Spreading of virus and cyber attacks have become a common headlines nowadays.Technology have moved to a era of disruptive cyber actions to sabotage the opponent for better or the worse.
Cyber warfare involves the actions by a nation-state or international organization to attack and attempt to damage another nation’s computers or information networks through, for example, computer viruses or denial-of-service attacks. RAND research provides recommendations to military and civilian decision makers on methods of defending against the damaging effects of cyber warfare on a nation’s digital infrastructure. (source: Rand.com)
These are highly targeted attacks waged via Internet. They are the online version of war between nations waged via internet. However just like the physical war, its not just between political organizations of nations; terrorist groups, hactivists, extreme group etc. are also in interest of this Cyber War. Our world is becoming more and more dependent on computers and electronic systems. The connectivity brings us huge benefits and changes in our daily life & business, but all this bring us closer to more vulnerabilities.
Dr. Martin Libicki from US Naval Academy defines two types of Cyber War – Strategic & Operational. Strategic Cyber War is a combined set of cyber attacks one organization carries over another while Operational Cyber War is the use of Cyberattacks by the military in the context of a physical war.
- Sabotage: Intends to take down the financial, military communication infrastructure or other major infrastructure bringing down core public / military services.
- Espionage and/or security breaches: They intend to disable networks, computer systems or to steal highly classified information from competitors or political & military organizations.
- Less costly than physical war
- Difficult to track source of attack
- Warfare as a tool for weak over strong — Can be a strong weapon for nations weak in resources for physical war