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Abstract

This research brief describes work documented in Strategic Information Warfare: A New Face of War (MR-661-OSD).

Excerpt: National security is becoming progressively more dependent on and identified with assets related to the "information revolution." As part of this revolution, both defense and civilian activities are becoming more heavily dependent on computers and communications, and a variety of key information systems are becoming more densely and extensively interlinked. With the many benefits of the information revolution have also come vulnerabilities. Civilian data encryption and system protection are rudimentary. Talented computer hackers in distant countries may be able to gain access to large portions of the information infrastructure underlying both U.S. economic well-being and defense logistics and communications. Current or potential adversaries may also gain access through foreign suppliers to the software encoded in U.S. transportation and other infrastructure systems. We could thus one day see actions equivalent to strategic attack on targets of national value within the U.S. homeland and on essential national security components and capabilities. In short, there will exist the capability for strategic information warfare.

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