Cyber warfare is a relatively new form of warfare. Cyber warfare will be defined and compared to conventional kinetic warfare. This paper will look at some of the reasons why States and non-state entities use the internet for political, financial, ideological, or even patriotic reasons. A brief history of cyber warfare will be discussed along with some of the groups and nations that engage in cyber warfare/attacks.
Cyber Warfare Cyber Warfare is still a relatively new problem with which nations have had to contend within the past 30 years. In the past couple of years cyber-attacks to organizations and governmental entities have raised an awareness of the security challenges that all organizations will face in near and distant future. The purpose of this paper is to give a definition of cyber warfare, although a good global definition has not been provided due to differing ideas of what cyber warfare entails. A brief history of cyber warfare will be given along with what threats this type of warfare can pose to nations and organizations around the world.
Definitions – What is Cyber Warfare? Cyber Warfare has been defined as the following: “The use of computers and information technology capabilities against a sovereign state resulting in the destruction or disruption of services with the intent of leveraging, degrading, damaging or denying the use of information resources, financial networks, or critical infrastructure for the purpose of furthering a state’s political agenda.” (Applegate, 2011) The definition of cyberattack is somewhat different: “The deliberate breaching of an entity’s computer system with the intent of stealing intellectual property or financial resources; disabling , wiping out, or manipulating a computer or network; or causing other damage or disruption to a computer-driven system.” (Rowan, 2014) Cyber Warfare is much different than conventional warfare in that there are no borders, the cost of entry is low and one person can cause more damage during an attack compared to that of conventional warfare. Cyber Warfare is also a form of ‘asymmetric warfare’. This is where one opponent might be stronger, complacent, and inflexible in conventional means, while the other opponent is usually seen as weaker, but more clever and agile. (Cornish, Livingstone, Clemente, & Yorke, 2010) With cyber war you must have a real world affect, be that either someone or something in the non-cyber world. An attacker may strike at whatever he or she chooses; however, without any real result, the time spent on this endeavor is useless. Additionally, cyber warfare doesn’t have the physical constraints that conventional warfare has. Conventional or kinetic warfare is affected by distance, limited by the location of the opponent. The logistics of getting personnel and materials to the enemy can be a daunting task. The use of conventional weapons require the use of heavy manufacturing plants and the physical travel to the target locations. (Brecht, 2015)
Other Types of Cyber Attacks With Cyber Warfare there are other types of cyber security issues that exist. The following is a list of security issues with a short description that have to be dealt with on a daily basis (Applegate, 2011):
Cyber Warfare – Use of the internet or computer systems as an extension of politics to impose one State’s will on another State.
Cyber Espionage – Use of the internet or computer systems to gain critical information to give a State or non-state actor a strategic advantage.
Cyber Terrorism – Use of the internet or computer systems to spread fear, recruit new members, or further a political, ideological or religious agenda.
Cyber Crime – Use of the internet or computer systems in the conduct of illegal activities for personal or financial gain. With any of the cyber security issues listed above, there are two commonalities; the internet and the use of computer systems. Without