The referred article describes various examples of internet-based conflicts. Some of these fall under criminal category while others are non-criminal. Here are the listed conflicts and their classification.
The Kosovo and NATO conflict of 1999 was to some extent characterized by internet warfare. In this conflict, the Yugoslavian side was under heavy bombardment from the NATO forces. In the midst of the conflict, Yugoslav hackers attacked a NATO website using viruses and spam emails on a daily basis, therefore overloading it with these intrusions. In this same conflict, Serbian supporters jammed selected websites within the United States. In addition, these supporters used the internet to give warnings on NATO attacks as well as to offer messages of support. When the People’s Republic of China-PRC was lured into the conflict, it reacted by attacking the White House website. This was after NATO bombed the PRC embassy in Belgrade. This is a good example of non-criminal cyber attack. Both sides were already in conflict with each other and the attacks were only used by to gain advantage. In addition, none of the attacks was profit-motivated and that makes them non-criminal in nature.
The other attack was during the Gulf War when Netherlands based hackers had offered to assist Iraq by attacking and penetrating coalition networks, even though their offer was rejected. If the Iraq side had accepted the hackers’ offer, then the attack would still not have been criminal. This is because the motivation of the attack was more political than financial in nature. However, if the hackers were not in any way politically affiliated, this attack would have been considered to be criminal in nature.
In another attack, the Pentagon’s network was hacked by invaders who tried to cover their tracks through intrusion. Since the attackers failed to identify themselves or reveal their mission, the intrusion can be classified as a criminal attack.
In yet another attack in 1998, a planned military air strike was almost compromised. If the attack came from the opposing side in this particular conflict, then the attack would have been classified as non-criminal. If the attack was from parties irrelevant to the conflict, then it would be classified as criminal.
The 1999 Mellissa and Chernobyl virus attacks are perfect examples of criminal attacks. This is because they were aimed at causing financial harm to their victims. In addition, they were the main source of the terrorist activities that followed.
Cyber Warfare and the Iraq War
The Iraq war is a good example of a modeled conflict. Modern warfare is almost certainly consisted of internet warfare. Although the Iraq war was not fronted as an internet-based war, there is evidence pointing towards the use of internet-based resources.
In a report to congress, General David Petraus had indicated that the war was also being fought on the internet (ABC News, 2007). In his argument, he stated that there was need to...