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Thread: Electronic Jihad (merged thread)

  1. #21
    i pwnd ur ooda loop selil's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JeffC View Post
    What forum do you recommend?
    My concern is the management might get offended. I got warned about going off on a tangent once before.
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    Quote Originally Posted by selil View Post
    My concern is the management might get offended. I got warned about going off on a tangent once before.
    Well, that's fair, but surely there must be a forum here where a discussion of Cyberwarfare is on-topic.

  3. #23
    i pwnd ur ooda loop selil's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JeffC View Post
    Well, that's fair, but surely there must be a forum here where a discussion of Cyberwarfare is on-topic.
    There really isn't a sub-forum to discuss it.

    Futurists & Theorists "Future Competition & Conflict, Theory & Nature of Conflict, 4GW through 9?GW, Transformation, RMA, etc." is where most people might want to put it but it is a real and now threat.

    Catch-All, Military Art & Science is the open category but really it's been more about non-standard equipment.

    The Information War forum might seem like a good place for discussion of cyber warfare but they are NOT the same thing. Cyber warfare is about the manipuation of the computing asset not the communication channel.

    Cyber-warfare is attacks against the infrastructures of command, control, coordination and communication. In general (staying high level) cyber warfare are attacks against the security services of confidentiality, integrity, availability, non-repudiation, and authentication (McCumber model as adapted by Schou, Maconahay, Ragsdale). Cyber-warfare can be smart bombs into the telephone company, trojan horses hidden on hard drives, laptops stolen from desks, and social engineering users. I've got a pretty extensive high level slide presentation I can put up on my blog if interested.
    Sam Liles
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    Quote Originally Posted by selil View Post
    There really isn't a sub-forum to discuss it.

    Futurists & Theorists "Future Competition & Conflict, Theory & Nature of Conflict, 4GW through 9?GW, Transformation, RMA, etc." is where most people might want to put it but it is a real and now threat.

    Catch-All, Military Art & Science is the open category but really it's been more about non-standard equipment.

    The Information War forum might seem like a good place for discussion of cyber warfare but they are NOT the same thing. Cyber warfare is about the manipuation of the computing asset not the communication channel.

    Cyber-warfare is attacks against the infrastructures of command, control, coordination and communication. In general (staying high level) cyber warfare are attacks against the security services of confidentiality, integrity, availability, non-repudiation, and authentication (McCumber model as adapted by Schou, Maconahay, Ragsdale). Cyber-warfare can be smart bombs into the telephone company, trojan horses hidden on hard drives, laptops stolen from desks, and social engineering users. I've got a pretty extensive high level slide presentation I can put up on my blog if interested.
    Sure. Post the slide show, and I'll link to it from my blog as well. I also put up a request for the SWC forum mods to consider opening an official Cyberwarfare sub-forum.

  5. #25
    Council Member Stan's Avatar
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    Default Ask MarcT

    Jeff,
    One of our members, MarcT was working on a Cyberwar paper just a while back, he might be able to help get this idea started.

    Regards, Stan

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    I did a fair bit of research on the topic of "cyber-jihad" during my grad work for HLS; both the technical & the I-war perspectives. I'd be happy to contribute a fair number of high quality sources to such a thread.

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    selil, Stan, ilots, and other interested posters - Per SWCAdmin, we can use the Media and Information War forum for the discussion of cyberwarfare. If it proves popular enough, the Powers That Be will carve out a dedicated forum for the topic.

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jedburgh View Post
    There is zero need for a specific "OSINT analysis" discipline; as I stated before, it falls easily within the skillset of the traditional intelligence analyst.
    I agree with you that the traditional intelligence analyst has the skill set, but I haven't see the toolkit, and think I have seen evidence they don't have the toolkit. What is new and needed, is an "Information Trooper" al Qaeda and even the Taliban have seen the Internet as a new Theater of operations, and USA is starting to recognize it. We are not winning the war for the Hearts and Minds, nobody can stop USA militarily but the war for hearts and minds is something different.. The Terrorist have around 4,000 web sites now, and put out video of an atack winth in 15 min in some cases. On the internet anything posted enough times over a long enough period of time will be believed as the truth.. USA is loosing an Info/Media war with a man hiding in a cave. The most advanced and savvy MEDIA AND technological country in the world. The decision ot leave up or take down a terrorist site among the civilian irregulars now has some clarity. For a Military/Intelligence to take down a terrorist server they need an approval from Bush, there are still no rules for engagement. On the hacking/bot side USA has about a 3 to 5 year lead over the Islamic hackers. We need to be exploiting that lead. USA's soft war, is almost non-existent. Or your cover is almost perfect. Soft wars are cheaper and have much less blowback. I welcome you observations and any info you can safely share. Bill
    Last edited by BILL; 12-24-2007 at 01:04 PM.

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    The decision ot leave up or take down a terrorist site among the civilian irregulars now has some clarity. For a Military/Intelligence to take down a terrorist server they need an approval from Bush, there are still no rules for engagement.

    Command and control of civilian irregular computer network operators is almost an oxymoron. In meat space the ODA commander doesn't command the G Chief. He figures out ways to persuade the G Chief that following the advisor's advice was the G Chief's idea. There ARE G Chiefs in cyber space . Are there Regular digital outreach team LNO's with enough rapport and cred to get a productive jihadi site left up?

  10. #30
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    All,

    Figuring out 'the lay of the land' in any country has been greatly facilitated by the rise of the internet: google, google earth, news/general podcasts, etc. ESRI products and custom software like falconview are helping to rapidly visually translate portions of this knowledge into something usable. Database creation, management, synchronization and useage give some pretty amazing products.

    There are a variety of G-Chief's ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russian_Business_Network and http://news.zdnet.com/2100-1009_22-5969516.html ) who are successfully using this technology and others on a large scale and there are obvious economic benefits to doing things remotely and with a computer assist.

    Technology does not replace the well trained man on the ground however, and I would argue that time in country for decision makers helps to contextualize the information gathered/provided and makes for far better decisions.

    Steve

  11. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by zenpundit View Post
    Would it really be better, from an IO and IC perspective, to drive these sites into less visible formats than open websites? We can barely catch the most significant variables of the material out there now.

    A smarter option would be slick psuedo-jihadi of our own to spread disinformation, fratricidal factional strife, intra-jurisprudential controversies and so on and network-maap the traffic.

    This is exactly right. Why would we want to make it harder for us to watch them? Its much easier to monitor the Internet than sort through sail mail, monitor cellphones, or catch a messenger. I would hope that all the ideas you stated are already being implemented? One argument people make is that they can recruit via the Internet and motivate people through images of attacks on US personal. While this may be true, at the same time, we can monitor who visits these sites and geographically analyze the major nodes and networks of the regular visitors. GIS would be a great tool for this type of analysis. I'm pretty sure our intelligence people must be doing this already. Anyway, good post.

    One more thing, and this might sound a little too "sci-fi" or crazy but here goes. Someone should develop the technology that would enable us to send some sort of "shock" through the system or even something that could cause an explosion at the enemy's computer[s]. A known enemy, would think he was visiting a "friendly" site and when he clicked on to the site, he would feel something very unpleasant. This may be impossible, as I know very little about computer networks or computer technology, but I thought I'd mention it anyway?
    Last edited by Ratzel; 12-25-2007 at 10:57 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ratzel View Post
    This is exactly right. Why would we want to make it harder for us to watch them? Its much easier to monitor the Internet than sort through sail mail, monitor cellphones, or catch a messenger. I would hope that all the ideas you stated are already being implemented? One argument people make is that they can recruit via the Internet and motivate people through images of attacks on US personal. While this may be true, at the same time, we can monitor who visits these sites and geographically analyze the major nodes and networks of the regular visitors. GIS would be a great tool for this type of analysis. I'm pretty sure our intelligence people must be doing this already. Anyway, good post.
    We don't know the identity of visitors or members to these sites since they post under pseudonyms. And their use of anonymizers like TOR (and more sophisticated tools) defeats geographical analysis.

  13. #33
    Moderator Steve Blair's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ratzel View Post
    One more thing, and this might sound a little too "sci-fi" or crazy but here goes. Someone should develop the technology that would enable us to send some sort of "shock" through the system or even something that could cause an explosion at the enemy's computer[s]. A known enemy, would think he was visiting a "friendly" site and when he clicked on to the site, he would feel something very unpleasant. This may be impossible, as I know very little about computer networks or computer technology, but I thought I'd mention it anyway?
    This sort of thing is very difficult due to the fact that someone could be broadcasting a site or link through a zombie system (more or less a third party computer that's been taken over by an outside network). You might also end up frying a casual surfer or someone who just blundered into an area (not to mention your own guys who were out gathering and didn't get the word...).

    Interesting idea, but in many ways it may be better to let some of this stuff stay out in the open so you can monitor and track it.
    "On the plains and mountains of the American West, the United States Army had once learned everything there was to learn about hit-and-run tactics and guerrilla warfare."
    T.R. Fehrenbach This Kind of War

  14. #34
    i pwnd ur ooda loop selil's Avatar
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    I recently completed a project looking at the OSI 7 layer model. The concept of the paper was to identify a variety of methods to obscure or remove all traces of the orginators message. This is a project related to my PhD research on cyber warfare. The idea of traitor tracing (usually watermarks and encryption) being expanded to other methods of tracing or identifying rogue entities in an organization. Looking at the OSI 7 layer model we can remove every trace, at every level, between two end points of any communication. And, even if detected it is encrypted in such a way as any message would be OBE before forced decryption. Literally keyboard of sender to monitor of receiver the message is untraceable. For some reason people don't want me to publish the paper. I wonder why.
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  15. #35
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Electronic Jihad (merged thread)

    I was unable to identify an appropriate thread for AQ / Taliban propaganda, in particular their use of the web. Today FP Blog has two excellent articles by Jarret Brachman:

    'Al Qaeda Wants to Be Friends: An insider's tour of the electronic jihad in the Facebook era'

    Link:http://www.foreignpolicy.com/article...iends?page=0,0

    A longer piece: 'Watching the Watchers: Al Qaeda's bold new strategy is all about using our own words and actions against us. And it's working'

    Link:http://www.foreignpolicy.com/article...chers?page=0,0

    Which ends with:
    What makes al Qaeda's new approach so powerful is that it is now easier than ever for passive jihadi supporters to become active al Qaeda participants, particularly in the West. They no longer need to wait for al Qaeda propaganda. Just like Chesser and the growing number of other American jihadi propagandists operating online, anyone can repost videos, write articles, create Facebook and Twitter accounts, and start blogs filled with content intended to show the world how awful the United States is.

    This Power of Truth approach, rooted in finding actual "evidence" of U.S. missteps, has the added benefit of being all the more believable to empirically minded Westerners. Al Qaeda hopes that its online armies of jihobbyists will someday log off and launch their own Fort Hood or Times Square attacks. And eventually, some of them will.
    Then in The Daily Telegraph, which I suspect has picked up on another US-based story:
    Al-Qaeda magazine published 'tips on how to kill Americans'. A magazine run by the Yemeni group al-Qaeda of the Arabian Peninsula has published a list of tips on how to kill Americans.
    Link:http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worl...Americans.html

    I know another, recent thread offered a contrast to AQ's media profile and how it could be criticised:http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/...ad.php?t=11158

    Personally I like to emphasise that AQ's appeal for support, let alone action, can fall on "stony ground" as so few take up the "call" and we need to consider the "causes" and the motivation to follow (thanks to Bob Jones here).
    davidbfpo

  16. #36
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    Hat tip to Jihadica for some clarity on the flurry of articles:http://www.jihadica.com/inspire-2/

    The second edition of an AQ periodical is out. This paragraph IMHO supports my closing comment:
    Perhaps most interesting are the advice on how to avoid detection:

    Do not travel abroad for jihad – act on US soil instead.
    Do not use mobile phones and the Internet for any jihad-related communication – if you have to, use coded language and encryption tools.
    If you are clean stay clean – do not interact with other activists.
    Do not access jihadi websites – get your jihadi propaganda fix from anti-jihadi monitoring sites such as MEMRI and SITE.

    Obviously, someone who follows these guidelines is going to be extremely difficult to catch. The question is how many people are ready to act in this way. Khan’s strategy presupposes that individuals can aquire the motivation to die for the cause almost in a vacuum. However, in most historical cases, individuals only acquired this motivation after interacting with other radicals, going abroad for jihad, or accessing jihadi propaganda - all of which are activities discouraged by Samir Khan. Of course there have been exceptions, such as the Fort Hood shooter Nidal Malik Hassan, but even he was not completely “clean”, as evidenced by his email correspondence with Anwar al-Awlaki. Decentralized jihad is indeed a scary concept, but it does not necessarily work.
    davidbfpo

  17. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by davidbfpo View Post
    A longer piece: 'Watching the Watchers: Al Qaeda's bold new strategy is all about using our own words and actions against us. And it's working'

    Link:http://www.foreignpolicy.com/article...chers?page=0,0
    Good article. Had me grinding my teeth at the end though, it’s a tough problem to crack.

    The rap battle scene at the end of the movie 8 Mile (video 10m58s) - particularly in the final matchup – has the counter strategy.

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