Daniel Moore (iDefense, Accenture) Speaks on a Spectrum of Offensive Cyber Operations

On May 15, 2019, Oxford University's Centre for Technology and Global Affairs hosted Daniel Moore to discuss the spectrum of offensive cyber operations as we see them today and trace their lineage to electronic warfare and signals intelligence.


Daniel began his presentation by presenting offensive cyber operations as an evolutionary – rather than revolutionary – development in military technology. In doing so, he provided a detailed account of the history of “intangible warfare” revolving around the use of information as a weapon going back all the way to the 1940s. He argued that there are extensively studied cases that provide valuable lessons in understanding offensive cyber operations (e.g., radio signal jamming, electronic warfare, disruption of network centres). He posited that these historical benchmarks and lessons are not utilised well, leading to the current state of confusion among policymakers and practitioners.


Daniel then addressed several case studies that reflect the current stage of offensive cyber operations thinking and practice – including cases involving Russian information operations, the US’s Department of Defense’s policy framework, and Israeli cyber actions. These examples reaffirmed the main argument of his presentation: a synthesis of previous experience with technological change must be fused with ongoing cybersecurity research in order to improve understanding of new realities in security affairs. He ended the presentation by encouraging the audience to think about the implications of our increasing dependency on cyber technologies in both military and civil contexts.