Conquest in Cyberspace: National Security and Information Warfare

Conquest in Cyberspace: National Security and Information Warfare

by Martin C. Libicki

ISBN-10: 0521871603

ISBN-13: 9780521871600

Pub. Date: 04/28/2007

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

The global Internet has served primarily as an arena for peaceful commerce. Some analysts have become concerned that cyberspace could be used as a potential domain of warfare, however. Martin C. Libicki argues that the possibilities of hostile conquest are less threatening than these analysts suppose. It is in fact difficult to take control of other people's…  See more details below


The global Internet has served primarily as an arena for peaceful commerce. Some analysts have become concerned that cyberspace could be used as a potential domain of warfare, however. Martin C. Libicki argues that the possibilities of hostile conquest are less threatening than these analysts suppose. It is in fact difficult to take control of other people's information systems, corrupt their data, and shut those systems down. Conversely, there is considerable untapped potential to influence other people's use of cyberspace, as computer systems are employed and linked in new ways over time.

The author explores both the potential for and limitations to information warfare, including its use in weapons systems and in command-and-control operations as well as in the generation of "noise." He also investigates how far "friendly conquest" in cyberspace extends, such as the power to persuade users to adopt new points of view. Libicki observes that friendly conquests can in some instances make hostile conquests easier or at least prompt distrust among network partners. He discusses the role of public policy in managing the conquest and defense of cyberspace and shows how cyberspace is becoming more ubiquitous and complex.

About the Author:
Martin C. Libicki, a senior policy analyst at the RAND Corporation since 1998

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Product Details

Cambridge University Press
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
5.98(w) x 9.02(h) x 0.87(d)

Table of Contents

List of Figures     x
Acknowledgments     xi
Introduction     1
What Does Conquest Mean in Cyberspace?     4
Precis     10
Hostile Conquest as Information Warfare     15
An Ideal-Type Definition of Information Warfare     16
Control at One Layer Is Not Control at Another     24
Applying the Ideal-Type Definition     27
There Is No Forced Entry in Cyberspace     31
Information Warfare Only Looks Strategic     37
IW Strategy and Terrorism     43
Conclusions     49
Information Warfare as Noise     50
Disinformation and Misinformation     51
Defenses against Noise     55
Redundancy     55
Filtration     57
What Tolerance for Noise?     59
Tolerance in Real Environments     60
Castles and Agoras     62
Hopping from Agoras to Castles?     64
Castling Foes     66
Concluding Observations     71
Can Information Warfare Be Strategic?     73
Getting In     75
Mucking Around     79
Spying     79
Denial of Service     80
Corruption     81
Distraction     83
Countermeasures     84
Redundancy     84
Learning     85
Damage Assessment     87
Prediction     90
Intelligence Is Necessary     90
Intelligence Alone Is Hardly Sufficient     93
Is Information Warfare Ready for War?     95
The Paradox of Control     96
Other Weaponization Criteria     97
Conclusions     100
Information Warfare against Command and Control     102
The Sources of Information Overload     103
Its Effect on Conventional Information Warfare Techniques     105
Coping Strategies     107
Who Makes Decisions in a Hierarchy?     107
Responses to Information Overload     111
Know the Enemy's Information Architecture     116
Elements of Information Culture     117
Elements of Nodal Architecture     118
Injecting Information into Adversary Decision Making     118
Ping, Echo, Flood, and Sag     121
Ping and Echo     121
Flood and Sag     122
Conclusions     124
Friendly Conquest in Cyberspace      125
A Redefinition of Conquest     126
The Mechanisms of Coalitions     128
The Particular Benefits of Coalitions     130
Information and Coalitions     131
The Cost of Coalitions in Cyberspace     136
Enterprise Architectures and Influence     142
Alliances with Individuals     148
The Special Case of Cell Phones     151
Alliances of Organizations     155
Ecologies of Technological Development     155
DoD's Global Information Grid (GIG)     159
Merging the Infrastructures of Allies     164
Conclusions     166
Friendly Conquest Using Global Systems     169
Geospatial Data     170
Coping with Commercial Satellites     175
Manipulation through Cyberspace     178
Getting Others to Play the Game     180
Some Conclusions about Geospatial Services     182
National Identity Systems     182
Two Rationales for a National Identity System     183
Potential Parameters for a Notional System     184
Constraints from and Influences over Foreign Systems     187
Compare, Contrast, and Conclude     191
Retail Conquest in Cyberspace     193
Information Trunks and Leaves     194
Where Does Cheap Information Come From?     195
Surveillance in Cyberspace     198
Making Information Global     203
Privacy     204
Amalgamating Private Information     206
Using the Information     208
General Coercion     208
Specific Coercion     209
Persuasion     211
Some Limits of Retail Warfare in Cyberspace     214
Using Retail Channels to Measure Wholesale Campaigns     215
Conclusions     218
From Intimacy, Vulnerability     220
Do the Walls Really Come Down?     220
Intimacy as a Target     222
The Fecklessness of Friends     225
Betrayal     228
Conclusions     230
Talking Conquest in Cyberspace     231
Four Layers of Communications     232
Human Conversation in Layers     232
Cyberspace in Layers     236
Complexity Facilitates Conquest     240
Complexity and Hostile Conquest     241
Complexity and Friendly Conquest     242
Semantics     245
Pragmatics      249
Lessons?     255
Managing Conquest in Cyberspace     256
Conducting Hostile Conquest in Cyberspace     257
Warding Off Hostile Conquest in Cyberspace     262
Byte Bullies     262
Headless Horsemen     265
Perfect Prevention     268
Total Transparency     270
Nasty Neighborhoods     272
Exploiting Unwarranted Influence     276
Against Unwarranted Influence     281
In Microsoft's Shadow     282
Microsoft and Computer Security     285
Conclusions     289
Why Cyberspace Is Likely to Gain Consequence     291
More Powerful Hardware and Thus More Complex Software     292
Cyberspace in More Places     294
Fuzzier Borders between Systems     297
Accepted Cryptography     299
Privatized Trust     301
The Possible Substitution of Artificial for Natural Intelligence     303
Conclusions     306
Index     307

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