Cyber Warfare, the Storm that will Forever Change the Course of Humanity’s Fate.

Privacy is a Myth. Right?

Cyberwarfare is the use of digital attacks to attack a nation, causing similar damage to actual warfare and/or disrupting critical computer systems. However, there are some debates among experts about “what specifically acts as cyber warfare.” Although cyberwarfare generally refers to cyber-attacks carried out by one nation-state against another, it can also refer to attacks carried out by terrorist or hacker groups with the goal of furthering the goals of specific nations. While there have been several suspected cyberwarfare attacks in recent history, there has been no formal, agreed-upon definition for a cyber act of war, which experts generally agree is a cyber-attack that directly results in the loss of life. In recent years, there has been an increase in cyberwarfare, with reports of hackers launching attacks against other countries. As governments around the world become more reliant on technology and systems, there is a greater emphasis on cyber security as well as offensive capabilities. Since everything from financial services to transportation networks is reliant on these systems, the risk of a hostile state disrupting these systems to cause damage is much higher than relying on traditional and expensive forms of warfare, such as ground troops and missiles.

Types of cyber warfare attacks

As a nation’s critical systems become more connected to the internet, the threat of cyberwarfare attacks grows. Even if these systems are properly secured, they can still be hacked by perpetrators hired by nation-states to find and exploit vulnerabilities. The following are examples of major types of cyberwarfare attacks. Cyber warfare attacks are categorized as follows.

Destabilization

In recent years, cybercriminals have targeted governments by targeting critical infrastructure, such as transportation systems, banking systems, power grids, water supplies, dams, and hospitals. Destabilizing critical digital infrastructure has a negative impact on vital modern services or processes from a national security standpoint. An attack on the energy grid, for example, could have far-reaching consequences for the industrial, commercial, and private sectors.

Sabotage

Cyber-attacks that wreak havoc on government computer systems can be used to bolster conventional warfare efforts. Such attacks have the potential to disrupt official government communications, contaminate digital systems, facilitate the theft of vital intelligence, and endanger national security.

Data theft

Cybercriminals hack into computer systems to steal data that can be used for intelligence, held for ransom, sold, used to incite scandals and chaos, or even destroyed.

Weapons in cyber warfare

The tools of destruction used in cyber-attacks are like weapons used in other types of criminal attacks in that they have the same effect. Botnets, for example, that exist to launch distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks can target critical services and digitally cripple entities, or they may even serve as a diversion from other malicious cyber activities, such as network infiltration attempts. Spear phishing and social engineering are also used to bring cyber criminals closer to the targeted systems. Threats from within pose a significant risk for organizations hoping to protect their systems from intruders, but they are extremely powerful in the hands of hackers, allowing hackers to directly expose a network to a threat or allow a group to steal sensitive data. The attack was never successfully blamed on any known party, even though it is believed that this cyber weapon was developed collaboratively by US and Israeli military entities. While neither country has denied the charge, it is also claimed that Stuxnet was shown as part of a showreel at the retirement party of the Israeli Defense Forces chief (IDF).

Cyber warfare examples

There are numerous examples of cyber warfare attacks throughout history. The following are a few examples.

China’s Ministry of State Security

The US Department of Justice charged two Chinese hackers affiliated with the Chinese government’s Ministry of State Security in 2018 with stealing intellectual property and confidential business information.

The U.S. Office of Personnel Management

Cybercriminals backed by the Chinese government have been accused of breaching the US Office of Personnel Management website and stealing the personal information of approximately 22 million current and former government employees.

DDoS attack in Ukraine

The Russian government is accused of carrying out a DDoS attack that disrupted Ukraine’s internet, allowing pro-Russian rebels to seize control of Crimea.

Written by Helani Herath— 2nd Year 1st Semester -Cyber Security Student-SLIIT

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