Deterring cyberattacks on U.S. critical infrastructure
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Cyberattacks against critical infrastructure are not merely theoretical. Nations and private enterprises have come to understand that critical infrastructure can be attacked via cyberspace with serious repercussions. Critical infrastructure is vital to the United States because it provides power, water, transportation, and communication services to the American public. Those services are essential to U.S. security, economy, and health. Many documents, some dating back to the Cold War era, examine deterrence strategies to defend critical infrastructure against physical attacks, but literature regarding deterrence against cyberattacks on critical infrastructure is minimal. Deterrence is most important when defense is difficult, and defending critical infrastructure in cyber space is significantly difficult. Unlike conventional attacks, cyberattacks are fast and inexpensive, with ambiguous sources of origin. That is why a serious study deterring cyberattacks against critical infrastructure is necessary. Although the U.S. government is aware of the dangers posed by cyberattacks against its critical infrastructure, it does not have a well-developed strategy for deterring them. This thesis analyzes current U.S. cyber deterrence strategies and explores the feasibility of deterring cyberattacks against U.S. critical infrastructure.
Reissued 27 Sep 2018 to reflect updated abstract on pages i and v.
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