Military Review

Information warfare - effectiveness without weapons


Today, you can often hear the concept of “information war”, but not everyone understands what this concept is. Moreover, there is no exact time of occurrence of this phrase, as well as when it occurred to someone to use the information as weapons. Moreover, if you try to clarify a little the situation, even more questions will arise, without answers to which it will be impossible to determine the essence of the concept of “information war”. So, in particular, what is an information war, with what means and methods is it carried out, what is the purpose of such a war? Can one consider hacker attacks by military actions, and in the case of a positive answer, by what methods can one respond to them ...

If you delve into the essence of the issue, it becomes quite obvious that the information impact has always existed. Back in ancient times, mythology was used as the first informational attacks. So, in particular, the Mongol-Tatars were known as cruel, merciless warriors, which undermined the fighting spirit of their opponents. At the same time, it should also be noted that psychological attitudes towards defense and resistance to resistance were also supported by the corresponding ideology. Thus, the only difference between the effects of the distant past and the present is that then it was not called wars. This was explained by the lack of technical means of data transmission.

At the moment, the proliferation of numerous information networks has led to the fact that the power of information weapons has been multiplied. The situation is aggravated by the fact that modern society is presented as the most open, which creates prerequisites for increasing the volume of information flows.

It should be noted that any information is based on the events of the world. In order to turn into information, these events must be somehow perceived and analyzed.

There are several concepts that are based on attempts to determine the role of information in a person’s life. So, for example, there is the concept of Walter Lipman, an American journalist, which is based on the use of social stereotype in propaganda practice. This concept became the basis for the propaganda method of stereotyping of mass thinking. The journalist analyzed the mass consciousness, as well as the role of the media in the formation of a generally accepted opinion, as a result of which he concluded that stereotypes have a great influence on the process of perception. The essence of Lipman's concept is that a person perceives the world around him according to a simplified model, because reality is too vast and changeable, and therefore a person first represents the world around him, and only then sees. It is under the influence of data about events, and not from direct observation of what is happening, that a person develops standardized ideas about the world. But this, according to the journalist, is the norm. It is stereotypes that cause a person to have feelings of sympathy or antipathy, hatred or love, anger or fear in relation to various social events. At the same time, Lipman argued that only the press, using information, is capable of creating a false picture of the world, which is not at all true. Thus, the press, in his opinion, has numerous manipulative capabilities. Impact on the human psyche with the help of socially colored models will always be effective, because the effect created by stereotypes is the most profound and subtle.

The theorists and practitioners of propaganda not only adopted the ideas of Lipman about the effect of illusory stereotypes on humans, but also supplemented them with the need for such an impact. Therefore, most of them are firmly convinced that propaganda should be directed not to the human mind, but to the emotions.

One of Lipman’s followers was a French scientist who was involved in propaganda research. He believed that to some extent all the prejudices and stereotypes of a person are products of propaganda. In this case, the larger the audience, the greater the need to simplify propaganda. In his book called Propaganda, the scientist makes recommendations on how to more effectively conduct propaganda. He notes that first of all you need to know well the audience and the set of stereotypes that exist in it. Stereotypes are the basis of the myths on which any ideology is based. The press in any society, using stereotyping, injects into the human consciousness certain illusions that help to maintain the existing structure, to foster loyalty to the existing order.

Hitler did not refuse to use propaganda, who in his book “My Struggle” defined five principles of conducting a propaganda campaign: to appeal to human senses, while avoiding abstract concepts; use stereotypes and constantly repeat the same ideas; use constant criticism of enemies; apply only one side of the argument; single out one enemy and constantly “throw mud at him.

In order to consolidate control over the masses, certain methods are used. These include the implementation of economic control through the creation of financial crises of artificial origin. To get out of such a crisis, a loan is required, which is usually given after the fulfillment of a number of obligations (which, by the way, are obviously impossible to fulfill). The concealment of real information is very often used; the monopoly on this method belongs to the state. If a situation arises when the real information cannot be completely hidden, they resort to the use of informational garbage, that is, important truthful information is immersed in a large amount of empty information. An example of this - a huge number of meaningless programs and shows on television. Another example is the annual address of the head of state to the people on New Year's Eve.

Often used is a method such as the displacement of concepts, when the generally accepted term is used for other purposes, as a result of which its meaning changes in public understanding. In addition, the use of meaningless concepts that are on the ear, but which no one can explain, is applied.

At the same time, everyone is well aware that someone needs to pay for positive information, while negative information sells itself. Therefore, often negative information is given priority over positive. Therefore, in the press you can see a huge number of scandalous reports.

Often used and references to non-existent data. A vivid example is ratings. Another example is the best-selling bookshelves in bookstores. It seems that if some of the publications presented there were placed on any other shelf, they simply would not have been bought, because it is impossible to read them. But, again, man is a social being, he is characterized by uncertainty in his tastes and interests.

Informational taboos are also used, that is, certain information that everyone knows about, but which is forbidden for discussion. In addition, it is often possible to hear a direct overt lie, which for some reason is defined as a lie for salvation. For example, in order not to disturb the people with data about a large number of hostages or victims of any disaster, an extremely low figure is called.

Information wars can be applied in such areas as industrial espionage, infrastructure of life support of states, hacking and further use of personal data of people, misinformation, electronic interference in command and control of military systems and facilities, disabling military communications.

For the first time, the concept of “information war” was used by American Thomas Ron in a report entitled “Weapon Systems and Information War”. Then it was determined that the information infrastructure has become one of the main components of the US economy, at the same time becoming an open target, not only in war, but also in peacetime.

As soon as the report was published, this was the beginning of an active campaign in the press. The problem, indicated by Ron, is very interested in the US military. This was the result of the fact that by the year 1980 there was a common understanding that information can be not only a goal, but a very effective weapon.

After the end of the "cold war" the concept of "information war" appeared in the documents of the American military department. And in the press, it began to be actively used after the “Storm in the Desert” operation was conducted in 1991, during which for the first time new information technologies were used as weapons. However, the official introduction of the term “information war” into the documentation took place only at the end of 1992.

A few years later, in 1996, the “Doctrine of Combating Management and Control Systems” was introduced by the US military. It outlined the main methods of dealing with state command and control systems, in particular, the use of information warfare during military operations. This document identified the structure, planning, training and management of the operation. Thus, for the first time, the doctrine of the information war was defined. In 1996, the Pentagon expert, Robert Bunker, presented a report on the new US military doctrine. The document said that the whole theater of operations is divided into two components - ordinary space and cyberspace, which is of greater importance. Thus, a new sphere of military operations was introduced - information.

A little later, in 1998, the Americans defined the information warfare. It was designated as a complex impact on the system of the military-political rule of the enemy, on the leadership, which in peacetime conditions would facilitate the adoption of decisions favorable for the initiator, and in wartime would cause a complete paralysis of the management infrastructure of the enemy. Information warfare includes a set of measures aimed at achieving information superiority in the process of ensuring the implementation of a national military strategy. Simply put, it is the ability to collect, distribute and process information without letting the enemy do the same. Information superiority makes it possible to maintain the enemy’s unacceptable pace of operation, and thus ensures dominance, unpredictability and anticipation of the enemy.

It should be noted that if America initially named China and Russia among its potential cyber-opponents, then today more than in the 20 states of the world information operations are being carried out and are being directed against the Americans. Moreover, some states that are in opposition to the United States have included information warfare in their military doctrines.

Among the states that have confirmed preparation for information wars, American experts point out, in addition to China and Russia, Cuba and India. Libya, North Korea, Iraq, Iran and Syria have great potential in this direction, and Japan, France and Germany are already very active in this direction.

It makes sense to dwell in a bit more detail on the approaches that various states use in the field of information warfare.

Until recently, there was no definite position in Russia regarding this problem, which, according to a number of experts, was the reason for the defeat in the “cold war”. And only in 2000, the head of state signed the Doctrine of Information Security of Russia. However, it took the lead in ensuring individual, group and public information security. To fulfill the provisions of this document, a special body was created - the Information Security Directorate in the Security Council of the Russian Federation. Currently, the development of domestic methods of information warfare deals with several units: the FSB, FAPSI and the Office of "P" in the structure of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, whose area of ​​responsibility is to conduct investigations of crimes related to information technology.

As for China, the concept of “information war” has long been introduced into the lexicon of the military of this state. Currently, the country is moving towards the creation of a unified doctrine of information warfare. It can also be argued that at the moment China is a state in which a real revolution in cyberspace is taking place. By the way, the concept of the information war in China is based on ideas about the conduct of war in general, which, in turn, are based on the principles of "popular war". In addition, local ideas about how to fight at the operational, strategic and tactical levels are also taken into account. The Chinese definition of information warfare sounds like a transition from a mechanized war to a war of intelligence. The country is developing the concept of Network Forces, the essence of which is reduced to the formation of military units numbering up to the level of the battalion, which would include highly qualified specialists in the field of computer technology. Moreover, China has already conducted several large-scale military exercises aimed at developing the concept of the information war.

In the United States of America, the main development of the concept began with the creation of a presidential commission on infrastructure protection in 1996. This body has identified certain vulnerabilities in the country's national security in the field of information. The result was the National Information System Protection Plan, which was signed in 2000 year, and the implementation of which required more than two billion dollars.

The Americans have made significant progress in improving the methods and techniques for dealing with computer crime evidence. In particular, in 1999, the military forensic computer laboratory was created, which is designed to process computer evidence of crimes, as well as during intelligence and counterintelligence activities. The lab also provides support to the FBI. Specialists of the laboratory took part in such operations as “Sunrise”, “Moonlight Labyrinth”, “Digital Demon”.

In order to increase the possibilities of protecting information systems in the United States, an operational joint defense network computer protection group was created. Also, work was carried out related to the creation of an alarm system to detect the vulnerability of the information network. In addition, a data bank was created, which aims to immediately distribute information about the potential threat to each system administrator with a brief description of response actions aimed at localizing the vulnerability.

However, if you analyze the information that is available on the Internet, you can come to the conclusion that the level of information security has slightly increased. As the representatives of the American administration themselves note, the national information security system turned out to be too cumbersome and heavy. Very often, the process of transferring information was hampered by bureaucratic delays. Therefore, in the event of the emergence of new computer viruses, treatment was found out of time.

In addition, there is a shortage of highly professional personnel in the service of the information security system, as evidenced by the attempt to attract students to the departments in exchange for paying for their education.

Something similar is observed in Germany. The concept of information warfare includes the concepts of offensive and defensive information warfare in order to achieve its goals. At the same time, the German definition is more systematized, in particular, in determining the threat, the state is considered separately from political parties, the media, hackers and other criminal communities, as well as individual individuals.

At the same time, there are certain differences between these two definitions - German and American. So, for example, Germany includes control over the media as an element of the information war. In addition, the concept of an economic information war is also introduced, which is explained by the understanding of the potential of economic losses, as well as the fact that in practice these losses from France in the field of industrial espionage had to be experienced.

In the UK, information warfare is almost identical to the American one. But while the British use and legal laws, which to some extent can be applied to cyberspace. One of these laws was passed in the 2000 year. He assumes that a crime in the information sphere is equivalent to a common criminal offense. Thus, the government has the full right to intercept and read someone else's e-mail, decrypt personal data.

In NATO itself, there is a secret definition of the information war, which is closed to the press. Therefore, at the conference on information warfare, which was held in 2000, all participants used the terms developed in their states. However, there are certain prerequisites for supposing that the NATO definition resembles the American one.

In France, the concept of information warfare is considered in the unity of two elements: economic and military. The military concept assumes a limited use of information operations, in particular, in peacekeeping operations. At the same time, the public concept is considering a wider application of information technology. In particular, the French do not look at NATO, America or the United Nations, coming out of the belief that an ally can be an adversary at the same time. The country is actively functioning structures for control in cyberspace.

Thus, we can conclude that in many states of the world, an active process of creating systems of protection against American information aggression and expansion is currently underway, therefore, developments of this type have become priorities in the national security policy. But information security problems are unlikely to be resolved, because every day more and more types of information weapons appear, the consequences of which are unknown, and the means of protection are not very effective.

Materials used:

Subscribe to our Telegram channel, regularly additional information about the special operation in Ukraine, a large amount of information, videos, something that does not fall on the site:

Dear reader, to leave comments on the publication, you must sign in.
  1. borisst64
    borisst64 18 October 2012 09: 25
    "large amount of empty information"
    "an example is the annual address of the head of state to the people on New Year's Eve"

    A strange conclusion, what you do not like New Year's greetings, the usual good wishes.
    1. Karlsonn
      Karlsonn 18 October 2012 14: 07
      Quote: borisst64
      Strange conclusion

      I agree, this example is not entirely correct, it is much closer to the methods of mass manipulation of consciousness, like translating the clock twice a year. In fact, the New Year’s address is no longer the usual good wishes, but part of the New Year’s ritual, which together a huge mass of people perform.
    2. Botanologist
      Botanologist 18 October 2012 21: 22
      The author writes about a problem that is poorly presented. He even describes the theory of information exposure in a hurry and in fragments.
      For this from me (-).
  2. Uruska
    Uruska 18 October 2012 09: 41
    The information war is very important in modern wars. I hope our experts are not asleep.
    1. prunx
      prunx 18 October 2012 14: 15
      What the hell are the experts? We are all soldiers in the information war. By the way, the Military Review website is one of the sites or fronts of this war.
  3. Lucky
    Lucky 18 October 2012 12: 47
    Our experts, they are not asleep the best in their field!
    1. Karlsonn
      Karlsonn 18 October 2012 14: 22
      Quote: Lucky
      Our experts do not sleep

      So far, no special achievements are visible, unfortunately.
      1. Botanologist
        Botanologist 18 October 2012 21: 29
        And by what criteria do you assess "special achievements" in the information war?
        Symbols are important in it. After all, a person thinks not in words or letters, but in symbols. And everyone has their own. Tell 100 people "city" - each will present a different picture. Say "home", "homeland", "happiness", etc. - each has different symbols.
        The task of informational counteraction is to tie one’s position to positive symbols, and the opponent’s position to negative ones. Therefore, in Russia, the war in Iraq causes denial, and in Europe, for example, justification. This is the result of a successful information war.
        It’s just that these troops work with symbols, and their attacks are extended in time and space, and victory does not come at ... hours ... minutes .... years. This, in principle, is the formation of historical processes and moral imperatives.
      2. Adrenalin
        Adrenalin 5 January 2013 18: 57
        well then .. I think very much there. Take at least a cyber squad (and this is only the open part of the iceberg)
    2. prunx
      prunx 18 October 2012 14: 33
      Quote: Lucky

      Our experts, they are not asleep the best in their field!

      Silly and unfounded statement! We lost the cold (information) war in the 80s. So people were powdered brains about democracy, the market, suckers and jeans, that people surrendered the country for this junk. And now, on this site, a bunch of irresponsible chatterboxes powder the brains of an unprepared man in the street with "truthful and shocking" information about the collapse of the army, etc.
      1. Karlsonn
        Karlsonn 18 October 2012 15: 03
        prunx hi , I think you will agree that now the situation is not as awful as at the beginning of the 90's, there are still progress for the better, although before the assertion - that ours are cooler than the mountains, as from Kiev to China in Plast sad .
        1. prunx
          prunx 18 October 2012 15: 58
          Quote: Karlsonn
          like from Kiev to China in the Plastusian way.

          By the way, about China: they, unlike us, defended their country in 1989 on Tiananmen Square.
          1. Karlsonn
            Karlsonn 18 October 2012 16: 07
            Quote: prunx
            they then, unlike us, defended their country

            as they say mayo, then sho mayo sad , it is necessary to build on and paraphrase the classic:
            - work, work and work again!
          2. Botanologist
            Botanologist 18 October 2012 21: 31
            Each nation has its own dynamics of development and its nightmares. We get out of our own, as we can, and China only goes to him.
  4. Egoza
    Egoza 18 October 2012 21: 30
    We are losing the informational - ideological war today, we are only thinking ... I bring to your attention two messages ...
    Azarov about Matios: this is a tragedy for you and me
    "Number 2 of the BLOW list is a certain Matios, a writer. I don't know who read her works there. I personally have not read it and will not read it. She compared the obelisk on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Kiev in the Park of Glory with a phallus. And she said this comparison when there they condemned one, too, close-minded girl who fried eggs on the Eternal Flame. Can you imagine to what degree insanity, meanness you have to reach ?! And this event, it did not cause a resonance in the country, did not cause condemnation, did not cause indignation. These people walk calmly, They calmly speak on TV, calmly run for people's deputies. This is a tragedy for you and me, "Azarov said at a meeting with veterans of the Second World War and the Armed Forces of Ukraine in Sevastopol on October 18.
    According to him, the Party of Regions still pushed the solution of ideological issues to the background, bringing economic issues to the forefront. However, as the prime minister noted, the time has come to change the situation.
    “And we feel that we have to make a very serious movement forward. We cannot give ideology to the orange people. Look what has happened in recent years. We have begun to deheroise our veterans, our heroes. They make some people out of our heroes, it’s not clear who.” , - the leader of the Party of Regions was indignant.
    Thus, Azarov noted with regret that when the country recently celebrated the 70th anniversary of the feat of the Young Guard, the country's central television channel "Inter" showed an interview with a representative of the Union of Ukrainian Nationalists, who said that there was no feat.
    “The young guys were thrown alive into the pit of the mine and there they died painfully for another week. And that very evening, the Inter channel showed a plot. You know, everything turned upside down here. Some traitor was found… A member of some organization, OUN is called an organization of Ukrainian nationalists in Canada. They interview him. And he says: yes there was no Young Guard movement, that it was all the communists invented, the KGB invented. But we were real fighters against fascism. Lives in Canada. In 43. I fled there, since then I haven’t come out. And I asked myself the question: well, it’s to say black in white. Well, they didn’t throw you into the pit. And it was not you who accepted a painful death, but these young guys. So how can you talk And our central television broadcasts this all over the country. Therefore, we must think very seriously in ideological terms, "the PR leader noted.
    And while the Russian Orthodox Church speaks about the unification of the Russians, while we all amicably talk about the fact that our peoples are Russian, Ukrainian, Belarusian, one ... just now
    we showed a plot on central TV. A group of our nationalists arrived at Moscow's Domodedovo airport, connected with local residents - immigrants from Ukraine, and a veil! "In the course of historical research, they found out that it was Chervona Rus, which later became Ukraine, (which was then seized by Moscow) and therefore Give Ruska a democratic republic. Our flag is black and red with a trident, the central square will be renamed to Maidan named after Danilo Galitsky , and Domodedovo - to the Airport of the liberator of the Ukrainian and Russian lands of Stepan Bandera !!! We don't need Putin's Russia, we will all join the EU together "and our announcer emphasizes that this is the desire of LOCAL residents who were bullied by the oligarchs who bought the lands built in that locality palaces, well, etc. And NOBODY, no special services have done anything yet! Although the organizers have already submitted their petitions to various official bodies!

    Hold on to Russia! Oh we are you! belay
    1. Botanologist
      Botanologist 18 October 2012 22: 44
      is that how you illustrated the loss in the information war? For me, that’s how provocateurs have always been and always will be. Your Azarov, remembering the senile unknown to anyone, renders her great mercy - he is her PR. Why the heck is it asking?
      A news (or event) dies when it is not remembered. And your links to UNA-UNSO - this is an attempt to introduce the theme of nationalism.
      What for? On this site, such information will not cause support, which indicates the correct information strategy.
  5. Dimented
    Dimented 18 October 2012 22: 01
    The author is more confused than shedding light on the problem.
    Let's start with the fact that in the first paragraph it is written: "There is no exact time when this phrase appeared", and a little later - "For the first time the concept of" information war "was used by the American Thomas Rona in a report entitled" Weapon systems and information war "" ... And the year, accordingly, is known - 1976, although the author does not mention it.
    The concepts of "propaganda", "psychological war", "information war" are piled into one heap, as if they are one and the same thing. Half of the material was cleaned up by S. Grinyaev.
    What can I say, the material is simply outdated! Does the author know that since last year the Americans have abandoned the use of the term "information war" and now use "information operations" in documents? And how can FAPSI, which has not existed for almost 10 years, deal with the problems of information warfare?
    Article - "minus" unambiguous.
  6. Egoza
    Egoza 19 October 2012 00: 00
    Sorry, but you didn’t understand anything!
    Quote: Botanologist
    Your Azarov, remembering the senile unknown to anyone, renders her great mercy - he is her PR. Why the heck is it asking?

    This senile is running for a new BP, and pass! And as a deputy, he will spread his lies everywhere, especially when speaking in schools and universities!

    Quote: Botanologist
    And your links to UNA-UNSO - this is an attempt to introduce the theme of nationalism.

    And again they did not understand. I specially wrote this story in full, because behind all the tinsel, the main message here is “there was Red Russia and Moscow seized it” And of course, “Oh, what brave men! They were not afraid of Moscow!” This is the information war, which is slowly poisoning the thoughts and souls of young people. Once upon a time, Americans used to make short reports for their compatriots, such as: "It's a beautiful summer evening in Moscow. Crowds of Muscovites walk the streets because there are no cinemas in Moscow." And the Americans believed it! Because drop by drop, lie after lie settles in the minds. And then we throw up our hands "we should think and think about ideology" Now we need to think and not put it on the back burner!
  7. Stasi.
    Stasi. 19 October 2012 21: 34
    The concept of "information war" is somewhat outdated. Nowadays, the definition of "psychological warfare" is used, with the use of information technology. Even Napoleon said: "ten newspapers are capable of doing what is beyond the power of an entire army." Information weapons can radically change the situation both on the battlefield and in the world. So, for example, in World War II, the Germans actively used the incitement of panic and spread rumors in order to undermine the morale of the enemy army and sow panic among the population. One of these operations of psychological influence was the spread of false prophecies of Nostradamus among the population of France, which spoke of iron birds spewing fire. It worked, crowds of people blocked all roads, which complicated the actions of the army and gave the Luftwaffe pilots to bomb both army and civilian columns with impunity. In the USSR, Stalin ordered that all radio receivers be removed from the population and replaced with loudspeakers. Counter-propaganda and a fight against the spread of panic rumors were established. Nowadays, information and psychological warfare has shown itself in all its glory during the Chechen war, when both the Western and our media were active against our army, aimed at undermining morale and discrediting. Also a good example is the war with Georgia on August XNUMX. With the assistance of the West, the Saakashvili regime accused Russia of unleashing the war and shelling Tskhinvali. And although an international investigation has proven that the blame for unleashing the war lies with Georgia, many still readily believe in delirium that Russia started the war. This became possible because the Georgians immediately started an information war on a par with the usual one. Whoever was the first to present information in a favorable light for himself dictates all the rules. Russia should learn lessons and understand that all defeats are primarily due to weakness in the information field. We need our own modern Agitprop.
    1. gregor6549
      gregor6549 22 October 2012 12: 31
      I agree. It is necessary to distinguish between the actions carried out among the civilian population and the armed forces of the enemy countries with the help of the media and not so much information (radio, TV, Internet, etc., i.e. the so-called "psychological warfare" and actions aimed at destroying or distorting the data flow in information networks of civil and military purposes of these countries, which, in principle, fits into the long-known concept of radio-electronic warfare (EW).
  8. Jakebal
    Jakebal April 23 2019 17: 40
    Competitive fight. Attack aggressively or defend your niche? We will help with the choice of strategy.

    The article is good. It is necessary to protect Russian business in the first place. Vaughn yesterday saw an ambulance in the form of a Mercedes sprinter. For the price of this sprinter, you can take 1-2 gazelles, I am silent about the service.