This is a podcast about a topic that’s been around for a few years. NATO have declared cyber to be a ‘domain’ of warfare in the same way as land, sea, air, and now space are. If you attack some one from the sea, they might retaliate with a air attack, or maybe just shut down all your critical infrastructure with their stockpile of cyber weapons…:
If a nation state launches a cyber attack against another nation state, is it acceptable to retaliate by launching missiles and engaging in a physical response? Or should cyber attacks only be met with a cyber response? That was the topic of a presentation that Mikko Hyppönen gave at Black Hat this year, and the topic he and I discuss on this episode of the Inner Circle podcast.
It’s an important conversation to have. Some people believe that responding to a cyber attack with missiles or some other military action is disproportionate, while others argue that war is war and an attack is an attack and nation states can’t or shouldn’t be confined by arbitrary rules of engagement. Should a nation launch missiles at another country that was responsible for hacking into the customer database of a company and stealing credit card information? Maybe not. Should a nation launch missiles at another country to retaliate for a cyber attack that shuts down the power grid, or disrupts transportation? That’s more of a gray area because it has a more direct impact on productivity and the economy–and could possibly result in the loss of human life.