For a very small, backward, albeit nuclear, country like North Korea to be able to attack the computer capability of a large Corporation in the United States and create enough fear that a scheduled release of a film frowned upon by North Korea was cancelled is, depending on where you stand or work, insulting, inconvenient, threatening, damaging and/or cyber terrorism, vandalism or warfare (chose any combination).
And now we are beginning to see articles touting the cyber-warfare capabilities of the United States that might be used to respond to any attacks on the country. This is comforting...I think!
But it is also disturbing from another point of view. The premise seems to be that if some entity attacks the U.S. in cyberspace, we have the capability to attack and destroy the attacker. Now, as a person who is likely to be one of the citizens whose internet and computer capabilities will be damaged or destroyed, the fact that the entity causing my cyber destruction is being obliterated doesn't really solve my problem or satisfy my dilemma.
I would be much happier to learn that in addition to our country's retributive capability, it could protect me from being harmed in the first place...and our business and utility infrastructure as well. I don't hear that...not even consideration of the desire to do that.
Not only does that absence of assurance give me pause, but it has been years since I heard anyone mention the need to be capable of defending against EMP devices. These devices can "fry" electronics, virtually rendering all utilities, communications, and transportation inoperative until the electronic heart of the controls are replaced...an event likely to take many months. The idea of planes dropping out of the sky, cars losing control, trains stopping, all not to move again for months is not desirable. The concept of gas, electric and water supplies being rendered inoperative would be dangerous to our health.
Once every great while, I hear some person in government mention that this needs attention, but then the voice fades and I have never seen any report that suggests that we are even working assiduously to protect us from this kind of threat, much less that we are protected now.
Maybe...just maybe...someone ought to make sure that somebody...anybody...works on this stuff?