When is cyber-attack an act of war?
Published On December 5, 2017 » 1282 Views» By Davies M.M Chanda » Features
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ICT MATTERS NEWCYBER-attack is an act of war from the moment of attack. The dictionary definition of attack includes ‘take aggressive military action against’’ and it also means ‘criticize or oppose fiercely and publicly’.
Cyber-attack is an attack against a person or a nation coordinated by a group of persons or an individual over the internet, (Kingsley Uchunor).
It is a ‘state of armed conflict between different countries or different groups within a country’. So a war can happen within a country. An attack against an organization’s network is a war against that organization.Basing on definitions typically; an attack would lead to loss of lives and or properties.
What is cyberwar?
Clausewitz: War, therefore, is an act of violence to compel our opponent to fulfil our will.
US Army Field Manual 100-6 Information Operations, August1996:  Information Dominance = The degree of information superiority that allows the possessor to use information systems and capabilities to achieve an operational advantage in a conflict or to control the situation in operations short of war while denying those capabilities to the adversary.
Stiennon’s Definition: Cyber warfare is the use of network and computer based attacks to further the political, economic, and military goals of nation states, such as project force.
What is cyber terrorism?
American Heritage Dictionary: The unlawful use or threatened use of force or violence by a person or an organized group against people or property with the intention of intimidating or coercing societies or governments, often for ideological or political reasons.
Stiennon’s Definition: Cyber terrorism is the use of network and computer based attacks with the intention of intimidating or coercing societies or governments, often for ideological or political reasons.
NATO: cyberterrorism is “a cybera-ttack using or exploiting computer or communication networks to cause sufficient destruction or disruption to generate fear or to intimidate a society into an ideological goal.  Or… It could be any cyber-attack intended to purely cause disruption. But… “Cyber-attacks by terrorists” might be easier to use.
Targeted disruptive attacks on infrastructure: Disable power grids; shut down first line of communications; Disable traffic lights (if they are computerised); Disable the Internet and more.
A Cyber Attack Is Most Certainly an Act of War in Any Context
With the technological advances that we have seen over the last ten years, we can certainly believe that various people  and countries will use these new technological breakthroughs to bolster their defence capabilities. This is not the first time this has happened. The industrial revolution had an enormous impact on how warfare was conducted. We went from hand to hand combat with muskets and bayonets to machine guns and tanks. Media was also used as a means of communication and the dissemination of information and propaganda.
The changes that are taking place in the world today in terms of the advent of big data and analytics, cloud, social media, mobile communication, social media, artificial intelligence and the internet of things can be called a revolution on the scale of the industrial revolution if not greater. We are living in the age of algorithms where machines have become cognitive and can learn to identify whatever we want them to and programmed to take action.
Just as in the industrial revolution, countries will inevitably want to take advantage of new weapons that will give them the advantage over their enemies, and in the world today, these are cyber-weapons. When we consider Stuxnet, it is for all intent and purposes a cyber-weapon with the specific purpose of sabotaging or at least disrupting Iran’s nuclear program. The same principle applies to the power outage in the Ukraine in 2015.
Regardless of which side is the right side, both of these are examples of a deliberate attempt by one nation to destabilise and disrupt the infrastructure of another sovereign nation using the malicious software. It cannot be seen and anything other than an act of war. (Shayum Rahim)
Act of War or War of Technology
I have ever heard what Albert Einstein said that he doesn’t know when third world war would happen and which weapons would be used but he is sure only stick and stones would be used in the fourth world war.
I was surprised when I first ever heard these words, but I become realized what his wise thought actually means and I totally agreed with him then. Yes, the third world war will use highly sophisticated technology like Nuclear with enhanced cyber weapons and it would fully destroy the mankind. It is time to reconsider again for us to handle the cyber weapons carefully and how to utilize them in good thinks. (Wai Yan Phyo)
Cyber Weapons: Malware; CNA (Computer Network Attack); Implants and interdiction; Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS).
How to stop cyber attacks
Yes, you need security-cantered device management and proactive practices and policies to engage each employee in the security process.  A secure network, secure hardware and security protocols will stop cyber-attacks.  Ensure security patches are up to date, block spy mail from hitting the company inbox, stop ransomware by using tools like CryptoStopper, train staff in security awareness and get SLL for your website. (Patricia Pines)
The organizations would need to design their Infrastructure with the Defence in Depth principles so that at each layer of the infrastructure is defended from outside attacks as well as internal attacks.
This would include the use of hardware and software such as:Firewalls; Intrusion detection devices; Intrusion protection devices; Anti-virus and anti-spyware software that is updated on a regular basis; Anti-spam software; The use of other security protocols SSH, SSL, encryption, there many other ways to protect the network from cyber-attacks. Resource: itmasters.edu.au
The Author is an ICT Consultant. For comments, suggestion, questions email kingstonmwila@gmail.com, WhatsApp +260977689574, +260955689574, Like the Facebook page: www.facebook.com/ictmatterswith

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