Cyber warfare is a covert conflict. It encompasses attempts to harm a nation’s computers or information networks by nation-states, international terrorist groups, or non-state actors using, for example, computer viruses or denial-of-service assaults. It has the capacity to destroy civilian and governmental infrastructure and interfere with vital systems, causing harm to the state and possibly deaths.
The US Department of Defense (DoD) acknowledges the danger that hostile Internet use poses to national security, but it doesn’t give a more precise definition of cyber warfare. The objective is to weaken the target country or entity by compromising its core systems. It may be used for a variety of purposes including espionage, sabotage, denial-of-service attacks, propaganda, administrative disruption, financial disruption, and surprise cyberattacks.
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Cyber attacks have been famously used against various targets. However, some of the famous attacks have been studied across the globe because of their impact and the methods employed. In 2010, Stuxnet, a well-known cyberattack, was used to physically harm an adversary’s industrial infrastructure. According to reports, it was used for the Iranian nuclear program. Russia damaged Ukraine’s electoral commission and launched a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack on it in March 2014. Chinese hackers stole millions of documents from the US Office of Personnel Management in 2015. (OPM). Additionally, the ransomware NotPetya was weaponized and used to strike Ukraine in 2017.
Rise of Anonymous:
Hacking group Anonymous claims to represent both everyone and nobody. It is a group with members spread out over the world that conducts cyber “operations” against people, organizations, and governments they deem unfriendly and provides “help” to victims.
The organization is well-known for its assistance to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, Taiwan in its conflict with China, and Ukraine in its conflict with Russia. With the aim of promoting internet openness and bragging about hacks on corporations, governments, and spy agencies, the hacktivist alliance emerged from the 4chan online message board in 2003. The hackers have used DDoS attacks and doxing to disable government sites, vandalize commercial websites, and target high-profile figures. Their symbol is the Guy Fawkes mask, a nod to anarchy as Fawkes tried to blow up the British Houses of Parliament in 1605.
The group Anonymous professes to have an “anti-oppression” objective, and its operations frequently coincide with significant political events. Attacks are merely carried out under the name “Anonymous,” and there is no established organization or leadership.
From an attack on the Mexican Army website in 2013 to Operation Hong Kong in 2014, pro-Taiwan hacking in 2020, and presently Russia’s conflict in Ukraine, Anonymous actions have frequently had political undertones. They similarly helped Arabs during the well-known Arab Spring.
The group has previously carried out cyberattacks against the CIA, FBI, Church of Scientology, and the Islamic State. Even though it faced a lot of arrests in the US in the early 2010s. The Federal Bureau of Investigation carried out the arrests of 16 people across the country in connection with strikes carried out against various companies exposed in WikiLeaks cables. Though it resumed its operations. Because of the situation in Ukraine, Russia is the current subject of attention. The gang has recently launched significant cyberattacks against Russian targets. The organization has taken responsibility for a number of cyber events, including widespread denial-of-service operations that have taken down the official websites of the Kremlin, the Ministry of Defense, and Russia Today, the state-run news outlet.
Though, the group has carried out attacks against various targets since 2003. It has undergone many changes. The group has loose agendas which vary from the hacker to hacker in the group. Similarly, many of the hackers are not strictly linked with groups. It has also faced various challenges, especially from the US which authorities believe is necessary to keep a check on group activities.