The defense secretary for a newly elected president is entering his third month in office when a chilling report crosses his desk warning of the catastrophic damage an enemy could visit on the U.S. with a cyberattack.
Such an attack, the report warns, could cripple the U.S. economy. It could strike with no warning. It could be launched asymmetrically by an enemy that’s much weaker than the U.S. in traditional military might.
Even worse, that enemy could use the internet to shield its identity, making it difficult or impossible for U.S. forces to retaliate or to deter an attack before it happens by threatening retaliation inside cyberspace or outside of it.
The defense secretary fires off an email to his pick to lead the Defense Science Board, a civilian adviser to the Pentagon on science and technology matters: “Please take a look at this article, ‘The U.S. is not Safe in