There has been a shift in thinking about cyberwar, according to professor Greg Austin from the University of New South Wales Canberra Cyber.
Since 2006, the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and allied nations have run exercises based on the concept of a Cyber Storm. They’ve focused on “policies, processes, and procedures for identifying and responding to a multi-sector cyber attack targeting critical infrastructure”.
But we’re now in the post-NotPetya era. Nation-states are actively mapping out each other’s critical infrastructure. Last month, it was even reported that both China and Russia have already staged assets to launch cyber attacks that could at least temporarily disrupt US critical infrastructure.
Austin says that cyber storm thinking is now being replaced by a concept he calls “cyber blitzkrieg”. It’s effectively a more nuanced version of the somewhat tired “cyber Pearl Harbor” concept.
“We’re really talking the plans by states to attack each other with multi-wave, multi-vector destructive cyber attacks across the entire civil and military infrastructure of the enemy,” Austin told ZDNet.