The definition of hybrid war is frequently reduced to a composition of kinetic and cyber warfare to simplify the discussion. Lessened to two components and in the absence of the real-world examples of hybrid war (until recently), it was often argued that cyberwafare, or precisely attacks on various critical infrastructures, had a potential of having a cardinal role at times of significant conflicts with combat operations
This talk will take the audience on an intellectual journey into the intricacies of cyber-physical attacks. This type of attack aims at physical systems and infrastructures which are controlled by modern computing elements and networks. On the example of the current theatre of war and historical cyber operation in Ukraine (with few detours to relevant international events), it will be shown cyber-physical operations are more frequently opportunistic than strategic as well as may not always yield desired impact. The discussion will revolve around military terms such as “strategy” and “tactic” as well as exploitation characteristics such as “reliability” and “time-to-result”. Based on first-hand experiences, specific examples and hard facts, the talk will cover a wide range of factors which impact the success of cyber-physical operations and explains why the role cyber warfare in real military operations might have been (significantly) overestimated.
This talk is not meant to enforce opinions, instead it is aimed at stimulating audiences' independent thinking and reasoning about current and future hybrid warfare topics.