Information, Influence and Cyber

Information, Influence and Cyber

The increasingly complex information landscape creates many diverse and complex security challenges for Australia.

As the world becomes more connected and we increasingly rely on information, we face a growing threat from the misuse of the digital technology driving these connections and the ‘weaponisation’ of information. Mass influence campaigns and deep fakes intensify mistrust between society, business and governments, and opportunities for state and non-state actors to attack critical infrastructure continue to grow. The use of artificial intelligence and automation have greatly increased our vulnerability.

To respond effectively to “attacks” in this grey zone, all below the threshold of armed conflict, Australia needs to fully understand the social, economic, and technological impacts of these threats across defence, critical infrastructure, agriculture, health and energy and also how these impacts are experienced by  our regional partners.

At DSI, we collaborate closely with research partners from the Defence Science and Technology Group (DSTG) to integrate information and cyber artificial intelligence (AI) insights with psychology and social science. This allows us to develop tools and techniques to assist with monitoring and guarding the public information environment by better understanding how influence strategies work, and what makes a system or society susceptible or resilient to these influences.

We are also able to identify strengths and weaknesses in both the technology and its human operators and develop evidence-based approaches using graph theory, game theory and AI/machine learning to support integration of deception technologies into networks and help human operators deal with the complex, fast paced and deceptive nature of  cyber environments.

Each aspect of this collection of projects and activities is deliberately aligned with DSTG’s Information Warfare (IW) STaR Shot, with funding from various sources including: the IW STaR Shot, Next Generation Technologies Fund
(NGTF)  cyber, the Australian Research Council (ARC), the South Australian State Government’s Defence Innovation Partnership (DIP), and industry.

Translating research in this area relies on the availability of qualified and experienced cyber professionals. DSI supports development of a highly skilled and specialised workforce by providing existing and emerging researchers with an environment which benefits from large-scale investment and has strong connections to the defence industry, allowing them to create solutions with immediate and practical impacts.

Research projects

Influencing regional security

Australia’s relationships in the Pacific Islands region have always been important to successive governments but never more so than in these times of global upheaval.

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Creating resilience against mass influence campaigns

With the volume of information – whether genuine or misinformation – available, how can we help people develop their critical thinking skills and build resilience against mass influence campaigns?

Read more about Creating resilience against mass influence campaigns

Understanding mass influence campaigns

Cyber-based attacks are not just limited to security networks.

Read more about Understanding mass influence campaigns

Advanced cyber deception techniques

Cyber attacks are increasingly automated, however at their core are people, no matter how remote they are.

Read more about Advanced cyber deception techniques

Autonomous cyber defence tools

The digital networks we use every day for business, recreation and security have become so complex that it’s impossible for anyone to understand and eliminate all the vulnerabilities in a given system, even with the most advanced tools.

Read more about Autonomous cyber defence tools