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  • 1.
    Bengtsson, Johnny
    et al.
    Swedish National Forensic Centre, Swedish Police Authority and Department of Electrical Engineering, Linköping University, (SWE).
    Huskaj, Gazmend
    Swedish Defence University, Department of Military Studies, Science of Command and Control and Military Technology Division, Military Technology Systems Section. School of Informatics, University of Skövde.
    The Manifestation of Chinese Strategies Into Offensive Cyberspace Operations Targeting Sweden2021In: Proceedings of the 20th European Conference on Cyber Warfare and Security / [ed] Dr. Thaddeus Eze, Dr. Lee Speakman and Dr. Cyril Onwubiko, Reading, UK, 2021, p. 35-43Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The aim of this article is to present how Chinese strategies are manifested into offensive cyberspace operations targeting Sweden. It is commonly known that People’s Republic of China (PRC, and in this definition the meaning of thegovernment and its military), uses five-year plans (FYP) for social and economic steering strategy of their country. This has been going on since 1953 until today. In 2015, the national strategic plan Made in China 2025 (中国制造2025) was launched by Le Keqiang, the Premier of the State Council of PRC. The main goal with this plan is to strengthen the economic development. In addition, Chinese military strategists noted the importance of information warfare and intelligence during military operations. This article is based on open sources: the official English translated version of the 13th Five-year plan (FYP) and other reporting on cyberspace operations linked to the PRC. A number of cases are presented to highlight the link between the PRC FYP and their targets. Next, the current situation in Sweden is presented and how the country is targeted by PRC-linked activities, both in and through cyberspace, but also military infiltration on academia. The results show that Sweden has been, and is continuously the target of offensive cyberspace operations. In parallel, the country is also the target of military infiltration on the academia, and direct investment strategies such as Huawei attempting to compete for the 5G frequency actions arranged by the Swedish Post and Telecom Authority. In conclusion, Sweden will continue to experience cyberespionage from PRC on all levels and on all domains; science, technology, IP and privacy information theft. Previously unveiled cyberspace operations cases in this article have proven to be a convenient strategy for the PRC to reduce its research and development gap in several ways; innovatively, financially and to shortening the time-to-market (TTM).

  • 2.
    Granåsen, Magdalena
    et al.
    Swedish Defence Research Agency (FOI), (SWE).
    Huskaj, Gazmend
    Swedish Defence University, Department of Military Studies, Science of Command and Control and Military Technology Division, Military Technology Systems Section. School of Informatics, University of Skövde, Sweden.
    Varga, Stefan
    KTH Royal Institute of Technology, (SWE).
    Data Collection and Research in CDXs: Command and Control, Cyber Situational Awareness and Intelligence Perspectives on Cyber Defense2019In: 24th International Command and Control Research and Technology Symposium (ICCRTS): Cyber Risk to Mission / [ed] Alberts, David, International Command and Control Institute , 2019, Vol. Topic 9, article id 24Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The annual cyber defense exercise Locked Shields is the world’s largest unclassified defensive exercise. The exercise participants form “blue teams” that are tasked to defend their critical infrastructure against an attacking “red team.” The blue teams are scored based on how well they keep their essential system functions running and the extent to which they manage to assess and report what they are exposed to. During Locked Shields 2019, 24 blue teams from 30 countries participated in a two-day exercise. The case study presented in this paper focuses on one of the blue teams. The team consisted of around 60 people from governmental institutions as well as private companies. The objective of this paper is to explore the possibilities to collect meaningful data for research on Command and Control, C2, Cyber Situational Awareness, CSA, and Intelligence in conjunction with an inter-organizational cyber defense team during a cyber defense exercise. During preparations preceding the exercise, the research team observed the development of strategy, coordination structures and organization in the temporarily formed team as it prepared to solve the highly challenging exercise tasks. During the exercise, data collection included questionnaires, observations, team communication logs, reporting from the blue to the white team and performance scores. The data collection sought to satisfy needs within three research themes - 1) command and control, C2, 2) cyber situational awareness, and 3) intelligence. A review of the dataset showed that the data is well suited for further analysis. The paper presents initial results as well as an outline of how the different types of data collected contribute to research within the three research themes.

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    24th_ICCRTS_paper_62
  • 3.
    Huskaj, Gazmend
    Swedish Defence University, Department of Military Studies, Science of Command and Control and Military Technology Division, Military Technology Systems Section. School of Informatics, University of Skövde, Sweden.
    The Current State of Research in Offensive Cyberspace Operations2019In: Proceedings of the 18th European Conference on Cyber Warfare and Security, Academic Conferences and Publishing International Limited, 2019, p. 660-667Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Cyber-attacks have increased since the 1988-Morris worm and can target any connected device from any place in the world. In 2010, Stuxnet received a lot of attention as the first cyber-weapon. Its targets were the Iranian nuclear enrichment centrifuges. Nation states are developing cyberspace capabilities to conduct offensive cyberspace operations. Academic researchers have been calling for a more transparent discussion on offensive capabilities and have pointed out the positive impact researchers had during the development of nuclear capabilities. Shrouded in secrecy, the development of offensive capabilities used for operations makes it difficult to conduct research. Therefore, one way to mitigate this is to conduct a systematic review of the current state of research in offensive cyberspace operations. The systematic review method makes it possible to establish certain inclusion and exclusion criteria and systematically go through academic articles to identify the contents, thoughts and research focus of academic researchers. Six scientific databases were queried and 87 articles were read and clustered. The first insight is that, based on the results of the queried databases, research about offensive cyberspace operations is limited. The resulting clusters are a general cluster about cyberspace operations, followed by research in policy, decision-making, governance, capabilities, levels, models, training, deterrence and international affairs. These are then further grouped into: a) general cyberspace operations; b) deterrence; c) international affairs; d) modelling, simulation and training. The article concludes that research into offensive cyberspace operations is maturing as more information is becoming public. Secondly, current research lists some good basic ideas regarding effects which can be achieved through offensive cyberspace operations, how they should be conducted, and related tools, techniques and procedures. However, discrepancies in research efforts exist, with the majority of research coming primarily from the western world. In addition, secrecy and the resulting limited access to information, coupled with research being either too technically focused or too qualitatively focused, show that there still remains room for research in this field. Finally, some directions for future research are examined.

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    The Current State of Research in Offensive Cyberspace Operations
  • 4.
    Huskaj, Gazmend
    Swedish Defence University, Department of Military Studies, Science of Command and Control and Military Technology Division, Military Technology Systems Section. School of Informatics, University of Skövde, Sweden.
    What is a Substantial Contribution to a Research Project in Offensive Cyberspace Operations that Merits Co-Authorship?2022In: Proceedings of the 17th International Conference on Cyber Warfare and Security: State University of New York at Albany Albany, New York, USA 17-18 March 2022 / [ed] Dean Robert P. Griffin, Dr. Unal Tatar and Dr. Benjamin Yankson, Reading, UK: ACI Academic Conferences International, 2022, p. 385-394Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This article reviews the question what is a substantial contribution to a research project in offensive cyberspace operations that merits co-authorship? Frustrations and conflicts may develop during research projects when researchers with different backgrounds, cultures, research fields and expertise decide to conduct research and produce and publish those results. The focus of this paper is a research project in cyberspace operations while taking into account the power-dynamics inherent in the academic system and how these can affect the co-authorship of research products. First, the purpose with doing research is presented. Next, three models of the research process are reviewed, describing their differences and similarities. Then, linguistic analysis is applied on a set of terms in guidelines for co-authorship described in some different universities in Sweden. The results present a model for a research project in offensive cyberspace operations and based on the output of the linguistic analysis, the model is used to quantify and describe what a substantial contribution is in three scenarios that merits co-authorship. 

  • 5.
    Huskaj, Gazmend
    et al.
    Swedish Defence University, Department of Military Studies, Science of Command and Control and Military Technology Division, Military Technology Systems Section. School of Informatics, University of Skövde, Sweden.
    Iftimie, Ion A.
    Eisenhower Defence Fellow, NATO Defense College, Rome, Italy (ITA); European Union Research Center, George Washington School of Business, Washington D.C., (USA); Central European University, Vienna, Austria (AUT).
    Toward an Ambidextrous Framework for Offensive Cyberspace Operations: a Theory, Policy and Practice Perspective2020In: Proceedings of the 15th International Conference on Cyber Warfare and Security / [ed] Payne, Brian K.; Wu, Hongyi, Reading, UK: Academic Conferences and Publishing International Limited, 2020, p. 243-253Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This article addresses the rise in state-sponsored cyber attacks over the past three decades and proposes a new ambidextrous framework for offensive cyberspace operations. Since 1982, nation states have embarked in a fierce race to develop both clandestine and covert offensive cyber capabilities. Their intended targets range from foreign militaries and terrorist organizations to civilian populations and the critical infrastructures that they rely upon. Advancements in cyber security have, however, contributed to the discovery and attribution of offensive cyber operations, such as state-sponsored ransomware attacks, where state-built cyber capabilities have been used to attack governments, industries, academia and citizens of adversary nations. The financial and psychological costs of these ransomware attacks are today a threat to any state’s national security. This article draws from academic research, the cyber military doctrines of four countries—a total of eight models from the Netherlands, Sweden, the U.S., and the U.K.—and the authors’ operational experience to propose a new ambidextrous framework for offensive cyberspace operations. This ambidextrous framework for offensive cyberspace operations and the associated Cyberspace Operations Canvas are needed today in order to increase the resilience of national critical infrastructures against attacks from state-developed tools. We use the WannaCry-case to illustrate how the implementation of the ambidextrous framework for offensive cyberspace operations would result in increased awareness and understanding of the prospective cyber threats, their intended target(s), the likelihood of cascading effects and the options available by nation states to minimize them.

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    Toward an Ambidextrous Framework for Offensive Cyberspace Operations - A Theory Policy and Practice Perspective
  • 6.
    Huskaj, Gazmend
    et al.
    Swedish Defence University, Department of Military Studies, Science of Command and Control and Military Technology Division, Military Technology Systems Section. University of Skövde, (SWE).
    Iftimie, Ion A.
    NATO Defense College, (ITA); European Union Research Center, George Washington School of Business, (USA).
    Wilson, Richard L.
    Towson University, (USA); Hoffberger Center for Professional Ethics, University of Baltimore, (USA).
    Designing attack infrastructure for offensive cyberspace operations2020In: Proceedings of the 19th European Conference on Cyber Warfare and Security: A Virtual Conference hosted by University of Chester UK / [ed] Thaddeus Eze, Lee Speakman, Cyril Onwubiko, Reading, UK: Academic Conferences and Publishing International Limited, 2020, p. 473-482Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This article addresses the question ‘what considerations should be taken by cyber commands when designing attack infrastructure for offensive operations?’. Nation-states are investing in equipping units tasked to conduct offensive cyberspace operations. Generating ‘deny, degrade, disrupt, destroy or deceive’ effects on adversary targets requires to move from own (‘green’), through neutral (‘grey’), to adversary (‘red’) cyberspace. The movement is supported by attack infrastructure for offensive cyberspace operations. In this paper, we review the professional and scientific literature identifying the requirements for designing an attack infrastructure. Next, we develop and define the concepts for attack infrastructure. Finally, we explain and describe the considerations for designing attack infrastructure. The research question is answered by proposing a framework for designing attack infrastructure. This framework is vital for military and civilian commands designing attack infrastructure for offensive cyberspace operations. 

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    Designing attack infrastructure for offensive cyberspace operations
  • 7.
    Huskaj, Gazmend
    et al.
    Swedish Defence University, Department of Military Studies, Science of Command and Control and Military Technology Division, Military Technology Systems Section. School of Informatics, University of Skövde, Sweden.
    Moradian, Esmiralda
    Department of Computer and Systems Sciences, Stockholm University, Sweden.
    Cyber Deterrence: An Illustration of Implementation2018In: 13th International Conference on Cyber Warfare and Security (ICCWS 2018) / [ed] John S. Hurley & Jim Q. Chen, Sonning: Academic Conferences and Publishing International Limited, 2018, p. 304-311Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Cyber deterrence is a strategy to deter attackers from conducting cyber-attacks in the first place. However, several issues exist when implementing cyber deterrence, which are identified in this paper. The findings show (1) non-existence of the deterrence strategy  (2) no doctrine or decision competence to retaliate to an adversary, (3) the armed forces have no authority to retaliate when Swedish sovereignty in Cyberspace is threatened, (4) no norms or regulations exist concerning retaliation, (5) no clear governance on using offensive cyber capabilities, and finally, (6) no credibility in its cyber deterrence posture regarding how much Sweden is willing to sacrifice to protect its electoral system, which is a Swedish national interest. Therefore, this research investigates how cyber deterrence can practically be implemented in Swedish cyber security policy. So far, researchers generally focused on the human aspect of cyber deterrence. By using the case study research strategy and utilizing the Swedish electoral system as a case, this paper examines possibilities to merge the human dimensions of cyber security with the technological dimensions. Data collection is performed through documents studies and semi-structured interviews with experts in the area to identify cyber deterrence components. Further, a mathematical approach is discussed in the paper to express the relationship between an adversary and a deterrent depicting each of the actor’s risk calculus. A result of the research work performed in this paper, the deterrence components for Swedish cyber deterrence are proposed and risk calculus is performed. Moreover, measures to increase Swedish cyber deterrence posture are proposed the practical implementation of cyber deterrence in Swedish cyber security policy in order to deter attacks on the Swedish electoral system is demonstrated.

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    Cyber Deterrence - An Illustration of Implementation
  • 8.
    Huskaj, Gazmend
    et al.
    Swedish Defence University, Department of Military Studies, Science of Command and Control and Military Technology Division, Military Technology Systems Section. Swedish Defence University, Centre for Societal Security, CATS (Center for Asymmetric Threat Studies).
    Sallinen, Margarita
    Swedish Defence University. Statsvetenskap.
    Staters outtalade normer i cyberrymden2021Report (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
    Abstract [sv]

    Den här rapporten presenterar vilka nationella outtalade normer som kan utläsas hos nio stater som bryter mot internationella överenskommelser i cyberrymden. Det finns olika sorters normer och många definitioner på vad det är, där uttalade normer ofta associeras till skrivna regler, medan outtalade normer associeras till underliggande värderingar som exempelvis styr diplomati. Diplomati är en praktik i hur stater ska interagera med varandra. Den Ryska Federationen använde sig exempelvis av diplomati 1998 under det första utskottet av FN:s generalförsamling då de lyfte frågan om hur informations- och telekommunikationsteknologier kan påverka internationell säkerhet. FN antog då en resolution och 2014/2015 presenterade de elva uttalade normer som ska gälla för ansvarsfullt statligt beteende i cyberrymden. Resultatet i denna rapport visar att alla nio stater har brutit mot FN:s uttalade normer men i olika grad/utsträckning. Resultatet visar därför på att de nationella outtalade normerna som kan utläsas hos de nio staterna under granskning i cyberrymden följer den geopolitiska och geoekonomiska situationen i den internationella miljön.

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    fulltext
  • 9.
    Huskaj, Gazmend
    et al.
    Swedish Defence University, Department of Military Studies, Science of Command and Control and Military Technology Division, Military Technology Systems Section. School of Informatics, University of Skövde, Skövde, Sweden.
    Wilson, R L
    Department of Philosophy and Computer and Information Sciences Towson University, Towson, Maryland, (USA), and Hoffberger Center for Professional Ethics, University of Baltimore, Baltimore, Maryland, (USA).
    Offensive Cyberspace Operations and Zero-days: Anticipatory Ethics and Policy Implications for Vulnerability Disclosure2021In: Journal of Information Warfare, ISSN 1445-3312, Vol. 20, no 1, p. 96-109Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This article addresses the question under which circumstances zero-day vulnerabilities should be disclosed or used for offensive cyberspace operations. Vulnerabilities exist in hardware and software and can be seen as a consequence of programming errors or design flaws. The most highly sought are so-called zero-day-vulnerabilities. These vulnerabilities exist but are unknown and, when exploited, enable one way of entry into a system that is otherwise not thought possible. Therefore, from an anticipatory ethics perspective, it is important to understand in what cases zero-days should be disclosed or not.

  • 10.
    Huskaj, Gazmend
    et al.
    Swedish Defence University, Department of Military Studies, Science of Command and Control and Military Technology Division, Military Technology Systems Section. School of Informatics, University of Skövde, Skövde, Sweden.
    Wilson, Richard L.
    Towson University (USA), Hoffberger Center for Professional Ethics, University of Baltimore (USA).
    An Anticipatory Ethical Analysis of Offensive Cyberspace Operations2020In: 15th International Conference on Cyber Warfare and Security / [ed] Payne, Brian K.; Wu, Hongyi, Reading, UK: Academic Conferences and Publishing International Limited, 2020, p. 512-520Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This article presents the ethical issues using offensive cyberspace operations. Previously enshrouded in secrecy, and now becoming the new norm, countries are using them to achieve their strategic interests. Russia has conducted offensive operations targeting Estonia, Georgia and the Ukraine; Hamas was targeting Israeli targets; and Iran has been targeting U.S. targets. The response has varied; Estonia and Georgia struggled with the attacks and were unable to respond while Ukraine tried to respond but it was inefficient. Israel’s response on Hamas offensive operations was an air strike on a building with Hamas Cyber-operatives. Iran shot down a U.S. Drone over the Strait of Hormuz, and the U.S. initially intended to respond with kinetic capabilities in the form of missile strikes. However, in the last minute, the U.S. chose to respond with offensive cyberspace operations targeting the Iranian missile systems. This last-minute change of response choosing between kinetic or cyber capabilities shows a need to further investigate how offensive cyberspace operations can be used against which targets from an ethical perspective. This article applies anticipatory ethical analysis on U.S. offensive operations in the “Global Hawk”-case when Iran shot down a U.S. drone over the Strait of Hormuz. Anticipatory ethical analysis looks at emerging technologies and their potential consequences. Offensive cyberspace operations present a range of possibilities, which include lowering the risk of harm to cyber operatives’ lives belonging to the responding nation. However, a response can also be kinetic. Therefore, the analysis of the “Global Hawk”-case is compared with the Israeli-air strike of the building of Hamas Cyber-operatives. The authors argue that applying anticipatory ethical analysis on offensive operations and kinetic operations assist decision makers in choosing response actions to re-establish deterrence.

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    An Anticipatory Ethical Analysis of Offensive Cyberspace Operations
  • 11.
    Huskaj, Gazmend
    et al.
    Swedish Defence University, Department of Military Studies, Science of Command and Control and Military Technology Division, Military Technology Systems Section. School of Informatics, University of Skövde, Skövde, Sweden.
    Wilson, Richard L.
    Towson University, USA), Hoffberger Center for Professional Ethics, University of Baltimore (USA).
    Anticipatory Ethics for Vulnerability Disclosure2020In: Proceedings of the 15th International Conference on Cyber Warfare and Security / [ed] Payne, Brian K.; Wu, Hongyi, Reading, UK: Academic Conferences and Publishing International Limited, 2020, p. 254-261Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This article presents the ethical dilemma related to under what circumstances vulnerabilities should be disclosed. Vulnerabilities exist in hardware and software, and can be as a consequence of programming errors or design flaws. Threat actors can exploit these vulnerabilities to gain otherwise unintended access to information systems, resources and/or stored information. In other words, they can be used to impact the confidentiality, integrity and availability of information in information systems. As a result, various types of vulnerabilities are highly sought after since they enable this type of access. The most highly sought are so-called “zero-day”-vulnerabilities. These are vulnerabilities that exist but are unknown, and when exploited, enable one way of entry into a system that is not thought possible. This is also why zero-day vulnerabilities are very popular among criminal organizations, states and state-sponsored advanced persistent threats. The other side of the coin is when a state identifies a zero-day, and ends up in the ethical dilemma of whether to release the news and inform the vendor to patch it, i.e. close the vulnerability, or to use it for offensive or intelligence purposes. This article employs these distinctions to apply anticipatory ethics in the Stuxnet-case. Stuxnet was a computer software that was allegedly developed by the U.S. together with Israel to disrupt Iran’s development of uranium for their nuclear program. More exactly, it was developed to disable the uranium centrifuges used to enrich uranium. To achieve this, Stuxnet exploited four zero-day vulnerabilities and, according to some experts, managed to delay Iran’s nuclear program by one to two-years, forcing them to the negotiation table. Using vulnerabilities like zero-days presents opportunities but also risks. The results of the application of anticipatory ethics to the Stuxnet case are then compared with the “Osirak”-case and the “al-Kibar”-case. Osirak was the nuclear reactor in Iraq and was bombed in 1981; al-Kibar was the nuclear reactor being built up in Syria, also bombed in 2007.

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    Anticipatory Ethics for Vulnerability Disclosure
  • 12.
    Iftimie, Ion A.
    et al.
    NATO Defense College, Rome, (ITA) / European Union Research Center, George Washington School of Business, Washington, D.C., (USA) / Central European University, Vienna, (AUT).
    Huskaj, Gazmend
    Swedish Defence University, Department of Military Studies, Science of Command and Control and Military Technology Division, Military Technology Systems Section.
    Strengthening the cybersecurity of smart grids: The role of artificial intelligence in resiliency of substation intelligent electronic devices2020In: Proceedings of the 19th European Conference on Cyber Warfare and Security: a virtual conference hosted by University of Chester UK 25-26 June 202 / [ed] Thaddeus Eze, Lee Speakman, Cyril Onwubiko, Reading: Academic Conferences and Publishing International Limited, 2020, p. 143-150Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The Executive Order 13800—Strengthening the Cybersecurity of Federal Networks and Critical Infrastructure—issued by the President of the United States, calls for an evaluation of the “readiness and gaps in the United States’ ability to manage and mitigate consequences of a cyber incident against the electricity subsector.” In May of 2018, the Office of Management and Budget finished evaluating the 96 risk assessments conducted by various agencies and published Federal Cybersecurity Risk Determination Report and Action Plan (Risk Report). While the report embraced a broad defending forward strategy, it made no reference to smart grids or their vulnerable intelligent substations and did not address how federal agencies plan to respond to emerging threats to these systems. While the paper does not discuss how to attack the smart grids in the cyber domain, the contribution to the academic debate lies in validating some of the vulnerabilities of the grid’s substations in order for government, private industry, academia, and civil society to better collaborate in disrupting or halting malicious cyber activities before they disrupt the power supply of the United States and its Transatlantic allies. We also discuss how Artificial Intelligence and related techniques can mitigate security risks to cyber-physical systems. Until this technology becomes available, however, standardization of cyber security efforts must be enforced through regulatory means, such as the enforcement of security-by-design Intelligent Electronic Devices and protocols for the smart grid. 

  • 13.
    Kävrestad, Joakim
    et al.
    School of Informatics, University of Skövde, (SWE).
    Huskaj, Gazmend
    Swedish Defence University, Department of Military Studies, Science of Command and Control and Military Technology Division, Military Technology Systems Section. University of Skövde, Sweden.
    How the Civilian Sector in Sweden Perceive Threats From Offensive Cyberspace Operations2021In: 20th European Conference on Cyber Warfare and Security / [ed] Dr. Thaddeus Eze, Dr. Lee Speakman and Dr. Cyril Onwubiko, Chester: Academic Conferences and Publishing International Limited, 2021, p. 499-506Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The presence of state-sponsored actors executing offensive cyberspace operations (OCO) has been made evident in recent years. The term offensive cyberspace operations encompass a range of different actions, including cyberespionage, disinformation campaigns, spread of malware and more. Based on an analysis of past events, it is evident that state- sponsored actors are causing harm to the civilian sector using OCO. However, the degree to which civilian organizations understand the threat from state-sponsored actors is currently unknown. This research seeks to provide new a better understanding of OCO and their impact on civilian organizations. To highlight this domain, the case of the threat actor Advanced Persistent Threat 1 (APT1) is presented, and its impact on three civilian organizations discussed. Semi-structured interviews were used to research how the threats from OCO and state-sponsored actors are perceived by civilian organizations. First, a computational literature review was used to get an overview of related work and establish question themes. Next, the question themes were used to develop questions for the interview guide, followed by separate interviews with five security professionals working in civilian organizations. The interviews were analysed using thematic coding and the identified themes summarized as the result of this research. The results show that all respondents are aware of the threat from OCO, but they perceive it in different ways. While all respondents acknowledge state-sponsored actors at a threat agentexecuting OCO, some respondent’s argue that state-sponsored actors are actively seeking footholds in systems for future use while others state that the main goal of state-sponsored actors is to steal information. This suggests that the understanding of the threat imposed by OCO is limited, or at least inconsistent, among civilian security experts. As an interview study, the generalisability of this research is limited. However, it does demonstrate that the civilian society does not share a common view of the threat from state-sponsored actors and OCO. As such, it demonstrates a need for future research in this domain and can serve as a starting point for such projects.

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