Cybersecurity

Foreign Affairs Article

Is Cyberwar Real?

Authors: Jarno Limnell and Thomas Rid

Thomas Rid ("Cyberwar and Peace," November/December 2013) describes cyberattacks as somehow separate from conventional warfare because they fail to meet all three of Clausewitz's definitions of war as violent, instrumental, and attributable to one side as an action taken for a political goal.

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Primary Sources

Executive Order and Framework: Improving Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity

President Barack Obama ordered on February 12, 2013 that the U.S. government work with "owners and operators of critical infrastructure" to share information about cyber threats and attacks and to implement common cybersecurity standards. A year later, on February 12, 2014, the National Institute for Standards and Technology issued the framework for improving cybersecurity.

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Primary Sources

Worldwide Threat Assessment of the U.S. Intelligence Community

Annually, the Director of National Intelligence testifies before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence to discuss the current and potential threats to United States' security and priorities for the Department of Defense budget. The assessment usually covers terrorism threats, cyber attacks, counterintelligence, proliferation, mass atrocities, regional and country-by-country threats, and other state and non state intelligence threats such as health threats, water security and transnational crime.

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Foreign Affairs Article

Cyberwar and Peace

Author: Thomas Rid

Cyberwar Is Coming!" declared the title of a seminal 1993 article by the RAND Corporation analysts John Arquilla and David Ronfeldt, who argued that the nascent Internet would fundamentally transform warfare.

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Research Links

Cybersecurity Policy

How can the United States protect cyberspace "control system of our country," without restricting the open "flow of information on the Internet"? What should countries consider when developing international cybersecurity standards and protocol? What should their citizens know to protect their information and their rights? Cybersecurity Policy Research Links provide news, background information, legislation, analysis, and international efforts to protect government and the public's information.

See more in United States; Cybersecurity; Internet Policy

Article

Self-Defensive Force Against Cyber Attacks: Legal, Strategic and Political Dimensions

Author: Matthew C. Waxman
International Law Studies

When does a cyber-attack (or threat of cyber-attack) give rise to a right of self-defense – including armed self-defense – and when should it? This essay examines these questions through three lenses: (1) a legal perspective, to examine the range of reasonable interpretations of self-defense rights as applied to cyber-attacks, and the relative merits of interpretations within that range; (2) a strategic perspective, to link a purported right of armed self-defense to long-term policy interests including security and stability; and (3) a political perspective, to consider the situational context in which government decision-makers will face these issues and predictive judgments about the reactions to cyber-crises of influential actors in the international system.

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Video

Defending an Open, Global, Secure, and Resilient Internet

Speakers: John D. Negroponte, Samuel J. Palmisano, and Adam Segal
Introductory Speaker: Anya Schmemann
Presider: Thomas Gjelten

The CFR-sponsored Independent Task Force report, Defending an Open, Global, Secure, and Resilient Internet, finds that as more people and services become interconnected and dependent on the Internet, societies are becoming increasingly vulnerable to cyberattacks.

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Audio

Defending an Open, Global, Secure, and Resilient Internet

Speakers: John D. Negroponte, Samuel J. Palmisano, and Adam Segal
Introductory Speaker: Anya Schmemann
Presider: Thomas Gjelten

The CFR-sponsored Independent Task Force report, Defending an Open, Global, Secure, and Resilient Internet, finds that as more people and services become interconnected and dependent on the Internet, societies are becoming increasingly vulnerable to cyberattacks.

See more in Global; Cybersecurity

Audio

Defending an Open, Global, Secure, and Resilient Internet

Speakers: John D. Negroponte, Samuel J. Palmisano, and Adam Segal
Introductory Speaker: Anya Schmemann
Presider: Jacob Weisberg

The CFR-sponsored Independent Task Force report, Defending an Open, Global, Secure, and Resilient Internet, finds that as more people and services become interconnected and dependent on the Internet, societies are becoming increasingly vulnerable to cyberattacks.

See more in United States; Cybersecurity; Internet Policy

Video

Defending an Open, Global, Secure, and Resilient Internet

Speakers: John D. Negroponte, Samuel J. Palmisano, and Adam Segal
Introductory Speaker: Anya Schmemann
Presider: Jacob Weisberg

The CFR-sponsored Independent Task Force report, Defending an Open, Global, Secure, and Resilient Internet, finds that as more people and services become interconnected and dependent on the Internet, societies are becoming increasingly vulnerable to cyberattacks.

See more in United States; Cybersecurity; Internet Policy

Transcript

Defending an Open, Global, Secure and Resilient Internet

Speakers: John D. Negroponte, Samuel J. Palmisano, and Adam Segal
Introductory Speaker: Anya Schmemann

The CFR-sponsored Independent Task Force report, Defending an Open, Global, Secure, and Resilient Internet, finds that as more people and services become interconnected and dependent on the Internet, societies are becoming increasingly vulnerable to cyberattacks.

See more in Global; Cybersecurity

Ask CFR Experts

Is the threat of a "cyber Pearl Harbor" as potent as some have suggested?

Asked by James Bingham, from King's College, London

The phrase "cyber Pearl Harbor" received attention when it by former defense secretary Leon E. Panetta in a speech about U.S. vulnerability to cyberwarfare threats. It is best understood as an effort to shape the domestic political debate and as a description of a potential future scenario, rather than as an accurate description of the cybersecurity threat.

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