With Facebook taking down pages linked to Pakistani cyber actors spreading disinformation in India ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, it’s becoming increasingly clear that India has been late in spotting the danger: if there is a Pakistani inter-services directorate as lethal as the Inter Services Intelligence, it is, undoubtedly, the Inter-Services Public Relations.Continue reading “Asif Ghafoor: The Gerasimov of South Asia – The Print”
In 2010, I led the first joint cyber operations with the Indian Air Force. Nine years too late, we have started talking about cyber jointness.
“Synergy in Joint Cyber Operations,” presented at an Indian National Defence University event, backed by the Integrated Defence Staff. The first time ever that jointness was discussed in the Indian context. Not very verbose for obvious reasons – I flagged politics and turf wars. Some shakeups are happening; the Defence Cyber Agency is up. Winds of change…
Read the full piece: Asif Ghafoor: The Gerasimov of South Asia
Cyber analysts like me have been this envisioning this scenario since a decade: how the South Asian flashpoint would manifest itself in the cyber-enabled information battlespace.
If there’s one inter-services directorate that is as lethal as the Inter-Services Intelligence, it’s the Inter-Services Public Relations. I know, I know — most of you would balk at my comparison. Hear me out:Continue reading “Pakistan’s asymmetric advantage in the post-Pulwama information battlespace”
On January 31, 2019, Twitter released the second dataset on the ongoing cyber-enabled influence operations targeting various nations, including India.
It led me to write this Part II of my earlier report on the Iranian disinformation campaign which weaponised prevailing political polarisation in India. The Part I is here: Planet-scale influence operation strikes at the heart of polarised Indian polity.
TL;DR – Part I: The largest known foreign disinformation network targeting India. Iranian in origin, possibly operated via a front in Pakistan. May have physical presence in India. Garnered hundreds of thousands of social media impressions. Legitimised by the top leaders of mainstream political parties in the opposition.
TL;DR – Part II: In this piece, I will arrive at certain definitive conclusions on the actors’ intent as well as directly attribute parts of the operation to a soft war/propaganda arm of the Iranian government. This is not an attempt at domestic sabotage but a desperate bid to propagate a counter-narrative — as Iran feels suffocated by the Western media’s discourse, portraying it in a uni-dimensional way.Continue reading “Ayatollah Khomeini’s ‘soft war’ hits the Indian hinterland – Part II”
My opinion piece for The Tribune covering the US Special Operations Command’s event — Radical Speaker Series: Countering Weaponized Information — which I blogged about earlier. Link to the op-ed: https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/comment/nations-should-strive-for-cognitive-security/722498.html.Continue reading “Nations should strive for cognitive security – The Tribune”
“In IT security, offensive problems are technical – but most defensive problems are political and organisational.” — Halvar Flake AKA Thomas Dullien
“We do not have a cybersecurity problem. We have a nation state problem.” — Dmitry Alperovitch
“Our choice is no longer between government regulation and no government regulation, but between smart government regulation and ill-advised government regulation.” — Bruce Schneier
The first rule of a national cyber shield is that there’s no cyber shield. There are no borders, fortresses or moats to be breached. It actually works a bit like the immune system. National cyber shields are situational awareness platforms operating at scale, but with an explicit political mandate.Continue reading “What does a ‘national cyber shield’ look like?”
I’m breaking two of my own rules for this post: I’m getting a wee bit personal and expressing outrage. For talk is cheap and outrage comes wholesale over the net.
The Centre for Internet & Society has just released the policy brief, “Leveraging the Coordinated Vulnerability Disclosure Process to Improve the State of Information Security in India.”Continue reading “CIS’s Coordinated Vulnerability Disclosure paper is a load of bull”