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Use of digital attacks against a nation / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Cyberwarfare is the use of cyber attacks against an enemy state, causing comparable harm to actual warfare and/or disrupting vital computer systems.[1] Some intended outcomes could be espionage, sabotage, propaganda, manipulation or economic warfare.

There is significant debate among experts regarding the definition of cyberwarfare, and even if such a thing exists.[2] One view is that the term is a misnomer, since no cyber attacks to date could be described as war.[3] An alternative view is that it is a suitable label for cyber attacks which cause physical damage to people and objects in the real world.[4]

Many countries including the United States, United Kingdom, Russia, China, Israel, Iran, and North Korea[5][6][7][8] have active cyber capabilities for offensive and defensive operations. As states explore the use of cyber operations and combine capabilities, the likelihood of physical confrontation and violence playing out as a result of, or part of, a cyber operation is increased. However, meeting the scale and protracted nature of war is unlikely, thus ambiguity remains.[9]

The first instance of kinetic military action used in response to a cyber-attack resulting in the loss of human life was observed on 5 May 2019, when the Israel Defense Forces targeted and destroyed a building associated with an ongoing cyber-attack.[10][11]