Notice: Due to the sensitive nature of this section, the weapons
presented are ones proposed by open source (non-government) authors.
The examples offered should only be considered as concepts to stimulate
your thoughts on "what-if' possibilities.
THIS PRESENTATION NEITHER CONFIRMS NOR DENIES THE EXISTENCE OF
The module learning objectives:
- Explain and define the types of weapons that can be used to
conduct Information Warfare.
- To understand that each IW weapons could be used as a strategic
national, theater strategic, operational, or tactical weapon.
IW weapons include the following:
||Electromagnetic pulse weapons
||Van Eck radiation
|Attacks on the banking system
||Disruption of air traffic control
|Denial of service
||Stand-off and close-in sensors
encryption chip could possibly have built in a secret back door
so that they can easily decode messages encrypted with the chip.
Electromagnetic pulse weapons could be used to knock out enemy
electronics equipment. Suitcase sized devices have been developed
to do just that.
Researchers are also working on developing microbes which eat electronics
components so that, in the event of conflict, these microbes could
be introduced into an adversary's electronics equipment to cause
Van Eck Radiation
Van Eck radiation is the radiation which all electronic devices
emit. Specialized receivers can pick up this radiation and tap a
wealth of information. Fortunately, there are various safeguards
against this type of attack.
Cryptology is a weapon of information
warfare designed to encrypt and crack secure communications respectively.
Despite significant advances in cryptography, cryptanalysis will
continue to be an important weapon aided by equally significant
advances in computing power.
Spoofing is an attempt to send a falsified message to someone.
For example, I could dial up a university phone registration system
pretending to be someone I have a grudge against, and drop their
classes. Since these systems are automated, all I need to know in
most cases is a person's Social Security number and birthdate.
Video morphing is a weapon that could be used in a manner similar
to that in the movie Forrest Gump to make an enemy leader appear
to say things he or she didn't in fact say, undermining credibility.
Psychological operations (PSYOP) using all available information
means to form a desired public perception. PSYOP benefits from the
ability to conduct market research and analysis of regional data.
As a result, customized messages and be generated for each targeted
sector of society. PSYOP was very successfully in the U.S. re-instatement
of Haiti's president.
Attacks on the banking system, Disruption of air traffic control,
Denial of service
Various possible operations with obvious effects include knocking
out telephone switches, crashing stock markets, attacking electronic
routers for rail system, attacking bank accounts, disrupting air
traffic control, and denying service with, for instance, a ping
attack. Note: the "ping attack" gets its name from old
age sonar techniques. Within a network, a computer can send systematic
queries to all addresses and analyze the associated return time,
very similar to sonar. Net groups with similar times of return and
be associated into a hierarchical structure.
Stand-off and close-in sensors
For military applications, the use of stand-off and close-in sensors
to gather data could be considered an information warfare weapon.
As in any decision process the more information available the higher
the probability of arriving at a useful solution. Likewise, computer
decision support is also a key weapon in information warfare and
especially in defensive information warfare. Decision support can
be used to detect attacks, identify the type of attack, generate
defensive options, evaluate options, and perform damage assessments.
In a similar manner, an adversaries decision support system can
be delayed, or disrupted with erroneous data.
Information Warfare Weapons fall into three categories: Strategic
National, Strategic Theater, Operational, and Tactical. Each category
has its own unique capabilities and thus requires different safety
mechanisms to prevent inadvertent release. Consider nuclear weapons.
They too can be employed to support a tactical, theater and/or strategic
objective. However, nuclear weapons must ultimately be released
for use by the President and usually by recommendation of the National
Security Council. IW weaponry is very similar, but there are exceptions.
The Commander In Chief (CINC) will always implement the directions
of the President. IW weaponry supporting non-military elements of
power or that fall into the category of national strategic will
all require NSC approval. However, operational control of IW weapons
which support classic C2W has been delegated to the CINC for implementation.
Likewise, traditional theater level Electronic Warfare (EW) or PSYOP
that is enhanced by IW capabilities fall under CINC authority as
National Strategic IW weapons, will be released by the president
upon recommendation of the NSC. For example, a computer virus that
would cripple a nation's monetary system or may seize control of
international satellites must be controlled by either the President
(SECDEF if authority has been delegated). Justification: a response
in-kind would have a direct impact on the American homeland, i.e.
the loss of sanctuary.
So who pulls the trigger? In general the command to launch an IW
attack will at least be reviewed by the National Security Council,
possibly the President (weapon dependent), and ordered by the CINC.
One must remember that some strategic weapons will only be released
on authority of the President. Note: during the planning process
the CINC will be the single person responsible for the overall campaign
and will decide his or her preferred weapons of choice, but just
as in the case of nuclear weapons, IW weaponry will require a higher
lever of coordination and authorization for release.
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