Cyberwar: Here's what you need to know. At its core, cyberwarfare is the use of digital attacks by one country or nation to disrupt the computer systems of another with the aim of create significant damage, death or destruction. What does cyberwarfare look like? Cyberwar is still an emerging concept, but many experts are concerned that it is likely to be a significant component of any future conflicts. As well as troops using conventional weapons like guns and missiles, future wars will also be fought by hackers using computer code to attack an enemy's infrastructure. Europe, Canada, USA, Australia, and others are now running training exercises to prepare for the outbreak of cyberwar.
SAN FRANCISCO – Both U.S. presidential candidates have vowed to take on the world when it comes to cyber warfare. But full-scale cyber retaliation might be hard to spot and even harder to count as a win. "Unlike a traditional war, there is no end where there are clear winners and losers, no physical flag to capture," said Peter Tran, senior director at RSA Security in the company's worldwide advanced cyber defense practice. If the U.S. were to ramp up its counterattacks on countries it thinks are sponsoring hackers that breach American accounts, don't expect a sci-fi digital armageddon. The target's electric grid might still work, and so may the ATMs.
Today's security threats have expanded in scope and seriousness. There can now be millions -- or even billions -- of dollars at risk when information security isn't handled properly. Cyberwarfare refers to the use of digital attacks -- like computer viruses and hacking -- by one country to disrupt the vital computer systems of another, with the aim of creating damage, death and destruction. Future wars will see hackers using computer code to attack an enemy's infrastructure, fighting alongside troops using conventional weapons like guns and missiles. A shadowy world that is still filled with spies, hackers and top secret digital weapons projects, cyberwarfare is an increasingly common -- and dangerous -- feature of international conflicts. But right now the combination of an ongoing cyberwarfare arms race and a lack of clear rules governing online conflict means there is a real risk that incidents could rapidly escalate out of control. What does cyberwarfare look like? Just like normal warfare which can range from limited skirmishes to full-on battles, the impact of cyberwarfare will vary by target and severity. In many cases the computer systems are not the final target -- they are being targeted because of their role in managing real-world infrastructure like airports or power grids.
The dynamics of cyber warfare have changed so dramatically that nation-state attacks are now a problem everyone needs to face up to, the former head of the UK's intelligence agency has warned. "Five years ago we were aware of nation-state attacks but we would've seen them as something that only a nation-state needs to worry about. Today they're a problem for everybody, as we've seen over the last year," said Robert Hannigan, who served as director general of GCHQ from 2014 to 2017. Those cyber campaigns blamed on nation-states in the last year include the WannaCry ransomware outbreak - which has been attributed to North Korea - and a Russian-government backed campaign targeting home routers across the west which US and UK authorities warn is designed to conduct espionage and potentially lay the groundwork for future offensive cyber operations. Hannigan, speaking at the Infosesecurity Europe conference in London, said the widening scope of the attacks make sense when combined with the changing political intent of the nation-states behind them.
China's newest spy plane is suited up for the cyber-battlefield. The CSA-003 'Scout' built by the China Electronic Technology Corporation's Avionics division can collect enemy intelligence and locate vulnerabilities from the sky to facilitate cyber-attacks. The 1.7 ton plane is equipped with sensors in a pod on its underside, and is among'special mission aircraft,' for maritime and border patrol, and oil spill response. China's newest spy plane is suited up for the cyber-battlefield. The CSA-003 'Scout' built by the China Electronic Technology Corporation's Avionics division can collect enemy intelligence and locate vulnerabilities from the sky to facilitate cyber-attacks The small aircraft is based on the design of an Austrian utility plane, the Diamond DA42.