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

Balancing on the rail – considering responsibility and restraint in the July 2021 Iran railways incident

JD Work [1], [2] An intrusion against a railway network, resulting in destructive effects leading to disruption of cargo and passenger transportation, would in previous decades likely have been considered a major strategic attack. Early writings on cyber warfare posited such actions only in theory, within the context of adapting ideas of other long-range strike…

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What If the Best Defense Is a Good Defense (Instead of Offense Rebranded as Active Defense)?

Josephine Wolff In cybersecurity, the difference between offense and defense is at once extremely straightforward and incredibly difficult to pin down. It is straightforward because defending your own networks and data and attacking someone else’s look completely different: the former involves implementing security controls and detection systems within the confines of your own computer systems,…

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CS Alert – Offensive Cyber in 1914

Image: An undated photograph of CS Alert. Source: Wikipedia. By Neil Ashdown On 5 August 1914 – the day after Great Britain declared war on Germany – CS Alert, a British cable ship, severed the submarine telegraph cables connecting Germany to the United States. The first post on The Alert, the blog of the Offensive…

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Why ‘Cyber Pearl Harbor’ matters for democracy

Dr Andrew Dwyer Recently, I was struck by a front cover to the magazine, Newsweek, which declared that we are (again) facing the potential for a ‘Cyber Pearl Harbor’. For many within both the practitioner and academic ‘cyber’[1] community, this is manifest of a long shadow of the hyperbole that characterised the popular recognition of…

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