Saturday, November 14, 2020

The Department of Defense's Cyber Command is using images of sloths and bumbling bears to insult foreign hackers


There’s little that Russian hackers hate more than being seen as soft. So when U.S. military hackers saw a way to publicly portray them as bumbling and unthreatening in recent weeks, they seized the moment.

It all began when Cyber Command, the U.S. Department of Defense’s offensive cyber arm, started working with a graphics company to illustrate foreign government hackers. The military realized it could punch up the reports it releases on foreign hacking operations by adding illustrations, and try to embarrass or infuriate the foreign hacking shops along the way


“I think the silly graphics are more about messaging to the U.S. government and populace and branding: ‘If the adversary is not that good, then Cyber Command must be really good.’”


The first time Cyber Command wanted to share a mocking graphic about foreign hackers, the contractors had to redraft their sketches because the first one wasn’t silly enough


“Our original graphic idea for ‘Slothful Media’ had to change because we realized it would be too cool,” the official said, in recognition of the fact that the government runs the risk of unnecessarily inflating the adversary if the graphics are improperly executed.