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Thread: Is Cyber a new warfare? Debate (catch all)

  1. #161
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    Quote Originally Posted by selil View Post
    The point about the "OODA" loop is kind of out of left field. The OODA loop is nothing more than another explanatory model for the decision cycle. Decision sciences is filled with them, (SPA- search predict act; IPDE - identify, predict, decide, execute). The 1950s were rife with them as ways of managing risk or industrializing management processes. OODA isn't really anything special just something most military folks understand. So seeing "This isn't an OODA loop" has me fussy.
    Yeah, I agree. I'd like to hear more on what he is getting at there.

    Quote Originally Posted by Brett Patron View Post
    Until it's in JP 1-02 and explained via a stand alone Joint Pub (e.g. JP 3-12), it would be just another opinion, however well researched.

    Right now, JP 1-02 does not even fully recognize cyberspace as a warfighting domain. I just looked at the just released JP 1-02..it ain't in there. However there is a term called "full spectrum superiority" that makes a pretty interesting distinction (emphasis added):
    Why wait for the definition to get reified in doctrine? It's not like doctrine will end the debate anyway; did FM3-24 put "COIN" as theory and practice to rest? My interest is in out-of-the-box thinking on that thing (some of which is new, some of which is old as dirt) that people call "cyberwar." DoD shouldn't be held up as the ultimate arbiter here, because frankly they may not have it right. It wouldn't be the first time, would it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Brett Patron View Post
    All "asymmetry" means is not taking on an adversary they way that adversary battles you. If you saw the movie "Tin Cup", the protagonist challenges an opponent to a golf round using only garden tools. Was it a "war"? Yes. Was asymmetry applied? Yes. The effects desired were achieved. It could easily be argued that the protagonist entered the contest at equal or greater skill. But rather than contest the ground (so to speak) with traditional "weapons" he used irregular ones.
    I don't disagree with this characterization of asymmetry, but what really interests me is how Aitel characterizes cyberwar as less asymmetric then it is popularly conceived. He is challenging the notion that cyberwar, according to Rand and others, is "more asymmetric than most." Here's the quote from Cyberdeterrence and Cyberwar (PDF):

    Perfectly symmetric warfare does not exist, particularly when the United States is involved. Yet cyberwarfare may be asymmetric than most. The U.S. economy and society are heavily networked; so is its military. The attacker, by contrast, may have no targets of consequence, either because it is not particularly digitized, because its digital assets are not networked to the outside world, or because such assets are not terribly important to its government.
    I don't know if I agree with Aitel's view or Libicki's. Are you saying that both Aitel and Libicki have it wrong here? Are you saying something different entirely?

    It seems like most people agree with #2 and #3 as being fallacies, but they don't agree with #1.
    Last edited by Erich G. Simmers; 06-02-2011 at 04:11 PM. Reason: One more thought...
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tukhachevskii View Post
    What's the differance, if any, between "cyber"-warfare and old fashiooned Electronic Warfare? Isn't "cyber" warfare merely an extension of electronic warfare using an examded medium/technological base?

    Sorry, don't really go in for neologisms unless they're absolutley necessary.
    A case could be made for that, though I do think there are substantial differences between electronic warfare and what is generally referred to as cyberwarfare (currently, at least; the technologies will eventually grow together). Someone who is recognized as an electronic warfare specialist might very well be completely lost when it comes to defending against or conducting a cyberwarfare attack. There is a lot of overlap--encryption being the main shared set--but there's still a technology gap. E-war can be conducted with equipment half a century old, for one thing.

    On the other hand, "cyberwar" is such a ridiculous gee-whiz term; I've always hated it.

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    Council Member ganulv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brett Patron View Post
    Lets bear in mind...although there is an "air domain" both the maritime and land domains do claim a portion of the air above them for their operations as well. Further, there is almost always "inter-domain" operations, especially once you are considering actions beyond the most tactical level. So the example above does not really track with the question at hand.

    (On a humorous side note: an AF Space officer, when asked where the air domain ends and space domain begins, replied, "when your air-breathing engine stops working, you're in space".
    It strikes me that maritime, air, and space domains all have a location attribute—they can be identified using a Cartesian coordinate system. One useful question might be, “Is cyberspace not a domain because it lacks a location attribute or is cyberspace unique as a domain in its lack of location attribute?”*

    *The infrastructure necessary for the existence of cyberspace can of course be put on a grid but the space in cyberspace is just a metaphor, and a not very felicitous metaphor as far as I am concerned.
    If you don’t read the newspaper, you are uninformed; if you do read the newspaper, you are misinformed. – Mark Twain (attributed)

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    i pwnd ur ooda loop selil's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by motorfirebox View Post
    On the other hand, "cyberwar" is such a ridiculous gee-whiz term; I've always hated it.
    Hate it or not it has been with us a long time. One of the issues I still see, as in this thread, is an attempt to restrict cyber to the network (whatever that is), and ignore the broader implications.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ganulv View Post
    *The infrastructure necessary for the existence of cyberspace can of course be put on a grid but the space in cyberspace is just a metaphor, and a not very felicitous metaphor as far as I am concerned.
    That definition is the result of highly inherent biases towards the technological attributes and forgetting the entirety of the scope of cyberspace. Gibson was looking for a lyrical bent when he said cyberspace was a common delusion. He was right when you think of it as cognitive as well as technological. Elements of many different areas make up the tools we interact with the terrain of cyberspace. Much like any other terrain.

    The idea of cyberspace is far from new. The man-machine interface predates the modern computer. Norbert Wiener wrote cybernetics back in the late 50s. That discussion after about a decade devolved into a metaphysical discussion which simply couldn't withstand the Popperian/empiricist politics of the time. I'm afraid cyberspace will likely go that way within the next decade.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brett Patron View Post
    A mentor of mine sent this to me and I thought it was worth sharing...just to keep things in perspective...

    It's War!
    Quid Pro Quo, Clarice...
    A scrimmage in a Border Station
    A canter down some dark defile
    Two thousand pounds of education
    Drops to a ten-rupee jezail


    http://i.imgur.com/IPT1uLH.jpg

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    Dave said this on his mailing list, & I thought it was pretty good although his examples weren't quite as hot. I wanted to pass it on because when I read it I thought of you rogues.

    So what is a weapon of mass disruption? I would say one feature of Cyber is that it DIRECTLY attacks things that can only be indirectly attacked by other measures.
    I'd use Stuxnet as an example of that, & then in something of a narrative slide, the HB Gary hacks, & then Dave's examples:
    One, easy to see example, is political parties. Obama's campaign got hacked in 2008. Palin's mailspools leaked in 2008. No one seemed to care about either other than for the lulz..
    The Stuxnet hacks were semi-kinetic, which is why I think they're a useful example.
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 06-03-2011 at 09:36 AM. Reason: fix quotes and Mod fixes quotes!

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    Default MI6 attacks al-Qaeda in 'Operation Cupcake'

    Not a YouTube item, but a story that made me wonder:http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/ukne...n-Cupcake.html

    Not really cupcakes, but computer code;
    ..When followers tried to download the 67-page colour magazine, instead of instructions about how to “Make a bomb in the Kitchen of your Mom” by “The AQ Chef” they were greeted with garbled computer code.
    Lookout Main Street Cupcakes in Hudson, Ohio. has someone told DHS?
    davidbfpo

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    i pwnd ur ooda loop selil's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by anonamatic View Post
    Dave said this on his mailing list, & I thought it was pretty good although his examples weren't quite as hot. I wanted to pass it on because when I read it I thought of you rogues.



    I'd use Stuxnet as an example of that, & then in something of a narrative slide, the HB Gary hacks, & then Dave's examples:

    The Stuxnet hacks were semi-kinetic, which is why I think they're a useful example.
    Solar Sunrise is a great example of mass disruption of a nation state by a hacker. See the youtube video for how to stop a war.

    The best kinetic example I know of to date is the 1982 is the Russian pipeline explosion was purposeful software exploitation.

    That's one of the issues with network centric views of cyber. It ignores vast areas of cyberspace and the techno centric societies vulnerabilities. Up-supply-chain hacking is just now getting press or noticed. Yet it is a perfectly valid (and validated) method of attacking technology.
    Sam Liles
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    Council Member Bob's World's Avatar
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    It does not matter what one believes or knows when it comes to declaring such an act to be "war"; what matters is what one can prove.

    This is the new reality of the modern age, individuals can commit grievous crimes and states can commit acts of war....and what can the targeted party do in response???

    Wage war against Afghanistan and Iraq when one is attacked by men from Saudi Arabia who launched their attack from within the US??? That would be crazy.

    States have a challenge on their hands. States still believe that they have "monopolies" on things like "violence" or even "governance." Reality is that arguably states really don't have a monopoly on anything anymore, and any efforts to enforce such fictitious monopolies are sure to end in frustration.

    An end of state monopolies does not, however, mean an end of states, but it does mean the "market" for influence and power is evolving; who has the power, how power is applied, etc.

    The end of Standard Oil's monopoly did not mean the end of massive oil companies. The end of Ma Bell's monopoly did not mean the end of massive communications companies. But there was a natural evolution.

    So too is governance as we know it, and what makes a "state", undergoing evolution as well. The sooner we recognize and embrace the trends, the sooner states get back on track at being the go-to answer.

    How people identify is evolving. We all identify at multiple levels, but which of those identity levels is one willing to die for? For your family? Your religion? Your state? Perhaps some internal group that challenges your state? Or perhaps some external group that extends across multiple states?

    Cyber is just a domain that has become active. Far more interesting is how activity within that domain changes the rules of the game. To wage war against things we don't like but cannot control within that domain is playing by a rule book that no longer apples. What are the new rules? I don't know. No one does.
    Robert C. Jones
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob's World View Post
    States have a challenge on their hands. States still believe that they have "monopolies" on things like "violence" or even "governance." Reality is that arguably states really don't have a monopoly on anything anymore, and any efforts to enforce such fictitious monopolies are sure to end in frustration.
    States are doing it to themselves! They are creating the very crisis they are trying to avoid. Here is a quote by Dr. Paul Craig Roberts (under Sec. of Treas. during Pres. Reagan) hardly what you would call a lefty liberal.

    The United States is the first country in history to destroy the prospects and living standards of its own working people." It is the "market..
    Globalization that is driving most of it.
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 06-03-2011 at 08:59 PM. Reason: 2nd quote in quote marks

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    Quote Originally Posted by selil View Post
    Hate it or not it has been with us a long time. One of the issues I still see, as in this thread, is an attempt to restrict cyber to the network (whatever that is), and ignore the broader implications.
    It's been with us because the zealots want to have it both ways..use "cyber" in a sentence and feel manly by saying "war"...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Erich G. Simmers View Post
    Why wait for the definition to get reified in doctrine? It's not like doctrine will end the debate anyway; did FM3-24 put "COIN" as theory and practice to rest? My interest is in out-of-the-box thinking on that thing (some of which is new, some of which is old as dirt) that people call "cyberwar." DoD shouldn't be held up as the ultimate arbiter here, because frankly they may not have it right. It wouldn't be the first time, would it
    You can't think "outside the box" if you don't know where the box is. You need doctrine if for no other reason than to have either a point of departure or something to ignore.

    Also, for the less informed, without a doctrinal basis it is difficult to budget for capabilities.

    We are held up/held hostage by the zealots who insist on cyberspace as a separate domain, rather than capabilities and/or a dimension within the existing physical domains. When you change verbs to nouns (i.e "conducting cyberspace ops/CNO" -verb to "cyberspace is a domain - noun), you need doctrine to justify budget line items. Nature of the beast folks.

    That's why DOD is properly resourced and DHS/State are not so much so.
    Last edited by Brett Patron; 06-04-2011 at 12:09 PM. Reason: clarity

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    Quote Originally Posted by ganulv View Post
    It strikes me that maritime, air, and space domains all have a location attribute—they can be identified using a Cartesian coordinate system. One useful question might be, “Is cyberspace not a domain because it lacks a location attribute or is cyberspace unique as a domain in its lack of location attribute?”*

    *The infrastructure necessary for the existence of cyberspace can of course be put on a grid but the space in cyberspace is just a metaphor, and a not very felicitous metaphor as far as I am concerned.
    If cyberspace isn't a "place" then where are we fighting? This global commons/contested commons argument loses some steam when you remember that nation-states do regulate use of the electromagnetic spectrum. So there already is some idea of sovereignty, and it is in the context of the existing (physical) domains. Even via space, sovereignty is established via the orbiting platforms. Also, SATCOM transmissions cannot "land" without "landing rights". So the case for this new, unique "domain" is hardly concrete.

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    Council Member ganulv's Avatar
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    Default Avatars don’t really fight one another, do they?

    Quote Originally Posted by Brett Patron View Post
    If cyberspace isn't a "place" then where are we fighting?
    Maybe an office suite in Guangzhou, maybe a hotel in Odessa, maybe an apartment in Lagos. There is ultimately a physicality to be reckoned with. The EMS is in the physical world; where is “the” cyberspace?
    If you don’t read the newspaper, you are uninformed; if you do read the newspaper, you are misinformed. – Mark Twain (attributed)

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    I would say cyberspace is unique due to its lack of a location attribute. Dismissing cyberspace as a domain makes it difficult to operate effectively because minor actions, in terms of physicality (intrusion into one server for only a few minutes, say) can have major ramifications. As a domain, cyberspace possesses points of vulnerability that simply don't appear on the maps of any other domain.
    Last edited by motorfirebox; 06-04-2011 at 04:17 PM.

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    Council Member Brett Patron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ganulv View Post
    Maybe an office suite in Guangzhou, maybe a hotel in Odessa, maybe an apartment in Lagos. There is ultimately a physicality to be reckoned with. The EMS is in the physical world; where is “the” cyberspace?
    So, all you've done is say, that cyberspace operations are another dimension of the physical domains. Using your thought process, if I shoot an ICBM, the missle is the "domain" that just happens to depart a silo on land and impact a land/sea target elsewhere.

    I'm not saying cyberspace is NOT a domain - academically it certainly is; that horse has left the barn. But as a "warfighting" domain, it is really not described in a way that distinguishes it from the physical domains.

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    Default Asymmetry

    This is probably the most interesting "fallacy" of cyberwar - if for no other reason than because it is the most counter-intuitive.

    You get hilarity such as the following: From the CNAS report http://www.cnas.org/node/6405) volume 1 page 30:

    In addition to a favorable cost ratio, attackers also possess advantages in the required levels of effort and complexity. According to the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA), the number of lines of code included in security software increased from several thousand 20 years ago to nearly 10 million today. Over the same period, the number of lines of code included in malware remained constant at approximately 125. In other words, cyber defenses have grown exponentially in effort and complexity, but they continue to be defeated by offenses that require far less investment by the attacker.
    These are things that can't possibly be true, of course, but they sound good when said to Congress!

    People look at LulzSec and see an asymmetric operation - but small hacker groups are essentially resource peers with the organizations they take on (imho).

    -dave

    Referring to an earlier post:
    I don't disagree with this characterization of asymmetry, but what really interests me is how Aitel characterizes cyberwar as less asymmetric then it is popularly conceived. He is challenging the notion that cyberwar, according to Rand and others, is "more asymmetric than most.
    Here's the quote from Cyberdeterrence and Cyberwar (PDF):

    I don't know if I agree with Aitel's view or Libicki's. Are you saying that both Aitel and Libicki have it wrong here? Are you saying something different entirely?

    It seems like most people agree with #2 and #3 as being fallacies, but they don't agree with #1.
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 06-08-2011 at 01:02 PM. Reason: Try to insert quote marks at right places

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brett Patron View Post
    You can't think "outside the box" if you don't know where the box is. You need doctrine if for no other reason than to have either a point of departure or something to ignore.

    Also, for the less informed, without a doctrinal basis it is difficult to budget for capabilities.
    Within the limited purview of DoD, I don't disagree with either of these points. However, the larger conversation on this started long, long ago and isn't waiting for DoD to release some publication on it. My view is that we should get out in front with the non-DoD, non-government folks.

    Quote Originally Posted by Brett Patron View Post
    We are held up/held hostage by the zealots who insist on cyberspace as a separate domain, rather than capabilities and/or a dimension within the existing physical domains. When you change verbs to nouns (i.e "conducting cyberspace ops/CNO" -verb to "cyberspace is a domain - noun), you need doctrine to justify budget line items. Nature of the beast folks.

    That's why DOD is properly resourced and DHS/State are not so much so.
    I do agree that cyberspace as a separate domain, perhaps, misdirects the focus of what we are discussing. After all, when someone writes an exploit or takes advantage of some misconfiguration in a network to gain or deny access, they are attacking humans and human processe ultimately. The medium--a wireless network, an embedded device, whatever--is inconsequential.

    Where I think the distinction is useful is in the cultural differences of practitioners. Plus, there has been a proliferation of new technologies (either in outright invention or creation of 'mash-ups') that are worth flagging with a new term.

    Quote Originally Posted by Brett Patron View Post
    It's been with us because the zealots want to have it both ways..use "cyber" in a sentence and feel manly by saying "war"...
    Who in this thread is handing out valor awards to "cyberwarriors"? You're setting up a silly strawman here.
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    i pwnd ur ooda loop selil's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Erich G. Simmers View Post
    Within the limited purview of DoD, I don't disagree with either of these points. However, the larger conversation on this started long, long ago and isn't waiting for DoD to release some publication on it. My view is that we should get out in front with the non-DoD, non-government folks.
    Very true. But, there are a lot of concrete thinkers who can't figure that out.
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