Nobody has figured out the rules of engagement for cyber warfare, but one potential consequence of President Trump’s decision to attack Iran may be the commencement of the world’s first major cyber war.
Just when we thought the US and Iran had walked back from the brink of war, a report by The Hill has said that cyber warfare may be looming as Congress struggles to define the rules of engagement for what constitutes a cyber war, with Iran joining Russia, China and North Korea as a potential threat in what has long been predicted to be the future of conflicts all over the world.
“We’ve never really gone down the route to define what constitutes an act of war when it comes to cyberattacks,” Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), chairman of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, told The Hill last week.
“When you start getting into control systems, electrical systems, other critical infrastructure, you start attacking our financial system — to me those certainly would qualify, or certainly should be considered, as something we would require a pretty robust response,” Johnson added.
“We’re likely to see this not just with Iran, but in the future you are going to see cyber as one of the main domains of warfare going forward,” Sen. Gary Peters (Mich.) said in the same report.
So here we may find ourselves on the precipice of a major development in the annals of human history… potentially the first cyber war. And it would only be fitting that, as was the case with nuclear weapons, the Gatling gun, submarines, chemical weapons and tanks, it would only be logical for the next World War to be defined by the development of new military applications for technology.
For now, however, we can feel somewhat calm and assured that any further conflict between the US and Iran may not come to pass, nor is a global conflict likely… however, it just takes one chain of unpredictable events to light the spark for a huge conflict. Russia has been developing military applications in the cyberspace for decades and it includes acts of aggression such as their assault on the 2016 Presidential Election in America that saw Donald Trump come to power.
However, at this point there’s no solid evidence that cyber warfare has emerged as a battleground on an official basis… but the fact that US lawmakers are making efforts to define the legal parameters for what constitutes acts of aggression in the cyberspace is telling and a cause for concern.