Are We in a Cyber War?

Sue Marquette Poremba
Slide Show

Top 10 Cyber Security Threats of 2011 and Beyond

The next decade portends new threats that surpass those of years past in both intensity and impact.

I saw a blog post today that posed this question as its title: "Has the Cyber War Begun?"


The blog, Big Think, pointed out all the attacks of the past few months - the hacktivists out making noise, the hits on defense and government, big companies forced to apologize for breaches. The blog also mentioned the increase in cyber spying.


A CBS News article also looks at the idea of cyber war. The article said:

The escalation of computer hacking now has the Pentagon calling for any cyber-threat to the nation's infrastructure - like the country's power grid - to be considered an "act of war" - virtual threats subject to a very real military response.

The term "cyber war" does give the recent threats a certain sense of urgency that perhaps the term "cyber security" does not. We've been talking about cyber security for a long time now, and it is still a struggle to get people - whether they be in government, business or are a consumer - to give the issue the amount of attention it needs to prevent attacks and to protect information. Turn it into a cyber war or cyber terrorism and people take notice. Take this story from PC World, for example, stating that the government is building a "virtual firing range" to prepare for the cyber war that is either here or coming.


Not everyone is caught up in the cyber-war hype, however. In an article at Government Computer News, McAfee researcher Dmitri Alperovitch said he thinks we've turned cyber war into an overused hyperbole. The article said:

The thefts are a real threat, said Alperovitch, who called them "a massive transfer of wealth in intellectual property unprecedented in history." But he draws a clear distinction between criminal activity, espionage, hacktivism and acts of war.

So are we in the midst of a cyber war? Until someone truly defines what cyberwar is, I suppose we'll never know for sure.

Add Comment      Leave a comment on this blog post

Post a comment





(Maximum characters: 1200). You have 1200 characters left.




Subscribe to our Newsletters

Sign up now and get the best business technology insights direct to your inbox.