Information and Cyber warfare


Interviewer: What is information warfare or cyber warfare?

Interviewee: information warfare is the use of information through information systems by a government, a clandestine group, an organization or a lone wolf with the purpose of either causing terror or obtaining the information for a competitive advantage. 

Interviewer: How is information warfare basically carried out?

Interviewee: Information warfare can take many forms through the use of different weaponries which are used either to protect or obtain the information. The most common forms of how information warfare is carried out are through denial of services where information is blocked from reaching the user; the information can also be stolen through hacking of information and information systems and information can be manipulated where information is altered with the intent of distorting the information so that it cannot reach the intended user in the original form.

Interviewer: What are the weaponries that are used in information and cyber warfare?

Interviewee: The weaponries used in information warfare can be categorized into two; those that are meant to defend information systems and those that are meant to attacking the information systems. Most of the weaponries that are used in defense are the ones used in attack the only difference is the manner of usage. Location and navigation based systems such as Global Positioning Systems (GPS), surveillance and reconnaissance technologies have been used to detect or know the position of the enemy. Information transportation is important in information warfare, and it need a communication infrastructure composed of fiber optic cables, telephone lines, routers, radios, televisions and a network of computers. Therefore, transportation protocol and technology is important weaponry. Information can be accessed to hacking software from any location or even creation of proxy computers to obtain information. The most common form of protection is the use of security systems such as firewalls, passwords, multilayer security systems and encryption. The weapons that can be used to manipulate information include computer software that is able to edit video, audio, graphics and text. Lastly, information can be denied or disturbed from reaching the intended user, this is known as denial of service. The weapons used for denial of service are overloading of servers, jamming, noise introduction, and spoofing.

Interviewer: having talked about how information warfare is carried out and the weapons that have been used to wage the war, what are some of the policies or measures that have not been effective in combating information warfare and why have they not been effective?

Interviewee: One of the measures that have been ineffective and even sometimes impossible to implement is the creation of instability among the adversaries. Unlike a physical coercion where it is easy to know the perpetrators of a certain attack, in information warfare, speculation can be a dangerous game. For instance, an enemy can only be targeted only if they exhibit a known grave military threat, also adequate information about the context of the target to be destabilized should be determined. Any mishap in acquisition information about the real perpetrators, wrong target or clumsy efforts to cause instability creates grounds for unnecessary war or creates an external target to a nation. Domestic cybercrime laws have not been that effective in combating information warfare, this is because of the issues in jurisdiction. A good example is the case of Gary McKinnon, a British national who allegedly hacked into the Pentagon’s computer network; it has been difficult to extradite him to the U.S. because he committed the crime while in one jurisdiction (UK) while the crime was on another jurisdiction (US).


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