Change search
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Non-State Actors in Cyberspace Operations
Swedish National Defence College, Department of Military Studies, Military-Technology Division.
2013 (English)In: Journal of Military Studies, ISSN 2242-3524, E-ISSN 1799-3350, Vol. 4, no 1Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The growing importance of cyberspace to modern society, and its increasing use as an arena for dispute, is becoming a national security concern for governments and armed forces globally. The special characteristics of cyberspace, such as its asymmetric nature, the lack of attribution, the low cost of entry, the legal ambiguity, and its role as an efficient medium for protest, crime, espionage and military aggression, makes it an attractive domain for nation-states as well as non-state actors in cyber conflict.

This paper studies the various non-state actors who coexist in cyberspace, examines their motives and incitements, and analyzes how and when their objectives coincide with those of nation-states. Literature suggests that many nations are currently pursuing cyberwarfare capabilities, oftentimes by leveraging criminal organizations and irregular forces. Employment of such non-state actors as hacktivists, patriot hackers, and cybermilitia in state-on-state cyberspace operations has also proved to be a usable model for conducting cyberattacks. The paper concludes that cyberspace is emerging as a new tool for state power that will likely reshape future warfare. However, due to the lack of concrete cyberwarfare experience, and the limited encounters of legitimate cyberattacks, it is hard to precisely assess future effects, risks and potentials.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Helsinki: National Defence University, Finland and Finnish Society of Military Sciences , 2013. Vol. 4, no 1
Keyword [en]
non-state actors, cyber, cyberspace, cyberwar, cyberactions, cyberattack
National Category
Human Aspects of ICT
Research subject
Militärteknik
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:fhs:diva-3528OAI: oai:DiVA.org:fhs-3528DiVA: diva2:611814
Available from: 2013-03-18 Created: 2013-03-18 Last updated: 2016-11-02Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Secure Tactical Communications for Inter-Organizational Collaboration: The Role of Emerging Information and Communications Technology, Privacy Issues, and Cyber Threats on the Digital Battlefield
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Secure Tactical Communications for Inter-Organizational Collaboration: The Role of Emerging Information and Communications Technology, Privacy Issues, and Cyber Threats on the Digital Battlefield
2016 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The development within the area of information and communications technology (ICT) has been rapid during the last couple of decades. Advancements in mobile technology, such as smartphones and other portable devices with embedded sensors, rapid expansion of communications infrastructure, and increased spectrum utilization, has had a major impact on civilian society, but increasingly also on professional organizations such as the Swedish Armed Forces. While this technology allows for enhanced capabilities in the areas of command and control, situational awareness, and information management, it also leads to new challenges in such areas as cyber security and privacy. For armed forces in many parts of the world, being able to deploy in new types of missions, such as humanitarian assistance and response operations due to natural or man-made disasters, is an increasingly sought-after capability. Such operations commonly require collaboration amongst several heterogeneous organizations, which in turn requires technical as well as organizational interoperability. While the actors must be able to share certain information efficiently, with regards to integrity and availability, sensitive or classified information must be safeguarded in terms of confidentiality.

This thesis is concerned with studying emerging ICT for use on the battlefield of tomorrow, investigating how it can lead to more effective operations, and what preconditions that must be met in order for the technology to be of utility for inter-organizational collaboration. In particular, the thesis studies how an acceptable level of information security can be upheld in interconnected tactical communications networks. It is found that Mobile Ad-hoc Networks, Software-Defined Radio and Cognitive Radio are emerging technologies that, while still immature, can contribute to improved capabilities for communications, command and control, and information collection. Furthermore, Hastily Formed Networks is found to be an effective framework for collaboration between heterogeneous actors. However, in order for emerging ICTs to provide military utility, several non-technical requirements must be met. These include usability, trust, legality, cost, and verifying that the technology is in accordance with current military doctrine. Antagonistic as well as unintentional threats must also be mitigated, including information leaks caused by cyberattacks or insiders, and possible consequences of reduced user privacy.

Besides to the Swedish Armed Forces, this thesis should be of interest to armed forces of comparable countries, and for professional organizations faced with similar challenges. Among the drawn conclusions, the thesis recommends continuously evaluating emerging ICT in support of new capabilities, through academic research as well as internal concept development. Adopting an incremental and modular process is also recommended when developing or procuring new ICT systems, instead of making long-term investments in proprietary technology. Furthermore, a focus should be put on promoting military requirements in future civilian ICT standards. In this way development costs can be reduced, while facilitating tactical use of commercial off-the-shelf products. Regarding information security in tactical networks for inter-organizational collaboration the thesis concludes that employing best-effort methods could allow for efficient information exchange between actors, while upholding acceptable risk levels regarding data leakage.

Abstract [sv]

Informations- och kommunikationsteknik (IKT) har under de senaste årtiondena varit under stark utveckling. Ökad tillgänglighet av mobil teknik, såsom smarta mobiltelefoner och andra bärbara enheter med inbyggda sensorer, kraftig utbyggnad av kommunikationsinfrastruktur samt framsteg inom spektrumeffektivitet, har haft en stor betydelse för civilsamhället samt i ökande grad även för insatsorganisationer såsom Försvarsmakten. Tekniken bidrar till ökad förmåga till ledning, situationsuppfattning och informationshantering, men medför samtidigt flera utmaningar inom områden som cybersäkerhet och personlig integritet. Nya uppgifter som parallellt kommit i fokus för försvarsmakter i många länder inkluderar förmågan att kunna delta i stödjande insatser i samband med naturkatastrofer, terrorattacker, eller att kunna erbjuda humanitärt bistånd i internationella miljöer. Sådana insatser kräver vanligtvis samverkan mellan många olika heterogena organisationer, vilket medför ett behov av såväl teknisk som organisatorisk interoperabilitet. Viss information måste kunna delas effektivt mellan de ingående aktörerna med avseende på riktighet och tillgänglighet, samtidigt som känsliga uppgifter måste skyddas avseende sekretess.

I denna avhandling studeras taktiskt användande av framväxande IKT på morgondagens slagfält, hur tekniken kan bidra till mer effektiva operationer, samt vilka förutsättningar och krav som måste uppfyllas för att tekniken ska kunna vara till nytta vid interorganisatorisk samverkan. Särskilt undersöks möjligheten att upprätthålla en acceptabel nivå av informationssäkerhet i gemensamma taktiska sambandssystem, samtidigt som dessa kan användas effektivt under påfrestande förhållanden. Avhandlingen finner att tekniker som mobila ad hoc-nätverk, mjukvarudefinierad radio och kognitiv radio, trots att de ännu är omogna, kan komma att bidra till förbättrade eller helt nya förmågor inom bland annat samband, ledning och informationsinhämtning. Vidare dras slutsatsen att ramverket Hastily Formed Networks är effektivt för samverkan mellan heterogena aktörer. För att framväxande IKT ska kunna vara av militär nytta krävs dock att flera icke-tekniska krav kan mötas. Dessa inkluderar användbarhet, tillit, legalitet, kostnad, samt att tekniken ligger i linje med rådande militär doktrin. Såväl antagonistiska som oavsiktliga hot måste samtidigt hanteras, såsom informationsläckor orsakade av cyberattacker eller insiders, samt konsekvensen av en minskad personlig integritet för användarna.

Avhandlingen förväntas vara av intresse för såväl Försvarsmakten som organisationer med liknande förutsättningar i Sverige och jämförbara länder. Som slutsats rekommenderas i avhandlingen att framväxande IKT till stöd för nya förmågor kontinuerligt utvärderas genom såväl akademisk forskning som intern konceptutveckling, samt att en inkrementell och modulär modell bör väljas vid utveckling och anskaffning, snarare än att göra omfattande investeringar i proprietär teknik. Fokus bör även vara på att tidigt få med militära krav i civila IKT-standarder. På så vis kan utvecklingskostnader reduceras, samtidigt som militär användning av kommersiellt tillgängliga produkter förenklas. En slutsats gällande informationssäkerhet är att man med metoder som baseras på så kallad ”best-effort” kan effektivisera utbytet i ett gemensamt informationssystem, samtidigt som risken för dataläckage kan behållas på en acceptabel nivå.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Skövde: Högskolan i Skövde (University of Skövde), 2016. 74 p.
Series
, Dissertation Series, 13
National Category
Information Systems
Research subject
Militärteknik
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:fhs:diva-6326 (URN)978-91-982690-3-1 (ISBN)
Public defence
2016-11-11, Sverigesalen, Drottning Kristinas väg 37, Stockholm, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2016-10-19 Created: 2016-10-19 Last updated: 2016-10-19Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

fulltext(233 kB)13 downloads
File information
File name FULLTEXT01.pdfFile size 233 kBChecksum SHA-512
6232b8aa177835081e1b52679249c2d6d083c3d926d0cfa901d95b6aece3618a44bc9b4f1ebe95f3f66292e4abd21fd242c5bf767af344192e4a5b6e566bbfea
Type fulltextMimetype application/pdf

Other links

JMS Open Access

Search in DiVA

By author/editor
Sigholm, Johan
By organisation
Military-Technology Division
In the same journal
Journal of Military Studies
Human Aspects of ICT

Search outside of DiVA

GoogleGoogle Scholar
Total: 13 downloads
The number of downloads is the sum of all downloads of full texts. It may include eg previous versions that are now no longer available

Total: 346 hits
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link