How does cyber war work?

How does cyber war work?

Cyberwar – Wie Hacker deine Systeme angreifen (Ganze Folge) | Quarks

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answers (2)

Answer 1
August, 2021

Cyberwar is distinguished, first of all, by the fact that it can take place anonymously and unnoticed for a long time in the physical world. Military actions may already be underway, and we may not know about it. At the same time, the consequences of these actions are quite real - during attacks, critical areas of the state's infrastructure, such as transport, financial services, and energy, can be disabled. Such malicious programs, capable of causing physical harm in the real world, are called cyber weapons.

In general, malicious programs created and funded by government agencies around the world are no longer a rarity. This malware is used against citizens, organizations and departments of other states. They can be designed to destroy databases or information in general, for espionage and causing physical damage. Over the past few years, we have discovered a number of similar programs - Stuxnet, Red October, MiniDuke, IceFog, etc.

At the same time, debates about what exactly can be an act of cyber attack (for example, is such an attack hospital malware infection?) and what the response to such an attack can and should be have been going on for several years. There is an extensive NATO document in which an attempt is made to systematize these issues - the so-called "Tallinn Manual". The United States is currently considering scenarios up to a physical military response to cyberattacks organized by other countries. The main difficulty in this matter is precisely attribution, reliable identification of the source and organizer of the attack. All this is a subject of discussion at the highest level and in the current situation such a dialogue is extremely necessary.

Answer 2
August, 2021

Information technology has not brought anything fundamentally new to special operations, except that everything can be done remotely (and even then not always). There are two main areas of cyber warfare: espionage and sabotage. Spy operations are carried out in order to gain access to classified information of interest to the customer, sabotage is needed to inflict direct damage on the enemy.

Hacking the Democratic mail server is definitely a spy operation. After gaining access to confidential information, the customer can use it at his own discretion, for example, to disclose any information in order to compromise someone. This was done in this case - part of the correspondence was posted in the public domain.

As for sabotage, the most striking example is the use of the Stuxnet worm, which infected the software of a uranium enrichment plant in Iran and disabled more than a thousand centrifuges. The damage was significant, the costs of developing the worm are low compared to ordinary, "traditional" sabotage, the risk for the performers is minimal. Fortunately, it is not yet known about such actions in the confrontation between Russia and the United States, however, threats have already sounded from the American side.

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