Cyberwarfare

War is more than a mere chameleon that slightly adapts its characteristics to the given case. As a total phenomenon its dominant tendencies always make war a paradoxical trinity – composed of primordial violence, hatred, and enmity…; of the play of chance and probability…; and of its element of subordination, as an instrument of policy, which makes it subject to reason alone”<w:sdt>(Clausewitz, 1984). Cyber-power does not change this these characteristics at all. What Cyber power does do, is change the nature of war and how the game is played.

“Cyber warfare involves the actions by a nation-state or international organization to attack and attempt to damage another nation’s computers or information networks through, for example, computer viruses or denial-of-service attacks”<w:sdt>(RAND Corporation, n.d.). But the act of cyber warfare includes so much more. With war, there are the course of events leading up to it; that generally include espionage and tests in vulnerabilities or weakness. Normally if a person is caught, they are imprisoned and questioned to find out their motives or any underlying plans that are in the works. Cyber-power changes the nature of war by eliminating the need for physical human involvement.

Take espionage for example, in the days before advanced technology, spies would need to either physically obtain the information, coerce others into relinquishing information, or implanted themselves into a position to learn the intended information. The data had to be sent to the spies handlers and a great deal of caution had to be taken to avoid detection; making operations continue over a longer course of time. Cyber-espionage on the other hand allows for espionage to happen from virtually anywhere in the world, with a lesser risk of detection. It also for the data to be obtained more quickly. Even with testing the nations vulnerabilities, today’s technology and the incorporation of it into everyday society, also for non-traditional means of war to take place; opening up a different type of war. With all of today’s advance technology, the cyber world has not only grown in terms of content, but has grown in the terms of the ease and accessibility of technology capable of connecting to the cyber world. Computers, switches, electrical outlets, routers, fiber optic cables, wireless devices, satellites and other components all allow us to communicate and to move large amounts of data at very fast speeds; virtually instantaneous. This advancement in technology has helped to both advance and strengthen the economy, as well as many companies. With everything good, there is some bad that will present itself. The bad, in regards to the cyber world, is that the cyber world is forever evolving; creating vulnerabilities that could be exploited by users with malicious intent.

Cyber-power will not be decisive in war no time soon. Being as though the cyber domain is man- made and virtually limitless, there is yet a way to determine the extent of damage cyber warfare could potentially bring. Theories can be formulated but the fact remains that the cyber domain can be easily manipulated to the users will.