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March 2008

Viewpoint: War analogies tread a fine line

Cyberterrorism: The Economic Front I am a 20-plus-year information security professional and spent 15 years in the Army, including tours in Saudi Arabia and Iraq during the first Gulf War, and served in Somalia. I believe I can comment on war with some authority. Marcus Ranum and Bruce Schneier (Face-Off: "Cyberwar: Myth or Reality," November 2007) make good points, but war is war. War does not require the direct death of one person. It is the indirect or collateral damage war causes that is paramount and takes the worst toll on society: the innocent death related to collateral damage. There are several levels of war from a militaristic viewpoint, including light intensity conflict (similar to Iraq and Afghanistan), which can escalate to thermonuclear war (tens of thousands dead). But there are other concepts of war and the ugliest is the war of economics. This is the war cyberterrorism wreaks havoc on. Civilian financial institutions, government financial organizations and private companies rely on the Internet or private data ...

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