Cyber Warfare

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Cyber warfare involves the actions by a nation-state or international organization to attack and attempt to damage another nation's computers or information networks through, for example, computer viruses or denial-of-service attacks. RAND research provides recommendations to military and civilian decisionmakers on methods of defending against the damaging effects of cyber warfare on a nation's digital infrastructure.

  • U.S. President Joe Biden speaks about the Colonial Pipeline shutdown at the White House in Washington, D.C., May 13, 2021, photo by Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

    Commentary

    How to Deter Ransomware Attacks

    Aug 9, 2021

    To rein in ransomware attacks, the United States needs to upend the risk-reward ratio for hackers and for the countries that harbor or support them. Such a strategy would make networks harder to breach, hit back harder against hackers, and claw back gains from those who succeed.

  • Capt. Sarah Miller and Tech. Sgt. Carrol Brewster discuss options in response to a staged cyber attack during filming of a scene for an AFRC mission video at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas, June 1, 2019, photo by Maj. Christopher Vasquez/U.S. Air Force

    Report

    Combating Foreign Disinformation on Social Media

    Jul 19, 2021

    Disinformation campaigns on social media pose a nuanced threat. But much of the U.S. response remains ad hoc and uncoordinated. It's unclear who has the edge moving forward, because disinformation techniques and countermeasures are evolving simultaneously.

Explore Cyber Warfare

  • Commentary

    Commentary

    Stuxnet Is the World's Problem

    The highly sophisticated Stuxnet computer worm suspected of sending Iran's nuclear centrifuges into self-destruction mode forces a difficult debate on whether longstanding firewalls in our country's democracy should be breached for the sake of national security, writes Isaac Porche.

    Dec 9, 2010

  • Report

    Report

    RAND Project AIR FORCE Annual Report 2010

    This annual report describes selected RAND Project AIR FORCE research during 2010 in the areas of strategy and doctrine; force modernization and employment; manpower, personnel, and training; and resource management.

    Nov 5, 2010

  • Report

    Report

    Air Force Cyber Command (Provisional) Decision Support

    This monograph addresses objectives, missions, tasks, and capabilities for the Air Force's new organization to address cyberspace issues (currently 24th Air Force), applying ''to fly and fight'' to cyberspace.

    Feb 24, 2010

  • Report

    Report

    Human Capital Management for the USAF Cyber Force

    Identifies and analyzes the human capital management issues associated with the creation of a formal organization dedicated to cyberspace capabilities within the U.S. Air Force.

    Feb 22, 2010

  • Journal Article

    Journal Article

    Security, at What Cost?

    Much of the current debate concerning civil liberties and security is adversarial, and little robust research data informs these arguments.This paper outlines the results of a study that attempts to objectively understand the real privacy, liberty and security trade-offs made by individuals, so that policymakers can be better informed about the preferences of individuals with regard to these important issues.

    Jan 1, 2010

  • News Release

    News Release

    U.S. Must Focus on Protecting Critical Computer Networks from Cyber Attack

    Because it will be difficult to prevent cyber attacks on critical civilian and military computer networks by threatening to punish attackers, the United States must focus its efforts on defending these networks from cyber attack.

    Oct 8, 2009

  • computer programming code

    Report

    Cyberdeterrence and Cyberwar

    Because it will be difficult to prevent cyber attacks on critical civilian and military computer networks by threatening to punish attackers, the United States must focus its efforts on defending these networks from cyber attack.

    Sep 10, 2009

  • Computer password screen

    Commentary

    The Cracks in Data Privacy

    In the future, the EU will inevitably have to adjust its system of rules to cope with the evolving uses of personal data, globalization and international data flows, write Neil Robinson and Lorenzo Valeri.

    May 19, 2009

  • News Release

    News Release

    Computer-Based Crime to Be Focus of Silicon Valley Forum

    Security experts from the technology industry, law enforcement and academia will outline what is needed to better measure and understand the effect of computer-based crime in the United States during a public forum Sept. 25 in Silicon Valley.

    Sep 13, 2007

  • Commercial Book

    Commercial Book

    Conquest in Cyberspace: National Security and Information Warfare

    Explores the potential for and limitations to information warfare, including its use in weapons systems and in command-and-control operations as well as in the generation of ''noise'' and how far ''friendly conquest'' in cyberspace extends.

    May 12, 2007

  • News Release

    News Release

    RAND Launches National Computer Security Survey for Departments of Justice and Homeland Security

    On behalf of the U.S. Departments of Justice and Homeland Security, the RAND Corporation is fielding the first national survey to measure the impact of cybercrime on American businesses.

    May 2, 2006

  • Journal Article

    Journal Article

    Canada Aims to Close the USA's Electron Backdoor

    The threat of crossborder cyberattacks into the USA is focusing attention on the electronic security of its northern neighbour.

    Jan 1, 2002

  • Cyber terrorist

    Report

    Networks and Netwars

    The concepts of cyberwar and netwar encompass a new spectrum of conflict emerging in the wake of the information revolution. To confront this type of conflict, it is crucial for governments, military, and law enforcement to begin networking themselves.

    Jan 1, 2001

  • Report

    Report

    The Zapatista "Social Netwar" in Mexico

    The Zapatista movement in Mexico is a seminal case of a new mode of conflict -- netwar -- in which the protagonists depend on using network forms of organization, doctrine, strategy, and technology.

    Jan 1, 1998

  • Report

    Report

    Security in Cyberspace: Challenges for Society: Proceedings of an International Conference

    Topics covered include the magnitude of the cyberspace security threat and the threat's consequences; impediments to improved security in cyberspace and what must be done to remove them; ...

    Jan 1, 1996

  • Report

    Report

    The Advent Of Netwar

    This report examines how netwar, due to the evolution of societies according to a framework presented by the authors, may be the dominant mode of societal conflict in the 21st century.

    Jan 1, 1996

  • Report

    Report

    Security in Cyberspace: An Emerging Challenge for Society

    This paper attempts to structure the discussion the potential threats from bad actors in cyberspace.

    Jan 1, 1994

  • People

    People

    Sina Beaghley

    Senior International/Defense Researcher
    Education M.A. in international affairs/international security, George Washington University; B.A. in political science/media communications, University of San Diego

  • People

    People

    Elizabeth Bodine-Baron

    Senior Information Scientist; Associate Director, Force Modernization and Employment Program, RAND Project Air Force
    Education Ph.D., M.S. in electrical engineering, California Institute of Technology; B.S. in electrical engineering, University of Texas at Austin; B.A. in liberal arts, University of Texas at Austin

  • People

    People

    Benjamin Boudreaux

    Policy Researcher; Professor, Pardee RAND Graduate School
    Education Ph.D. in philosophy, University of California at Berkeley; M.S. in foreign service, Georgetown University; B.A. in economics and philosophy, New York University