Given the news the past few years, one could be forgiven for concluding Vladimir Putin’s Russia is the world’s grand practitioner of information warfare. Moscow ostensibly tried through various information warfare techniques to influence the Brexit referendum, the U.S. presidential election, and several European elections. As a result, there has been much hand-wringing in the West about how to counter this menace.
Much of what Russia is suspected of doing is not new, just a more up-to-date version of the “active measures” employed by the Soviets decades ago. In the digital age, however, the effects can be much more immediate and far-reaching, and destructive cyber attacks are now possible. Thus, it is no overreaction on the part of Western intelligence and security services to take the threat extremely seriously.