Title: Digital Warfare: Using Malicious Computer Code As A Weapon

Subject: Strategies for employing digital data warfare.

Author(s): Lawrence G. Downs, Jr.; James R. Brungess (Faculty Advisor)


Abstract: Digital Data Warfare (DDW) is an emerging field that has great potential as a means to meet military, political, economic, and personal objectives. Distinguished from the "hacker" variety of malicious computer code, by its predictable nature and the ability to target specific systems, DDW provides the hacker with the means to deny, degrade, decieve, and/or exploit a targeted system. The five phases of DDW attack--penetration, propogation, dormancy, execution, and termination, are presented for the first time by the author in this paper.

The nature allows it to be used in the stategic, operational, and tactical warfare roles. Three questions should be considered when developing a strategy for employing DDW: (1) Who should control the employment of DDW? (2) What types of systems should be targeted, and (3) Under what circumstances should DDW be used?

Finally, a brief overview of possible countermeasures against DDW is provided as well as an outline of an effective information system security program that would provide a defense against DDW.

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Last updated 1996 Dec 16
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