information warfare

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information warfare

(1) The distribution of a cultural, political or religious point of view that is aimed at discrediting and scandalizing opposing thought. See disinformation and social media.

(2) Also called "cyberterrorism" and "cyberwarfare," information warfare refers to cyberattacks that create havoc on a large scale. Some examples are disrupting the computers that manage stock exchanges, power grids, air traffic control, telecommunications and defense systems. Viruses, Trojans and denial-of-service attacks are part of the information warfare arsenal, and they get more sophisticated every year.

The first book to deal with the subject was "Information Warfare: Chaos on the Electronic Superhighway," by Winn Schwartau, written in 1994 just as the Internet was being commercialized. Published in 2012, "Cyber War: The Next Threat to National Security" by Richard A. Clarke and Robert K. Knake is an eye-opening book on the subject.

Before a Shooting War
Information warfare is increasingly considered as the first offensive before the start of a physical attack. The military in many countries have full-time cyberwarriors on the payroll, because the more successful a cyberattack on an early warning defense system is, the greater the success of the real attack. According to "Cyber War," North Korea may have as many as a thousand hackers stationed in China, working on knocking out systems in South Korea and other countries. See virus, Trojan, cyberattack and denial-of-service attack.
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References in periodicals archive ?
If netwar was the means, the law-fare strategy was to excite such passions abroad that Sri Lanka, like Mexico, would be forced to end its Vanni Humanitarian Operation (the Vanni is the region in which the LTTE stronghold was located).
Netwar actions are committed by adversaries that are known, that have modified their structures and strategies in accordance with the "working" advantages offered by the network, but also with the confidentiality they offer.
Their methods may well be based on netwar principles as described above.
Case studies following the netwar model can usefully point toward the elements that have evolved in terrorists' structures.
This netwar insurgency is not easily predictable and requires detailed study and understanding prior to initiating an attack to destroy it.
On seeing-as-targeting, see Samuel Weber, "Target of Opportunity: Networks, Netwar, and Narratives," Grey Room, 1, no.
Rand Institute analysts John Arquila and David Ronfeldt have also contributed to the scholarhsip on networks, with an emphasis on their role in war, terrorism, crime, and politics, in a series of books, including The Advent of Netwar (1996), In Athena's Camp (1997), The Emergence of Noopolitik (1999), Swarming and the Future of Conflict (2000), and Networks and Netwars (2001), as well as Ronfeldt's case study, The Zapatista "Social Netwar" in Mexico (1998).
The nonhierarchical employment of many of AIM's activities, which are determined by local groups who call on AIM for help, echoes what David Ronfeldt calls "social netwar," which he explains in terms of the Zapatistas but also sees occurring in other organizations in the U.S.
From cases like this, Ronfeldt and Arquilla conceived a network-centric military paradigm, which they dubbed "netwar" (or sometimes "cyberwar").
Over the past decade, they have written extensively about an aspect of information warfare they call "netwar" which they define as "trying to disrupt or damage what a target population knows or thinks it knows about itself and the world around it.