Although military cyber weaponry will become customary this century, it will unlikely prevent attacks by hacktivists and criminal gangs, and could easily be used for state-sponsored cyber attacks instead, according to study by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.
The British authors of the study, which was released Monday, also warns that “lurid language” and lobbying by technology firms distort the government’s plans to protect Britain against cyber attacks, Guardian reported.
In response to Chinese and Russian cyber attacks, military preparations have begun building momentum, the study says. However, it is not too hard for nation states to set up covert cyber attack units; any agency researching cyber attacks has all the knowledge needed to originate attacks and disguise the fact it is doing so.
State-supported cyber war is likely to become more common because cyber weaponry will play a vital role alongside more conventional and psychological attacks by nation states in future warfare, the report noted. However, “a largely military response to cybersecurity is a mistake. Most targets in the critical national infrastructure of communications, energy, finance, food, government, health, transport and water are in the private sector,” the report found. “Because it is often difficult to be certain who is attacking you from cyberspace, defense by deterrence does not work.”
The report also said it is unlikely there will ever be a “true cyber war,” as there is no real strategic reason an adversary would limit itself to just one type of weaponry. However, the report noted, “it is a safe prediction that the use of cyber weaponry will shortly become ubiquitous.”