I discovered Thomas Rid at King’s a few months ago, and I like his output; this was forwarded to me today by an anonymous contact
“Cyberwar Is Already Upon Us.”
No way. “Cyberwar is coming!” John Arquilla and David Ronfeldt predicted in a celebrated Rand paper back in 1993. Since then, it seems to have arrived — at least by the account of the U.S. military establishment, which is busy competing over who should get what share of the fight. Cyberspace is “a domain in which the Air Force flies and fights,” Air Force Secretary Michael Wynne claimed in 2006. By 2012, William J. Lynn III, the deputy defense secretary at the time, was writing that cyberwar is “just as critical to military operations as land, sea, air, and space.” In January, the Defense Department vowed to equip the U.S. armed forces for “conducting a combined arms campaign across all domains — land, air, maritime, space, and cyberspace.” Meanwhile, growing piles of books and articles explore the threats of cyberwarfare, cyberterrorism, and how to survive them.
Time for a reality check: Cyberwar is still more hype than hazard. Consider the definition of an act of war: It has to be potentially violent, it has to be purposeful, and it has to be political. The cyberattacks we’ve seen so far, from Estonia to the Stuxnet virus, simply don’t meet these criteria.
I am off into the cybersecurity lion’s den soon; more later…