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Inducing systemic collapses of enemy networks and critical infrastructures.

It can be used as a global cyberweapon. The goal is to ‘inject’ complexity into adversary’s networks, damaging or debilitating their hubs - not hubs of traffic but hubs of complexity -   and propagating on a large-scale the effects of an attack. The goal is to increase complexity to levels in the vicinity of critical complexity, so as to induce systemic fragility, vulnerability and cascading failures. 

Inducing critical complexity levels in strategic networks can offer an effective preemptive measure which can soften the enemy’s critical infrastructures prior to a more conventional attack.

Complexity-based aggression, when implemented on a large-scale (i.e. when targeted at large networks or interconnected systems of networks) can offer a ‘subtle’ low-intensity and low-visibility intervention in virtue of its highly distributed nature. In other words, instead of a highly concentrated attack, a more diluted action may result more difficult to trace and counter and, at the same time, lead to devastating systemic consequences. All it takes is plenty of supercomputer fire power. 

When it comes to attacking very large highly complex systems or networks, which may contain millions of nodes, there are two questions that are key to the success of an aggression:

  • where to strike - an attack should maximize damage with given energy expenditure. Good targets for attack are complexity hubs, which do not necessarily correspond to locations of maximum traffic or transfer of energy or data. Complexity hubs drive the fragility of a network and are often non-intuitive.
  • when to strike - timing is always a crucial factor. In highly complex systems complexity hubs change over time. It is crucial to strike a system not just at its weakest points but also to do so when maximum damage can be expected.

In a highly complex and dynamic context it is not easy to answer the above questions with conventional technologies. This is because conventional techniques do not measure complexity - the natural endogenous enemy of large and critical infrastructures.

Dr. Norayr Balayan