10 Oct 2022


Offensive Cyber-Attack Technology

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Academic level: Master’s

Paper type: Research Paper

Words: 416

Pages: 1

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Technology has evolved tremendously in the 21st century and with it comes the ever growing fear that cyber capabilities can be used to propagate acts of aggression and terror. Attacks of governments have confirmed some of these concerns, private entities and individuals through Distributed Denial of Services (DDoS), infection of systems with malware and Trojans and other mediums of cyber-attacks. However, it remains unlikely that cyber capabilities will be used shortly to execute destructive acts of terror and war. At this point, offensive cyber capacities are only being used to steal or destroy the vital government, company or personal data and for acts of espionage (Rid, 2013).

The core purpose of a cyber-attack is to make the foe’s computer systems inaccessible or compromise their integrity and credibility, thus rendering them useless. A Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) is an effective way when looking to interfere with an adversary’s communication, control and command systems. It is also effective when looking to inhibit an enemy’s air defense mechanisms and take down their smart munitions and weapons platforms. Cyber-attacks are used to deceive both parties during a war. A quintessential example of this aspect is when in 2008, Israeli military hacked into the systems of Al-Aqsa, the Hamas television station and made a broadcast of a cartoon exhibiting the deaths of Hamas’ leadership and a caption that went along with it stating, “Time is running out” (Carr, 2012).

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The other form of cyber warfare is infiltration of web applications, also known as a website defacement. This medium is mostly used by hackers looking to obtain critical and classified information from a company’s database. The targeted repository might contain authentication and credit card data. The perpetrators use Structured Query Language injections (SQLi) and cross-site scripting (XSS) to throw in malware into a form on the website they aim to compromise. Another tactic used in cyber-attacks is infecting an adversary’s or target’s computer systems with malware. The malware, commonly known as viruses come embedded in emails, links and pop-ups that appear on the screen while working on the computer. Once the target opens the links, the computer system becomes infected with the virus, giving the attacker unlimited access to all the information on the hard drives (Clarke & Knake, 2012).

Man in the Middle (MITM) attacks occurs when an attacker impersonates the entity on the receiving end of an online information exchange interface. MITM is used mostly to compromise online banking platforms. It is paramount that everyone implements computer systems security measures and always ensures that they are updated and regularly fortified to cope with the fast-evolving threats in cyber security (Gonzalez, 2015).


Carr, J. (2012). Inside cyber warfare: Beijing: O'Reilly.

Clarke, R. A., & Knake, R. K. (2012). Cyber war: the next threat to national security and what to do about it. New York: Ecco.

Gonzalez, M. (2015). International Perspectives of Cyber Warfare. International Journal of Cyber Warfare and Terrorism, 5 (4), 59-68

Owens, W. A., Dam, K. W., & Lin, H. (2009). Technology, policy, law, and ethics regarding U.S. acquisition and use of cyberattack capabilities. Washington, D.C.: National Academies Press.

Rid, T. (2013). Cyber War Will Not Take Place . London: Hurst.

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