Cyber War: Myth or Reality?

October 24, 2015

2:00 pm

A recent cyber agreement between the US and China has been broken in less than one day after its signing. CrowdStrike, a cyber security company, reported that China is still hacking US companies despite the agreement. The company has detected numerous hacking attacks, which they have traced back to the Chinese government “with a high degree of confidence.” The agreement was signed on September 25, and as a result this agreement is just one of thousands of signed agreements. According to Inc. Magazine, there were some issues with the agreement, such as a misinterpretation of conditions and lack of international standards.

The increase of hacking attacks between the countries is creating a greater concern. The fear is not just based on the possibility that a cyber attack could simply render unavailable the information and services that we are now accustomed to. The Internet has not only reshaped the way we obtain news, communicate with others, take care of our finances, watch TV and listen to music, but has also permeated into other essential fields of our lives.

The definition of “cyber war” and “cyber weapon” is not as clear-cut as it might seem. We cannot say for sure what is what. It’s a little difficult to define the cyber crime against a single person and cyber crime against the sovereignty and well-being of a state. However, according to the Tallinn Manual on the International Law Applicable to Cyber Warfare, cyber weapons are cyber means of warfare designed, used, or intended to cause either injury or death of people or damage to or destruction of objects.

The first known use of cyber weapons occurred in 2009. It was a complex piece of malware that was designed to be an example of government cyber weaponry aimed at severely disrupting the Iranian nuclear program.

 Thomas Rid (professor of security studies at King’s College of London and the author of Cyber War Will Not Take Place) worries not about massive and large-scale attacks:

“What I’m most worried about is easy attacks against networks, not against the power plants, but against office environments. What if somebody steals data from the NHS, or some other company? That’s a more realistic scenario.”

When talking about cyber war and the scale of possible attacks, a lot of people imagine “cyber Pearl Harbor”; humanity is not yet ready to fully delve into the issues surrounding cyber attacks and that’s ultimately part of the problem.


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Andrew Dufresne currently works for IT company and loves everything related to technology, hardware and software. At the same time he loves to write about travelling and likes to provide readers with the life hacks. He paints, likes extreme kind of sports and alpinism which are also could be one of the topics for his articles.

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