Published by The Quint: https://www.thequint.com/voices/opinion/cyber-deterrence-kudankulam-nuclear-plant-cyber-attack-lessons-for-india. Hacktivist personas and hack-and-leak operations aren’t new — if anyone remembers CyberCaliphate, CyberBerkut & Guardians of Peace, etc. This is relevant as major leaks hit Iran, Russia and China in November. India’s cyber adversaries would rather target its soft political underbelly. Coercion and deterrence may have purely cognitive parameters. They simply do not exist in the “disrupt, deny & degrade” dimension, as recent Iran operations by US Cyber Command have shown.Continue reading “Cyber Deterrence Is Dirty & Illegal: Time to ‘Innovate’ Or ‘Die’ – The Quint”
My keynote at the ITWeb Security Summit 2019, Johannesburg & Cape Town. This is, by far, my most extensively researched talk.
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”
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”
So, the think tank SOFWERX is backed by the US Special Operations Command. It organised, what could possibly be, the best event on cyber-enabled information warfare, influence operations and disinformation, ever — Radical Speaker Series: Countering Weaponized Information. It’s amazing that tacticians of the USSOCOM are thinking at that level!
I documented most of the conference videos in a Twitter thread, which is pasted below as a single article.👇 Also, here’s the Thread Reader link of the same coalesced thread.Continue reading “The most radical event on cyber-enabled information warfare, ever”