We are being attacked on all sides—and it is not the hacker in the basement we need to worry about most. It is the cyber super powers.
China leads the way, particularly the Chinese military and intelligence services, which are enamored with online warfare. There are also more citizens online in China than in any other country on the planet. Many of them have been recruited to serve in the nation’s online militia. Most of China’s netizens are cyber nationalists who view the West—particularly us—with distrust.
Every day, the U.S. is in an online Normandy, and someone in China is storming ashore for cyber D-Day. Just this week, accusations surfaced in a congressional hearing that hackers in China had stolen plans regarding America’s latest combat aircraft.
Russia is a very bad online actor as well. Rather than relying on its netizens, Moscow partners with the country’s legions of cyber criminals. Russia’s intelligence services have a habit of outsourcing dirty work to the cyber underworld.
Iran is also emerging as a serious cyber threat. It already controls its own population online; now it’s developing offensive cyber capabilities as well.
The reality is that it is a wiki war out there.
Today, Congress takes up a bucket of bills on cybersecurity—some better than others.
Just as, if not more important, are the character and competence of our cyber leaders. Without great leadership, all the laws in the world won’t save us from the cyber barbarians.