What Does War Look Like in the Cyber Age? What Does War Look Like in the Cyber Age?
*Illustration by Kim Ryu. Design by Louise Bova.


A hijacked plane carrying  scores of passengers approaches New York's World Trade Center moments before it struck the tower at left, as seen from downtown Brooklyn, Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2001. Access to the internet and flight simulators made it possible for terrorists to topple the World Trade Center, hit the Pentagon, and cause billions of dollars in damages. Photo by William Kratzke/Associated Press.

The Cyber Age Demands a New Understanding of War—but We’d Better Hurry

Is It Too Late to Resist the Techno-Gods That Steal Data and Topple Skyscrapers?

It seems highly reckless to prod into flight Hegel’s Owl of Minerva—the goddess of wisdom and war—for an assessment of war in a cyber age that is barely 30 years old.

You will not find it in the Oxford English Dictionary, but “cyberwar” made its first inauspicious appearance in 1987 when an anonymous editor from Omni—Bob …


A South Korean student walks by a picture, which shows how cyberwarfare will be waged in the Korean Peninsula if Korean War takes place in the future, at Korea War Memorial Museum in Seoul, South Korea, Dec. 2014. Photo by Ahn Young-joon/Associated Press.

Why It's So Hard to Stop a Cyberattack—and Even Harder to Fight Back

Evasive Culprits and Unclear Intentions Risk Escalation and Retaliation

Imagine that the United States is hit by a cyberattack that takes down much of the U.S. financial infrastructure for several days. Internet sites of major banks are malfunctioning. ATMs are not working. Banks’ internal accounting systems are going haywire. Millions of people are affected.

The first question that policymakers might debate is whether such an attack deserves a military response. But several problems immediately arise. First, would the U.S. government—and specifically the National Security Agency—know for certain who had conducted the attack? …


Edward Snowden appears via video feed from Moscow for a meeting of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) in Hawaii, Feb. 2015. Photo by Marco Garcia/Associated Press.

What Happens When Personal Information Gets Weaponized

The Government Needs Data to Protect Infrastructure, Without Imperiling Privacy

When you’re talking about information that can be used, or useful, in conducting cyberwarfare, that type of data is different from the conventional identification data, which when released is an invasion …


A diver from the U.S. Navy’s Space and Naval Warfare Command pushes an underwater robot into its starting location at the International Autonomous Underwater competition in San Diego, Aug. 4, 2006. The confluence of a strong military presence and a robust entrepreneurial culture have produced a growing number of cybersecurity businesses. Photo by Chris Park/Associated Press.

In San Diego, Building a Cybersecurity State Is Good Business

How Cities Can Incubate the Next Generation of Digital Warriors

When I joined the Navy in 1970, the projection of Naval sea power was all about strategies to deploy Marines, ships, submarines, and aircraft above, below, and on the sea. Today, there’s a new complication …


A drone hovers near a school run by TT Aviation Technology in Beijing. TT Aviation Technology Co. is part of a new cottage industry sprouting up in China, where drones are being deployed in rising numbers. Photo by Ng Han Guan/Associated Press.

To Understand the Future of Cyber Power, Look to the Past of Air Power

When Technological Fantasy Becomes Reality, Every Civilian Is a Target

Approximately 75 years ago, a new technology was married to warfare on a mass scale, and its impact spilled across continents, shaping the fighting of wars and international politics while raising a new set of terrifying fears about the future of the human race. …