Age of cyber warfare is 'dawning'
Cyber war has moved from fiction to fact, says a report.
Compiled by security firm McAfee, it bases its conclusion on analysis of recent net-based attacks.
Analysis of the motives of the actors behind many attacks carried out via the internet showed that many were mounted with a explicitly political aim.
It said that many nations were now arming to defend themselves in a cyber war and readying forces to conduct their own attacks.
While definitions of what constitutes cyber war are not shared, it was clear that many nations were preparing for a future in which conflict was partly conducted via the net.
"There are at least five countries known to be arming themselves for this kind of conflict," said Greg Day, primary analyst for security at McAfee Europe.
The UK, Germany, France, China and North Korea are known to be developing their own capabilities.
The US is known to have an operating manual governing the rules and procedures of how it can use cyber warfare tactics. It is known to have used hack attacks alongside ground operations during the Iraq war and has continued to use this cyber capability while policing the nation.
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