MoD’s secret cyberwarfare programme

Ben Quinn, “Revealed: the MoD’s secret cyberwarfare programme,” 16 March 2014, Guardian

The Ministry of Defence is developing a secret, multimillion-pound research programme into the future of cyberwarfare, including how emerging technologies such as social media and psychological techniques can be harnessed by the military to influence people’s beliefs.

The projects are being awarded by a “centre of excellence” managed byBAE Systems, which has received about £20m-worth of MoD funding since 2012. The MoD plans to procure a further £10m-worth of research through the centre this year. …

Dr Tim Stevens of Kings College London, who studies cyberwar and strategy, said there was increased state interest in the role of emergent technologies such as social media and the development of powerful psychological techniques to wield influence.

“The current furore over inter-state cyberwar is probably not where the game’s at. What is far more likely is that states will seek to influence their own populations and others through so-called ‘cyber’ methods, which basically means the internet and the device du jour, currently smartphones and tablets,” he said.

… “Cyberwarfare of the future may be less about hacking electrical power grids and more about hacking minds by shaping the environment in which political debate takes place,” he added.

The current MoD research drive in the area is being run by the Defence Human Capability Science and Technology Centre (DHCSTC), which is administered by BAE. …

Read the full article here.