Fear, uncertainty and doubt. FUD is the weapon of choice that critics hurl when you attack one of their gods.
To this day, John and I have been criticized by Apple fans for repeatedly lecturing that Apple's software is inherently just as vulnerable as Microsoft's. We still hear people saying that no anti-malware software is necessary on an Apple device. So we were accused of spreading FUD.
Two years ago, we were accused of circulating more FUD when we lectured that law firms were very vulnerable to data breaches. Those accusations have dried up as reports of law firm breaches continue to proliferate. It is widely believed that the U.S. and Israel were behind Stuxnet and many believe that they were also behind the Flame cyberattack. I've seen many folks in power deny any knowledge of Flame, but no one with authority has stepped forward to say "The U.S. had nothing whatever to do with Flame." To me, that's telling.
Although we have not - yet - been charged with spreading FUD about cyberwarfare, others have. It is most curious that the people making the charges often have connections to the military or the government.
Where cyberwarfare is concerned, I regard FUD as a very good thing. I think we should have fear on many levels, not the least of which is that, if the U.S. commits cyberattacks, retaliations will occur. Worse yet, a cyberattack could lead to real-life warfare.
Uncertainty? I am assuredly uncertain that the people making the decisions about whether our country should engage in cyberattacks know what they are doing and have fully thought out all the possible consequences.
Doubt? I doubt that we know a fraction of what is really going on and I doubt if the politicians or military will tell us the truth. They never have before - why now? (I am showing my age when I reference Vietnam, but the lies that were told by the government and the military before, during and after that war were mind-boggling). I have not known politicians and the military to change their stripes when it comes to hiding the truth.
So I am all for a little FUD. The line between cyberwarfare and the real thing is a fine one - one our enemies may not appreciate. We have a pretty good system for protecting us from lunatics setting off nuclear weapons - I fear our oversight of cyberwarfare is not nearly as sophisticated.