States are going to do what states are going to do. With Russia it was nuclear weapons technology, with China it might be cyber. There will be no casualties, but there will be losses. The elements that have to be factored in are the non state actors, the criminal gangs, and the terrorist groups and even the occasional misguided teenager. What is the extent of havoc those non state actors could create?
The New Yorker: The Online Threat: over the next few years the U.S. intelligence community began to “read the tells” that China had access to sensitive traffic..... could use its expanding cyber skills to attack America’s civilian infrastructure and military complex ..... a new warfare domain—cyberspace. ..... a world in which China might unleash havoc .... Within a quarter of an hour, 157 major metropolitan areas have been thrown into knots by a nationwide power blackout hitting during rush hour. Poison gas clouds are wafting toward Wilmington and Houston. Refineries are burning up oil supplies in several cities. Subways have crashed in New York, Oakland, Washington, and Los Angeles. . . . Aircraft are literally falling out of the sky as a result of midair collisions across the country. . . . Several thousand Americans have already died..... a military-cyber complex. The federal government currently spends between six and seven billion dollars annually for unclassified cyber-security work, and, it is estimated, an equal amount on the classified portion. ...... Blurring the distinction between cyber war and cyber espionageAmerica has had to defeat all sorts of totalitarian regimes. Each such tussle has been violent. It was a world war with Hitler. The Cold War had many flash points. 9/11 was the Pearl Harbor of the War On Terror. Easy math tells you there is going to be some kind of a confrontation with China, some kind of a showdown. If we are lucky, it will be peaceful, it will be political. There will be economic competition. There will be a political fusion whereby America ends up with total campaign finance reform and China ends up a multi-party, federal state.
Image via Wikipediahas been profitable for defense contractors—and dispiriting for privacy advocates..... If Stuxnet was aimed specifically at Bushehr, it exhibited one of the weaknesses of cyber attacks: they are difficult to target and also to contain. India and China were both hit harder than Iran, and the virus could easily have spread in a different direction, and hit Israel itself. Again, the very openness of the Internet serves as a deterrent against the use of cyber weapons...... “Current Chinese officials have told me that we’re not going to attack Wall Street, because we basically own it”—a reference to China’s holdings of nearly a trillion dollars in American securities—“and a cyber-war attack would do as much economic harm to us as to you.” ..... “You hear about cyber war all over town. This”—he mentioned statements by Clarke and others—“is being done to mobilize a political effort. We always turn to war analogies to mobilize the people.” .... our first cyber President. . . . Maybe he should have picked a cyber czar with more than a mail-order degree.” (Schmidt’s bachelor’s and master’s degrees are from the University of Phoenix........ “It’s been estimated that last year alone cyber criminals stole intellectual property from businesses worldwide worth up to one trillion dollars..... “Today drug lords still enjoy secure internet and web communications, as do many in terror networks, while most Americans don’t.” ..... The N.S.A. has its own hackers .... “Whatever the Chinese can do to us, we can do better,” the technician said. “Our offensive cyber capabilities are far more advanced.”..... “I am not convinced that lack of encryption is the primary problem. The problem with the Internet is that it is meant for communications among non-friends.” .... s a potential adversary in the sixty-year dispute over Taiwan..... Russia, France, Israel, and Taiwan conduct the most cyber espionage against the U.S..... the U.S. Navy, worried about budget cuts, “needs an enemy, and it’s settled on China” .... a pattern of harassment in which a Chinese jet would maneuver a few dozen yards in front of the slow, plodding EP-3E, and suddenly blast on its afterburners, soaring away and leaving behind a shock wave that severely rocked the American aircraft
Google's tussle with China has not been Google's alone. It has geopolitical implications.
The immediate casualties though have been the civil liberties advocates just like they were at the onset of the War On Terror. That is ironic because cyber technology has taken free speech to levels that could not have been imagined before.
The biggest concern with cyber security remains that people don't do the obvious things they can do to protect themselves. But then people also gorge on French fries.
The age old battle between good and evil continues. New technology just gives that battle a new stage. And never underestimate the internal dynamics of the military-cyber complex. Just follow the money.
TechDirt: How The Defense Department And NSA Is Hyping Cyberwar To Better Spy On You: the massive unsubstantiated hype around the concept of "cyberwar", which mostly has been led by former government officials who are seriously cashing in on the hype .... with the Defense Department basically using its experience in being incompetent to argue that it knows better .... The ex-gov't officials screaming "cyberwar" are making tons of cash, while the Defense Department and the NSA are using all that hype to gain more control over the internet and the ability to spy on people -- but not necessarily to make anyone more secure.
Wall Street Journal: Chinese Supercomputer Likely to Prompt Unease in U.S.: was able to reach 2.5 petaflops..... o a machine from Japan that took the No. 1 position early in the past decade