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The future is behind us? The human factor in cyber intelligence: Correlations between Cyber-HUMINT and Hackers’ Social Engineering

Published online by Dr. Amit Steinhart on 31.03.2014

In recent years, we have been continuously alerted of the danger posed by various cyber factors. To match this, we see national intelligence agencies and even private intelligence organizations investing vast resources in gathering, analysing and producing intelligence material originating from the Internet and the Darknet. Many current research highlights the relatively obvious advantage in the hands of attackers regarding the cost and effort of attack versus defence, usually due to the complexity of existent defence technologies, and the surprise factor which usually favours the attackers. National institutions and private companies hire qualified cybersecurity experts on an industrial scale, and often it looks like whoever knows how to operate a computer overnight becomes a cyberwarrior and an intelligence analyst. There is no dispute regarding the vast importance of training cyber personnel on gathering and processing intelligence information, but it seems that especially in the area of intelligence gathering we are ignoring many of our traditional skills, achieved over more than a century of national intelligence organization experience.

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