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Category Archives: Cybersecurity: LOAC-Military

On the Sony Hack

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Friday, December 19, 2014 at 1:28 PM

I’ve written two essays on the Sony hack, one for the Wall Street Journal, and the other for Vice Motherboard. The former opens: Earlier this month, a mysterious group that calls itself Guardians of Peace hacked into Sony Pictures Entertainment’s computer systems and began revealing many of the Hollywood studio’s best-kept secrets, from details about unreleased . . .
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Mysterious ’08 Turkey Pipeline Blast Opened New Cyberwar Era

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Wednesday, December 10, 2014 at 1:47 PM

Bloomberg has the story.  For those who think that cyber conflict is a bit of a myth, this is a cautionary tale.  From the opening: The pipeline was outfitted with sensors and cameras to monitor every step of its 1,099 miles from the Caspian Sea to the Mediterranean. The blast that blew it out of . . .
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The FBI Impersonates the Media: Some of the Rules Governing Cyber-Subterfuge

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Friday, November 7, 2014 at 2:54 PM

The developing story of the FBI’s impersonation of journalists is, in a way, really the story of Timberline high school in Washington State. In June of 2007 Timberline had received a series of bomb threats, prompting a week of evacuations. The FBI and local law enforcement traced the problem to an anonymous account on the . . .
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Everybody is Vulnerable

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Wednesday, July 30, 2014 at 8:01 PM

Even the vaunted Israelis. “A Chinese hacking team previously accused of being behind raids against US defence contractors has been accused of a new data heist: plundering the tech behind Israel’s Iron Dome missile defence system.”  Apparently this was in 2011-12 so it isn’t connected to the current conflict — except, of course, that it . . .
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A Taxonomy of Cyber War IHL Questions

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Thursday, July 3, 2014 at 11:50 AM

I have been asked to write a chapter, tentatively entitled “Law and Warfare in the Cyber Domain,” for the next edition of Moore, Roberts & Turner, eds., National Security Law.  As part of that effort, I have been thinking about where the gaps are in the domain of international humanitarian law as applied in cyberspace.  . . .
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Bits and Bytes

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Monday, June 30, 2014 at 11:56 AM

While the rest of the world is watching the Supreme Court’s final decision day of the year, it’s been a busy time in the cyber world as well.  Herewith seven (!) bits and bytes of interest, in no particular order: Facebook’s Psych Experiment.  You’ve no doubt read that Facebook manipulated news feeds as an experiment. . . .
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Wishful Thinking Department

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Monday, April 7, 2014 at 1:29 PM

Conversation at the Rosenzweig breakfast table this morning: Wife:  “That’s just dreaming.” Me: “What?” Wife (pointing to front page New York Times article): “Thinking that the Chinese will become more transparent.” Apparently, the US has been giving the Chinese briefings on “the Pentagon’s doctrine for defending against cyberattacks against the United States — and for . . .
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Bits and Bytes — Military Focus

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Monday, April 7, 2014 at 8:15 AM

Three items of particular interest to our cyber warfare aficionados in today’s Bits and Bytes (plus one lagniappe on the Internet of Things): Developments in Iranian Cyber Warfare 2013-14.  From the Institute for National Security Studies in Israel:  “Over the course of 2013, Iran became one of the most active players in the international cyber . . .
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Snowden Disclosures and Norms of Cyber-Attacks

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Thursday, March 20, 2014 at 11:00 AM

Secrecy—of the sort that typically shrouds cyber-defense and cyber-attack capabilities and doctrine—complicates the development of international norms.  Secrecy makes it difficult to engage in sustained diplomacy about rules.  Officials can talk about them at high levels of generality, but can’t get very specific, and it’s therefore hard to reach agreement.  Secrecy makes it difficult to . . .
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Security Programs take Center Stage in Austin During South by Southwest

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Thursday, March 6, 2014 at 6:57 PM

If you’ve never been to Austin during South by Southwest, you are truly missing out.  SXSW season begins today with the SXSW Interactive and Film Festivals, and I’m happy to report that the Strauss Center at UT is sponsoring or co-sponsoring an array of security-and-technology events over the next few days.  I’ll do my best . . .
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The Continuing Low-Grade Cyber Conflict Between Ukraine and Russia

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Tuesday, March 4, 2014 at 3:44 PM

The Russia-Ukraine conflict is quickly becoming a textbook example of low-grade cyber tactics that will likely occur in almost all future conflicts.  It has yet to, thankfully, graduate to a full-scale cyber assault, but we are seeing a number of back-and-forth moves that paint the picture of two contestants feeling each other out, but not . . .
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NATO to the Cyber-Defense?

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Monday, March 3, 2014 at 9:35 AM

As a follow up to my post of yesterday about cyber in the Russo-Ukrainian conflict, here is another thought from Admiral (Ret.) James Stavridis, the former commander of NATO.  In his view NATO should: Conven[e] allies with cyber-capabilities (this is not a NATO specialty) to consider options — at a minimum to defend Ukraine if . . .
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The Russian-Ukrainian Cyber Conflict

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Sunday, March 2, 2014 at 12:15 PM

As the world watches the slow-motion catastrophe that is happening in Crimea and the Ukraine and wondering how it will all play out on the ground, many in the cyber community are asking a different question — how will it play out in the cyber domain?  Here is some of what we know is already . . .
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What is the Domestic Legal Basis for Planned Cyberattacks in Syria?

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Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 8:12 AM

David Sanger reports that the Pentagon and the NSA planned a sophisticated cyberattack aimed at “the Syrian military and President Bashar al-Assad’s command structure” that “would essentially turn the lights out for Assad.” He also reports that President Obama declined to go forward with the attacks then or since because of uncertainty about the proper role of offensive . . .
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The Meaning of the Cyber Revolution

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Monday, December 16, 2013 at 3:00 PM

That is the title of a recent essay in International Security by Lucas Kello, a post-doctoral fellow at the Kennedy School at Harvard.  The essay is a rare effort to understand how international relations theory, and social science more generally, should apply to cyber war.  From the introduction: The article makes three main arguments.  First, . . .
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What Will Cyber Conflict Look Like?

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Friday, December 6, 2013 at 7:00 AM

There is much to admire in Erik Gartzke’s recent Lawfare essay, Fear and War in Cyberspace.  Indeed, I find myself in substantial agreement with it as a proposition reflecting the reality of today.  But I wonder if Gartzke does not, too easily, dismiss the possibility of irrational actors in the cyber domain.  His thesis, after . . .
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Cyber Conflict Bibliography

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Monday, October 14, 2013 at 10:57 AM

My colleague at The George Washington University Law School, Lori Fossum, has just published a Cyber Conflict Bibliography.  For those interested in cybersecurity (and particularly cyber warfare) it is an invaluable resource.  Here is the abstract: The purpose of this bibliography, originally prepared for the Future of Cyber Warfare symposium held at George Washington University . . .
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Why Cyber Probably Won’t Ever Rule The World

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Thursday, October 3, 2013 at 9:48 AM

I write often about the power of cyberspace and the threats that arise from it — most recently in discussing how the Syrian Electronic Army is an important contingency to plan for during military operations in Syria.  It is useful, therefore, to always be reminded of the rootedness of cyber in the physical domain and . . .
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A “S.E.A.-Change” in Military Contingency Planning

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Tuesday, October 1, 2013 at 9:30 AM

As Ben noted yesterday, today Lawfare begins a cooperative project with the New Republic.  Today, I have a piece in the new Security States blog about cyber contingency planning for possible military action in Syria: “A ‘S.E.A.-Change’ in Military Contingency Planning.”  Here’s the opening: Is America at risk from a counter-strike by Syria if it . . .
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Cultivating the Future Cyberspace Operations Workforce

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Sunday, June 9, 2013 at 10:47 AM

This memorandum from the Secretary of Defense, came across my screen the other day.  It will give the reader some insight into how DoD is trying to build its cyber capabilities. MEMORANDUM FOR SECRETARIES OF THE MILITARY DEPARTMENTS CHAIRMAN OF THE JOINT CHIEFS OF STAFF UNDER SECRETARIES OF DEFENSE COMMANDERS OF THE COMBATANT COMMANDS ASSISTANT . . .
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