Cyberwarfare is a broad term describing the use of technological force within cyberspace.

‘Cyberwarfare’ does not imply scale, protraction or violence which are typically associated with the term ‘war’. There is significant debate among experts regarding the definition of Cyberwarfare, and even if such a thing exists.

The term ‘Cyberwarfare’ is a misnomer, to date, no offensive cyber actions could be described as ‘war’.

Introduction

‘Cyberwarfare’ is used in a board context to denote interstate use of technological force within computer networks in which information is stored, shared or communicated online.

The term warfare has significant differences over the term ‘war’, which invokes ideas of scale and protraction. Cyberwarfare is also distinct if closely related to, ‘cyber espionage’, ‘cyber terrorism’ and ‘cybercrime’.

The term and its definition remain the subject of debate and no absolute definition is widely agreed.

Cyberwarfare vs. Cyber War

The term ‘cyberwarfare’ is distinct from the term ‘cyberwar’. Cyberwarfare includes techniques, tactics, and procedures which may be involved in a cyberwar. As discussed, the term war inherently refers to a large scale action, typically over a protracted period of time and may include objectives seeking to utilize violence or the aim to kill.

A cyberwar could accurately describe a protracted period of back-and-forth cyber attacks (including in combination with traditional military action) between nations.