The Cyber College leverages faculty academic expertise, student operational experience and guidance from the operational community to produce actionable research to solve AF, DOD, & national problems.
Here is the link to the page: https://www.iaria.org/conferences2020/AwardsCYBER20.html
Conference Presentation: https://youtu.be/1tSOyx0X26w
Conference Slides: https://www.iaria.org/conferences2020/filesCYBER20/CYBER_80012.pdf
Another Hot Topic from Dr. Sipper, Special Issue of JFQ (100th issue):
It’s Not Just About Cyber Anymore: Multidisciplinary Cyber Education and Training Under the New Information Warfare Paradigm > National Defense University Press > News Article View (ndu.edu)
Time for a Counter-AI Strategy
Dr. Melissa A. Thomas, AFCC
The development of artificial intelligence technologies has been mistakenly characterized as a “winner-take-all" race. Being in the lead means that there is no need to be concerned about those who are behind. But AI is not unidimensional; it is a heterogeneous collection of approaches and applications. This means those who are ahead in some applications are likely behind in others. The United States needs a “counter-AI” strategy.
Thomas, M. A. 2020. “Time for a Counter-AI Strategy.” Strategic Studies Quarterly 14 (1): 3-8.
Warbot 1.0: AI Goes to War
by Brian Michelson - Reviewed by Dr. Melissa A. Thomas, AFCC
In this science fiction novel, a near-future conflict between the US and China is the setting for a vivid, detailed tactical depiction of the impact of artificial intelligence and robotics on warfare
Thomas, M.A. 2020. “Warbot 1.0: AI Goes to War.” Book review. Strategic Studies Quarterly 15 (1): 135-136.
The Hidden Costs of Cybercrime
Jessica “Zhanna” Malekos Smith, J.D., AFCC
Since 2018, we estimated that the cost of global cybercrime reached over $1 trillion.
We estimated the monetary loss from cybercrime at approximately $945 billion. Added to this was global spending on cybersecurity, which was expected to exceed $145 billion in 2020. Today, this is $1 trillion dollar drag on the global economy.
This is our fourth report on the cost of cybercrime. Our reports surveyed publicly available information on national losses, and in a few cases, we used data from not-for-attribution interviews with cybersecurity officials. Our 2018 report found that cybercrime cost the global economy more than $600 billion. Our new estimate suggests a more than 50% increase in two years.
The granting of independence to the U.S. Air Force in 1947 and the establishment of U.S. Special Operations Command in 1987 share striking similarities with the Space Force debate in terms of the general security environment and the specific re-organizing proposals. In each case, unique mission sets were differentiated at the highest levels — that is, they were insulated from outside control and elevated within the organization. Space Force could be the next success story to follow this pattern, but organizational design theory and historical experience provide a few cautions regarding growth of headquarters staffs, eased access to senior leaders, resistance to integration, and unmanageable span of control. The benefits of a Space Force, either as its own department or as more modestly proposed by the president’s directive, may well outweigh these cautions, but they deserve careful consideration and attention to potential mitigating strategies.
Fake news—false information passed off as factual—is an effective weapon in the information age. For instance, the Russian government perfected techniques used in its 2007 Estonian and 2008 Georgian cyber campaigns to support Donald Trump’s successful candidacy in the 2016 United States presidential election. In this chapter, the authors examine fake news and Russia’s cyberwarfare efforts across time as case studies of information warfare. The chapter identifies key terms and reviews extant political science and psychological research related to obtaining an understanding of psychological cyber warfare (“psywar”) through the proliferation of fake news. Specifically, the authors suggest that there are social, contextual, and individual factors that contribute to the spread and influence of fake news and review these factors in this chapter.
Guadagno, R.E. and Guttieri, K., “Fake News and Information Warfare,” Handbook of Research on Deception, Fake News, and Misinformation Online, Innocent E. Chiluwa and Sergei A. Samoilenko, eds. June 2019: 167-191.
This 2016 statement from Miranda A. A. Ballentine, the former assistant secretary of the Air Force for Installations, Environment, and Energy, remains true today and is a call to action for the Air Force, DOD, and Congress. “The Air Force is currently maintaining installations that are too big, too old, and too expensive for current and future needs.” The USAF has performed the same core missions from its bases since 1947. How the service performs those missions has changed drastically since then. According to the Air Force Future Operating Concept, this evolution will continue. Despite these changes, the Air Force’s bases will remain essential because “the foundation of Air Force readiness and lethality is an integrated network of resilient installations.” However, changing factors in the strategic environment demand that the service changes the way it operates, maintains, modifies, and protects its permanent air bases.
Hackers have compromised the designs of numerous major US weapon systems. Safeguarding mission-critical systems requires effective network security and secure firmware and software. To achieve this, the US Defense Department should carefully screen contractors based on their past cybersecurity prowess and provide incentives for them to produce and maintain secure systems.
Dacus, C. and P. Yannakogeorgos. "Designing Cybersecurity into Defense Systems: An Information Economics Approach." IEEE Security and Privacy 14, no. 3 (May 2016): 44-51.
In the early 1900s, physics was the archetypical science and measurement was equated with mathematization to real numbers. To enable the use of mathematics to draw empirical conclusions about psychological data, which was often ordinal, Stevens redefined measurement as “the assignment of numerals to objects and events according to a rule.” He defined four scales of measurement (nominal, ordinal, interval, and ratio) and set out criteria for the permissible statistical tests to be used with each. Stevens' scales of measurement are still widely used in data analysis in the social sciences. They were revolutionary but flawed, leading to ongoing debate about the permissibility of the use of different statistical tests on different scales of data. Stevens implicitly assumed measurement involved mapping to real numbers. Rather than rely on Stevens' scales, researchers should demonstrate the mathematical properties of their data and map to analogous number sets, making claims regarding mathematization explicit, defending them with evidence, and using only those operations that are defined for that set.
Thomas, M. A. 2020. “Mathematization, Not Measurement.” Journal of Methods and Measurement in the Social Sciences 10 (2): 76-94.
State-on-state conflict governed by generally clear rules of engagement was the predominant mode of warfare in the mid-twentieth century. Now, almost two decades into the post-9/11 world, state and non-state actors, transnational terrorists, and cyber operators thrive in twilight zones of domestic and international law. The past few years carry signs of troubles to come. Transnational terrorism, struck down in certain areas, but emboldened by twenty years of muddled U.S. and Allied counterterrorism policy, threatens again to break out of its Middle Eastern base. China is stealing U.S. trade secrets at a rate beyond alarming and forcing American companies to work inside China or forfeit profitable trade deals. Russia, a shadow of what it once was during the height of the Soviet Union, now seeks to project strength through information warfare against the West.
Governance, Innovation, and Information and Communications Technology for Civil-Military Interactions
Dr. Karen Guttieri, AFCC
Civilian and military participants in relief and stability operations rely upon Information and Communications Technology (ICT) to collect, analyze, store, display, and share information that is critical for these civil-military interactions. This article investigates ICT innovation in these operations over time. As researchers in the sociology of technology school might predict, ICT innovation for relief and stability operations emerges in a distributed fashion, within clusters of specialty expertise that migrate across interconnected technology systems and across humanitarian and military activities. Major events such as natural disasters have punctuated the development of ICT for civil-military interactions, often driving community learning and coherence. Among the many stakeholders in the United States, the federal government in particular has played an important role in shaping the ICT ecosystem through policies and engagements. Government policies and changes in the field of action in the 1990s created imperatives for the US military in particular to collaborate with civilian agencies on ICT innovation. Civil-military information sharing gaps persist today due, in part, to institutional factors.
Guttieri K. “Governance, Innovation, and Information and Communications Technology for Civil-Military Interactions.” Stability: International Journal of Security and Development. 2014;3(1):Art. 6. DOI: http://doi.org/10.5334/sta.dc
A Conceptual Framework for Defense Acquisition Decision Makers: Giving the Schedule its Due
Dr. Chad L. Dacus, AFCC
Conceptual models based on economic and operations research principles can yield valuable insight into defense acquisition decisions. This article focuses on models that place varying degrees of emphasis on each objective of the defense acquisition system: cost (low cost), schedule (short cycle times), and performance (high system performance). The most appealing conceptual model is chosen, which the authors posit that, if adopted, would lead to shifts in priorities that could facilitate better outcomes, as empirical results. Finally, several policy prescriptions implied by the model are briefly explored.
Peace Technology: Scope, Scale and Cautions
Quihuis, Margarita, Nelson, Mark, and Guttieri, Karen
Peace technology, as we have defined it at the Stanford Peace Innovation Lab, is fundamentally mediating technology—it acts as an intervening agent, augmenting our ability to engage positively with others. Peace technology, as we experience it today, contains four sub-components working together: 1. Sensors that can measure human engagement behavior with ever-greater precision (such as cameras, microphones & GPS) between any two social entities across difference boundaries such as gender, income, ethnicity, age, nationality, etc. 2. Communications technology including: cellular radio, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi capabilities in phones and laptops, as well as landline, fiber optic, and satellite networks. 3. Computation, particularly distributed and cloud-based computing. The above three components enable detection and early-warning systems. 4. The addition of actuators, which can include humans or devices, allows us to trigger and coordinate action in response.4. These four component technologies are now so inexpensive and ubiquitous that your smartphone contains many of each.
Quihuis, Margarita, Nelson, Mark, and Guttieri, Karen “Peace Technology: Scope, Scale and Cautions,” Building Peace: A Forum for Peace and Security in the 21st Century, 2015.
A conceptual Model for Defense Acquisition: Giving the Schedule its Due
Dacus, C. and Hagel, S.
Conceptual models based on economic and operations research principles can yield valuable insight into defense acquisition decisions. This article focuses on models that place varying degrees of emphasis on each objective of the defense acquisition system: cost (low cost), schedule (short cycle times), and performance (high system performance). The most appealing conceptual model is chosen, which the authors posit that, if adopted, would lead to shifts in priorities that could facilitate better outcomes, as empirical results suggest. Finally, several policy prescriptions implied by the model are briefly explored.
Dacus, C. and S. Hagel. "A Conceptual Model for Defense Acquisition: Giving the Schedule its Due." Defense Acquisition Research Journal 21, no. 1 (January 2014): 486-504.
The AF Cyber College is excited to launch its Cyber Case Studies Series. The vision for our collection is to offer educators with materials for classroom teaching of various cyber topics related to national defense—policy, law, strategy, and practice. Whether in professional military education, civilian university courses, or informal lunch-and-learns, these case studies will engage students with interesting dilemmas and active learning to discover and reinforce key concepts relevant to competing in the cyberspace domain. Each case study prompt (for students) is posted below. Extensive teaching notes (for instructors) are available upon request. Cyber College is also interested in external authors of case studies who wish to contribute to the series. Send inquiries to AWC.CyberCollege.Org@us.af.mil.
A prompt or pop-up case is a shorter piece that identifies a story, an image, a film or another “found” instance to prompt classroom discussion and analysis.
Borderless Data in a World of Borders
Dr. Melissa A. Thomas, AFCC
Air University | Air Force Cyber College
For Teaching Notes Contact:
Fly, Patch, and Don't Lose
Kevin L. Parker, AFCC
WIZARD SPIDER: Lethally Poisonous Ransomware
Joshua A. Sipper, AFCC
Driving Artificial Intelligence
Dr. Jim Chen, National Defense University
Hacking the Vaccine
Dr. Chad Dacus, AFCC
America is faced with a national emergency in cyberspace. Threat actors utilize weaknesses in information systems upon which modern societies rely on for economic prosperity and military superiority as tools. As we move from an Industrial Age world to a Digital Age world, educating all Airmen on understanding the operational and strategic implications how cyberspace impacts military mission and national security is critical.
Creating a culture of cybersecurity and mission assurance poses a great challenge for the AF, DOD and the nation. This guide is an effort to inform the AF as a whole on the broader implications of cyberspace and electronic warfare within the AF core missions. Currently, there exists a gap in understanding the fundamentals of cyberspace as it relates to military missions and broader strategic goals contributes to difficulties in understanding tactical and operational-level impacts to AF core functions, and results in a reduced capacity for effective strategic thinking and planning in cyberspace. This guide offers a consolidated resource to educate Airmen to deal with cyberspace issues during the operational and strategic planning and decision-making process.
This guide is an unclassified resource on concepts and principles of cyberspace operations that reflects a snapshot of expertise from thinkers and experts who are on the leading edge of shape the nation's thinking about cyberpower.
To enter the Cyber Power Portal click the link below:
Cyber Power Portal
LANGUAGE INTENSIVE TRAINING EVENTS (LITE)
The Air Force Culture and Language Center’s Language Intensive Training Events (LITEs) immerse Language Enabled Airman Program (LEAP) scholars in culturally complex settings. These events place the Airman in a traditional school, university studies program, or advanced setting such as an international training event or workshop with the goal of enhancing language proficiency.
In July 2021, the Air Force Cyber College co-hosted Cyber LITE with the Air Force Culture and Language Center in collaboration with the US Air Force Academy and Defense Language Institute. Students included LEAP scholars with Chinese Mandarin, Russian and German language skills who have career-related ties to cyber operations or an academic background in cyber studies. By combining language proficiency and cyberspace educational content, Cyber LITE prepares language enabled Airmen and Guardians for strategic competition.
Cyber LITE (Language Intensive Training Event)
Col. David Bosko, commandant, Air Force Cyber College, leads a discussion with Air Force and Space Force Language Enabled Airmen Program scholars attending the Cyber Language Intensive Training Event course, July 22, 2021, Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala. Cyber LITE is a strategic competition course co-sponsored by the Air Force Culture and Language Center and Air Force Cyber College for advanced language proficiency LEAP scholars who have career-related ties to cyber operations or an academic background in cyber studies. (U.S. Air Force photo by Melanie Rodgers Cox)