Despite the increasing number of public attributions, few analysts have looked at how public attribution fits within the larger toolbox of statecraft. In a recently published article, I lay out what public attribution is, how we can explain it using the intelligence studies literature, and for what purposes it is employed (for more, you can also read this longer policy analysis [PDF] on the subject). In this shorter piece, I argue that public attribution serves different functions in the short, medium, and long-term.
Image courtesy of andrew_t8/Pixabay.
Academic progress in cybersecurity studies from a social sciences perspective has been slow. In order to develop as a field, it needs a methodological framework, more developed theories, and collaboration that transcends disciplinary boundaries.
In early May, it was reported that Germany’s federal prosecutor issued an arrest warrant for Dmitriy Badin, the Russian hacker behind the 2015 cyberattacks targeting the Bundestag. Despite this, it is unclear what steps the German government has taken to pursue Badin internationally and how Germany and the United States will manage their separate efforts to arrest him.
Image courtesy of TheDigitalArtist/Pixabay.
On April 7, the Australian Minister of Defense acknowledged – for the first time ever – that the Australian Signals Directorate (ASD) used its offensive cyber capabilities to disrupt foreign cybercriminal infrastructure responsible for malicious cyber activities exploiting the COVID-19 pandemic.1 While details on the operation are sparse, what we do know is that ASD “stopped the criminals from accessing their own systems and prevented them from accessing information they stole.”2 What we do not know is the how, the where, the when, and what exactly triggered ASD into action.
Image courtesy of Markus Spiske/Unsplash.
While the discussion on cyber terrorism research and related government policies have hit a wall in recent years, adversarial tactics to create terror in and through cyberspace are only at their beginning.