DeepINTEL 2013 – New Talk „Mutually Assured Pwnage“

René Pfeiffer/ August 5, 2013/ Conference, Security Intelligence

We have added a new talk to the DeepINTEL 2013 schedule. Karin Kosina will talk about „Mutually Assured Pwnage“ and critically explore what Cold War analogies can and cannot teach us about war in the 5th domain.

“Cyberwar” has become a thing (never mind that no-one seems to really know what that thing really is). Along with the militarisation of cyberspace – or “the fifth domain of warfare” – there has been a flurry of attempts to draw analogies to other models of conflict. While this is understandable to a certain extent – What worked in the past may work again in the future, right? And let’s not be so cynical here to speak about hammers and things that look like nails… –, it has in many cases only added to the confusion around an already confused subject. Exhibit A: the attempts to liken the brave new world of “cyberwar” to the good old Cold War days. Or bad old Cold War days, depending on how you look at it. In any case, there has been a proliferation of headlines such as “Cyberthreats: Welcome to the New Cold War”. To what degree do such comparisons make sense though? The presentation will take a critical look at what Cold War analogies can and cannot teach us about war in the 5th domain. It will discuss issues such as deterrence, arms control, international agreements, escalation, trust building measures, the role of state-actors and non-state actors, and more.

We are looking forward to this talk since analogies are widespread in the information security circus and beyond. More often than not they distract from the real issues than to explain what is going on. We need to get facts right if we intend to address problems and discuss solutions.

Update: A public version of this talk has been moved to the DeepSec 2013 schedule. The original talk will not be held at DeepINTEL due to constraints of the speaker. We apologies for the change.

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About René Pfeiffer

System administrator, lecturer, hacker, security consultant, technical writer and DeepSec organisation team member. Has done some particle physics, too. Prefers encrypted messages for the sake of admiring the mathematical algorithms at work.