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Cyberwarfare is a broad term describing the use of technological force within
Cyberwarfare may not meet the typical definition of the term war, however, many states including the
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'Cyberwarfare' is used in a board context to denote interstate use of technological force within computer networks in which information is stored, shared or communicated online. The term warfare has significant differences over the term 'war', which invokes ideas of scale and protraction. Cyberwarfare is also distinct, if closely related to, 'cyber espionage', 'cyber terrorism' and 'cyber crime'. The term and its definition remain the subject of debate and no absolute definition is widely agreed.
"Cyberwarfare is an extension of policy by actions taken in cyberspace by state actors (or by non-state actors with significant state direction or support) that constitute a serious threat to another state's security, or an action of the same nature taken in response to a serious threat to a state's security (actual or perceived)."
Definitions focus on the act of penetrating a states computer network infrastructure, or that of businesses and organisations within a target nation. The former US National Coordinator for Security, Infrastructure Protection and Counter-terrorism,
While the majority of scholars, military's and governments use the definition to refer to state and state-sponsored actors, that is actors who are provided significant direction or support from a state. Some definitions may include non-state actors, such as terrorist groups, companies, political or ideological extremist groups, terrorist,
There is debate on whether the term 'cyberwarfare' is accurate.
Some experts take issue with the possible consequences linked to the warfare analogy. Ron Deibert, of Canada's Citizen Lab, has warned of a "militarization of cyberspace", as militaristic responses may not be appropriate. Although, to date, even serious cyber attacks which have disrupted large parts of a nations electrical grids (230,000 customers,
Oxford academic Lucas Kello proposed a new term – "unpeace" – to denote highly damaging cyber actions whose non-violent effects do not rise to the level of traditional war. Such actions are neither warlike nor peacelike. Although they are non-violent, and thus not acts of war, their damaging effects on the economy and society may be greater than even some armed attacks. This term is closely related to the concept of the "grey zone" which has come to prominence in recent years, describing actions which fall below the traditional threshold of war.
The term 'cyberwarfare' is distinct from the term 'cyber war'. Cyber warfare includes techniques, tactics and procedures which may be involved in a cyber war. As discussed, the term war inherently refers to a large scale action, typically over a protracted period of time and may include objectives seeking to utilize violence or the aim to kill . A cyber war could accurately describe a protracted period of back-and-forth cyber attacks (including in combination with traditional military action) between nations. To date, no such action is known to have occurred. Although