Computer network attack
(1) (m) “Computer network attack” means operations to manipulate, disrupt, deny, degrade, or destroy information resident in computers and computer networks, or the computer net-work itself, or to gain control over the computer or computer network.
- Computer network attack (CNA) is a form of “information operations”. In their broad meaning, information operations are defined as “[t]he integrated employment of the core capabilities of electronic warfare, computer network operations, psychological operations, military deception, and operations security, in concert with specified supporting and related capabilities, to influence, disrupt, corrupt or usurp adversarial human and automated decision making while protecting our own.”
- The essence of CNA is that a data stream is relied on to execute the operation against the targeted system. Thus, the means and methods used set CNA apart from other forms of information operations. CNA operations vary widely. They include, for instance, gaining access to a computer system so as to acquire complete or partial control over it; transmitting viruses to destroy or alter data; using logic bombs that sit idle in a system until triggered on the occasion of a particular occurrence or at a set time; inserting worms that reproduce themselves upon entry to a system thereby overloading the network; employing sniffers to monitor and/or seize data; securing entry into a system in order to manipulate data, for instance by altering, deleting, or adding to it, and simply penetrating a system to observe data resident therein.
- A CNA can be directed against an individual computer, specific computers within a network, or an entire computer network.
- The term “attack” in “computer network attack” is not meant to necessarily imply that all such operations constitute an attack as that term is used elsewhere in this Manual (see definition of “attack” as set forth in Rule 1 (e)). Some CNA operations may rise to the level of an attack as defined in Rule 1 (e), whereas others will not (see paragraph 7 of the Commentary on Rule 1 (e)).
- DoD Dictionary of Military Terms, at 260 – 261.