OECD: Concept Of Cyberwar Is Overhyped

from the nice-to-finally-see-this dept

We've spent plenty of time over the past year or so discussing how the concept of a "cyberwar" has been blown totally out of proportion, often by those seeking to get rich off of the fear. We've been ridiculed for this, often getting messages from people saying that we don't know what's really going on. However, now the OECD, a rather respectable organization, has stepped up and said the same thing: the concept of a "cyberwar" is totally overhyped, and while there may be random computer-based hacks and attacks here and there, to label it as a "war" is way beyond reasonable.
Attempts to quantify the potential damage that hi-tech attacks could cause and develop appropriate responses are not helped by the hyperbolic language used to describe these incidents, said the OECD report.

"We don't help ourselves using 'cyberwar' to describe espionage or hacktivist blockading or defacing of websites, as recently seen in reaction to WikiLeaks," said Professor Peter Sommer, visiting professor at LSE who co-wrote the report with Dr Ian Brown of the Oxford Internet Institute.

"Nor is it helpful to group trivially avoidable incidents like routine viruses and frauds with determined attempts to disrupt critical national infrastructure," added Prof Sommer.
Part of the problem is that people (again, often with questionable agendas) like to lump all sorts of very different activities under the single heading of "cyberwar" to make it sound like a bigger issue than it really is (and, presumably, to get more money). It's nice to see more level-headed analysis coming out of groups like the OECD. Now, if only governments will actually listen...

Filed Under: cyberwar, oecd


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  1. identicon
    abc gum, 17 Jan 2011 @ 5:12pm

    Could it be that Mother Nature is the biggest potential cyber terrorist? (solar flare) Do not expect any attention to be paid towards this very real threat ... no, in fact this will be largely ignored because there is no monetary reward. When it does happen, it will be called a natural disaster and tax money will be used to fix it - so why should any business feel responsible for addressing the issue in a proactive manner when it has a negative affect upon their bottom line. I recall news items from the past where satellite outage was attributable to solar activity, as was at least one power grid disruption. I imagine that the cost was absorbed by either the tax payer, rate payer, or insurance payer. It is almost humorous to watch, but they are gambling with my money and without my consent.

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