How Electromagnetism is Being Weaponized

Every nation today relies on high-speed electronic processes and systems that zip across geospace, cyberspace, and space – known as CGS. However, the real concern is whether or not an enemy can employ a weapon such as a tiny, inexpensive EMP device. This type of weapon could potentially deny individuals or even entities in a target nation their means of using critical electromagnetic waves that is needed for digital infrastructure and digital systems. A nuclear explosion is very capable of triggering a deadly EMP which can render digital useless in a matter of microseconds. Like it or now, this is slowly becoming a stark reality to those who are not prepared.

Beware of Electronic Warfare

making-electromagnetic-weaponsThe fact is that electronic warfare is in our faces and on our doorsteps, and it seems as if no nation is prepared for this inevitability. Therefore, it’s critical to assess just how prepared every country really is currently as it pertains to their defensive capabilities and of course, their offensive capabilities. How exactly are nations preparing for the security threats to their CGS?

The weaponization of the universe’s electromagnetic spectrum is quickly becoming a threatening reality. In response to this growing reality, Risk Group started a needed dialog on Electromagnetic Warfare with a gentleman named Colonel Avraham Cohen, who is the Head of National Security Cyber Research Group and also the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of Sphere-SOC based in Israel on Risk Roundup.

Changing Platforms of Warfare

There is no doubt that we are seeing rapid advances in the field of science and technology. Likewise, we are seeing asymmetries getting created across many nations in their industries, their governments, their organizations, and their academia (NGIOA) and in several unforeseen ways. As countries begin to shift towards becoming more digitalized societies, they are also opening themselves to more uncertainty on every front across CGS.

While the developing technologies are on their way to altering the means in which we communicate, work, collaborate, and socialize with each other, it’s even changing the methods and ways in which future wars will be fought. This is simply because today we are seeing the creation of briefcase-sized radio weapons that are very destructive to the digitally linked nations.

This threat is real and it is growing. Electromagnetic (EM) attacks are not just theoretically possible, they’re already taking place. Many of these have already been identified and reported. A GPS failure was identified in South Korea during 2012, and it’s also believed that truck-based jamming devices were responsible for this attack. This is only one example. So, what dangers are nations going to face today from their EM weapons? Are these nations prepared for these threats?

EM Warfare

The growing need for data for all our digital systems, 4G/5G, actually makes many people vulnerable those who want to wreak havoc. That means we have many enemies such as: hackers, vandals, criminals, and terrorists who could easily create irreparable harm to anyone through digital systems.

This is fast becoming a great concern because EM weapons can be employed with very minimal risk. For instance, a terrorist group using firearms are quite noticeable and could be easily caught in geospace. But In cyberspace, a hacker could raise many alarms as they slip through several digital firewalls. In space, attempts to initiate attacks require outrageous preparation and planning which are very visible. However, for an EM criminal, it is difficult to pick up any attack until digital systems starting failing. In addition to that, even after electronic systems fail, victims still may not know why it happened.

So What’s Next?

Whether we like it or not, tomorrow’s future wars will be fought in the electromagnetic spectrum. Since the weaponizing of this electromagnetic spectrum will greatly affect both our individual and national security, all of us need to take part in ensuring the safety and security of our valuable digital systems.

Let us start the discussion on securing this electromagnetic spectrum, and determining what innovations are vital. We need to learn how to best transform our electronics in making them resilient against any EMP attacks, and how to best secure our future in cyberspace, geospace, and space.