Australian Information Warfare and Security Conference

Document Type

Conference Proceeding


School of Computer and Information Science, Edith Cowan University, Perth, Western Australia


Originally published in the Proceedings of the 10th Australian Information Warfare and Security Conference, Edith Cowan University, Perth Western Australia, 1st-3rd December, 2009


Asymmetric warfare is frequently described as a conflict where ‘weaker’ parties aim to offset their relatively inadequate resources by using particular strategies and tactics to their advantage. This research-in-progress paper develops a concept model of asymmetric warfare that represents the leverage available to the ‘weaker’ party over the ‘stronger’ party simply because the former is attacking rather than defending. Points of leverage include choice of timing, location, method of attack, best use of limited resources and time to prepare. The resulting concept model is used to discuss generic defensive strategies that can be applied by ‘stronger’ parties in the physical and digital environments. For example, defenders can make their assets difficult to access except under limited circumstances such as a carefully designed defensive system. In this way attackers are forced to engage targets under conditions that maximize the defenders own advantages.