A New Era of Warfare Begins as Cyberattack Leads to Airstrikes


For the first time ever, a government announced publicly that it had used immediate lethal physical force in response to a cyberattack.
Israeli military officials announced on Sunday that it launched air strikes to respond to an alleged “Hamas cyber offensive against Israeli targets.”

Israel’s claim is noteworthy because it brings into reality a scenario that many experts have long predicted: The use of immediate and near real-time physical force to respond to a cyberattack. 

In an interview with CyberScoop, former deputy assistant secretary for policy at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security called it “inevitable” that rockets would fly in response to cyberattacks.“We mistakenly tend to think that the cyber domain exists apart from the physical world, but it doesn’t,” Rosenzweig, a senior fellow at R Street Institute, said.

The assault seems to be the first true example of a physical attack being used as a real-time response to digital aggression—another evolution of so-called “hybrid warfare.” That makes it a landmark moment, but one that analysts caution must be viewed in the context of the conflict between Israel and Palestine, rather than as a standalone global harbinger.

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