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Information Operations: Influence, Exploit, and Counter

Gregory Conti & David Raymond | August 4-5


Information Operations (IO) was once a relatively obscure military discipline overshadowed by espionage, cyber operations, and kinetic warfare. Today we are seeing a dramatic rise in the use of IO to influence individuals, communities, enterprises, markets, even entire populations to great effect. As our adversaries increasingly use IO to gain an advantage, it is something that we can no longer ignore.

Where information was once simply stolen quietly and used surreptitiously, it is now cost-effectively being weaponized and used to destabilize countries, create division, attack companies, take down leaders, ruin careers, topple governments, even influence the U.S. presidential election. While information operations are not new, the flow of information has never been faster or more powerful, fueled by always-on networks, ubiquitous mobile devices, pervasive social media, and gullible audiences. Every professional in information security must know how information operations work in order to best defend themselves, their employer, and their national interests.

This class covers information operations theory and practice in depth, including:
  • IO Strategies and Tactics
  • Military IO Doctrine and TTPs
  • Psychological Operations
  • Countering Information Operations
  • Operations Security and Counter Intelligence
  • Crafting messaging to achieve desired effects
  • Online Personas
  • The use of bots and AI to scale attacks and defenses
  • Target audience and sentiment analysis
  • Performance and assessment metrics
  • How to respond to an IO incident
  • Deception and counter-deception
  • Cyber-enabled IO
  • Case studies of recent and historical IO campaigns

This interesting and fast-moving class will include hands-on exercises to apply and reinforce the skills learned and will also include a best IO campaign contest which will be conducted live during the class.

This course is developed and taught by career Army officers with a combined 50+ years of experience and all material discussed will be unclassified. The views expressed in course are those of the authors and do not reflect the official policy or position of their current or past employers, the Department of the Army, the Department of Defense, or the United States Government.

Who Should Take this Course

All professionals in information security and those in complementary disciplines, would enjoy and benefit from this class.

Student Requirements

A devious and cunning mind.

What Students Should Bring

Preferred tool for taking notes, a laptop with internet access, and authorized access to one or more social media accounts (e.g. Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.)

What Students Will Be Provided With

  • Full course content slides
  • USB with class resources
  • Book on information operations


Gregory Conti ran West Point's cybersecurity research and education programs for almost a decade, served in a career of intelligence and cyber operations assignments, and is currently Director of Security Research at IronNet Cybersecurity. He holds a PhD in computer science and has published more than 70 research articles and papers covering cyber warfare, online privacy, usable security, and security data visualization. He is the author of "Security Data Visualization" (No Starch Press), "Googling Security" (Addison-Wesley) and co-author of the recently published "On Cyber: Towards an Operational Art for Cyber Conflict" (Kopidion Press). Greg has served as Officer in Charge of a forward deployed expeditionary cyber team, acted as a Senior Advisor in the US Cyber Command Commander's Action Group, and co-created US Cyber Command's flagship Joint Advanced Cyber Warfare Course (JACWC). He has spoken at numerous security conferences, including Black Hat, DEF CON, HOPE, ShmooCon, RSA, and the NATO Conference on Cyber Conflict and numerous academic conferences. His work can be found at www.gregconti.com and @cyberbgone

David Raymond is on faculty at Virginia Tech, where he serves as Director of the Virginia Cyber Range and serves as deputy to the Virginia Tech CISO, helping to lead security efforts for the university network. David also teaches computer networking and cybersecurity courses and runs a cybersecurity research lab for graduate students and undergraduates studying Computer Science and Computer Engineering. David holds a Ph.D. in Computer Engineering and taught West Point's capstone course in cybersecurity for four years. David created West Point's cyber-competition team, and currently serves as faculty advisor to Virginia Tech's student Cybersecurity club. He has published over 25 papers and articles on topics including computer architecture, wireless security, online privacy, and cyber warfare, and has spoken at several academic and industry conferences, including Black Hat, RSA, Shmoocon, and the NATO Conference on Cyber Conflict. David is also co-author of "On Cyber: Towards an Operational Art for Cyber Conflict," a recently published book on military cyber operations.