Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Unlikely there will ever be a pure 'cyber war,' study suggests

Date:
January 23, 2011
Source:
University of Oxford
Summary:
Heavy lobbying, lurid language and poor analysis are inhibiting government planning for cyber protection, according to a new report.

Sailors on the watch-floor of the US Navy Cyber Defence Operations Command monitor.
Credit: US Navy

Heavy lobbying, lurid language and poor analysis are inhibiting government planning for cyber protection, according to a new report on Systemic Cyber Security published by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) on 17 January 2011.

The study by Dr Ian Brown of the Oxford Internet Institute (OII), University of Oxford, and Professor Peter Sommer of the London School of Economics also concludes that it is highly unlikely there will ever be a pure 'cyber war' fought solely in cyberspace with equivalent effects to recent wars in Afghanistan, the Balkans or the Middle East.

The report, part of a wider OECD project on Future Global Shocks, is aimed at governments, global businesses and policy makers. It looks at the nature of global catastrophes and then asks which possible cyber-events might create similar effects. In addition to the actions of governments and terrorists the study also considers criminals and accidents. There is a review of current government action, an examination of how governments interact with the private sector and a consideration of the prospects for international cooperation and treaties.

The best protections are careful system design, the use of products to detect known viruses and system intrusions, and user education, says the report. It adds that it is also essential to have proper contingency plans for system recovery.

Dr Brown commented: "We think that a largely military approach 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. Because it is often difficult to be certain who is attacking you from cyberspace, defence by deterrence does not work."

"That said, cyberweaponry in all its forms will play a key role alongside more conventional and psychological attacks by nation states in future warfare."

"We don't help ourselves using 'cyberwar' to describe espionage or hacktivist blockading or defacing of websites, as recently seen in reaction to WikiLeaks," said Professor Sommer, visiting professor at LSE. "Nor is it helpful to group trivially avoidable incidents like routine viruses and frauds with determined attempts to disrupt critical national infrastructure."

The study says that many 'cyber' risks are real but that it is important to test each one to understand all the elements that are required before a potential threat causes real damage. How much research is required on the target, in writing computer code that won't be detected, and how long will the event last before the attacked system is able to recover? It says this type of careful analysis helps us understand what we should really worry about and points the way to remedies.

The study is part of a broader OECD review of Future Global Shocks which covers pandemics and further collapse of the world financial system.

The UK Government has announced as part of its Strategic Defence and Security Review that 650m is available to address 'cyber' attacks, seen as a Tier One threat.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Oxford. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Oxford. "Unlikely there will ever be a pure 'cyber war,' study suggests." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 January 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110122111747.htm>.
University of Oxford. (2011, January 23). Unlikely there will ever be a pure 'cyber war,' study suggests. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110122111747.htm
University of Oxford. "Unlikely there will ever be a pure 'cyber war,' study suggests." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110122111747.htm (accessed September 17, 2014).

Share This



More Science & Society News

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Some Tobacco Farmers Thrive Amid Challenges

Some Tobacco Farmers Thrive Amid Challenges

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) The South's tobacco country is surviving, and even thriving in some cases, as demand overseas keeps growers in the fields of one of America's oldest cash crops. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Space Race Pits Bezos Vs Musk

Space Race Pits Bezos Vs Musk

Reuters - Business Video Online (Sep. 16, 2014) Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos' startup will team up with Boeing and Lockheed to develop rocket engines as Elon Musk races to have his rockets certified. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

Newsy (Sep. 16, 2014) President Obama is expected to send 3,000 troops to West Africa as part of the effort to contain Ebola's spread. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
EU Ministers and Experts Meet to Discuss Ebola Reponse

EU Ministers and Experts Meet to Discuss Ebola Reponse

AFP (Sep. 15, 2014) The European Commission met on Monday to coordinate aid that the EU can offer to African countries affected by the Ebola outbreak. Duration: 00:58 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

    Environment News

      Technology News



      Save/Print:
      Share:

      Free Subscriptions


      Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

      Get Social & Mobile


      Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

      Have Feedback?


      Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
      Mobile: iPhone Android Web
      Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
      Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
      Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins