Apocalypse in Cyberspace? It’s Overdone

Is a cyberwar already under way and, if so, could it really cause destruction on a large scale, as a number of recent books have asserted? Nonsense, says a new study.The Web site Cyberwarzone.com lists 270 books about Internet crime and warfare. In one of the highest-profile examples, “Cyber War: The Next Threat to National Security and What to Do About It,” Richard A. Clarke, the former U.S. counterterrorism chief, and Robert K. Knake of the Council on Foreign Relations, describe a digital “Day After” in which large parts of the U.S. transportation, energy and communications systems have been wiped out by Internet-borne attackers, leaving the authorities struggling to maintain control and consumers scrambling for food.Prophets of Internet-borne Götterdämmerung have gotten even more breathless since the publication of “Cyber War” last year. They describe China’s alleged hacking campaign against Google and the campaign by “hacktivists” against foes of the anti-secrecy Web site WikiLeaks, as the opening acts.
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/17/technology/17cache.htmlAlso see:Risks of cyber war ‘over-hyped’ says OECD study
The vast majority of hi-tech attacks described as acts of cyber war do not deserve the name, says a report.The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development study is part of a series considering incidents that could cause global disruption.While pandemics and financial instability could cause problems, cyber attacks are unlikely to, it says.Instead, trouble caused by cyber attacks is likely to be localised and short-lived.However, it warns that governments need to plan for how it could mitigate the effects of both accidental and deliberate events.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-12205169

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