Cyberwar Rhetoric Is Scarier Than Threat of Foreign Attack

Military drumbeat seeks to create fear, uncertainty, and doubt.


The Estonian cyberwar of 2007 is another good example. Initially, wild claims were that it was a Russian-sponsored attack of incredible sophistication, a possible preparation for a real assault. It turned out to be more a case that the Estonian government's defenses were weak, a handful of individuals caused all the trouble, and Russia wasn't involved.

Or consider the July 2009 attacks that initially appeared to come from North Korea, leading Republican Rep. Peter Hoekstra of Michigan to call for U.S. retaliation. Researchers determined that the attacks originated with a handful of individuals in the United Kingdom. If you can't be sure who is attacking you, retaliation is not just stupid, it's immoral.

As taxpayers, we have a problem: Give more money to someone who built a disaster, and you'll get a bigger, more expensive disaster. The need for a mature, national-level approach to cybersecurity is painfully clear, and it starts with leadership, rational assessment of our problems, cessation of finger-pointing and yellow-peril screeching, and an honest after-action review of how we got to where we are today.

Ready why cyberwar counterstrike capabilities protect America, by security analyst James Lewis.

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