What Is a Personal Essay (Personal Statement)?

Glossary of grammatical and rhetorical terms.

  • An Introduction to Punctuation
  • Ph.D., Rhetoric and English, University of Georgia
  • M.A., Modern English and American Literature, University of Leicester
  • B.A., English, State University of New York

A personal essay is a short work of autobiographical nonfiction characterized by a sense of intimacy and a conversational manner. Also called a personal statement . 

A type of creative nonfiction , the personal essay is "all over the map," according to Annie Dillard. "There's nothing you can't do with it. No subject matter is forbidden, no structure is prescribed. You get to make up your own form every time." ("To Fashion a Text," 1998) .

Examples of Personal Essays


Theresa Werner, "Personal Essay."  Encyclopedia of the Essay , ed. by Tracy Chevalier. Fitzroy Dearborn, 1997

E.B. White , Foreword to  Essays of E.B. White . Harper and Row, 1977

Cristina Kirklighter,  Traversing the Democratic Borders of the Essay . SUNY Press, 2002

Nancy Sommers, "Between the Drafts."  College Composition and Communication , February 1992

Richard F. Nordquist, "Voices of the Modern Essay." Dissertation University of Georgia, 1991

cyber warfare essay

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cyber warfare essay

3 ways state actors target businesses in cyber warfare, and how to protect yourself

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State-sponsored groups are leveraging weaknesses in IoT devices to build botnets, and attacking private industry and public infrastructure in attacks, according to a Booz Allen report.

The year 2019 is likely to see an increase of state actors taking aim at the private sector in foreign companies, continuing an ongoing trend over the past several years, according to the 2019 Cyber Threat Outlook published by defense industry firm Booz Allen Hamilton on Monday.

The report cites economically-motivated attacks, that aim to “steal information, such as intellectual property and corporate bidding strategies, to help an adversary’s domestic industry,” as well as DDoS attacks against private and public resources, and information warfare strategies that “attempt to inflame or generate public relations and legal controversies to harm targeted sectors and companies with investor, regulatory, consumer, or political backlash.”

SEE: IoT security: A guide for IT leaders (Tech Pro Research)

Criminals mount these attacks in a variety of ways, including by exploiting weaknesses in consumer devices and protocols, as well as by manipulating group behavior through maliciously applied sociology.

Here are three ways state actors are targeting businesses, and how to stay safe, according to the report.

1. IoT devices

Internet of Things (IoT) devices are effectively network-attached purpose-built computers, and these computers require the same level of security attention as any desktop or laptop on your network. State-sponsored attacks are increasingly leveraging IoT devices to build botnets, which then tunnel connections through Tor for pseudo-anonymity, and are used for DDoS attacks such as VPNFilter , for which the Ukrainian Security Service claimed Russian state actors were building in an attempt to destabilize the Champions League finals held in that country.

According to the report, this strategy is made easier as “15 percent of IoT device owners don’t change their devices’ default passwords, and 10 percent of IoT devices use one of the same five passwords for administrative access.”

How to protect your IoT devices:

Change default passwords and close all unnecessary open ports on existing IoT devices on your network. Establish a process to inventory, identify, scan, and secure new devices as they are integrated into the environment. Where possible, isolate IoT devices on a separate VLAN and allow principle of least access to govern, monitor, use, and connect to the device. Include IoT devices and networking devices in your organization’s vulnerability management program. Conduct regular external and internal scans for vulnerable devices. Establish and adhere to service-level agreements for patching with real consequences for non-remediation.

2. Deepfakes

AI-generated or edited video, commonly called “ deepfakes ,” use machine learning to create plausible forgeries used to depict events that never occurred.

“The incorporation of malicious deepfakes could be a valuable tactic for increasing the effectiveness of cyber operations intended to spread false information, discredit or damage the reputation of targeted organizations, or even create political turmoil and spur international conflict,” the report stated. “Weaponized leaks-in which data is stolen and released publicly, sometimes with falsified data blended in-have increasingly been leveraged in influence operations.” Additionally, deepfakes can be further weaponized by being inserted in stolen legitimate data.

How to avoid deepfakes:

Develop a reputation-monitoring capability to alert your public relations and communications teams of breaking negative news about your organization, true or not. Conduct regular proactive outreach on social media to establish your public relations team as a trusted source of news to combat these misinformation campaigns. Engage your leadership and communications teams in tabletop exercises to plan and practice handling the types of reputation attacks which are most likely to target your organization.

3. Wireless connectivity

Wireless communication protocols in use today are built with a security-first mindset, though vulnerabilities do exist. Legacy systems, such as municipal alarm systems, have been demonstrated as vulnerable, as security researchers have found that control packets can be captured, modified, and replayed . Likewise, DTMF-based systems, like one hacked in Dallas , are inherently insecure.

Security in wireless connectivity can be a life-or-death matter. As the report notes, “In April 2018, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued an alert to patients using a particular heart implant to update their device firmware, as the implants were found to be vulnerable to wireless cyber attacks using ‘commercially available equipment.'”

How to protect your wireless communications:

Disable unused wireless protocols where possible, such as Bluetooth on laptops and desktops. Expand the scope of existing attack surface and penetration test assessments to include known propriety wireless protocols exposed to the public.

cyber warfare essay

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cyber warfare essay

Essay On Cyberwarfare

The 9/11 recession.

September 11, 2001 was a day that changed America forever. Four hijacked commercial airliners crashed into some of the United States ' most prized and recognizable landmarks, including the North and South Towers of the World Trade Center in New York City and the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. These attacks shocked our nation and were intended to provoke fear and a sense of vulnerability amongst Americans. Though the emotional impact of the attacks remains significant, one could argue that an equally devastating and long-lasting consequence was the sharp decline that occurred with the economy. The 9/11 terrorist attacks worsened the 2001 Recession, caused a major increase in foreign defense spending, and prompted an unprecedented initiative to

The 2008 Financial Crisis: The Great Recession

The 2008 Financial Crisis received the name "The Great Recession" because it devastated all aspects of not only the American but also the Global economy. The shadow banking tactics employed by Wall Street 's "too big to fail" investment firms, left many American households confused as to why their assets plummeted in value. As with any situation, however, with a large amount of losers comes a large amount of winners. Just as those who bought into an index-fund at the bottom of the Great Depression are now seeing their investments return five times their initial value, families that took out mortgages after the busting of the housing bubble have realized substantial capital gains on their home investment. A personal example of buying into the

The Dodd Frank Act In The 1930's

Since the start of the recession, 8.8 million jobs have been lost, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The government could have done a lot more to prevent this market crash. For instance the US was borrowing close to a trillion dollars a year from other countries before the Great Recession. This lead to a capital inflow which fueled the United States for a financial and real estate boom. Also, the regulations could have been more straightforward about applying prudential principles to all of the complex financial operations in which financial institutions consisted of. The Great Recession was triggered by the government allowing banks to give out loose loans, not holding the banks accountable for sold debts and not holding bankers

Cyber Warfare: The Greatest Threat To The United States

Cyber warfare affects all of us and can quickly wipe out our societies by taking out the tools we rely on so heavily for their success. A successful cyber attack can take out our power grid and give our enemies classified information on our weaknesses and defense strategies. This is very alarming, but thankfully the possibilities of this happening are very low. The actual main use of cyber warfare is theft. Many foreign companies are constantly attacking US companies to take things like product blueprints and manufacture the same product to sell it for cheaper prices. When US companies retaliate with legal action in china, for example, they rarely win causing greater losses for them and more profit for the other company which strengthens the Chinese economy and weakens the US economy. We must focus on cyber warfare defense or the enemy will take us out from where we will not expect

VA Information Security Essay

“VA’s mission is to promote the health, welfare, and dignity of all veterans in recognition of their service to the nation by ensuring that they receive medical care, benefits, social support, and memorials.” (Information Security: Veterans Affairs Needs to Resolve Long-Standing Weaknesses, 2010, p.1) The VA information system security program (ISSP) aims to protect the confidentiality, integrity and availability (CIA) of the VA’s information systems and business process. This program provides information of plans, policies and procedures to protect the VA’s system user’s privacy data. Also according to the Department of Veterans Affairs: Information Security Program (2007) this program provides a detailed list of the security

Pros And Cons Of The Revolutionary Armed Forces Of Columbia

(U) The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Columbia (FARC) never has and never will conduct a cyber-attack against the United States or its interests. Prior to June 2016 FARC was a violent guerilla organization. Although they would have benefitted from cyber warfare strategies, they only ever utilized traditional guerilla and terror tactics. The FARC was not technologically adept enough to be a cyber threat. Today, the FARC wants to establish itself as a political party and therefore has dropped its overt hostility. Conducting an attack of any kind would contradict their current objective.

Roger O. Schafer's The Great Depression

Living through a significantly rough time period can be difficult on the families trying to raise one at this time, but if you live though to tell the stories it’s absolutely astonishing. My grandfather, Roger O. Schafer lived through The Great Depression, WWII, also served in the Korean war. All the memories and stories my grandpa has are mind blowing, along with saddening to thinking what my grandpa had to live through along with many other civilians trying to survive. There were many responsibilities my grandfather had to learn quickly to help his family during the depression. Sense my grandpa had to encounter many different tragic times within his lifetime, I believe he’s a better knowledgable, successful individual. Especially with the excruciating events he had to face, only to better himself and his life, along with many different other people by my grandpa expressing these tragic, agonizing, breathtaking stories like he has done for me.

Military Advancements

Technology and advancements in weapons and machinery for the military is constantly being improved by people and policy in the United States. For example, robot technology has allowed less soldiers to be put into danger, reducing the number of troops needed. According to P.W. Singer, an accredited 21st century warfare specialist and political science and international relations scholar, “Since the 2001 terrorist attacks on America, the amount spent on ground robots has roughly doubled each year, while the amount spent on aerial systems has grown by around 23 percent annually,”(Singer 1). Because of these advancements in technology, less soldiers are needed for war. Not only do these machines and weapons take the place of some of the jobs

The Patriot Act Analysis

There are several aspects to consider and “the deployment of cybercrime-specific investigation instruments in cases of terrorist use of the Internet (such as the expedited preservation of computer data) can be advantageous as most countries do not limit the application of sophisticated investigation instrument to traditional cybercrime offences but include any offense involving computer data”(counter-terrorism implemenationtaskforce CTITF). Another example of dealing with terrorist use of the internet is the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) they are responsible for the practical aspects of cybersecurity. There major aim is to provide patterns for the development of any consistent cybercrime legislation specifically and terrorist

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After many years, both attacks on September 11th and December 7th are still important events that impacted the United States. On September 9th, 2001 there was an unknown for attack on the United States. The fact that it was very out of the blue, the United States were frightened, they seemed to be at peace with many parts around the world. As soon as the attackers hit the North Tower, the Government went into action. NYPD and FDNY forces were sent to the World Trade Center. After the South Tower is hit the FAA banned all flights to New York City. Once it was clear that it was a terrorist attack on the United States, President Bush announces it. By 10:30 in the morning, both towers collapsed. The tragedy on 9/11 was and still is a Memorial Day,

The Pros And Cons Of Cyber Security

With computer technologies and the internet has connected the world together with the ability to communicate with people in different countries. As a society, we have become very dependent on computers and when the systems go down we cannot function as well, businesses cannot conduct their business. With the internet connecting the world together, it gives concerns for cyber-terrorism and cyber-attacks. Cyberterrorism is when a group attacks a target with intention of causing harm and further political, social, religious, or other goals. Cyber-attacks are attacks on a target system carried about by different people and may not be associated with a terrorist group. They may be trying to steal information or corrupt data. There are many ways to carry out cyber-attacks such as malware, botnets, viruses, denial of service (DoS) accounts and many other types of attacks. Cybersecurity is also known as information security which applies to devices such as computers, laptops, mobile devices, networks, and including the internet to include preventing unauthorized access, modify, or destroying data. Department of Homeland Security plays roles in securing the federal government and helping to secure a cyber-ecosystem by helping with investigations and arrest of cyber criminals, releasing cyber alerts about threats, and educate the public and stay safe online. Cybersecurity includes evaluating networks and systems, information policies for organization, incident response team,

Cybersecurity Personal Statement Examples

Cybersecurity has become a growing cause for concern in the United States and indeed countries around the world. On February 9, 2016 President Barack Obama announced his Cybersecurity National Action plan (CNAP) to further the nations efforts to protect government agencies, citizens, and businesses from cyber threats domestic and abroad. However, cybersecurity is not a new issue in fact it is as old as the internet itself. With that said, I keep thinking back to that warm September day stained with the image of an enormous fireball engulfing our small TV set. This horrific day changed the course of history forever along with my future career path. At WIT I hit the ground with a running start and a determined mindset not only achieve the best

Importance Of National Security

Safety of our citizens is of utmost importance in creating a robust society. Building sustainable communities that are inclusive, secure and sensitive to needs of the citizens will continue to be of national priority. However, over the years, crime has stymied this endeavour.

Cause And Effect Of Cybercrime

Cybercrime is one of the fastest growing type of crime in our society today and have also been a serious problem since it causes a lot of damages and also affect us in different ways. But before I go further let me start by telling you the meaning of cybercrime, Cybercrime is different and more heinous than normal crime that we know. This crime is committed in an electronic medium and here means read is not a requirement and is done in secret Feldman(2013). Cyber war takes place largely in secret, unknown to the general public of crimes include pornography, cyber fraud, defamation, cyber stalking, harassment, IPR theft, data hostage, money laundering, phishing, e-mail bombing, cyber war, illegal monitoring. Secondly let me talk about the effect of cybercrime in our society today. Becoming the victim of cybercrime can have long-lasting effects on your life. One common technique scammers employ is phishing, sending false emails purporting to come from a bank or other financial institution requesting personal information. If you hand over this information, it can allow the criminal to access your bank and credit accounts, as well as open new accounts and destroy your credit rating. According to EWeek (2012) a survey of large companies found an average expenditure of $8.9 million per year on cyber security, with 100 percent of firms surveyed reporting at least one malware incident in the preceding 12 months and 71 percent reporting the hijacking of company computers

National Security Research Paper

National defence and security strategy are formulated through some fundamental considerations based on the security objectives and national interests. National defence and security policy refers to the government’s vision and mission that are realized proportionally, balanced and well-coordinated. To achieve this goal, the government has developed a national defence and national security strategy. “It includes strategic objectives, how to achieve the goals and defence resources in order to accomplish strong, effective and high deterrence state defence capabilities” . Based on that phenomenon, Darmono B. further described regarding the Indonesian national security concepts (Darmono, 2010):

More about Essay On Cyberwarfare

cyber warfare essay

Cyber Warfare Essay

Andrew Massung Mr. Wyse ENC 1101 15 October 2015 Cyber Warfare: the New Frontier Since the beginning of time, mankind has waged war against each other. Over the years warfare has evolved, from fighting with sticks and stones to using gunpowder and launching missiles. The newest, and possibly most destructive, type of warfare is cyber warfare. Cyber warfare has the possibility to be more devastating than nuclear warfare. The world is in another cold war, except this time countries are battling for cyber supremacy. Cyberspace is a massive land of ever changing technology and personal interaction (McGuffin and Mitchell 1). Cyberspace is not only a place that people post pictures and update their profile, but it also plays an enormous role in running a country. Advanced countries use computers to guide their military, keep track of citizens, run their …show more content…

In this essay, the author

Warfare is always evolving and everyone wants the new and more powerful weapon; from men fighting with sticks and stones to launching nuclear missiles and full scale invasions. The newest type of warfare is cyber warfare. Cyber warfare has the possibility to be more destructive than nuclear war. Works Cited Crowther, G. Alexander, and Shaheen Ghori. "Detangling the web: a screenshot of U.S. government cyber activity." Joint Force Quarterly July 2015: 75+. War and Terrorism Collection. Web. 28 Oct. 2015. "Edward Snowden Biography." Bio.com. A&E Networks Television, n.d. Web. 06 Nov. 2015. McGuffin, Chris, and Paul Mitchell. “On domains: cyber and the practice of warfare.” International Journal 69.3 (2014): 394+. Academic OneFile. Web. 5 Oct. 2015. Olender, Michael. “Keeping Pace with Cyber Power, Defense, and Warfare.” Journal of International and Global Studies 6.2 (2015): 55+. Academic OneFile. Web. 5 Oct. 2015. Thomas, Teka. "Cyber defense: Who 's in charge?" National Defense July 2015: 21+. War and Terrorism Collection. Web. 28 Oct.

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Cyber warfare in canada.

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The most recents detections of how cyber warfare is inevitably coming was the accusations of Russia hacking the the Democratic National Committee and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s email’s releasing damaging evidence against them which ultimately lead to Donald Trump being named the President of The United States (Diamond, 2016). The effects of cyber warfare have leaked over in to televise series, forming shows such as CSI cyber, and the gaming world, Call Of Duty Infinite Warfare. Neglect regarding cyber security can: undermine the reputation of both the government and elected officials; force unacceptable expenditures associated with the cost of cleaning up after security breaches; cripple governments' abilities to respond to a wide variety of homeland security emergency situations or recover from natural or man-made threats; and disable elected officials' ability to govern (Lohrmann, 2010). Classified information such as overseas operators and attacks, missile locations, response plans and weaknesses, and much more cripples America’s ability to defend itself from enemies both foreign and domestic. To combat cyber terrorism is the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act, or CISA. In an article titled “Why Cybersecurity Information Sharing Is A Positive Step for Online Security” it is discussed that under CISA, the Department of Homeland security will have more responsibility for domestic cybersecurity. CISA’s fundamental purpose is to better enable cybersecurity information to be shared between the private and public sectors (2016). The sharing of threat information between public and private sectors can give the the United States a head start by allowing them to share information rapidly and more often to combat enemy threats while still providing safety for privacy and civil

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On March 31, 2016, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) started a nationwide campaign to warn against the dangers faced by the U.S. utilities against the cyberattacks. According to DHS, there were an estimated 331 hacks or physical attacks against the U.S. power grid from 2011 to 2014. As of February 2016, they are occurring at a rate of once every 4 days. “A major cyberattack on the U.S. electric grid could cause over $1 trillion in economic damage, estimates ThreatTrackSecurity.com.” (MacDonald, 2016, pg. 2).

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Primarily, cyber security of the armed forces must be a priority of the United States. As the world becomes increasingly digital, the military must also adapt its ways. A new form of combat, hybrid warfare, has been effective in attaining political objectives without the conventional use of military power (Limnell). Hybrid warfare includes

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In “Cyber war is Already Upon Us” by John Arquilla. Arquilla argues that “cyber war has arrived” and there needs to be focus on what can be done to control it (Arquilla 4). Arquilla provides examples of cyber attacks that he considers to be instances of cyber war to argue his point. To be considered an act of war, an attack must be potentially violent, purposeful, and political (Lecture 20. Slide 5). Many of the attacks that Arquilla refers to were purposeful and political, making them comparable to specific battles within a war. However, they should not be classified as entire wars by themselves because traditionally war is defined as a period of ongoing conflict and not one specific attack. While cyber war is a possibility, nothing in

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The damage of a full-fledged cyber attack would be devastating, the destruction would be unparalleled to any other tragedy that has occurred America. Since technology is responsible for providing America with vital entities and resources, an unadulterated cyber attack would nearly fail the American economy; this is what is known as critical systems failure. Weapons of mass destruction and cyber attacks present imminent threats of critical systems failure. Although currently Americas’ critical infrastructures are coordinated by controlled systems, majority of these systems are indeed connected to the American cyberspace. This exposes one of America’s most vulnerable spot amidst cyber security. Another major vulnerable spot within the nations IT security would be the geographical physical location for each of Americas primary infrastructures, as well as their productivity. Due to the proximal locations, the major infrastructures could very well be infiltrated by one efficient CNA.

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Clarke and Knake use a mixed method research approach in Cyber War to support their hypothesis that offensive prowess is meaningless without solid defense in cyberspace, and that the United States need immediately fix our defensive cyber shortfalls, or face apocalyptic doom. Specifically, the authors define ‘cyber war’ as “actions by a nation state to penetrate another nation’s computers or networks for the purposes of causing damage or disruption.” This infers that they are really talking about ‘warfare’ and

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These are the reasons worldwide governments such as Australia are approaching and reviewing the risks and eliminate the potential hazards in order to protect their critical infrastructure to keep running on their system.

Cyberwarfare Regulations

For years, it was widely believed that the next World War would be centered on the use of nuclear weaponry. However, the development of viruses has furthered cyberwarfare, and in recent years the attention has shifted from a nuclear threat to a cyber one. Having the ability to completely, dismantle another country’s entire infrastructure without leaving your desk is clearly much simpler than using nuclear weapons. “The treat of a cyberattack is a clear and present danger to America and is more likely than a nuclear attack.” (The Hill) Even higher ranking defense officials are realizing that the focus must shift to cyberwar, instead of the traditional nuclear missiles. Additionally, the cost for cyberwarfare is significantly less than the cost of nuclear

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We are a Nation on the fringe of another war. We have military personnel engaged in advise and assist roles in places like Iraq and Afghanistan, attacks occurring on our home soil, and cyber-warfare issues still unresolved. These issues are prevalent across various organizations, as seen in the weekly updates that I receive from the U.S. Naval Academy Information Technology department in which employee personal information was compromised, describing how our home network has been affected and security measures that have been implemented to protect us from further attack. The United States code and the United Nations charter provide a great framework for the determination of the cyber-attacks, with each organization implementing their own written doctrine and instructions. The U.S. code defines an “act of war” and the United Nations charter provides the foundation to determine what is deemed an “act of aggression” (U.N. Code, 1992, U.N Charter, 1945).

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Cyber Warfare, Essay Example

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One of the newest threats to the world and especially the United States is cyber terrorism. Cyber terrorism is seen as the premeditated and politically motivated attack against computer systems, programs, information, and data that can be violent against noncombatant targets by clandestine or sub-national groups. (Elusharaf 2004) Cyber terrorists are attacking computer systems, hacking into secure data infrastructures that result in causing mayhem, panic, and even death to innocent civilians. Cyber warfare is a significant issue among major countries that have forced militaries to incorporate a new branch of military action devoted to protecting and conducting action against cyber warfare. (Andress, Winterfield 2011) Cyber warfare has been used by major countries to attack corporations, government, agencies, in the form of radicalism that has been perceived as warlike. Iran has become one of the premier countries that have been a driving force behind cyber terrorism. The group, Iran’s Cyber Army that is, “comprised of highly skilled specialists in information technology and professional hackers who avoid revealing their identity.” (BBC Persian, 2012)

Iran’s Cyber Army is a part of the Iranian military that consists of their Navy, Army, Revolutionary Guard force, and Air Force. The Iranian Cyber Army (IRA) has been used as an attempted oppression tool for the pro-democratic Green Movement in Iran. “A political retribution against US organizations for critical reports, and intrusion of technologies supportive of freedom of expression are all acts in accordance to the current Iranian military vision.” (Lukich 2011) The Iranian Cyber Army has hacked in various business sector websites and government websites which has been used to as a way to generate awareness of the cyber army’s presence. The Iranian Cyber Army is highly skilled in their attacks as they are able to hack into numerous foreign based media outlets such as Facebook, Twitter, and government agencies in the West. According to research and interview reports from the Chairman of Google, he commented that The Iranian Cyber Army succeeded in taking over the informational traffic throughout the internet using intelligence hacking. (BBC Persian 2012) The Iranian Cyber Army succeeded in hacking Twitter in 2009, by replacing the homepage with the sign that it was hacked by the terrorist group. (Gertz 2011) The Iranian Cyber Army have succeeded in many attacks including one on September 2011 in which they hacked into 500 internet security certificates that impacted over 300,000 Iranian internet users. They have also hacked into the Dutch government web security firm the same year. They are so highly skilled that the Defense Tech, an American company that deals with Internet security named Iran one of the five countries with the most powerful cyber capabilities throughout the world. (BBC Persian 2012)

One of the most notable attacks made by the Iranian Cyber Army was in 2011. After a string of attacks on computer systems in Iran and in other countries, the Iranian Cyber Army hacked into the Voice of America website. By replacing their home page with a banner that bored the Iranian Flag and an AK-47 assault rifle, and the message “we have proven that we can.” (Gertz 2011) The Iranian Cyber Army placed on the website the want for then Secretary of State Hilary Clinton to “hear the voice of oppressed nations.” (Gertz 2011) More brazenly the message the called for the United States to stop interfering with foreign (Islamic) countries. The Voice of America (VOA) websites is a global network of news and information that reflect the U.S foreign official policies. It broadcasts on television, the internet, and through the radio to nations all around the world.

The result of the attacked forced the parent company of VOA, Broadcasting Board of Governors to cancel all shortwave radio broadcasts of the VOA’s Chinese language service. The group attacked the computer server, which according to officials, “shows the power and capability of the group in the cyber arena.” (Gertz 2011) Visitors that went to the VOA and other 95 related websites were redirected to the page showing the Iranian flag and the AK-47 rifle, the attacked lasted for a full day. The attack was successful in showing the international community the sophisticated and strategic capabilities of the cyber organization in hacking into secure international websites. The results were not to damage the systems but rather create awareness of the fact that these terrorist organizations are capable of getting into highly secure systems without any problems. The Iranian Cyber Army let their attack be known, and the website responded in sending a message that while the organization was able to infiltrate the system it did not lose or corrupt any data. The hacking was seen as a result of the change in the broadcasting nature that would undermine the Chinese authority in Tibet. More importantly the organization has ties to pro-democracy movement that threatens the stability of the Chinese government. The organization is continued to make their presence known throughout the world. Hacking into several international websites with the intentions of warning countries of their abilities of being able to wreck damage to the systems and to the users.

Cyber Warfare is a serious problem that has come to fruition in the last decade. With the spread of globalization and more stock being placed in technology, countries have moved to train individuals in the complexities of cyberspace. The internet has also laid the foundation for terrorist countries to lay a new war ground where they can infiltrate and attack more citizens without leaving a trace. The move for cyber terrorism is to incite fear, panic, and unrest. While the Iranian Cyber Army is poised to make their presence known it is now up to security officials around the world to implement new protocols that will protect the websites and users from future attacks as the group is growing in sophistication and political power, as they become more notorious throughout the world.

Technology has inexplicably changed the way in which people do just about everything. The daily activities of communicating, checking the news, waking up, driving, talking, and other daily habits have been enhanced or replaced by technology. This has provided a double sided benefit and problem. While humans continue to grow dependent on technology, others can step into to exploit these dependencies. Millions of people have access to the internet and use it throughout the day on a daily basis. Billions of data are shared throughout the internet with people located all over the world. The phenomenon has not only brought out innovations, but also criminals. Cybercrimes have increased in the decade, and steadily rising as more and more criminals get sophisticated, and the anomaly of the internet helps to disguise their identity, and masked their inevitable attacks that could compromise entire systems. Cybercrimes have grown to theft, hacking, phishing, and other crimes to full out cyber warfare in the forms of cyber terrorism and the growth of cyber terrorist organizations. The threat of cyber warfare has become a startling reality as FBI, and other government agencies have named cyber warfare as a major threat.

The future of cyber warfare is predicted to be daunting as major countries have already engaged in the war, such as the United States and Israel conducting their attack on Iran. The filed named Stuxnet, was one of the first partnership led cyber-attacks by the United States. As more and more nation become reliant on technology, it has become criminals and more importantly terrorist mechanism for conducting war. Cyber warfare is a tool used by organizations and agencies in order to hack into a system and either corrupt, or infiltrate with the intent to cause panic. Cyber warfare has been used by the United States, China, Russia, Iran, and other nations. Cyber warfare can be seen as a necessary tool for many organizations that have taken the battle from the ground to the information highway, which allows for organizations to target not only people by infrastructures, governments, computer systems, and other technology that powers nuclear plants, financial sectors, hospitals, and other relevant sectors.

Cyber warfare is an ethical dilemma in which some countries use cyber warfare in order to combat nations that intend to distribute harm on masses. The United States uses cyber warfare in order to protect critical infrastructures such as power grids, communication systems, healthcare systems, nuclear power plants, and other vital systems in which millions of citizens rely on. According to Andress, cyber warfare is described as the utilization of the internet in order to wage war within cyberspace, with real world effects in the physical world. (Andress, Winterfield 2011) The use of cyber warfare has forced nations such as the United States to develop and incorporate a branch of military that focuses on cyber intelligence in order to protect against cyber warfare. The future of wars would be fought virtually as terrorist organizations from terrorist countries have moved to cyberspace in order to not only spread heat and their doctrine but also fear motivated by radical political beliefs.

In determining if cyber warfare is ethical, the definition and laws of war must be examined, by showcasing that there is only one just for war, which is in defense of aggression. (Lin, Allhoff, Rowe, 2012) The act of aggression is complex when it comes to cyber-attacks as some do not cause any physical or kinetic harm in the conventional sense that war be justifiable defense. Cyber-espionage which is just infiltrating systems and cyber-attacks that can be utilized in inflicting deliberate damage can range from subtle to substantial impact. Cyber warfare is not discriminatory in which that those that go to the websites are affected even if considered noncombatants. In the example of the Stuxnet worm sent by Israel and the United States, it aimed at the Iranian nuclear processing facilities but spread far beyond its intended targets that required upgrades to anti-virus software worldwide. (Lin, Allhoff, Rowe 2012) In deciding if cyber warfare is ethical there are several factors that must be considered in which the threat of these organizations could result in impacting not only innocent lives, but intend to do harm that is justifiable for war.

According to Andress, the United States is steadily prepping for imminent cyber-attacks from hostile nations such as Iran, China, Russia, and other nations that are have already chosen to attack American based websites. As part of the United States national strategies, they have funded several initiatives to address the threat to national security. The recent administration has moved to commission several reviews and studies in which to provide recommendations that implement new cyber security policies and sector dedicated to monitoring cyber activity. (Andress, Winterfield 2011) The United States has developed a response plan that will alert an early warning systems to all federal agencies and departments, and hiring those with the right skill sets in order to address the cyber warfare concern. The United States is not alone in their preparedness, other nations including The United Kingdom, Australia, and others have taken legislative action to secure their infrastructures.

The future of cyber warfare is looking to be uncertain for several nations that are doing their best to become prepared, however, work against the uncertainty and tight budgets that prevent them from hiring those with the right skill sets to combat these highly growing organizations that are activity learning to take down computer systems. While no nation has declared cyber warfare, there have been several government and other agencies that have been attacked that have been called criminal acts. However, the trend of these cyber-attacks are going towards a future in which cyber warfare will be declared. As more and more terrorist organizations gain notoriety in their attacks, many nations and citizens will grow in fear of the potential impact that can bring down entire nations by the attacks through cyberspace.


Andress, Jason, and Steve Winterfeld. Cyber Warfare: Techniques, Tactics and Tools for Security Practitioners. Syngress Publishing, 2011.

BBC Persian. “Structure of Iran’s Cyber Warfare.” BBC Persian . Last Modified 2012. http://nligf.nl/upload/pdf/Structure_of_Irans_Cyber_Operations.pdf

Elmusharaf, M. “Cyber Terrorism: The New Kind of Terrorism.” Computer Crime Research Center . Last Modified 2004 from http://www.crime-research.org/articles/Cyber_Terrorism_new_kind_Terrorist.

Gertz, Bill. “Iranians hack into VOA website.” The Washington Times . Last Modified February 22, 2011. http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2011/feb/21/iranian-hackers-break-voa-deface-web-sites/

Lin, Patrick, Allhoff, Fritz, Rowe, Neil.C. “Computing Ethics War 2.0: Cyber weapons and Ethics.” Viewpoints . Last Modified 2012. http://www3.nd.edu/~cpence/eewt/Lin2012.pdf

Lukich, Alex. “The Iranian Cyber Army.” Center for Strategic & International Studies . Last Modified July 12, 2011. http://csis.org/blog/iranian-cyber-army

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Cyber Warfare Essay example

Cyber Warfare As technology has grown exponentially within the past fifty years, cyber crime becomes a growing worry for those working to create international security. As the internet becomes more widespread and reliable, the amounts of attacks from those trying to terrorize or censor the web have been growing too. Currently, the situation within many of these nations are that many states create infrastructure throughout the web, with government files, banks and other important data being stored in secure servers. As cyber-attacks continue to destroy, manipulate and damage data within nations, the development of more secure technology is necessary. At first warfare was mostly thought of as fronts comprised of troops heading on against one another. Eventually, technology grew to incorporate the infantry with more mobility and defense, through tanks and aircraft. However, warfare grew to new heights as mechanisms became digitized. Many objects or gadgets that in the past had simple functions are becoming more connected through computers and networks. Although this has evolved into our modern world technology, it has created vulnerabilities of new forms of warfare, known as cyber warfare. Although there are not many documented cases of cyber warfare, with cyber espionage and sabotage being relatively new concepts, nation have created and funded many government sectors to begin focusing on cyber security. With more governments being armed with technology to defend intelligence and Show More

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The Modern Military

Bush Institute Logo.

Cyber Warfare: The New Front

As war has advanced, the battlefield has expanded from land to sea to air.  Now, battles are engaged in a new arena: cyber space.

cyber warfare essay

Warfare has traditionally been executed within easily-defined periods of time and geographic boundaries. Wars are declared and when objectives are achieved or abandoned, the parties return home. These conflicts have been fought on identifiable terrain in the air, on the ground, under the sea, and as of the last 20 years, in space.  

Even the changing tools of war have been easily defined: the rifle, bomb, aircraft, tank, ship, et al. Some of the newer tools, such as the improvised explosive device, are equally tangible and identifiable. 

But the internet and its expansionary nature have opened a whole new domain for attacks and warfare. There are no geographical boundaries and the domains are beyond the reach of traditional norms such as the Geneva Convention.  

This evolution, referred to as cyber warfare, is a game-changer. It changes how we assess our enemies, meet their challenges, and enact policies that match the growth of the cyber domain. To determine the best policies and plans of action, government and civilian entities must cooperate to develop common definitions and goals and implement responses.

[Cyber warfare] changes how we assess our enemies, meet their challenges, and enact policies that match the growth of the cyber domain.

Those affected by the threat include officials who specialize in this area and everyday citizens, whose protection from cyber warfare must be at the forefront of any policy. The cooperation of citizens also is necessary for a successful policy to take root. Technology will always outpace policy, but policymakers can reduce the gap through engaging the public. After all, the internet touches millions of lives each day.

What exactly is cyber warfare?

We need a clear understanding of what the term means and how cyber warfare differs from traditional warfare. Otherwise, it will be impossible to discuss and understand – let alone address – the challenges that the Department of Defense specifically faces as the government responds to warfare in the new digital domain. Those tests involve finding the right policies, technologies, and staffing.  

Unfortunately, no universal definition of cyber warfare exists. Even agreement on a single way to spell the term has proven elusive. Is it “cyber warfare,” “Cyber-Warfare,” “Cyberwarfare,” or “Cyber warfare”?  

The subtle differences reflect a large difference in the word’s connotation. Is the emphasis on “cyber”? Is the emphasis on “war” to reflect an  offensive  focus versus a more conventional  defensive  positioning usually associated with “cybersecurity”? Or, is the term meant to reflect a select type of warfare?  Also, is cyber warfare using digital weapons? Is it only limited to actions taken on a computer? Is it advanced warfare using ever-more intelligent and autonomous weapon systems?   It also is important to differentiate a cyber attack from cyber warfare. Calling it “war” implies a wider scope and longevity. An attack is understood to be a singular event, while war is a series of attacks. 

For this piece, the emphasis will be on using a digital means to attack an opponent – what constitutes an attack and the warranted response. 

Cyber warfare should not be thought of as computer against computer, but a much broader concept. It is an effort through cyber space or using a digital means to attack an opponent. These attacks could range from state-sponsored infiltration with the objective of disrupting information systems, to individual hackers trying to make a political statement or influence outcomes. 

With the advent of non-state-sponsored terrorist organizations and the ubiquity of internet access, offensive cyber attacks have become frequent occurrences at all levels. Reaching agreement on terms and meanings will be critical to achieving and determining how to best deal with this new type of warfare.

Cyber warfare should not be thought of as computer against computer, but a much broader concept. It is an effort through cyber space or using a digital means to attack an opponent.

cyber warfare essay

Changing a traditional view of war 

Cyber warfare stands apart from warfare found in history books or movies of the 1950s and 1960s, where the “good-guys” could see or touch the enemy. In cyber warfare, a sniper does not pull the trigger of a gun; a unit cannot take a hill or invade an island.  Cyber warfare is fought on keyboards with armies of ones and zeros acting like the soldiers executing orders. 

It follows that any policy must stand apart from more traditional methods. Yet the Department of Defense and others have spent billions viewing cyber space and accompanying solutions in more traditional physical terms – likely because that is what is familiar to them. 

A new paradigm must be developed that reflects the realities of cyberspace, which expands the battlefield anywhere to which the internet extends, particularly past the supposedly-safe borders of our homeland and into almost every aspect of our lives.  That so much of business, political, and social activity relies almost exclusively on this technology means escaping the impact of cyber warfare is unlikely. The capacity for a single solution is equally unlikely.

What’s more, definitive attribution of the adversarial act(s) can be difficult or even impossible. A single person can control an army of usually-unwitting computers, making it even more difficult to identify who is behind the actions. 

This makes it challenging to establish traditional defense policies. It is unclear who has what authority to respond in a significant cyber attack, when they respond, and what options leadership can enact.  These variables make it necessary to reach agreement on terminology, actions, and responses. A common understanding of them will ensure we have the political will to address these challenges.

Cyber warfare is also not always surgically-targeted, so the potential of harming those not even involved is great. Once an attack tool is used, it is not spent like a round of ammunition. It can be reused and even aimed against the entity that released it. 

Definitive attribution of the adversarial act(s) can be difficult or even impossible. A single person can control an army of usually-unwitting computers, making it even more difficult to identify who is behind the actions. This makes it challenging to establish traditional defense policies.

Many cyber weapons are based on software vulnerabilities and those vulnerabilities exist on numerous systems. They can affect networks that drive  health care, manufacturing, power generation and distribution, and transportation, among others. 

As a result, it is hard to safeguard the systems used to secure and identify people, especially our military in times of conflict. Biometrics are no longer a fingerprint with ink. They have moved to digital versions and are stored in a digital database.

These modern challenges impact the intelligence our national security and war fighters depend upon. Fortunately, encryption technology mitigates the threats to this information. Yet we must remain vigilant when new advancements threaten to compromise security. 

Is a disruption intelligence gathering or cyber warfare?

There is also an important distinction between cyber warfare and intelligence activities. The United States was aware of spying activities on our soil during the Cold War. The intelligence community tried to observe “dead drops” and other acts of espionage. Those efforts were not seen as an act of war in the same way an attack on U.S. submarines or missiles pointed at American soil would have been. 

Intelligence gathering will continue and even expand as the digital world pervades almost every sphere of influence.  Yet digital intrusions are hard to distinguish between intelligence collection and attempts to intercept (or interrupt) planning for an attack.

For example, an enemy may disrupt a defense system while inserting malicious code to collect information from our systems as part of traditional espionage information-gathering. But the malware also could be intentionally inserted to disrupt and take down the system for more nefarious purposes.

The capacity to determine the difference — or where an exploitation ends and an attack begins — does not exist. Intent is one of the hardest things to know, but how  we define these events matters enormously. The definition will determine the response. If digital events are considered conventional espionage, they may trigger political or legal reviews and approvals. But a digital attack response aimed at disrupting an enemy’s capabilities fall more along traditional military lines.

The focus of cyber warfare will likely remain on disrupting the opponent, as opposed to creating a lethal situation. And it will focus on providing the U.S. an advantage. Cyber warfare also will evolve as the internet evolves, including with the growth of digitally-enabled appliances and everyday items, known as the “internet of things.” 

Similarly, the “internet of military things,” which arises from the increasing connectivity in aircraft, weapons, air defense and communications systems, and personal protective equipment, dictates that we address the offensive and defensive warfare aspects of the evolving cyber struggle. The internet of military things opens the U.S. military up to a new range of weapons, opponents, and threats. 

cyber warfare essay

So, what do we do?

All of these developments present the Department of Defense with a new challenge and beg the question: What will “traditional warfare” mean in 2025 or 2030? 

Warfighters will be operating – and when necessary fighting – seamlessly from undersea, surface, land, air, and space. They will be working with both manned and unmanned systems that perform autonomous operations across land, air, space, and sea. They will be working together to identify and defeat an enemy at the speed of light or in “digital speed.”

The American military does not possess sufficient numbers of skilled operators to counter this growing threat, much less obtain superiority in the cyberspace domain. We will need to train for a different set of skills and knowledge.

The American military does not possess sufficient numbers of skilled operators to counter this growing threat, much less obtain superiority in the cyber space domain. We will need to train for a different set of skills and knowledge.

The tools that will advance U.S. military capabilities are also creating vulnerabilities since they operate on the same internet that is under attack. As U.S. policies evolve and incorporate innovative technologies into defense systems, they need to be designed with an eye towards security.  Developing a strong military without protecting the electrical grids, airports, and railroads at home is short-sighted and will hinder longer-term success. These critical infrastructure components, while not owned by the military, must be part of the planning. They will be a vital part of protecting the U.S. in this era of cyber warfare. 

A proactive planning approach will prove the most effective way to move forward. Now, when the military contemplates responding to a cyber attack, success is largely defined by destroying the physical hard drive or power supply, items which can be easily replaced by attackers. Instead, the focus must be on finding solutions within the network. This will neutralize the adversary more effectively than short-term solutions.

As history has shown, military strategy must adapt to new domains. Cyber space is that next domain. While traditional warfare will continue to exist, technology and cyber operations will aid its methods. 

Cyber warfare could make conventional warfare systems that employ computers and electronics operationally ineffective or obsolete. A traditional system that cannot respond in “digital time” to a multi-pronged threat or that cannot provide protection while attacking others may be of little use in the future.  It would be the equivalent of the Polish Army attempting to use their horse cavalry team against the German armored brigades at the beginning of World War II. Society and warfare have evolved from horses against metal to metal against the matrix.

Going forward, many political and military questions will need to be addressed as we determine how to conduct and respond to cyber warfare. Unanimous agreement is unlikely, but an informed dialogue with the public on these issues is essential. That will pave the way for the compromise and support necessary to establish new policies and principles for this complicated subject of cyber warfare.

As history has shown, military strategy must adapt to new domains. Cyber space is that next domain. While traditional warfare will continue to exist, technology and cyber operations will aid its methods.

cyber warfare essay

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Question The emergence of cyber warfare poses some significant challenges in the application of international Humanitarian Law (IHL). The treaty and customary rules of IHL were primarily designed to apply to kinetic warfare. Critically examine the extent to which the rules of IHL address the challenges arising from cyber warfare.

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cyber warfare essay

Cyber Warfare and Espionage: Country Stance and Solutions

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Cyber warfare

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