Cyber Defence Library

Cyberspace and the Changing Nature of Warfare

Cyberspace and the Changing Nature of Warfare

Aggressive cyber warfare strategies and tactics offer many advantages to their prospective employers, and
current events demonstrate that cyber conflict is already commonplace around the world. As a
consequence, national security leadership must dramatically improve its understanding of the technology,
law, and ethics of cyber attack and defense, so that it can competently factor cyber warfare into all stages
of national security planning.

This paper offers five strategic reasons why cyber warfare is on the rise:
- The Internet is vulnerable to attack
- high return on investment
- The inadequacy of current cyber defenses
- Plausible deniability
- The increased participation of non-state actors

The author describes five common tactics used in cyber warfare:
- Espionage
- Propaganda
- Denial-of-Service (DoS)
- Data modification
- Infrastructure manipulation

Finally, this paper summarizes lessons learned from five case studies:
- 1994: Russia and Chechnya
- 1999: NATO and the war over Kosovo
- 2000: Middle East cyber war
- 2001: American and Chinese “patriotic” hackers
- 2007: Cyber war in Estonia

The full article can be accessed here: