Cyberwarfare is already here and has been scaling up among countries or organizations over the past decade. Future cyberwarfare will continue to scale up attacks against governments, corporations, special interest groups and even civilians in the next 10 years where it will be on par with traditional military attacks such as ground and air attacks and in the coming 15 years will surpass these tactics.
As the world becomes more wired and global by the nanosecond, Russia, China, the U. S., Israel, North Korea, Iran and a few other countries not only to prepare against cyber attacks but are launching operations through cyberspace as we speak, so to speak.
And future cyberwarfare will not just be targeted against military agencies or other government agencies such as the NSA, CIA, FBI and Department of Homeland Security. Computer viruses, denial of service attacks and other Internet based hacking, espionage and attacking will take place against Wall Street and Main Street as well.
Just as the case of 9/11 in the U. S. where a financial center was targeted, so too will future cyber attacks be focused. Bringing down the New York Stock Exchange or NASDAQ would be a prime target for some other countries or groups. Just like the War on Terror is a global war so is cyberwarfare.
Moonlight Maze, Titan Rain and Ghostnet attacks over the past decade have shown that cyber attacks are real and happening now. In fact, many U. S. officials consider specific kinds of cyber attacks a call for war, as in air and ground war.
Future cyberwarfare will be conducted against the electrical power grid, affecting Main Street, Wall Street and the U. S. military simultaneously. Nuclear power plants may also be targeted in hopes of the destructive impact of a major meltdown.
Sabotaging servers, satellites, modes of transportation and communications from halfway around the globe with a high degree of deniability is an attractive way to confront one’s enemies. Many large corporations in the U. S. have to defend against 1,000’s of cyber attacks a day keeping hackers and those wanting to do corporate espionage at bay. Also corporate competitors have a vested interest in seeing their rivals business is disrupted so it is likely corporate to corporate attacks are also occurring.
It is estimated the corporate cyber attacks go way underreported since big business does not typically want to seem weak or vulnerable to customers or shareholders.
In the future, the military itself will also merge with other agencies adept at computer warfare. Jamming radar, disabling infrared detection, silencing lasers and other future weapons may be accomplished with cyberwarfare.
Planting viruses on foreign computers that both relay intelligence, then act as a virus to destroy data will continue to grow in popularity. Rogue, lone hackers, who were once on the fringe of society, will be mainstreamed into U. S. military defensive and offensive positions.
In the future the Pentagon’s U.S. Cyber Command department will expand as the need for military personnel on the ground decreases. The Department of Homeland Security will also expand its powers with programmers and security experts.
China and Russia who used to be two of the largest threats from nuclear proliferation have now turned to cyber attack proliferation and in the future this will expand exponentially. With nuclear war there is a low degree of deniability as to where the bombs originated. With cyberwarfare there is a much higher degree of deniability which makes this a more attractive type of attack.
Future cyberwarfare will in some ways even the playing field for some smaller countries. With the use of cheap computers and enough brain power a country doesn’t have to have a large standing military presence.
Quantum technology including artificial intelligence and computational neural networks used by future computers will not only reign in a new era of power and communications, but will also open the door for cybercrimes, attacks and warfare. Will you be ready?