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The Future of War is Cyber

What is Cyberwar: The Types of Attack?

When one considers about cyberwar, one gets the idea that two world powers. Can challenge each other without bloodshed, without involving the population, to establish the supremacy of one or the other side. Nothing more wrong.

According to the fact and figures, Cyberwar does not involve the use of explosives and firearms. But it does not mean that it is without affecting population. Sometimes far worse than those caused by weapons.

To know what cyberwar is, let’s imagine that a foreign power decides to hit fundamental services. For example light, water, energy, fuels, transport, and communications. Without these  an entire country can be reduced, in a few days or hours, on the brink of anarchy.

Also, one difference concerns the difficulty (sometimes, the impossibility) to trace the origin of the IT attack. By its essence, a cyber-war is anonymous, widespread and rapid. This implies that the attack, not being “physical”, leaves few and confusing traces on the internet, often making it impossible to determine who launched it and where it started from.

The vastness of the Internet allows implementing a cyber-war from anywhere on the planet, without the possibility of effectively tracing the origin of the attack results in exploiting tens or hundreds of servers through the National boundaries before hitting the designated target.

There is a different category of attacks in a Cyberwar, characterized by different levels of gravity. As for the “classical” wars, there are many other ways to conduct a cyber-war, characterized by different levels of “gravity” depending on the repercussions that these can have on the life of a nation.

  • Denial of Service (Dos) Attacks and Web Vandalism:

    These attacks are carried out with the mission of hindering websites, servers, and computer systems of the target that you want to hit. This matter of aggression desire to temporarily put the affected systems out of use, without causing long-term consequences.

  • Sensitive Data Collection Activities:

    In some situation, the attacks of a Cyberwar can be launched to seize sensitive data, documents, passwords, and projects of the enemy. This aspect opens the door to espionage activities, made possible by the possession of confidential documents owned by a nation. As an upcoming disturbance activity, it may be possible to modify or delete the data themselves.

  • An Attack on Equipment:

    These activities, defined in the jargon “equipment disruption”, aim to interfere or destroy the military facilities, communication systems, and satellites used by the target for the regular conduct of their activities.

  • Direct Attacks on Infrastructure:

    To fully understand what cyber war is and its consequences on the social fabric of a country, it is necessary to consider the worst possible scenarios. With the attack on important or Historical infrastructures, it is possible to paralyze an entire nation by hitting a few, fundamental structures that provide essential and basic services: energy, water, communications, and transport.

Example of Cyberwar:

Despite its modern appearance, the cyber war is closer to us than we think. Indeed, it has already happened. There is a history for this, that The United States of America has admitted to being victims of cyber-war episodes in at least two cases, known as Moonlight Maze and Titan Rain, from the governments of Russia and China.


The Cyberwar is already moving around us, with the world powers engaged in a new race to computer “armaments” and with the emergence of autonomous realities, disconnected from the national logic as the group Anonymous, the group of hacker’s activists that operates a cyber-war parallel pursuing the purposes of ethics, morals and social commitment. The only history can decide the outcomes of information technology in the war, decreeing their real difference with the wars of the past.