The course covers operational security methods, online anonymity, persona creation and management with Myers-Briggs, the Big 5, the Dark Triad/Pitch Black Tetrad, the Psychological Techniques of the Seven Radicals, the Nine Enneagram Type Descriptions as they relate to personas and cyber HUMINT tactics through campaign development, management, and execution. Additionally, the course includes adversary targeting with cyber D3A/F3EAD and establishing PIRs through the execution of open source and darknet collection. Other material covered: Information warfare, counterintelligence deception methods, conspiracy theories, the use of ‘cyber’ color revolutions, Russian/Chinese/Iranian Cyber Warfare models, and cyber psychological operations, setting up and executing cognitive warfare campaigns. The course blends cyber intelligence, counterintelligence, and cognitive warfare, from setup through passive execution. Students learn to build and execute campaigns with hands-on delivery in live environments. We do not use sandbox setups. All execution is live, yet passive. Pre-class setup includes building VirtualBox environments with software for anonymous collection (OSINT VMs). In addition, Treadstone 71 recommends specific VPNs, browser setup, extensions, minimum necessary laptop specifications, data provenance software, and other tools. Students must also take a few short personality tests to share during class. For US-based course locations, Treadstone 71 provides phones for students to aid with anonymity and persona development. Students receive training materials, books, Treadstone 71 Reference Guides, CPE credits, and certificates for the work performed. We do not have students take tests based on memorization. Instead, students pass the course through full attendance and execution of all case studies. In addition, practical and pragmatic performance evaluation during the course confirms student knowledge.
Students learn how to defend against cognitive attacks while planning for their own cognitive actions against adversaries. Students learn to assess adversaries for susceptibility to cognitive weapons and what to observe for potential impacts. Students will learn methods of deception to deceive adversaries, distraction tactics, content creation for distrust, as well as methods of deployment. These methods are included in student created cognitive campaigns that are continuous from multiple vectors. Students will learn cognition of while understanding worlds of social media, information, intelligence, and other online vectors. We also cover the issues associated with measuring campaign effectiveness and influence analysis. Information operations is a key component of adversary ways of war that includes: All the uses of information and disinformation, state or nonstate actors as a tool of state power including military information support operations, cyberspace operations, electronic warfare, military deception, psychological operations, public affairs, and strategic communications.