Adapting Unconventional Warfare Doctrine to Cyberspace Operations: An Examination of Hacktivist Based Insurgencies [open pdf - 672KB]
A thesis presented to the Faculty of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree Master of Military Art and Science, General Studies. From the abstract: "This study proposes how cyberspace operations can best support online resistance movements to influence adversary national will or affect political behavior to achieve U.S. strategic objectives. Political and social hacker activists (hacktivists) are disrupting governments, organizations, companies, and influencing popular and social movements to achieve their causes. Within the cyber domain, technically-capable, socially-aware guerilla-type hacktivists struggle against governments in ways similar to unconventional warfare (UW) campaigns in physical domains. There is currently a gap between UW and cyberspace operations on how best to properly engage, support, and organize an insurgency in cyberspace. Current conditions on the Internet present an opportunity to implement UW within a new domain through online resistance groups and organizations, specifically with the use of hacktivists. An analysis of the Hong Kong Umbrella Revolution of 2014 validates the potential for a UW campaign using a proposed sixphased cyberspace UW model."
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