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Sunday, 24 May 2020

The Handbook of Cyber Wargames: Wargaming the 21st Century New book

Co-authored with Nick Drage, this is an exciting new handbook covering the emerging battles in cyber space.

Cyber security is one of the big challenges of the 21st century. Failure to meet the threat can have major consequences for the individual, a company, an NGO or a nation state. The cost of cyber crime is in the billions of pounds per year. Cyber wargames are an essential part of the training cycle, education and operational analysis needed to rise to meet this threat.

This handbook aims to fill a gap in the training for cyber-attacks and cyber warfare. By providing worked examples of different types of manual cyber wargame, including aims and objectives for each, it provides a basis for the reader to understand the potential range of games on offer. It also helps educate clients about the different types of cyber wargame available and can help them procure the right type of game in order to meet their needs.

Cyber wargaming combines two complex fields:  wargame design and cyber operations.  This handbook is full of examples of such manual games. It includes examples of:

     Network attack and defence exercises
    Committee games

    Company and state level games

    Example of a Matrix Game

    Analysing the cyber security space using Confrontation Analysis

    Media Wars: The Battle to Dominate the Information Space

    Attack Chain modelling
The book is full of additional information for the reader, such as how a cyber conflict might develop or what the key decisions C-Suite leaders need to consider when faced by a sustained cyber attack.

 

Wednesday, 25 March 2020

Message of hope from a gamer in China

I was most touched to receive this email from a gamer in China I know. So I thought I would share it.

John

Dear All:
This is Frank from MiniWarfare, China. You received this letter because your email is in my contact book. Among you, there are rule writers, manufacturers, retailers, editors, in US, UK, Italy and so on.

As far as I know, things are very bad in America and Europe. The government asked businesses to shut down and work from home, just as China did 2 months ago. You are in a very difficult time but what I would like to tell you, do not panic, it will be OK.

You know, things are getting better in China. My province has basically returned to normal work. The children will return to school in two weeks. Now we don't need to wear masks outdoors.
In your countries, the population density is lower than in China, and the medical conditions are better than in China, so don't be pessimistic, we can make it, so can you.

Wish you healthy and happy, all of you!

Thanks

Frank  

Sunday, 22 March 2020

Lessons from a pandemic game


In May 2019, I was the lead umpire in a game about a pandemic in the UK. The game was a committee game, largely free kriegsspiel. The decisions made in the game reflected those being made in the current situation in the world and are not that interesting. What is perhaps more interesting were the wider decisions in the game. 

The Welsh government used the opportunity to get a better settlement from the UK government, the Scottish declared independence in the belief London could not retain control and Russia threatened the Baltic Republics; intending to seize them while nato nations were fully tasked with the pandemic.

Of course, games are not predictive; wargamers use the shared experience of the game to explore the potential.

However, now we are in a real pandemic, the possibilities of real world scheming in Cardiff, Edinburgh or Moscow are now looking less like some wargame fantasy.

Friday, 13 March 2020

Gaming the pandemic


One of the ways of creating a model of the decisions states make facing a pandemic is using Confrontation Analysis- the Card game. This views the potential choices as cards in the government hand which can be played or not.

For example, the government can play a card- “mobilise all nursing students and direct them into hospitals to create a pool of reserve nurses!

The factors in this this situation are:

Public confidence in government

Impact on economy

Impact on virus

Each of these are rated +5 (best outcome possible) to -5 (terrible, very bad) 0 = a balance of good and bad.

The card would say “mobilise nursing students”

Public confidence + 2 (the public like the idea of mobilising and fighting the pandemic)

Impact on economy -2 (they will expect to get paid like trained nurses)

Impact on virus + 2 (it would help fight the virus)

For this card, another factor is added- Universities -1 (as they will lose money on the students not being students for a while, if universities are paid for absent students add -1 on to impact on economy as well as being paid, the universities are paid).

The pandemic has stages e.g. Contain, delay, pandemic, recovery. Each stage may have a different score. These are listed in order.

e.g. The card mobilise nursing students looks like this:

public confidence -1\0\+1\+1

Impact on economy -1\-1\-1\-1

Impact on virus 0\+1\+2\+2

Special- Universities -1, if universities paid for absent nurses score is 0 but extra -1 to impact on economy.

It does not take long to generate a whole series of cards that can be used to inform a discussion about what choices governments have at each stage of the pandemic.