APR - Hacking For Studying H4S.rar
I argue that the reason for this shortfall lies at the operational level of conflict, whereby actors deploy combinations of tactics to attain strategic goals.14 Stephen Biddle has shown how operational mechanisms are crucial for determining the strategic utility of new technologies in conventional war, and I contend the same applies to cyber conflict.15 Prevailing expectations tend to focus on the strategic promise of new technology, but they overlook the operational mechanisms required to fulfil it. In this article, I show that the mismatch between promise and practice is the consequence of the subversive nature of cyber operations, whose operational trilemma limits strategic utility. Cyber operations produce outcomes by exploiting vulnerabilities in computer systems and the way they are embedded in modern societies.16 This mechanism is commonly known as hacking.17 Hacking may appear to be a novel instrument, yet its primary reliance on exploitation reveals its parallels to subversion.18
APR - Hacking For Studying H4S.rar
I test these expectations in a case study of the Russo-Ukrainian conflict, which started in 2013. The five cyber operations within the case provide internal variation and allow within-case comparison. The Russo-Ukrainian conflict is a paradigmatic case of cyber-enabled limited conflict that occupies the gray zone between peace and conventional war, in which cyber revolution theorists expect cyber operations to provide added utility.78 Four of the cyber operations in this case are attributed to Sandworm, which is an advanced hacker group that is in turn attributed to Russia's Glavnoye Razvedyvatelnoye Upravlenie (GRU) intelligence service.79 Russia is a leading cyber power that is known for having a high tolerance for risk,80 and the Sandworm group is one of the world's most skilled and most dangerous hacking groups.81 I expect the constraints of the subversive trilemma to be less pronounced in this case for several reasons. In addition to the linguistic and cultural similarities between the two countries, Russian spies have penetrated Ukrainian institutions, and many Ukrainian industrial facilities rely on Russian technologies.82 Moreover, Sandworm had seven years to adapt and improve its tradecraft. Hence, the conditions render cyber operations most likely to demonstrate their effectiveness and utility, while the constraints of subversion I identify are least likely to apply compared to conflicts with less favorable conditions.
Furthermore, while this study has focused on the utility of cyber operations as independent strategic instruments, its findings also apply to their use as complements to other instruments of power. Just like traditional subversive operations have been deployed to contribute to military goals, such as undermining command structures, so can cyber operations.211 Regardless of strategic context, any cyber operation that produces effects through hacking relies on the subversive mechanism and is thus bound by its trilemma.212 Consequently, the trilemma can be expected to apply across multiple strategic contexts.
To verify this theory, further research tracking evidence of the subversive trilemma in varying strategic contexts and by different actors is required. Findings from this study supported H2, H3, and H4, but the cases examined did not produce the configuration of the trilemma predicted by H1. Quantitative research verifying the predicted correlations across a larger universe of cases will be especially useful. Second, historical comparative research is needed to verify the proposition that the quality of subversion has not changed despite the technological advances of the information revolution. In this regard, the integration of cyber operations with traditional subversion is a key topic of interest. While this study has focused on hacking, assessing the impact of new technology on effectiveness and utility requires more empirical examinations of another key instrument of subversion: influence operations that use disinformation and propaganda.
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