The threat of cyber warfare is greatly exaggerated and using salacious phrases such as “cyber Armageddon” will only make the situation worse, according to a security expert.
He suggested the notion of a cyber war was based on several high-profile incidents from recent years, including the 1990s blackouts in Brazil, the 2009 attacks on Google by China, the Stuxnet worm that targeted Iran’s nuclear facilities and the hacking of Sarah Palin’s email account.
However, those incidents are not examples of cyber war but an increasing use of war-like tactics and “that is what is confusing us,” Schneier told BBC.
“Stuxnet and the Google infiltration are not cyber war – who died?” Schneier asked rhetorically.
The well-renowned security guru said the heated rhetoric is driving policy in ways that might not be appropriate, possibly leading to an increased “militarization of the Internet,” he said.
Schneier also chimed in on the introduction of the Cybersecurity Enhancement Act, saying his concern is that these “ill thought-out bills” would pass.
He also expressed skepticism when discussing the possibility of cybersecurity version of the Geneva Convention, saying he does not believe every country will sign up to an agreed set of norms or standards because “not everyone thinks about this unilaterally around the world.”