Journal d'investigation en ligne et d'information‑hacking
par KheOps

Cyberwar?

Cyberwar is something that is regularly mentioned in the media, especially after DDoS attacks or defaces on well-known websites. We all know what a war is: it basically refers to groups of people who physically fight using weapons. Nowadays, wars often involve countries' armies and paramilitary entities. What about cyberwar, then? Do authors who mention it know what they mean? Would they be able to define it, at least in fuzzy way?

Cyberwar is something that is regularly mentioned in the media, especially after DDoS attacks or defaces on well-known websites. We all know what a war is: it basically refers to groups of people who physically fight using weapons. Nowadays, wars often involve countries' armies and paramilitary entities. What about cyberwar, then? Do authors who mention it know what they mean? Would they be able to define it, at least in fuzzy way? Am I a cyberwarrior (or cyberterrorist, or whatever) if I keep pressing my "F5" key to make my browser emit numerous requests to the same website?

In accordance with the events that lead writers to mention it, let us assume that cyberwar refers to (at least) the actions of doing a DDoS, defacing a website and hacking into a system in order to extract and possibly release personal information (this is called a DoX).

Let us also recall that Internet simply consists in a huge set of devices using cables, radio waves and sometimes pigeons to send data to one another, data itself being nothing more than a sequence of bits.

Knowing this, a DDoS is nothing but the convergence of several flows of bits into a bigger one, with the result of disabling a computer because it is unable to cope with such a big quantity of data. It can be seen as a virtual massive sit-in in the way it overwhelms the service.

A website defacement consits in replacing a file by another inside the computer hosting the website so that the new file is displayed to...