Information operations · Information Warfare

The Nostradamus Of Information Warfare?

What was predicted almost 20 years ago is now possible.

We can no longer believe our eyes, not at face value, at least.

This ad from 2014 combines a look-alike stand in and combines her images with a CGI overlay of Audrey Hepburn’s actual features.

The results bring to mind the movie, Forrest Gump, but more seamlessly.

This was predicted by Dr. Carlo Kopp almost 20 years ago.

The paper, Moore’s Law and its Implications for Information Warfare, is proving more than a little insightful.   The paper is more fully cited here.

A few of his predictions:

  • “hundreds of Gigabytes of disk storage is a certainty”.

I have two Terabytes on an external disk and one Terabyte on my five-year-old Mac.

  • databases and “data mining”

Big data is all the rage, using billions of data points to bring higher resolution to data analysis. The US presidential election was directly impacted by big data analytics by Cambridge Analytics.

  • the substantial monopoly in this area held by governments will be eroded (with a reference to imagery, specifically)

Bellingcat uses open source imagery to find and fix Russian positions inside Ukraine. Google Earth gives many military programs a challenge.  This has proven highly irritating to Russia in their illegal invasion and operations in Ukraine.

  • in the hands of undemocratic regimes, such technology provides a means of economically implementing an Orwellian measure of social control.

We are seeing Artificial Intelligence associated with bots, which have, in turn, generated hideous amounts of comments in a direction of choosing in the latest US presidential election. We then saw the same technologies applied to the French election.

  • Preventing such abuses of the technology may not be easy, given the unrestricted availability of computing power.

Vast amounts of propaganda, disinformation, misinformation, fake news, and trolling resulted in an overwhelming effect on the US election of 2016. While most of it is not illegal, it is widely regarded as immoral and unethical, yet our best recourse is education and truthful broadcasting.

  • Large amounts of cheap desktop compute power are likely to exacerbate extant problems in cyberwar

Not only are individual computers imbued with incredible computing, but botnets use zombified computers and can easily overwhelm many defenses. The latest ransomware attack on Ukraine and the world is an example of the ease of use.

  • Information security will become an increasingly important issue. Leakages of information into the public domain…

Shades of Wikileaks, predicted almost two decades in advance.

  • Any telltale signatures such as purchases, funds transfers and movements will be increasingly difficult to hide.

Follow the money. The vast amount of evidence gathered about ISIS and corrupt politicians is financial in nature and easily available. The Panama Papers is a prime example of how corruption can be exposed on a fairly grand scale.

  • Secrecy and individual privacy stand to be eroded, unless very disciplined operational practices are followed.

Surkov’s emails, Podesta’s emails, Debbie Wasserman-Shulz, and hundreds of other emails were exposed in the past 12 months, to their embarrassment. This also helped Secretary Hillary Clinton lose the 2016 election when it was widely regarded as a sure thing.

  • The availability of vast amounts of commodity computing power will be a double-edged sword in the field of cryptography

Formerly secure connections, Skype, for example, is now regarded as compromised.

I have a few apps on my cell phone which are considered secure, that is until they aren’t. Then there will be new apps available.

I could continue with the list of predictions which turned out to be true, but I’d rather have you read the paper for yourself.  Unfortunately, the paper did not get the attention it deserved and it was only the YouTube video of the Dove Chocolate Bar using Audrey Hepburn’s image which brought the paper to light, once again.

Dr. Kopp’s predictions were prescient. Many of his predictions were dead on accurate, many became world-changing events in 2016. The name Nostradamus comes to mind, only his predictions were vague as compared with Dr. Kopp’s paper.