Domains of Information Operations
Information Operations (I.O) has three distinct sections: (Physical, Cognitive and Information). The physical part entails Kinetic warfare that comprises of demolition, physical destruction and abuse of the elements of the intercommunication systems and information infrastructures. Cognitive Warfare primarily prevails in the mind and involves operation security, psychological functioning and military deception network warfare that includes information domain contains: Computer Network Processes and Electronic Warfare (Warren, 2013).
As the primary of Cyber Warfare is the electronic intelligence built on the sensor networks, so is the all-source intelligence the foundation of Information Operations (I.O). “Accordingly, the network warfare completed with its electronic based intelligence is nothing else than all the Cyberspace Operations, with other words: Cyberwarfare.”
Having weapons and possessing the skills put them to use is not enough in war. Imagery and rhetoric are significant too. They are important in constructing the bad and the good, legalising one’s activities and influencing events and the outcomes of a conflict. The cyber age has begun to recognise the significance of perception management as an arm of war (Armistead, 2010).
Perception matters tremendously: Perception of us, our environment, the opponent, the situation of the opponent, us, and the public. Perception determines how each player will act. If one can influence the opponents policy objectives or persuade the front by changing perceptions, he or she can have an enormous influence on the battlefield. The cyber age has extended the battleground to cover the whole society and has involved the globe in its audience (Andress, Winterfeld, & Rogers, 2011).
Information Operations, the tool for falsifying perceptions, are integral to cyber war. Disinformation campaigns and propaganda can both delude the enemy and influence what the public perceive to be true. For example, the notion of the Minds and Hearts operations is aiming at making America and US values appetising to the targets.
Furthermore to disseminating information, denial of access to information is a tool in cyber warfare. Information Warfare does not exist only advance one’s message, but also to bar or interrupt the flow of antagonising ideas. However, in the cyber epoch, control of information flow is complex and at times impossible (Warren, 2013).
The pervasive existence of the mass media has made governments to learn about the significance of perception management in a hard way. Due to the advancement in technology, opportunities for social media have made us intermediates, producers and also objects of Information War. Any information, be it facts or rumours, spreads faster and free in the cyber age.
There are three key important things to note about cyber war and information operations. First, drawing the boundary between preparing for cyber warfare and the real fighting is hard. We exist in the thin area between peace and war.
Secondly, dynamic cyber operations can evoke any conflict. The cyberspace has always been a battlefield in the recent conflicts, yet it is hard to say to what extent and how this activity affects the conflict’s results or logic. For instance, Israel has put much emphasis on social media of late. “Social media police” have elevated national objectives on domains usually related with the exchange of information among citizens.
Thirdly, the intelligence groups use cyberspace to get and manipulate information. Information War not only affect public opinion but also what people take to be the truth in any exchange of information.The high levels of decision making in the political arena increases information manipulation. Today, the manipulation of perception is already fussed with intelligence and military deception, cyber espionage, and destructive or disruptive cyber operations. Therefore, the cyber war information domain is significant to advance an organisation’s or nation’s goals (Bourque, 2007).
Cyberwar can be defensive and offensive. The defensive Cyberwar provides access to information based processes and information in its networked information systems and assures efficient use of the systems. It belittles the susceptibility of its networked information systems and lowers the interference among them. The accorded use of effective cyber defence enables the protection of cyber systems from service denial from illegal access, modification or jamming.
However, offensive cyber war has two functions: To detect and to influence and destroy the webbed information systems of opponents. The attacker averts the information security rules-discovers the communication schemes accesses the computer networks and gets into the various databases to acquire useful information. He or she can make use of jamming signals, misguiding information and malicious software (malware), to alter, erase significant data of the opponent or chose to clog the system with misguiding information (Winterfeld & Andress, 2013).
Via the implosive advancement in information technology, the purpose of data based war in military activities will grow. The operation fields and the ranges of the army will outburst further, and the information battle arena established. The information battleground is an operation atmosphere of the data operations whereby its tree proportions can be defined (Cognitive, physical and information dimension).
However, technology competition will arise in which may disadvantage the less advanced nations, and the most advanced ones will take advantage of the less fortunate. In this case, many nations may lose their space and hence the loss sovereignty. In adverse levels, lack of privacy in a nation may breed bitterness and later yielding attacks against the opposing forces.
Deception is the attempts to mislead enemy forces during warfare usually achieved by making or amplifying an Artificial fog of war through psychological operations, information warfare, visual deception and other methods. Network warfare that realizes in the information dimension and contains the following: electronic warfare and computer network operations.
As the all-source intelligence is the basis of the information war so is the electronic based intelligence that built on the Sensor networks. Network warfare finished with the electronic based intelligence is nothing else than all the cyberspace operations, in other words: cyber warfare.
Operations security is the process that identifies critical information to determine if adversary intelligence systems can observe friendly actions, determines if information obtained by antagonists could be interpreted to be of good use to them, and then executes selected measures that eliminate or reduce adversary exploitation of friendly critical information.
Psychological operations are planned operations to convey indicators and selected information to foreign audiences to mould their emotions, objective reasoning, motives and ultimately the behavior of foreign governments, organizations, groups, and individuals.
Network warfare operations are the integration of the military capabilities of network attack, network warfare support, and network defense.