Ukraine’s offensive cyber hacking against Russia, though perhaps for aims that the international community may agree with, is nonetheless a violation of cyber norms—which should be enforced without exceptions.
Jason Healey is a Senior Research Scholar at Columbia University’s School for International and Public Affairs and founder of the global “Cyber 9/12” student cyber-policy competition. He is also a part-time strategist at the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency and edited the first history of conflict in cyberspace, "A Fierce Domain: Cyber Conflict, 1986 to 2012." He has held cyber positions at the White House, Goldman Sachs, and the U.S. Air Force.
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Subversive cyber operations are argued to have “limited utility in practice” because of the inherent trade-offs of the trilemma/quadrilemma. However, this assessment ignores several key factors.
Cyberspace may be a domain of military operations, but it is not predominantly so. Civil-military relations in the United States must adapt to new demands or cyberspace may be irretrievably diminished.
Attackers in cyberspace have had the systemwide advantage for decades. Reversing this requires both a more nuanced understanding of the offense-defense balance and innovations with leverage that works at scale across the internet.
The Trickbot takedown and such military operations are a good idea only in cases that meet a five-part test of imminence, severity, overseas focus, nation-state adversary, and military as a last-ish resort.
U.S. decision makers say they prioritize cyber defense and are not militarizing cyberspace. A closer look at the Federal budget shows otherwise.
Gen. Mark Milley, recently confirmed by the Senate as the next chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, will soon ascend to that position after the current chairman, Gen. Joseph Dunford, retires this fall. In testimony during his confirmation hearing, Milley argued that in cyberspace, peace can be achieved through strength: “We have to have those offensive capabilities ...