Cyber weapons are computer codes designed to cause physical, functional, or psychological harm to structures, systems, or living beings. They can perform actions that would typically require a human agent, such as surveillance, data theft, and destruction, and can potentially destabilize international relations.
Despite being software, cyber weapons are often associated with causing physical or functional damage to the system they attack. However, there is no official consensus on what constitutes a cyber weapon. Financial gain for the sponsor is not the primary goal of these types of agents, but cyber weapons certainly result in direct or indirect financial harm to the target group.
In 2010, the malicious computer worm Stuxnet demonstrated how computer code could be weaponized for political effect, leading to increased discussion of cyber weapons and their regulation. While most analyses focus on developing global institutions and regimes to regulate their use, existing governance efforts in this field also constitute an emerging global governance architecture for offensive cyber capabilities.
What is a cyber weapon?
A cyber weapon is a computer code designed to cause physical, functional, or psychological harm to structures, systems, or living beings.
What kind of harm can cyber weapons cause?
Cyber weapons can cause a range of harm, including surveillance, data theft, and physical or functional destruction of systems.
What was the impact of Stuxnet?
The malicious computer worm Stuxnet demonstrated how computer code could be weaponized for political effect, leading to increased discussion of cyber weapons and their regulation.
The emergence of cyber weapons in modern-day warfare has the potential to destabilize international relations and cause significant harm. While there is ongoing discussion surrounding their regulation and governance, it’s clear that cyber weapons are a significant concern for governments and organizations around the world.