The Future of International Cyber Attacks

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In the tech world, "hackers" are variously freedom fighters, poorly behaved geniuses, truth tellers, underground rock stars, and dangerous criminals where the objective is denial of service, identity theft, or exposure of private, even classified, data to the public.

In the world of cyber warfare, the objectives are much bigger: full scale attack on the GPS system that millions of civilians and military personelle rely on, destroying the digital backbone of the national power grid, invading and destroying the electronic systems of transferring money to shut down the economy, disabling a city transportation system to turn the roads into gridlocked chaos to make way for perhaps an even more devastating conventional attack. The list goes on.

It is these scenarios that James Lewis, former diplomat and a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, has explored in his work war-gaming cyber attacks.