Home / News

Policy Review: Botnets are eWMD, electronic Weapons of Mass Destruction

The latest issue of Policy Review from the Hoover Institution, a public policy research center—focused on advanced study of politics, economics, and political economy—has an essay titled eWMDs – electronic weapons of mass destruction. The Policiy Review readers are warned that botnets should be considered a serious security problem and that “cyber attacks present a grave new security vulnerability for all nations and must be urgently addressed.” From the paper:

“Just as the Internet has enabled eCommerce, it has also enabled cyber crime, cyber terrorism, and cyber warfare. Unfortunately, the international community’s response to these dangers has been seriously insufficient. Botnets have the potential to do untold damage, and they should be classified as ewmds (electronic Weapons of Mass Destruction), a term we have coined. We believe it is appropriate to have a category distinction. wmds can kill in large numbers and cause great disruption. Computers are not generally configured so that they can cause physical damage to themselves or their surroundings, though there is concern about scada systems (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition)—the computer systems that control utilities and process plants in general. The cia recently disclosed that electric utilities have been successfully attacked. But even if all software and data are securely backed up, there is still potential for great loss due to an ewmd attack.”

Read the full essay on Hoover Institution’s Policy Review website.

By CircleID Reporter

CircleID’s internal staff reporting on news tips and developing stories. Do you have information the professional Internet community should be aware of? Contact us.

Visit Page

Filed Under


Comment Title:

  Notify me of follow-up comments

We encourage you to post comments and engage in discussions that advance this post through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can report it using the link at the end of each comment. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of CircleID. For more information on our comment policy, see Codes of Conduct.

CircleID Newsletter The Weekly Wrap

More and more professionals are choosing to publish critical posts on CircleID from all corners of the Internet industry. If you find it hard to keep up daily, consider subscribing to our weekly digest. We will provide you a convenient summary report once a week sent directly to your inbox. It's a quick and easy read.

I make a point of reading CircleID. There is no getting around the utility of knowing what thoughtful people are thinking and saying about our industry.

Co-designer of the TCP/IP Protocols & the Architecture of the Internet



Domain Names

Sponsored byVerisign

Threat Intelligence

Sponsored byWhoisXML API


Sponsored byVerisign

Brand Protection

Sponsored byCSC

New TLDs

Sponsored byRadix

IPv4 Markets

Sponsored byIPv4.Global


Sponsored byDNIB.com