Hackers, Hawks and Hawkers: Subcultures of Cyber Warfare

Retour aux événements

Research seminar with Dr Joe Burton, Université libre de Bruxelles (REPI)

Abstract: This presentation examines strategic subcultures and their influence on the development of Offensive Cyber Capabilities (OCC).  Drawing on the strategic culture literature, it identifies and critically examines three subcultures that influence how and for what purposes states develop cyber warfare capabilities: the ‘subversive', 'anti-establishment' influence of hackers, the hawks in national security establishments who are often predisposed to weaponising emerging technologies, and the hawkers in the corporate cyber security sector whose aggressive commercialisation of cyber capabilities has contributed to the emergence of modern cyber warfare.  The interaction between these three subcultures has played an under-appreciated but oversized role in driving the adoption and proliferation of OCC.  Together, they constitute a mutually reinforcing constellation of cultural influences on cyber warfare practices, behaviours and ideas.  Dr Burton will also outline his Marie Curie fellowship work programme and some of the challenges involved in contemporary cyber security research.

Joe Burton holds a Doctorate in International Relations and a Master of International Studies degree from the University of Otago and an undergraduate degree in International Relations from the University of Wales, Aberystwyth. He is a recipient of the US Department of State SUSI Fellowship, the Taiwan Fellowship, and has been visiting researcher at the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence (CCDCOE), Tallinn, Estonia. Joe is the author of NATO's Durability in a Post-Cold War World (SUNY Press, 2018) and his work has been published in Asian Security, Defence Studies, Political Science and with a variety of other leading academic publishers. His current research is focused on Strategic Culture and Cyber Warfare. He has strong interdisciplinary research experience, including working with psychologists, behavioural scientists, statisticians, and computer scientists on security issues, including cyber security, Artificial Intelligence, maritime security, non-proliferation, regional collective security, information warfare and hybrid threats. Joe teaches a variety of courses in Cyber Security, Strategic Studies and Security Studies and has extensive experience of professional and executive education in the military, defence and government sectors (e.g. NATO CCDCOE, New Zealand Defence Force Command and Staff College, Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam).

Online registration required here (registration by February 17th)


Wednesday February 19th 2020 12-2 pm

Université libre de Bruxelles - IEE (Geremek room)
Building R39
Avenue Franklin Roosevelt 39
1050 Bruxelles

Contact & information: repi@ulb.be

Flyer (PDF)