Cyber War Will Not Take Place

Cyber War Will Not Take Place

by Thomas Rid
     
 

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"Cyber war is coming," announced a land-mark RAND report in 1993. In 2005, the U.S. Air Force boasted it would now fly, fight, and win in cyberspace, the "fifth domain" of warfare. This book takes stock, twenty years on: is cyber war really coming? Has war indeed entered the fifth domain?

Cyber War Will Not Take Place cuts through the hype

Overview

"Cyber war is coming," announced a land-mark RAND report in 1993. In 2005, the U.S. Air Force boasted it would now fly, fight, and win in cyberspace, the "fifth domain" of warfare. This book takes stock, twenty years on: is cyber war really coming? Has war indeed entered the fifth domain?

Cyber War Will Not Take Place cuts through the hype and takes a fresh look at cyber security. Thomas Rid argues that the focus on war and winning distracts from the real challenge of cyberspace: non-violent confrontation that may rival or even replace violence in surprising ways.

The threat consists of three different vectors: espionage, sabotage, and subversion. The author traces the most significant hacks and attacks, exploring the full spectrum of case studies from the shadowy world of computer espionage and weaponised code. With a mix of technical detail and rigorous political analysis, the book explores some key questions: What are cyber weapons? How have they changed the meaning of violence? How likely and how dangerous is crowd-sourced subversive activity? Why has there never been a lethal cyber attack against a country's critical infrastructure? How serious is the threat of "pure" cyber espionage, of exfiltrating data without infiltrating humans first? And who is most vulnerable: which countries, industries, individuals?

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Rid argues that what we have seen so far in the cyber realm can't properly be classified as war at all. And, he and his allies suggest, in thinking of it that way, we're creating new international hazards and diverting attention from changes that might actually keep us safe. Rid represents one pole of an emerging debate, as the world's policy establishment grapples with how to think about virtual attacks. One side believes that to downplay them is dangerously naive. . . Rid's side of this debate, which includes both experts on cybersecurity and those given the task of designing the new 'weapons' for cyberspace, argues that although the threat is real, in overstating it we're helping create a new kind of global risk."—Boston Globe

"'In Cyber War Will Not Take Place, Thomas Rid throws a well-timed bucket of cold water on an increasingly alarmist debate. Just as strategic bombing never fulfilled its promise, and even airpower at its apogee — Kosovo in 1999, or Libya two years ago —only worked with old-fashioned boots on the ground, Rid argues that the promise of cyber war is equally illusory. . . What Rid does, with great skill, is to pivot the discussion away from cyber war and towards cyber weapons."—Financial Times

"His provocatively titled book attacks the hype and mystique about sabotage, espionage, subversion and other mischief on the internet. He agrees that these present urgent security problems. But he dislikes talk of warfare and the militarisation of the debate about dangers in cyberspace. Computer code can do lots of things, but it is not a weapon of war."—The Economist

"With news of cyber war, terrorism and espionage seemingly everywhere, separating hype from reality is not always easy. Many agencies and companies stand to gain by inflating cyber security fears. In Cyber War Will Not Take Place , Thomas Rid takes a razor to the evidence and carefully dissects the evolution of conflict and espionage in the cyber age. The result is a compelling and authoritative take on war and strategy in cyberspace, one that will surely be seminal in this area for years to come."—Ronald J. Deibert, Citizen Lab Director and author of Black Code: Inside the Battle for Cyberspace

"We're in the early years of a cyberwar arms race, one fueled by both fear and ignorance. This book is a cogent counterpoint to both the doomsayers and profiteers, and should be required reading for anyone concerned about our national security policy in cyberspace." — Bruce Schneier, security guru and author of Liars and Outliers: Enabling the Trust Society Needs to Thrive

"'This book will be welcomed by all those who have struggled to get the measure of the 'cyber-war' threat. As Thomas Rid takes on the digital doomsters he also provides a comprehensive, authoritative and sophisticated analysis of the strategic quandaries created by the new technologies." —Sir Lawrence Freedman, Professor of War Studies, King's College London

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780199330638
Publisher:
An Oxford University Press Publication
Publication date:
09/01/2013
Pages:
218
Sales rank:
363,471
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 8.60(h) x 1.10(d)

Meet the Author

Thomas Rid is Reader in War Studies at King's College London. He is also a non-resident fellow at the Center for Transatlantic Relations in the School for Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University, Washington, DC.

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