Playing Cowboys in a Cybersecurity Warzone

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The Information Theater

In the context of cybersecurity, we are not talking about information warfare per-se, or even intelligence about threats, though it plays a factor.  What is typically meant by information in our context, conjures up the recent Russian meddling and Asian psycho-warfare, and is certainly not new. Threat intelligence has been around a while as well, though there have been some recent advances which are interesting and may be useful to help us get to know our adversaries better.

To be precise, the Information Theater to which we are referring relates to one of the core elements of the attacker/defender dynamic where our attackers know lots of stuff about us, while we know very little and in many cases, nothing about them.  This, of course, provides a tremendous battlefield advantage to the other team.  This asymmetric element sets our very siloed and segmented defenses up against masquerading attackers about whom we have almost no information, and they consequently require very little of their own to be successful.

Informational asymmetry also results in our continuing failure to identify the exploitation of legitimacy (fakery) or ability to correctly attribute the source or nature of our attackers.

We are never sure whether Russia, Iran, China or young Robert Francis Baker living in his mom’s basement down on First Street is the actual attacker. And it dramatically affects our ability to respond to or even develop a policy for response protocols.

As one of many examples, it appears that China likely

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