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« The pollution trigger in China | Main | American withdrawal: this time it is different »
9:22AM

Cyber mischief as the new signaling

NYT story on cyber attacks on two major SouKo banks - presumably by NorKo.

I think this becomes the new brinksmanship/signaling in the digital age, meaning it's truly a virtual form of warfare and not a real warfare domain per se.  It's easier and more clear than the usual diplo protests.

So we have this as a fifth vein of cyber (offensive/offending).

The five categories, in my mind, are:

 

  1. Sheer industrial espionage (see China - on mass scale)
  2. Sheer spying (done by all - with US long in the lead with NSA, but less so today as others catch up)
  3. Normal espionage (see Israel v Iran, US's Stuxnet with Israel v Iran, etc.)
  4. In support of conventional offensive ops (meaning, old-fashioned EW [electronic warfare] updated) - this being the least frequent use because true wars are shorter and less common now.
  5. Signaling

 

What I don't see is cyber as a separate offensive warfare category - i.e., that and that alone as THE attack.  You use as enabler in traditional attack, or its virtual warfare at best (remember that virtual means "not X").

That's why I don't find cyberwarfare so novel or weird or supremely trumping as some do.  It's just a lot of old modalities updated and augmented - nothing more.

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Reader Comments (1)

The domain of what a cyber attack can achieve is generally of different shape than conventional warfare. I suspect that there are certain national interests/goals which can be achieved uniquely via cyber attack that cannot be achieved via conventional one but we are currently too used to thinking of warfare in conventional terms that we just leave those interests/goals unaddressed. We don't see the opportunity. At some point, somebody who is not blinded by his training is going to see an opportunity and be able to sell it to his superiors.

How big is this domain? I don't know. I'm not in the right generation to see it. I just intuit its existence as others are intuiting its non-existence.

March 22, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTMLutas

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