Cyber War versus Cyber Realities: Cyber Conflict in the International System

Hardcover | May 22, 2015

byBrandon Valeriano, Ryan C. Maness

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In 2011, the United States government declared a cyber attack as equal to an act of war, punishable with conventional military means. Cyber operations, cyber crime, and other forms of cyber activities directed by one state against another are now considered part of the normal relations rangeof combat and conflict, and the rising fear of cyber conflict has brought about a reorientation of military affairs. What is the reality of this threat? Is it actual or inflated, fear or fact-based?Taking a bold stand against the mainstream wisdom, Valeriano and Maness argue that there is very little evidence that cyber war is, or is likely to become, a serious threat. Their claim is empirically grounded, involving a careful analysis of cyber incidents and disputes experienced by internationalstates since 2001, and an examination of the processes leading to cyber conflict.As the authors convincingly show, cyber incidents are a little-used tactic, with low-level intensity and few to no long-term effects. As well, cyber incidents are motivated by the same dynamics that prompt regional conflicts. Based on this evidence, Valeriano and Maness lay out a set of policyrecommendations for proper defense against cyber threats that is built on restraint and regionalism.

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In 2011, the United States government declared a cyber attack as equal to an act of war, punishable with conventional military means. Cyber operations, cyber crime, and other forms of cyber activities directed by one state against another are now considered part of the normal relations rangeof combat and conflict, and the rising fear o...

Brandon Valeriano is Senior Lecturer in the Department of Politics and Global Security at the University of Glasgow. Ryan C. Maness is Visiting Fellow of Security and Resilience Studies at Northeastern University.
Format:HardcoverDimensions:288 pages, 9.41 × 6.42 × 1.1 inPublished:May 22, 2015Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0190204796

ISBN - 13:9780190204792

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Table of Contents

PrefaceAcknowledgements1. The Contours of the Cyber Conflict World2. Cyberpower, Cyber Weapons, and Cyber Operations3. Theories of Cyber Conflict: Restraint, Regionalism, Espionage, and Cyber Terrorism in the Digital Era4. The Dynamics of Cyber Conflict between Rival Antagonists5. The Impact of Cyber Incidents: Events and the Conflict-Cooperation Nexus6. Stuxnet, Shamoon, and Bronze Soldier: The Impact and Responses to Cyber Operations7. Cyber Conflict and Non-State Actors: Weapons of Fear8. Cyber Rules: Encouraging a System of Justice and Proportionality in Cyber Operations9. ConclusionTables and Figures

Editorial Reviews

"Most books that touch on theories of cyber power are stuck in either the mire of technical realities or zoom in the other direction, into the stratosphere of 'battles' over cognition and perception. Neither is very relevant for understanding actual conflict between nations. With Cyber Warversus Cyber Realities, Valeriano and Maness have a rare gem, a book rooted in a deep analysis of the true realities of cyber conflict from which they draw both lessons and theories with real relevance in national capitals." --Jay Healey, Director of the Cyber Statecraft Initiative, The Atlantic Council