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Strategic Reasons Why Cyber Warfare Is On The Rise

The development of the internet and revolution in information technology present the risk of cyberwar. Catherine A. Theohary et al. define Cyberwar as a state action on other states that becomes equivalent to an armed attack or military action in cyberspace. This technology-based action can lead to a military response from the opposition with a proportional kinetic use of forces. The term Cyberwar refers to the utilization of internet and networking technologies to destroy the enemy nation’s computers and the IT infrastructure to cause a considerable amount of damage as similar to the case of traditional military operations with soldiers armed with firearms and missiles. Internet technologies are being used as cyber weapons. Therefore, nations are preparing themselves for the cyber battlespace. These nations conduct cyber espionage and cyber reconnaissance to steal crucial information about enemy countries and to check their skills and abilities in cyberspace, respectively. Nations are now more concerned about cybersecurity and want to protect their critical national infrastructures to ensure uninterrupted services for their citizens. Therefore, they have started to develop offensive cyberwar capabilities and national strategies.

Cyberwar is conducted to freeze computers with networked devices, to fail crucial servers to dead communication infrastructure, and to thwart technical strategies applied to achieve data assurance. There are several reasons why cyberwar is preferred. These reasons are as follows:

  • Cyberwar becomes economical for nations as it does not require massive troops and weapons.
  • To begin cyberwar, the entry cost is low as it requires only a computer and internet access.
  • Cyberwar can be started silently from anywhere on a global scale.
  • Tools mostly used in cyberwar are software, that can be purchased easily or downloaded from the internet.
  • The massive availability of malicious tools and their delivery to anyone without any restrictions.
  • Lack of technological, financial, and legal barriers to the dispersion and utilization of malicious tools and services.
  • Cyberspace hides criminals due to its anonymous nature and makes origin detection difficult.
  • Cyberspace delivers disproportionate power to insignificant actors and criminals.
  • Cyberwar is profitable and saves lives.
  • In Cyberwar, it is difficult to assess damages.
  • No need to participate in combat operations.
  • Cyberwar does not use the battlefield but leaves long-lasting adverse impacts on opponent countries.
  • Cyberwar can be conducted with a single click on a computer.
  • It is difficult to prevent cyberattacks and settle down cyberwar as these require skilled hardware and software engineers with sound knowledge and experience in networking and finding such people is difficult. The rapid expansion of IT infrastructure creates countless opportunities for cybercriminals.
  • Cyberwar is a way to attain a bloodless conquest.

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