© 2019

Waging Cyber War

Technical Challenges and Operational Constraints


  • The first book to describe the hands-on technical challenges to those conducting cyber warfare

  • Provides a unique analogy to drive home how cyber warfare should be understood and why it is a challenge to leverage in a war-fighting domain

  • Teaches what it means to utilize cyber constructs within the international convention and legal constraints of warfare


Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xvii
  2. Jacob G. Oakley
    Pages 1-12
  3. Jacob G. Oakley
    Pages 13-24
  4. Jacob G. Oakley
    Pages 25-39
  5. Jacob G. Oakley
    Pages 41-55
  6. Jacob G. Oakley
    Pages 57-70
  7. Jacob G. Oakley
    Pages 71-86
  8. Jacob G. Oakley
    Pages 87-100
  9. Jacob G. Oakley
    Pages 101-114
  10. Jacob G. Oakley
    Pages 115-129
  11. Jacob G. Oakley
    Pages 131-142
  12. Jacob G. Oakley
    Pages 143-155
  13. Jacob G. Oakley
    Pages 157-168
  14. Jacob G. Oakley
    Pages 169-179
  15. Jacob G. Oakley
    Pages 181-185
  16. Back Matter
    Pages 187-192

About this book


Understand the challenges of implementing a cyber warfare strategy and conducting cyber warfare. This book addresses the knowledge gaps and misconceptions of what it takes to wage cyber warfare from the technical standpoint of those with their hands on the keyboard.

You will quickly appreciate the difficulty and complexity of executing warfare within the cyber domain. Included is a detailed illustration of cyber warfare against the backdrop of national and international policy, laws, and conventions relating to war.

Waging Cyber War details technical resources and activities required by the cyber war fighter. Even non-technical readers will gain an understanding of how the obstacles encountered are not easily mitigated and the irreplaceable nature of many cyber resources.

You will walk away more informed on how war is conducted from a cyber perspective, and perhaps why it shouldn’t be waged. And you will come to know how cyber warfare has been covered unrealistically, technically misrepresented, and misunderstood by many.

What You’ll Learn:

  • Understand the concept of warfare and how cyber fits into the war-fighting domain
  • Be aware of what constitutes and is involved in defining war and warfare as well as how cyber fits in that paradigm and vice versa
  • Discover how the policies being put in place to plan and conduct cyber warfare reflect a lack of understanding regarding the technical means and resources necessary to perform such actions
  • Know what it means to do cyber exploitation, attack, and intelligence gathering; when one is preferred over the other; and their specific values and impacts on each other
  • Be familiar with the need for, and challenges of, enemy attribution
  • Realize how to develop and scope a target in cyber warfare
  • Grasp the concept of self-attribution: what it is, the need to avoid it, and its impact
  • See what goes into establishing the access from which you will conduct cyber warfare against an identified target
  • Appreciate how association affects cyber warfare
  • Recognize the need for resource resilience, control, and ownership
  • Walk through the misconceptions and an illustrative analogy of why cyber warfare doesn't always work as it is prescribed


Cybersecurity Cyber warfare Cyber operations Warfare Information security Cyber CNA Computer network exploitation CNE Act of war Declaration of war

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Owens Cross RoadsUSA

About the authors

Dr. Jacob G. Oakley spent over seven years in the US Marines and was one of the founding members of the operational arm of Marine Corps Forces Cyberspace Command, leaving that unit as the senior Marine Corps operator and a technical lead. After his enlistment he wrote and taught an advanced computer operations course, eventually returning back to mission support. He later left government contracting to do threat emulation and red teaming at a private company for commercial clients, serving as principal penetration tester and director of penetration testing and cyber operations. He is currently working as a cyber SME for a government customer. He completed his doctorate in IT at Towson University researching and developing offensive cyber security methods. He is the author of the book Professional Red Teaming (Apress, 2019) and the technical reviewer of the book Cyber Operations, Second edition (Apress, 2019), by Mike O’Leary.

Bibliographic information

Industry Sectors
IT & Software
Finance, Business & Banking