The “Russia Small Group” – A Step in the Right Direction or a Dangerous Game to Play With?

It has recently came clear that the U.S DoD in direct cooperation with the NSA have been busy working on the so called “Russia Small Group” which aims to analyze and properly respond to the growing threat of foreign influence operations launched and courtesy of Russia that also includes basically anything related to Russia in the world of information and cyber warfare including possibly botnet and malicious software attack campaigns including to further protect the U.S Elections from current and emerging cyber threats that also includes foreign influence operations launched or courtesy by Russia Iran or China.

Among the key factors that should be considered when establishing a proper “Russia Small Group” would eventually consist of monitoring for foreign influence operations and actually establishing the foundation for a proper proactive and active Technical Collection that also includes 4th party collection initiative for the purpose of establishing the foundations for a successful proactive and reactive response to the growing threat posed by Russia that also includes the good old fashioned cybercriminals threat that usually goes beyond the usual GRU-themed malware and cyber espionage type of campaigns.

The currently ongoing misunderstanding that Russia is actively utilizing active measures in cyberspace and the fact that information warfare operations are clearly making its way into the White House Cyberspace strategy should be considered a precedent which despite the fact that will clearly boost the funding and investment in the industrial military complex in particular cyber threat intelligence and foreign influence detection campaigns to actually boost the U.S Cyber Command and NSA’s budget in an attempt to respond to the threat posed by Russia in cyberspace the use of information warfare and information operations in cyberspace that also includes foreign influence operations in the form of active measures should be considered and properly analyzed with caution as it blurs the lines between cyber warfare information warfare information operations and the newly emerged term called foreign influence operations which from the perspective of cybercrime research should be considered a basic rogue and bogus content farm which is capable of acquiring traffic and hijacking traffic using basic blackhat SEO (search engine optimization) techniques.

It used to be a moment in time when Russia and China were actively busy playing copycats from publicly obtainable and accessible U.S DoD and U.S Intelligence Community online documentation and material which basically helped them shape their modern information warfare and cyber warfare doctrines if any. The rest remains cybercrime as usual.

Stay tuned!

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Pillars of Russia’s Disinformation and Propaganda Ecosystem

Author: Dancho Danchev

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