Psychological operations are primarily concerned with capturing or manipulating the psychology of a population
Terroeist try to create negative view of US
Current attacks on US
How to prevent these kinds of attacks, how to respond
anticipating and countering propaganda and disinformation themes to allow for maximum control of the environment Part of the challenge of counterpropaganda is deciding whether or not to execute a counterpropaganda program in an active sense. Due to constraints, silence may be an option. It may be far more damaging to initiate a weak counterpropaganda plan and have it fail than to employ the silent option.
In addition to both DDOS and malicious code, there is another procedure being increasingly used in cyber warfare against the United States. It is known as a psychological operation. This type of attack does not target hardware and computers, instead it targets the people. More specifically, it targets the people’s perceptions and views.
Psychological operations may broadly be defined as the planned use of communications to influence human attitudes and behavior, to create in target groups, behavior, emotions, and attitudes that support the achievement of one’s political, military, or ideological objectives. ( cite) . This form of communication can be as simple as spreading information covertly by word of mouth or through any means of mass media.
In the doctrine titled, “Psychological Operations”, prepared under the direction of the Chairman of the Joint Chief of Staff, Lloyd J. Austin, a target audience is defined as “an individual or group selected for influence or attack by means of psychological operations.” The document highlights the possibility of supporting national objectives with psychological operations following these three basic objectives.
-Weaken the will of the adversary or potential adversary target audiences.
-Reinforce the commitment of friendly target audiences.
-Gain the support and cooperation of uncommitted or undecided audiences.
Understandably, psychological operations must be contextualized in our time. Today cyber terrorists can benefit from the advanced state of technology at our disposal: the Internet, virtual reality, blogs, video games, chat bots, and, of course, social network platforms could be used for various purposes. For years, terrorists have communicated on-line, sharing al-Qaeda propaganda or writing in on-line forums dedicated entirely to the prospect of Islamist terrorism. But they have recently evolved with technological changes, utilizing social media sites such as Facebook and YouTube to enhance their capabilities. The same place the average person posts photos and communicates with family and friends are being used by enemies to distribute videos praising Osama bin Laden. Terrorist networks are spreading their message, recruiting sympathizers, and are connecting operationally on-line trying to influence individuals to support their cause or the sentiment of an entire population.
This form of recruitment has become known as “home-grown” terrorism, and is a direct result of the physiological operations being conducted by terrorists. The terrorist recruiters’ target group would include individuals who want to feel accepted, or want to fight for a cause and feel important. This target group may include the youth, or victims of abuse who they feel are more susceptible to their influence ( cite ). They target individuals who may agree with the terrorist ideals, but have not taken part in any actual criminal activity. The recruiter hopes to radicalize them, and use them as tools to help accomplish their objectives. Knowing the power of social media and its reach, it is quite natural that terrorists groups would try to use social media to their advantage.
These physiological operations conducted by terrorists digitally through the internet