Cyber Attack

The Myth of Cyberterrorism


Media and emerging experts often misapply the term ‘cyberterrorism’ portraying cyber attacks as a separate form of terrorism or a new terrorism. It is simply the terrorists’ use of Computer Network Operations (CNO) as a tactic in their operations. It is important to understand the psychology of terrorism in order to evaluate the plausibility of cyberterrorism. Terrorists exercise cyber related capabilities, which are generally related in the media as extreme and exaggerated vignettes of cyberterrorism. These incidents include the popular Digital Pearl Harbor, the U.S. stock market crash, utilities infrastructure attack, and crashing airliners. Is there a likely and logical application of cyber related activities by a terrorists group in pursuit of their goals, or is simply hype by media, business, and self anointed experts?

Two Taxonomies of Deception for Attacks on Information Systems


‘Cyberwar’ is information warfare directed at the software of information systems. It represents an increasing threat to our militaries and civilian infrastructures. Six principles of military deception are enumerated and applied to cyberwar. Two taxonomies of deception methods for cyberwar are then provided, making both offensive and defensive analogies from deception strategies and tactics in conventional war to this new arena. One taxonomy has been published in the military literature, and the other is based on case theory in linguistics. The application of both taxonomies to cyberwar is new. We then show how to quantify and rank proposed deceptions for planning using ‘suitability’ numbers associated with the taxonomies. The paper provides planners for cyberwar with a more comprehensive enumeration than any yet published to the tactics and strategies that they and their enemies may use. Some analogies to deception in conventional warfare hold, but many do not, and careful thought and preparation must be applied to any deception effort.

Is Task Force Smith Rushing To An Electronic Pearl Harbor?


The United States of America remains ill prepared against cyberattack in spite of years of well-documented and well-publicized warnings by governmental and non-governmental organizations. The result is the extreme vulnerability of the U.S. to attack in cyberspace by its opponents with severe consequences to the U.S. infrastructure and economy. This paper examines why the ill preparedness of the U.S. to cyberattack is a serious problem, a brief history of this problem with an emphasis on the recent three years, the on-going measures to solve this problem, recommended solutions, and a conclusion.

War Crimes from Cyber-Weapons


As information warfare capabilities have grown in recent years, the possibilities of war crimes with cyber-attacks have increased.  The main ethical problems of cyber-weapons in regard to ruses, secrecy, and collateral damage are examined, and analogies drawn to biological weapons.  It argues that most cyber-attacks are instances of perfidy, and spread so easily that they can approach biological weapons in their uncontrollability.  Then mitigation techniques for cyber-weapons in the form of more precise targeting, reversibility, and self-attribution are considered.  The paper concludes with a survey of some methods for prosecution and punishment of cyber-war crimes including forensics, interventions, cyber-blockades, and reparations, and proposes a new kind of pacifism called 'cyber-pacifism'.

Intelligent Agent Technology Within Information Warfare


Research into Intelligent Agent (IA) technology and how it can assist computer systems in the autonomous completion of common office and home computing tasks is extremely widespread. The use of IA’s is becoming more feasible as the functionality moves into line with what users require for their everyday computing needs. However, this does not mean that IA technology cannot be exploited or developed for use in a malicious manner, such as within an Information Warfare (IW) scenario, where systems may be attacked autonomously by agent system implementations. This paper will discuss the current state of malicious use of IA’ s as well as focusing on attack techniques, the difficulties brought about by such attacks as well as security methods, both proactive and reactive, that could be instated within compromised or sensitive systems.

Feasibility of a Cyber Attack on National Critical Infrastructure by a Non-State Violent Extremist Organization


This study describes the possibility of a Violent Extremist Organization’s (VEO’s) capacity to perform an attack upon national critical infrastructure and key assets causing “mass disruption” or “mass destruction”. Emphasis is placed upon Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems in an effort to identify vulnerabilities that a non-state actor could utilize to conduct a cyberattack, including the energy sector’s architecture, potential vulnerabilities, and limitations. An emerging VEO’s ideology, capacity, cyber sophistication, and target type are evaluated. An analysis and discussion of an attack scenario’s results is followed by limitations, conclusions, and recommendations for future areas of study.

Journal of Information Warfare

The definitive publication for the best and latest research and analysis on information warfare, information operations, and cyber crime. Available in traditional hard copy or online.


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The definitive publication for the best and latest research and analysis on information warfare, information operations, and cyber crime. Available in traditional hard copy or online.


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