How to Lose a Cyberwar with North Korea

In the past twenty-four hours, United States intelligence officials definitively confirmed that the recent cyberattacks against Sony Pictures Studios and the explicit threats to terrorize movie theaters showing its film, “The Interview,” are indeed the work of North Korean state actors. Sony, of course, canceled the global release of “The Interview,” which threatens to ex ante effectuate some of the most outright perverse incentives in geopolitics that we’ve seen since the TARP bailout. Let us not mince words about North Korea: this is casus belli — a provocative act of war. It is not mere rhetorical bluster by the despotic apparatchiks in Pyongyang. This is unequivocally an act of 21st-century state-sponsored cyberwarfare and, indeed, state-sponsored terrorism. Unnervingly, there is not much precedent for these sorts of attacks, and we are utterly clueless in how to respond. Abe Greenwald, over at Commentary’s online blog, observes that

This isn’t a gossip story or an industry problem. It’s war. Moreover, it’s a war we don’t know how to fight. In 2011, the U.S. military declared cyberattacks tantamount to acts of war and therefore liable to military response. But that statement concerned cyberattacks on our government or infastructure. We now have rogue regimes going after American citizens and corporations. There’s nothing on the books for that. There’s been talk of “hacking back” among corporate victims, but that’s a reckless and probably illegal option. There needs to be fresh strategic thinking about this, and fast. We’re catching up to a challenge that’s already out of control.

What is particularly unnerving about all of this is that we are forced to learn how to deal with 21st-century cyberwarfare whilst we suffer the indignity of our benighted serial appeaser in the White House — a “mom jeans“-wearing sycophant to all the world’s worst actors whose love of apologizing for America’s ostensible sins at times frankly appears to outweigh his sincere desire to protect the homeland. Indeed, this whole tragic saga has not-all-too-coincidentally overlapped with the latest emasculating embarrassment by the “Obama-Clinton-Kerry foreign policy doctrine” (to borrow from Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX)Heritage ActionScorecardSen. Ted Cruz95%Senate Republican AverageSee Full Scorecard95%‘s politically ingenious label) of isolating allies and kowtowing to enemy tyrants: the “naive” attempt at rapprochement with the evil, anti-human dignity, terrorism-supporting Castro regime 90 miles off the …read more    

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