Expert opinion is divided on the real definitions of cyber warfare, cyber weapons, and information warfare

March 13, 2020
Much of this problem is related to the definition: the term cyberwar is frequently used with little thought applied to what it means.

WASHINGTON – Some of the most famous military advancements, such as trenches and machine guns, have favored defensive operations, but in the minds of both the public and many policymakers, there is the belief that cyber weapons are different in that they favor the offense. Real Clear Defense reports. Continue reading original article

The Military & Aerospace Electronics take:

13 March 2020 -- Cited for advancing this argument are the plethora of computer vulnerabilities, the low financial cost of hacking, and the lack of penalties for discovered attacks.

While we have a few examples of genuine cyber warfare working effectively, most of our knowledge comes instead from using cyber tools for disruption, espionage and information warfare rather than the use of genuine cyber weapons, that is, cyber tools designed to create physical damage in support of military objectives.

We are unable to say that cyber weapons have an inherent offense-defense balance because they are complex, skill dependent, and we are not sure how effective they will be with military actions.

Related: Navy looks to information warfare to counter enemy missiles in time-sensitive layered defenses

Related: Navy asks industry for information technologies for defending aerial weapons against enemy cyber attacks

Related: The shadowy world of cyber warfare

John Keller, chief editor
Military & Aerospace Electronics

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