An organisation could launch a devastating attack—and then control the way it is interpreted by societyby Andrei Soldatov, Irina Borogan / January 6, 2017 / Leave a comment
Since the early 1990s, governments have been aware of cyberthreats and their potentially devastating consequences. But initially, they identified the threats in different ways.
The American government was concerned with a possible attack against the country’s infrastructure—powerplants, nuclear stations, transport systems and so on.
The Russian government took a different view. The Russian secret service was the direct successor of the KGB, poisoned by spymania, and despite all of Boris Yeltsin’s reforms, stayed paranoid about the Americans. They were obsessed with a possible penetration (the uncovering—and then exploiting—of vulnerabilities in a system) and the stealing of government secrets by foreign intelligence agencies. It didn’t help, obviously, that the internet had been invented by the Americans and its infrastructure was built all over the world, including in Russia, on American technology. This view was reflected in the Russian Information Security Doctrine, signed by Vladimir Putin in 2000. The list of identified threats included the “compromising of keys and cryptographic protection of information.”
The Russian command in charge of monitoring cyber threats was also worried about disinformation in cyberspace. But back then they believed that disinformation could be disseminated online only by traditional, mainstream international media outlets, and said it openly in the Doctri…