Skip Navigation

INTL644 - Cyber and the Intelligence Cycle

Course Details

Course Code: INTL644 Course ID: 4903 Credit Hours: 3 Level: Graduate

This course looks at cyber and the intelligence cycle from two perspectives. The first is the application of the classic intelligence cycle against cyber targets. The second, parallel track is the use of cyber tools to optimize intelligence operations and the intelligence cycle in particular. This course will discuss the unique role of the cyber domain in the intelligence cycle. Intelligence in cyber is comprised of different characteristics than that of space, air, land and sea. Because cyber information is transmitted instantaneously, it may affect components of the intelligence cycle (collection, analysis, dissemination, etc.) simultaneously rather than sequentially, as is the case with other intelligence collections methods. Students will discuss commercial and defense concepts associated with the intelligence cycle and enterprise information technology infrastructure. Students will also address the challenges that are created due to rapid advancing technologies and existence of multiple actors. (Recommended Prerequisite: SSGS500)

Course Schedule

Registration Dates Course Dates Session Weeks
05/25/20 - 10/30/20 11/02/20 - 12/27/20 Fall 2020 Session I 8 Week session

Current Syllabi

CO-1: Apply the IC to Cyberspace Operations.

CO-2: Hypothesize how the IC would function in cyberspace operations.

CO-3: Differentiate the attributes of the cyber domain from space, air, land and sea domains.

CO-4: Examine cyber issues in military and civilian applications.

CO-5: Analyze the challenges that rapid advancing technologies and actors create within the cyber domain.

CO-6: Analyze the legal and policy challenges in the conduct of cyber intelligence operations

Discussion Forums x8 - 20%

Assignment 1:

Develop an 8 – 10 page essay (not including title page or references) that addresses one of the questions below. Please include a synthesis of relevant references to support your work. You may use class readings and/or academically appropriate references to answer these questions.
  1. Explain the differences the traditional and cyber domains. Are these distinctions important in the practice of cyber intelligence?
  2. Since the critical infrastructure of most targets is heavily based on technology, does the United States really need a special, USCYBERCOMM or should each of the services be allowed to target cyber targets through their normal forces such as the Army’s Brigade Combat Teams, or the Navy’s Fleets or the Air Force’s eight major field commands?
  3. What are the cyber challenges to the intelligence cycle?

Assignment 2: Practicle Exercise

This purely a hypothetical scenario about a chemical plant that may or may not be a dual use manufacturing facility that is also manufacturing biological or chemical weapons. The public face of the plant is that it manufactures food additives for livestock. Intelligence sources indicate that it really is a biochemical manufacturing facility. The scenario provides some basic facts about the plant and some imagery. The mission is to determine if the plant is manufacturing biochemical weapons. The Lesson contains a PowerPoint presentation which contains additional information about the target.

Your Assignment is to answer the following:
  1. What traditional methods of intelligence would you employ and what would be their Priority Intelligence Requirements (PIR) in general terms?
  2. How could you map the Information Technology (IT) infrastructure inside the plant?
  3. How could you determine potential cyber vulnerabilities?
  4. What ‘ints’ would you employ to accomplish 2 and 3 above and what would be their PIR in general terms?
  5. Develop an intelligence collection and analysis plan for the Mission Commander showing how you would analyze this target. Your plan should be NO MORE THAN 5 pages, double spaced; 12 pt font. Sources and attachments do not count as pages.

Assignment 3:

Please answer one of the following two questions each with a 3 – 4 page essay (not including title or references). You may use class readings or academically appropriate answer these questions.
  1. Do analysts of cyber targets have to be well versed in classic military tactics or is deep technical knowledge and a portfolio of offensive and defensive cyber skills sufficient?
  2. From a Counter Cyber Intelligence perspective, Social Media accounts such as FaceBook, Twitter, Pinterst, etc. can be a source of intelligence information to our enemies. Provide 5 best practices to avoid revealing compromising information.
Book Title: Understanding the Intelligence Cycle
Author: Mark Phythian
Publication Info: Routledge
ISBN: 9781138856325

Book Title:Understanding the Intelligence Cycle - e-book available in the APUS Online Library
Publication Info:Routledge
Author:Mark Phythian
Unit Cost:$50.35

Previous Syllabi

Not current for future courses.