UpFront Politics: War Strategy

The Different Types of Cyber Warfare by State Actors

The Different Types of Cyber Warfare by State Actors
Posted: February 17, 2017 at 2:55 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

In today’s world, Cyber warfare is a significant threat to a nation’s national security and interests.

Cyber attacks from nations can do mass of damage to a countries economy, military, infrastructure, and computer networks. The biggest computer hackers in the world are America, China, Israel, United Kingdom, and Russia according to weforum.org. These nations contribute to the ever growing cyber warfare in today’s world.

Today we are going to discuss the three biggest cyber powers that are threatening the world. These countries are America, Russia, and China.

Cyber Warfare book:

United States Cyber Warfare Operations:  Most American’s hear on the news that cyber attacks on the United States are frequent. This is true that cyber warfare attacks on the United States are usually conducted by China and Russia to find military secrets and steal information from private businesses.

The Russian government has been attacking the United States with many cyber attacks. One example of Cyber warfare by Russia is the Moonlight Maze virus which secretly stole information from Department of Defense, NASA, Department of Energy, and military contractors. This cyber attack was conducted in 1999 according to cse.wustl.edu. This attack by the Russian government, which denies that they made this attack, was a major breach of security for the United States government. Since that time America has started to invest heavily in cyber security.

Unknown, to most citizens, the United States government created United States Cyber Command or (USCYBERCOM) in 2009. This command employee up to 6,000 personal to defend cyber attacks and to launch cyber attacks.

Another major program America has at her disposal is the NSA which employees 40,000 people for cyber warfare. According to thediplomat.com, they believe that the United States is behind cyber attacks in 30 countries.  The most attacked countries by the United States are Russia, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Syria, China, Algeria, and Mali. America usually attacks telecommunication business, military, government institutions, and nuclear research centers.

It is believed that the United States government likes to use a worm called Stuxnet. This virus was considered to be designed by Israel and United States. Both countries have not admitted to developing this worm. This worm was designed to attack programmable logic controllers. This can affect the electromechanical process such as machinery controls according to wikipedia.org.  This sounds great because America is a strong cyber power in the world, but America might be losing slowly in cyber warfare compared to other nations.

Some experts think the United States is losing the cyber war. Russia and China are continually attacking America with cyber warfare, which is costing the United States billions of dollars every year.

Unlike China, the United States is very variable to cyber attacks because the government and private industry are separate from each other. As a result, the military can fight cyber attacks, pretty well, but the private sector is very variable to cyber attacks, which is why America might be losing the cyber war.

Russian Cyber Attack on Ukraine:  When Russia invaded the Ukraine back in 2014, it used cyber warfare. Russia used its cyber warfare in three principal components. They create political blogs to spread fake, false, or misleading information. This way people reading these articles think the information they are reading is correct, when it is not. Another weapon, they implement is reconnaissance of the internet using SORM tech. This law was passed by the Russian government in 1995 to oversee the web and phone communications. Finally, denial –of-service or (DDoS) is an attack design to block users from connecting to the web. Altogether this is some ways how Russian cyber teams work during cyber warfare.

In the year of 2015, Russia was successful in hacking the Ukrainian electrical grid cutting power to many infrastructures. It was the first time that a cyber attack was successful in cutting power to a general area. These cyber attacks manage to cut power to 230,000 people for about 1 to 6 hours according to wikipedia.org.

The warfare of Russia is becoming stronger in the world and especial in Ukraine. Recently, the United States government claims that Russian cyber warfare capabilities are becoming more active and might have influenced the election of Donald Trump.

China cyber warfare: As we know, China users cyber warfare to gather information to build their military technology and their economy. One major way they strengthen their military and the economy is to use their cyber capabilities to steal information from other countries.  Some of these countries accuse the Chinese government of hacking and stealing data. These nations have a hard time finding if the Chinese government was involved in the hacking or it was individuals that were hacking. Some of these countries are Australia, India, Canada, and of course the United States.

According to wikipedia.org 35 American companies have been cyber attacked. The lists of businesses are Yahoo, Dow Chemical, Northrop Grumman, Google and Adobe Systems. A Senate Arms Service Meeting found that the government of China continually entered into computer networks which included airlines, businesses of technology, and contractors that tracked American soldiers and military equipment in the year of 2014. Of course, the number of cyber attacks has increased.

The way the Chinese government conducts cyber warfare is information war and Information Operations.  The actual way how the Chinese government does cyber warfare is unknown because the Chinese government has kept its ways top secret.  It is believed that the Chinese government has 100,000 computer hackers. These computer hackers conduct code- breaking, information technology, and networking attacks according to cnn.com

The conclusion of types of cyber warfare:

Each nation has its significant advantage when it comes to cyber security and cyber offensive. These countries are prepared for future cyber warfare with each other. The 21 century of war is here to stay. This means citizens of these nations have to be ready for major cyber attacks on daily basis. These cyber attacks just don’t affect military targets, but it can also affect civilian targets too. The best way to prepare is to have two weeks of supplies. Ammo, food, water, gas, real cash, medical supplies, and other resources in case of a major cyber attack.

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The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any agency.

  1. Homeland.https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2016/05/who-are-the-cyberwar-superpowers/
  2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/December_2015_Ukraine_power_grid_cyber_attack
  3. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyberwarfare_by_Russia
  4. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyberwarfare_in_China
  5. http://www.cse.wustl.edu/~jain/cse571-14/ftp/cyber_espionage/
  6. http://money.cnn.com/2015/03/13/technology/security/chinese-hack-us/
  7. http://thediplomat.com/2015/02/is-the-us-behind-the-most-sophisticated-cyber-attacks-to-date/
  8. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stuxnet
  9. https://www.rt.com/usa/us-attacks-cyber-war-615/