Cyber Threats and Russian Information and Electronic Warfare

Presented at BSidesDC 2016, Oct. 23, 2016, 10:30 a.m. (50 minutes)

Understand the big picture of Russian information operations and warfare. The importance for cyber technical experts to understand Russian Information Warfare principles is growing in importance. Hybrid Warfare includes significant cyber operations from reconnaissance, exploitation to persistence. This will address the case studies of Estonia 2007, Georgia 2008 and Ukraine 2014 on. In each of these Russian actions cyber has had a prominent component. Today these lessons are crystalized in the Ukraine seizure of Crimea and open warfare in Eastern Ukraine. This is where the new face of future wars is being played out.


  • paul joyal - Managing Director at NSI
    Paul M. Joyal serves as Managing Director of NSI’s Public Safety and Homeland Security practice, where he helps clients to position their technology solutions for success at the international, federal, state and local government levels. Mr. Joyal also heads a small competitive intelligence group within NSI, and was deeply engaged in cyber forensic investigation for an overseas client. Mr. Joyal is a nationally recognized expert in national security affairs and has extensive expertise in business development with law enforcement and national security entities nationwide. Between 1980 and 1989, Mr. Joyal served as a federal law enforcement officer specializing in counter-terrorism and later was director of security for the United States Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. In 1991 he was one of the two principle investigators for Project Slammer, an IC Staff counterintelligence study on incarcerated spies and their motives for committing espionage. Paul is also past president of the Maryland chapter of the FBI’s InfraGard program, and has just completed serving his second elected term on the InfraGard national board of directors chairing its By Laws Committee and co chair of the Advisory Council Committee. He previously chaired the Resources and Intelligence-Fusion Center Committees. In addition to his focus on domestic law enforcement and national security entities, Mr. Joyal has extensive international experience. Mr. Joyal founded his own company in 1991 and established joint ventures in telecommunications and air transportation in Russia and Georgia, respectively. As Editor-in-Chief of the Daily Report on Russia and the former Soviet Republics, he published a daily intelligence newsletter for ten years and offered a range of consultation services to a number of Fortune 100 firms pursuing opportunities in the former Soviet Union, Turkey and Iraq. In 1998, he represented the Georgian government before the U.S. Congress and Executive Departments as its first lobbyist for President Eduard Shevardnadze. In 2003 and 2004 Mr, Joyal was active in Iraq in a number of capacities. In 2012, Mr. Joyal was selected to head a team of lobbyists for the successful campaign of the Georgian Dream political coalition and has had frequent dealings with companies in that region. A frequent commentator on former Soviet Union, counter-terrorism and intelligence affairs for BBC, ABC, NBC, Dateline, Nightline, Cross Fire, TIME, Newsweek and other media outlets, Paul has been featured in numerous programs such as the May 28, 2014, CNBC Kudlow Report “American Greed” on the Zeus Trojan, where he appeared with security expert Prof. Gary Warner; he was featured on the March 2012 NBC Rock Center broadcast on the FBI's Trident BreACH international cybercrime takedown, and the award-nominated NBC Dateline program (February 2007), “Who Killed Alexander Litvinenko - Death of a Secret Agent.” A regular feature at annual GovSec/FOSE conventions, Paul moderated panels at the most recent GovSec 2014 Conference and Expo, “Using Google’s Geotechnology, LPR Analytics in the Cloud with Google Glass for a Safer Community,” and “Privacy vs National Security: How Snowden Changed the Debate – Patriot or Traitor?” He has also presented on topics including: "Net Centric Public Safety, How Technology and Intelligence methods are changing Law Enforcement Management and Operations for Homeland Security" (2007); “The Threat of State Sponsored Terrorism” (2008); “Brave New World of the 5 Day Russo-Georgia War: Where Cyber and Military Might Combined for War Fighting Advantage” (2009); “The New Threat Matrix: Cyber Espionage and Criminal Hacking” (2010). In 2011, Paul led a panel on “The Arab Spring; Implications for America and the Middle East and the impact of social media,” and provided the keynote at that year’s FOSE convention, “Operation Trident BreACH, the FBI’s international cybercrime takedown.” In addition, he was Chair and Organizer for the Joint Cybersecurity and Secure Enterprise Mobility Conference & Expo held December 8-9, 2011 at the Washington Convention Center, where the Keynote Presentation was made by Shawn Henry, Executive Assistant Director, Criminal, Cyber, Response and Services Branch, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and where Paul moderated panels: The New Frontier: Cyber Attack Vectors” and “Emerging Threats from the UAB Spam Data Mine” (Dec. 8) and “Cybersecurity in Action: Case Studies” (Dec. 9). He was a presenter at the Suits and Spooks conference in San Diego 2013 on malware used against the Georgian political opposition, and Russian information warfare: a new form of active measures in Washington, DC 2014 and London 2015. In January 2015 he presented on Russian Information Warfare at the Cyber Security Institute. Most Recently he appeared in the NBC Premier of Dateline: the Real Black List program on the murder of Alexander Litvinenko. In April of 2016 he gave the keynote address at BSidesCharm 2016 On Russian Hybrid Warfare, Information and Electronic. Paul was recognized, along with Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey and NYPD Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly, by the Respect for Law Alliance of NYC in 2008 as one of the principal leadership awardees of the Golden Eagle Award, “Defender of Counterintelligence and Homeland Security.” He was the 2011 recipient of the Linda Franklin National Achievement Award, the FBI National InfraGard’s highest honor. Paul was decorated with the Republic of Georgia’s Order of Honor in 2001, their highest civilian award, for his service promoting Georgian independence and integration with the West by President Eduard Shevardnadze. He holds a master’s degree in international relations from Catholic University, and is an International Fellow of the IC2 Institute at the University of Texas.