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Cyber Conflict: Competing National Perspectives by Daniel Ventre

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Chapter 9A South African Perspective on Information Warfare and Cyber Warfare 1

 

 

 

South Africa is the leading economy in Southern Africa, and is a strategic maritime nation that serves a major shipping lane between the western and eastern hemispheres. Its ports are also vital to the country’s economy, as 98% of all exports are conveyed by sea [GCI 10]. The national communications infrastructure in South Africa is 99% digital, and is the most developed telecommunications network in Africa [GCI 10]. The main telecommunications supplier, Telkom, is the largest in Africa; the cell phone industry has also shown significant growth, and by the end of 2008 there were estimated to be over 34 million cell phone users in the country [GCI 10]. The developed nature of the infrastructure necessitates the development of information warfare and cyber-warfare in order to protect the national communications infrastructure from threats; particularly those that are cyber-based.

South Africa is making an effort to develop skills in these arenas; it was first reported in 2004 that an information warfare battlelab had been commissioned by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) [CSI 04]. In March 2009, the CSIR hosted the 4th International Conference on Information Warfare and Security, and there are numerous local conferences in the country that revolve around information warfare and security. The Military Information and Communication Symposium of South Africa is a biennial conference ...

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