It's like we, as a society, were on a two-lane road.
The left lane was the physical world, and the right lane was the cyber world.
Now, here we are, passing a sign that says "Lanes Merge Ahead."
And while that seems to be generally okay in an everyday living kind of sense, what does it mean on the battlefield? And when will the impacts of a virtual battle and a physical one be treated the same way?
When will cyberwar be treated like 'regular' war?
The SecureWorld media team came across a thought-provoking perspective on the this by the World Economic Forum:
"A worrying indicator is the barrage of cyber attacks to which Ukraine has been subjected since 2014, giving rise to suspicions that Russia is using Ukraine as a test-bed for disruptive attacks of ever greater sophistication, such as CrashOverride, an autonomous exploit designed to enable the remote closing down of electricity-generation systems.
Physical damage arising from activities initiated in the cyber domain is already a reality. Fatalities, at the very least as a second-order consequence of persistent and large-scale digital disruption, may not be far behind."
And when cyber attacks on the United States or other countries result in injuries and deaths, do we treat it as an act of actual war—or like it's just another hack in which bad actors have upped their game?
Will it truly rise to the level of war as defined by various treaties, conventions, and constitutions around the globe?
This is a good question to ponder. And it got us wondering about something else.
What is a cyber warfare worst case scenario, anyway?
We suppose cyberwar could mean different things to different people, and we know more than a few who are experts on this concept. That includes Major General Brett Williams, the former Director of Operations at U.S. Cyber Command.
Here's what he told us about his "worst case" cyberwar scenario during our interview at SecureWorld Detroit.
That's scary, isn't it? It's not something we like to think about, but our modern reality means we should be preparing for it, regardless.