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What is Cyber Warfare?

The term cyber warfare is generally used to designate a specific attack or a series of attacks mounted against a country using digital means. This kind of attack can seriously damage the government and civilian infrastructure and disrupt critical public and emergency systems. This could potentially result in not just loss of resources and property, but also loss of life.  The US Department of Defense (DoD) has a rather broad definition of cyber warfare. It basically covers any Internet-enabled malicious activity that can pose a threat to national security.

Although traditionally, cyber warfare was taken to mean one nation-state perpetrating cyber attacks on another, historical events have now forced us to consider terrorist organizations or other non-state actors to also be capable of carrying out such attacks. Although there are several examples of cyber warfare in the recent past, there is no clear way of defining if the attacks constitute an act of war. Disaster Recovery Houston can help protect your organization from the devastating impact of cyber warfare with expert cyber defense strategies and cutting-edge technical innovation.


Most Common Types of Cyber Warfare Attacks



This kind of attack involves monitoring another country’s digital activities in order to steal its secrets. Espionage attacks can involve advanced botnets or spear-phishing attacks. These are generally carried out to compromise computer systems containing sensitive government or public data before exfiltrating it. Espionage attacks are also common for businesses to experience. For effective defensive strategies, please consult IT Services Houston.


Government organizations realize that hostile forces may access sensitive information simply to sabotage either the information or the projects and initiatives that information can facilitate. This is why it’s necessary for governments to analyze the risk profile of all sensitive information it stores and even assess the damage it can cause if compromised. Hostile governments or terrorists may even try to make use of insider threats such as dissatisfied or gullible employees, or split loyalties and affiliation to the attacking country.

Denial-of-service (DoS) Attacks

Denial-of-service (DoS) Attacks are infamous for flooding servers with an overwhelming amount of spurious requests. This kind of attack can prevent legitimate users from ever reaching the website as it gets too busy handling fake requests. These attacks can be leveraged to disrupt the essential operations of the website eventually resulting in a server crash. Prevent DoS attacks from happening in the first place with Backup Solutions Houston.

Electrical Power Grid

The electrical power grid is as much a nerve center of digital operations as the mission-critical servers. This is why malicious actors often target the power grid in order to destabilize operations, thereby disabling critical systems, disrupting infrastructure, and potentially resulting in critical danger to both infrastructure and human lives. By carrying out an attack on the power grid, attackers can even disable basic communication channels such as text messages, receiving news through radio and television, and even phone calls.

Economic Disruption

Since modern economic systems are dependent on digital systems remaining operational 24*7, an attack targeted at digital systems can also essentially cripple economic systems. For instance, malicious actors could target economic institutions such as stock markets, payment systems, central reserves, and banks to cut off people’s access to funds or steal money.


Cyber Warfare Examples

Here are a few recent examples of cyber warfare that had a global impact.

WannaCry Ransomware Attack

The WannaCry ransomware attack happened in May 2017 and had a devastating impact on more than 300,000 computers across various industries in 150 nations. Needless to say, the ransomware attack caused damages worth billions of dollars.

SolarWinds Supply Chain Attack

The SolarWinds attack was first detected in December 2020. In this attack, malicious actors managed to breach key U.S. federal agencies, infrastructure, and private corporations in a deeply entrenched cyberespionage attempt (widely believed to be the worst ever) inflicted on U.S. soil. This attack took the form of a supply chain attack on IT management software company SolarWinds located in Austin. The attack worked its way through the company using compromised updates for its Orion software platform. The updates were deliberately laced with malware, subsequently named Sunburst or Solorigate, into the updates, that eventually found its way to the networks of major SolarWinds customers that included everyone from government agencies, major technology companies such as Microsoft and VMware, and even cybersecurity firms such as FireEye. There was a widespread belief that the attacks could have been engineered or at least sponsored by the Russian government. Irrespective of its origins, the attack successfully managed to get past the defenses of targeted systems and more impressively, remain completely undetected since March 2020. Even a year later, investigators were trying to get a hold of the full scope of the attack.

Twitter Celebrities Attack

The July 2020 attack on Twitter resulted in hacks of very high-profile users including celebrities. The hackers were not only able to access their content but also do significant damage to their Twitter accounts. Get the latest Cybersecurity Prevention strategies with IT Support Houston.


Cyber Attack Prevention: Common Cyber Warfare Solutions


Web Application Firewall (WAF)

Prevent attacks with world-class analysis of web traffic to your applications.

DDoS Protection

Block attack traffic at the edge to ensure business continuity with guaranteed uptime and no performance impact. Secure your on-premises or cloud-based assets – whether you’re hosted in AWS, Microsoft Azure, or Google Public Cloud.

Bot Protection

Prevent business logic attacks from all access points – websites, mobile apps, and APIs. Gain seamless visibility and control over bot traffic to stop online fraud through account takeover or competitive price scraping.

Cloud Security

Simplify securing your cloud databases to catch up and keep up with DevOps. Imperva’s solution enables cloud-managed services users to rapidly gain visibility and control of cloud data.

Database Security

Imperva delivers analytics, protection, and response across your data assets, on-premise and in the cloud – giving you the risk visibility to prevent data breaches and avoid compliance incidents. Integrate with any database to gain instant visibility, implement universal policies, and speed time to value.

Threat Intelligence through data risk analysis

Automate the detection of non-compliant, risky, or malicious data access behavior across all of your databases enterprise-wide to accelerate remediation.

Scott Young

Scott Young, is the president of PennComp LLC, an IT Support Houston company. Being a CPA, Six Sigma Master Blackbelt, Change Management Certified and Myers Briggs Qualified, Scott’s expertise is reflected in PennComp as a leading IT company for computer services and network integration. PennComp utilizes Six Sigma methodologies and practices in their service delivery and offers state-of-the-art monitoring and management tools to their clients.