At the height of the Cold War, former CIA Chief of Counterintelligence James Jesus Angleton famously borrowed from T.S. Eliot to describe Soviet operations strategy as a “Wilderness of Mirrors” because they were “[A] myriad of stratagems, deceptions, artifices, and all the other devices of disinformation which the Soviet bloc and its coordinated intelligence services use to confuse and split the West … an ever-fluid landscape where fact and illusion merge.” This publication aims to objectively set a macro-level understanding of socioeconomic and geopolitical impacts on Russia, provide a baseline of the tools, tactics, procedures, methodologies, and strategies attributed to Russia, and establish a cybersecurity lens through which readers can better interpret the developing events and more effectively adapt to secure public and private U.S. critical infrastructure against potential retaliatory offensive campaigns. Due to the evolution and responses to the conflict at the time of this writing, ICIT, in partnership with our esteemed fellows, anticipate that this publication will be the first in a series documenting the nation-state weaponization of disruptionware in response to geopolitical or socioeconomic impetuses.

ICIT would like to thank the following experts for their contributions to this paper:

  • Michael Aisenberg, ICIT Fellow & Principal Cyber Policy Counsel, MITRE Center for National Security
  • Tim Callahan, ICIT Fellow & SVP & Global CISO, Aflac
  • Parham Eftekhari, Founder & Chairman, ICIT & EVP, CISO Community, Cyber Risk Alliance
  • Donald Heckman, ICIT Fellow & Defense Cyber Solutions Leader & Director, Cybersecurity Solutions, Guidehouse
  • Joyce Hunter, Executive Director, ICIT & Former Interim CIO and Deputy CIO, USDA
  • Itzik Kotler, ICIT Fellow & Co-Founder, and CTO, SafeBreach
  • Don Maclean, ICIT Fellow & Chief Cyber Security Strategist, DLT
  • Stan Mierzwa, ICIT Fellow & Director and Adjunct Professor, Center for Cybersecurity, Kean University & CTO, Vennue Foundation
  • Jim Routh, ICIT Fellow and Chief Security Advisor, Virsec
  • Pete Slade, ICIT Fellow & CTO, ThreatWarrior

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Digital Cold War