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Russia’s Approach to Cyber Warfare

One of the key principles behind cyberwarfare is attribution: who attacked me, and can we understand why? This document touches upon these concepts with respect to Russia: why does Russia conduct cyberattacks, what are their aims, and how can the attacks be deterred given minimal effort? This is particularly useful when contrasting this against a Western perspective. Compared to Americans, Russia is more assertive in its willingness to create collateral damage, and is likely to target others to create influence in political objectives. Lastly, this also provides policy advice regarding how to counter Russia’s tactics with broader military and security strategies. How do we respond? How does our conception of cyberwarfare fit within the existing concepts of espionage? Most importantly, we learn that Russians see the information race as endless, and have a lower bar with respect to ethics than we do. Currently, they utilize on-the-fly hacker groups to centralize armies, but we expect to see those replaced with more formalized and vetted hackers in the future. Key words: Russia, Ukraine, Kremlin, Policy, Warfare, Information Race
Michael Connell and Sarah Vogler
CNA Corp
Domains-Issue Area: 
Industry Focus: 
Internet & Cyberspace