ITSPmagazine Podcast Network

Do We Really Need to Worry about Critical Infrastructure? | A Discussion about Cyber Operations in the Context of the Leaked Vulkan Files | A SecTor Event Coverage Conversation with Marina Krotofil

Episode Summary

In this episode of Chats on the Road to the SecTor Security conference in Toronto, hosts Marco and Sean are joined by Marina Krotofil to explore the complexities of cyber warfare, the leaked Vulkan files, and the need for independent thinking in the face of evolving cyber threats.

Episode Notes

Guest: Marina Krotofil, Senior Cyber Security Advisor, Critical Infrastructure Protection

On Linkedin |

Marina's Website |



Sean Martin, Co-Founder at ITSPmagazine [@ITSPmagazine] and Host of Redefining CyberSecurity Podcast [@RedefiningCyber]

On ITSPmagazine |


Episode Notes

In this episode of Chats on the Road, hosts Marco Ciappelli and Sean Martin are joined by Marina Krotofil, a specialist in cyber physical security, at the SecTor Canada security conference in Toronto. Marina sheds light on the world of cyber warfare and the evolution of cyber weapons. She discusses the leaked Vulkan files, which reveal Russia's centralized strategy and software platform for managing cyber operations. Marina emphasizes the combination of cyber and physical sabotage required in attacks on critical infrastructure and the focus on controlling the masses through disinformation and propaganda.

The conversation covers a range of topics, including the link between cybersecurity and political science, societal implications, and the need for independent thinking. Marina highlights the importance of preparing for cyber attacks during peacetime and the vulnerability of small and medium-sized organizations. She shares insights into Russia's cyber capabilities and practices, providing evidence of their development and testing throughout the years. Marina invites listeners to think critically and independently, encouraging them to consider the political and societal implications of cyber warfare.

The episode provides thought-provoking insights into the complexities of cyber warfare and the need to be prepared and vigilant in the face of evolving threats. It explores the manipulation of media and propaganda, the dangers of controlling information flow, and the importance of understanding the long-term game of cyber operations. The conversation is not sensationalized or journalistic in nature, but rather focuses on informing and educating listeners about the realities of cyber warfare.

Marina's session at the conference, "Do We Really Need to Worry about Critical Infrastructure?" goes deeper into the analysis of Russia's cyber operations and their connection to the leaked Vulkan documents. Overall, this episode offers listeners a chance to gain a deeper understanding of the challenges posed by cyber warfare and the need for proactive defense measures. It encourages independent thinking and critical analysis, highlighting the importance of staying informed and prepared in an age of evolving cyber threats.

About Marina's SecTor Session: In the past, the definition of hybrid war was frequently reduced to a composition of kinetic and cyber warfare to simplify the discussion. Lessened to just two components and in the absence of real-world examples of hybrid war, it was often argued that cyberwarfare, and especially attacks on various critical infrastructures, had the potential of having a critical role at times of significant conflicts with combat actions. However, the events in the Ukrainian war theater have shown that kinetic weapons were preferred at the time of tactical military operations. Ever wondered why this was the case?

This talk will consist of two parts. The first part will provide a short yet comprehensive summary of the recently leaked "Vulkan files", classified documentation which provides details about Russian hybrid warfare strategy and distributed software platforms to prepare and manage cyber- and information operations in a centralized manner. In the second part, we will analyze notable Russian cyber operations in the post-Stuxnet era (after 2010) and show how Russia gradually evolved and tested its cyber capabilities and hybrid warfare vision. Some of the operations will be discussed with technical details based on first- and second-hand experiences with such operations. By the end of this talk, the audience should get a better idea about a wide range of factors that impact the success of cyber operations and why cyber attacks on critical infrastructures are more frequently opportunistic than strategic as well as may not always yield the desired impact. In conclusion, the talk will outline a type of cyber operations being conducted in war and peace times.


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