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Cyber ​​attacks know what hybrid warfare is and why it is such a threat

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There is a war of words between Washington and Moscow over cyberattacks against organizations and businesses in the United States and other countries around the world. These increasingly sophisticated cyber attacks represent a new type of warfare that aims to disrupt or even destroy a country’s economy. It has been called “hybrid war”. It’s a mix of traditional and unconventional methods used against a very powerful opponent. Its aim is to achieve political goals, which would not be possible with conventional warfare.

The problem in this war is often to identify the perpetrators. The state responsible for action in Hybrid War will often use non-state actors, allowing it to deny responsibility. But over the past two decades, several cyber attacks targeting Western institutions and state-owned enterprises have been far more sophisticated than some tech-savvy people acting like “lone wolves” and have left traces in their actions that they could. have been targeted by an enemy nation. with the support or approval of

He created the Russian cyber war theory
The scale of cyber attacks carried out at the military level indicates the involvement of state actors behind the scenes to orchestrate or encourage these attacks. Russia has become one of the international players who have developed a sophisticated cyber warfare strategy. So what do we know about how Russia is waging hybrid warfare through cyber attacks? The theory of cyber warfare in Russia, or hybrid warfare, was shaped by political scientists like Alexander Dugin – a Russian philosopher known as “Putin’s Brain.” He is a professor of sociology at Moscow State University and was the target of US sanctions when Russia annexed Crimea in 2014.

Another prominent thinker in this field is Igor Panarin, Putin’s senior adviser with a doctorate in psychology. High-ranking military veterans include Valery Gerasimov, the Russian Chief of General Staff and author of the “Gerasimov Doctrine,” which the Carnegie Foundation says creates a whole concept of government by crossing borders using hard and soft force in various fields in times of peace and war. carry out. Such thinkers have long advocated that Russia should achieve its political goals through information warfare rather than military force.

share for safety
Cyberspace is often described as a physical layer (hardware), a logical layer (how and where data is distributed and processed) and a human layer (users). It is mainly managed by private organizations rather than state actors. And cyber attacks are in a gray area when it comes to deciding who is responsible for preventing them. There is also the question of who carries out the attacks and whether they are criminal enterprises or supported by a public body. Confusion over the responsibility for protection lies in the hands of the Russian government. He can injure his opponents, regardless of their size or strength, without launching a military campaign.

In recent years, cyber attacks by Russian criminal groups have targeted hospitals, energy networks and industrial facilities. The Kremlin called the allegations of his involvement “baseless.” But even though there is no direct link between the government and the attackers, Russia deliberately allows these groups to operate from its territory. Russian state agencies have offered their services to track down these criminal groups. But it’s been happening for years and nothing has come of it. Many countries have stepped up their efforts to develop strategies to combat cybercrime.

These initiatives include hybrid combat defense exercises in 24 EU Member States. The European Union has created an organization called “Hybrid Fusion Cell” to provide strategic analysis to EU decision makers in order to prevent and respond to cyber attacks. A group of analysts based at the EU Intelligence and Situation Center analyze intelligence from various national institutions in the EU and UK, such as GCHQ, MI5 and police intelligence agencies , and provides risk assessments to decision makers so they can use them while formulating your domestic policy.

Tackling the threat of state-sponsored groups is not easy
The European Union and the United States have imposed sanctions on Russian individuals and entities for their harmful activities targeting cyber infrastructure. But dealing with such a threat from strictly disciplined and rigid state-sponsored groups is not easy. The more Western intelligence can take new initiatives to combat hybrid tactics, the more cybercriminals are able to develop new means of attack. Therefore, an agile governance model is needed to effectively use public and private resources to deal with the threat of Hybrid War.

The EUCTER network, led by the International Police and Security Center at the University of South Wales, with 13 partners in Europe and Israel, is developing several new models, which you can find out more about on our website. Hybrid Warfare is a large, complex, and rapidly growing threat – a threat that will require a proportionate response against which nations can defend themselves.

Author: Athem Ilbiz and Christian Kounert, University of South Wales

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