In certain scenarios, one or both sides will have cyber assets available to them to conduct cyber warfare. When these cyber assets exist, they will be part of the Order of Battle and deployed for use in the scenario. The Cyber Dialog option of the Status Menu can be used to display the cyber assets when they exist in a scenario.
To conduct cyber warfare, the player selects one of the cyber assets in the Cyber Dialog while it is open, then uses a long press to initiate an action as described below:
Cyber Probe - If the player long presses on an enemy ground location, such as air base, command node, etc, then a yellow icon will appear on the Main Chart indicating that access is being attempted on that location. Only one cyber probe can be conducted an any one enemy location at a time.
There is no effect associated with cyber probes and the opposing side has no knowledge that a probe is taking place. The purpose behind initiating a cyber probe is in the hopes of gaining access as described below.
Cyber Access - After a cyber probe is initiated, there is the probability that access will be achieved at some future time, based on the Cyber Access time value for the side being probed. When access is achieved, the icon will turn green.
Once cyber access is achieved, the player gains additional information about the location being probed, but is not attempting any disruptive actions at this time. When cyber access is gained at a site, then it is also possible to get information about other sites linked to that site. For example, if cyber access is gained at a Command Node, then information about sites the Command Node is linked to such as SAM sites will be obtained.
Cyber access will be randomly lost after a certain amount of time based on the Cyber Duration time value of the side being accessed. The opposing side has no information telling them that cyber probing or cyber access is taking place relative to one of their locations.
Cyber Attack - Once cyber access is achieved, the player has the option of initiating a cyber attack on the location. They do this by selecting the cyber asset that has gained access and long pressing on the location. This transitions the state from cyber access to cyber attack and a red icon. Cyber attack is a disruptive effect that is known to the opposing side. Unless it is countered by the opposing side, it cannot be terminated.
A cyber attack does have disruptive effects on the site being attacked. For example, a Command Node that is being cyber attacked cannot command any site it is connected to. Likewise, an air base being cyber attacked cannot conduct air operations during that time. A missile site being cyber attacked cannot launch missiles.
Cyber Spoofing - Once cyber access is achieved, another option available to the A/I is to initiate cyber spoofing on the location. You have no direct knowledge that cyber spoofing has occurred, but rather there will be disruptive effects to your ability to identify enemy assets as described in more detail below.
Cyber spoofing will cause disruptive effects to the affected side's ability to spot and attack assets. When a location is attacked with cyber spoofing, then any enemy asset that it can see will be affected by the spoofing. When the location is an air base, then any flight based at that air base is subject to spoofing effects. When an asset is spotting by something subject to spoofing, then instead of the actual asset, a cluster of phantom images will be seen, none of which represent the actual asset and none of which can be attacked. The only recourse at this point is to infer what location is subject to the cyber spoofing and apply a cyber defense to that location to terminate the spoofing.
Note that cyber spoofing is most effective against human players that may find the spoofing effects disruptive to their situational awareness.
Cyber Defense - At any time, a player has the option of selecting a cyber asset and applying it to a cyber defense of one of the locations for that side. This is done by long pressing on the location and is represented by a black icon.
When a location has a cyber defense, it cannot be accessed or attacked. Any cyber attack that is countered with a cyber defense will end after a random amount of time determined by the Cyber Duration value of the defending side. The opposing side will not know which locations have a cyber defense unless they are already attacking the location.
Cyber Block - An orange icon indicates that a cyber attack is taking place, but that is being countered with a cyber defense. The attack is still effective, but at some random time it will be terminated based on the Cyber Duration value for the defending side. Once terminated, cyber access or attack will not be possible at that location as long as the cyber defense is still there.
Cyber assets can be reused any number of times and do not suffer attrition or depletion.