2016 was just the latest in #cyberwar; and #informationwarfare attacks where even bills were introduced in Congress. It has been ongoing as long as there have been digital mediums and technologies; and information distribution technology. My company saw it happening last year and got more and more concerned as the election grew closer. We literally wrote letters to people in government, people at the DNC and elsewhere, basically yelling as loudly as we could that the #USA was being cyber and information warfare attacked.
As a cyber security, and weaponized information expert - it was all too clear what was happening. It has left a feeling of being sick in the stomach for a year now, and this feeling has not abated. Because it has not ended. For millions of Americans and millions of people around the world too.
The Unites States is witnessing both the worst and best it can show at once. The worst by all the traitors amongst us: those pretending we were not just victims of a non lethal act of war.
The best by all those in and out of government banding together to excise the cancer from the nation; regardless of the risks and dangers.
Some cyber and information warfare players have been better than others. Some have taken a longer term perspective than others. Nation states that have invested heavily into cyber technologies and offensive information warfare technologies are multiplying every year.
It is not just the domain of: Russia, Iran, North Korea, China, Ukraine, the UK, France, USA and other large or technologically advanced countries. It is now the domain of any country who decides to invest in the people and the technology and take a longer term view than the average hacker for hire.
Sun Tzu believed that “all warfare is deception,” — but where does that leave the average person; who does not understand they are caught up in forces through control of information; that they can neither understand or ever hope to control?
One of the points I made; was that almost all of our lives are not just locked up in databases in offices or on the cloud somewhere. But indeed, flying through the ether every millisecond of our lives. Hundreds of companies; and dozens or more countries have the capabilities to hack into it, to manipulate it, change it and even delete.
24 hours a day, with lots and lots of ways for data to be intercepted, changed, made into FUD. (Look it up - means F*#$ed Up Data) - or just simply deleted. Not to mention when the data flying through the ether becomes weaponized by either a Nation State or a Company or a bad actor group or individual with ill intent.
The implications on the types of information warfare that Russia is enacting on the US and the Western Coalitions; is that it is multi level, persistent, and consistent. It is coming in through a combination of weaponized social media, fake websites, fake news, automated bots as well as hacking, intrusions and exfiltrations of data that then become weaponized. It is happening in multiple countries, with a huge budget and thousands of people behind the execution of it. This was the path the Russians took in 2016: a multi pronged effort, all across the United States, focused on Federal, State, and Local authorities. This included national and state political leaders, parties and their allies, as well as election vendors and election technology across the spectrum.
To be extremely clear, the efforts that Russia leveraged as non lethal acts of War against the USA - are still ongoing. They never stopped. Indeed, 2016 was just a continuation of Russia’s long game in cyber and information warfare.
So now we need to take action steps as a country to come together. We need to put aside political partisanship and simply deal with what we have to deal with in terms of investigations and cleaning house. Of all those who played a role in the greatest act of treason since Benedict Arnold tried to give West Point to the King’s Army. All of the people in the United States who played any part in supporting this treasonous Act of War should pay.
Just like General Arnold did.
This is a time for the decision to be made. Are you Partisan, and metaphorically selling out West Point by supporting those who sold out the USA to Russia?
Or are you a Patriot — and going to fight for your country to not disappear by virtue of some digital exhaust of ongoing, persistent information warfare + cyberwar?
Nathan Hale was America’s first spy to be killed in action. When being hanged by the British - he is reported to have said this most famous quote: "I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country." Hopefully none of us have to be in such a dangerous position.
But we are in a place in history where Patriots are already at work, saving our country. What are you?
When your kids ask you what you did to stop this non lethal act of war, what will you say?