Cyber war and peace: Greater dependence on networked computers and communication leaves the US more vulnerable to attack than others by Joseph S Nye

Posted in: Legal & Security at 23/04/2012 14:52

Two years ago, a piece of faulty computer code infected Iran's nuclear programme and destroyed many of the centrifuges used to enrich uranium. Some observers declared this apparent sabotage to be the harbinger of a new form of warfare, and United States Secretary of Defence Leon Panetta has warned citizens of the danger of a "cyber Pearl Harbour" attack on the US. But what do we really know about cyber conflict?

The cyber domain of computers and related electronic activities is a complex man-made environment, and human adversaries are purposeful and intelligent. Mountains and oceans are hard to move, but portions of cyberspace can be turned on and off by throwing a switch. It is far cheaper and quicker to move electrons across the globe than to move large ships long distances.

To read this article by Joseph S Nye, a former assistant US secretary of defence, professor at Harvard University and author, most recently, of The Future of Power in full, see:
www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/cyber-war-and-peace
www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2012/04/201241510242769575.html

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