Subject: IW Mailing List iw/951213
Moderator's note:

	In the 951212 mailing, there was a reference regarding
publication dates of the first instances of viruses and Corewar.  After
checking and searching archives by,,, and, the following history
now appears to be accurate:

	- In 1936 (November 12), Turing published his famous paper about
	Universal Computing Machines [1] which told the world that such
	a machine could model itself and simulate its own operation. 

	- Some time before 1956, John von Neumann published a paper about
	a mechanical device he had constructed that was able to
	reproduce itself given the proper mechanical environment.  [2]
	More formal theory followed in the 1960s. 

	- In about 1960, John Conway created the game called "Life" in
	which certain configurations of cells reproduced, moved,
	evolved, etc.  [3]

	- In about 1962, a Bell Labs researcher named C.  Y.  Lee wrote a
	paper about a Turing machine program that wrote a copy of itself
	on the tape.  [4]

	- In 1972, Aleph-not (a pseudonym) published a paper about an
	environment called Darwin that allowed players to do battle.  At
	least one of the program types involved a form of sexual
	reproduction.  The goal was to have the largest number of
	programs left alive after a fixed time period.  [5] This paper
	referenced a Bell Labs researcher called V.  A.  Vyssotsky as
	the inventer of the game some ten years earlier.  This places
	the time at about the same time as Lee's paper. 

	- In March of 1982, Shoch and Hupp [6] published a paper in the
	CACM about the Worm programs that reproduced in a networked
	environment.  One worm went awry and made the Xerox network
	unusable for a period resulting in no more experiments. 

	- In April of 1984, Cohen introduces the term Computer Virus [7]
	in which reproducing programs infect other programs and spread
	through the best security systems. 

	- In May of 1984, [8] Dewdney introduces a new game called "Core
	War" and provided a language called "RedCode" to operate the
	game.  This is the first time the term CoreWar appears in the
	literature as far as any of us can tell.  It closely resembled
	the Darwin environment.

After that time, artificial life became widespread and lots of work was
done in this area. 

[1] A.  Turing.  On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the
Entscheidungsproblem.  London Math Soc.  Ser 2.  Vol 42, Nov 12, 1936,

[2] John von Neumann ("Collected Works"), 1956

[3] John Conway, Still looking for a reference.  The date comes from a
copyright on a program I found somewhere. 

[4] C.  Lee, "A Turing machine which prints its own code script", 1962. 
This apparently appeared in some IEEE transaction at some point but we
don't have an exact citation. 

[5] Aleph-not, "Darwin", Computer Recreations - Software: Practice and
Experience, Vol 2 pp 93-96, 1972

[6] Shoch and Hupp, "The Worm Programs - Early Experience With a
Distributed Computation" CACM V23 No 3, March 1982. 

[7] F.  Cohen, Computer Viruses - Theory and Experiments, IFIP-TC11
Conference.  Toronto, April, 1984. 

[8] A.  K.  Dewdney, Computer Recreations, Scientific American, 250, 5,
14-22, May, 84

Date: Tue, 12 Dec 1995 21:35:52 -0500 (EST)
From: "Rev. Ben" 
Subject: Re: IW Mailing List iw/951211

...	I have some substantive problems with the definition of IW.  Are
we taking the term to mean an all-inclusive black art that includes
Governmentally sponsored malicious hacking, trojan horses, propaganda,
and disinformation? These concepts are not necessarily the same, but
have many of the same elements. 

	I personally haven't thought very much about what strict
deliniations would be but I'd like to propose the following.  Kick them
around a bit--I think this could be instructive, since when we have a
good working definition, it makes it easier to plan defenses against

*	Offensive Attacks against information banks
	+	Automated processes
		-	Trojan Horses
		-	Viruses
		-	Backdoors programmed in
		-	'Chipping'
	+	Interactive Processes
		-	Cracking
		-	EMP attacks
	+	Modification of data/spoofing

*	Information gathering(This gets tied into the previous section somehow)
	+	Offensive attacks against organics
		-	Propaganda
			@	Black
			@	White
			@	Grey
		-	Disinformation
		-	Impersonation and social engineering

*	Active denial of opponent's information gathering
	+	Destruction of 	collection assets
		-	EMP attacks
		-	Relay stations

This is very rough--I'd be intersted to see what people thing--post to
the list, not me, since attrition of ideas is a good thing. 
Date: Tue, 12 Dec 1995 19:48:56 -0800
From: Bruce Sterling 
Subject: Re:  IW Mailing List iw/951211

I'm interested in military communications history and run a list called
the "Dead Media List." IW fans may find these remarks of historical
interest.  They certainly show that airborne recon and wire-borne
propaganda have an unexpectedly long history. 

Dead Media: Military Telegraphy, Balloon Semaphore From: (Bradley O'Neill)
Source: French Inventions of the Eighteenth Century by Shelby T. 
McCloy, Kernel Press, 1952.  # T26.F8.M2 1952
page 22 BALLOON SIGNAL CORPS: "Balloons were used for observation in the
sieges of Conde (1793), Maubeuge (1794), and Charleroi (1784); in the
battle of Fleurs (1794) and Gosselins (1794); and later in the campaign
along the Rhine (1795)....  In each instance two balloonist officers
went aloft in a balloon held captive with two ropes by sixteen men. 
	"Messages to the ground crew were communicated by the use of red,
yellow, and green flags some eighteen inches square; messages to the
general were dropped in bags weighed down with ballast and marked by a
pennant or streamer.  No one might handle these last save one of the
Ballooning Corps officers.  The balloon made a great impression on the
Austrians, who on one occassion attempted with near success to shoot it
down, but oddly enough did not attempt to imitate it."
        [Author's footnote to page 22 : At Valenciennes (1793) a French
balloon was captured by the Allies, and with it a pigeon carrying
dispatches.  The enemy indulged their humor by eating the pigeon and by
firing the balloon back into the town from a cannon.]
Source: The Military Telegraph during the Civil War in the United
States: with an exposition....  by William Rattle Plum, 1882; Dewey
973.7 P73M.  or microfiche (MIC) LAC 22395
(((This book is a real trip! Plum's headspace seems pretty visionary for
his time.  The first paragraph has all the gushy sweep of an Alvin
Toffler book-on-tape or a speech by Labor Secretary Reich:)))
        "Ours is an age of rapid achievements.  Cultivated aptitude has
revolutionized the world.  Performance has been reduced to a minimum of
time and space to a question of time.  Long lives are compassed in an
ordinary span: distances are no longer appall: we are making the most of
time and least of space...the opinion of the world has become a powerful
international factor."
Then Plum takes us through an expository evolution of speed in warfare
via several advancements: running, fires, trumpets, reflections, posts,
semaphore, balloon, cipher, and telegraph. 
(((Of particular historical interest to those of us in DMP:)))
pages16-17 HOT-AIR BALLOON RECON: "In 1794, two companies of French
military aeronauts were first deployed in balloons at Fleurs, Maubeage,
Charleroi, Mannheim, Ehrenhreitstein, Solferino, and elsewhere... 
 "They were not used as couriers, but to observe an enemy below, and
sometimes flag signals were used to telegraph from [balloon locations]. 
This was done in the United States Army on the Potomac and during the
Peninsular campaign, in the [US Civil War].  On all such
reconnaissances, the balloon was held by ropes. 
	"On several occasions, electrical telegraphic connection was had
with the aeronaut in the sky.  This was first accomplished June 17,
1861, when the War Department in Washington, was placed in instant
communication with Professor Lowe, who, from his 'high estate', caused
the operator at his side to telegraph as follows:
        Sir: This point of observation commands an area of fifty miles
in diameter.  The city, with its girdle of encampments, presents a
superb scene.  I take great pleasure in sending you the first dispatch
ever telegraphed from an aerial station, and in acknowledging my
indebtedness to your encouragement, for the opportunity of demonstrating
the availability of the science of aeronautics in the military service
of country. 
(((Note that the Yankee tradition of naming war/exploration machines
"Enterprise" even extended to a balloon.)))
From: fc (Dr. Frederick B. Cohen)
Subject: Re: IW Mailing List iw/951212
Date: Tue, 12 Dec 1995 22:41:05 -0500 (EST)

I think that some people take too much poetic license in their views of
IW.  Here are some examples:

> From: Michael Wilson <>
> Subject: RE: IW Mailing List iw/951211
>...	-- While the real world has inherent constraints and limitations,
> 	the digital world is infinitely malleable (Nixon yanking the ...

I don't think it is infinitely malleable - these are, after all, finite
state machines. 

>...inside the infosphere, reality and all the things connected to it
> (x,y,z,t) have eroded.  ... 

Reality has not eroded in the infosphere.  There is just a different physics.

> -- IW allows targets of opportunity and custom attacks to specific
> objectives. 

As far as I know every successful military attack is customized to the
specific objectives. 

> 	-- IW can be undetectable in advance.  Military and intelligence

I don't think that undetectable is the right word.  Perhaps undetected?

>... IW isn't covered by any treaty or regulatory agency; even if it
> were, it would be meaningless.

No more or less meaningless than biological or nuclear weapons treaties.

> happens at the speed of an electron...

I seem to recall that electrons move at something in the range of one
meter per second in a wire.  Tanks go a lot faster.  Photons move at the
speed of light, and I think that IW usually operates somewhere in
between those two speeds.
Date: Wed, 13 Dec 1995 10:31:53 +0000 (GMT)
From: Ken Dark 
Subject: Re: IW Mailing List iw/951211

Is IW a distinctive form of warfare? Or merely a new way of waging war?
I would agree with Steele's observation that, for several reasons, IW is
different from other forms of warfare.  These reasons include, inter
alia, the transnational character of IW and the degree of its spatial
dis-aggregation: that is, the level to which it relates individualistic
(micro-level) action to large scale (macro-level) strategic
consequences.  Certainly, it is no respecter of frontiers!

	But aspects of classic strategic thinking still seem to have some
relevance to IW, despite these differences, and IW itself arguably has--as 
several contributors to this debate, here and elsewhere, have pointed out
--a long history in the development of war and of wider aspects of strategy.
Date: Tue, 12 Dec 1995 21:48:39 -0800
From: (Frank Swift at Home)
Subject: Re: IW Mailing List iw/951211

>History has show us how the strategic use of tactical information
> changes the balance of power in conflict. 

I've spent a long time managing information resources and have the scars
to prove it.  Most of my experience has been in the military and the
most recently has been in the here at Lawrence Livermore National
Laboratory trying to keep up with the leading edge of technology, while
safe-guarding it from unauthorized intruders inside and out.  My first
lesson in IW was gained when I was under the tuteledge of one of my
first military instructors, a RAF Wing Commander, who made sure that the
Ensign understood that "No Foreign Dissemination" meant that no matter
how charming a person he was , NOFORN meant NOFORN.  This was the
beginning of my education in Information Warfare.  To me, IW is just
another facet of the Intelligence collection, processing and
dissemination process.  The crucial sensitivities of National Economic
Interests are just as important in the civilian and military arenas. 

Sometimes one has to "do undo others and cut out fast", sometimes one
has to defer the emotional hotspots of today in order to achieve a
stunning future victory, and sometimes one has to meet the danger head
on and take immediate action.  IW is the catalyst which directly effects
how, when or if the decision-maker will take action. 
Date: Wed, 13 Dec 95 08:30:14 -0500
From: (A. Padgett Peterson, P.E. Information Security)
Subject: RE: IW Mailing List iw/951212

There is no question the media can be manipulated particularly if you
tell them something they are predisposed to hear.  In IW terms, look at
the Columbus Day Virus (1989), Michelangelo (1992), or the current
"Crypto Timing Attack" making its rounds. 

Anyone with an ounce of sense knows that it will not succeed over a
network (really requires a logic analyzer on the processing CPU), and
that trying to separate a 17 usec difference in a process that takes
almost 400 milliseconds & has a standard deviation of 188 usec.  is
going to take a *lot* of samples (don't take my word for it, ask Paul). 

However "RSA, DES, & DSS CAN BE BROKEN" makes a nice headline & who
cares about minor details ?
Date: Wed, 13 Dec 95 8:15:33 EST
From: "John Ryan" 

Information warfare to me, in my network security capacity, is a very
real, and ongoing effort to protect data and secure systems by applying
countermeasures to known system vulnerabilities and deficiencies.  Any
help you can provide in this effort will be appreciated and certainly
Date: Wed, 13 Dec 95 09:46:38 PST
Subject: Information as asset

The defining characteristic of the information revolution has been the
movement of commerce--in ideas and commodities-into networks of (1)
greater interactivity and (2) greater breadth.  "Mass media" is only
part of, and perhaps dated, the picture.  Propaganda efforts could be
seen as a preliminary stage of IW warfare; but it is a limited concept
with the diminishing significance of "mass media". 

If one is looking for the irreducible kernel of IW, I suggest the middle
chapters of Dean Baird's "Game Theory and the Law".  It discusses
information as an asset; the affects of its denial and disclosure.  From
that basis, one can then enter the respective debates over how a culture
weights information law, such as the First Amendment, or wages war over
the control of information. 
Date: Wed, 13 Dec 1995 09:46 CST
Subject: Re: IW Mailing List IW/951212

RE: > Dan Meyer, General Counsel & Program Director, Asian Trade and
Advanced Technology, The Strategy Group (TSG). 
Subj: Creeping Metaphors

Just finished the excellent commentary cited above (and others, of
course).  Yes, in many ways IW is nothing more than (any one of) the
individual areas cited by previous contributors (psychological
operations, deception, perception management, etc.).  Yes, there is
discussion concerning more direct applications of information technology
and yes, discussion has spilled-over into areas economic. 

Does this indicate institutionalization of a word-game intended to build
new empires? No--it's (in my humble personal opinion) an attempt to
frame the issues broadly enough that development of the "field" and
related discussion will not be stymied or too narrow in scope.  There is
a general concern that there is some "catching-up" to be done, and no
one wants to be unprepared given indications of a tactical or strategic
gap.  Further, one must lay the foundation of informed thought in order
to properly evaluate the coming opportunities (and vulnerabilities)
associated with technological change. 
From: fc (Dr. Frederick B. Cohen)
Subject: Understanding IW
Date: Wed, 13 Dec 1995 10:59:05 -0500 (EST)

Based on postings to this list to date, my summary of IW is: "Conflict
where IT is the weapon, the target, the objective, or the method."
If you think about this for a while, you might come to the conclusion
that there is no form of human endeavor that escapes this definition. 
The seeming conclusion is that we cannot eliminate any form of conflict
from the general concept of information warfare.  This may, in some
sense, make the whole definition and concept of IW meaningless. 

So having traveled a fair way and gotten close to nowhere, it might be
of value to understand less about the definition and more about why IW
has seemingly become more important lately.  The short response is that
it hasn't. 

Information has been a key determining factor in warfare from the
beginning of recorded history, and will likely continue to be a key
factor for the rest of time.  The increased interest in IW may be more
of an artifact of the movement of humanity into the information age than
anything else. 

Massive adaption is a natural part of evolution at the dawn of any new
age of humanity.  This paradigm shift (as used in "The Structure of
Scientific Revolution", by Thomas Kuhn) is reflected in the so-called
reengineering of organizations, the restructuring of economies, and in
every other aspect of the human endeavor. 

The revolution in military affairs is no different than the revolution
in every other aspect of human endeavor.  Just as the shift from the
agrarian age to the industrial age resulted in a revolution in the way
wars were waged, so will the shift from the industrial age to the
information age.  (see Toffler and Toffler, "War and Anti-War", Little
Brown, 1993) Keeping up with the times means rethinking everything and
adapting everything to the new ways of the world. 

The reason the military, as opposed to other organizations, has to keep
up with the times, is that a seemingly small advantage due to a
technological shift can dramatically alter the balance of military
power.  A recent example is the advent of nuclear weapons.  When the
United States got the bomb, it was a major advantage, but as opponents
got the bomb, the advantage waned. 

In the Gulf War, the allied forces had two major IW advantages:

	- The allies were able to use attacks against Iraqi information
	technology that effectively blinded and paralyzed the Iraqi
	military, thus eliminating the Iraqi ability to command and
	control forces;

	- The allies had information technology that allowed them
	to move and shoot at an unprecidented tempo, thus enabling
	them to efficiently kill Iraqi targets with minimum risk.

But like all military advantage, the Gulf War IW technology advantage is
waning with time.  In order to retain the IW advantage, the US has to
keep pressing IW advances, and in order to counter the US advantage, the
rest of the world has to develop its own IW capability.  The new arms race.

To summarize, there is no standard definition of IW, but loosely
speaking, we might wish to think of IW as the reallignment of how we
understand conflict to reflect the movement into the information age. 
Date: Wed, 13 Dec 1995 22:18:58 +0300 (MSK)
From: Alexander Gagin 

Nuclear weapons are superior to others not because they will kill a lot
of people, but because they will crash country's economics and make it
impossible to wage war anymore.  Maybe an even more important thing is
to destroy communications and make it impossible to manage armies.  Loss
of communications will lead to panic, which is worst thing at war time. 
Importance of communications will grow.  Tomorrow networking
technologies will change communications.  Communications will be
entirely based on computer networking technologies.  Communications will
be faster, more powerfull, but also much more vulnerable.  Computer
networks will be most important part of military infrastructure.  So
importance of those technologies can't be overpriced.  Knowledge of
information technologies in scope of warfare is same important as
knowledge of nuclear physics at 1945.  I'm even sure that soon in some
of countries this maillist will got attention from military forces and
will be locally closed or strictly controlled. 
Moderator's Note:

Sounds ominous - but the only way it will get closed down from this end
is if I run out of money or the FBI breaks down the door.  The former is
far more likely.  Those in foreign countries that want to get the list
will likely find a way.
From: Wally Walikis 
Subject: first thoughts
Date: Wed, 13 Dec 95 10:18:00 PST

To me:

1) Organizations (individuals, groups, institutions, armies, societies,
cultures, elite) practice and attempt control through manipulating,
advocating, and managing the relations and relationships between the
following areas: Organizations, Behaviors, Goals, Rules and Information. 

2) Information Warfare in its civil connotation is nothing at all new
(witness: Gutenberg, Martin Luther, Thomas Paine, yellow journalism,
muckraking, public relations, advertising, media mergers) except a
hyperaccelerated discussion, debate, prophesy, or practice of the
application of the Constitutional rights and public security balance in
a new beachhead/frontier which is currently ill-defined as either public
green or private property. 

3) Information Warefare in its military application is, as well, nothing
new in discussion, debate, prophesy or practice; not being as well
versed as most of you are in the subject, I defer to your comments. 
IW-mil and IW-civ more apparently intersect within that cy-frontier than
in current US society because the infrastructure is new; when the US
Interstate system was being developed, military involvement was there,
although civilians only get a sense of it now and again these days when
the National guard is heading to camp. 

4) Information Warfare in its economic application is...  ditto. 
IW-econ may be the major result of an ongoing military (governmental)
posture, policy, position, response, or action or it may provide an
major target for the same (its intersection with IW-mil).  IW-econ and
IW-civ intersect in the discussion over whether the frontier is "Land
Granted" to private for-profit companies or "Homestead-ed" through some
public mechanism. 

In the final analysis:

a) all organizations will gain or are gaining more potentially pervasive
tools, weapons, and advantages within the burgeoning information-based
infrastructure with ties to the civil, military and economic spheres;

b) institutions (military, economic) with some current amount of power
and control see new Achilles' heels in their own organizations ability
to remain in control or power as well as new opportunities to stake
claim to more power and control;

c) institutions (military, economic) plan to avoid this loss, press
their gain through managing, manipulating, or advocating that the rest
of the organizations cede more control and power over the tools,
weapons, and advantages so as to maintain the institutions power or
control over the aforementioned relations between: Organizations,
Behaviors, Goals, Rules and Information. 

d) some/many organizations (hackers, EFF, etc.) are standing up to press
the IW-civ and IW-civ/IW-econ debates. 

e) other organizations (public, individuals) without knowledge of this
cy-frontier are, for better or for worse, left out of this debate since
it occurs primarily within the cy-frontier. 

I do not attempt to judge, only to clarify some of the areas under
discussion for myself and others.