Information Warfare

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What Does Information Warfare Mean?

Information warfare is the tactical and strategic use of information to gain an advantage. It includes multiple types of operations and has been pursued in radically different ways during different eras.


Information warfare is also known as cyberwarfare, electronic warfare and cyberattack.

Techopedia Explains Information Warfare

Experts tend to associate information warfare with U.S. military and espionage systems, while other national systems may use different terminology.

In terms of practical implementation, information warfare was practiced in earlier times. For example, during the industrial age, airplanes would cover villages or towns with leaflets or materials as part of foreign policy implementation. As the industrial age progressed to the age of radio and television, this type of media was used in information warfare.

Today, nearly all relevant implementations involve digital media. Examples of modern information warfare include offensive strategies to invade or hobble an enemy’s IT infrastructure, as well as efforts to defend IT systems against cyberattacks.

Types of information warfare include:

  • Using viruses or malware for cyberattacks
  • Exploiting holes in a network
  • Stealing information through various types of unauthorized access

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Margaret Rouse
Senior Editor
Margaret Rouse
Senior Editor

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.