Cyberwar Vs. Traditional Conflict

The first difference between cyberwar and traditional warfare is the difficulty in knowing who exactly attacked you. 

Unlike a traditional military conflict, correctly attributing an attack back to its original source is incredibly difficult. Sophisticated countries often hack third-party victims, such as universities or small or medium-size businesses that don't have robust cyber-security.  They then use those businesses to attack their real targets, whether they be critical utilities, other governments' resources or important businesses and industries. 

The second difference is it can be difficult to know when you're under attack, often the impacts can only be felt years after the attack. 

What is cyberwar? 

Cyberwar is the use of technology to cause social, economic or even physical damage to a targeted country. It can range from propaganda or fake news campaigns, which we witnessed in the US and French elections, to the theft of national secrets or intellectual property. It can even escalate to the crippling of banks, telecommunications providers and media outlets, experienced by South Korea in 2013.

In its most brutal stage, a cyberwar could result in the crippling of power plants, airports, transit and thousands of businesses as the Ukraine experienced in December 2015 and 2016 and this past June and July. 

A full cyberwar would likely lead to crippled power utilities, hospitals, transportation systems, retail outlets and more.  No terrorist group has capitalised on networked technology more than ISIS, both for recruitment messaging and commanding their fighters on the ground.

The Internet is their response to asymmetric disadvantage. Where they lack in infrastructure and resources of a state, they use the web to plan attacks, solicit money and reach out to potential members.

The West now suggests it is reducing ISIS future terrorist potential but… 

On the battlefield, physical has merged with digital. ISIS commanders in Iraq and Syria have maneuvered their ranks through urban combat in cities such as Mosul or Raqqa, giving orders and sharing intelligence using networked-devices like phones, tablets, laptops, and small commercial drones. 

They use disposable Twitter accounts to distribute timely operational commands to fighters following specific hashtags, and create Facebook groups or Telegram channels to relay crude combat intelligence in real time.

At its core, cyber warfare, currently, is the use of digital attacks by one country or nation to disrupt the computer systems of another with the aim of create significant infrastructure damage, and potential assistance to more traditional military attack. 

This military strategy is similar to the beginning of aircraft use at the beginning of the 20th century when aircraft were only seen as having a visual intelligence use, then subsequently used in mass bommbing attacks.

What does Cyber-Warfare look like?

Cyber-war is still an emerging concept, but many experts are concerned that it is likely to be a significant component of any future conflicts. As well as troops using conventional weapons like guns and missiles, future wars will also be fought by hackers using computer code to attack an enemy's infrastructure.

Governments and intelligence agencies worry that digital attacks against vital infrastructure, like power grids or Banking systems, will give attackers a way of bypassing a country's traditional defences. Unlike standard military attacks, a cyber-attack can be launched instantaneously from any distance, with little obvious evidence in the build-up, and it is often extremely hard to trace such an attack back to its originators. 

Does Cyber remove traditional Military Strategy and Actions?

In the short run, soldiers, pilots and sailors will still be essential components of any battle, military planners say. This will be particularly true in urban settings, where buildings, tunnels and people create confusing obstacles that no machine will be able to skirt for years to come.

But over time, experts largely agree, remote-sensing and piloting technologies will produce the biggest change in warfare in generations. 

3rd Warfare Revolution

In the history of warfare, there have been a few major revolutions: the advent of the firearm, the introduction of nuclear power and weaponry, and the launch of military satellites to name a few. 

A new revolution is taking place right now on the battlefields of the world: wars are fought increasingly by drones. Of course, people are still in the line of fire, but their role and numbers could be vastly different than they are now. There’s no question that drones are changing the face of warfare: militaries have always been in technology races, but never before has the winner of the race gained the ability to wage war without putting troops on the front line.

Current Situation: Researchers are building drones the size of insects that can be used for reconnaissance or strikes, and although it’s difficult to estimate when this kind of technology will be deployed on the battlefield, it’s a safe bet that they’re currently being tested. Once they’re ready for deployment, there will be no denying that we’ve reached a new military age.

News By CSI

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