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Episode 302 – Nation States Conflict in Cyber Space

Jane Lo, Singapore Correspondent speaks with Dr. Michael McGuire, Senior Lecturer in Criminology, Surrey Centre of Cyber Security, University of Surrey (United Kingdom)

Dr Michael McGuire joined the Department as Senior Lecturer in Criminology in September 2012. Dr McGuire read Philosophy & Scientific method at the London School of Economics where he acquired a first class BSc Econ and he completed his PhD, at Kings College London. He has subsequently developed an international profile in the study of technology and the justice system and has published widely in these areas.

His first book Hypercrime: The New Geometry of Harm (Glasshouse, 2008), involved a critique of the notion of cybercrime as a way of modelling computer enabled offending and was awarded the 2008 British Society of Criminology runners up Book Prize. His most recent publication Technology, Crime & Justice: The Question Concerning Technomia (Routledge, 2012) is the first book in the field of Criminology and Criminal Justice to attempt an overview of the implication of technology for the justice system and complements a range of applied studies in this area, including a comprehensive evidence review of cybercrime for the Home Office.

Dr McGuires research interests also encompass questions relating to the impacts of the instincts and irrationality upon crime and justice and his paper “Abnormal Law” was recently included as a chapter in the three-volume series on Criminalisation (OUP) edited by Professor Anthony Duff of Stirling. He is currently completing a new monograph in this area to be titled The Criminology of Pleasure (for Taylor & Francis, 2014).

In this podcast, Dr McGuire shares insights on Nation States conflict in cyber space, with reference to his research (“Web of Profit – April 2021”). Report available here

He points to how cybercrime economies are shaping the character of Nation State conflict in cyber space, where Nation States have become both “beneficiaries of and contributors” in the US$1.5 trillion cybercrime economy, by sharing, selling and buying tools and skills.

Further to the asymmetric nature of operations in cyber space enabling smaller nations to confront larger powers, he highlights recent incidents that also underscore the emergence of multi-vector conflicts, where conventional warfare is beginning to integrate cyber abilities.

He also discusses how trends such as “cognitive hacking” of attitudes on social media and others, contribute to indications that tensions between Nation States have escalated from “cyber competition” to today’s “advanced cyber conflict”.

Amidst these developments, Dr McGuire shares challenges, including the attribution problem, in shaping policies to respond to the rising Nation State actor threats in cyber space. He also cautions the knowledge gap that exists – that our perspectives, formed by reports issued from U.S or UK, do not necessarily represent a complete picture of the threats faced by nations across the world.

Recorded 29th Nov 2021 (SGT 5pm / UK London 9am)


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