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ICFRC: What Do We Know About Cyber Security? Understanding Russian Cyber Aggression

Listen to an audio podcast of this program.

Given Russia's aggressive conflict behavior, it is difficult to not fear Russian cyber operations. Much of the knowledge we do have about Russian cyber operations is simply because of their reliance on dramatic action to try to signal displeasure with the international system. Lacking other capabilities, Russia leverages cyber power because it can do little else to affect the shape of bargaining in the international system beyond dramatic mobilization. Russian actions tend to fail to have a coercive impact, but still gather attention and provoke fear. Their willingness to escalate compared to other states makes Russia a potentially dangerous cyber power. This talk covers past Russia cyber actions, dissects the Russia strategic developments in cyberspace, and covers recent actions in Ukraine highlighting the potential for cyber war.

Brandon Valeriano (PhD Vanderbilt University) serves as a Senior Fellow at the Cato Institute in Foreign and Defense Policy and a Distinguished Senior Fellow at the Marine Corps University. He was most recently the Donald Bren Chair of Military Innovation at the Marine Corps University at the Krulak Center and a Senior Advisor for the Cyber Solarium Commission. Dr. Valeriano has published six books and dozens of articles for such outlets as the Journal of Politics, International Studies Quarterly, and the Journal of Peace Research. His two most recent books are Cyber War versus Cyber Reality (2015) and Cyber Strategy (2018), both with Oxford University Press. Dr. Valeriano has written opinion and popular media pieces for such outlets as the Washington Post, Slate, Foreign Affairs, and Lawfare. He has provided testimony on cyber conflict before the United States Senate and the Parliament of the United Kingdom. His ongoing research explores conflict escalation, big data in cyber security, and repression in cyberspace. Dr. Valeriano is the Area Editor in International Relations for the Journal of Cybersecurity and the Series Editor of Disruptive Technology and International Security for Oxford University Press.

For more information on the Foreign Relations Council visit their website at www.icfrc.org.

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