Hybrid War Hybrid War


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Jan 21, 2002
This is a new Forum that covers Alternative War or Hybrid War
The definition as per Wikipedia of Hybrid War is:

Hybrid warfare is a military strategy that employs political warfare and blends conventional warfare, irregular warfare and cyberwarfare with other influencing methods, such as fake news, diplomacy and foreign electoral intervention. By combining kinetic operations with subversive efforts, the aggressor intends to avoid attribution or retribution. Hybrid warfare can be used to describe the flexible and complex dynamics of the battlespace requiring a highly adaptable and resilient response. There are a variety of terms used to refer to the hybrid war concept: hybrid war, hybrid threats, hybrid influencing or hybrid adversary (as well as non-linear war, non-traditional war or special war).

US military bodies tend to speak in terms of a hybrid threat, while academic literature speaks of a hybrid warfare. For the purposes of this forum, these terms will be used interchangeably

We will see how much interest this forum gets , I guess you could call it a trial run ;)

hybrid war.jpeg

I would appreciate your thoughts on this new forum. Do you feel the subject matter is worthy of it having an entire forum of its own
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Good idea for a forum!

I'm a bit sceptical about how "Hybrid Warfare" is considered something "totally new" only because Russia is now doing it.

Hybrid warfare is a military strategy that employs political warfare and blends conventional warfare, irregular warfare and cyberwarfare with other influencing methods, such as fake news, diplomacy and foreign electoral intervention.
That's basically what Islamist groups around the world have been doing for the last two decades. The only difference now is, that a state actor like Russia can a) pour hell of a lot more resources into the effort and b) coordinate those efforts to a higher degree. than non-state actors.

However, I have the feeling that Western societies are still a bit helpless when it comes to combat the non-kinetics parts, especially "fake news". How do you shut down RussiaToday or SputnikNews (and associated agencies)? How do you identify and eliminate social bots on Twitter and Facebook? Should we (as the West) create our own armies of trolls and bots and unleash them on Russia?
Those questions only deal with the government pov and doesn't even begin to deal with the poor consumer's pov. I mean, how the heck should I, as a consumer, identify what is fake news and what's not, when even "legit" Western media posts so much ill-informed BS (especially in military and law enforcement fields).

I think I'd like to throw a hypothesis for discussion into the ring: I think the poor quality of contemporary Western media makes our society especially vulnerable to foreign, subversive influence campaigns.

Two examples from Germany: At the height of the Refugee Crisis, Russia spread the fake news that a Russian-German child had been raped by refugees and blamed German authorities to cover it up. In the result far-right Germans and Russian-Germans joint forces and took the protests to the street. Later it became evident, that the whole incident had been fabricated by Russia.
Also during the Refugee Crisis, a female student in Freiburg was raped and murdered by a refugee. At first German "state TV" did not report the incident, since they ("officially") considered it "local news" and therefor ignored it in their national news. After a major public outrage [edit: and accusations of covering the incident up], they began to report about the incident and the following trial of the perp (who received a life-sentence with and extended term of imprisonment on top).

Thus, the poor performance of the German "state media" in the Freiburg case (and the infamous New Years Eve in Cologne 2016 and several other cities) increases the vulnerability to additional "fake news" attacks against Germany in the future.
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Good post and thanks for taking the time to give me your thoughts on the forum itself, also examples of fake news.

One fake news item that I can remember from reading a BBC news item is as follows

In the hours after six people were killed and 50 injured in a terror attack in London, UK, on 22 March, a photograph was widely circulated of a woman wearing a hijab and talking on the phone on Westminster Bridge, the site of the attack.

Thousands shared the picture claiming the woman, as a Muslim, was indifferent to the suffering of victims around her. #BanIslam was one hashtag circulating with the image.


Image copyright REX/Shutterstock
The woman in the picture released a statement and spoke of being "devastated by witnessing the aftermath of a shocking and numbing terror attack," after the negative attention she received.

The account, @SouthLoneStar, which first tweeted the image, was suspended by Twitter in November after being identified as a Russian bot.

So as you say, fake news and the use of bots is being employed already by the Russians and to significant affect and the purpose of this item of FN is clearly obvious.
Israel said on Wednesday it thwarted a cyber attack on its defence industry by a hacking group known as Lazarus, which the United States says is run by North Korean intelligence.

Israel’s Defence Ministry said hackers posing as potential employers sent job offers to defence workers trying to infiltrate their networks and gather sensitive information.

The group built fake profiles on the LinkedIn network to disguise its hackers and separately attempted to hack Israeli defence firms via their websites, the ministry statement said.

The attacks were identified in real time and thwarted with no disruption to the companies’ networks, it added, without identifying the firms or saying when the incidents took place.

Israel said the group was backed by a foreign country, but did not name it. Washington has said Lazarus operates for the RGB, North Korea’s primary intelligence bureau.

U.S. prosecutors have accused the group of orchestrating the leak of emails from Sony Pictures in 2014 and stealing tens of millions of dollars from the Central Bank of Bangladesh in 2016.

North Korea’s mission to the United Nations in New York did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Pyongyang has in the past denied allegations of cyber-attacks and accused the United States of spreading rumours.

Since the start of the year, Israel has reported attempted cyber attacks on power stations and water utilities, with officials pointing the finger at Iran or Iranian-backed groups.

A fire last month at Iran’s Natanz nuclear site prompted some Iranian officials to say it was the result of cyber sabotage. Israel’s defence minister said his country was not “necessarily” behind every mysterious incident in Iran.
This is a great topic, however the idea of a "Hybrid Warfare" is not new, ancient texts such as The Iliad, The Odyssey, Bible, Story of Gilgamesh, The Oracle, etc, etc, are full of examples of HW. Trojan Horse and tricks used in Exodus are just some of them.
Here is another example of ancient hacker Bilaam:

The only real difference between ancient and modern is equipment.



More about this here
Information collected includes dates of birth, addresses, marital status, along with photographs, political associations, relatives and social media IDs.

It collates Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and even TikTok accounts, as well as news stories, criminal records and corporate misdemeanours.
While much of the information has been "scraped" from open-source material, some profiles have information which appears to have been sourced from confidential bank records, job applications and psychological profiles.
The company is believed to have sourced some of its information from the so-called "dark web".
"While in their hotel rooms in Australia, both of the Americans felt it: the strange sound, the pressure in their heads, the ringing in their ears," GQ reported.
Department of Home Affairs Secretary Mike Pezzullo said he had nothing to say about the alleged story.
"I don't have any comment on the story in GQ magazine, and even if I did, I won't confirm or deny if I've had classified briefings on that matter," he said.

The US embassy in Canberra referred questions to the CIA, which has not yet responded.

Peter Jennings from the Australian Strategic Policy Institute said if the attacks were proven, Russia was the most likely culprit.
Pro-monarchy activists showed up in front of the United States embassy in Bangkok on Tuesday, asking Washington to stop its "hybrid war" in Thailand.

The group, led by singer Haruethai "Ooh" Muangboonsri, carried several signs written in English accusing the US of hybrid warfare and interfering in Thailand's internal affairs.

One said, "Stop hybrid war. Pease return peace to the world". Another, addressed to ambassador Michael George DeSombre, declared, "Your job in Hong Kong was good, but it doesn't work for Thailand".

They did not attempt to deliver a letter to the embassy.
The so called ''Gerasimov doctrine'' as it was named from the Russian general who is head of the general staff is called hybrid, non linear, or special warfare. Actually in reality is just the next step to the ''active measures'' and the political warfare of the Soviet era and today includes among other methods:

Use of foreign mercenaries.
Use of social networks for information warfare
Ιinducing a refugee crisis with the aim to destabilize a state. (What Turkey did in late February 2020 in the Greek Turkish borders.)

There are also elements of this kind of warfare used by the West.

During the Kosovo war in 1999, NATO was coordinating actions with UCK and OSCE verificators, there were numerous times when the UCK members were ''cornered'' by Serb police forces and the OSCE arrived immediately in the area to save them, thus ''monitoring''.

So the concept existed, now it's becoming a much more studied subject because of the Gerasimov guy.
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In the global discussion around data privacy and security, much attention has been rightfully placed on the Chinese-owned platform TikTok, with concerns that the user data it collects is accessible to Chinese authorities. But the issue of data collection on behalf of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), and its integration into propaganda efforts, extends far beyond a single app.

A new ASPI report, launched today, sheds light on a much wider ecosystem of companies involved in areas like data exchange, media, gaming, artificial intelligence and immersive technology that are all being corralled into the CCP’s propaganda system.

The report, Truth and reality with Chinese characteristics: The building blocks of the propaganda system enabling CCP information campaigns, and its accompanying website, maps the CCP’s propaganda system, highlighting the linkages between the Central Propaganda Department, state-owned or controlled propaganda entities and data-collection activities, as well as technology investments in Chinese companies, many of which now operate globally. The CCP’s aim is to leverage various entities across media, gaming, AI and other emerging technologies to gain access to data that it deems strategically valuable for the propaganda system and its ongoing information campaigns.

The project reveals the expansive ambition of a modernising propaganda apparatus that extends far beyond traditional media channels or any single app. Through strategic partnerships and financial support, it intertwines with emerging technologies, leveraging data collection, AI, and immersive experiences to reinforce its grip on information flows. The problem runs much deeper than just TikTok. As the project shows, the pervasive influence of China’s propaganda system reaches into a much wider spectrum of industries and technologies.

The Chinese party-state has long seen digital communications technology as a double-edged sword, and it has used that threat perception to guide its national approach to technology’s research and development, use and management. The CCP is interested not just in preventing unwanted interference in China’s information environment from either internal or external sources, but also in being able to shape, manage and control the information environment inside and outside China.

It faces a constantly evolving information landscape and adapts its strategies accordingly. One such evolution is from a focus on traditional ‘party-controlled media’ to a more comprehensive approach centred on ‘party-controlled data’ (党管数据). Data is seen in an expansive way: not simply as a source for commercial exploitation, but as a strategic asset that can be used in its propaganda efforts. By exercising control over data—including data collected from subsidiaries operating outside China—the CCP can gain unprecedented insight into societal trends and preferences.

For years, leaders in liberal democracies assumed that digital communications technologies would pave the way for democracy while simultaneously weakening authoritarian regimes. Only when those same digital platforms started to be used to subvert democratic processes, such as through cyberattacks or foreign interference in elections and referendums, did leaders in liberal democracies begin to understand that democratic societies require protection against the malign use of those technologies.

Governments worldwide are currently fixated on mitigating risks associated with TikTok, leading to many countries banning the app from official devices. However, this narrow approach overlooks the broader implications of China’s growing investment in pivotal information technologies. By addressing platforms individually, policymakers fail to recognise the systemic challenge posed by China’s propaganda system and its foundational technology investments. This issue extends beyond China’s domestic information sphere, influencing the global information landscape as well.

China’s propaganda system is a vast structure in and of itself. Under its direct control, or with its direct support, are a web of additional entities whose portfolios contribute to the party’s ability to meet its strategic aims in the information environment. By understanding the ‘invisible architecture’ of China’s propaganda system and technologies, countries can better prepare to mitigate risks that PRC companies pose now or down the track.

Governments must think more holistically about the issue of information campaigns and the technologies that enable them. If governments seek to combat information campaigns only after those campaigns are detected, or their effects felt, then they’re putting themselves in the position of only having the toolkit to respond once the damage is done. The starting points for meeting this challenge must include ensuring that liberal democracies are at the forefront of the deployment of information standards and the core foundational technologies for Web 2.0 and beyond.

Policymakers must develop robust defences and countermeasures to safeguard against future information campaigns orchestrated by Beijing. By understanding the intricate workings of China’s propaganda machinery, governments and industries can formulate policies to ensure the integrity and security of the global information environment. The report makes a series of recommendations around improving due diligence and transparency in the digital supply chain, data standardisation, and regulating technologies used for surveillance and related immersive technologies.

Lawmakers in the United States should rightfully be pleased that they’ve been able to take decisive action against TikTok in a moment of bipartisanship despite Washington’s polarised politics. But they, and other governments, should not rest on their laurels. The challenge posed by China’s propaganda system extends far beyond a single app and requires a comprehensive approach that addresses the broader technological landscape.
https://www.aspistrategist.org.au/c... from global apps to boost propaganda efforts