Expert comment: "It seems highly likely that an innovative and highly secretive cyber war is underway"

Posted by ap507 at Apr 20, 2017 09:40 AM |
Dr Andrew Futter discusses recent tensions between the US and North Korea

Think: Leicester does not necessarily reflect the views of the University of Leicester - it expresses the independent views and opinions of the academic who has authored the piece. If you do not agree with the opinions expressed, and you are a doctoral student/academic at the University of Leicester, you may write a counter opinion for Think: Leicester and send to ap507@le.ac.uk

Tensions between the US and North Korea have continued to mount in recent weeks, and evidence has emerged that the Trump Administration may be seeking to neuter the growing North Korean nuclear and missile aspirations through the use of cyber attacks.  

Whether US cyber-warriors based in undisclosed locations - likely just outside the Washington beltway - are responsible for recent North Korean missile failures and other suspected problems, it seems highly likely that an innovative and highly secretive cyber war is underway - and probably has been for years.  

This will certainly give the Kim regime pause for thought, but is unlikely to be a game changer. Moreover, while seeking to prevent evermore sophisticated weaponry - and especially a long range nuclear-armed missile able to reach the continental US - may seem a good thing, the broader implications may not be quite so rosy.  

This is because such actions are unlikely to be seen with any great confidence by nuclear-armed US adversaries in Moscow or Beijing (worried that similar operations could be conducted against their own nuclear systems), and the establishment of a norm that the use of cyber-attacks against critical infrastructure and weapons is unlikely to benefit anyone in the long run.

Indeed, with US infrastructure so depended upon hi-tech computer systems and networks, not to mention current plans to modernised and digitise the systems that control and manage US nuclear weapons, the current approach to North Korea may leave us all more vulnerable and less secure in the long run.      

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Think: Leicester does not necessarily reflect the views of the University of Leicester - it expresses the independent views and opinions of the academic who has authored the piece. If you do not agree with the opinions expressed, and you are a doctoral student/academic at the University of Leicester, you may write a counter opinion for Think: Leicester and send to ap507@le.ac.uk