How real is the potential for cyber war? The growing attention being given to cyberspace by policymakers and the media alike reflects an inescapable reality. With government agencies and private companies under frequent attack in cyberspace, and with incidents of cyber espionage increasing in both intensity and frequency, it would be fair to say that the U.S. is already engaged in battle in cyberspace.
Still, a consensus about the nature and immediacy of the threat remains elusive. Take, for example, the recent article in the journal Foreign Policy by Thomas Rid. In it, Rid, a scholar at King’s College, London, argues that cyber war is by no means imminent, and the cyber threat as a whole grossly overstated since no country has demonstrated a truly sophisticated cyber attack, and no evidence exists of such an event causing mass casualties.
In Russia’s brief 2008 war with Georgia, for example, hackers commissioned by the Russian government disrupted Tbilisi’s command, control and communication architecture as part of a cyber attack carried out in combination with traditional ground force attacks. More recently, Iran has come under repeated cyber attack as a result of its nuclear ambitions. – Federal Times
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