Welcome to The Alert

a space for informed discussion on offensive cyber.

Established in June 2021, The Alert is a blog focusing on offensive cyber. This is to encourage debate, reflection, and comment from around the world. We accept a range of submissions which you can send to alert@offensivecyber.org. You can subscribe for updates at the bottom of this page.

Latest Posts

The insurance industry and offensive cyber operations: Slow and steady wins the race?

By Daniel Woods The insurance industry is far from a “usual suspect” when it comes to offensive cyber operations. Insurers are neither belligerents, targets nor suppliers of offensive cyber capabilities. Yet they often find themselves footing the bill for the resulting damages. For example, the NotPetya attack—attributed to the Russian military—was estimated to have caused…

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We Buy and Sell: The Public Advertisement of Zero-Day Exploits

By Max Smeets Zero-day exploits expose a previously unknown vulnerability. They can be especially powerful for gaining access to computer systems or escalating privileges within the system. Zero-day exploit brokers often publicly advertise what they pay out to developers for their new vulnerability discoveries. You can find detailed price lists online that tell you exactly…

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Offensive Cyber Beyond the Usual Suspects

The world’s attention remains focused on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Since the start of the conflict, cybersecurity experts and scholars have engaged in a heated debate over the perceived success and failure of cyber operations. Major crises such as this have also resurfaced questions around the role, form, tactics, and narratives that configure what offensive…

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Subversion over Offense: Why the Practice of Cyber Conflict looks nothing like its Theory and what this means for Strategy and Scholarship

Cyber attacks are both exciting and terrifying, but the ongoing obsession with ‘cyber warfare’ clouds analysis and hampers strategy development. Much commentary and analysis of cyber conflict continues to use the language of war, where actors use ‘offensive cyber operations’ to meet adversaries in ‘engagements’ striving for victory on the ‘battlefield’ in the ‘cyber domain’.…

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