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Cyber Conflict: Competing National Perspectives by Daniel Ventre

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Chapter 5Moving Toward an Italian Cyber Defense and Security Strategy 1

 

 

 

5.1. Information warfare and cyber warfare: what are they?

Nowadays armed forces are much more dependent on information networks and systems for command, control, intelligence, logistics and weapon technologies. At the same time, civilian infrastructures rely on information networks and technologies for their functioning. If we take into consideration the number of information systems and networks and their widespread vulnerabilities, it is not surprising that they have become targets for adversaries bent upon disrupting society, the economy and welfare of a nation. If we also consider the availability on the Internet of tools that allow everybody – not only those with IT skills – to automatically take advantage of security flaws for espionage and criminal or military purposes, we can gather a clear picture of the current situation. Sometimes, software security flaws are not even voluntarily exploited.

I wish to recall a personal experience of mine to enable you to see the full picture. One day, while surfing on the net looking for a scientific article, by clicking on a link in Google search I was redirected, quite oddly, to a United States (US) Navy Intranet webpage. This was strange because to get to the same page from the Navy website you need to log in. This page contained a list of high-ranking senior officers with their social security numbers – which are confidential for every US citizen. I was ...

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