Friday, February 23, 2018

Is Cyber-War "War" or Not?

It's been a while since I could mock backward North Korea's cyber-war abilities:

North Korea is quietly expanding both the scope and sophistication of its cyberweaponry, laying the groundwork for more devastating attacks, according to a report published Tuesday. ...

Although the North Korean regime bans the Internet for ordinary citizens and is decidedly behind the times with most technology, it has funneled a huge amount of time and money into building a cyber-army capable of outsmarting more technologically advanced countries such as South Korea.

But I'll ask the question again, if North Korea "attacks" somebody via the Internet, why do we assume that a response to such an attack has to take place in that domain?

It is necessary to prepare for war in cyber-space with sophisticated cyber-weapons as have been deployed against Iran. But in the rush to fight in cyber-space, don't forget that a physical smart bomb can simply blow up a room full of enemy cyber-warriors if they have an office park and we know the address.

And if the North Koreans hackers are operating from offices in China, doesn't international law about providing a sanctuary for combatants leave victims of North Korea recourse under international law?

And isn't China at risk from direct retaliation to take out those combatants?