In the article, the authors reveal the essence of information warfare; focus on the basic understanding of this phenomenon. The article acknowledges that in the scientific literature information war is interpreted, in particular, as rivalry in the informational and psychological sphere for the influence and control over resources; informational influence on making political decisions; a modern conflict that is inherent in the post-industrial society era; a conflict involving the use of information weapons, etc. By characterization of information warfare from the standpoint of the conflict-based approach, the authors find out the differences between the information warfare and such concepts as “psychological warfare”, “armed conflict”, “cyberwarfare”, “cyberterrorism”, “network warfare”, “hacktivism”. The subjects and objects of information warfare and various forms of information conflicts are distinguished. The authors describe the main goals of information wars: control of information space, information protection, informational attacks on an opponent, increasing the effectiveness of the armed forces, etc.
Considerable attention is paid to the analysis of information weapons. The authors distinguish its main characteristics and advantages compared with conventional weapons, the specific forms of its use. The differences between defensive and offensive information wars are shown. The basic principles of the effectiveness of information wars are highlighted, in particular: maximum effort is made to expand the information space with preservation of control; implementation of information influence on the most vulnerable elements of the enemy's information system; realization of counteraction to the informational influence of the enemy and reduction of its sphere of distribution; application of an integrated approach during the formation of a strategy of information confrontation (a combination of methods of information warfare with economic, military, political and other factors).
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