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
    Not an electronic Rodent, 18 Jan 2011 @ 1:42am

    Re: Re: dammit!

    And yet, nobody I've actually met in person pays attention to the issue. No matter how much they hype it.
    Unfortunately it's worse if people don't pay attention to it. Then it becomes insidious, like the rest of security theatre, all you have to do is keep blasting it out in the media "there's a war going on you know nothing about and we are keeping you safe even though you never see it".

    Because people actually don't understand it and don't care that much it goes in at a lower-conciousness level and becomes generally accepted wisdom, which is much harder to fight against with reasoned argument because everyone "knows".

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