The Cyber War

Technology moves so fast that I am feeling old!

Once a computer programmer, Systems Analyst, the Project Manager of a super Secret computer system and a professor of Computer Science at a local university, today I could not write a line of code in the new cyber war in the ether.

And make no mistake it is war, and war that daily threatens to go kinetic. Nation states daily probe potential enemies most vulnerable secrets, plant “bombs” in vital military and infrastructure awaiting future detonation, and silently view other ultra secret Communications.

There are no rules, and Nation states do not know exactly when a potential enemy will consider some action to be s blatant as to cause a state of war. North Korea took down Sony as a warning shot, the US and Israel set back Iran’s nuclear march by a year or so, Russia was caught deep inside the Pentagon and messing with our election, China stole the secrets for our most advanced fighter aircraft, and the US shut down North Korea’s electricity grid for a day and Russia shut down the Ukraine’s power grid for many days…but each of these has been below the threshold of kinetic war.

But what is that threshold? What would be the limit, and is that limit for each country item specific or cumulative? Could a nation say, “Enough is enough”

Obviously the question is nation specific and asymmetrical…big nations, particularly nuclear nations can get away with more than weaker nations. There is a new book out which I am anxious to read, “The Perfect Weapon: War, Sabotage, and Fear in the Cyber Age” about this subject. I have followed the subject closely since the US and Israel launched STUXNET on Iran, but there are subtleties about which I wish to learn. The Author, David Sanger, is The NY Times writer on the subject, and understands it deeply. I am just three chapters into his book, and I am really impressed!

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