November 17, 2008
As information has increased in value with the dynamism of the
information age, so too have operations against it. Information
operations used to be the purview of the military, but now they have
become an element of cyberspace in general. Thus, the threats that once
were limited to the military realm now are appearing in civil government
and commerce. As military-style information operations begin to wreak
havoc in civilian cyberspace, military-style countermeasures will need
to be deployed.
The flip side of this coin is that the military is making greater use of
information technologies and capabilities drawn from the commercial
sector. So, the vulnerabilities that have characterized civilian
cyberspace now are moving into the military realm. This cries out for
commercial solutions to protect both military and civilian information
And the threats to cyberspace are becoming more sophisticated across the
board. The melding of useful cyberspace capabilities has its match in
information operations. Cybermarauders ranging from basement hackers to
foreign governments are adopting increasingly similar methodologies.
Information operations now are being waged by virtually anyone with
malice of intent in cyberspace.
In some cases, diverse malevolent groups are joining forces to wage
their own forms of information operations for profit or political gain.
Organized crime long has known the value of hacking into financial
databases. Their efforts could be supplemented by a hostile government
or terrorist group that seeks to carry out operations that cripple or
even collapse a nation.s economy. A teaming arrangement could bring each
partner greater success in their endeavors - more money for the crime
organization, more geopolitical impact for the hostile government.
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