Return to Information Warfare Tutorial Intro/Contents

IW Weapons



Viruses are computer programs that can infect systems and cause damage. They are usually hidden within safe-looking programs (usually shareware or freeware).

The advent of more sophisticated applications such as Microsoft Word have provided a home for a macro virus, (a sequence of macro commands up to no good) which usually only infects the documents of the applications where it resides.

There are a number of effective commercial, shareware, and freeware programs available that can eliminate the threat. But they usually play catch-up. A virus must first be identified and its signature catalogued before a virus program can detect its presence and eliminate it.

Back to module 6.

Trojan Horses

A computer program that enables the disseminator of the program to access the system that interacts with the program. A Trojan horse is different from a virus in that a virus can be duplicated thousands of times and function according to a previous set of instructions, while a Trojan horse is designed to facilitate access and interaction between its creator and the system it infiltrates.

Back to module 6.


A worm is a computer program that infests network environments and copies itself over and over again. Worms can take up more and more memory and disk space until they stop the computer cold. The famous Internet worm of November, 1988 replicated itself on more than 6,000 networks around the world.

Back to module 6.


Clipper is hardware that can automatically encrypt and decrypt data.

It has a trapdoor which would enable federal authorities to open with a key and monitor traffic.

Opponents have two objections:

Back to module 6.


Cryptography - the science and study of secret writing.

Cipher - a secret method of writing. There are two basic types: transposition, which rearranges bits of data, and substitution, which replaces bits of data.

Cryptanalysis - the science and study of methods of breaking ciphers.

Cryptology - the branch of knowledge embodying both cryptography and cryptanalysis.

Back to module 6.

Return to Information Warfare Tutorial Intro/Contents