Cyberwar hysteria took a hit in the form of rational criticism last week. Presenters at the RSA conference argued that this form of cyberfear is overblown:
"We are in the midst of a cyber war of words," Schmidt said. "Let's quit pointing fingers and start cleaning up the infrastructure."
Bruce Schneier sees category confusion:
"We are not necessarily seeing cyber war, but increasing use of warlike tactics in more general cyber conflicts," Schneier said. "I think that is what's confusing us."
He cited a Stuxnet computer virus evidently crafted to find and disrupt an Iranian nuclear facility as an Internet Age attack that smacks of warfare but arguably falls short.
"It is not war," Schneier said. "It is in the middle somewhere."
Instead of "war", maybe what's going on is "crime" or "spying":
The most prevalent cyber threat has been theft of information from networks, US Deputy Secretary of Defense William Lynn said...
Lynn also turned the old disdainful charge of bloggers as guys in pajamas to defuse the cyberwar meme:
"As you know better than I, a couple dozen talented programmers wearing flip-flops and drinking Red Bull can do a lot of damage," Lynn told the gathering of software savants.