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[ISN] The cyber-weapons paradox: 'They're not that dangerous'
By Anna Leach
24th February 2012
When it comes to bombs, the more powerful they are, the bigger their
impact. With a cyber-weapon, the opposite is true: the more powerful it
is, the more limited the damage it causes. The deeper a bug can get into
any given system, the less likely it is to trouble anything else.
And that's why cyber-weapons aren't real weapons, says Thomas Rid, a
reader in War Studies at Kings College London and co-author of a new
paper published today in the security journal RUSI Journal.
Rid, the war boffin who brought us the theory that cyber war wouldn't
actually be war because no one gets killed, has some more soothing
common sense for those worried about cyber-geddon:
[Having] more destructive potential is likely to decrease the
number of targets, the risk of collateral damage and the
political utility of cyber-weapons.
Rid's point is that cyber weapons that can attack any web target tend to
be low-level and quite crap: DDoS bots that can take a website offline
temporarily or deface it, tools that cause inconvenience and sometimes
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