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.
- Valery Boval