The Cyber Meta-reality, Biome, and Microbiome: The Complex New World

Now that my book is set to be published next year, I thought it might be a good idea to give a little more explanation of what it is about:

Welcome to The Cyber Meta-reality, a non-fiction exploration of the cyber realm and its component parts. The book is written in three sections: 1. The Cyber Meta-reality (CMR), 2. The Cyber Biome, and 3. The Cyber Microbiome. I based the book on two papers I wrote that were published this year at the IEEE Cyber Science 2020 Conference in Dublin City, Ireland and the IARIA Cyber 2020 conference in Nice, France, where the paper was selected for the “Best Paper Award”. Both papers were well-received and have generated interest in the wider cyber community. The Cyber Meta-reality is multi-disciplinary, including topics related to metaphysics, quantum computing, social media, and information warfare, but is still accessible to non-technical readers. With endnotes, the entire work is approximately 91,000 words and spans 16 chapters. Ultimately, The Cyber Meta-reality, is about what cyberspace is; something that has not been completely defined as a domain such as air, land, sea, and space have been. Before you can have a firm grasp on how to live and operate in a domain, you need to know what it is. This book seeks to bridge this gap.

Hypergaming for Cyber: Strategy for Gaming a Wicked Problem

Select this link to read my article concerning Hypergaming for Cyber: Strategy for Gaming a Wicked Problem…here is the abstract:

Cyber as a domain and battlespace coincides with the defined attributes of a “wicked problem” with complexity and inter-domain interactions to spare. Since its elevation to domain status, cyber has continued to defy many attempts to explain its reach, importance, and fundamental definition. Corresponding to these intricacies, cyber also presents many interlaced attributes with other information related capabilities (IRCs), namely electromagnetic warfare (EW), information operations (IO), and intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR), within an information warfare (IW) construct that serves to add to its multifaceted nature. In this cyber analysis, the concept of hypergaming will be defined and discussed in reference to its potential as a way to examine cyber as a discipline and domain, and to explore how hypergaming can address cyber’s “wicked” nature from the perspectives of decision making, modeling, operational research (OR), IO, and finally IW. Finally, a cyber-centric hypergame model (CHM) will be presented.

Cyber and Emergent Technologies

Select this link to read my article on Cyber and Emergent Technologies…here is the abstract:

We as a cyber community are now living in a cyber meta-reality (a reality about realities) where scientific and technological advances such as microscopic machines, subatomic energy manipulation, and autonomous technologies, heretofore only imagined in science fiction tales are on the verge of practical use. As the need for new, better, and more secure methods of implementing cyber increases, the unfettered desire for greater bandwidth, stronger encryption, and more rapid processing naturally follows. If the cyber community is to capitalize on new technologies, however, we need to stay acquainted with these emergent technologies and understand their ramifications. Otherwise, we stand the chance of either missing opportunities to advance or being trampled by those who do. Today scientists and technologists are buzzing about quantum entanglement, non-linear wave propagation, and Metal Organic Frameworks (MOF). The United States is in a race to the finish to make the potentialities of these amazing ideas, realities. This paper examines four very specialized technological areas and draws on these technologies to construct a cohesive narrative regarding their interoperability in order to highlight the necessity and ramifications of each area’s contribution to a holistic technological scaffold. Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) are of course, an increasingly conjoined capability with great promise, yet not fully realized. Emergent technologies related to security such as quantum encryption and multi-factor authentication are rapidly finding their place in the cyber meta-reality. Quantum computing, related to the theory of quantum entanglement and quantum encryption, will likely deliver processing and bandwidth options far beyond current possibilities. Finally, nanotechnologies such as graphene and membrane technology are already in production in some applications and will no doubt become a critical enabler of the entirety of the aforementioned technologies. Additionally, the concept of the cyber microbiome is introduced for consideration.

The Cyber Microbiome and the Cyber Meta-reality

Select this link for my article on The Cyber Microbiome and the Cyber Meta-reality…here is the abstract:

The cyber realm as an entity continues to evolve and grow. As the Earth and indeed human beings share their chemical/biological physicality with a host of enabling flora and fauna (Earth) and bacteria, fungi, protozoa, and even viruses (humans), the cyber meta-reality (a reality of realities) is growing into a type of non-physical, yet tangible sphere where stripping away or adding to it could have far-reaching ramifications not yet understood. The human microbiome has most recently been estimated to outnumber human cells by several orders of magnitude [1]. A cyber microbiome has already begun to take shape, characterized by viruses, archived data, Dark Web outgrowths, and other symbiotic code and applications that will ostensibly grow rapidly as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) begin to create additional code and data in the future. While the cyber microbiome may not be, in some cases, considered a direct part of the created domain we experience, it certainly must not be stripped away, eradicating the good along with the bad. The cyber microbiome is similar to its planetary and human corollaries in that it contains various undetectable components that serve to support its function in difficult to discern ways. For instance, the Dark Web is much like the unseen portion of the iceberg under the surface. This indicates another way in which the cyber microbiome is so similar to its antecedents; the cyber microbiome is larger than visible cyberspace by many orders of magnitude. This paper examines the concept of the cyber meta-reality with an in-depth analysis of the cyber microbiome and attempts to correlate the symbiotic relationships of these two entities through an examination of the cyberspace most people encounter and the vast underlying cyberspace of which most are oblivious.

INTELLIGENCE, SURVEILLANCE, AND RECONNAISSANCE AND ELECTROMAGNETIC WARFARE METHODS FOR CYBER SIGNATURE PRODUCTION: A CONCEPTUAL MODEL

Follow this link to my article in the Journal of Information Warfare…here is the abstract:

The purpose of this paper is to offer a methodology using the already mature signature production capabilities offered within the intelligence and electromagnetic warfare fields to develop a similar capability for cyber operators. Not only will the tools and TTPs assist in target and signature production, but they will also make attribution much easier by capturing the common location, profile, and parametric data necessary to identify and to verify adversary identities. In the information related capability (IRC) disciplines of intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) and electromagnetic warfare (EW), signature production based on parametric data, adversary tactics, techniques, procedures (TTPs), and methodologies have long been the operational answer to the attribution and targeting malaise. Cyber has historically been considered an information related capability to intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance and electromagnetic warfare and the recent strategic shift to combine these information-related capabilities (along with information operations) into a super-strategic construct offers further connectivity between all of these information related capabilities through TTPs, philosophies, and analytical prowess. Here, the author will further develop how to potentially construct cyber signatures for adversary attribution, tracking, and targeting using intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance analysis and techniques, electromagnetic warfare methods and technology, and will explore how these can be integrated with current cyber methods and analytical scaffolds. Additionally, a conceptual cyber signature capability model will be presented.

Cyber Threat Intelligence and the Cyber Meta-Reality and Cyber Microbiome Cyber Security 2020 – Threat Intelligence

Cyber Threat Intelligence and the Cyber Meta-Reality and Cyber Microbiome

Cyber Security 2020 – Threat Intelligence

Hi all! I just wanted to share a link to my presentation on YouTube. Enjoy! Here is the abstract from the paper:

In a cyber meta-reality filled with zero day exploits, autonomous code, Worms modeled from Stuxnet, and the coming onslaught of AI enabled malware, the need for actionable, virtually prescient threat intelligence is paramount. It is almost uniformly recognized that the current reactionary paradigm concerning cyber threats is severely lacking. Cyber threat analysts desperately need a systematic approach to cyber threat characterization and how cyber threats evolve within a greater construct defined here as the cyber microbiome. This paper will first define the concept of the cyber microbiome and its place in what has become the cyber meta-reality. Cyber threats will then be examined in relation to this paradigm and recommendations will be made regarding how threat characterization and genetic mutation can be examined in light of this new, techno-biological understanding.

Cyber Underground: Overcoming Obstacles to Cyber in Subterranean Warfare By Dr. Joshua A. Sipper / Published May 11, 2020

cyberdude

Here is a link to my most recent article published in Wild Blue Yonder, the US Air Force online professional journal.

“Cyber Underground: Overcoming Obstacles to Cyber in Subterranean Warfare” written by Dr. Josh Sipper, Professor of Cyber Warfare Studies at the Air Force Cyber College, deals with the challenges inherent in the subterranean domain and how to overcome these difficulties using the electromagnetic spectrum and magnetic induction technologies. The article was published in Wild Blue Yonder 11 May 2020.

Professor of Cyber Warfare Studies

I haven’t posted anything on here for quite some time. A large part of that is due to the fact that I began a new position as a Professor of Cyber Warfare Studies at the Air Force Cyber College in August of 2019. It’s not that I haven’t been writing all this time. I’ve just been writing academic papers for Cyber conferences, journals, etc.

I have several papers accepted for publication at journals and conferences, so I’m really excited! As the papers become available, I intend to post them or at least links to them on this site. In the meantime, check out the Air Force Cyber College!

Thanks!

Josh

Grace:How We Respond and Are Transformed

The following is a sermon I developed from a class series. I adapted these lessons into sermons to preach to the men at Kilby Correctional Facility near Montgomery, Alabama.

Grace:How We Respond and Are Transformed

Grace is something we talk about often, but what is it? How do we understand grace? It’s an extremely deep and important topic for Christians to talk about, study, and understand. As we discuss grace, let’s look at what grace is, how we should respond to grace, and how grace transforms us initially and continually as new creations of God.

You’ve probably hear grace referred to as an “undeserved gift” and that’s true, but grace runs so much deeper and wider than a short definition.

The English word grace comes from the Greek word charis, which loosely translated means “gift”. You have probably seen or heard the word charisma which usually describes someone who is a gifted speaker or leader. Some groups of Christians are charismatic which indicates they believe in gifts that God imparts to them by the Holy Spirit. But, no matter how see grace, it really comes down to something we can never and will never deserve or earn.

Let’s look at a couple of passages to see how grace works. Eph 2: 4-10 But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

The first thing I notice in this passage is that god gave His grace when we were completely helpless or “dead”. There was no chance that we could participate in our salvation and there still isn’t!

This reminds me of the promise made to Abraham in Gen 15. Let’s read this and see how God gives grace to Abram and as a result to us!

This is illustrated later by Paul to the Romans in Romans 4:1-5 “What then shall we say was gained by Abraham, our forefather according to the flesh? 2For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God. 3For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness.” 4Now to the one who works, his wages are not counted as a gift but as his due. 5And to the one who does not work but believes in him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness.” So, the promise given freely to Abraham because he believed is also given to us freely as we accept God’s truth in faith and are clothed with Jesus in His death, burial, and resurrection.

Rom 11:6 But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works; otherwise grace would no longer be grace.

Remember, grace is a free gift. You can’t earn it! If you try to earn it, grace disappears and is replaced by the law which cannot save.

So, ultimately, you cannot earn your own salvation. It must be accepted as a gift from God. So, when we hear God’s word it is a gift to hear. When we believe, we accept the gift of belief in Jesus. When we repent or turn away from sin, Jesus is the gift we turn toward. When we confess or tell the truth that Jesus is Lord, it is due to the fact that He is a gift to us; the very gift of truth! When we are baptized, it is not us doing the baptizing, but the acceptance of the gift of Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection. And finally, we receive the Holy Spirit who is called a gift in Acts 2:38. And it is this most special Gift Who creates in us a continual river of cleansing as Jesus told the Samaritan woman in John 4 and confirms again later in John 7. Grace is amazing!

Grace is not a simple, straightforward concept. We often want to simply look at grace and say, “wow! Grace is awesome!” And it is! But, grace is not necessarily a treasure that falls out of the sky, so to speak. Sometimes grace comes to us in ways that are harder to understand.

One of these ways, I believe, is characterized by Paul in his 2nd letter to the Corinthians.

Look at 2 Cor 12:5-10 with me. Paul gives us an interesting look into grace that is different from any other you might have seen:

On behalf of this man I will boast, but on my own behalf I will not boast, except of my weaknesses— though if I should wish to boast, I would not be a fool, for I would be speaking the truth; but I refrain from it, so that no one may think more of me than he sees in me or hears from me. So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

What “grace” do you think Paul is referring to here? What does God mean when He tells Paul “My grace is sufficient”?

Have you ever been in a place in life where you were filled with pride and refused to see the truth about a situation or refused to acknowledge you were wrong or going the wrong way? I have. I believe in this passage, Paul is recognizing this about himself. In this case, the gift that God gave him hurt. It was there to correct him and guide him back toward God. I believe that sometimes grace can hurt. Just like a shot hurts but heals, grace also might present discomfort or pain with the final effect of restoring you to God.

This is not to say that grace always hurts. In fact, most of the time we can feel completely uplifted by grace as a gift that has wiped out and continues to heal all areas of our lives. Things like pride, selfishness, envy, jealousy, fear, anger, and hate are taken away and we are healed.

So, how should we respond to this gift? I believe it’s all about reciprocating the reason behind the grace, namely love. And it is love that leads us into how we are transformed by grace.

How has God’s grace changed you? How should His grace change you? Think about a gift you have received at some point in your life. Christmas will be here soon and many gifts will be given, but these gifts are often expected due to the nature of the holiday itself. But, what about something a person does for you for no reason other than they love you? What does that make you want to do for them? Does it change you? Does it change your view of them and maybe even your relationship with them? What if that person pushed you out of the way of danger or death and died in your place? How would that change you?

This is all to point out that if you have not experienced a change because of God’s grace, you probably haven’t really considered the Father’s gift of Jesus and the Spirit. A gift like that can, should, and must change you; transform you in many significant ways! If you fully recognize the full gift from God, transformative love can and will overflow you. And there is the transformation.

Paul in his letter to Titus puts it this way: Titus 2:11-14 For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.

How does grace “train us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives”? Think about that…It really has everything to do with how we see the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit and the gift we have received. If I  truly, deeply love someone, I will do everything in my power to be closer to them. I will give up sin, I will live a different way, I will be completely and utterly transformed by love because I have been loved.