Information Warfare

Information Warfare

Information Warfare is a concept of warfare, to get involved in the warfare of informations to gain the most of information. The term, “Information Warfares” or “Info War” describes the use of information and communication technology (ICT). The major reason of focus of this information war is to get a competitive advantage over the opponent or enemy.

The following is the classification of Information Warfare into two classes:-

1, Defensive Information Warfare

Defensive Information Warfares term is used to refer to all defensive actions that are taken to defend from attacks to steal information and information-based processes. Defensive Information Warfares areas are:-

  • Prevention
  • Deterrence
  • Indication & Warning
  • Detection
  • Emergency Preparedness
  • Response

2. Offensive Information Warfares

The offensive term is associated with the military. Offensive warfare is an aggressive operation that is taken against the enemies dynamically instead of waiting for the attackers to launch an attack. Accessing thier territory to gain instead of losing territory is the fundamental concept of offensive warfare. The major advantage of offensive warfare is to identify the opponent, strategies of the opponent, and other information. Offensive Information warfares prevents or modifies the information from being in use by considering integrity, availability, and confidentiality.

Martin libicki has divided Information warfares into the following categories:

Command and control warfare (C2 warfare): In the computer security industry, C2 warfare refers to the Impact an attacker possesses over a compromised system or network that they control.

Intelligence-based warfare: Intelligence-based warfare is a sensor-based technology that directly corrupts technological systems. According to Libicki, “intelligence-based warfare” is warfare that consists of the design, protection, and denial of systems that seek sufficient knowledge to dominate the battlespace.

Electronic warfare: According to Libicki, electronic warfare uses radio-electronic and cryptographic techniques to degrade the communication.

Psychological warfare: Psychological warfare is the use of various techniques such as propaganda and terror to demoralize one’s adversary in an attempt to succeed in the battle.

Hacker warfare: According to Libicki, the purpose of this type of warfare can vary from shutdown of systems, data errors, theft of information, theft of services, system monitoring, false messaging, and access to data.

Hackers generally use viruses, logic bombs, Trojan horses, and sniffers to perform these attacks.

Economic warfare: According to Libicki, economic Information warfares can affect the economy of a business or nation by blocking the flow of information. This could be especially devastating to organizations that do a lot of business in the digital world.

Most important one

Cyber warfare: Libicki defines cyber warfare as the use of information systems against the virtual personas of individuals or groups.

It is the broadest of all information warfares and includes information terrorism, semantic attacks (similar to Hacker warfare, but Instead of harming a system.

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It takes the system over and the system will be perceived as operating correctly), and simula-warfare(simulated war, for example, acquiring weapons for mere demonstration rather than actual use).

A response to unconventional warfare

In response to the threat of information war the British Army has established two new formations: the 77th Brigade for dealing with psychological operations, and the 1st Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Brigade which combines electronic warfare and intelligence. Hundreds of computer experts will be recruited as reservists, trained with the help of GCHQ’s Joint Cyber Unit.

These are moves in the right direction, but the approach is too piecemeal. A recent RAND Corporation report argued for a highly integrated approach to all aspects of information warfare in order to present an effective defence force. In the US, Admiral Michael S. Rogers released a Cyber Command vision statement, describing how it would defend Department of Defence networks, systems and information against cyber attacks and provide support to military and contingency operations. The US approach is more integrated but this is only the case within the military – from a national perspective both countries lack an overall integrated approach with a common command structure that includes threats to civilian infrastructure.

So while the concept of information war appears to be well understood the aspects of it are not being addressed together, and such siloed thinking could lead to gaps in our security. Western governments have failed to fully grasp the vulnerability of electronic communications and the enormous risks this poses to critical infrastructure, transport, and the safety of civilians.

The US director of intelligence has emphasised the enormity of the cyber-threat facing the US, while British General Sir Nicholas Houghton in a speech at Chatham House observed that most acts of physical war today incorporate an online aspect, where social networks are exploited to manipulate opinion and perception. He also acknowledged that the tactics employed by Russia combine aspects of information war and also counter-intelligence, espionage, economic warfare and the sponsoring of proxies.

We need to better understand the full scope of information warfare as it evolves, identify where we are most vulnerable, and then establish a single point of responsibility to implement defence mechanisms. Because those adversaries that are unconstrained by western policies, or by ethical or legal codes, can and will exploit our vulnerabilities.

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