In Cyber Warfare, the Front Line Is Everywhere the U.S. Government Isn’t

Cyber warriors in the United States are preparing for a digital Cold War, deterring cyberattacks against specific critical infrastructure—when what is most urgently needed is a counterinsurgency (an “e-surgency”) strategy to beat back the everyday cyberattacks that individually never rise to the level of acts of war. On their own, these strikes may not directly threaten national security. But taken together, they target this country’s civic center of gravity and pose a clear danger to U.S. values. Despite increased government attention and private-sector focus, cyberattacks are increasing along every dimension. No longer confined to the traditional major threats—Russia, China, North Korea and Iran—world-class cyber threat groups have emerged in southeast Asian developing economies, Sunni Gulf monarchies, and Latin American regional powers. The degree of damage has increased too, possibly topping $100 billion in costs to the U.S. economy alone…

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