Security breaches are happening daily, just like shoplifting is happening daily, it could be possible that it does not happen in your town, but in the city it is certainly happening. This rule can be also applied on cyberwarfare. The cyberwar environment is using anything which is running a calculator, this could be your smart phone, your television or your microwave – there are no limits. The community calls these type of devices the “internet of things”. In our daily life we are seeing that devices are getting connected to the internet. This connection allows the devices to be updated automatically and it allows them to keep track of news and time. These type of devices can be used in cyberwarfare. Cyberwar will try to manipulate environment which are running on an IT environment, remember the calculator.
One of the finest examples is the Stuxnet malware. The Stuxnet malware can be labeled as an cyber weapon, this specially developed cyberweapon was used in the cyberwar against Iran. It was like the Israeli and the US governments dropped an nuclear bomb on Iran. The Stuxnet virus disabled the progress of the nuclear reactor, allowing the governments to gain more time and control about the situation. We will not see an declaration of war soon, but what we will see is that government agencies will perform cyber activities on their allies and “enemies”. Governments will try to do this by using specially crafted environments. Do you remember the FinFisher package? or the PRISM program?! Well, these environments are crafted to gather intelligence. Intelligence will be used in cyberwar.
I have been to the CCDCOE conference in Estonia, and one of the speakers made a excellent remark. On that day it was said that you will not be able to win a war alone with cyberwar, you will always need real soldiers to take the ground.
If we keep that in mind, the capabilities of cyberwarfare are unlimited. This means that any type of attack can be performed as long as it will support the troops which will have to take the grounds in the future. The attacks can also be performed to gather intelligence to help the soldiers which are defending the countries assets.
But cyberwarfare can also be applied on another level. The hacktivists are also performing cyberwar on their targets. The hacktivists first gather intelligence, which they will use in their attacks. A great example is the battle between the Lizard Squad hacking group and the Anonymous hacktivist collective. The Lizard Squad has been attacking gaming platform environments. Lizard Squad has hit the Sony Playstation Network and the XBOX Microsoft network. It did not take long before Twitter was flooded by tweets from angry players – they players were not able to access their gaming communities. Angry users started tweeting the Anonymous Twitter account @YourAnonNews, and it some videos were uploaded on Youtube which targeted the Lizard Squad hackers. In just a couple of hours, the Lizard Squad hackers had obtained access to the Twitter account of the @YourAnonNews account. The account then tweeted that it was hacked by Lizard Squad.