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News

Is Cyber-Warfare Just Hyperbole To Justify Greater Spending?

Tenable Network Security : 08 February, 2011  (Technical Article)
Tenable comments on the escalation of scare-mongering regarding the vulnerability of government systems, the confusion of terminology surrounding cyber threats and what consititutes warfare
Following on from the news that government computers were infected last December, Marcus Ranum, the CSO of Tenable Network Security comments on the threat of cyber warfare.



“The murmurings around the cyber warfare have been around for as long as I can remember, but it seems that more than ever nations, security experts and politicians are crying cyberwar! But when I look at the facts and think about the present danger – I believe that the fear of cyber war is being used to justify billions of additional dollars in expenditure to secure networks.



“One of the issues with this is that there’s a lot of confusion around four terms that make up the phrase ‘cyber threat’: cyber war, cyber espionage, cyber terror and cyber crime. The four elements tend to be thrown together in the same pot, mixed up and made into make a big cyber hyperbole by organisations wishing to push products.



“Whether proponents of cyber war claim it could be use to ‘blind’ their enemy or attack civilian infrastructure, I have trouble seeing how cyber terror can become as cost-effective and efficient as real-world terrorism – unless of course terrorists become vastly more sophisticated than they are or appear to be trying to be. Cyber-annoyance attacks will rise, but these will lack the emotional power to alter government policies.”
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