https://www.defenseone.com/ideas/2018/10/cybercom-targeting-russias-election-meddlers-and-changing-how-governments-use-cyber/152455/?oref=d-riverU.S. Cyber Command is conducting operations against Russian operatives suspected of interfering in U.S. elections. The goal according to the New York Times is “to deter them from spreading disinformation” and “[tell] them that American operatives have identified them and are tracking their work.” Direct messages were apparently sent to these individuals to erase doubt about who attacked them and why.
This episode breaks the mold of what is typically understood as traditional cyberspace behavior. Operations in this domain are rarely coupled with intentional and clear acknowledgement by the perpetrator. Instead, they usually look like Russia’s 2016 election interference where communication is nonexistent and responsibility vehemently denied. Cyber Command’s operation is different and may portend an evolution in how states utilize cyber weapons and what goals they may try to achieve.