/   /_/           \_\   \ 
|----|_    INFO     _|----|
 \   \_\     WAR   /_/   /

/                                                                                \
|    INFORMATION WARFARE                                                         |
|           is a short ramble about the topic                                    |
|                                                                                |
|                                                                                |
|ABSTRACT  1. In this paper I will be discussing the consequences, conduct,      |
|techniques, methodologies, psychology and demand for information warfare.  2.   |
|Dueto the depth of such a topic and its lack of writing on it to discuss its    |
|effects, I will be covering it with brevity. As such, this should be treated as |
|a crude approximation to the truth, justified by empirical evidence and some    |
|statistical evidence. Do not treat it as Gospel Truth.  3. Due to the Brevity of|
|this topic of discussion, I welcome criticism that is absent of fallacies.      |

EFFECT  4. There is a huge gap in statistics and metrics to draw correlations    
and understand thoroughly how it affects us.  5. Before we can define how it     
affects us, we must define what information warfare is. Information is defined   
as "Facts provided or learned about something or someone."(Oxford English        
Dictionary). Warfare is defined as "Engagement in or the activities involved in  
war or conflict."(Oxford English Dictionary). As such, we combine the two, where 
Information is used or abused to facilitate war or conflict.  6. The definition  
we will use loosely is "Information used, abused, faked or truthful such to      
facilitate, contribute to or allow warfare and conflict, as a proxy or as a tool 
within it". It is important to understand it can be used as a proxy as a         
conflict between 2 companies that won't clash in physical combat.  7. It is      
important to note, information can be deceptive, false, inaccurate, imprecise or 
just plain wrong. As such, it is advised the reader consider both ways of        
thinking of information, tabulate their results and consider which one is more   
tactically or strategically useful to your opponent.  8. Now that we have        
defined Information Warfare, I will cover in great brevity multiple different    
variations where Information Warfare will be employed.  9. Between companies.    
Information warfare provides significant market or economic advantage that will  
be of great significance to the company. The motivations behind this are obvious 
and there is evidence that companies will use this information to combat each    
other. A recent example is between Epic Games creator of Fortnite and Sony in    
adopting Cross Play for the platform. It varies in legality from public          
information to insider secret information which would offend the Espionage Act   
for companies based in USA(An Act to punish acts of interference with the        
foreign relations, and the foreign commerce of the United States, to punish      
espionage, and better to enforce the criminal laws of the United States, and for 
other purposes. - Source: Wikipedia).  10. Between relationships of a Consumer   
and a Producer/Publisher/Company. The ramifications of this one are obvious.     
Failure to keep good information and transparency between consumer and company   
results in paranoia, skepticism and often a feeling of mutual disrespect between 
the two. As such it can cause a negative reputation if hijacked by another       
company. The ramifications of reputation will be discussed when we talk about    
Propaganda. 11. Between Companies and Governments. Companies spend money on      
election campaigns which can be hijacked by the other election candidate, used   
by the election candidate. The disadvantage of this is legally bound contract    
forcing them to act on the behalf of the Company and against the interest of the 
public at large. This one cannot be fixed easily as it is a product of           
elections, and not (to a significant) degree the result of information warfare.  
12. Between Governments and their citizens. Mass surveillance of its citizens in 
claims of national security and misinform, inform or tease unexpected reactions  
of their subjects. It also leads to skepticism of the government by the subjects 
on their security as they are surveyed. This is proven by empirical evidence     
from Snowden, and whistleblowers from GCHQ. It is also no mistaking that UK is   
the country with the most surveillance in the world currently as of              
writing(2018). 13. Between Governments and other Governments. Information is     
required for joint efforts in attacking other nations, against each other for    
economic, military, cultural, technological or other advantages. You can see     
this in all wars in history, as information warfare played a crucial role. It    
might be worth considering this to be one of the most consistent cases of its    
use, considering how it was written about in Sun Tzu's art of war on the use of  
spies.  14. Between unknown third party groups like black hat hackers and        
others. Information is vital in this area such to allow you to have leverage on  
what you attack, be it a social engineering, network, reverse engineering or     
just plain vandalism attacks.  15. It is as such, I hope you are persuaded of    
its significant relevance in the modern world in all sectors of life. The        
streamlining of technology serves to support this, and as such I postulate that  
there will be a trend where the importance of information warfare will go up as  
we live in a more networked and connected world.  16. Understanding information  
warfare demands the reader to look past traditional warfare between countries,   
and look at its larger applications, uses and abuses.  17. An easy example of a  
case you may have had in your life is in checking if your boyfriend or           
girlfriend is cheating on you. It demands information gathering(an exercise we   
will discuss shortly) and a form of attack if such information deems it          

TOOLS  18. The most basic tool is the widespread use and adoption of social      
media and websites which have a premium on information. Examples include         
Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. The widespread freely available information to  
anyone makes this a particularly vicious tool that can be used for information   
gathering.  19. It is important to note, the information gathering stage is of   
utmost importance in this. Without information gathering, you have no basis from 
which to make your attacks, pivot them or target them. You also have no basis    
from which to defend from information gathering.  20. If you do information      
gathering, it is also worthwhile assessing the validity of information gathered. 
If it is inconsistent, chances are the source is unreliable and possibly a fake  
account. This displays the importance of little details.  21. There are other    
methods of information gathering, but this is an exercise left to the reader.    
Adapt to the tools, softwares and knowledge of your victims and pivot your       
information gathering or attacks as justified by the information.  22. There are 
many ways to exploit information you have gathered. Spoofing, Phishing           
attacks(Typically Spear Phishing attacks), and social engineering attacks. The   
consequences of these attacks can be from as subtle to gaining access to an      
account and winning an online game or as heavy as mass blackmail/ransom of many  
targets(as was the case with ransomware).  23. The optimal technique depends on  
the time, effect, intensity and outcome you desire.  24. The optimal tool        
depends on the platform, skills and adaptability of the reader. Also problem     
solving skills.  25. Thus I conclude this section. I hope you are convinced on   
the simplicity of information gathering(really easy with the advent of social    
media), and on the wide range of attack vectors that information grants.  26.    
Example scripts can be found here for Reddit/Twitter/Discord information         
gathering: https://github.com/Malod219/EZSpyCord                                 

PREVENTATION  27. There are many ways of preventions. The first layer of         
prevention is through privacy. Privacy involves giving as little personally      
identifiable information/data on yourself.  28. Although it's not always         
possible to give little data, some services allow giving almost no data like     
Reddit. Be wary though, your comments can incriminate who you are and your real  
identity. 29. It is also important to consider privacy in the real world.        
Information on how to contact, find and talk to you should only be given on      
basis of trust or need-to-know. If they don't need to know, they just don't.     
30. There is the second layer, pseudonymity. This is typically easier for those  
who can compartmentalise different personalities, writing styles, actions,       
behaviours and are willing to go to the lengths to check all little details.     
This is a particularly effective method as fake accounts are incredibly hard to  
verify and validify. They also just tend to have misleading or false             
information.  31. The legality of pseudonymity is questionable.  32.             
Pseudonymity is much easier to achieve than anonymity, but through effective use 
of exploits or flaws in technology, your word can still be used against you. Be  
careful.  33. Layer 3 is anonymity. Due to the depth and many complications in   
achieving true anonymity, I will cover it with brevity.  34. Anonymity only      
works if there is no identifying information, no identity and no way to trace    
the user. Whether it is possible to do exactly, effectively or sufficiently is   
to be questioned. TOR/Onion Routing can still be traced to you by software on    
your PC or by effective network analysts. It's also worth noting VPNs and        
proxies exist too, but due to their inconsistent basis on logging IP             
information, or searches, and due to their common and often legally forced       
interactions with Law Enforcement, it's not always effective. Achieving          
anonymity is a challenge best left to the reader.  35. Layer 4 is Activism. Only 
through widespread adoption of ciphers, End to end encryption and government     
pressure on privacy and to an extent pseudonymity, can it thrive in society. Due 
to external motivations, Governments will often not work such to support this.   
36. It is as such, without widespread adoption of privacy-conscious ideals, I    
have doubts major steps in prevention on a social scale can be accomplished.     

PROPAGANDA  37. Propaganda has a limited effectiveness in the world today.  38.  
Propaganda's effectiveness is based on 4 things.  39. Timing. USA used           
propaganda claiming Edward Snowden was a russian spy after he fled to Russia.    
Empirical evidence speaks strongly on timing's importance.  40. Quantity. For    
this reason, mass news networks outcompeted other news networks through sheer    
quantity and volume of news created. This drowns out other voices, thoughts and  
political, industrial or economical ideas.  41. Reputation. Without reputation,  
your work is considered of questionable value. This is why mass newspapers are   
trusted more than independent news from someone you don't know. Empirical        
evidence speaks to this in crushing Snowden's reputation in USA as a claimed     
russian spy, to Donald Trump attacking mass news as a source of fake news(with   
reason to back it up too).  42. Appeal to Human COndition. Logicians and         
intellectuals are appeased by reputable and quality news. The emotional and      
fickle general populations are roused by emotionally appealing news.  43. It is  
thus I conjecture a rough equations to describe this: Propaganda Effectiveness=  
Timing*Quantity*Reputation*Appeal.  44. The exact weights and other factors on   
propaganda effectiveness I do not know, as their significance is below these 4.  
Thus by this equation, modern news propaganda is ineffective due to reputation   
and appeal(since most use youtube and other news media). It should also be noted 
that this is not to be treated as a mathematical equation, as gathering values   
for reputation and appeal isn't possible given current technology. Gathering     
values for timing and quantity can through statistics.  45. It is also thus the  
'Meme wars' can be attributed as an example of such a phenomenon. The sheer      
quantity, timing, reputation and appeal of these memes resulted to their spread, 
evolution and use as a political tool of influence.  46. Propaganda is NOT       
irrelevant, it is only poorly done in the modern society by those with the       
power. It is a clear example of information warfare in constant bombardment of   
ideas facilitated through memes(As subtlety is a powerful tool in introducing an 
idea to people. See my writing on the Normalisation of deviance).                

VARIATIONS IN PEOPLE  47. There are massive variations in people. Some more      
vulnerable to information warfare and some less.  48. The common emotional       
person is vulnerable to appeals in emotion or morality. This thus acknowledges   
the fickle nature of the general population which is backed up historically      
through the french revolution, bolshevik revolution and in the swings of         
political consensus in society.  49. The common intellectual person is           
vulnerable to appeal to logic, reasoning and rational thought. This describes    
why they tend to be much more ideologically charged, more pragmatic and more     
reliable.  50. The true believer of any ideology(even in the face of rational    
arguments of logic, emotion or morality) is only vulnerable to appeals of        
emotion, logic or morality where their ideology is concerned. Thus it is         
sensible to avoid wasting efforts in persuading these people, as they will not   
consider those thoughts.  51. On a related note, neo-marxism, communism and      
marxism are all failures dictated by their ignorance of the pareto principle and 
proven by empirical evidence of Bolshevik and Soviet russia and Mao's China.     
Despite this, there is still a lot of leftists who argue on points dangerously   
close to marxism ignoring the evidence of how it fails.  52. The psychopath and  
commonly, the sociopath will simply abuse information to their own ends.         
Consider them as an example of opportunistic people. Opportunism is not          
exclusive to these types of people though.  53. Another variation is in how      
socialised a person. Following the psychological definition of socialising, it   
is to act in a behaviour imposed and accepted by society.  54.                   
Undersocialized(antisocial) people tend to become delinquents, destructive or    
just immoral in their actions.  55. Oversocialized people are especially         
vulnerable to peer pressure and their will is often imposed by others on grounds 
of morality or emotion.  56. It is thus, I also argue oversocialized people tend 
to be a lot less satisfied as they are insecure and unable to express the will   
of an individual as they have limited autonomy in their life.  57. Through       
adequate understanding of the variations of people, you can manipulate, abuse,   
exploit, help or attack them. This is important in understanding that your own   
variations lead you to be susceptible to attack, and others too.  58. With prior 
knowledge of information from information gathering, this makes social           
engineering attacks particularly potent.                                         

GOVERNMENTS 59. Firstly, evaluate and understand Edward Snowden's mass release   
of information on the US Government's betraying of its citizens by ignoring the  
LAW and ETHICS of their actions. 60. From this we can gather that the Government 
will turn a blind eye to criminality from within if it supports their own        
agenda(s). 61. We can also see in the mass-bastardization of Edward as he was    
claimed as a russian spy by the American press on behalf of the American         
Government. This demonstrates Propaganda as a tool in control of its citizens.   
This is not exclusive to the American Government, it has happened multiple times 
throughout history in order to enforce a regime. 62. We also know by extent that 
Governments employ large-scale surveillance. Social media and tech companies     
have only helped them control that. 63.We also know that BY LAW, companies must  
work with the US Government for information and cooperation and CANNOT announce  
such cooperation. Effectively, this means companies are another limb from which  
Governments can surveil their citizens. 64. We also know Propaganda was timely   
in its use against Edward. Timing of propaganda is of obvious importance as      
mentioned before. 65. Thus follows the conclusion. Governments are inherently    
opposed to pseudonymity and privacy. The likely reason is power, as knowledge    
and information is particularly powerful in control, attack and defence. 66. The 
freedom and distribution of knowledge comes at a cost, especially when it goes   
against a person's interest. In the case of copyrighted materials, the interest  
is financial. In the case of Government classified documents the interest is in  
'national security'. Whether certain documents are applicable to be national     
security or not is a task left to the reader. 67. Knowledge must be obtained     
through vigilance and danger in the face of major consequences. Edward Snowden   
faced the major consequence of exile from his country, however he granted the    
American population knowledge of the wrongdoings of their country. 68. The       
majority of this lies due to the Espionage act, which is horrific and makes it   
incredibly difficult for citizens to attack a company or government for          
wrongdoing, especially considering illegal evidence isn't admissible at          
court(although it usually comes down to whether the judge sees it as admissible  
or not).                                                                         

STRATEGY 69. To enforce a privacy-conscious society I propose a strategy. Its    
success I cannot guarantee, and whether or not it is the correct way to go about 
it, I do not know. 70. Firstly, reform and reevaluation and review should be     
done upon the espionage act and its other variations in other countries. 71.     
Secondly, education of the public at large should be conducted and encouraged.   
72. Through socialisation, the will of privacy and pseudonymity should become    
imposed by the oversocialized people upon the oversocialized people. 73. It is   
essential that the intellectual, capable and competent people are on board with  
such a strategy. Without them, a society is left to be led and roused by a       
fickle and unreliable public. 74. I don't think this strategy would work in its  
precise description, however action should be taken through initiative,          
independence and capability towards such a society. The alternative is mass-     
surveillance through ignorance, which can be capably exploited.                  

CONCLUSION 75. Thus, I hope you're convinced of the importance of a privacy      
conscious society. 76. I do not intend for this to be taken as Gospel truth. It  
was written in 2 hours and is nothing more than a crude approximation of the     
truth under current technological progress. 77. As I said in the abstract,       
criticism absent of fallacies are highly encouraged. The lack of writing and     
significant research in this area of politics/warfare is what I am also          
concerned of due to its absence.                                                 
Take me home!
Bad for health, Good for education