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Word Count: 1,653
INFORMATION has always been a crucial element in war But it was during the Gulf War in the early 90s that a new dimension to warfare was added -- information warfare The CNN broadcast worldwide how a comparatively smaller and less expensive military force could overcome a larger force by gathering information Nations all over the world sat up and acknowledged the fact that information warfare had truly arrived Information Warfare is seen by most as a war fought over computer networks where legions of hackers are looking for chinks in the enemys computer system and trying to bombard them with hordes of viruses worms logic bombs and Trojan horses Information warfare is also perceived as psychological manipulation through the media The military version of IW includes command and control warfare intelligence -based warfare and electronic warfare while hacking into the enemys vital infrastructure networks like banking railways and airlines or information manipulation by mass media are non-military form of information warfare Both hacker-warfare and information manipulation are vital forms of IW and can be used as tremendous force multipliers in a conflict Hacking has a mysterious undertone to it and is an extremely misunderstood profession Fundamentally hackers are a breed of highly intelligent software programmers who are truly creative in nature Authors of malicious viruses and worms like Melissa I love you or Lovebug were virus writers and not hackers Mafiaboy -- the 13-year-old boy who defaced the CNN website --was again a cracker and not a hacker For the purpose of convenience or probably our fascination for the term we have termed all kinds of illegal computer activity as hacking It may come as a surprise to most that the information revolution we are witnessing today would not have been possible without the contributions from some of the famous hackers of the last century The C programming language and the UNIX operating system owe their origin to Dennis Ritchie
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