Understanding Cyber Warfare : Politics, Policy and Strategy book cover
1st Edition

Understanding Cyber Warfare
Politics, Policy and Strategy

ISBN 9781138640627
Published December 19, 2018 by Routledge
306 Pages 4 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

This textbook offers an accessible introduction to the historical, technical, and strategic context of cyber conflict.

The international relations, policy, doctrine, strategy, and operational issues associated with computer network attack, computer network exploitation, and computer network defense are collectively referred to as cyber warfare. This new textbook provides students with a comprehensive perspective on the technical, strategic, and policy issues associated with cyber conflict as well as an introduction to key state and non-state actors.

Specifically, the book provides a comprehensive overview of these key issue areas:

    • the historical emergence and evolution of cyber warfare, including the basic characteristics and methods of computer network attack, exploitation, and defense;
    • a theoretical set of perspectives on conflict in the digital age from the point of view of international relations (IR) and the security studies field;
    • the current national perspectives, policies, doctrines, and strategies relevant to cyber warfare; and
    • an examination of key challenges in international law, norm development, and the potential impact of cyber warfare on future international conflicts.

This book will be of much interest to students of cyber conflict and other forms of digital warfare, security studies, strategic studies, defense policy, and, most broadly, international relations.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction

2. From Bytes to Fights: The Technological Foundations of Insecurity in the Digital Age

3. Cyberspace and International Relations

4. Exploitation: From Signals Intelligence to Cyber Warriors

5. Attack: From Exploitation to Offensive Cyber Operations 

6. A Brief History of Major Cyber Conflict Episodes 

7. States at Cyberwar: The Dynamics of Interstate Cyber Interactions 

8. Cyber Conflict as ‘Not War’

9. Non-State Actors: Terrorism, Subversion and Activism Online 

10. National Experiences with Cyber-Security: Realization and Institutional Development  

11. Norms, Ethics and International Law for Offensive Cyber Operations 

12. The Future of Cyber Conflict

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Christopher Whyte is an Assistant Professor of Homeland Security & Emergency Preparedness at the L. Douglas Wilder School of Government & Public Affairs, Virginia Commonwealth University, USA.

Brian Mazanec is a Professor at Missouri State University’s Department of Defense and Strategic Studies, USA. He is the author of The Evolution of Cyber War (2015) and co-author of Deterring Cyber Warfare (2014).


'This book is an important summary and tour-de-force of historical and contemporary Cyber issues. It is a go-to comprehensive reference for both students and policymakers interested in perhaps the most transcendent strategic topic of our time. The authors of this book have captured the core essence and components of this story.'--Admiral William O. Studeman USN (Ret.), Former Director NSA and Deputy Director CIA

'This book is an absolute must-read for anyone looking to learn more about the critically important threat of cyber warfare. This text helps prepare readers for how to think about the historical, technical, and strategic context of conflict in this emerging new domain.'--Samantha F. Ravich, Chair, Transformative Cyber Innovation Lab, and Principal Investigator, Cyber-Enabled Economic Warfare Project 

'This remarkable effort represents the true first textbook of cyber conflict. The volume avoids the hype and bluster of the typical comprehensive accounts to accurately survey the issues, facts, and problems inherent in the cyber domain. A sure must-adopt for anyone teaching a cyber-security course.'--Brandon Valeriano, Donald Bren Chair of Armed Politics, Marine Corps University, USA