Benjamin Jensen

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Putin’s invasion of Ukraine didn’t rely on cyber warfare. Here’s why

The ongoing conflict in Ukraine has perplexed observers expecting to see the cyber dimension unfold differently. When Russia began to mass troops along Ukraine’s borders, analysts predicted that cyber operations would be critical to Putin’s military strategy.

One headline offered that the Russian invasion could “redefine cyberwarfare”. Former White House cyber expert Jason Healey hypothesized that, “it will be the first time a state with real capabilities is willing to take risks and put it all on the line”.

Despite these predictions, the expected “shock and awe” Russian cyber campaign in preparation of the invasion of Ukraine never emerged. Moreover, while the conflict will undoubtedly evolve, cyber operations don’t appear to be playing a decisive role on the battlefield.…  Seguir leyendo »

Cyberwarfare has taken a new turn

The recent “ransomware” events created headaches and headlines — but also masked a greater cyber-issue: chaos and disruption on the Internet as the new normal. Earlier this week, in fact, the Alliance for Securing Democracy, a new effort headed by former U.S. national security officials, formed as a separate, nongovernmental program to investigate Russian cyber-meddling.

Previous cyber-incidents focused on information acquisition, network infiltration or precision strikes to sabotage the opposition. What are we seeing now are disruptive cyber-actions — with the apparent goals of signaling capability, disrupting normal systems and demonstrating the instability of Western democratic models.

Ransom is not the issue

A number of analysts described the Petya/NotPetya incident of June and the WannaCry event in May as ransom attacks, aimed at gaining as much bitcoin as possible.…  Seguir leyendo »

5 things we can learn from the Russian hacking scandal

On Friday, we learned that we are witnessing new versions of what U.S. statesman George Kennan, in a then-classified 1948 memo, called political warfare: coercion short of war, involving a mix of overt propaganda and covert psychological warfare efforts.

That’s what we can take away from the U.S. intelligence service’s release of an unclassified report, “Assessing Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent U.S. Elections.” In it, the CIA, the FBI and the National Security Agency (NSA), collectively referring to themselves as the “intelligence community,” concluded that Kremlin operatives used cyber methods to achieve a clear objective: “to undermine public faith in the US democratic process, denigrate Secretary [Hillary] Clinton, and harm her electability and potential presidency.”…  Seguir leyendo »

The optimism surrounding the Arab Spring is giving way to fears of the next revolution. Daily, people around the world watch the triumph of bringing down Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak descend into pitched battles between secular protesters and an increasingly alienated government run by elements of the Muslim Brotherhood. Egypt is on the brink, with military leaders warning of a possible collapse of the state. This pattern of unrest highlights what is likely to be a long struggle ahead, not just in Egypt, but in multiple countries struggling in the wake of the Arab Spring to consolidate democratic gains.

Egypt is exhibiting patterns common to many revolutions captured by historian CraneBrinton in his 1938 book, “The Anatomy of Revolution.”…  Seguir leyendo »

Wars are not always won through decisive battles; they are often contests in which any action breaking an adversary’s will to fight leads you one step closer to victory. In Afghanistan, the Taliban are targeting the will of the international community and the Karzai government by systematically infiltrating and undermining Afghan security forces.

These “green-on-blue” attacks — episodes in which Afghan soldiers and policemen turn their weapons on their coalition partners — are not isolated incidents. Rather, they reflect a Taliban strategy with deep roots in Afghan history.

Since the beginning of the year there have been 31 green-on-blue attacks, resulting in 40 deaths.…  Seguir leyendo »