Information warfare is a big concern these days with the fast evolution of technology. Using information warfare offensively can provide an effective means of advancing foreign policy or persuade political agendas. Using information warfare in a defensive way can allow for protection of sensitive information that could potentially fall into the hands of a malicious person or government. They are just a few of the many ways that information can be used offensively or defensively in today’s world. Today we will cover some offensive uses of information warfare and some defensive uses of information warfare and why it is so important to stay ahead of your adversaries in the technological advances of information warfare.
When thinking about information warfare from an offensive standpoint, the United States has the most developed information infrastructure in the world. Using information warfare offensively in the United States could possibly be able to prevent actual physical weapons from being used in war preventing civilian deaths. On the other hand, if we used information warfare offensively we could potentially damage systems that control planes or nuclear power plants, which could potentially harm civilians. Another thing to consider while using information warfare offensively would be the case that offensively using information warfare is considered an act of war. If bombing a building or shooting down a plane is considered an act of war from one country to another, I think that shutting down a nuclear power plant and putting it in a state of meltdown could be considered an act of war. Therefore, the offensive end of information warfare can be a very complicated issue ethically and morally and as other countries information infrastructure becomes more advanced the department of defense will have to be very prepared and careful in the decision process.
From the defensive view of information warfare, of course, we have to be prepared. The United States is fully aware of the vulnerabilities of our information infrastructure and some say they fear the digital “Pearl Harbor”. Hopefully nothing extreme in the form of exploits of these vulnerabilities ever takes place. President Bush issued a national security directive 42 in 1990 recognizing the vulnerabilities and presidents thereafter have added to the directive. So the United States is prepared defensively for information warfare, as other countries become more information infrastructural sound. Being defensively prepared is the biggest concern because technology advances so quickly. Anyone can get his or her hands on malicious software, but the sensitive information is protected. Disabling access to malicious software for devious persons should be an action that the government should take.
Author: John Rowan
I am a Senior Android Engineer and I love everything to do with computers. My specialty is Android programming but I actually love to code in any language specifically learning new things.