Are we in a cyber arms race? That question has been around and talked about for some time now, but over the past months the subject of a cyber arms has been raised over and over again in meetings that included military and civilian subject matter experts. The discussions centered on the continuing competition between multiple nations and civilian entities to create, sell and have available more and more powerful cyber weapons than the others.
According to a Washington Times piece, Gen. Keith Alexander, head of U.S. Cyber Command, recently told Congress “… We believe that state actors have developed cyber weapons to cripple infrastructure targets in ways tantamount to kinetic assaults. Some of these weapons could potentially destroy hardware as well as data and software.”
The discussion evolved rapidly and brought in the topic of cyber arms dealers and their role in the continued expansion of entities that possess advanced cyber capabilities. An interesting hypothesis was offered – The availability of advanced cyber attack capabilities coupled with the continuous reporting of successful cyber attacks and breaches drives the market for cyber weapons. Of course Night Dragon, Stuxnet and Ghostnet were noted as significant evidentiary factors offered for the cyber arms race argument.
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