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What is cyberwarfare?

Residents of Pennsylvania may have heard the word cyberwarfare in the past. The definition of cyberwarfare is any attack done in a virtual setting that is almost always politically motivated. There are several different types of acts that would qualify as cyberwarfare. For example, an entity may try to sabotage its enemy's financial or military system by hacking into a computer network.

Doing so may enable the attacking entity the ability to disrupt potentially vital communications or power systems. Another possible goal of cyberwarfare is to break into a secure network to steal sensitive information. It may be possible to acquire data that may be used for political or financial gain. In addition to getting information from a network, a hacker may be able to shut that network down.

As hackers grow more sophisticated, companies and government agencies are becoming more aware of the risks that hacking presents. They will often run tests in which they try to hack into their own networks to see if there are any flaws or critical vulnerabilities. After the test is complete, the network will be upgraded to hopefully defend against these vulnerabilities in the future. Doing so will become increasingly important in the future as experts believe digital attacks will become commonplace.

Stealing information from a virtual network may carry the same penalties as stealing money from a bank or any other institution. Therefore, it may be beneficial for anyone charged with an Internet crime to seek the counsel of a criminal defense attorney who may be able to negotiate a plea in the case or take steps to have the admissibility of certain evidence challenged.

Source: Techopedia, "Cyberwarfare", Cory Janssen, October 27, 2014

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