How ready is the United States for a massive, coordinated cyberattack? This week at the USENIX conference in Washington, Scott Borg, director of the U.S. Cyber Consequences Unit, offered a chilling description of what might happen if the country isn’t fully prepared for such an eventuality.
The Internet has forever changed the way that warfare is conducted, Borg warns, and that has dramatic implications for not just U.S. homeland security, but also for securing American interests abroad. For instance, Borg pointed out how much the U.S. economic has become reliant on Indian outsourcing; a major cyberattack launched against India, thus, could trigger a “financial panic” even back home in the United States.
Datamation takes a look at Borg’s view of the changing face of “politics by other means,” how the threat of cyberwar is shaping international relations, how vulnerable the U.S. and its allies are to hostile cyberattacks, and what might happen in the event of all-out cyberwarfare.
WASHINGTON — Looking ahead to the next major global conflict, the more appropriate question might be to ask whether the United States will be able to defend against a major cyberattack, rather than if one will occur.
Students of information warfare point out that physical attacks rarely, if ever, transpire any longer without a cyber component, and that assaults on digital systems such as the electrical grid or telecommunications networks are quickly becoming the face of modern combat.