The event opened with a short video depicting a fictitious, but realistic scenario. A terrorist group working with sophisticated, international hackers launched a multi-faceted cyber campaign aimed at undermining western democratic principles and election security.
By manipulating social media messaging and injecting content into media and news stations, the terrorists sought to impact public perceptions of US leaders and candidates for local, state, and national elections and to instill doubt regarding the reliability of the US voting process. To add further confusion and panic during the weeks leading up to the election, the hackers flew drones that dusted fake white (anthrax-like) powder over polling sites.
During the September 17, 2020 virtual event, “The Conduct of Cyber Enabled Information Operations,” a distinguished panel of experts explored the scenario in the video. They discussed challenges regarding deception, cyberspace operations, election tampering, social media and related issues, as well as how to deter and counter them to maintain national and global security.
Hosted by the Cybersecurity Strategy and Information Management program at The George Washington University College of Professional Studies, in partnership with CSFI and the Economic and Trade office at the Israeli Embassy in Washington, D.C., the event featured an all-star panel of experts. Moderated by Harry Wingo, J.D., a professor at the National Defense University, with seven distinguished panelists providing insights and commentary.
"We have come to realize that adversarial nations can hack more than our networks. Our competitors are using cyberspace to attack our democratic processes, to, in essence hack our minds and culture."
Harry Wingo, J.D., event moderator
Professor at National Defense University, former Navy SEAL officer, and United States Naval Academy Graduate
The full list of participants giving opening remarks, moderating and the participating in the panel follows:
- Connie Uthoff, Associate Director, GW's Cybersecurity Strategy and Information Management (CSIM) Master's Program
- Christine de Souza, CSFI Director, Cyberspace Operations Strategist at SOS International LLC, and USAF Cyber Warfare Operations Officer
- Joshua Cohen, Trade and Partnership Director, Economic & Trade Office at the Embassy of Israel, Israel Trade & Economic Mission in Washington, D.C.
Harry Wingo, J.D., Professor at National Defense University, Former Navy SEAL officer, and United States Naval Academy Graduate
Rear Adm. Danelle Barrett USN (Ret.), Former US Navy Cybersecurity Division Director and Deputy Chief Information Officer, and CSFI Advisory Director
Brett J. Feddersen, President at AcceleratUM; Former Acting Director for National Security Programs and Incident Response, the Federal Aviation Admini-stration; Former Principal Deputy Director for Transregional Threats, the Department of Defense; Former Director for Transportation and Border Security, The National Security Council, Executive Office of the President
Johnmichael O’Hare, Director, Sales and Business Development (COBWEBS)
Roy Heller, Chief Operations Officer at Nucleon Cyber and Cyber Intelligence SME
Rear Adm. Paul Becker, US Navy (Ret.), Former Executive Office of the President at The White House, Presidential Transition Team's Intelligence Community, former
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Director for Intelligence (J2), CEO at The Becker T3 Group LLC, and CSFI Advisory Director
Brig. Gen. Greg Touhill, USAF (Ret.), President at AppGate Federal Group, Former United States Government's Chief Information Security Officer, Former Deputy Assistant Secretary for Cybersecurity and Communications in the U.S. Department of HomelandSecurity and as Director of the National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center, and CSFI Advisory Director
Ira Hoffman, CyberSecurity Attorney at Butzel Long and CSFI Senior Fellow
The Conduct of Cyber-Enabled Information Operations (9/17/2020)