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Well, sure, it’s “new” in the sense that it just happened. And the attack did take a novel form, combining the data diarrhea of WikiLeaks with jihad’s pointedly obscure threats to silence opposition.
But we are already chock full of precedents, thank you. Cyber attacks from Russia and China over a course of decades have shown the world our response policy: “Pretty please?”
“Not so!” says Ellen Nakashima over at the Washington Post:
The administration has made clear for several years that it has a range of diplomatic, economic, legal and military options at its disposal in response to cyberattacks.
Oh? Do y’all remember our last action against foreign hackers? Because I sure don’t.
It is unlikely, however, that officials will announce the responses it is considering or the one it chooses. “There’s a lot of options,” the official said. “They likely won’t be discussed publicly anytime soon.”
I see. But they will be discussed eventually, right? Better yet, don’t tell me! After all, if you have to explain America’s punitive response, then it couldn’t have been very forceful. As my fiction teacher said years ago, “Show. Don’t tell.” And America’s cyber defense is nothing if not good fiction.
How many of you believe that the North Korean government will suffer any serious consequences for publishing an American company’s secrets, disrupting transactions that supported multi-million-dollar projects, and threatening the lives of American civilians across the country? How many of you believe America actually has a cyber defense policy with teeth?
The whole article by Nakashima is worth reading, by the way.