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I Was Wrong: There Probably Will Be an Electronic Pearl Harbor




I Was Wrong: There Probably Will Be an Electronic Pearl Harbor
I Was Wrong: There Probably Will Be an Electronic Pearl Harbor



http://www.csoonline.com/article/509213/I_Was_Wrong_There_Probably_Will_Be_an_Electronic_Pearl_Harbor 

By Ira Winkler
CSO
November 29, 2009 

For 15 years now, I have been publicly lambasting all of those people 
who have made their careers, or at least made fleeting news headlines, 
based on their declaration of an imminent Electronic Pearl Harbor. My 
disdain is based on several factors, but predominantly the lack of 
accountability for such statements. One industry analyst, for example, 
stated that there will be such an event by the end of 2003. Six years 
later, I didn't see anyone revisit the utter lack of such an event.

However, I now see things developing to the point where there can be a 
strategic attack on computer infrastructures. The key word is Strategic.

Another major issue I have with the people who stake their fame in 
information warfare is the lack of apparent understanding in the concept 
of military and geopolitical issues. Specifically, strategy implies long 
term impacts, generally at least 3-6 months. Tactical attacks have short 
term impacts. Yes, we have had many tactical attacks against different 
infrastructures. However, comparing these attacks to Pearl Harbor is 
insulting.

Pearl Harbor was a preemptive strike against the US Pacific Fleet. It 
significantly degraded the US Naval capability for several years. If the 
aircraft carriers were in Pearl Harbor as the Japanese expected, it 
could have been a complete knockout blow. So the question becomes, what 
can make a computer attack strategic?

[...]


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