Carter Gilmer

Warfare has historically been the domain of nation-states, or at least groups of displaced people fighting an oppressive government. Now, both small, loosely organized groups and individuals can (and are) conduct information warfare on a vast array of targets.
The critical point to remember when reviewing the military’s treatment of information as a weapon is that IW is much more than using information to aid conventional destruction. Warfare has lost its material nature, and information has become an end in itself. As governments, businesses, and individuals become increasingly reliant on data storage and movement, the potential for serious economic harm resides in the information itself.
As the economic value shifts out of material goods and into the information itself, the means of attacking also shifts. Simply destroying the infrastructure used to store and transmit data has an effect on our ability to immediately use the information the data represents.

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  1. shinichi Post author

    The Future of Information Warfare

    by Carter Gilmer

    SANS Institute

    InfoSec Reading Room

    [The above text …] For sure, the physical devastation experienced at the World Trade Center destroyed many repositories of information and the mechanisms used to access said information. Yet, this crude attack did not destroy that information totally. For example, using an extensive system of backups, the New York Board of Trade resumed commodities trading less than one week after the attacks; one of the directors boasted that they could have resumed trading that very same day!

    For maximum effectiveness, then, information warfare will come to be characterized by methods designed to corrupt or misuse the information itself. The next section develops a hierarchy of attack methods used for IW. Then, the current situation is assessed and the future trends examined. The defenses necessary for the future are discussed, and the paper concludes with some points on the changing philosophy of warfare.


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