In Episode 17 of the Cybersecurity & Geopolitical Discussion from Security magazine, hosts Cyjax CISO Ian Thornton-Trump and Sky News security expert Philip Ingram, MBE, of Grey Hare Media are joined by Red Goat Cyber Security's Lisa Forte to analyze current events in the Middle East as the conflict between Israel and Hamas unfolds.

The trio start with an update on the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war before analyzing events in the Middle East, from the proliferation of misinformation and disinformation to how cyberattacks have played a role in the Israel-Hamas conflict.

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Geopolitical analysis of the Russia-Ukraine war

Over the past nearly two years, the world has seen an unprecedented loss of human life in what has now become the "old war" being fought in the Ukraine and the territory occupied by Russia.

"Russia has likely suffered up to 480,000 soldiers killed or wounded,” according to Business Insider. Despite Russia’s human wave tactics, Ukraine has remained steadfast in its defense around Avdiivka, a city in country’s southeastern region. With no indications of a quick win for Ukraine, it’s likely that unconventional warfare and an expansion of cyberattacks will settle into a 2024 Winter of Discontent. Thorton-Trump, Ingram and Forte discuss the cybersecurity and physical warfare ramifications.

Israel-Hamas: Where are we now?

The world witnessed the start of a new war on October 7, 2023 as an armed terrorist cell allied with Hamas attacked Israeli settlements close to the Gaza Strip. The large-scale operation caught Israeli forces off guard, and the latest casualty figures show more than 1,400 dead between civilians and security forces. Israel consequently declared war on Hamas, assembling more than 300,000 troops in preparation for a ground offensive.

The Hamas attack ignited the long-simmering grievances of the displaced Palestinian people located throughout Palestine, as well as calling out the protagonist actions of Iran in their support of Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad and Hezbollah terrorists. Thorton-Trump, Ingram and Forte discuss the state of play, the potential for this conflict drawing in Middle East countries such as Lebanon, Syria and Iran, and the danger of escalation.

Cybersecurity's role in the geopolitical threat landscape

Fueled by the divisive politics across the Middle East and the complexity of Israeli relationships with Arab nations, the experts then turn to the response of hacktivist organizations, which began a broad range of cyberattacks both for and against Israel. The focus then shifts to the disturbing growing disinformation blighting this conflict and how events are being "social-media weaponized" to escalate tensions among people inside and adjacent to Palestine.

"If the intention of Russia was to conspire with Iran to ignite a conflict to siphon Western support and attention away from Ukraine, this was a massively successful maneuver," Ingram observes.

Join the debate as the panel digs into both conflicts, examining the cyber and the geopolitical impact, while assessing what this all means for world peace in the short and long term.