Lessons from Kudankulam – I: Recreating the target context

I may (or may not) do a series of quick posts highlighting the strategic challenges encountered while investigating a cyberattack like Kudankulam. They would be filed under the ‘lessons-from-kudankulam‘ tag. Since our agencies were literally caught napping, this is a good primer for understanding what nation-state-level cyber capabilities entail:

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A Post-Kudankulam Roadmap For India’s Cyber Deterrence – Outlook

My second op-ed on the Kudankulam-ISRO hack for Outlook. The first piece for HT laid bare the challenges. This one proposes some parameters for cyber deterrence. Deterrence in cyberspace could be extremely bizarre and challenging: https://www.outlookindia.com/website/story/opinion-a-post-kudankulam-roadmap-for-indias-cyber-deterrence/342174.

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An act of war in the Indian cyberspace – Hindustan Times

My op-ed in the Hindustan Times, originally titled, “An act of war in the Indian cyberspace.” My every word is measured: https://m.hindustantimes.com/analysis/what-the-cyber-attacks-on-kudankulam-and-isro-show-analysis/story-OVlR5MO18yk7jQFrnRvTpM_amp.html.

On September 3, I notified the National Cyber Security Coordinator about network intrusions into the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant (KKNPP) and Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), after being tipped off by a third-party. It was right around the time of Chandrayaan-2’s final descent.

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Before cyber norms, let’s talk about disanalogy and disintermediation – The Centre for Internet & Society

In a guest post in relation to The Centre for Internet & Society’s recently held roundtable on “India’s cyber defense strategy,” Pukhraj Singh looks at the critical fissures – at the technical and policy levels – in global normative efforts to secure cyberspace. By charting out the key vectors and power asymmetries among key stakeholders – both leading state actors and private actors like Microsoft – Singh posits that there is much to be done before we circumscribe cyber operations within legal strictures: https://cis-india.org/internet-governance/blog/guest-post-before-cyber-norms-let2019s-talk-about-disanalogy-and-disintermediation.

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Keep an eye out for the Misinfosec Working Group

Check out this thread by Sara-Jayne Terp of the Misinfosec Working Group.

Last year, Sara proposed the ingenious idea that, like cyber operations, cyber-enabled information operations (and disinformation) are also pivoted around the foundational triad of cybersecurity: confidentiality, integrity and availability (C-I-A).

I thought that was a phenomenal statement as it allowed us to define cyber-enabled information operations in machine-to-machine taxonomies and ontologies.

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Did the DNC become a countervalue target for cyber deterrence?

We may never know as to when did the cycle of escalation — which led to the eventual hack of the DNC — begin. It possibly had its origins in the Colour Revolutions, the tenure of the then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton or maybe even the release of the Panama Papers. The chain of causation certainly diverges from the narrative advertised by the mainstream media.

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