolerance, more forgiving human relations, or better home lives.
  • The Future of the Internet II, 24 Sep 2006 report from Pew Internet & American Life Project - with links to additional memos/reports below
    • Riding the Waves of "Web 2.0"
    • Internet Penetration and Impact
    • Tech Term Awareness
    • How the internet has woven itself into American life
    • The Future of the Internet (report 9 Jan 2005)

  • Cyber Conflict Studies Association (CCSA)
    • The Cyber Conflict Studies Association is a non-profit entity organized to promote and lead a diversified research and intellectual development agenda to advance knowledge in the cyber conflict field.

  • Symposium: Theories and Metaphors of Cyberspace, by Principia Cybernetica Project

  • Separatist, Para-military, Military, Intelligence, and Political Organizations Using the Internet

  • Cyberspace - as explained on the Principia Cybernetica Web, posted by Los Alamos National Lab

  • Custer in Cyberspace (local copy), by Gompert and Kugler, Defense Horizons number 51, Feb 2006
    • One of the consequences of the network revolution and corresponding distribution of authority is that many more persons up and down the ranks will be making combat decisions than compared to the days of centralized command and control. Power is migrating from headquarters “to the edge.” Therefore, it is essential to foster battle-wisdom not just for senior officers but also for the junior officers and noncommissioned officers leading units in the field.

  • Institute of Perception, Action and Behaviour (IPAB), U. of Edinburgh
    • One of the central issues of 21st Century Informatics will be how to link, in theory and in practice, computational perception, representation, transformation and generation processes to external worlds. The external world may be the "real" world or another computational environment that has its own character. Examples of where this issue arises include bio-mimetic robotics, computer-based visual perception, dynamic control of the interaction of robotic systems with their environment or each other, computer-based generation of external phenomena, such as images, music or actions, and agent-based interaction with other agents or humans, as in computer games.

  • Competition and the End of Geography (local copy), speech by Pate, Assistant Attorney General, August 2004
    • We are all unfortunately familiar with the inhumane torture and beheading of hostages being published to the world on the Internet by terrorists. Threats of terrorism likewise have been distributed to the world through the Internet. It is well known that al-Qaeda uses the Internet daily to plan attacks, communicate among cells, and recruit members. One recent news report cited a survey which found that 76% of the top 25 terrorist Websites are actually based on American computer systems, perhaps by use of proxy servers.2 My purpose today is not to review specific ideas on how to keep the Internet from becoming a facilitator of terrorism. But I firmly believe that we all have a duty to do what we can to address this problem. All of our wonderful discussions about Internet creativity and profitability are insignificant if we cannot provide our citizens with basic security in their homes and workplaces.

  • The End of Cyberspace - "The future is the virtual overlaid on the real, and vice-versa. The lines are blurring. In twenty years, maybe even ten, it will be considered quaint and old-fashioned to make a distinction between the two."

  • What Kind of Space is Cyberspace? - by Bryant, in Minerva - An Internet Journal of Philosophy, Nov 2001

  • search on Heidegger and cyberspace

Cyberspace EnvironmentBack to Top Nations and CyberspaceBack to Top
  • see also Chinese information warfare

  • Capability of the People’s Republic of China to Conduct Cyber Warfare and Computer Network Exploitation (local copy), report prepared for the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission, 16 Oct 2009

  • Country Profiles by OpenNet Initiative
    • The country summaries that follow offer a synopsis of the findings and conclusions of OpenNet Initiative (ONI) research into each of the countries. The summaries also provide a basic framework for considering the factors influencing countries’ decision to filter or abstain from filtering the Internet, as well as the impact, relevance, and efficacy of technical filtering in a broader context of Internet censorship.

  • The Great Firewall: China's Misguided — and Futile — Attempt to Control What Happens Online, by August, in Wired, Nov 2007
    • The Golden Shield — the latest addition to what is widely referred to as the Great Firewall of China — was supposed to monitor, filter, and block sensitive online content. But only a year after completion, it already looks doomed to fail. True, surveillance remains widespread, and outspoken dissidents are punished harshly. But my experience as a correspondent in China for seven years suggests that the country's stranglehold on the communications of its citizens is slipping: Bloggers and other Web sources are rapidly supplanting Communist-controlled news outlets. Cyberprotests have managed to bring about an important constitutional change. And ordinary Chinese citizens can circumvent the Great Firewall and evade other forms of police observation with surprising ease. If they know how.
  • more on Chinese attempts to control the internet

  • Hackers Take Down the Most Wired Country in Europe, by Davis, in Wired, Sep 2007
    • In the coming months, commentators around the world would look back at this moment and debate its significance. But for Aaviksoo, the meaning was clear. This was not the first botnet strike ever, nor was it the largest. But never before had an entire country been targeted on almost every digital front all at once, and never before had a government itself fought back. "The attacks were aimed at the essential electronic infrastructure of the Republic of Estonia," Aaviksoo tells me later. "All major commercial banks, telcos, media outlets, and name servers — the phone books of the Internet — felt the impact, and this affected the majority of the Estonian population. This was the first time that a botnet threatened the national security of an entire nation."
      Welcome to Web War one.
  • more on attack on Estonia

  • Myanmar blocking of internet

Terrorist Use of the InternetBack to Top
  • see also strategic communications, especially Sec Rumsfeld speech about the sophistication of our enemies

  • see also cyberterrorism Congressional Research Service reports on the AWC Gateway to the Internet

  • see also adversarial use of social media

  • Welcome To JihadVille, by Neal Ungerleider, in Fast Company, 22 Apr 2011
    • In a recent article in Foreign Policy, security consultants Jarret Brachman and Alix Levine wrote on what they call the World of Holy Warcraft and argued that jihadist bulletin boards and chat rooms are making use of the same gamification techniques that Foursquare and airlines, among others, use.
    • Brachman: If someone posts 50,000 times about a coffeemaker or the latest video game, I just think they are weird. But if someone posts that many times about supporting al-Qaeda, that concerns me.

  • R41674, Terrorist Use of the Internet: Information Operations in Cyberspace, Congressional Research Service report, 8 Mar 2011

  • Al-Qaeda Central and the Internet, by Daniel Kimmage, Homeland Security Policy Institute, March 16, 2010

  • How to Lose a Cyberwar, by Arquilla, in Foreign Policy, 12 Dec 09
    • The five young men detained in Pakistan this week -- like a whole new generation of jihadis -- appear to have made considerable use of the Internet in their alleged approach to al Qaeda. Their story points out that, more than eight years after 9/11, terrorist networks are still not only able to stay in touch via cyberspace, but that they are even extending their reach thanks to our giving them a free ride in the virtual domain.
    • Those who do try to keep an eye on terrorism in cyberspace often argue that they learn a lot about enemy networks by monitoring their narratives on jihadi websites. But if this made a real difference, we would have already won the war on terror.
    • Instead of thinking of cyberspace principally as a place to gather intelligence, we need to elevate it to the status of "battlespace." This means that we either want to exploit terrorists' use of the Web and Net unbeknownst to them, or we want to drive them from it.
    • But if wannabe jihadis are attracted to the 12th-century logic of al Qaeda, they still need 21st-century information technology to link up. The events in Sargodha, the other current case of David Headley in Chicago, and the earlier instance of Najibullah Zazi the Denver airport shuttle driver, all point to an emergent subculture -- one that is increasingly enabled by and dependent upon cyberspace.

  • YouTube War: Fighting in a World of Cameras in Every Cell Phone and Photoshop on Every Computer (local copy), by Dauber, Strategic Studies Institute, Nov 2009

  • The Al-Qaeda Media Machine (local copy), by Seib, in Military Review, May-Jun 2008

  • Dark Web Terrorism Research, University of Arizona - scroll down on that page for a bunch of related articles
    • The AI Lab Dark Web project is a long-term scientific research program that aims to study and understand the international terrorism (Jihadist) phenomena via a computational, data-centric approach. We aim to collect "ALL" web content generated by international terrorist groups, including web sites, forums, chat rooms, blogs, social networking sites, videos, virtual world, etc.
    • We have developed various multilingual data mining, text mining, and web mining techniques to perform link analysis, content analysis, web metrics (technical sophistication) analysis, sentiment analysis, authorship analysis, and video analysis in our research.
    • We believe our Dark Web collection is the largest open-source extremist and terrorist collection in the academic world. (We have no way of knowing what the intelligence, justice, and defense agencies are doing.) Researchers can have graded access to our collection by contacting our research center.
    • Analyzing terror campaigns on the internet: Technical sophistication, content richness, and Web interactivity, by Qin et al, in International Journal of Human-Computer Studies, No. 65, 2007 -- includes tables such as "How web sites support objectives of terrorist/extremist groups"

  • Awareness Through Agility: Teenagers as a Model for Terrorist Development of Situational Awareness, by Sheffer, in IO Sphere, Winter 2007

  • Anti-Forensic Methods Used by Jihadist Web Sites, by Carr, posted on E-Security Planet, 16 Aug 2007
    • steganography
    • draft message folders
    • encryption
    • IP-based cloaking

  • Cyber-Herding: Exploiting Islamic Extremists Use of the Internet (local copy), by Moon, Naval Postgraduate School, 2007

  • Iraqi Insurgent Media: the War of Images and Ideas - How Sunni Insurgents in Iraq and Their Supporters Worldwide are Using the Media, by Kimmage and Ridolfo, RFE/RL Special Report, 2007
    (local copy, 6.5 Mb - if you are unable to access above URL) {Copyright (c) 2007. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036}

  • Terrorist Use of the Internet: the Real Story (local copy), by Lachow and Richardson, in Joint Force Quarterly, 2nd quarter, 2007
    • The Internet has five characteristics that make it an ideal tool for terrorist organizations.

  • "Mass-Media Theater," by Weimann, in State Department eJournal USA, May 2007
    • "When one says "terrorism" in a democratic society, one also says "media." For terrorism by its very nature is a psychological weapon which depends upon communicating a threat to a wider society. This, in essence, is why terrorism and the media enjoy a symbiotic relationship." —Paul Wilkinson
    • It is clear that terrorists plan their actions with the media as a major consideration. They select targets, location, and timing according to media preferences, trying to satisfy criteria for newsworthiness, media timetables, and deadlines. They concoct and prepare visual aides—such as film, video clips of attacks and forced "confessions" of hostages, taped interviews, and allegiance declarations of perpetrators of violence—while also offering professional press and video news releases.
    • Terrorism and the Internet are related in two ways. First, the Internet has become a forum for both groups and individuals to spread messages of hate and violence and to communicate with one another, their supporters, and their sympathizers, while launching psychological warfare. Second, both individuals and groups have tried to attack computer networks in what has become known as cyber-terrorism or cyber-warfare. At this point, however, terrorists are using and benefiting from the Internet more than they are attacking it.

  • The Israeli-Hezbollah War of 2006: The Media as a Weapon in Asymmetrical Conflict, by Kalb, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, Feb 2007
    • Abstract: Based on content analysis of global media and interviews with many diplomats and journalists, this paper describes the trajectory of the media from objective observer to fiery advocate, becoming in fact a weapon of modern warfare. The paper also shows how an open society, Israel, is victimized by its own openness and how a closed sect, Hezbollah, can retain almost total control of the daily message of journalism and propaganda.

  • Countering Terrorism with Cyber Security, by Westby, paper for World Federation of Scientists seminars, Aug 2006
    • Terrorism is flourishing through terrorists’ use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) in a globally connected world with over one billion online users and 233 countries connected to the Internet. In part, this is due to (a) difficulties in tracking and tracing cyber communications, (b) the lack of globally-accepted processes and procedures for the investigation of cybercrimes, and (c) inadequate or ineffective information sharing systems between the public and private sectors.

  • Cyber Terrorism products from NTIS.gov

  • Next Stage in Counter-Terrorism: Jihadi Radicalization on the Web, presentation by Ulph, The Jamestown Foundation, 23 Oct 2006
    • ...Mr. Ulph began the lecture by succinctly summarizing how the web has become a virtual Online University for radicalizing Muslims into Salafi-Jihadi ideology by offering what amounts to an in-depth "jihadi curriculum." He identified the methodical structure that jihadi websites present to sympathizers. These websites post up entire libraries of books and electronic pamphlets aimed at indoctrinating jihadi sympathizers and reassuring already indoctrinated jihadists of the legitimacy of their mission. Through this literature, an "armchair enthusiast" would begin his "cultural re-education" on the web with a discrediting of both the current Western and Islamic cultural orders. After realizing the fallacy of democracy and the illegitimacy of the present Islamic regimes, the new recruit is pointed in the direction of true Islam and called forth to perform the duty of jihad.
  • Online Jihadi Forums Provide Curriculum for Aspiring Mujahideen, by Heffelfinger, The Jamestown Foundation, 24 Oct 2006
    • A recent discussion on http://tajdeed.org.uk demonstrates the increasingly common practice of training up-and-coming mujahideen via the internet. The postings attached archived copies of al-Ansar magazine, Sawt al-Jihad and Mu'askat al-Battar, all of which were clearinghouses for al-Qaeda's jihadi strategists. Such forum postings illustrate the way in which the community of mujahideen and their supporters not only develop and distribute curriculum for the aspiring, inexperienced youth who wish to join their ranks, but also consolidate jihadi strategy and serve as a conduit to implement that strategy at the lowest levels. The posting announced the "Encyclopedia of Periodicals and Publications on Jihad," containing dozens of files and links to magazines, mostly published in 2002-03. The author describes the project as a presentation and explanation of mujahideen communications being made available to all Muslims.
  • A Guide to Jihad on the Web, by Ulph, The Jamestown Foundation, 31 Mar 2005

  • Jihadis warn on internet, mobile security, United Press International, 18 Sep 2006
    • Jihadi Web sites carry technically accurate information and advice about how to surf anonymously, avoid mobile phone surveillance and defeat polygraph tests.

  • Declassified Key Judgments of the National Intelligence Estimate "Trends in Global Terrorism: Implications for the United States" dated April 2006 (local copy)
    • We judge that groups of all stripes will increasingly use the Internet to communicate, propagandize, recruit, train, and obtain logistical and financial support.

  • Jihad 2.0, by Labi, in The Atlantic Monthly, July/August 2006
    • With the loss of training camps in Afghanistan, terrorists have turned to the Internet to find and train recruits. The story of one pioneer of this effort—the enigmatic "Irhabi 007"—shows how

  • Cyber-Mobilization: The New Levée en Masse, by Cronin, in Parameters, Summer 2006
    • The effects of connectivity are not only broadening access but also actually changing the meaning of knowledge, the criteria for judging assertions, and the formulating of opinions. As more and more people are tapping into the web, the dark side of freedom of speech, indeed of freedom of thought, has emerged.
    • The Internet is utterly intertwined with the insurgency in Iraq, for example. Insurgent attacks are regularly followed with postings of operational details, claims of responsibility, and tips for tactical success. Those who use insurgent chat rooms are often monitored by the hosts and, if they seem amenable to recruitment, contacted via email.

  • High-Tech Terror: Al-Qaeda’s Use of New Technology, by Brachman, in The Fletcher Forum of World Affairs, Summer 2006

  • Terrorists Use Internet for Propaganda, Defense Officials Say (local copy), by Smith, American Forces Press Service, 5 May 2006

  • The Use of the Internet by Islamic Extremists (local copy), by Hoffman, testimony to Congress, 4 May 2006

  • Al-Qaeda's Media Strategies, by Lynch, in The National Interest, Spring 2006

  • Jihadism Online - A study of how al-Qaida and radical Islamist groups use the Internet for terrorist purposes, by Rogan, Norwegian Defence Research Establishment, 20 Mar 2006

  • The Islamic Imagery Project: Visual Motifs in Jihadi Internet Propaganda (local copy, 8.5 Mb), Combating Terrorism Center, West Point - March 2006

  • Internet 'cloaking' emerges as new Web security threat, by Dizard, in Government Computer News (GCN), 8 Mar 06
    • "Terrorist organizations and other national enemies have launched bogus Web sites that mask their covert information or provide misleading information to users they identify as federal employees or agents, according to Lance Cottrell, founder and chief scientist at Anonymizer of San Diego.
    • "The criminal and terrorist organizations also increasingly are blocking all traffic from North America or from Internet Protocol addresses that point back to users who rely on the English language....
    • "Among the risks of the terrorist cloaking practice are that the organizations can provide bogus passwords to covert meetings. By doing so they can pinpoint federal intelligence agents who attend the meetings, making them vulnerable to being kidnapped or becoming the unwitting carriers of false information, Cottrell said.
    • "Another method Cottrell described was a case in which hackers set a number of criteria that they all shared using the Linux operating system and the Netscape browser, among other factors. When federal investigators using PCs running Windows and using Internet Explorer visited the hackers' shared site, the hackers' system immediately mounted a distributed denial-of-service attack against the federal system

  • ABC Nightline video about insurgent use of internet
  • In Their Own Words: Reading the Iraqi Insurgency - 15 Feb 2006 report by International Crisis Group, examining info-savvy insurgents - cited in above ABC news video
    • Several important conclusions emerge: (discussed in the report)
      • The insurgency increasingly is dominated by a few large groups with sophisticated communications.
      • There has been gradual convergence around more unified practices and discourse, and predominantly Sunni Arab identity
      • Despite recurring contrary reports, there is little sign of willingness by any significant insurgent element to join the political process or negotiate with the U.S.
      • The groups appear acutely aware of public opinion and increasingly mindful of their image.
      • The insurgents have yet to put forward a clear political program or long-term vision for Iraq.
      • The insurgency is increasingly optimistic about victory.

  • e-Qaeda: a special report on how jihadists use the Internet and technology to spread their message, Washington Post - includes video, the three following articles, and more

  • www.terror.net: How Modern Terrorism Uses the Internet , by Weimann, U.S. Institute of Peace, Mar 2004

  • A Military Guide to Terrorism in the Twenty-First Century (local copy), U.S. Army

  • Separatist, Para-military, Military, Intelligence, and Political Organizations Using the Internet

  • How Terrorists Use the Internet, by Lyman, NewsFactor Magazine Online, 12 Sep 2001

  • Al Qaeda and the Internet: The Danger of “Cyberplanning,” (local copy) by Thomas, in Parameters, Spring 2003

    • Evidence strongly suggests that terrorists used the Internet to plan their operations for 9/11.
        Computers seized in Afghanistan reportedly revealed that al Qaeda was collecting intelligence on targets and sending encrypted messages via the Internet. As recently as 16 September 2002, al Qaeda cells operating in America reportedly were using Internet-based phone services to communicate with cells overseas. These incidents indicate that the Internet is being used as a “cyberplanning” tool for terrorists. It provides terrorists with anonymity, command and control resources, and a host of other measures to coordinate and integrate attack options.
    • The Internet can be used to put together profiles.
        Internet user demographics allow terrorists to target users with sympathy toward a cause or issue, and to solicit donations if the right “profile” is found.
    • Internet access can be controlled or its use directed according to the server configuration, thus creating a true ideological weapon.
        ... The web allows an uncensored and unfiltered version of events to be broadcast worldwide. Chat rooms, websites, and bulletin boards are largely uncontrolled, with few filters in place.
    • The Internet can be used anonymously, or as a shell game to hide identities.
        ... Speech compression technology allows users to convert a computer into a secure phone device. ... An al Qaeda laptop found in Afghanistan had linked with the French Anonymous Society on several occasions. The site offers a two-volume Sabotage Handbook online.
    • The Internet produces an atmosphere of virtual fear or virtual life.
        People are afraid of things that are invisible and things they don’t understand. The virtual threat of computer attacks appears to be one of those things. Cyber-fear is generated by the fact that what a computer attack could do (bring down airliners, ruin critical infrastructure, destroy the stock market, reveal Pentagon planning secrets, etc.) is too often associated with what will happen.
    • The Internet can help a poorly funded group to raise money.
    • The Internet is an outstanding command and control mechanism.
    • The Internet is a recruiting tool.
    • The Internet is used to gather information on potential targets.
    • The Internet puts distance between those planning the attack and their targets.
    • The Internet can be used to steal information or manipulate data.
    • The Internet can be used to send hidden messages.
    • The Internet allows groups with few resources to offset even some huge propaganda machines in advanced countries.
    • The Internet can be used to disrupt business.
    • The Internet can mobilize a group or diaspora, or other hackers to action.
    • The Internet takes advantage of legal norms.
    • The Internet can be used to divert attention from a real attack scenario.

  • Cybercortical Warfare: The Case of Hizbollah.org, by Conway, Trinity College, 2003
    (alternate source)

  • Cyberterrorism and Computer Crimes: Issues Surrounding the Establishment of an International Legal Regime (local copy), by Aldrich, INSS Occasional Paper 32, Apr 2000

Cyber-Craft (aka Cybercraft) & Mobile AgentsBack to Top
  • see also Robotics & Autonomous Agents

  • USGOV and DoD references to Mobile Agents

  • Mobile Agent Systems, Computer Security Resource Center (CSRC), National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
    • Mobile agents are autonomous software entities that can halt themselves, ship themselves to another agent-enabled host on the network, and continue execution, deciding where to go and what to do along the way. Mobile agents are goal-oriented, can communicate with other agents, and can continue to operate even after the machine that launched them has been removed from the network. The mobile agent computing paradigm raises several privacy and security concerns, which clearly are one of the main obstacles to the widespread use and adaptation of this new technology. Mobile agents applications are currently being developed by industry, government, and academia for use in such areas as telecommunications systems, personal digital assistants, information management, on-line auctions, service brokering, contract negotiation, air traffic control, parallel processing, and computer simulation. Mobile agent security issues include: authentication, identification, secure messaging, certification, trusted third parties, non-repudiation, and resource control. Mobile agent frameworks must be able to counter new threats as agent hosts must be protected from malicious agents, agents must be protected from malicious hosts, and agents must be protected from malicious agents. This project is directed towards evaluating existing mobile agent security mechanisms and developing new countermeasures for mobile agent security threats.
    • A number of advantages of using mobile code and mobile agent computing paradigms have been proposed. These advantages include: overcoming network latency, reducing network load, executing asynchronously and autonomously, adapting dynamically, operating in heterogeneous environments, and having robust and fault-tolerant behavior.

  • From Here to Autonomicity: Self-Managing Agents and the Biological Metaphors that Inspire Them, by Sterritt and Hinchey, posted by NASA - includes lists of characteristics and properties

  • Intelligent Mobile Agents in Military Command and Control (local copy), by McGrath et al, Lockheed Martin Advanced Technology Laboratories, for Sandia National Labs
    • Through our experience working in the military domain, we have identified a number of agent capabilities that are common themes in many of our applications, including information push, information pull, and sentinel information monitoring. We have implemented reusable agent components to enable rapid development of agentbased applications, where information push, information pull, and sentinel information monitoring are desired behaviors.

  • A Selection Algorithm for an Efficient Interaction Pattern out of Paradigms (local copy), by Kwon et al, for Sandia National Labs -- evaluating performance of mobile agents

  • Research and Engineering of Intelligent Systems, conference proceedings, National Insititute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

  • Other NIST postings

  • CyberCraft: Concept Linking NCW Principles with the Cyber Domain in an Urban Operational Environment (local copy), by Phister et al, AF Research Lab, presented at DODCCRP conference 2005 (presentation slides)

  • Cyber Operations, SBIR proposal - Topic Num: AF06-068 (Air Force)
    • Objective: The objective of this effort is to develop a defensive “Cyber-Craft” for full-spectrum computer network defense and information assurance.
    • Description: Today’s philosophy of cyber defense is centered on strong boundary protection (e.g. firewalls) and network intrusion detection systems. While these technologies provide some sound defensive capabilities, if breached these types of systems provide the intruder with full-access to an enterprise network. In a Network-Centric Warfare environment today's defenses will not scale to provide the protection required. We envision a new capability we call the cyber-craft that operates solely within the cyber domain to extend the arm of existing cyber defense and computer network defense capabilities. A cyber-craft can be thought of as a lightweight software agent system that performs multiple computer network defense and information assurance functions. The characteristics of a cyber-craft include the ability to be launched from a network platform, the ability to embed control instructions within the craft, the ability to positively control the cyber-craft from a remote network location or management console, the capability for the craft to self-destruct if attacked and corrupted, the capability for the cyber-craft to operate with minimal or no signature/footprint, and the ability for the cyber-craft to rendezvous and cooperate with other friendly cyber-craft. Small, lightweight cyber-craft agents could monitor a large enterprise network with nearly no performance degradation and cooperate in such a way that collectively they become a smart cyber sensor grid. It is envisioned that a cyber-craft system would augment existing computer network defenses by helping to perform security management, network management, intrusion detection, malware detection and eradication, and digital evidence gathering.
    • References:
      • Secrets and Lies: Digital Security in a Networked World, by Bruce Schneier
      • OASIS: Foundations of Intrusion Tolerant Systems, Edited by Jaynarayan H. Lala, IEEE Computer Society Press
    • Dual Use: Dual use applications of this technology include industries and critical infrastructures that have networks and enterprises requiring a high-level of assurance and security. In addition, from a military standpoint this technology could be transitioned into any networks requiring an enhanced level of information assurance.

Cyber Security OrganziationsBack to Top Cyberwar, Cybersecurity & the InternetBack to Top Self-Protecting SystemsBack to Top Virus and Security Alerts/ResponsesBack to Top Urban Legends and Internet/Email HoaxesBack to Top Identity TheftBack to Top
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