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What is a cyberwar?

Cyberwar is a phrase used to describe a conflict between two or more two countries in the virtual world or over the Internet, which is also known as cyberwarfare.

On the other hand, there has been significant debate among experts about what conflicts actually comes under the cyberwar. While the US Department of Defense (DOD) maintains that utilizing computers and the internet to conduct cyber warfare is a national security issue, it is unclear why some activities are categorised as warfare and others as criminality.

Although cyberwar is most commonly associated with attacks by one nation-state against another, it may also refer to strikes carried out by terrorist or hacker groups with the goal of furthering the goals of certain countries. While there have been multiple alleged cyberwarfare attacks in recent history, analysts claim there has yet to be a definitive cyber-attack that directly results in the loss of life; this is regarded an agreed-upon criterion for a cyber act of war.

Examples of cyberwar

The following are some instances that many people believe could occur during a cyberattack, cyberterrorist assault, or cyberwar.

  • Attacks (such as phishing and malware attacks) on stock trading, banks, financial institutions, and other financial institutions, creating interruptions, outages, or false information.
  • Attacks come under the cyberwar when hackers try to attack government or military websites with the goal of obtaining secret information, disabling, disrupting, or establishing backdoors for future attacks.
  • Attacks occur against major utilities like food systems, gas, water, power, and other critical infrastructure, which led to disruptions or complete outages.
  • Attacks that prohibit a person or a group of people from accessing a website.
  • An attack occurs on a news or information website in order to distribute false news about untrue occurrences, which generate tiny outbreaks of false hysteria.
  • Attacks (for example, DDoS attacks) on connectivity areas such as major backbones, routers, or other areas of the Internet become the reason to disrupt all the Internet traffic.

What Does Cyberwar Look Like?

There are a lot of forms of cyber warfare, but they all involve destroying or destabilizing vital systems. The goal is to destabilize the target country with the help of interfering with its key systems.

As a result, cyber warfare could take a variety of forms:

  • Attacks on financial infrastructure
  • Attacks against public infrastructures, such as dams and power grids
  • Attackers who target safety infrastructures such as traffic lights or early warning systems
  • Attacks against military organizations or resources

First known use of a cyberweapon and cyberattack

The Stuxnet virus is widely regarded as the first cyberweapon used in a cyberattack, which was discovered in 2010, and it was used in a cyberattack against Iran's nuclear enrichment infrastructure.

After Russia invaded Ukraine on 25 February 2022, Anonymous declared a cyberwar on Russia.

What are the goals of cyberwarfare?

The primary objective of cyberwar, according to the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, is to "disrupt, weaken, or destroy" another country. Cyberwarfare programs aim for a wide range of purposes that could hurt national interests in order to achieve their goals. These threats can range from advertising to espionage, as well as significant disruption, such as massive infrastructure damage and loss of life among the targeted country's citizens.

Cyberwarfare and cyberespionage are frequently used interchangeably. The most important contrast is that a cyber-espionage attack's primary objective is to keep the attacker concealed for as long as possible in order to gather intelligence, but a cyberwar attack's primary goal is to disrupt a nation-state. The two activities are sometimes frequently combined. Cyber espionage, for instance, can be employed to gather intelligence that aids a nation-state in preparing for a physical or cyberwar.

Would I be safe in a cyberwar?

Although there are no chances you would be attacked in a cyberwar, it will affect your life. Attacks on your local power grid might knock you off the grid for days or weeks, or create frequent brownouts.

You must be prepared for disruptions in order to keep yourself as well as your family safe during a cyberwar. Some ideas are as follows.

  • In order to avoid getting harmed, you need to keep your electronic equipment up to speed with the newest upgrades.
  • In case grocery stores become unavailable, you can store at least a week's worth of food, water, and other essentials.
  • For a long power outage should be on hand, such as candles, flashlights, backup batteries (UPS), solar panels, and any other necessities.
  • In case of unavailability of a medicine shop, you can keep at least a week's medicine on hand if you are on any kind of medication. If it needs to be kept cold, make sure you have a backup plan in case of a power loss.
  • If at all possible, keep additional petrol on hand for use in generators and automobiles. Otherwise, maintain your automobile as close to full as possible or find another way of transportation (e.g., bicycle).
  • If credit card machines and banks are unavailable, keep cash on hand that may be exchanged.
  • If the power goes out, have manual-powered radio or a battery-powered on hand in order to provide you with information.

Can people die in a cyberwar?

Yes, it is possible to die people because of a cyber war. Someone could die as a result of a cyberwar disrupting people's lives. For instance, people could die due to a lack of oxygen in case, if their power is disrupted due to a cyberattack, and they require power to keep their oxygen machine functioning. In a cyberwar, however, most attacks are directed at computers and network equipment.

What types of cyber weapons are used in warfare?

The following are some examples of acts that could be qualified as cyberwar:

  • Phishing emails, viruses, computer worms, as well as malware that can bring vital infrastructure down.
  • A distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) assault is one that prevents legitimate users from accessing targeted computer networks or devices.
  • Vital data from institutions, governments, and corporations is being hacked and stolen.
  • Spyware or cyber espionage that leads in data theft and threatens national security and stability
  • Ransomware, which enslaves control systems or data
  • Propaganda and disinformation tactics were once employed to generate major disruption and disorder.

Is there a cyber army?

Yes, in today's fast-paced business environment, most governments have cyber security agencies (cyber army) to assist protect against cyberattacks that may occur during a cyberwar. These militaries hire computer and security professionals to assist in the defence and, if necessary, attack of other countries. Some of these government departments are listed below.

Note: The list is given below that only includes inter-services or military departments, which collaborate across departments within a country. There are various countries (e.g., the United States) that maintain separate cyber departments for each branch of the military, such as Army, Navy, Marines, National Guard, Air Force, Coast Guard, etc.)

  • Albania: In this country, Military Cyber Security Unit, is available against cyber crime.
  • Argentina: Joint Staff of Cyber Defence Command of the Armed Forces
  • Austria: Centre for Information and Communication Technologies and Cybersecurity
  • Belarus: Information Technology Specialized Company
  • Brazil: Cybernetic Defense Command
  • Belgium: Defence Cyber Directorate
  • Canada: Canadian Forces Network Operation Centre is available in this country
  • Chile: Cyberdefense Incidents Response Centre is present.
  • Colombia: In this country, Joint Cybernetic Command is available.
  • Cuba: In Cuba, the Military Cyberdefense Command is available.
  • Czech Republic: Here, National Cyber Operations Centre are running.
  • Denmark: Cyber Security Centre is available in this location.
  • Ecuador: Available Cyberdefense Command
  • Finland: In this country, Defense Forces Command System Centre, is available.
  • France: Cyberdefense Command is present.
  • Georgia: Cyber Security Bureau is running.
  • Germany: In this location, Cyber and Information Domain Command, is present.
  • Greece: The National Defense General Staff's Cyber Defense Directorate
  • Guatemala: Computing and Technology Command
  • Hungary: Centre available, like Cyber Defense Centre
  • India: In India, Defence Cyber Agency (DCA) part of the Indian Armed Forces.
  • Iran: Cyber Defense Command is available in this country.
  • Isreal: the IDF's C4I Corps and Unit 8200, which stands for Israel Defense Forces.
  • Italy: Network Operations Command
  • Japan: Department of Self-Defense Force Command and Communication Systems
  • Mexico: Electromagnetic and Cyber Command
  • Netherlands: Defence Cyber Command is available
  • New Zealand: Available Cyber Cell
  • North Korea: In this country, Reconnaissance General Bureau, is present
  • Norway: The Norwegian Cyber Defense Force is running as a cyber defense army.
  • Peru: In this country, Cyberdefense Operational Command is available against cybercrime.
  • Philippines: A team is available named, Army Cyber Defense.
  • Poland: in this country, for Cyberspace Security, National Center is available.
  • Romania: Cybernetic Defense Command is available in this country.
  • Russia: Ministry of Defense Information Operations Troops
  • Singapore: It has Defence Cyber Organisation
  • South Africa: Directorate Information Warfare army is available in this country.
  • Slovenia: It provides Communications and Information Systems Unit against cyberwar.
  • Spain: Joint Cyberspace Command is a force that works against cybercrime.
  • South Korea: Available Cyber Operations Command
  • Sweeden: Information Technologies Defense Forces are running in this country.
  • Taiwan (Republic of China): Electronic Warfare Command and Information Command
  • Thailand: In this country, the Army Cyber Center is present
  • Turkey: Available Cyber Defense Command
  • Ukraine: The Armed Forces' Command of Communications and Cyber Security Troops
  • Venezuela: Joint Cyberdefense Directorate
  • Vietnam: Vietnam's Cyber Command (Command 86) is part of the Ministry of National Defense.

What are the types of cyberwar attacks?

As a country's key systems become more connected to the internet, the possibility of cyberwarfare assaults grows. These systems can be hacked by culprits hired by nation-states in order to uncover and exploit vulnerabilities even if they are well-secured. The following are some of the most common types of cyberwar attacks.

1. Destabilization

Through government's essential infrastructure, such as dams, transportation networks, electricity grids, banking systems, water supply, and hospitals, has been targeted by cybercriminals to attack in recent years. The industrial industry is becoming increasingly vulnerable to outside dangers as the internet of things becomes more widely adopted.

From a national security aspect, destabilizing important digital infrastructure has a severe influence on vital contemporary services and operations. For instance, an attack on the electricity grid may have significant ramifications for the industrial, commercial, as well as private sectors.

2. Sabotage

In order to offer support for conventional warfare tactics, attacks on government computer systems that sabotage them can be used. Such kinds of attacks have the potential to allow for the theft of sensitive information and endanger national security, disrupt official government communications, and pollute digital systems.

For case, military-sponsored or State-sponsored attacks may have the intention to obtain information on troop locations, weaponry, and equipment with the help of attacking military databases.

3. Data theft

The computer system can be hacked by hackers in order to steal information that can be used for any illegal operation, spying, held for ransom, sold, used to stir up scandals and unrest, or even destroyed.

Cyberattacks against government agencies, high-tech firms, defense, as well as economic crimes involving more than $1 million in losses are tracked by the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). Nation-state hacking and data theft are common cyber events in CSIS timelines dating back to 2006.

Combating cyberwarfare

Since 2010, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization's Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence has held annual war games to improve preparedness and explore countermeasures to defend states against cyber-attacks.

On August 2, 2017, President Trump signed Public Law 115-44, the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act, into law. New penalties were imposed on Iran, North, Russia, and Korea as part of this bill to assist deter cyberwarfare and boost the US information security program.

77 cybersecurity provisions are included in the National Defense Authorization Act for 2021, along with other funds and rules for DOD programs as well as activities. It is regarded as a major component of cybersecurity legislation.

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