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Technology, Security, and Conflict in the Cyber Age

IGA-236M, Harvard Kennedy School

13-17 January 2014
Faculty: Professor James Waldo

Course Description:
In our information age security policy, strategy, and management face exceptional challenges.
The increasing reliance of modern society on networked computer systems creates
unprecedented vulnerabilities coupled with open and simple pathways to exploit those
vulnerabilities. Powerful nations are forced to adapt to a shrinking margin of safety. Today no
nation, agency, industry, or firm is isolated from the new methods of harm: cyberwar,
cyberespionage, cyberterrorism, and cybercrime. Traditional strategies and approaches to
security need revision to apply to a world where threats can propagate instantaneously and where
the identity or location of an adversary may not be known.

Despite the magnitude of the problem, the field of cybersecurity strategy, policy, and
management remains incipient. This course seeks to equip students with the tools necessary to
conceptualize the cyber issue, develop policies appropriate for its resolution, and frame strategy
and action to address the emerging threats. To that end, the course has four principal objectives:
 develop students’ understanding of the technical rudiments of cyberspace
 explore the nature of emergent and future cyber threats
 evaluate strategies and policy responses to these threats
 build professional skills in group work, scenario assessment, and memo writing

No computer science background is required: a core aim of the course is to make the related
technology comprehensible to a layperson. Students with technical expertise may find the course
useful in developing an understanding of key issues in the strategic management of cybersecurity
for the organizations of industry and government.

Requirements and Grading:

1. Class Participation: Every student is expected to be prepared for and attend every class.
Participation is important; it will count for 30% of your overall grade
2. Individual Policy Papers and Briefs: There will be daily writing assignments, some of
which are produced by each student. These papers will count for 20% of your overall
3. Group Policy Papers and Briefs: Some of the daily writing assignments will be given to
groups of students, organized by the instructors. These papers will count for 20% of your
overall grade

4. Final Group Project: On the last day of class, we will have a table-top simulation that will
require a number of policy and position papers and briefings, all done as part of a group.
This will count for 30% of the grade.

Course Schedule (Note: Guest Speakers are Tentative and Subject to Change):

Monday, January 13th: Code as a Weapon

Guest Speaker: Jeffrey L. Stutzman, Red Sky Alliance

Required Readings:
1.) United States. Executive Office of the President. Cyberspace Policy Review: Assuring a
Trusted and Resilient Information and Communication Infrastructure. May 2009.
Available Online:

2.) Committee on Offensive Information Warfare, National Research Council. Technology,

Policy, Law, and Ethics Regarding U.S. Acquisition and Use of Cyberattack Capabilities.
Washington, DC: National Academies Press, 2009. “Preface” and “Synopsis.” Available

3.) Symantec. Symantec Internet Security Threat Report: Trends for 2010. Vol. 16 (April 2011).
Available Online:

4.) Ken Thompson. “Reflections on Trusting Trust.” Communication of the ACM. 27.8 (Aug.
1984): 761-763. Available Online:

5.) Janet Abbate. Inventing the Internet. Cambridge: MIT Press, 2000. “Chapter 1: White Heat
and Coldwar: The Origins and Meanings of Packet Switching,” “Chapter 2: Building the
ARPANET: Challenges and Strategies,” and “Chapter 4: From ARPANET to Internet.”

6.) Nicolas Falliere, Liam O Murchu, and Eric Chien. W32.Stuxnet Dossier, Version 1.4.
February 2011. Available Online:

Recommended Readings:
1.) Center for Strategic and International Studies. Securing Cyberspace for the 44th
Presidency. Dec. 2008. Available Online:

2.) W. Brian Arthur. Increasing Returns and Path Dependence in the Economy. Ann Arbor, MI:
University of Michigan Press, 1994.

3.) Susan Leigh Star. “The Ethnography of Infrastructure.” American Behavioral Scientist
(1999) 43: 377-391.

4.) Paul A. David. “Clio and the Economics of QWERTY.” The American Economic Review
75.2 (1985): 332-337.

Tuesday, January 14th: A Networked World

Guest Speakers: Dan Geer, In-Q-Tel; Susan Landau, Guggenheim Scholar.

Required Readings:
1.) Steven M. Bellovin, Scott O. Bradner, Whitfield Diffie, Susan Landau, and Jennifer Rexford.
“Can It Really Work? Problems with Extending EINSTEIN 3 to Critical Infrastructure.”
Harvard National Security Journal. 3.1 (2011): 1-38. Available Online:

2.) Fred Schneider and Deirdre Mulligan. “Doctrine for Cybersecurity.” Daedalus. Fall 2011, 70-
92. Available Online:

3.) Vivek Kundra. Federal Cloud Computing Strategy. Feb. 2011. 1-6; 26-28. Available Online:

4.) United States. Government Accountability Office (GAO). “Information Security: Additional
Guidance Needed to Address Cloud Computing Concerns.” Oct. 2011. Available Online:

5.) Tyler Moore, Richard Clayton, and Ross Anderson. “The Economics of Online Crime.”
Journal of Economic Perspectives. 23.3 (2009): 3-20. Available Online:

6.) J.H. Saltzer, D.P.Reed, and D.D. Clark. “End-to-End Arguments in System Design.” ACM
Transactions in Computer Systems. 2.4 (Nov. 1984): 277-288. Available Online:

7.) David D. Clark and Marjory S. Blumenthal. “Rethinking the Design of the Internet: The End
to End Arguments vs. the Brave New World.” (2000). Available Online:

Recommended Readings:
1.) Scott D. Sagan. The Limits of Safety: Organizations, Accidents, and Nuclear Weapons.
Princeton, NJ: Princeton UP, 1993.

2.) Charles Perrow. Normal Accidents: Living with High-Risk Technologies. Princeton, NJ:
Princeton UP, 1984/1999. “Introduction,” and “Chapter 3: Complexity, Coupling, and

3.) Charles Perrow. The Next Catastrophe: Reducing Our Vulnerability to Natural, Industrial,
and Terrorist Disasters. Princeton, NJ: Princeton UP, 2007/2011.

4.) Philip Auerswald, et al. Seeds of Disaster, Roots of Response. Oxford UP: 2006.

5.) Langdon Winner. “Complexity, Trust and Terror.” NetFuture #137, October 22, 2002.

Wednesday, January 15th: Asymmetry and Authentication

Guest Speaker: Latanya Sweeney, Harvard University

Required Readings:
1.) David D. Clark and Susan Landau. “Untangling Attribution.” National Security Journal.
2.2. (2011). Available Online:

2.) Committee on Offensive Information Warfare, National Research Council. Technology,

Policy, Law, and Ethics Regarding U.S. Acquisition and Use of Cyberattack Capabilities.
Washington, DC: National Academies Press, 2009. “Chapter 5: Perspectives on
Cyberattack Outside National Security.” Available Online:

3.) Orin S. Kerr. “Cybercrime's Scope: Interpreting 'Access' and 'Authorization' in Computer
Misuse Statutes.” New York University Law Review. 78.5 (2003). Available Online:

4.) Steptoe Cyberblog. “The Hackback Debate.” Nov. 2, 2012. Available Online:

5.) An Introduction to Cryptography. (1999). Available Online:

6.) “Tor.” Wikipedia. Available Online:

Recommended Readings:
1.) Butler Lampson, Martin Abadi, Michael Burrows, and Edward Wobber. “Authentication in
Distributed Systems: Theory and Practice.” ACM Transactions in Computer Systems.
10.4 (Nov. 1992): 265-310. Available Online:

Thursday, January 16th: Cyberwar

Guest Speaker: Herb Lin, NRC.

Required Readings:
1.) Richard Clarke and Robert Knake. Cyber War: The Next Threat to National Security and
What to Do About It. Ecco, 2010.

2.) John Arquilla. “Cyberwar Is Already Upon Us.” Foreign Policy. March/April, 2012.
Available Online:

3.) United States. Department of Defense. Department of Defense Strategy for Operating in
Cyberspace. July 2011. Available Online:

4.) Joseph Nye. “Nuclear Lessons for Cyber Security.”Strategic Studies Quarterly Winter 2011.
Available Online:

5.) Thomas Rid. “Cyber War Will Not Take Place.” Journal of Strategic Studies. 35:1 (2012): 5-

6.) David Sanger. Confront and Conceal: Obama’s Secret Wars and Surprising Use of American
Power.” New York: Crown, 2012. “Prologue” and Chapter 8.”

7.) Harold Koh. “International Law in Cyberspace.” USCYBERCOM Inter-Agency Legal

Conference. Sept. 18, 2012. Available Online:

Recommended Readings:
1.) United States. Department of Defense. Department of Defense Cyberspace Policy Report.
Nov. 2011. Available Online:

2.) Bill Gertz. “Computer-Based Attacks Emerge as Threat of Future, General Says.”
Washington Times. Sept. 3, 2011. Available Online:

3.) Jack Goldsmith. “Cybersecurity Treaties: A Skeptical View.” Hoover Institution. 2011.
Available Online:

4.) Thomas Mahnken. “Why Cyberwar Isn’t the Warfare You Should Worry About.” Foreign
Policy. July 2012. Available Online:

5.) Committee on Deterring Cyberattacks, National Research Council. Proceedings of a

Workshop on Deterring Cyberattacks: Informing Strategies and Developing Options for
U.S. Policy. Washington, DC: National Academies Press, 2010. Available Online:

6.) Thomas Rid. “Think Again: Cyberwar.” Foreign Policy. March/April, 2012. Available

7.) Michael N. Schmitt. “Computer Network Attack and the Use of Force in International Law:
Thoughts on a Normative Framework.” Columbia Journal of Transportation Law.
(1999). Available Online:

8.) Kenneth Anderson. “Readings: Harold Koh Lays Out US Government Position on
Cyberspace and International Law.” Lawfare. Sept. 19, 2012. Available Online:

9.) Paul Rosenzweig. “The Organization of the United States Government and Private Sector for
Achieving Cyber Deterrence.” 2010. Draft. Available Online:

Friday, January 17th: Table-Top Activity

No assigned readings