The message is alarming. “Rarely in human history has a new weapon been adapted with such speed, customised to fit so many different tasks, and exploited by so many nations to reshape their influence on global affairs,” Sanger writes. He goes on that cyber weapons have the capability to “fry power grids, stop trains, silence cellphones, and overwhelm the internet”.
If these doomsday scenarios are the future, the future is now. In large part owing to the reporting by Sanger and his colleagues, it is well-known that the US and Israel planted a computer virus, known by the code name “Stuxnet”, into Iran’s nuclear facilities, causing centrifuges to spin out of control, and setting back its nuclear program for years. Russia resorted to cyber war in Ukraine, as part of its conventional invasion. And, of course, Russia used cyber weapons to influence the most recent US presidential election, as well as