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Cyberwarfare

Definition - What does Cyberwarfare mean?

Cyberwarfare is any virtual conflict initiated as a politically motivated attack on an enemy's computer and information systems. Waged via the Internet, these attacks disable financial and organizational systems by stealing or altering classified data to undermine networks, websites and services.

Cyberwarfare is also known as cyber warfare or cyber war.

Techopedia explains Cyberwarfare

Cyberwarfare involves the following attack methods:

  • Sabotage: Military and financial computer systems are at risk for the disruption of normal operations and equipment, such as communications, fuel, power and transportation infrastructures.
  • Espionage and/or security breaches: These illegal exploitation methods are used to disable networks, software, computers or the Internet to steal or acquire classified information from rival institutions or individuals for military, political or financial gain.

On the flip side, systems procedures are continuously developed and tested to defend against cyberwarfare attacks. For example, organizations will internally attack its system to identify vulnerabilities for proper removal and defense. A common perception of a hacker is that of a teenage geek who fools breaks into computer systems for fun. While this perception was perhaps once true, modern cyberwarfare involves well trained, well funded professionals backed by nation states. Examples, such as the Stuxnet virus, are given by some experts to demonstrate that much more is happening behind the scenes, and that the front lines in future wars will be digital.

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