Over the course of the past two years, the Offensive Cyber Working Group (OCWG) has brought together a range of academic experts in conversation with practitioners, industry, and governments. This has led to a number of public outputs – from a range of experts in our blogging platform, The Alert, as well as a special issue of the Cyber Defense Review on ‘An Offensive Future?‘ from a range of international contributors – it has co-published the first detailed report on the National Cyber Force in 2021, as well as running a workshops in 2022 exploring the UK’s position on ‘responsible, democratic cyber power’ at CyCon (report available here) as well as at an event run by BAE Systems. This is in addition to a range of other non-public engagements.
Last year, we also said farewell to our Co-Lead Dr Amy Ertan who co-founded the OCWG with myself. It is a loss to the OCWG and academic community at large. However, we pass on our best of luck to Amy and we hope that there will be ongoing fruitful conversations in the future. However, Amy’s departure was also a time for reflection for the Steering Committee of the OCWG and how we move into a third year of running the working group.
I’m pleased to say that we are looking to expand the range of participation of the group – by both opening up applications to be part of the Steering Committee as well as a new ‘College of Experts‘ (CoE). The application deadline for this CoE is 3 February 2023. The CoE welcomes researchers with an active public profile across the range of offensive cyber operations and policy that focus on, or based within, the UK. This will mean that there will be ample opportunities for researchers to be more involved with the OCWG and for the working group to fulfil its promise to generate a diversity of interdisciplinary collaboration as well as supporting early career researchers. This is supported by a new public terms of reference that is available here.
The CoE will contribute to, along with the decisions of the Steering Committee, the activities and research of the OCWG. As Lead of the OCWG, I am here to support the working group’s ambitions and engagement. I hope that 2023 will be a time where the OCWG increasingly becomes a locus for academic research on offensive cyber, writ broad, in the UK and for conversations internationally.
All the best,
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