Information warfare

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The term Information Warfare (IW) is primarily a United States Military concept involving the use and management of information and communication technology in pursuit of a competitive advantage over an opponent. Information warfare may involve collection of tactical information, assurance(s) that one's own information is valid, spreading of propaganda or disinformation to demoralize or manipulate[1] the enemy and the public, undermining the quality of opposing force information and denial of information-collection opportunities to opposing forces. Information warfare is closely linked to psychological warfare.

The United States Military focus tends to favor technology, and hence tends to extend into the realms of Electronic Warfare, Cyber Warfare, Information Assurance and Computer Network Operations / Attack / Defense.

Most of the rest of the world use the much broader term of "Information Operations" which, although making use of technology, focuses on the more human-related aspects of information use, including (amongst many others) social network analysis, decision analysis and the human aspects of Command and Control.

Overview[edit]

Information warfare can take many forms:

  • Television and radio transmission(s) can be jammed.
  • Television and radio transmission(s) can be hijacked for a disinformation campaign.
  • Logistics networks can be disabled.
  • Enemy communications networks can be disabled or spoofed.
  • Stock exchange transactions can be sabotaged, either with electronic intervention, by leaking sensitive information or by placing disinformation.
  • Drones and other surveillance robobts
  • Communication Management

The US Air Force has had Information Warfare Squadrons since the 1980s. In fact, the official mission of the US Air Force is now "To fly, fight and win...in air, space and cyberspace,"[2] with the latter referring to its Information Warfare role.

As the US Air Force often risks aircraft and aircrews to attack strategic enemy communications targets, remotely disabling such targets using software and other means can provide a safer alternative. In addition, disabling such networks electronically (instead of explosively) also allows them to be quickly re-enabled after the enemy territory is occupied. Similarly, counter information warfare units are employed to deny such capability to the enemy. The first application of these techniques was used against Iraqi communications networks in the first Gulf War.

Also during the 1991 Gulf War, Dutch hackers allegedly stole information about U.S. troop movements from U.S. Defense Department computers and tried to sell it to the Iraqis, who thought it was a hoax and turned it down. In January 1999, U.S. Air Intelligence computers were hit by a co-ordinated attack (Moonlight Maze), part of which came from a Russian mainframe. This can not be confirmed as a Russian cyber attack due to non-attribution - the principle that online identity may not serve as proof of real world identity.[3][4] [5]


New Battlefield of Warfare[edit]

ICT gives a new battlefield for warfare, cyberspace. Within cyberspace there are two main weapons, [network-centric warfare} (NCW), and [C4ISR]. ICT can be used in a range of assaults, the three core activities are robots, communication management, and cyber attacks. The purpose of these activities is to be attack or defend against the enemy.

[6]

See also[edit]

Group specific:

US specific:

References[edit]

Bibliography[edit]

Books[edit]

  • Winn Schwartau, ed, Information Warfare: Cyberterrorism: Protecting your personal security in the electronic age, Thunder's Mouth Press, 2nd ed, (1996) (ISBN 1560251328).
  • John Arquilla and David Ronfeldt, In Athena's Camp, RAND (1997).
  • Dorothy Denning, Information Warfare and Security, Addison-Wesley (1998) (ISBN 0201433036).
  • James Adams, The Next World War: Computers are the Weapons and the Front line is Everywhere, Simon and Schuster (1998) (ISBN 0684834529).
  • Edward Waltz, Information Warfare Principles and Operations, Artech House, 1998, ISBN 0-89006-511-X
  • John Arquilla and David Ronfeldt, Networks and Netwars: The Future of Terror, Crime, and Militancy, RAND (2001) (ISBN 0833030302).
  • Ishmael Jones, The Human Factor: Inside the CIA's Dysfunctional Intelligence Culture, Encounter Books, New York (2010) (ISBN 978-1594032233). Information/intelligence warfare.
  • Gregory J. Rattray, Strategic Warfare in Cyberspace, MIT Press (2001) (ISBN 0262182092).
  • Anthony H. Cordesman, Cyber-threats, Information Warfare, and Critical Infrastructure Protection: DEFENDING THE US HOMELAND (2002) (ISBN 0275974235).
  • Leigh Armistead, Information Operations: The Hard Reality of Soft Power, Joint Forces Staff College and the National Security Agency (2004) (ISBN 1574886991).
  • Thomas Rid, War and Media Operations: The US Military and the Press from Vietnam to Iraq, Routledge (2007) (ISBN 0415416590).
  • Daniel Ventre, Information Warfare, Wiley - ISTE (2009) (ISBN 9781848210943).
  • Daniel Ventre, Cyberwar and Information Warfare, Wiley - ISTE (2011).

Other[edit]

External links[edit]

Resources[edit]

Course Syllabi[edit]

  • COSC 511 Information Warfare: Terrorism, Crime, and National Security @ Department of Computer Science, Georgetown University (1997–2002) (Dorothy Denning).
  • CSE468 Information Conflict (Honours) @ School of Computer Science and Software Engineering, Monash University (2006) (Carlo Kopp).
  • Information Warfare, Cyberterrorism, and Hacktivism from Cybercrime, Cyberterrorism and Digital Law Enforcement, New York Law School.

Papers: Research and Theory[edit]

Papers: Other[edit]

News articles[edit]

United States Department of Defense IO Doctrine[edit]