The New York Times reports on the global desire for nations to be able to protect themselves from the highly sophisticated actors like China, Russia, Iran, North Korea, and others:
Securing the world against cyberattacks — from nations, criminal groups, vandals and teenagers — will be on the agenda when many of the world’s top leaders gather at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, this week. As usual, there is a flurry of reports, and entrepreneurs will declare they have technological solutions at hand. But the fact remains that the major powers of the world have been unable to come up with a viable means of deterring the most damaging attacks. It still takes too long to formally identify the culprits, and the responses, as Mr. Bossert indicated, are insufficient.
Efforts to establish “norms of behavior” got a promising start, but are now falling apart. No one can even agree on when an act of aggression in cyberspace amounts to an act of war. The Pentagon, in its first nuclear strategy review since President Trump took office, is even proposing to use the threat of unleashing nuclear weapons against a country or group that delivered a devastating cyberattack against the critical infrastructure of the United States or its allies. But that doesn’t help with the problem of everyday attacks.
The most talented state sponsors of attacks — mostly Russia, China, Iran and North Korea — have carefully calibrated their operations in cyberspace to achieve their strategic aims while avoiding a real shooting war. So far they have succeeded. While there have been indictments of Iranian and Chinese hackers in major strikes on the United States, they have never seen the inside of an American courtroom.
Geopolitical cyber attacks are the new cold war.