The Purpose of Cyberwarfare
The main purpose of cyberwarfare is to gain advantage over adversaries, whether they are nations or competitors.
A nation can continuously invade other nation’s infrastructure, steal defense secrets, and gather information about technology to narrow the gaps in its industries and military. Besides industrial and militaristic espionage, cyberwar can sabotage the infrastructure of other nations and cost lives in the targeted nations. For example, an attack can disrupt the power grid of a major city. Traffic would be disrupted. The exchange of goods and services is halted. Patients cannot get the care needed in emergency situations. Access to the Internet may also be disrupted. By affecting the power grid, the attack can affect the everyday life of ordinary citizens.
Furthermore, compromised sensitive data can give the attackers the ability to blackmail personnel within the government. The information may allow an attacker to pretend to be an authorized user to access sensitive information or equipment.
If the government cannot defend against the cyberattacks, the citizens may lose confidence in the government’s ability to protect them. Cyberwarfare can destabilize a nation, disrupt commerce, and affect the citizens’ faith in their government without ever physically invading the targeted nation.