- So far, there was never an operation that combined cyber attacks with more traditional types of military action.
- Cyber warfare is mostly used in espionage, propaganda, sabotage and economic disruption.
- Propaganda is often used online in order to politically shape peoples’ opinion.
Cyber Warfare means that technology is used to launch attacks on a nation, which can cause harm that is similar to actual warfare. Despite us being able to define it clearly, some experts do not agree that such a thing as cyber warfare truly exists. They believe that nothing we have identified as cyber warfare so far can be characterized as war.
However, throughout recent history, there have been several cyber actions conducted by various countries. Some of those include the cyber attacks in Georgia in 2008 or Iran in 2010.
Is Cyber Warfare Real?
Although people are still debating whether cyber warfare can be acknowledged as an actual form of warfare, there is a large number of states that have already prepared offensive and defensive cyber operations. Some of those include the United States, Russia, China, the United Kingdom, Iran, and North Korea. It is worth noting that cyber operation still can’t be considered as completely explored, so it’s relatively new territory for everyone.
The probability of violence being a result of cyber warfare is, however, minuscule. That makes it hard to determine how likely it is that an all-out war could end up being a result of cyber warfare, which is why many don’t consider it to be an actual form of war. However, in time, we may see an increase in armed attacks happening as a result of cyber operations.
Warfare Vs. War
The reason we use the term cyber warfare instead of cyber war is that the word warfare does not imply everything that we usually think of when mentioning war. War implies acts of violence and a large scale, while warfare implies various techniques and tactics. This is why warfare is better suited for the kinds of cyber attacks mostly related to these operations. It is important to mention that, so far, there was never an action that combined cyber attacks and actual military assaults.
Cyber warfare can work in many different ways and present a threat to an entire nation on a multitude of levels. One of the most obvious examples uses cyber warfare combined with more traditional methods of war. A country could use a cyber attack to hack into an opposing nation’s air defense systems, which could cause significant damage.
Methods Of Cyber Warfare
However, we are more often used to using cyber warfare in a less threatening, but no less dangerous, way. Commonly it is used for hacking and stealing important documents or different types of espionage and propaganda. Some experts compare these threats to biological weapons and claim that the damage they can cause can be remarkably similar in scope.
Cyber warfare is often used in espionage, which is not considered a traditional act of war. It is believed that all major nations in the world constantly use espionage against each other. This doesn’t mean that espionage can’t cause tension. One of the largest examples in recent history was when Edward Snowden revealed how the United States was spying on a large number of other countries.
When used in sabotage, cyber warfare can be applied through a large number of hacking operations used to disrupt the equipment of the opposing nation. However, the form of cyber warfare most commonly used today is cyber propaganda. It is the usage of various methods to control information and try to influence the opinion of the majority of the public. It mostly uses social media and creates fake news websites to shape the perceptions of the people. It is considered a form of brainwashing and is mainly used as a political tool.