Academic journal article Military Review

Human Network Attacks

Academic journal article Military Review

Human Network Attacks

Article excerpt

US INFORMATION WARFARE (IW) theory consists of some very basic premises: attaining infon-nation superiority or dominance, maintaining a quick tempo and decision cycles, integrating efforts whenever possible and working constantly to exploit the information environment. This theory is based on six capabilities: operations security, psychological operations, deception, destruction, electronic warfare and computer network attack.

One of the overriding concerns of the US military is the security of these IW capabilities, especially computer networks. The Pentagon has poured millions of dollars into constructing an infrastructure-protection package aimed at limiting hacker access to manipulate or corrupt our data storage resources in peacetime or wartime. One specific data processor, however, has received far less attention in US thinking. It is the security of the data processor known as the mind, which unfortunately has no innate firewall to protect it from either deceptive or electromagnetic processes. As a result, the mind of the soldier on the battlefield is potentially the most exploitable and unprotected IW capability our military possesses. Soldiers vulnerability to human network attacks (HNA) should be an area of close attention for scientists in the early years of the new millennium.1

China and Russia, in addition to studying hardware technology, data processing equipment computer networks and "system of systems" developments, have focused considerable attention on several nontraditional targets of the information weapon, to include the mind .2 This attention differs from the US approach for both practical and cultural reasons. Neither China nor Russia have the financial capability or the infrastructure to compete with Western IW technological advancements. However, both countries have a wealth of outstanding mathematicians, philosophers and scientists that can offset this shortcoming through the development of nontraditional approaches, as well as historical and cultural proclivities that draw their focus to this area.

The US Armed Forces, a producer of RNA variants, as demonstrated by psychological operations or nonlethal weapon options, could profit by studying the approaches developed in China and Russia. Examining other approaches to HNA activities would assist in uncovering HNA techniques -and vulnerabilities. This article examines China's psychological warfare and knowledge concepts (including the impact of the information age on China's strategic culture) and "new concept" weapons (variants of nonlethal weapons); and Russia's development of information-psychological operations, reflexive control or "intellectual IW" stratagems and human behavior control mechanisms. The latter issue makes Russian thinking on HNA unique. It is clear that to both countries, "gray matter" does matter.

Chinese Nontraditional Practices

"In military actions, attacking minds-that is the primary mission; attacking fortifications, that is a secondary mission. Psychological war is the main thing. Combat is secondary."3

-Third Century Chinese Military Theoretician

China's entry into the information age has proceeded with caution, anticipation and good luck. Caution was used due to the sudden ability of its citizens to communicate with people around the globe, a new phenomenon in Chinese culture, where outside access and information is tightly controlled. Anticipation refers to China's opportunity to quickly catch up with other world powers through the information medium. China has many outstanding mathematicians to speed this process, especially in the development of software. Good luck refers to acquiring Hong Kong at a time when the information revolution was reaching its peak. For purposes of launching a Chinese information-based economy, access to Hong Kong's telecommunications and financial markets is akin to winning the lottery. The market will insert new life into the six or so semiconductor fabrication lines already operating in China. …

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