Sunday, December 07, 2008

Do cyberattacks count as war? | Marching off to cyberwar | The Economist

A fascinating snapshot – excerpt:

For a cyberattack to qualify as “cyberwar”, some observers argue, it must take place alongside actual military operations. Trying to disrupt enemy communications during conflict is, after all, a practice that goes back to the earliest telecommunications technology, the telegraph. In 1862, for example, during the American Civil War, a landing party from Thomas Freeborn, a Union navy steamer, went ashore to cut the telegraph lines between Fredericksburg and Richmond. The Russian navy pioneered the use of radio jamming in the Russo-Japanese war of 1905. On this view, cyberattacks on infrastructure are the next logical step. The attacks on Georgia might qualify as cyberwarfare by this definition, but those on Estonia would not, since there was no accompanying military offensive in the real world. As Mr Schneier puts it: “For it to be cyberwar, it must first be war.”

Do cyberattacks count as war? | Marching off to cyberwar | The Economist

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