Cyber Weaponry pp 171-183 | Cite as

Warfare of the Future

  • Sara M. Smyth
Part of the Advanced Sciences and Technologies for Security Applications book series (ASTSA)


This chapter discusses implications of cyber war with regard to critical infrastructure, primarily arrangements that relate to industrial control systems and processes that operate power, water, communications, manufacturing, and many other essential functions. The chapter explores the potential for disruption, espionage, and sabotage by rogue individuals, states, or sub-state adversaries. It discusses methods to help safeguard against these attacks as well as looking at the technical obstacles that arise because of the integrated nature of government and private-sector networks. The chapter contemplates the laws of armed conflict and the issue of whether a cyber-attack against the United States is of such magnitude to be considered an armed attack, so as to trigger the lawful exercise of the right of self-defence. The intention is to show that cyber-warfare is all-encompassing and cannot easily be categorized into nation-state, military, or civilian categories. The question of whether such attacks constitute the use of force and the lack of clarity around issues of attribution and detection suggests that traditional legal principles governing war need to be reassessed in the new era of cyber-warfare.


Critical infrastructure Industrial control systems Stuxnet virus Zero-day attacks 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.La Trobe University Law SchoolMelbourneAustralia

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