Antonio Teti: Cyber ​​Espionage and Cyber ​​Counterintelligence

Antonio Teti
Ed. Rubbettino
pp. 221

The Facebook-Cambridge Analytica scandal, as usual filed by the general press too hastily, is only the latest controversial affair, in order of time, which concerns the issue of exploitation of the "digital projections" of our lives in cybernetic space.

How are data collected and processed that we more or less consciously rely on "the network"? From whom and for what reasons are they collected? Why is cybernetic space so crucial for intelligence and how does it counteract that activity when it is carried out by hostile subjects? These are just some of the important issues addressed by the book of Teti, a scholar with vast experience in the field of information technology and intelligence.

After the authoritative preface by Professor Mario Caligiuri, one of the first to have introduced the scientific study of intelligence, the author methodically addresses the social and psychological aspects of the digital revolution in progress and its repercussions on intelligence activities. In the second chapter Teti describes the main theories and tools used in the context of cyber intelligence activities. Multidisciplinarity is the enabling factor of these tools, which in particular are based on principles ranging from statistics, psychology, computer science, mathematical analysis, algorithm theory and other subjects. It is therefore a complex subject with enormous potential.

Teti shows how intelligence carried out in the cyber space can offer the subjects who use it the possibility of understanding, predicting and influencing human behavior, starting from the collection and analysis of data freely available in the cyber dimension, especially through social networks. media, or also acquired thanks to cyber attack techniques. In the next chapter, the author argues on Counter Cyber ​​Intelligence, an activity aimed at guaranteeing the identification of proactive actions aimed at reducing / eliminating cyber threats, as well as activating aggressive attack measures and weakening opponents. Finally, in the fourth and final chapter two other cyber themes are addressed: cyber deception e cyber behavior. Specifically, starting from the citation of the former director of CIA Panetta, according to whom "potentially the next Pearl Harbor could very well be a cyber-attack", Teti guides us to the discovery of deception in the cyber age. Subsequently, it explores the psychological aspects of cyberspace, with particular regard to the psychological and behavioral changes that may derive from living in the "artificial world" such as those, for example, linked to the phenomenon of cyber propaganda of Islamic terrorism.

If someone still has not yet clear enough, this work shows how our society has been upset by the advent of the information age and, at the same time, how intelligence has been. If until a few years ago this activity was the prerogative of only government agencies, now it is a capacity increasingly exercised also by companies and private companies, research institutions and political, terrorist and criminal organizations. It is a "crossroads" between cyber and intelligence, which offers enormous potential but also hides many dangers for citizens' freedom and for their security.

In conclusion, it is a book that lends itself to be both studied by those who want to approach in a professional way to the world of intelligence is read by those who want to better understand the news and events like that of the aforementioned scandal related to Cambridge Analytica. A company that failed a few days ago and that is certainly only the "tip of the iceberg" of a phenomenon with proportions hardly imaginable.

After reading this book, every time you press on "like" or that you will share or comment on a new post like this review, you will be aware that you have consented that the social network you have subscribed to, allows a third party to collect data related to your business. Maybe from the publisher of the reviewed book, in order to obtain the forecasts on the relative sales, or from the intelligence service of some state, in order to assess how much Italian citizens are sensitive or interested in the cyber issue or, again, from some research institute to elaborate statistics on the interests of Italian readers. Who knows? Exactly ... who knows?

Ciro Metuarata