This paper examines how contemporary Russia's political, economic and social characteristics have promoted multiple cyber threats to neighboring countries and to the U.S. The utility of this study is that it may help to inform the American foreign policy public about this important matter. The paper illustrates the Russian approach to information warfare (IW) and its subset, cyber warfare. In particular, the study demonstrates how Russia's IW doctrine is tied to its geopolitical ambitions and how the relationship between the government and cyber criminals is formed in this regard.
Four major themes emerge from this study. The first is that the dominant characteristic of the Russian polity is corruption, presided over by President Vladimir Putin, and dominated by the siloviki, people from the security services and their entourages. The second theme is that, because the corruption is systemic, not sporadic, there is a unique Russian nexus of government, business and crime, which creates the opportunity for collusion on everything. The third theme is that this collusion fits into a long-standing and well thought out IW doctrine, which includes cyber. Putting the first three themes together, cyber criminals have become an asset in furthering Russia's interests abroad, as defined by Putin and the siloviki.
This study examines the root causes of Russian cyber threats, concluding that systemic corruption combines with Russia's current geopolitical aims to produce threats to Russia's neighbors and to the U.S. These are poorly understood by Americans, possibly because of different approaches to the subject.
|Advisor:||Riddell, Christopher M.|
|Commitee:||Bardin, Jeffrey S.|
|School Location:||United States -- New York|
|Source:||MAI 54/02M(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||International Relations, Political science, Computer science|
|Keywords:||Corruption, Cyber, Cybersecurity, Khatuna mshvidobadze, Putin, vladimir, Russia|
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