Is Cyberwar War? Can nation-states defend themselves from hackers and one another?

At a conference of chief technology officers in 2016, General Michael Hayden, former head of, at different times, both the NSA and the CIA, told the audience, “Cyberwar isn’t exactly war, but it’s not not-war, either.”

Cyberattacks, at the nation-state level, were already almost a decade old at that point. In 2007, over the course of 22 days a Russian attack on Estonia took out commercial and government servers with distributed denial of service attacks; not just public websites but also what one report called “more vital targets, such as online banking and the Domain Name System,” without which people can’t find or look up websites and online servers.

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