Cyberwarfare and its Effects on Critical Infrastructure


  • Humairaa Yacoob Bhaiyat University of Johannesburg, South Africa
  • Siphesihle Philezwini Sithungu University of Johannesburg, South Africa



: cyberattack, cyberwarfare, critical infrastructure, critical information infrastructure, effects, SCADA systems, cyberattack, cyberwarfare, critical infrastructure, critical in


The growth and capabilities of cyberspace have brought about many advantages to societies. Individuals and businesses have used cyberspace for easier communication, but nation-states also utilise it to improve the functioning of their critical infrastructure. Critical infrastructures provide vital services such as the health, safety and security needed for the efficient functioning of societies. However, vulnerabilities in cyberspace have made cyberattacks such as cyberwarfare possible. Cyberwarfare is an international concern due to the negative impact it can have on critical infrastructure. This paper aims to discuss cyberwarfare and the potential effects that it can have on critical infrastructure. This paper follows a theoretical research methodology to provide an understanding of cyberwarfare. In addition, the paper provides a better understanding of the impact that cyberwarfare can have on critical infrastructure. The paper contains an exhaustive definition of cyberwarfare. Since cyberwarfare is a type of cyberattack, it is similar but not the same as other cyberattacks such as cybercrime and cyberterrorism. Therefore, to gain a clear understanding of cyberwarfare, the paper discusses cyberwarfare, cybercrime, and cyberterrorism. The paper also discusses some of the most significant cyberwarfare incidents. Since the effects can be devastating, critical infrastructure must be protected from cyberwarfare. A survey of techniques for protecting critical infrastructure from cyberwarfare is presented. The identified incidents highlight the effects that cyberwarfare can cause. Hence, the possible effects that cyberwarfare can cause on critical infrastructure is discussed. Due to the negative effects of cyberwarfare, nations need to be prepared to protect their critical infrastructure from cyberwarfare. Therefore, the paper also discusses the authors’ stance on South Africa preparedness to defend themselves in the event of cyberwarfare.