Here is the first paper I published in a peer-reviewed publication on the subject of Russian cyber warfare and active measures on September 11, 2001. The focus was on the linkage between the strange search engine results which saw Nostradamus become the top gaining search of all of 2001, and stemming from a series of online hoaxes. At this point, I have generally improved all aspects of this argument, although I have no concerns about the continued correctness of content in this article. My agreement with the publisher allows me to post it on my personal blog or website.
The early English-language promoters of Nostradamus (Orson Welles and Erika Cheetham) had strong Leftist-Marxist connections including ties to the Cambridge 5 spy ring. Nostradamus was the top search anomaly of Sept 11, 2001. Interest was driven by a surge in emails and text messages via the internet. This behavior is discussed in relation to known cyber threats from 2001. Similar spikes in Nostradamus searches (Google Trends) emanated from Poland (April 2010), Ukraine (March 2014), and in Hungary (August 2015). Nostradamus mirrors proven Russian disinformation operations, such as those that today implicate 9/11 as being an “inside job” by the US government, or that the CIA killed JFK, or that the CIA engineered the AIDS virus. Noting Nostradamus’ use by both the Allies and the Axis powers as a psychological warfare tool in World War 2, the case is made that it was the Russians carrying out an “information attack” on 9/11 that is consistent with Russian cyber warfare and active measures strategy; and that they may have used similar techniques elsewhere since 2001.
Russia has definitely engaged in disinformation around earthquakes and tectonic weapons including repurposing arguments from the early 1990s and weaponizing them against America in 2010. In 1992 and 1993, amidst suspicion/rumors that Russia had deployed such a weapon in Armenia in 1988 – which had been fostered by a supposed Radio Liberty report and rumors which had circulated since Summer 1991, an official Russian military spokesperson said of such claims: “Therefore we are being accused of developing a barbaric weapon for use against peaceful inhabitants, thus driving a wedge between the civilian population and the military.” This is a clear allegation of Information Warfare.
Here’s a summary of a new research paper I am working on about the ‘mythical’ Orson Welles‘ “The War of the Worlds” Halloween broadcast of 1938 that I think a lot of people will find interesting. (Let me know if you have questions or would like a reference list.)
The book “The War of the Worlds” was published in late 1897 by H.G. Wells, a British author and political commentator. In the final months of World War I, H.G. Wells was was in charge of all British propaganda directed at Germany. Following the second World War (WWII), Sir William Stephenson, who headed up the British Security Coordination (BSC) which was a predecessor to the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), and who was also a real life model for Ian Fleming’s James Bond said of Wells:
“H. G. Wells became a good friend and adviser. The public knew him as a historian and prophet in fiction. Few knew about his passionate belief that in the science-fiction wars to come, our first line of defense would be information, rapidly conveyed.”